Mong Kok, the Peak, and Belated Turkey

Hong Kong Travel Blog

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Mong Kok
On Thursday I met Sandra and two of her friends who live locally (Suey and Jessica) and spent the afternoon walking around Mong Kok.  We grabbed some lunch, poked around a few shops, and wandered the Ladies' Market.  Despite the name, the Ladies' Market has nothing to do with womens items, but rather is basically your catch-all tourist trap kitsch crap.  My hostel is located in Mong Kok and I'd wandered the area the day prior, so I found myself being bored and impatient through most of it.  It was nice to meet new faces and learn a new term: BBC, or British Born Chinese.  (Sandra and Jessica live in the UK, but Suey currently lives here teaching English.
Mong Kok
)  Kind of neat to hear about and experience Chinese things with people who were born and raised in a western setting, but know the language and customs inside and out as well.  Gives an interesting dual perspective.

On Thursday night Sandra and I made our way to the waterfront in Tsim Sha Tsui for the light show.  The light show is basically a bunch of choreographed lasers along the Hong Kong skyline.  It's kind of neat, I guess, but I'm not one for lasers and light shows to begin with, so I'm sitting there going "what's the point?"  Of course there were thousands of people there to oooh and aahhh; mostly tourists who came for the view.
Bubble Tea
  The view is definitely pretty neat, Hong Kong's got a good looking skyline.  The New Yorker in me found myself admiring without awe; we still beat the pants off Hong Kong in the amazing skyline department.  (Don't get me started on the food.)

Friday was a nice clear-ish day (clear for Hong Kong, and absolutely stellar by China standards), and Sandra and I made our way up to the Peak.  There was some confusion about which pier the bus left from, and then the bus leaving from the bus station (duh) and not the pier, and by the time we crisscrossed across the city twice over and finally made it to the top it was after 3pm.  I couldn't believe it.  Both of us were jonesing for western food and so tried a "spaghetti" restaurant (not to be confused with Italian; there was nothing Italian on the menu save for a few poorly interpreted pasta dishes).
Ladies' Market
  Needless to say, lunch was unappetizing and disappointing and overpriced and  everything else I've come to associate with food in Hong Kong.

The walk around Victoria Peak is really nice.  I imagine the views are great on a clear day (the haze beat us by the time we made our way up there), and you're able to see the southern coast as well, which I hadn't realized.  The walk is 2.7 kilometers and is flat and paved (wealthy ex-pats who live in the area were out walking for exercise) and is actually really lush and serene and very pleasant.  The vegetation is of the tropical persuasion, with rubber trees and hibiscus and bougainvillea along the way.  Felt like a slice of home.

From the Peak we hopped on a subway to Tung Chung, which is on Lantau, Hong Kong's largest island (and twice the size of HK itself).
Street food in Mong Kok
  Sandra had been invited to a Thanksgiving dinner (belated because obvs it isn't observed here and hence it was a regular work week) thrown by an ex-pat couple, and invited me to tag along.  It turned out to be a pretty good group, about eight of us in all.  Mostly British, one Hong Kong, one other American, and a dude from Tunisia.  Joe (the host) made corn on the cob, candied yams, garlic mashed potatoes, cauliflower with crackers crumbled over it (new to me), macaroni and cheese, and of course turkey and stuffing.  Being the only American guest they insisted I serve myself first.  They didn't need to ask twice -- I was stalking the table and practically drooling.  I piled my plate HIGH, and managed to entertain everyone by wolfing it down before the last person sat down.
Mong Kok
  Wow was that good.  Absolutely nothing like the Thanksgiving we have at home, but holy crap I was overdue for American comfort food.  Delicious.  And then I got up and piled mountain number two and scarfed that too. 

For dessert we had triffle, which I'd never heard of before.  A British dessert involving candied/jellied fruit at the bottom, a layer of cake, and a custard/cream on top.  YUM.  There was also white chocolate cherry cake and mini egg custards.  I had one of everything and two helpings of triffle, and no, I will not be moving for the next few days.  I stuffed myself til I was uncomfortably bursting, and I didn't care.  It was all I could do not to eat more.  Dear god I miss home food.  And being invited into someone's home and sitting on a couch sipping wine and meeting new people and sharing stories -- it was so wonderful.
More street food
  It made me realize I hadn't been in someone's home since I left (which is obvious, but not something I'd thought about).  It felt so good to be included, so sooo good.  Our belated Thanksgiving feast made my WEEK.  I didn't want to leave.  Sandra had to ask three times before I finally gave in and said goodbye around midnight.  I'm still having visions of that macaroni and cheese.  Oh baby.
fransglobal says:
Sorry, have to disagree with you. I reckon Hong Kong's skyline shades that of the Big Apple. As for food, perhaps New York has the edge but at affordable prices for the ordinary punter, I'll choose Brussels.

Hong Kong is expensive for accommodation but otherwise, I found it quite cheap, especially eating out. The mainland was very cheap for everything in my view.
Posted on: Nov 29, 2009
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Mong Kok
Mong Kok
Mong Kok
Mong Kok
Bubble Tea
Bubble Tea
Ladies Market
Ladies' Market
Street food in Mong Kok
Street food in Mong Kok
Mong Kok
Mong Kok
More street food
More street food
The Peninsula
The Peninsula
Festive in Tsim Sha Tsui
Festive in Tsim Sha Tsui
Festive in Tsim Sha Tsui
Festive in Tsim Sha Tsui
Clock Tower in Tsim Sha Tsui
Clock Tower in Tsim Sha Tsui
Hong Kong skyline from Tsim Sha Ts…
Hong Kong skyline from Tsim Sha T…
Hong Kong skyline from Tsim Sha Ts…
Hong Kong skyline from Tsim Sha T…
Light show
Light show
Along the Avenue of Stars
Along the Avenue of Stars
Tsim Sha Tsui
Tsim Sha Tsui
Victoria Peak Observation Deck
Victoria Peak Observation Deck
View from Victoria Peak
View from Victoria Peak
Victoria Peak
Victoria Peak
Victoria Peak
Victoria Peak
Victoria Peak
Victoria Peak
Hong Kong Harbor from Victoria Peak
Hong Kong Harbor from Victoria Peak
Hong Kong Harbor from Victoria Peak
Hong Kong Harbor from Victoria Peak
Hong Kong Harbor from Victoria Peak
Hong Kong Harbor from Victoria Peak
Hong Kong Harbor from Victoria Peak
Hong Kong Harbor from Victoria Peak
Tram
Tram
Chez Joe and his feast
Chez Joe and his feast
Thanksgiving!
Thanksgiving!