Hong Kong In A Day?

Man today was a looong day also. We woke up pretty early, owning to the fact that our bodies are still out of whack, and sauntered down to the Docks. Everyone was on their way to work at the time, call it 9am-ish, so we did our best to get in their way and be annoying tourists. The docks were directly north of our place in Hong Kong, which feels weird, I dunno why but I always want to instinctively associate water with being south of me.

Anyhow, along the way we walked through a lot of open air markets set up by the local (Chinese) population. You can buy anything in these markets, from spices to fresh produce, and EXTREMELY fresh meat. You know all that imagery you associate with Chinese open air markets? Or, have you ever been to New York’s China town? It is exactly like that. You can pick your live fish to get cleaned in front of your face, you select your own cut of pork from a freshly (hand) slaughtered hog hanging about 5 feet from you, or can select a pre-cleaned fish fillet from the table. You can even complete the set by getting the accompanying head of the fish from the next table over…the head is probably still attempting to breath…which was enough to get under Erin’s skin.

Well we made it through the markets without being tempted to stop and cook a meal and boarded the ferry to Hong Kong’s third largest island: Lamma Island. The ferry ride was decidedly uneventful, and thankfully so, and therefore will not be embellished upon further than this overy comma delimited run on sentence.

Lamma Island’s geography looks like a Dexter-crime-scene-splatter-plot, or an amoeba, and you can access it either from a port in the north or a port in the south. We chose to arrive on the north side called Yung Shue Wan (well since we didn’t check times that was kind of our only option) and took a trail that led from the north to the southern bay of Sok Kwu Wan. It was about an hour and a half walk that got our blood moving and a not-at-all intense debate about what constitutes a “path” vs. a”trail” broke out. Something about pavement being involved seemed to be the turning point.

Along the PATH we passed through a few villages, a couple of shrines, and a nice little beach where no one was a round. We put our feet in the ocean and instantly cooled down. The beach was nice save for the looming cement plant off to our right, and the impending shark net 40 yards off shore.

[insert observation about sharks chewing through nets]
[insert awesome movie plot about a freak shark mutated by a cement plant]

We eventually came to the end of the trail in Sok Kwu Wan. Thoroughly famished, we sat down bay side for a seafood feast. This food had been swimming 10 minutes before it went in our bellies, literally it was so fresh that The Canadian found a thumb-sized rock in the clams. The meal consisted of a plate of poached shrimp, fried squid, steamed clams in sauce, steamed bok choy, a fish, and some fried rice. We had Tsing Tao to round it off.

We got back on the ferry and kind of wandered around aimlessly for a bit admiring the hustle of the city. We looked for a few things that may not have existed before giving in and admitting that we were all pretty worn out. We headed back to the place, and crashed HARD for a few hours.

Around 5pm we slid out of bed and got worked up to take the Peak Tram to the top of the mountain on Hong Kong island. See Hong Kong island is essentially a big rock sticking up out of the water and most of the streets on that side of the city reach up it; this is why they have the aforementioned escalators everywhere. We walked over to the tram, took it to the top, and were greeted with a hopeful offering of food options including Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. and Burger King. Ugh.

Thankfully we had a hot tip on a place called The Peak Lookout which was a fancier, but more conscionable choice. Ms. Danielle and I had some pretty solid Tandoori chicken, Erin had a red curry, and VJ had some baked chicken thinger. It was good food but the view, which was promised to be good, disappointed a little, though that may have had more to do with our set directly behind some (not)stupid 10000 year old tree.

On the other side of the complex was a cool look out spot where you could gaze down over the heart of Hong Kong, across the bay, and through to the Kowloon side. I took some decent photos, The Canadian probably took better ones.

So we’re at dinner and we aren’t saying much; it seems the jet lag is starting to kick in and we are basically zombies when trying to order. I think we annoyed our waitress on this point. But with food in our bellies we had a bit more left so we took the tram back down the peak and hopped the subway to the Kowloon side of the city. We were looking for the (famous?) Temple Street Night Market. We found it, but I didn’t find it all that impressive. What was interesting was how much crazier the Kowloon side of the city seemed. I guess the island side is more of the commercial and ex-pat area whereas Kowloon thumps with watts of Chinese energy. Every street was lit up and every side walk was packed with restaurant owners coaxing you into their shops for dinner or drinks. Buckets of live fish were common but not out of place, and the smell of “deep-fried” permeated everything. When we come back here in 2 weeks we will have to explore this side more as I feel like this is where the authentic local experience is to be found. (also, I have no idea)

Exhausted we made it back to the place around midnight. I was asleep within minutes and I’m pretty sure we were all able to finally get some real sleep.

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Pictures:
– a shot of the street markets
– lunch on Lamma Island, those are not peppercorns on the shrimp
– hey water! View of Sok Kwu Wan from across the way.
– Hong Kong at night from The Peak


1- our place, central/soho area
2- Yung Shue Wan, Lamma Island north
3- Sok Kwu Wan, Lamma Island south
4- The Peak (restaurant)
5- Temple Street Market
6- Open Air Markets

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