Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Asia Trip I: Welcome to Hong Kong

We felt very welcomed in Hong Kong. It seemed like everywhere we went, people were shouting our names...

Phineas in Lan Kwai Fong, the ex-pat entertainment district

We arrived in Hong Kong in the evening, and only had time for a walk, dinner and a drink at the hotel bar before hitting the hay on our first night. But I already knew that I liked Hong Kong. It didn't hurt that we were upgraded to an enormous suite.

"The Fong" - a mixture of lemon vodka, apple liqueur, white wine, mango and lychee served at our hotel bar.

Hong Kong is a busy and bustling city with a pace and vibe not unlike New York - parts of it are just like Chinatown but larger, and other areas are more like Wall Street. At the same time it reminded me of London in some of its sensibilities, as well as the side of the road they drive on. On our first full day in Hong Kong, we took a LONG walk. We started at the Yuen Po Street bird garden and finished at the Star Ferry pier several hours and a bowl of noodles later.

Yours truly at the ferry promenade. Shortly after this shot was taken we had one of our few unfortunate food episodes, which I shall cover in the chapter on Dim Sum.

During our walk we hit the Flower Market, the Goldfish Market, and a few other outdoor markets including a food market where I noticed a cage with enormous live frogs (or were they toads?). We also strolled thru Kowloon Park and down Nathan Road, the shopping boulevard on Kowloon Island.

In the evening we hit Lan Kwai Fong, which is where the ex-pats go to party. Then we dined on a real Hong Kong specialty, roast goose. In my estimation, nearly as good as roast duck, which did live up to my expectations. Mmmm...

The next morning we got up early (well, really, we were jet lagged and not going to sleep in if ourlives depended on it) and took the Peak Tram to the top of Victoria Peak for coffee and a view of Hong Kong from where the British colonialists used to live.

And then we were off to Taipei, Taiwan...

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