“Hong Kong. With 7 million people, it’s one of the most densely packed cities on earth, but it’s also densely packed with amazing food and every kind of craziness. China … but not China. A thing all its own. Basically, if you can’t enjoy Hong Kong for a few hours or days, there’s no hope for you.” -Anthony Bourdain
If you haven’t noticed yet I like Anthony Bourdain…Any who on to the point of this post, Hong Kong or otherwise known as Asia’s World City. For those that read my post on Beijing you probably gathered that I’m not entirely fond of China, however, I will make an exception for Hong Kong. Only having spent 24 hours in this city I can see it’s allure and it’s appeal as one of Asia’s best cities.
When planning for our Golden Week holiday (a series of holidays in the first week of May here in Japan) to Nepal and Bhutan, the quickest and easiest way to get there was to travel through Hong Kong for a 24 hour layover. Obviously, I wasn’t going to skip on the chance to check another city off my Asia bucket list, so to Hong Kong we went.
I booked us a swanky little hotel in the Mongkok area of the city, located on the mainland and not Hong Kong Island. Thankfully, I decided to splurge a little on the hotel because our bag ended up getting checked all the way to Kathmandu. Not sure why I thought I’d have to re-check in Hong Kong, but basically John and I back packed our way around the city. Thankfully, here in Asia most hotels provide the necessary items like toothpaste, toothbrushes, and even a comb, and shout out to the Uniqlo at the Nagoya airport for some
underwear necessities! Travel tip: Be prepared to have your bags checked to your final destination, even with a 24 hour layover.
Of course on arrival I had one goal in mind, dim sum. So no sooner after check-in were we off to wander the streets in search of some of Hong Kong’s most famous food and some ice cold ビール. I managed to find a place that was recommended by my celebrity crush *cough* Anthony Bourdain *cough* called Dim Dim Sum. After studying the menu and carefully selecting our options we turned in our slip and awaited greatness…except sadly it never came.
After sitting there for almost an hour and every table around us getting served, a caretaker to an elderly women (who had a significant resemblance to Mulan’s grandmother) sitting next to us mentioned something to the wait staff in Chinese for us. Of course this is the moment where I remembered that I was in China again because the waitstaff of course took no fault for forgetting our order and just gave us a new sheet with a peeved look. Needless-to-say Dim Dim Sum just didn’t do it for us, mainly because we sat around for so long for food. Also, they ended up interfering with some of our night market plans, since we were there way longer then necessary the markets were closed by the time we left. Oh well, we did manage to come across some more street eats and randomness and settled for some 7/11 beers near the hotel.
Since we only had 24 hours to work with in Hong Kong and about 8 of those were dedicated to sleep, we ended up hitting the ground early the next day for some more serious exploration, oh and some more dim sum. Breakfast of champions happened to be at the only Michelin star dim sum restaurant, Tim Ho Wan, know for their famous pork buns, and let me tell you it didn’t disappoint. This place was legit and the pork buns were basically heaven. Just saying I think there is actually one in NYC, so maybe just go check it out. It’s pretty fabulous!
We ended the afternoon before our departure to Kathmandu, with a trip on the tram up to the “Peak” to get the best view of Hong Kong and of course a boat cruise around Victoria Harbor. I have to say that probably best way to get views of the city is taking a harbor cruise. We took the Star Ferry around for about an hour. It was a great relaxing way to end our day before heading to the airport.
I won’t lie Hong Kong has some pretty solid views and honestly I would have loved to see them at night. Here’s some snaps.
Last but not least I got one of these, apparently they are a must in Hong Kong and honestly it was pretty oishii!
Things that I liked about Hong Kong in 24 hours:
- I only came across one squatty and it even had toilet paper
- The food. Despite our dim dim sum experience on our first night the food was actually pretty good
- Shopping. Seriously, anything and everything you could possibly dream or want, you can get in Hong Kong
- So much English!
Obviously, 24 hours is never enough time in any place, but we managed to get a few highlights in with our time in Hong Kong. Definitely, feel like I need to make another trip while we are so close. Probably, just to eat though.
Look out this week for my blog posts on our trips to Nepal and Bhutan!
Until next time! じゃまた！