Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Great Birthday Hong Kong Adventure of 2013

From the "You don't say..." files, Hong Kong really is a nice place.

We just returned from our birthday celebration, wherein we spent the 3 days between our 2 birthdays in the city/territory/not-quite-another-country-except-it-kind-of-is-though down the road. We once again stayed in Causeway Bay and we once again did some wandering in both Tsim Sha Tsui/Mong Kok and Central. We also discovered new areas, like Stanley Beach and its neighboring promenade and market, and we ate at a bunch of new restaurants. We checked out the Hong Kong Museum of History and we became enthusiastic fans of the tram as a convenient mode of transportation in addition to just the subway. We knew this before coming to Guangzhou, but it's worth saying again: living down the road from Hong Kong is kind of awesome.

Among the restaurants we sought out this time were a vegetarian place highly recommended by the guidebook and one of Anthony Bourdain's favorite hole-in-the-wall meat spots. I would call Pure Veggie House overpriced, considering that the food is not particularly spicy or mind-blowing. It's got tons of delicious options, and that's great, but I was not blown away. I would definitely return if in need of some meatless sustenance, though. The meaty hole-in-the-wall was much cheaper and sinfully delicious. On one night of our trip, the place we sought out was already closed at 9:30 (despite having posted hours saying it's open until 10:30...) so we had to find something else. We had tacos on the brain and so we put on our Mexican food radar and - here's the shocking part - found  a Mexican place! Yes, I am still in Asia. This is why Hong Kong is special. Can you imagine me typing that sentence in Korea, or China, or even Japan? That we started thinking about Mexican food, set out looking for it, and found it? No, no you cannot. Hong Kong rules. Brian even now has an "I-heart-HK" t-shirt to prove it.

The history museum is highly recommended, by the way. It goes from the prehistoric natural state of the land and the islands rising up as the sea level went down all the way through dynasties, opium wars, and being handed back to China, then leaves you with the question of what lies in store next for Hong Kong?

My favorite thing about Hong Kong, which we experienced on our previous trip as well as this birthday celebration journey, is probably the amazing Lan Kwai Fong happy hour scene. I really love a place that knows how to do happy hour right. Well, actually my favorite thing might be walking on the promenade and gazing from Kowloon at the water and at Hong Kong Island across the way. Or maybe my favorite thing is taking the Star Ferry and gazing at both sides.

Who says I have to pick a favorite, anyway? I just like having it available down the road for our birthday celebration!

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