Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Hong Kong Travelogue - Part 2

OK, so, back to the 10 best things about Hong Kong:

1.) Victoria Peak Tram
2.) The Star Ferry
3.) Markets!  Temple Street Night Market, Jade Market, Graham Street Market, Cat St. Market, random street markets
4.) Fashion
5.) Flamingos
6.) High Tea at the Peninsula Hotel
7.) The Light Show over Victoria Harbor
8.) Temples
9.) Christmas Decor
10.) Pastries
11.) Motorscooter Umbrellas

I already covered #1-5.  Onwards!
#6: High Tea at the Peninsula Hotel
I love tea.  I love high tea, fancy places and nice hotels.  So me and the Peninsula Hotel were pretty much made for each other. 
So beautiful!  The Peninsula is THE premier historic hotel in Hong Kong.  It was opened in 1928, and the tea service makes you feel as if you could have stepped back to that year.
I ordered caramel tea, which after a long day of shopping and sightseeing, was intensely comforting.
It was a little dim in there, sorry for the poor photography, but look at the tower of deliciousness!  Yum.
Tea sandwiches?  Yes please! 

#7: The Light Show Over Victoria Harbor
I couldn't photograph this.  It's too crazy to be believed.  Every day at 8pm the Hong Kong skyline (already lit up like crazy) explodes with a green laser light show.  Lasers dance down from the top of all of the major buildings and some of the buildings light up in patterns.  It's pretty short, and if you're watching it from the Tsim Sha Shui waterfront there is hilariously cheesy Chinese music to go with it, but it's still pretty darn cool.  Courtesy of the China Tourism website, it looks something like this:

#8: Temples
There are lots of great temples in Hong Kong.  I loved the Man Mo Temple, on Hollywood St. in the Sheung Wan neighborhood.  You know you're getting close to the temple when you can smell the incense.  The incense is formed in great bell shapes that swing from the ceiling and cover the whole building in a fragrant fog.  I accidentally took some pictures before I saw the no photos sign.  But, since they already exist...
 Beautiful.  See the incense bells?  The table in front of the statue is covered in offerings, most of which are fruit or flowers, but some people bring things like lunch in styrofoam containers and leave that as the offering to the gods.  Very modern!
I took this picture before I realized what I was looking at, but these are boxes where people's ashes go.  Very space efficient, like the rest of Hong Kong, and I don't think I would regret being buried in such a lovely, atmospheric place.

#9: Christmas Decor
Christmas decor in INSANE in Hong Kong.  On my first trip, this was the scene across from my hotel:
That's Santa in his sleigh riding in front of a giant silver moon.  On either side are three snowmen with trumpets that blow bubbles over Santa.  Which kinda makes sense since it doesn't actually SNOW here.

Another gem:
Whoa, nellie.  That's the former Marine Police Hong Kong Headquarters in the background (now known as the 1881 Hotel.)  And in the foreground is the insanity of Hong Kong Christmas, this one involves several faux horse drawn carriages (complete with faux horses) and an enormous Christmas tree on a rotating stage.
Oh, Hong Kong.  On the backside, there was a whole carriage done by Wedgwood.
I love Hong Kong, and Hong Kong loves its luxury goods.  I'm lucky enough to own some Wedgwood plates passed down from my grandmother and great-grandmother, and I think I prefer my understated display to this craziness.  But still, very beautiful.  And crazy.

The Christmas lights are also starting to get insane and I'm going to try to take more pics and report back.  Wait till you see Santa sitting ON the moon done in neon.  So great!

#10: Pastries
Last but not least, this is pretty much always on my list of favorite things about a country.  Someday I'm going to write a coffee table book about pastries I've loved around the world.  In Hong Kong, my hotel was right around the corner from the St. Honore Pastry Shop.  They make many wonderful hom bow-like things (buns filled with meat), as well as more French-style pastries.  How about one of these?
Oui, merci! 

Yet another thing that I started an intimate relationship with in Hong Kong was something called an "egglette".  It is made of waffle batter, but it is the same size and shape as a 8" square of bubble wrap.  The bubbles form in a sheet but you can break them off one by one, pop them in your mouth and bite down for a indescribably satisfying crunch.  Behold the new love of my pastry life:
Oh egglette, where have you been all my life??

So that's the short report on Hong Kong.  If you ever get the chance to go, DO IT.  It's crazy, but in a fun way!  Just like every great person I know.  Thanks Hong Kong, you sure know how to show a girl a good time.

1 comment:

  1. Looks like so much fun! I'd love to visit there some time!