Friday, November 19, 2010

Hong Kong Surprise

Hong Kong Harbor Sunset View from Victoria's Peak
Sunset View of the harbor from Victoria Peak
All I know was that I'm going to Hong Kong and that the weather for at least the first two days of our trip would be sunny.

I've been tied-up with work for a big event project for the past 45 days that I wasn't able to do any decent research on the place. Besides, I learned my friend was bringing me along on this sight-seeing/discovery trip sponsored by Hong Kong Disneyland  and Nuffnang just two short weeks prior.  I must admit I'm a backpacker at heart and certainly not a shopping-kind-of-person which is why I've never included HK in my travels previously.  So what to do?  Hmmm, the most appealing thing that came to mind was to foodtrip with companions, Nina and Ferdz and learn to subsist on a teeny-weeny budget.  That and attempt to learn how the city's transport system works.



We took the Cityflyer bus (HK$40) out of the International Airport on Lantau, foregoing the more expensive train (HK$100), all the while taking advantage of the free on-board Wi-Fi for the nearly one hour ride to the city proper.  We passed the turn-off for Disneyland on the highway and that made me think: there's something to be said about a place where the premier theme park is nearer to the airport than the city.  Hmmm, Disneyland will have to wait for now as we find our base, the South Pacific Hotel along Morrison.  The view of all that vertical development of condominiums framed by the mountains wasn't lost on us as we navigated the traffic-free highway -- certainly a clear testament to the place's reputation as having the highest transport traveling rate in the world.
Hong Kong - Morrison Side Street Eats
Lunch out at the side street along Morrison (taken using my Nokia N8)
Good omen for future eats.  First thing we looked for after checking-in was food.  The crispy-looking pork skin hanging from a small hole-in-the-wall along a nearby side street beckoned us to come in and try our luck.  Ate Nida, a friendly Pinay on a break in between two babysitting jobs here and Wanchai, helped us choose our orders and boy, was the pork and chicken combo really good.  Unwittingly, this first meal set us on the path to good eats throughout our trip.
Hong Kong - Morrison Side Street Lunch
HK$23 with plenty of rice and a Coke to boot (taken using my Nokia N8)
Peaking early.  After getting a much-needed siesta, we decided to take the nearly-empty bus to Victoria Peak for a panoramic view of the city and the harbor.  Good thing Nina reminded me to bring a jacket as the wind chill atop the summit viewdeck brought temperatures down to 19 degrees.  The magical view of the city changing colors from light to dark and all those lights defining the city's nightscape was not lost on the swarm of tourists on the deck (HK$25 for entrance).  
Hong Kong - Night Skyline View III from Victoria's Peak
Cityscape from Victoria Peak Summit Viewdeck
Hong Kong - Mak's Pork Dumpling & Wonton
Mak's Pork & Wonton Soup
The warm light of Mak's greeted us on the way out of the mall.  Following our gut instincts proved providential as the dimsum was just heavenly while the veggies were crunchy and cooked just right.  The hot soup was also perfect for the chilly autumn temperature along with the house tea.  To continue our foodtripping, we couldn't resist having crepes for dessert (I had green tea ice cream in my crepe) before heading back to the darkened city onboard a half-filled double decker bus.

Next:  Hong Kong: Getting familiar with the trams, the trains and the eats
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