SE Asia Tour: Hong Kong

I'm baaack!

Back from my epic SE Asia trip that I can't wait to fill you in on. I'm finally recovered and rested from the exhilarating but exhausting journey. 3 weeks, 5 counties, and 9 cities if you count my last stop in San Francisco. We saw a ton but this itinerary meant we were always on the go. Every second or third day, we would have to pack up (thankfully we decided on one carry-on and one backpack each), arrange transport to the airport, fly on one of Air Asia's rickety flights to a foreign city, arrange transport to the new hotel, and then repeat x9. Near the end of the trip, I got sick from food poisoning for three days and so had to sit out on Bangkok. Thankfully, I made a full recovery just in time to enjoy paradise on Koh Phi Phi and then make it to good friend's wedding in Monterey, CA. More on that later.

The first stop on our grand tour was Hong Kong, where we were bright eyed and energetic even after 16 hour days. I had never been before, so it was great to see the famous skyline and eat one of my favorite brunches, dim sum, all day every day. The day we went to Big Buddha and Victoria's Peak, my FitBit (a birthday gift from the sis) logged 42,000 steps, or 17 miles! To give you a frame of reference, I typically log 5,000 steps (3 miles) if I'm just walking to work and getting up a normal amount during the day. 10,000 if I go for a run or walk to dinner. On our vacation, we probably averaged 15,000-20,000 steps a day! It sure helped stave off all those delicious buns and bubble teas....
EmiYo excited for the trans Pacific flight ahead! Not pictured: the obnoxious drunk guy who harassed us for half the flight before he PTFO'ed
Early morning walks in Central
I'm famous here
 Lin Heung Teahouse, a traditional HK style cantonese restaurant where you have to fight for your food! The food comes out of the kitchen in small batches and then you have to run over to the cart and grab it before it sells out. 
 Their famous BBQ char siu buns
 HK egg tarts
Causeway Bay
 Shopping in Causeway Bay at our new favorite store, MUJI

Trying durian pancake (nasty) and Hong Kong sweet coconut sago soup
We had to go here for the name: DimDimSum DimSum! 
 Yummy piggies

In HK, I became obsessed with rooftop bars. For the price of a drink, you get some of the best views in the world!

Here's Aqua, a club/restaurant in the One Peking building across the street from where we stayed (the infamous Chunking Mansions....shudder)

We hijacked the view at Hutong, the restaurant below Aqua which actually had better views. 
 The next morning, we woke up in search of some dimsum! Tim Ho Wan is the cheapest Michelin starred restaurant in the world and located in a subway mall train station. 
 HK loves their herbal jelly
 Dim sum for days
 The trio at Tim Ho Wan. Lunch cost all of ~$7 USD/person!
 We left our classmate R who was staying with relatives in HK and took the MTR out to the Ngong Ping 360 cable car, which would in turn take us to the Big Buddha. We were lucky to have beautiful weather during our entire time in HK! 
 Choose the glass bottomed car! Shorter lines and better view--worth the extra $5

That same afternoon after Big Buddha, we hurriedly took the subway back to Central to take the city bus up to Victoria's Peak to try to catch the sunset. 
Rewarding ourselves with Matcha froyo after a perilous journey on the 15 bus to Victoria's Peak
The view I was waiting for

Beautiful sunset views. Little did we know, photographers had camped out here from 2-3 in the afternoon to line up their tripods and equipment. Whereas we rolled in at 6:10 pm and crouched near a bush. I still got my pictures though! 
After coming down from the mountain, we still managed to book it over to Temple Street night market across the river in Kowloon for dinner. Dinner led to some interesting conversation with the Australian guys next to us about a zookeeper, a scrub nurse, and an orthopedic surgeon. D'oh! 
Our last day in HK, we took the Super Ferry to Macau to ogle at the casinos and check out some street food.
Slogged our way through tourist central (munching on yummy pork jerky) to the famous Macau gate
Spanish coffee -- strong espresso with a dollop of chocolate ice cream
 Trio in Macau
 We're only in Hong Kong once, so we had to do some of the kitchy stuff right? Here's us at Moomin Cafe, a Japanese concept "anti-loneliness" cafe right on the pier in Tsim Sha Tsui

We were supposed to have this view with dinner, but to our dismay we found a cruise ship blocking it. No biggie, we just walked out the door onto the pier and behold! 
The Symphony of Lights

View of Hong Kong island from Kowloon

At the end of our trip, we recapped our favorites, and Hong Kong definitely topped my list of skylines. It may even surpass my previous favorite, Shanghai.

To cap off our Hong Kong trip, we went out one last time to the rooftop deck of Wooloomooloo Steakhouse in Wanchai to experience the best reviewed rooftop bar in Hong Kong, even higher rated than Ozone, the highest bar in the world at the Ritz Carlton.
The views did not disappoint
Looking out from Wooloomooloo, I could see myself looking out onto Hong Kong like Christian Bale does in the Dark Knight. Yes, all of my frame of references pretty much come from movies I've seen. 
Peace out Hong Kong! As much as I enjoyed your city living, skyline, and dimsum, I was ready to take it easier and not go all out with the touristy stops. Our next destination was perfect for a slower pace of life. Coming up, Taiwan!


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