A three day break from teaching English in Thailand was clearly a justifying claim for a brief excursion to Hong Kong from Bangkok. I arrived mid afternoon to the very friendly and high tech airport.
The airport link train located literally inside of the airport was an easy ride to Hong Kong train station.
Through the green forested mountains we traveled. For a jiffy I thought I might come face to face with an Orangutan, when abruptly the green dissolved and transformed into monstrous fabricated structures of engineering impossibility.
That evening we indulged in a variety of fried delights accompanying a Chinese style massive portion of steamed rice (I’ve become so accustomed to rather small Thai portions).
Neck deep in awe of this urban dwellers wonderland, I was introduced to the uber materialism of the SOHO region where glittered shops caught everyone’s attention from infinite directions.
From there we hiked to the ferry terminal in order to catch a vessel across Hong Kong Bay to the Kowloon side, ecstatic to inspect the outrageous blaze of illumination like some kind of crazy aurora.
“How did Hong Kong ever happen?” I gawked, dazzling at the cliff faces of the man made edifices. The display of electricity in visible form had me wondering if I was actually hallucinating. At around 12 am we began our trip back to Hong Kong Island where I would be faced with the most ambrosial dumplings I have ever ingested.
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I could actually smell the dim sum from across the bay. At a small local joint, next door to our apartment of rest, lay a fine dim sum eatery that begins it’s nightly vending of artistic dumplings at 1 am. Curious upon entrance, it took merely minutes to begin involuntarily seizing bamboo steamers and gobbling ferociously.
A great experience and place to eat dim sum is at Lin Heung Dim Sum restaurant.
The next day began with a trip to Mongkok where fanatic shoppers and eating erudites can both reside in harmony. Humans seemed to be going bazurk on greasy treats like tube steak surprises and everything off a stick. Shop stalls of all things spread through slot canyons of concrete buildings.
When I didn’t know if my simple mind could handle another flashing light or billboard, we arrived in the Causway Bay area where people stampeded around like wildebeests migrating from one street to the next.
We hung around Causway Bay before relocating to Wan Chai where we caught a live band covering popular English songs. In the A.M’s we headed home, making the ever vital dim sum stop. Don’t hesitate to jump to a conclusion about a pattern forming.
On day three I was able to dive into one of my favorite activities, aimless wondering, which eventually lead to the Hong Kong viewpoint at Victoria’s Peak. The touristic clusters and the overall haze of the air distracted from the otherwise unbelievable view of the Hong Kong metropolis.
For our last night in Hong Kong we thought it might be appropriate to observe jockeys as they battled each other at the famed Hong Kong Jockey Club.
Robust horses sprinted by, carrying puny, wide stanced jockeys, under an enlightening starry night backdrop of illuminated cubicles and shrieks of unlucky betters.
I must say, my debut horse race was quite enjoyable.
Again we hung out in Wan Chai to the benefit of wonderful conversation with awesome friends. We went home, but obviously not without gobbling my favorite divine delight also known as dim sum.
The next day was dedicated to a return to the airport and a flight away from the concrete canyons of Hong Kong.
The trip was wonderful. We did not have the time or money to partake of all touristy norms, but what we did, saw, and experienced, was clearly a taste (literally) of what Hong Kong is and the flavors it has to offer.
Though I would find it hard to dwell in such a geometrical manufactured society, I consider a visit to Hong Kong an opportunity to put “city” into an empirical reality.