The final leg of our Hawai’i trip was a two-day stop in Hong Kong. A former residence of mine, it is one of my favorite cities in the world and a place I always enjoy returning to. Thankfully, we still have many friends there are were hosted by a former university classmate and her husband.
This couple has three adorable children and two days wasn’t enough time to properly visit with them. The older two were keen on showing off for the camera, seeing what funny faces and poses they could make! Next time we’ll be sure to leave extra time so we can do some exploring of the city with them.
One of our stops was breakfast at Lan Fong Yuen along the Central Escalator. I wrote about this place almost exactly a year ago. The full entry (with loads of food porn) is here.
It was mighty crowded and we were placed at a table shared with two other couples in the back corner of the restaurant. Ordering is always a bit of a challenge because the level of English spoken isn’t as much as it used to be, and our Cantonese is basically nonexistent. Nonetheless we were able to work it out and were rewarded with some comfort food.
Drawing on the memories of so many school children throughout East Asia: instant noodles and broth with chicken on top.
And toasted buns with sweetened condensed milk on top, to accompany the milk tea that is just at the edge of the frame. Nothing fancy here but certainly a tasty way to start your day.
Most of the two days was spent wandering around, with Tawn doing some shopping and me chilling out in cafes, reading magazines. Above is a small street in Lan Kwai Fong with some pretty flowers. We passed by on our way to dim sum with a friend I had not seen since the day Tawn and I met in January 2000. By coincidence, I ran into this friend and her mother in Hong Kong Airport that same day, as they were on their way to India and I was on my way to a fateful meeting with destiny.
Lots of galleries in the Hollywood Road area. This work is called Imperial Pig and it is by Chinese artist Huang Cheng. It shows a pig receiving a traditional Chinese medicinal treatment known as fire cupping. When I lived here, I actually had my own not so good experience being on the receiving end of one of these treatments, which left me bruised for months after!
One of the coffee shops where I spent some time: Holly Brown Coffee, located on Stanley Street. Fantastic coffee and ambience. Their gelato is supposed to be pretty good, too. I like the graphics on their cup.
Walking around Central, I noticed this store. I think the metal screens on the facade of Harvey Nichols are beautiful. There is so much interesting architecture and design in Hong Kong.
We also had the opportunity to meet up with some Xangans. By sheer coincidence, Jason and his husband Daniel, exiled from Tokyo for the moment, were in town for the weekend. While they had visited Bangkok just a few months ago, we were excited for the chance to spend some time with them again.
Photos borrowed from Jason’s facebook page (without permission – yikes!). On the left, Tawn, Jason, and Daniel. On the right, me, Jason, and Tawn. You should check out Jason’s blog. He isn’t posting as often these days but has some of the spectacular music he has written and performed.
Following a tip from Gary’s blog, the four of us sought out this retro Starbucks. Located on Duddell Street, which dead-ends off Queen’s Road in Central, it is designed as an old bing sutt, literally an “ice house”. The exterior doesn’t give anything away…
But once you’re inside, you feel you have been magically transported back to the 1950s and 60s. A bing sutt was the coffeehouse of the old days, where people could take a bread, enjoy a beverage or trendy Western treats such as soda pop and ice cream. The design was a fusion of East and West even back in those days. It feels even more fusion seeing a recreation in the context of the modern day.
This particular project was a collaboration between Starbucks and the Hong Kong brand G.O.D. (Goods of Desire) and the location was chosen because it is very close to the city’s arts community.
While we were there, some photographers started a fashion shoot. My lighting isn’t that good but the model’s cheongsam fits the interior of the bing sutt perfectly. Feels very much like the Wong Kar Wai film, In the Mood for Love.
New shopping area at the tip of Tsim Sha Tsui in Kowloon called 1881 Heritage. The developers took the former Marine Police Headquarters (which closed in 1996) and restored it, creating an interesting mixture of history and commerce. Worth a visit, more for the sights rather than the shops.
A ride on the Star Ferry remains one of my favorite ways to see the city, and one of the least expensive, too.
The other Xangan we met with was Angel. He splits his time between Hong Kong and Vancouver, so we’ve been able to meet before. Didn’t get a picture as we met in a crowded coffee shop. You should stop by his blog, too, as he recently wrote about a stay at the new W Hotel in Taipei, which is beautiful.
We did a lot more with our two days, but those were the highlights. On Sunday evening we headed to the airport and flew back to Bangkok, arriving just before midnight. Of course, all this happened two and a half weeks ago. I’m so far behind in my blogging! So now I’ll get back on course and catch you up with what’s happening here in Bangkok.
I love traveling with you and Tawn. You are a beautiful couple. I have never been out of the country other than Canada and am now not well enough to go anywhere. My 11 year old granddaughter just got back from Istanbul so at least the next generations are seeing the world and, meanwhile, I have Xanga. Thank you.
I had to do a double take on that pig picture. Crazy image!
You do pack a lot of stuff into 2 days! The kids are too cute! Looks like a good time (coffee, xangans, and shopping)!
That pig looks so real! I like that Starbucks (I love all things retro).
It’s always a pleasure reading your travelogues Chris, not to mention the pictures of the various foods. Thanks for sharing.
Seems like you are showing your “fatherly affection” in the first photo! haha~That was a short stay in HK, but you guys live so “close”, and can just wisk by for a weekend stay, right?
oh yes…we didn’t take a pic this time…well maybe when I’m in BKK. After meeting up with you, I have decided to move my BKK trip forward to the end of May, hope it is still ahead of the election period there, I shd be arrived on 26MAY for 4 days!
@agmhkg – Excellent. We’ll be here and will look forward to seeing you again. Will you be traveling with anyone?@BumbleBoTuna – Exactly. Porcine therapy.@CurryPuffy – We really should do more weekend trips there. More short trips rather than grand voyages.@ZSA_MD – @nurseynursey – I’m so glad both of you enjoy these travelogues. I’ve long felt that traveling through the eyes of someone else is a good “second best” to traveling yourself.@icepearlz – The pig is disturbingly lifelike, that’s for sure…@murisopsis – It was a really full two days and yet it didn’t feel terribly rushed.@Roadlesstaken – Imagine walking around the corner of the street and seeing that in the window!
@agmhkg – Oh, I’ll be there a month later!
lot to do in two days. But it looks like you kept busy.
I only got to spend a night in Hong Kong, but it looks like I should go back and see more of it
boy that noodle looks so good.
That pig looks DEAD. Maybe it’s sedated? eeks.Wow, no. He definitely looks dead. And did they really “cup” his you-know-what?
Have you considered taking part in The Amazing Race?
Great way to enrich your life. I always say people should not give an opinion of a world they have not visited themselves.
@The_Eyes_Of_A_Painter – Those are very true words and ones I wish more Americans shared. We have such strong opinions about America’s place in the world, yet so few Americans have gone out to see that world. There are many explanations for it (America’s size, distance from most other countries, etc.) but that doesn’t change the truth in your statement.@Dezinerdreams – Oh, I can only imagine what havoc that would play on my marriage! LOL@everyday_yogi – Is it a male pig or a female? I assumed that was a teat that the cup was on, but maybe I assumed incorrectly.@yang1815 – In all its instant goodness.@npr32486 – You most definitely should. Hong Kong is a city that deserves at least four or five days to explore.@Fatcat723 – Can you imagine me having a vacation where all I reported back on was, “Sat around doing nothing?” @CurryPuffy – Shame we couldn’t be in the same place at the same time but you’ll be back in HKG around Christmas, right? Maybe we can make the third time the charm.
@christao408 – I had some tonight for dinner. 😀
@christao408 – Sounds good, Chris. I have booked the tickets, will be there from the 15th until 31st!
@CurryPuffy – Oh, December, right?
@christao408 – Krub!
The cupping on the pig is bizarre. Love the retro Starbucks and Star Ferry. And it’s always nice to see other Xangans in your blog.
@ElusiveWords – Well, with Angel and Gary both planning trips to Bangkok later this Spring and Summer, you’ll have more to look forward to.
Nice one. I have tried fire cupping once in China but stopped in middle. Was too painful. haha right. bruise mark left for a few weeks. So don’t try in summer or no biniki lol. Happy Easter holiday to you both 🙂
@MichellelyNg – There is a picture of me taken when I was living in HK in the late 90s. A friend took me to Shenzen for one of those 3-hour massages by a blind masseuse. While there, he convinced me I should try fire cupping. The picture shows the 18 or so purple welts on my back, the bruises of which stayed with me for more than 3 months. I had a lot of “bad air”, it seems. LOL
@christao408 – you reminded me I have taken similar photos but with 6 purple welts only. Actually, the cup was supposed to be slided along your back and took the bad air out. I don’t think anyone can stand that! no more for me 🙂
Blog on a whole load of stuff about HongKong – learning journey ; events ; food. And a funny blog to read.Hong Kong life