I absolute fail at blogging 😯 But, here it goes. Day 1:
I took the last AREX train to Incheon Airport at around 11pm after work on Friday June 3rd. My flight was at 4:30am so there was a lot of walking around and waiting around. I don’t know how people sleep on the benches at the airport… that shit was uncomfortable.
The flight was fairly comfortable. HK Express is pretty decent for a budget airline. I ordered a dim sum set out of curiosity. Again, not the best dim sum in the world, but it wasn’t bad. I dozed off for about an hour or so during the 3.5 hour flight. When I landed in Hong Kong, the check-in process was super easy. I think landing at 7am helped, too. The first thing I did was eat dim sum right at the airport. I mean, when in Hong Kong, right?
Airport food is usually kind of gross and generic, but not in Hong Kong. I don’t know what the restaurant was called, but I know it’s a Michelin star restaurant. I ordered the giau chao quay wrapped in rice rolls, siu mai, and tofu skin shrimp. EVERYTHING WAS SO GOOD! It was definitely more expensive than the regular dim sum in HK, but totally worth it. After eating, I purchased an airport express train ticket to Central Station.
The trip to Central Station (Hong Kong Island) took about 30 minutes. The seats on train were super comfortable. The ticket had no reserved seat so you could grab any available spot that was available. Central Station was a bit of a mess for me. From the airport terminal station, I had to walk through the building to get to the MTR station side. After exiting the building, I attempted to follow the street signs to the Central outdoor escalators… Yea…. the weather sucked. The signs were a bit confusing. Also, I kept getting distracted by restaurant signs. I mean, so much to eat, so little time. After sweating in the sun for about an hour, I decided to give up and headed straight for the Star Ferry at Central Pier. I followed the walkway and took at pit stop at Jardin House for a coffee break.
I wish I could say that I hung out a local coffee shop, but it was Starbucks. I always make an effort to try local drinks at Starbucks in different countries. This time around, the drink of choice was a key lime pie frappucino. Very sweet and melted way too quickly.
I bought a ticket for the Star Ferry via a ticketing machine. I expected to pay more, but it ended up being super affordable. The ride took about 10 minutes and the view of the harbor was worth it in itself.
The ferry landed at Tsim Tsa Shui, which was right next to Harbour City, a fancy department store. I tried my best to take a stroll around the area, but the humidity was killer. I retreated to the mall for some lunch. I found a great food court called “Food Republic.” All the Asian food I could ever want! After browsing the selections, I settled on beef stomach noodles.
I know a lot of people are into finding the local joints when on vacation. Fuck that shit, everything is so delicious in Hong Kong that it doesn’t really matter where you eat. Food is good all around. The best part of this food court is the fresh juice bar located right in the middle. I was able to get fresh soy milk by the liter for about 3 bucks. It tasted like the Yeo’s soy milk I used to drink when I was a kid.
After lunch, I took the MTR to Mongkok where my hotel was located. My hotel was about 3 minutes away from the B2 exit. The room itself was perfect for a short stay in HK. It wasn’t fancy and the bathroom arrangements were a bit strange… the toilet was in its separate room. The shower was in its own room. And the sink/mirror was located in the bedroom itself. There was no mini fridge, but it was clean and had air conditioning. This was also listed as one of the newer hotels in the area, so no sketchy advertising.
I walked through the Ladies’ Market, which was located right down the street. This was what I always imagined a street market to be in Asia… a bunch of stalls covered in tarp and piled high with sketchy quality items. This market had everything… souvenirs, clothing, fake purses, toys, etc. I basically stuck to the Mongkok area for the night. The place comes alive at night, especially when they have the street karaoke events. Instead of paying to sing in a private room, you sing in the streets in front of a crowd. I also walked through some of the shopping plazas. It reminded me of the Dongdaemun towers, except less aggressive and slightly more affordable.
I spent the rest of the night roaming the streets and snacking on whatever I could get my hands on. My favorite snack of the day had to be these pork puff pastries.