The Bustle of Hong Kong
My parents are originally from Hong Kong and having been born and raised in Toronto, this was the first time I was going to visit my “roots.” It was a long overdue trip and I absolutely loved Hong Kong. It really is a sea of skyscrapers. It is such a unique landscape with mountains and water while having huge clusters of the tallest skyscrapers. Another thing you will notice right away is the insane amount of people living in this city and how ALL the time, the streets are filled with people. Forget New York, Hong Kong is the city that never sleeps! Trying to get down into the metro at rush hour is so crazy that we just gave up and opted for a cab instead (PS. the cabs are not that expensive here).
My top tourist highlights:
Tsz Shan Monastery – Newly built with a reservation system to gain entry, this monastery is quite a sight to behold. It is incredibly beautiful; you can’t help but feel at peace when you are there. SO serene! There is also a HUGE white Guanshiyin statue (Goddess of Mercy in English) within the compounds so get your camera ready.
The Peak – An obvious tourist highlight, the peak is a must do for any tourist. The line was crazy to get up by the Peak Tram, so we opted to take a cab instead. We actually shared the cab with two people from Sweden and split the cost. The view at the top is seriously incredible so make sure you go on a clear day. I went during the daytime and I am sure it’s completely different coming up at night when you can see all the lights of Hong Kong.
The Ladies Market – Hong Kong is the city that is full of stuff you want to buy but you have no use for it, with The Ladies Market being the perfect example of this. Do I need the furry bunny keychain? No. But do I want it? HELL YES!
Chi Lin Nunnery – A beautiful complex; this place really took me by surprise. It reminded me of the Japanese gardens I see pictures of. There was an area that housed the CUTEST little bonsai trees. I only wished that I could’ve taken them all home!
By the first day, I realized that two things are really important in Hong Kong – Shopping and Food. Hong Kong people love to shop and love to eat, so really I couldn’t complain! There is something for everyone in the sense that there are two extremes -you can buy/eat SUPER expensive (I think there’s an obsession with designer brand names in Hong Kong) or SUPER cheap.
I ate SO many things in Hong Kong and living in Paris really makes me miss good Asian food.
*CC Mochi – MANGO MOCHI! Hand’s down, this is the world’s best mango mochi. It was the thinnest and softest mochi layer with an entire single piece of freshly ripened mango inside. I have never even had mochi like this before.
*Zhejiang Heen (1 Michelin star) – I came here for a big family dinner and had no idea at the time that it was a Michelin star restaurant. The food here is absolutely amazing. I am SO mad that I didn’t take any pictures this night but trust me when I say that you HAVE to come and try it. The most unique dish I had was their steamed fine shredded mandarin fish. It was just fish that was shredded into smooth small pieces but the flavor was perfect and the fish was cooked perfectly. I’ve never even come across a dish like this before. A super well deserved Michelin star spot.
*Yum Cha ( yumchahk.com) – Through creeping on Instagram, I realized there are dim sum places that serve dim sum that look like the CUTEST little animals. I made my way to Yum Cha and I was pleasantly surprised. I thought maybe the food would be bad since they have a gimmick but every dish I had there was actually really good. My favourite dim sum is BBQ pork buns and here they are in the shape of little pigs. Almost too cute to eat!
*Islam food (islamfood.com.hk) – This place is small and definitely not fancy but locals took me here to try the signature dish -veal goulash. It is basically ground meat with spring onions inside a bao that is pan friend on both sides. Simple enough and it is AMAZING. Be careful when making your first bite because hot (meat) juices come spraying out.
*Sai Kung seafood street – Seafood lovers unite! There is a street in this area along the water that is famous for seafood. HUGE displays of their fresh seafood are available for you to choose from. It’s insane the variety of shrimp out there that I didn’t know existed. I had one shrimp in particular called “pissing shrimp” when translated to English from Chinese, but more commonly known as Mantis shrimp. It was the BEST shrimp I have ever had. Obviously incredibly fresh but also incredibly sweet! It’s great to plan a nice afternoon in this area. Along the water, they have boats filled with live seafood and you can buy it on the spot. It’s quite a sight for those who haven’t seen something like this before.
*Yee Shun milk company – OH.MY.GOD. If you love steamed milk or egg desserts, then this place is your heaven on earth. Smooth like silk, I wish I could bathe in a tub full of it. I recently became obsessed with ginger desserts and the ginger flavor one here is spicy but in all the right ways. You will never find a place that makes it better!
If you can’t tell, I LOVE HONG KONG!