Finding Heart and Soul in the Megapolis of Hong Kong

If we’ve learned anything at all on this trip it’s that we live on this small little globe hurtling through the universe, where everyone knows one of our friends or someone in our family and everyone is willing to amaze and surprise us with their hospitality and generosity.

In one day last week we met up with two groups of people, the first were long-time friends of Tracie’s Aunt and Uncle, Chris and Anna and the others were friends of friends from NY.

King, Margaret and Maxine are friends of Anna and Chris and we met them for Dim Sum Saturday morning this past week. They took us to the best Dim Sum we had in Hong Kong at Maxim’s and we chatted for many hours. King, Margaret and their daughter are all beautiful people that shared with us so much information about local traditions and city knowledge that we didn’t hesitate when they offered to let us crash on their couch when our hotel stay was up.

We checked out of our hotel on Monday and invaded their lives for the past 5 days. They really have shared a side of Hong Kong we would have never seen and it has reiterated how important a longer stay is to really get to know the people that live in a place and the place itself. We hope you enjoy the photos below and King will forward us more soon of all of us escapades that he has taken hisself. He’s a terrific photographer to boot and we look forward to seeing them again and hosting them somewhere in the future.

The very evening we met up with the Lai’s, we met up with friends of John and Acacia our friends in NY, Alex and Tammie, who took a risk and met us at a private kitchen in Happy Valley, Hong Kong Palace Kitchen and we are all kicking ourselves for not taking photos of the food, because it was beautiful and delicious homestyle Cantonese cooking. We had a great time with both of them and Alex’s Mom and their friend Ian. It was a regular hoot. And we finished it off with a quick visit to a skyhigh bar at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Bar there in Happy Valley.
And that is just the tip of the iceberg of our visit here.

Now we’re onto mainland China, Guangzhou to start and onto Chengdu in the next couple of days for about 10 days and them back to the East in Shanghai an onto South Korea. Enjoy the pics and talk to you all “soon?”. 😉

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Five quick thoughts on Hong Kong

Thought #1: Why have I never visited Hong Kong before? It is awesome. 

Thought #2: It's actually fine that my Cantonese sucks, it's the effort that counts. Trying to talk to people has helped me remember random words and phrases I thought I didn't know. Eggplant! Good morning! These pants are too long! And it's totally fine to mix in English words, people do it here all the time – "blah blah blah anyways la" – as long as you say the English in a sing-songy Cantonese way. And tack on "la" at the end. It also works in reverse: I'll speak to someone in English and they'll reply in Cantonese and it's all good.

Thought #3: This place is a shopaholic's paradise. Everything from gigantic luxury mega-malls to tiny back alley sock vendors. I have never seen so. many. people. in one place – Mong Kok in Kowloon is this giant river of humanity that I can only describe as a clusterfuck.And they're ALL SHOPPING. After twenty minutes we were so overwhelmed by the number of people that we jumped back on the MTR with our tails between our legs.

Thought #4: I love the mountains. It is insane how all of these high rises are built directly into the side of the mountains. We're staying in Mid-levels, and there are all these twisty lanes with 30 story highrises sprouting from either side of the street. It makes walking around a lot of fun, and everything feels so layered. Even though we've walked past the same streets a few times, I keep seeing new things. And walking versus riding the double decker buses versus a taxi versus the old trams opens up even more views. 

Thought #5: The food is YUM. We had the best of bowl of noodles + wontons + fish balls + beef EVAR. And dim sum really does rule here. The variety is astounding – although with Western food you really have to pay a premium for it.
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