Our last day in Hong Kong, and we spent it eating well!
First, a stop by a bakery near the hotel, where we bought a red bean bun, as well as a
“cocktail bun” which I asked for by name (gai may bao) stuffed with coconut paste. Then, we went next door to a restaurant I’d noticed the night before with a bunch of bamboo steamer trays. Initially, we thought they only served food to go, and we thought we’d bring some things back to the hotel room for breakfast, but it turned out they had a seating area inside. No English menu, and only a couple of pictures to work with. Shrimp dumplings we recognized and pointed to. I searched my phone for a picture of the menu from another dim sum place to get the name of the dumplings that remind me of Thanksgiving stuffing, so we got an order of those, too. The waitress spoke some English, but when I asked for barbecue pork buns, she didn’t understand. “Bao?” I asked, and she said “B-B-Q pork?” “yes!” (smiles all around). Okay, food ordered, and we were feeling pretty good. They had brought out a big bowl and 2 pots of tea. At the other dim sum places, we’d seen locals pouring boiling hot tea over their chopsticks, bowls, spoons, and cups, and into this kind of big bowl. I had asked one woman if she was washing her dishes (before eating), and she said she was. However, the wait staff at the other places never brought us a big bowl to pour tea over for washing. This morning was different, and I was excited that I knew what to do with this bowl. I carefully poured hot tea over my chopsticks, spoon, bowl, and teacup, and into this big bowl. No sooner had I done this, however, than the waitress came back and pointed out that the 2nd teapot was just hot water (and was presumably what I was supposed to use for washing). Oops! C and I had a good laugh over that one. At least I had poured the tea sparingly!
While we were eating, another woman was seated across from us at our table, and she had brought something with her that she put into her teapot of water before pouring it over her dishes. I’m not sure if it was some kind of tea or something else. Anyway, we enjoyed our meal a lot, and the staff was really friendly toward us, so we may try and stop back in first thing in the morning before our flight home.
After dim sum, we went back to the hotel room for a bit, did some packing, and enjoyed our baked goods.
C wanted to take it easy, so we decided to do our own thing for the afternoon. After a bit of Google mapping (and bus research), I hopped a bus over to the Western end of the city on Hong Kong island, because I wanted to take a “ding-ding” (double-decker tram). I thought I might take the escalators at Mid-Levels again, but the tram was really slow, so I decided not to take the time. Traffic was really bad, so I stepped off the tram (paying as I exited, unlike all the other public transit), and started walking toward Central station. This is when I realized that walking at ground level is for suckers. Slow, chaotic, stressful street crossings dodging buses and taxis, etc. Go up a level, though, and there are elevated walkways that are much easier to navigate!
I took the MTR from Central to North Point, transferred to a different line, and proceeded to Yau Tong. I carefully took pictures of the maps I saw inside the station so I could be sure to find my destination, but I needn’t have worried. There were plenty of signs to direct me to the Lei Yue Mun Seafood District. This is an area that someone I’d talked with on the plane had recommended — basically, you wander around and pick out live seafood, buy it, and then take it to one of the restaurants to have it prepared. It sounded like an interesting experience, but I hadn’t been prepared for how expensive it was. I wish C had been there to talk some sense into me! Instead, I wound up paying too much for a small amount of food. Tasty, but not filling. While I was struggling to eat my little crab, a yacht pulled up and let out some customers, who proceeded to dine on a massive Alaska king crab, giant lobster, and a variety of other seafood.
After my late lunch, I wandered around the Yau Tong area a bit before getting back on the MTR and heading back to the hotel.
For dinner, C and I headed back toward Tsim Sha Tsui and had some Coco Curry (Japanese fast food) in a fancy mall, and then finally made it to the waterfront promenade after dark so we could see the Hong Kong skyline at night. Many of the buildings had special Christmas lights up.
We walked around Nathan Road and Chatham Road, had some fancy blended coffee type drinks and “kaya balls” for dessert at a Chinese/Singaporean restaurant, and swung through the Granville Road shopping street before catching our now-familiar bus back to the hotel. Every time we got off the bus (at the same place), it looked a bit different or we noticed different things, but when we turned the corner and saw the used camera shop with the cats inside, we knew we were in the right place. The blocks just past that, however, changed every day we were there because of constant construction. Sometimes we had to walk in the middle of the streets because the sidewalks were torn up or there were sparks flying overhead. A lot of the construction sites used bamboo scaffolding.
Hong Kong is a fun city to visit, and I would definitely recommend staying in the area we’re in (between the Nam Cheong and Sham Shui Po MTR stations), but farther South around TST and along Nathan Road, the crowds were insane. Now that’s an area that could use more elevated walkways!