Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Hangin' in Hong Kong

Sometimes I have to pinch myself and ask if this is really our life and not just a dream.  Bob had to take a trip to Hong Kong, and kindly purchased an airline ticket for me to come along.  Although he would be in business meetings during the day, we would be together for dinner in the evenings with his coworker Steve, who would show us the "real" Hong Kong.  We arrived on Tuesday afternoon, June 26, 2012.  After checking into our hotel on the Kowloon side of the bay in Tsim shaTsui, we had time to do some exploring together.  We strolled down the Avenue of the Stars - the Asian "Hollywood" Walk of Fame.  The historical clock tower is at the west side of the promenade.  This 44 metre tall clock tower used to be part of the former Kowloon-Canton Railway Terminal.

We walked the city streets and found rows of ancient banyan trees, Chinese medicines, beautiful parks, colorful buildings, and magnificent shopping malls.

That evening, Steve took us across Victoria Harbor to "The Peak", which is the perfect spot to take in a view of the Harbor and all the stunning real estate that create the most beautiful skyline in the world.  We were able to watch the "Symphony of Lights", which is a spectacular laser light display from the roofs of the buildings which lights up the sky each night.  I wish we could have taken photos that could better portray the beauty of that harbor.  Unfortunately, it was not a clear sky and we were slightly rained upon that evening.

During the day, I would hop on the subway and go markets outside of the city.  There was an enormous food market which displayed vegetables, fruits and meats that I had never before seen.  I nibbled on some delicious Bing cherries - a safe choice!  They even sold live chickens!

I shopped at the "Ladies Market" one day and went back to the "Sporting Goods" market another day. I haggled for a few things but didn't find a lot that I couldn't live without.   I enjoyed taking a look at the "Flower Market" and the "Bird Market" as well.

One night for dinner, Steve took us to the east coast of Hong Kong to a fishing village.  We visited a seafood market there with all kinds of seafood harvested from around the world kept in big tanks.  You would wander through the market and pick out any fresh food you wish to eat.  They would deliver your choices to one of many quaint little restaurants in the back where your selections were cooked and served fresh to your table.  I loved to see all the happy tiny men, like our restaurant owner, around Hong Kong.  Steve started our meal with "100-year eggs" and pickled onions.  The egg yolks were a dark green color surrounded by whites that looked like jello.  You dip the eggs in sugar and then eat them.  The flavor was not too different from boiled egg, but we didn't enjoy the aftertaste.  Bamboo clams came next, along with some fried squid; both of which were better and more tender than I had imagined they would be.  Then we were presented with pigeon, head and all. It was a tasty dark meat that reminded me of eating dad's pheasants.  We enjoyed the steamed grouper and a huge cheese topped lobster over pasta.  You can see me holding the fresh lobster!  The Chinese broccoli cooked with ginger was delicious.  Desert was a soup of coconut milk and shredded melon, and fresh mango with lemon.  What a yummy taste of Hong Kong!

One day I decided to ride the Star Ferry across Victoria Harbor to Central Market on Hong Kong Island.  There is a series of mid-level escalators, the longest in the world, that cut through the central district to help convey employees to or from their offices each day.

The next night, Steve took us to a village on the west side of Hong Kong, where they traditionally raised geese. Over the years they perfected the art of roasting these birds and they still carry on the tradition, although most of the geese are now imported from China. We met Petuna and Ron, some associates from the office, there. We were served a large whole goose - head and all! It was actually very delicious dark meat along with a sweet and sour plum sauce which was fantastic. With that meal we also had fish, and some different vegetable dishes. One of the side dishes included sea cucumber intestines which was kind of a rubbery textured red colored crinkled looking "meat". It was not as bad as I expected.  For dessert we walked to a nearby Chinese dessert restaurant.  I should have taken photos of the beautiful desserts.  We each ordered a different selection and shared a bite of each with one another.  From the shaved blueberry and chocolate sorbets, to the mango soup, a rice sponge cake, and fried bananas wrapped in a rice pastry and topped with chocolate syrup, we certainly satified our sweet tooth.

Friday evening was supposed to bring a category 8 typhoon to Hong Kong.  We prepared to stay until Sunday thinking the airport would be closed on Saturday.  However, after an uneventful night of some mild wind gusts and rain, we were able to stick with the original plan and head home Saturday afternoon.  We walked over the the Science Museum for some last minute fun - afterall, we are still kids at heart!

 Farewell beautiful Hong Kong!

1 comment:

  1. You are so brave to try all the different foods! Sounds like a fun adventure. :)