“Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life.”
Hong Kong is home to so much technology, advancement, and access to resources that it was hard to believe it was real life. From the moment I stepped onto Hong Kong soil, even aspects like the Mass Transit Railway (MTR) were incredibly organized and well-kept.
Side note: Here's a picture of what I ate before my flight to Hong Kong. Sort of random but it was so yummy that I wanted to share. I ordered a caesar salad (SO GOOD) and a burger. Both were actually well executed, since I was expecting the airport restaurants to be overpriced and underwhelming. I think that's the main lesson I've been learning while in Asia-so many (great) surprises!
After landing in the evening, we wanted to find some good food that was close to our hostel, YHA Mei Ho House Youth Hostel in the Kowloon region of Hong Kong. Some of the things I noticed about YHA right off the bat is the 24-hour concierge service, affordable amenities, private rooms, and close proximity to the subway station. If you're planning on staying in Hong Kong, go and give it a try!
Although Thailand is a part of our itinerary, I was craving Thai curry! I guess I can make the comparison once I get there in about a week. I ordered the yellow curry with rice and a papaya salad to go alongside it.
While my main dish was hot, delicious and rich, the PAPAYA SALAD was the bomb.com. The dressing consisted of lime, fish sauce, soy sauce, and sugar. It's one of the best things I've eaten while abroad. I personally LOVE sweet and salty put together, so this really hit the spot for me.
To wash it all down, I ordered the peach and lychee cooler. Not too sweet at all, and the bubblies were the perfect addition to my satisfying meal!
My friend ordered the tom kum yum soup, which is a slightly spicy soup with coconut milk and lime. Delicious! She also got fried egg rolls on the side, which were cooked perfectly: crunchy on the outside and not drowning in oil.
One of the best things I've found about traveling is the amount of connections you make. You'll never know if you can meet again in another country, especially if it's your first time in their home country. Having someone to help guide you in a new place is always nice, and if it's a friend you met while traveling, then even better!
We met our friend, Byron, at the Ooedo Onsen in Tokyo, Japan (click here to read about it!) and learned he was from Hong Kong. After spending some time with him, he offered to show us around when we arrived!
Our first task was of course, food. We went to Shanghai Popo 336. China is so huge that even though the dishes look similar, the taste and ingredients will vary based on region. I noticed that the Shanghai style of cooking was a bit more bold and salty. My kind of cooking!
Our first dish was sautéed green beans. I was so happy to find that the beans were not mushy at all. The crunchiness was retained and it added the perfect freshness to the savory sauce.
The second dish was special fried rice with shrimp. The rice was toasted before the remaining ingredients were added, which made the overall outcome drier. Not a bad thing when it comes to this dish! You could really feel the texture of each rice grain because toasting them allows the rice kernels to separate.
The next dish was surprisingly tasty and not what I was expecting: fried shrimp with beaten egg yolk. Sounds strange, but the salty egg yolks created a delicate crust over the shrimp. Totally delicious!
Lastly, you know we had to try their version of xiaolongbao, a steamed dumpling (click here for my post on the Taiwanese version from Din Tai Fung!). There hasn't been a xiaolongbao I didn't like, and this one was no exception!
Here's an overview of our meal. Doesn't it make your mouth water?! I think my stomach just growled...
For dessert, we headed over to Ufufu Cafe. Our friend (Hi, Byron!) told us that all of the establishments he was taking us to could be found on Open Rice, the Asian version of Yelp! Apps like these are super helpful to utilize when traveling abroad because you can see for yourself how many reviews a restaurant has and what people are saying about it before you make your choice.
Ufufu was decorated minimally but with purpose. Along the largest window, you could find a shelf full of teacups and saucers. I wanted to take a look at every single one!
My choice was a berry and frozen yogurt sundae, topped with frozen raspberries and fresh orange slices! I thought the frozen berries were a nice crunchy touch on the creamy dessert.
My friends ordered a berry soufflé pancake and strawberry parfait. All of the desserts were well balanced and not overly sweet. If you're in the area, try out Ufufu and you won't be disappointed!
After desserts, we took a stroll by the commercial buildings. They are AMAZING! You feel so small compared to the towering skyscrapers. They are incredibly well kept, and almost glisten in the sunlight.
Our next destination was the Peak Tram, which offers the highest 360 degree view of Hong Kong. It's been running for 130 years, and the history is laid out for you as you walk through the line to get to the tram. Once you reach the crowds of people at the ticket booth, you know you're there. Luckily, we went around 1-2ish so it wasn't too crowded.
I recommend purchasing the Sky Tram Pass for $90 HKD ($11.53 USD). Try your best to get a window seat so you can get the best pictures/video.
Before you even get to the top, the cityscape starts to poke through the trees. Everyone "ooh-ed" and "ahh-ed" as they saw Hong Kong appear before them. It was already incredible and we haven't even got off the tram!
Once you exit the tram, take the elevators all the way to the roof. The view is INSANE! I felt like I was on top of the world. It's a bit scary being so high up there, but trust me it's worth it. There are many restaurants and stores with the gorgeous view, so take your time slowly and enjoy the amazing view of Hong Kong.
Going back down was fun but slightly terrifying...This next picture was taken on the way back down and it was SO STEEP!
Once we descended back to the commercial buildings, we parted ways with our friend and headed over to dinner at the IFC (International Finance Center) Mall. This shopping center in particular has some of the best shopping Hong Kong has to offer!
We had dinner at The Glasshouse, which is a western-style restaurant with Asian influence, located on the fourth floor of the IFC Mall. The ambiance was perfect for what we were looking for-elegant but not too fancy. My friend ordered a lychee-peach spritzer, which was delicious!
Our appetizers were oysters on the half-shell, spring rolls, and french fries with truffle aioli (flavored mayonnaise). All were SO GOOD! You already know it's going to be a great dinner if the apps are blowing you away.
For our entrees, I ordered the duck salad with smoked peaches, and she ordered the wagyu steak with truffle fried rice and honey mustard sauce. We were sad once we were finished, let's just leave it at that.
For after-dinner drinks, you could bring any of your bubblies into the open areas overlooking the water. LOOK AT THIS VIEW! Doesn't it just give you life?! It felt like a dream being there...I couldn't believe where I was at!
Our final stop of the night was to check out Lan Kwai Fong, or LKF. LFK is Hong Kong's night life hub, filled with bars, bars, and more bars.
We stopped by IQ, which is right where LFK begins. You can't go wrong with a Heiny, so a cold one was the choice for me!
(Want to see more on Asian nightlife? Click here for South Korea's night life in Hongdae!)
All of these amazing places that I've grown to love are thanks to the recommendations of friends, and international ones at that. It's so fulfilling to know that I'm growing my network of friends all over the world!
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Until next time,
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