Bright Lights, Long Nights

There are three things you need to know about Hong Kong; the cuisine, nightlife and foot massages are legendary; in exactly that order. My long weekend in Hong Kong started at the Aqua Room in TST with a champagne brunch. Some friends and I kicked the night off with unlimited Veuve and sashimi and then some of the best beef cheek I have ever had. The best part about the Aqua Room was the location; I can’t imagine there is a better panoramic view of the city anywhere in Kowloon. Several hours later, we moseyed on back to Central, where I eventually ended up at dragon-i partying until the sun came up. Luckily, my apartment was an escalator ride away, making for a short commute in my five inch heels.

After I caught up on much needed sleep, my friend’s took me to some traditional dim sum consisting of popular Chinese dishes like chicken feet (which I could not bring myself to try), rice noodles with beef, fish head, and lots and lots of dumplings. Later that evening, we headed over to Stanley Plaza where we had a yummy dinner at The Boathouse and finished the night off with a selection of cheeses at Classified.

Another place that I managed to grab some grub was Vbest Tea House in Central. I sampled the Shanghai dumplings and Shrimp Vermicelli (pictured below), which were both delicious. A few other restaurants that I enjoyed were Pastis, French cuisine, Monogamous, traditional Chinese, and Ole, Spanish. All my menu choices were yummy, and if you ask one of the servers to teach you how to salsa at Ole, they will do just that.

Last stop before my flight was a super relaxing foot massage! A friend and I went in the middle of the workday, so we had the whole place to ourselves. After a long weekend in heels and treking up and down the hills of Hong Kong, this was a much needed respite and left me nice and refreshed!

Pearl of the Orient

My first meal in Hong Kong was on Gough St. at Kau Kee Restaurant (九記牛腩 ). They are famous for their beef brisket noodles, and for good reason! A line typically forms about 45 minutes before Kau Kee opens, and everyone in that line would agree the wait is well worth it. Also noteworthy, diners can expect to share their table with others. Kau Kee’s policy is to fill every seat, serving as many people in there as possible. Not a bad system if I do say so myself. I’m pretty sure the two people who ate with us were thinking I was an obnoxious gweilo the whole time considering how many pictures I was taking. Luckily, I had my friend Christy to guide the way. She made sure I was comfortably settled in Hong Kong by hooking me up with an amazing apartment in Central and also turned me on to a new company called Handy, where you can rent a device that’s phone, travel guide and more. A definite must if you are visitng Hong Kong! For about $10 (US) a day you get unlimited 3G and international calling. You can also set up the phone as a WiFi hotspot so you can blog, work, or cruise the internet wherever you are! Each Handy device comes with a built-in city guide, with categories covering restaurants, shops, experiences, bars, and attractions. With just a few clicks, you can pinpoint your exact location on a map, reserve a table at a waterfront restaurant, or navigate your way to the nearest attraction. Genius!

kau kee restaurant hong kong

kau kee restaurant hong kong

After lunch, one of Christy’s friends took me over to Kowloon (or more commonly known in Hong Kong as TST). While he was getting a suit tailored, I walked the Avenue of Stars which is their version of the Walk of Fame. There are a couple of fun statues, but the real treat is the view of the city!

avenue of stars hong kong

avenue of stars hong kong

After taking in the views, I grabbed an egg custard (a HK staple) and stook the Star Ferry, which is the oldest form of public transportation in the city, back over to Central.

star ferry hong kong

Later that night, Christy and her boyfriend, Ben, took me up to the Peak for one of the best views of the city. After a leisurely stroll, we cabbed back down to Duddell’s where we shared a few delicious cocktails.

the peak hong kong

duddells hong kong

I fell in love with the city of Hong Kong that first day. While Hong Kong is not a particularly large city, there is much to explore and experience. Can’t wait to share my adventures in the days to follow.

central hong kong

On a separate note, here’s to the Red Sox demolishing the first game of the World Series! I was that weird American cheering at 8AM down at the breakfast buffet. It was a little reminder that while I am having a blast on the other side of the world, there are still some things I miss about home.

Get the Look: Shirt, Joie // Scarf, Old Navy

Hong Kong in Black & White

I really loved my time in Hong Kong. The city was full of color and character. Because it is an amalgamation of so many different cultures, you got the best that every one has to offer. I can’t think of another city where you can go from the best dim sum, to the best charcuterie shop, to the best sushi in a couple of metro stops. The city can certainly be a little overwhleming, so instead of my first round of photos in color, I decided to simplify things a little. Photographing in black in white forces you to see the world more graphically; taking in shapes, textures, and in this case, some movement as well.