Goodbye HK, Hello HK

Trip Start Mar 08, 2011
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13
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Trip End Jun 11, 2011


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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Well turns out we are not traveling to Japan today, which is awfully disappointing, but at least we will get to know HK a little better.  I was just commenting to Amy the other day that with our very limited (only 3 months) time to travel, and with the large number of places we are trying to see, we would not get to know any one particular place as we would be moving on every 3 or 4 days.  However, we will try to stay optimistic here and enjoy the fact that we can take things slow at the beginning of our journey. 

We slept in this morning as we were up until 3 in the morning finalizing plans on changing our flights, getting a new guest house (as our current guest house was full for the next few days), and watching constant updates of Michigan beating Illinois in the big 10 tourney (I was up at that point so decided it would be time well spent).  Once we did wake up, we took our time checking out of the guest house, making sure to update the blog and finalize packing.  Noon came around and we decided to move on to Guandong Guest House (a top rated accomodation according to HostelWorld) 2 blocks away.  The rooms are very similar, although 'dongs is a little more up to date, with a few more amenities, and a nicer staff (Simon is great).  Only problem here is that it is located in the Chunking Mansion along with 50 other guest houses, so a lot of patience is needed with the elevators (uh oh patience).

Our room wasnt quite ready yet, so Amy and I ventured out to get some lunch and enjoy a beer or two while we waited.  We found an Irish Pub next door, so decided to stop by (the Carlsberg on sale was calling my name).  Over the past few days, I had noticed that when ordering a beer, the prices are high, but the quantities are large as well (typically coming in 24 oz bottles).  Amy ordered a Hoegaarden without telling the waitress which size (it came in 3 sizes).  The beers came, and Amy's half liter of Hoegaarden dwarfed my 12 oz bottle.  To go with our beverages, Amy got a salad (since veggies have been lacking on this trip thus far), and I got what any person visiting Hong Kong would order for lunch, chicken tenders (I blame you Suj and Devesh).  Lunch was enjoyable, especially after being lectured about how we were going to miss out on all of the items Amy had anticipated purchasing in Japan (kimonos, calligraphy, pokemon paraphernalia), which was all news to me.  This continued with how much I was preventing her from shopping in HK which is known for antique furniture and fabulous couture (because shouldnt all backpackers carry around high end clothing and large items of furniture for 3 months?).  So I would like to thank Mami, who decided it was a good idea to show Amy the article in National Geographic Traveler about the antiques, and the brewers at Hoegaarden for making this a fantastic lunch.

It was now 1:30, so our room was ready, and so was I to get out of the Irish Pub.  We went back upstairs and decided to relax a bit.  Sleep deprived, we decided to test the comforts of our new beds while watching the Hong Kong epi of 5 Takes: Pacific Rim (a travel channel showing taking 5 ordinary 20 somethings and sending them off to foreign land with only a budget of $50 a day, circa 2006).  We needed to find more things to do in Hong Kong, and this was the easy way to do it.  After the episode ended, the lights somehow got turned off and next thing we knew it was 5pm.  We rushed to get ready as we were meeting a few of my classmates who are studying/visiting HK at this time for libations at 7.  Feeling guilty, I wanted to take Amy to Hollywood Rd which is on the same island as the bar we were headed to.  Hollywood Rd is known for their antique stores, thinking that once Amy saw the size and price of these items, I would be out of the woods.  We had about 30 mins to look, and my plan was working perfectly until we walked by this store with hand embroidered pictures in the wall.   The lady was closing up and we were running late, but at the last second she told us to come in.  Within 2 minutes I was deep into negotiations for a picture.  Amy, not able to convert the exchange rate, tells the lady that I am the one who handles money.  The price starts out way too high, so I tried the negotiating tactic of offering 40% and insulting the lady to get out of the store.  Unfortunately this didnt work and we are now the proud owners of a hand embroidered picture that we will have to mail home in the next few days.  There goes all the money we saved by not visiting Japan.

On our way to Red Bar (which is located on the 4th floor of the IFC building, with amazing views of the harbor), we stopped to get a egg tart.  We had been unsuccessfully searching for egg tarts since we arrived in HK as we heard they would change your life.  I must say, it certainly was delectable.  We then met the gang at Red and enjoyed a few rounds of beer while catching up.  After a few hours of drinking, Amy was starting to get hungry.  We said our goodbyes in hopes of finding a local joint to eat at (to balance out our chicken tenders from lunch).  After walking around a bit, we decided to take the MTR to the Temple Street Night Market.  It was around 11 at this point and "our" grumpiness from hungry was setting in.  The market was packed, so we looked around for an empty table (which are small plastic table and stools on the street).  We finally found one and grabbed it.  The menu came, with no English, but plenty of pictures.  There was a steamed crab dish that looked amazing, so we got that along with a veggie dish and 2 beers.  The beer list was quite extensive, but at this time of night, they only had Carlsberg left, but they didnt tell me this is all they had left, I had to find that out by ordering every other beer.  A few minutes go by and the waiter tells us that the veggie dish we ordered is sold out as well.  Right when we were about to tell him to forget it, he points to another table and says "Try that, very good."  The food comes out and it is fantastic (either because they were good cooks, or we were starving).  We finished our plates and walked around the rest of the market.  Starting to get tired we tried to find our way back to 'dongs.  After walking for 20 minutes, we realized we walked in the completely wrong direction, so we got on at the next MTR stop and were on our way home with only a 15 minute wait for the elevator.

PS: now that we are no longer going to Japan, we need more scavenger hunt items, please check out that entry and leave suggestions in the comments area.

PPS: dont expect this many updates going forward, we are still excited about the trip and have extra time in HK, we will try to keep entries to one per city in the future.

PPPS: I added another entry after the scavenger hunt page for trip statistics.  on this page, you will find interesting items like how many miles we have traveled and how many times we were scammed.
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Comments

Mami on

Dave,
You're welcome.

suj on

i am very proud of you for being brave, living on the wild side, and ordering chicken fingers. it will startle you to know that ive had not-a-one finger since you guys have left. its just not the same without someone pointing out that adults dont normally order from childrens menus.

Devesh Kukoc Jordan on

I am glad you missed us sufficiently to try our dietary staple, the chicken finger.

In a similar manner, I am missing the random and meaningless sports arguments. Kirby offered to play your role, but it's just not the same. He'd probably relent way too soon.

Hope you guys are having fun

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