Places we visited: Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, New Territories, Lantau Island

Length of stay: 9 days

High point: Spending time with Linus, Tracy, Kitty, Helen, Stanley and Vivian--all Hong
Kong locals we met on our Sahara expedition, seeing Hong Kong's skyline for the first
time (both from across the harbor in Kowloon and from above on Victoria Peak), going
to a local teahouse with Kitty for dim sum followed by tea tasting and tea buying,
wandering into what we thought was a tea shop only to find it was a herbal doctor's
office and then watching him see patients, snacking our way through Tai O on local
seafood specialties with our friends. spending the night with Tracy and Linus the night
before we flew out of Hong Kong

Low Point: It's got to be the weather. It was hot, sticky, and humid everyday broken
up by the occasional rain shower.

Local food/flavor: Our friends introduced us to all sorts of Hong Kong favorites,  so
get comfortable for this section:

  • bo law bau (a popular breakfast bun that looks like a pineapple)
  • hung dau biing  (red bean milk punch)
  • Hong Kong tea (a mixture of milky tea and coffee)
  • cha gwo (glutinous ball with chopped peanuts inside)
  • boot chai ko (dark sesame pudding and brown sugar pudding with red beans
    served on a stick, like a popsicle)
  • yu dan (fish ball)
  • siu yau yu (grilled dried squid)
  • dau tu fa (soy bean milk pudding, can be served cold or hot and is topped with
    syrup or brown sugar)
  • kai dan chai (egg balls. they taste so much better than the name implies. they
    are kind of like little donuts, very warm and tasty.)
  • yu pay (fish skin)
  • yuet ban (moon cake, these cakes are eaten to celebrate the Mid Autumn
    Festival. they are small individual cakes with an egg in the middle.)
  • ngau pak yip (cow's stomach...very chewy, not much taste)
  • bbq pork buns
  • chicken feet (can I tell you how small the bones are?)

Language: Cantonese and English

Currency: Hong Kong dollar

Unique Sights: The incredibly tall residential high-rise apartment buildings (we're
talking one building with 86 floors housing 10,000 people), Hong Kong's Symphony of
Lights, which is a light show taking place from the top of the skyscrapers, the world's
longest escalator of 800 meters which takes 20 minutes to ride all the way up, people
dodging drops of water falling from the window-mounted a/c units dozens of floors
above them

Purchases: Pearl jasmine and green tea

Things we did:
  • Enjoyed a perfect day with friends in the Tai O village on Lantau Island.  Here
    we sampled all sorts of local food as we ventured through this small fishing
  • Visited the beautiful Po Lin Monastery on Lantau Island which is home to the
    enormous bronze Buddha statue and several beautiful temples. Here we
    witnessed a Buddhist ceremony.
  • Stayed one night at our friends home, Tracy and Linus, which is located on the
    33rd floor in a high rise residential building.  Stayed up until 2am enjoying great
    conversation and tea tasting.
  • Visited the incense filled Man Mo and Tin Hau temples
  • Watched Hong Kong's skyline light up to music in the symphony of light show
    from the Avenue of the Stars.
  • Ventured up the world's longest escalator, 800 m,  to reach Hong Kong Island's
    SoHo district
  • Took in the Hong Kong skyline from many vantage points including the
    Convention Center panoramic windows and Bank of China Observatory Tower
  • Rode the peak tram up to Victoria Peak for the best views of the city!
  • Found ourselves in a herbal doctor store, tasted some herbal tea, and watched
    a parade of locals visiting the doctor.
  • Ate yummy dim sum at a local eatery, Lin Heung, with our friend Kitty
  • Enjoyed tea tasting with our friend Kitty in a small shop located in a department
    store.  Our tea host was so friendly we just had to buy some tea!
  • Had a wonderful dinner with all our Hong Kong friends in Tsim Sha Tsui with a
    great view of the Hong Kong skyline
  • Wandered through the Graham Street market glaring at fish attempting to
    escape their styrofoam containers.
  • Strolled the Temple Street Night Market where you could buy cheap DVD's and
    any other little gadget.  Enjoyed a quick dinner along the market.
  • Broke down and had our first Starbucks Chai Latte of the trip!
  • Checked out the tiny ancient walled village of Kat Hing Wai in the New
  • Watched a Sunday afternoon martial arts exhibition in Kowloon Park.
  • Spent many of days walking in and around Nathan Road searching for cheap
    eats and avoiding peddlers pushing tailors, purses and knock off watches
Hong Kong Overview
Hong Kong Island Skyline