Hong Kong Holiday: Shopping and Dining in Hong Kong
After our day trip to Macau we fell even deeper in love with Hong Kong. Macau is beautiful and great in its own right, but Hong Kong is really the kind of place we would want to live. One thing we like to do is shop, and after two years in Korea with limited options of size and style, Hong Kong was our first chance to do some shopping for clothes. I guess it’s worth mentioning here that since last February Carolyn is 50 pounds lighter, and I’m 40 pounds lighter. Holy cow. So yeah, we needed some new clothes. First though, we needed breakfast. We picked up coffee as we walked down to the IFC and then had a breakfast of Tim Ho Wan char siu bao take away. Awesome way to start the day, if you ask me. We spent the rest of the day trying on jeans, jackets, shirts, and shoes, each getting a nice new outfit to wear for dinner and our last day in Hong Kong.
Our choice for dinner was Tsui Wah, a spot featured by Anthony Bourdain on his Hong Kong episode of The Layover. It’s kind of a Cantonese/Hong Kong style greasy spoon. The menu at this place is freaking huge, with everything from hot dogs to steaks to westernized Chinese foods.
We at at Tsui Wah twice, once right after getting back from Macau, when I ordered the fish ball noodle soup, which tasted really good until I dumped a little bit too much of the chili oil in it. It was still good, but I had de-improved it with my addition. The fried won tons were awesome, and the Chiu Chow style fried rice was freaking delicious. (I should just let Carolyn order for me all the time because she always picks the most delicious thing that lands on our table.)
This time we ordered two different Chinese dishes, a pork with vegetables and black bean sauce, and a chicken with shiitake mushrooms in a garlic and galangal sauce.
We were stuffed after this dinner, so we took a short little walk around Lan Kwai Fong, up into soho, and back, stopping at the California Vintage Wine Bar in Lan Kwai Fong once again, because, HELLO, pot de creme.
So yeah, it was a
pretty expensive great day that resulted in a cheap dinner followed by a glass of wine and a freaking GREAT dessert. Full of nice hot food, we headed back to the hotel and called it a night. The next morning we put on our fancy new clothes, had breakfast, and took the Star Ferry one last time to Tsim Sha Tsui. We wanted to visit the Hong Kong Museum of Art. It’s a cool looking building, and the outdoor market we were planning to visit didn’t open until noon, so we had some time to fill.
The Andy Warhol exhibition was really cool, and it featured his personal photos of his trip to China in the early 1980′s and a lot of his different art pieces. While I do understand the irony of checking out an Andy Warhol exhibit when we’ll be back in the U.S. in like 3 weeks, I must say that seeing a great art exhibition feels pretty cosmopolitan, and that’s what Hong Kong is all about. It was especially cool to see the school groups of kids from all over the world whose parents work in Hong Kong on their field trips.
After the Warhol exhibit we swung through the gallery of Chinese Antiquities because we were in fact, in China, right? FUN FACT: In college I majored in History, our best professor was from China. I took all of his classes. I can still name most of the Chinese dynasties in order. I think it’s ironic that the Chinese unit of currency is named after the dynasty of the Mongols. Okay. So yeah, I have some background with Chinese history, and seeing even everyday items like pots and pans and crap labeled “Qing Dynasty” was pretty impressive to me. But it was all fairly dry stuff, and we were getting hungry, so it was time to head out to Mongkok to see this market we’d heard about.
The ladies market, and honestly, the entire Mongkok district were packed with people. It must be one of the most densely packed places I’ve ever been since…well…Macau. The market was the first place where we saw things that looked, well, Chinese for purchase, so we picked up a few things for family. We were hungry, and we had decided to head back to Central for lunch, so we stopped at Hui Lau Shin to try these mango jelly shakes we’d seen on TV. I had one with mango jelly, fresh mango, and coconut milk. The first few sips were terrible. After a good stir things improved somewhat but holy cow, not my thing. Carolyn’s was a little better, with clear jelly, strawberry, and mango. Definitely more drinkable. Beverages consumed, it was back into the MTR and a short time later we were at Central MTR Station.
Yeah, we went back to Tim Ho Wan for one last dim sum bash. We ordered five varieties of dim sum and stuffed ourselves until we were about to pop. There were a lot of people waiting for a table, but we got in pretty quickly. Read the dim sum post, I just had dinner and I don’t want to make myself hungry by describing a Tim Ho Wan dim sum meal, it just wouldn’t be right. After our meal, we went back to the room to drop off our bags and get off our feet for a bit. We wanted to go down to the waterfront with no cameras or anything later to take in the lights of this magnificent city one more time.
Just before 8pm we headed down to the waterfront, parked ourselves on a public pier and cuddled while we watched the Symphony of Lights from the Hong Kong side. It was beautiful. With a final bit of space in our stomachs we headed up to a pizza-by-the-slice place we saw in soho earlier, each had a delicious slice, and returned to the hotel. From here it was packing, setting alarms, and getting ready for an early morning departure.
As you might have read before, our trip to Hong Kong ended in style. Due to a full plane we had a free upgrade to business class, and that was a very welcome free upgrade. This whole trip seemed to be telling us what life could be like if we were rolling in the money. I wonder if it was trying to sell us a timeshare.