Deciding to go back to Hong Kong was a no brainer. For me, Hong Kong is a place for comfort where I don’t need to plan a detailed itinerary. I just needed a restful break from the monotony of my work. Just going there to soak on the ambiance is enough for me to feel recharged.
So, I was curious what the hype is all about and personally went there. It turns out it is an old pier docked with old, dilapidated ships, construction trucks, piles of cargo and some abandoned warehouses painted with graffiti. It is a chaotically organized junk yard. However, the views to the Kowloon side look really fantastic. It must be better to visit here during night time where the skyscrapers are lit up.
After five minutes of taking some photos using my mini tripod, I was approached by a pier martial who shooed me away by being too near the dock. Then she handed me a pamphlet, warning me that I will be apprehended and pay a hefty fine if I don’t heed the 1st warning. I lost my appetite for shooting some pictures after that so I just decided to walk around and just soak in. There were a lot of people taking organized photo shoots for pre-nup or for fashion.
Probably it was the rustic feel of the ambiance that makes it constrastingly stand-out against the well primmed fashion clothes of the models or the white and immaculate wedding dress. The rest of the crowd were locals taking an afternoon jog or walking their pets. Later on, a slight drizzle was starting to fall which prompted me to go back to the MTR station.
So, is it worth the hype? If getting out of the box, instagram-worthy pictures is what you want, then this is one place to consider in your itinerary.
In Search of a French Toast
I had my start next day around 9AM bound for Hong Kong Heritage Museum. It was a long journey that took more than an hour as it requires 3 train exchanges travelling via MTR from Causeway Bay to New Territories. When I arrived at Shatin station (Later on I realized that Che Kung Temple Station was much nearer). I was a bit lost as the train exit was inside a mall and had to navigate my way outside towards the main street leading to the museum. I arrived at the museum which has just opened and already jam packed with tourists.
What sets apart this museum from others is that it mainly exhibits memorabilia and collections that are significant in HK’s history and art. These collections are from various prominent sponsors in HK society circles or foundations. What I like most is the T.T. Tsui Gallery of Chinese Art, the Bruce Lee memorabilia exhibit which I think has the most extensive collection in honor to the legendary martial arts artist, a featured exhibit, Inventing le Louvre: From Palace to Museum over 800 Years which chronicles the evolution of the Louvre museum in Paris and an exhibit where wuxia (martial heroes) were depicted as anime characters.
Around noon, I left the museum and I was so hungry then. I read about this restaurant called Chau Kee located in HK island that sells “mouth watering” French toasts and everyone who has been there is raving about it. Well, that means I had to endure an hour more of hunger to be able to get there via MTR. When I arrived there, the place was queued with tourists, “why-guo-rens” like me. This is the down side of frequently hyped places because they tend to be crowded. Since I was so hungry then, I opted to go the next restaurant which sells pork chop and noodles*. It was a pleasant surprise as the uncle, who I think is the owner, can speak fluent English and was so kind and accommodating and helped me with the choices. I ordered a pork chop with braised large noodles and it did not disappoint. The pork chop portion was huge, evenly flavored and juicy.
The noodles was a bit textured and chewy. These must be hand made noodles. The flavor clinging on its surface was rich and gravy-like. This was probably the highlight of my first two days so far.
I spent the rest of the day wandering aimlessly in HK’s Central area, soaking on the local neighborhood and street vibe. Sometimes a street art painted on a wall dots a row of dull looking buildings and it was like finding a hidden gem.
As the day came to an end, it got wearisome because of the hot humid weather that sapped away every ounce of energy in my body. It wasn’t like the first time I came here when it was winter and the weather is pleasantly cool to have a stroll. I conclude that HK should still be a winter destination.
* Later on, I found out the name of the noodle house is Kam Cheung Pork Noodle. See on google maps.
1. Instagram Pier
(properly called as Western District Public Cargo Working Areas [PCWA])
Sai Wan, Hong Kong
By Train : Take the MTR going to HKU station (Island Line). Exit at B2 along Hill Road. (Don’t let the humongous fly-overs outside intimidate you causing you to lose a sense of direction) Along Hill Road, walk downwards towards Des Voeux West Road until you reach Kai Bo supermarket around the corner and the tram station across. Cross the street and under the fly over. The pier entrance is directly in front. You need to check on the MTR map to know where to change trains depending where your departing station may be.
2. Hong Kong Heritage Museum
Hong Kong, Sha Tin, Man Lam Rd, 香港文化博物馆
By train: Take the MTR going to Che Kung Temple station. Cross the bridge, a few meters ahead of the exit. Then turn right until you reach the museum. You need to check on the MTR map to know where to change trains depending where your departing station may be.
3. Kam Cheung Pork Noodle
Hong Kong, Shek Tong Tsui, 西環西營盤德輔道西316號地下C舖
By train : Take the MTR going to Sai Ying Pun station. Exit at B2 then turn right along Second Street until you reach Water Street. Turn right, going downwards and walk straight crossing Queen’s Road. Walk across Water Street. By this time you could see Chau Kee as is it is always packed and there’s a long queue outside. Kam Cheung Pork Noodles is just two or three stores after. You need to check on the MTR map to know where to change trains depending where your departing station may be. Check on the google map link above for proper visualization.