Kung Fu Panda Fantasies

Hong Kong Travel Blog

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We were smart enough to get up way earlier and take the free shuttle to the ferry peir. My husband really wanted to try a chinese breakfast, so he got some congee with chicken from the hotel cafe before we left. Now, I will eat fried tarantulas without blinking, durian without turning my nose, but there's something about eating new foods early in the morning that I can't tolerate. The congee tasted really good actually, but my body said no, just bread and coffee.

But today, I was really excited. We were going to do kung fu! My husband had orignially wanted to do mountain climbing, but he made the mistake of sending me the tour billet... You see, my father loves old samurai movies, Toshiro Mifune, Akira Kurosawa. The man can relate just about every spaghetti western to it's Japanese samurai equivalent.

While no one else in the family shares his love of old school Japanese action, I did develop a love for the Hong Kong, Bruce Lee/Jet Li/Jackie Chan kung fu films. And when there was a tour where you go to the Shaolin heritage center, watch kung fu, and get to learn a few moves, that was the tour I wanted to be on! Definitely felt like the female human version of the fat Kung Fu Panda.

We got to Fenwick peir early, and my husband was still hungry so he had a big greasy American breakfast there while I look at the little souvenir shop. Nothing really spectacular for sale, but it did smell like Little Saigon back home, lol. When the tour met up, I looked around and realized I was one of only 2 woman on the tour... the rest were a bunch of guys.

The center was in Tai-O on Lantau island, which was a nice drive out of the city. Tai-O is a small fishing village on the water. The residents there call it the Venice of Hong Kong. There was a lot of local tourists as well, since the village is known for following a more traditional lifestyle.

The Shaolin heritage center was this peaceful little court yard surrounded by a kitchen, dormitories, some steps to sit on and a few stone Buddhas. Definitely not a big to-do, but it was really nice. People could just wander in and if the students were practicing they can sit and watch. We got to watch a couple of the students first (or monks? couldn't tell their age, they could have been anywhere between 14-30). Oh my god they are fast. Then the master showed us some basic strechting and stances, and a crash course through the "five step fist.

" Haha, I definitely got the flexibility part of it, but definitely fail in the stregth and body co-ordination. I'm glad I did it though, I really enjoyed it and it might be something I pursue further.

The best meal of the whole trip to Hong Kong was the vegetarian lunch at the center. Nothing fancy, rice, veggies, tofu and spring rolls, but soooo good! And the cook ladies were really cute, they kept trying to feed us more, because they worry we did not eat enough. After lunch we got a tour of the village from "Dave," one of the older locals. The village was a maze of narrow alley ways over the water, and you could smell drying mandarine skins throughout. There was even a Chinese opera performance going on in the community center that was free.

From all the Kung Fu and walking, I fell alseep hard on the bus and we made it back a little earlier to Fenwick pier. My husband was hungry (again), and the old man at the info booth suggested the American Restaurant a few blocks over. The name is misleading, the restaurant serves Peking food. While going through the menu, I realized my husband has never had Peking duck (!?!), so we had duck slices with veggies, veggies dumplings and pork knuckles for dinner. "Pork knuckles?! They are cold... are you sure??? and tea??? You want tea???" Yes, please bring back the teapot, and we're going to eat it Japanese style. I think we weirded out waiter a little bit. The food was delicious, especially the duck.

Way greasier than I'm used to eating, which is probably while I like the vegetarian food better.

We decided to wander around a bit after dinner... but first to get away from Fenwick peir and all the touts trying to rip off drunk sailors. We ended up at a park for a while watching some people practice (what else) kung fu, then trying to find coffee, we saw a huge group of people in Halloween costumes. We followed them for a while, until the crowd got really bad, then went into a cafe to people watch from the window. It kinda sucks we couldn't stay out too late (rules, rules, rules), cause it was A LOT of people and where-ever they were going was probably fun times. :)

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