This week all started and ended with thick shakes.
Well to take it a step further, it all starts with one memory I speak fondly of from when I was living in Japan, which to be honest sounds like the beginning of a bad joke…
…there was an Aussie, an American and and Irish person all in the same room having a conversation in English, but none of them knew what the other one was saying.
I knew that these types of moments would continue here in Hong Kong, but it baffled me when I was excitedly recapping how I found that Maccas finally has a thick shake here, and no one knew what I was talking about.
It was just as confusing to others that there was a thicker version of a milk shake as it was to me that people from Hong Kong and America didn’t know what I was talking about!
I guess for me this is why I travel – to learn more about other cultures, and have the opportunity to teach them about mine. Well at least about the important things like thick shakes.
Lion Rock Hike
If you’re into hiking (and the Lion King), this hike is for you! The best way to sum up the walk is – the view is definitely worth it, but if you’re not into stairs, be prepared.
You can either start the hike at Wong Tai Sin MTR, or at the bottom of Lion Head Stairs, which you can walk to from the station, or if you’re like us, catch a HKD $24 cab to! Which isn’t a bad idea considering once you get to the start it’s constantly up, with two areas to stop, until you get to the lions head. Once you get there though, it is definitely worth every shaking calf and aching quad muscle. It is one of my favourite views of Hong Kong, looking out over Kowloon we could just see HK Island and New Territories on the other side… and it was a cloudy day so on a clear day it would be even better!
Once you reach the top, you could sit there for hours looking out past your sneakers and into the array of skyscrapers, with mountains in the background. Until you hear the drone someone at the next look out has decided to pull out, and the buzzing sound reminds you of being back in the city!
Recommended time for the hike was 4 hours, but we did the return circuit in under 3 hours…and that’s with our photo shoot at the top (and lesson on the circle of life.)
Tung Po Seafood Restaurant
If you want a traditional night out, full of great sweet and sour pork and bowls of beer, this is the place to go! Adding a nice local touch, Tung Po in North Point is a Dai pai dong – a type of open-air food stall in Hong Kong. From sharing tables, promo girls encouraging you to drink more bowls of beer and the grumpy waiters, the restaurant has A LOT of character! What makes it better is the Lady Ga Ga music clips that get blasted on one small TV screen from 9pm on Friday nights.
If you don’t mind the chaos and plastic stools, this restaurant is a must-do. The food is fantastic, the atmosphere is great and you’ll leave feeling completely satisfied. Price wise, depending on how many dishes and drinks you get, but for three people you could eat as cheap as HKD$75 each… not bad!
Tung Po is located at 2/F Java Road Municipal Services Building, 99 Java Rd, North Point.
Temple Street Markets
If you have looked at any tour guide for Hong Kong, Temple Street Markets will be highlighted as one of the things to tick off. The markets these days mainly target tourists, and sell a range of products from souvenirs to electronics and fashion, but it is said in the old days it was a form of poor mans entertainment. You can go and buy cheap street food, people watch, sometimes catch an opera or karaoke performance, and even get your fortune told near the main park.
One thing to watch out for, is there is an ‘unofficial’ section at the beginning of Temple Street near Yau Ma Tei station, which isn’t as glamorous, but you can get the same things at a quarter of the price!
And that’s a wrap!