Last Day in Hong Kong
This was a long day so prepare yourself for this longer than normal post. We went to the top of Victoria Peak to see the city below us. All the way at the top is a garden that only looks to the water without access to see the city. It is beautiful and few people were there. That should have been our first clue. There was a policeman up there and we asked him how do we get to see the city from above. He told us to go down to the tram.
Down we went. Inside a mall, and another one being built, is the tram. It costs money to get to the top to see the views and on the way you pass a Bubba Gumps to get there. Not that this should be surprising but capitalizing on tourism is something I always just find a little depressing. Our friends we are with have not been to HK in 30 years so what they saw 30 years ago was completely different. It was also British vs Chinese. A lot has changed.
Our next stop was the Sheung Wan neighborhood. Possibly the only Western food store left filled with cheeses, oils, wines, pastas, and wines. Really great store. Even as you walk the streets you can see that there are few Brits left here.
There are shops throughout this area. Noodles.
Tea and Chinese Medicine.
For the afternoon, we booked an outing with Little Adventures in Hong Kong. An incredible experience and I would highly recommend them to anyone who comes through the city. Insanely knowledgeable about the history of Hong Kong and their relationship to food. We began our afternoon in Shau Kei Wan that houses a large wet market. Not a place many people outside of Hong Kong frequent.
Everything is brought in as very little is grown in HK anymore. The fruits are beautiful.
Bacon and sausages.
Root vegetables. The apartments are not large here so cooking is simple. Supposedly the reason there are so many restaurants here is if you want to have dinner with your friends, you must go out because not everyone can fit in the apartment. Many people live with their relatives as well. Apartments of the people we spoke with were 500-700 square feet for themselves, their children and in-laws and that’s fancy.
Of course fish
Pork. This particular shop sources their meat locally which is rare. There is a push for organic and local here just like other parts of the world.
These are paper goods for the afterlife. The Chinese believe that there are 9 layers in the afterlife. You start at the bottom and work your way up. At events, people burn anything from cars to iPhones to fans to give their loved ones in the underworld so they will receive them to move up in the afterlife.
There used to be many live chicken shops. You would pick your chicken and then they would slaughter it for you to bring home and cook. With the arrival of bird flu, these stores ceased to exist. Now they are like this. Although before the Chinese New Year, many bring the live chickens back and they can cost up to 100 US dollars to get. The Chinese are very focused on fresh food so they shop at places like this vs large grocery stores.
We walked down a street with a slew of tiny local restaurants. Scaffolding here is made of bamboo. Pretty sure this would not fly in the states.
Our afternoon snack was milk tea (exactly what you would think – milk and tea) and yin/yang which is half tea, half coffee, and milk. Adding lots of sugar is the key here.
The other afternoon snack is grilled white bread, like French toast, filled with peanut butter.
These restaurants are their local diners where kids go after school and are open all day.
Of course a temple in the neighborhood. This is a female god.
This corner is where the water came to about 50 years ago. Gives you an idea of how much has been filled to build out the island.
This location by the water is the narrowest point of the water. This is a fishing area filled with a mixture of boats. It is just amazing how many buildings are in Kowloon which is on the other side.
We took the ferry over to Lei Yue Mun, meaning where fish come. There is a rambling fish market. People pick their fish and then take it to their restaurant of choice to cook it for them.
We could not get over the size of some of the fish and seafood here.
Past the fish stores is the neighborhood. Small old homes where kids can roam and bike vs the majority of vertical city living.
The Tin Hau temple at the end but this particular one is very special because it is on the water to guard the fisherman who live in the area. We walked back through the area to take the Coral Sea Ferry back to Sai Wan Hop. We were all so insanely hot. The heat and humidity is killer.
We went back, relaxed for a second and took a super cold shower before heading back out for dinner. Tonight’s dinner was the China Club. And here is where all the Brits must go. Completely different vibe and crowd than any other place we have been. An old private club filled with art.
The food is not worth talking about except one dish that was eggplant in a clay pot.
Thought this basically defined the place.
Back to the hotel and off to our next stop tomorrow, Hanoi