Hong Kong

Unfortunately we only had two days to spend in Hong Kong before our flight back to the US. We were staying with a friend who has an apartment on Hong Kong island, which is nice and centrally located. The city gave off an exciting vibe almost instantly: massive buildings, all set on a hill, with everything from modern shopping malls to local food stalls mixed in on the street level.

Beautiful park, the only highlight of our first day

Beautiful park, the only highlight of our first day

Our first day, my friend had to work so we set about exploring on our own, which turned out to be a massive failure. With all the research we had to do to survive China, we didn’t spend any time on HK. So, we stumbled over to the cable car that goes up to Victoria Peak, which provides an awesome viewpoint of the city. We arrived, and the line was over 2 hours long, so we passed and instead went to a free aviary in the adjoining park. It was fine but not as nice as the one in Kuala Lumpur. I was here during the 2008 Olympics (again, briefly), so I insisted we go to a riverside promenade that I remembered I had wanted to go to but didn’t. Turns out that in 6 years it’s a bit different and now involved a ton of walking to what is now a cultural theater that doesn’t open until the evening. Between the travel exhaustion for the day before, the heat, and letting hunger get the best of us, it didn’t end well and we decided to go home and start fresh when my friend got home.

Great hike with beautiful views from Victoria Peak

Great hike with beautiful views from Victoria Peak

Luckily for all the travel failures of the first day, the rest of our time there (once my friend took over the planning) was a blast! The first night he took us out for some great street food (including intestines, which I’d been craving forever) and then we went bar hopping. The bar zone was great – multi-tiered on several streets, good specials, and a lot of energy. We definitely weren’t in China anymore! We even stopped at the popular “Club 7-11″ (yes, the convenience store) where people stand outside drinking the beers they bought there (yes, this is a thing there).

Dim sum brunch, complete with chicken feet

Dim sum brunch, complete with chicken feet

The next morning they took us out for dim-sum (basically tapas, but for brunch), which was a fun experience. Sara really enjoyed the chicken feet! Our friend said they don’t often do the “traditional” dim-sum here, where they push a cart around and you just grab items off; here, you order off a menu. This was a good base for a hike up Victoria Peak (no lines when you walk!) which did in-fact offer some great views of the city and harbor. We then took a bus to a ferry and crossed over to the area we were actually looking for the day before, and then went home before grabbing a delicious dinner with Hong Kong’s version of the chili crab and their famous goose noodles. It was a great day and an excellent end to our 4 months in Asia.

The next morning we grabbed a quick Hong Kong breakfast (noodle soup with either spam, macaroni or beef), said our goodbyes, and caught the bus to the airport. It was bittersweet leaving Asia after an exciting adventure here, but we were happy to be heading to the US for a bit to see our families before heading down to South America!

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