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Published: December 11th 2017
...continued from part 1
. Saturday: Grey sky is a city day
Good news! Out of the remaining 2 days here, Sunday was forecasted to have a better weather. This means today will be a much-needed rest day, woohoo! If it was the other way around, I would have gutted it today but it would have been rough.
I was still jetlag-ish, passing out at 8 pm, waking up at 3 am. By the time we got to Sang Kee congee shop in Central, I was ready to eat. Very tasty, fresh, and satisfying bowl. A side of shredded ginger and scallion in soy sauce was a nice touch. We came in freezing but walked out the restaurant sweating. Lan Fong Yuen is right around the corner. There is no skipping their milk tea.
Marcel mentioned Aberdeen yesterday and we decided to make a detour. From Wong Chuk Hang MTR station, it was a nice stroll along the bay. Some joggers and tourists. Never heard of this place but it had maps for tourists and touristy boat rides. We walked all the way to the fish market, a kind that I’d never seen before. The market is full of
Smooth HK-style milk tea from Lan Fong Yuen
water tanks with fishes, shrimps etc. Water was overflowing everywhere. We had to turn around because it got to a point where we needed rain boots to continue. We clearly did not belong there. An Aberdeen icon, Jumbo Kingdom, a ginormous floating restaurant was floating beyond the access point on foot. Boat to Jumbo left from the fish market.
Next stop: Sha Tin for Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery. Tucked away behind a huge department store building, a humble path started with the sign that said not to give money to fake monks. Right off the bat, both sides of the path were studded with gold monk statues. Each one was unique. Some sections sitting, others standing. It continued like 50 yds on the uphill to the monastery. The monastery is actually at the halfway point. The path went further up studded with standing goddess. All gold all the way!! This place looked a little run down compared to the lavishness in Lantau. But wow, gold statue galore! On the way down the backside, there were a bunch of monkeys hanging out and jumping from tree to tree.
A short walk via Sha Tin Park took us to HK
Heritage Museum where we knew was Bruce Lee exhibition. It’s not the permanent exhibition but the entrance had few-stories high statue of Bruce Lee making the high kick. The museum was busy and decked up for Pixar exhibition and Bruce Lee part was free and tucked away, score! I learned a lot about Bruce Lee. I didn’t know that most of his life was spent in HK.
The morning activities took longer than we thought and it was past 1pm but we headed to Mongkok again for lunch/snack. Mongkok on this Saturday afternoon was packed!! We couldn’t walk on Nathan Street straight or at any steady pace. We went straight to V’s favorite: fish ball in curry sauce. Two doors down from that is Coconut King I don’t know how I missed last time. So glad we made it! It was probably going to be our last time here and Yee Shun’s steamed milk was a must. Two plain cups, please!! Last but not least, Lee Keung Kee egg waffle repeat! There was a short line this time. The lady looked super stressed out. Order fast and get out!
Dad came to meet us from Shenzhen at 5pm.
I was set on Tim Ho Wan for some real dim sum. It is no more than 2 stations away at North Point. We opted to catch a cab but zero luck. Even the hotel guy was out there for a while but nada. Apparently, it was just at the shift change. The bus seemed like a good alternative as it’s pretty much all the way on Hennessey Street. Baaad idea. The bus got stuck in traffic and took 50min. Tim Ho Wan, despite Michelin star, was another no-frills HK fair. Pork bun was the bomb like everyone said. I also liked shumai with plump shrimp in it 😊. Sunday: Epic trail wrapped in comfort food
Started a little before 6am to get to Tai Po market food court ~7am for breakfast. I was pretty sure that it would be so deserted on this Sunday morning. I couldn’t be more incorrect! There were people on the Main Street, drunk and not. Subway was even crowded. Where are they going this early on Sunday morning? I’d say most were mid-aged men and women. A bunch of people got off Tai Po Market station and they scattered. A sizable number
of people headed to the market with us.
floor is the food court. People were already there, of course. We were set on the congee shop, which was still prepping. No English menu but we did our homework 😊. Congee was pretty soupy and that Cheung Fun!! It was the fluffiest I’ve ever had!! So. Yummy. I also got hot milk tea from Wai Yeung Tea. Another smooth one, like Lan Fong Yuen, yum! We kept it light for now as we’re starting the hike right after this. We’ll be back after the hike!
In ~1km, we crossed the river on a pretty fancy roofed bridge and connected to Wilson Trail. After some time on the road and healthy tai chi elderlies, we found a stairway to Cloudy Hill. For the next few miles were continuous stairs going up and up. I was so glad we had a day off yesterday. Besides, clouds were definitely thinner than yesterday. Good call. It was amazing to see tai chi elderlies at various rest spots. They had to have climbed these stairs, respect!
From there, the trail dropped down to the reservoir so we can hike back up the
uphill on yet more stairs! Next 3-ish miles went like that, steep and not so bad. We started to merge with the weekend warriors, mostly ladies, yeah! After a pretty gnarling uphill, we got to the runnable ridge, which rewarded us with the view: North shore to the left, south shore to the right, and the path on the ridge ahead of us!! Amazing!! The same ridge led us to 8 peaks path. I actually realized this after some peaks. The staired path went up and down 8 times. After the last peak, celebrate was in order but the last peak was crowded. We descended down toward Tai Mei Tuk via Pat Sin Leng nature trail.
We merged with possibly a duathlon trail running route. It was a pleasant lush path. I was pretty wiped out. Today was more humid than days prior. The race finish was at the foot of the 2km bridge that connects to another island. There was BBQ area full of families cooking up a storm. A little thing of Vitasoy would have been golden but I didn’t have any change for the vending machine and stores didn’t have them, boo. We caught the minibus
(a van, straight up) to Tai Po Market station.
It was reaching 2pm. So hungry! I powered through the short walk from the station to the market. The food court was hustling and bustling. Our first pick was shrimp roe egg noodle and fish balls from Ping Kee Noodles. We spotted seats in the busy area but the table belonged to another place. The lady came with a couple glasses of water. So can we still order from Ping Kee? The man on the table helped us, newbies. We can if we order from this store too. Ah. We moved and squeezed into a table with a few chairs open. We ordered what we wanted and V went to Lam Kee Dim Sum across the aisle and picked up black bean steamed spare rib rice. This rice came literally wrapped in paper, legit! Wow, this was an amazing feast. Shrimp roe noodle over wonton was super tasty, kinda like Tarako spaghetti. Fish balls were super bouncy and tasted actually like fish. And the rice, oof. Time for round two! This place is just too packed to be sitting around! I was pretty set on milk tea from this morning.
We picked up red bean put chai ko pudding from Yau Kee and sat for milk tea. The lady came to take orders spoke zero word of English. Being feisty lady that she was, she was on the verge of kicking us out. That’s when the two young guys at the table came to rescue and translated for us. Ahhh, now we have hot smooth milk tea and warm pudding. Heaven.
The first floor of the market was wet stuff including tubs of live fishes. We picked up some longans from the second floor and made our way back to Wan Chai. I didn’t get hungry for the rest of the evening so it was on V to find supper. The backstreet of our lodging was a club row. This Chinese dumpling house was disguised in it. V got photogenic tasty overpriced dumplings and equally overpriced crushed cucumbers. But this tiny joint became packed shortly after we sat down. With 3rd
Tai Cheong bakery visit for the egg tarts, we called it a night happy. Monday: And that’s a wrap!
We need to be at the airport at ~8 am. No problem, HK doesn’t sleep. We were
up super early as usual. Gabbled longan and checked out the hotel at 6am. We got to Sang Kee congee shop shortly before their opening at 6:30am. Just when we put down our backpacks and sat down across from the shop, the feisty lady called us in. There were few patrons already, of course. This time, I did some homework and went off of the Chinese-only menu. English menu doesn’t have everything, especially fish belly ones, which was definitely a hit. We both enjoyed a big bowl of congee for the road. We will miss this place.
The journey to the airport was smooth with Airport Express. We had the front row seats to Narita on ANA, which was pleasant. I just love them serving Iemon tea. Please please do the same for the second leg!! Right. The second leg was United and everything was skimped as expected. Turbulence was the worst I’ve experienced. It was so bad if I opened my eyes, I’d make myself sick for blurred views and it lasted for literally hours on multiple waves. I hope no shortcuts were made to cause this. The most important thing is that we made it back safely.
What a trip. I thought I’d been to HK but not even scratched a surface! We had an amazing time there with great outdoors, food, and convenience. Until we meet again HK!
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