24 Hours in Hong Kong | Sharon
I have been in Hong Kong for 5 days and it has been both exciting and absolutely exhausting. I just celebrated my grandfather’s 100th birthday and he was in great spirits. We had his party at the Hong Kong Jockey Club and celebrated with members of my family I didn’t even know existed. My grandfather’s secret to success? He has no idea. But he takes walks after every meal, goes to the library regularly, and eats fully Chinese cuisine…even the creamy stuff (organs, various animal extremities, etc.) …So exercise, read, and eat Chinese food – Works for me!
Coming to Hong Kong means also seeing a lot of family friends, which means an insanely packed schedule. Every day I’ve been up around 7am and getting home at ;around 10-11pm.
Let me recap my past 24 hours but before I do, I will start off with a few key things to keep in mind that will help you get through the day (aka the lessons I learned as a result of my day):
- There are a lot of people in Hong Kong. Obvious, right? Yes, but there is one thing about reading that there are over 7 million people and being among 7 million people.
- The MTR Subway system is both straightforward and chaotic. It is extremely well organized with signs everywhere, but due to #1 above, you are shepherded around the station so quickly you have no time to look where you are going.
- If what you are eating tastes good but looks freaky, just eat and don’t inquire further. Hong Kong, like many other places, is home to a whole host of freaky looking foods. It is part of the culture, just like how Peruvians eat guinea pigs, Polish eat pork blood, Scottish eat haggis etc.
- You must plan all steps of your route, alternate routes, and alternate alternate routes before you leave in the morning because there is no time for confusion or hesitation once you merge into the society.
Now, my past 24hrs looks something like this (refer to map from China Highlights.com if necessary):
7:00am: Breakfast with my family, eating congee and deep fried dough sticks from the local store
11:00am: Hop on subway for 45 min ride from our place in Yuen Long in the New Territories to Mong Kok in Kowloon to meet a family friend for dim sum
11:50am: Get off at subway station
11:51am: Realize we got off one station too early
11:52am: Decide that it’s okay and we will walk to the next station, and so we walk.
12:00pm: Get to a subway station. Realize it is the wrong one because we walked the wrong direction.
12:01pm: Get back on subway to go to the right one.
12:10pm: Success. We have met up with mom and family friend and head to restaurant, Cuisine Cuisine.
12:30pm: We eat the most delicious dim sum ever at 2 Michelin star restaurant and overdose on egg tarts.
3:00pm: We leave to go across the water to Hong Kong Island’s Causeway Bay station and take a taxi to St Michael’s Catholic Cemetary to visit my mom’s sister’s tomb.
3:45pm: We arrive and the cemetery is absolutely enormous
4:00pm: We are lost in the cemetery.
4:15pm: We finally find my mother’s sister and pay our respects.
4:50pm: We head to Causeway Bay to subway to Central, to meet a family friend for a meal.
5:30pm: We arrive at the IFC tower and join our family friend for snake soup. I felt like a refined honey badger.
6:10pm: We leave to subway back to Mong Kok to meet another family friend for dinner.
6:35pm: We arrive at the right subway station (Yes!) but get out at the wrong exit. We are glad to be alive because we were just on a subway with all 7 million people in Hong Kong.
7:00pm: We eat dinner. I try out a cool green soup, it tastes pretty good. I ask what it is, I find it is spinach soup. With frog testicles. Nice.
9:00pm: We leave dinner to subway back to Causeway Bay to meet up with family friends at a bar by the World Trade Center.
9:30pm: Catch up at a bar with old friends and the view of the Kowloon skyline is beautiful as we sit outside on the patio.
11:30pm: Realize we need to leave because we need to catch one of the last buses back to Yuen Long.
11:15pm: Walk across the street and see our bus at the stop and people boarding.
11:16pm: Sprint and flail and hug goodbye as we run.
11:18pm: Get on bus and head home, and immediately fall asleep when I sit.
11:45pm: Woken up because the bus has swerved so violently I’ve almost fallen out of my sleep.
1:00am: We make it home!
1:30am: SLEEP. Glorius sleep.
6:30am: Up and ready to go again.
It’s been crazy and hectic, and I wish Steve could be here to join me! Just think: A 6 foot tall built Italian guy that is slightly claustrophobic manoevering among a sea of short fast walking Chinese people and having to eat crazy foods multiple times a day just makes me laugh. I can’t wait to come back with him!
Until next time,