Hong Kong #4: Hong Kong Island

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April 8th 2018
Published: May 25th 2018
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Cheung Hong Kee Cheung Hong Kee Cheung Hong Kee

Pan fried buns
We woke feeling a little delicate after our night out in Lan Kwai Fong. We had an appointment booked for twelve, so there would be no lounging in before us. My friend was definitely suffering more than I was. When I suggested breakfast, she went green. It was boiling hot when we stepped outside, not good for our hungover, dehydrated bodies. We stopped at the convenience store, so I could get some good and coffee into my system and my friend could stock up on water. We took the subway to Central, where we met the photographer, we had arranged to meet. My friend had found this thing online, where quite a few Korean expats have set up side gigs as photographers and take you to all the famous and/or secret spots to get good shots. What a genius idea.

We had booked one guy, for an hour, whose work my friend had really liked, to do a shoot in the Central/Soho area. The photography session was a lot of fun, the guy took us to about 6 or 7 different places. It was fun standing in the middle of the road as the trams zoomed past. The Hong Kong
Cheung Hong KeeCheung Hong KeeCheung Hong Kee

Pan fried buns
trams are so iconic, I can't believe that I have ridden one still, even after three trips to Hong Kong. I enjoyed our neighbourhood tour, stopping to have our pictures taken. The photographer was really nice and friendly, and he pointed out some places of interest as we were going around. It was fun to walk around this area, if I had been travelling on my own I doubt that I would have come here. I had expected the session to go by really quickly, but it didn't go too fast, which was nice. It had a relaxed pace to it.

The photographer had pointed out a famous Michelin starred place earlier, so we headed there to get some lunch. The place was called Cheung Hong Kee Shanghai pan fried buns. There are branches of it scattered across Hong Kong. The store was tiny, little more than a hole in the wall. We ordered two sets of dumplings; their signature pan fried buns and some shrimp ones. Our order was ready quickly and We set off to find a place to eat them. We ended up perched on the side of a street, too tired and hungry to care. I was really excited to try the dumplings. Once I had slathered them in vinegar and chilli sauce, I dug in. Well they maybe Michelin statred, but honestly I didn't think that they were all that good. They were definitely edible, but I had kind of been expecting them to taste amazing and to be honest they were pretty average. My local dumpling shops make better. I think it was the pastry that I didn't like the most. The filling was nice, especially the shrimp one, but no different to what I normally get. After our food, we had a bit of a wander around the streets. It was a beautiful sunny day and I got to photograph some of the street art we had posed with earlier. When we started to flag in the heat, we found a coffee place and enjoyed some iced coffees. Afterwards we headed back down to Central. We had decided to go for a walk along the waterfront to take, but first we needed to stop at the post office. Sunday is the day that most of the domestic workers have off and obviously they don't want to stay in the place they work, so they head out to meet up with their friends. A bridge that we crossed was just a sea of domestic workers, they had set up little squats with cardboard boxes around them for privacy. To be honest, it made the place look like a shanty town. My friend commented on why they want to be there, when they could be somewhere nicer like the park. I don't understand why the Hong Kong government don't move them on, it just makes the place look terrible, especially with all the cardboard boxes around them.

The post office was fairly busy, so it had took longer than we thought. We then headed out to the waterfront. We came to the park/promenade area. It was pretty busy with people out enjoying themselves. We took a walk along the top as there were some nice viewing decks, which gave great views out across the water to Kowloon. I love the views o f all the tall building with the different boats and ferries sailing past. We then took a walk back to the Central Pier along the front watching the fishermen. We saw them catch some fish, but they were too little so they threw we them back in the water. I had found out that my friend had never ridden the Star Ferry on her previous visit to Hong Kong and that has shocked me as it is one of the iconic things to do and really enjoyable. So I made sure that we took the ferry back across the water to Kowloon. My friend enjoyed the ferry ride and I'm glad she got to experience it before leaving.

For our last supper, we headed to a Thai place, Pandan Leaf near where we were staying. We had spotted it on a previous walk around the neighbourhood. The restaurant was pretty quiet. We were pretty hungry so ordered a starter for to share and two main dishes. Refresh spring rolls were filled with deep fried crab, noodles and salad, and they were delicious. Especially when dipped in the accompanying dipping sauce. My friend's food came not long after, I think she had ordered a shrimp pad thai, but it looked nothing like what a pad thai normally looks like. It taste taste really good though. I waited aged for my food to arrive. I had just about given up on it and had felt like the kitchen had forgot to make it, I wouldn't have minded but the restaurant wasn't exactly busy. My pork with chilli and basil arrived and I dug in. The food was good, it has a nice kick to it, with out being too spicy. The portion was also massive and I failed to finish it. Later on, I waved my friend off on the airport bus and had a wander around. I'd had some dessert at Emack and Bolio's the other night. I'd had a novella cup, which was okay, so I decided to try something else this time. I know this place is famous for their ice creams, but I really didn't fancy one, so I opted for some caramel bark. It was okay, but not amazing. It was expensive and a holiday treat, I wouldn't pay their prices normally.

Additional photos below
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13th July 2018

"We woke feeling a little delicate after our night out in Lan Kwai Fong"...
...well if I had a dollar for every time I said that on a Saturday morning in Hong Kong, I'd be very rich and my liver wouldn't have hated me so much :) It's illegal for the domestic workers to be physically present at their place of work on a Sunday because many employers abused the mandatory day off and made them work 24/7. I know it looks messy with the cardboard and mats in the public walkways, but they have few options. The parks are hideous at certain items of the year, and from what I gathered, they generally congregate in areas by nationality/language so they have some camaraderie while they live overseas away from their families.
31st July 2018

Thanks for the additonal info. It would be nice if the government could provide them with some sort of recreation venue. It must suck sitting out in heat and humidity.

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