With the protests going on this year, lots of feelings came up when I worked on this post and photos from Hong Kong from last July. We visited Hong Kong after Shenzhen, our last stop in China. We took the subway from Shenzhen to Hong Kong, and after living with the firewall for some days, I suddenly felt a breath of freedom after stepping onto Hong Kong land.
This is an 800-meter long escalator that connects Central and Mid-Levels neighborhoods, first launched in 1993. A popular reference is from the movie “Chungking Express” in 1995, where Faye Wong stalked Tony Leung commuting with this escalator from her apartment in Central. There are multiple stops in between where people can get on and off (diagram here). The escalator only runs one direction at a time, and it is uphill outside of 6 to 10 am. We rode the escalator from the bottom all the way up to Mid Levels, people watching – some in a hurry, some tourists like us, and others who seem to ride without a destination in mind.
After getting off at Mid-Levels from the escalator, we walked to the Peak along the expressway and through the beautiful botanical garden. We waited for about half an hour for the tram, and I loved the ride going pass all the high rises, sometimes seeing people inside their apartments. We stayed at the observatory until the sunset for about an hour and the view of the Victoria Harbor was stunning. From the mall, we also took a walk to take some night photos.
This was a popular stretch along the waterfront path in Tsim Sha Tsui by the Victoria Harbor. It was under construction when we went and just reopened in 2019. This area is a perfect viewing spot of the harbor and shiny buildings across the water. At 8 pm every day, a light show goes on where laser lights shoot from the buildings. There is also a dock from here to take ferries around the harbor.
Grand shopping malls
We stopped by this mall as a break and there was a lot to see. The building was modern, and we rode the escalator through multiple floors, the longest one in a commercial space in Hong Kong. We went to a few shops, including the LEGO store where I found Hong Kong scenes built by LEGO blocks.
Other shopping malls
My friend from Hong Kong also recommended these malls, and the latter (Festival Walk) used to be his old high school go-to hangout spot.
As tech nerds like us, there are a few electronics malls in Hong Kong that interest us, some recommended by friends from Hong Kong. We visited the Sim City and David Chan Camera just for fun.
- Golden Computer Arcade (高登/黃金電腦中心)
- Sim City (星際城市)
- David Chan Camera (陳烘相機): all analog cameras, no digital.
- Dot-well photo workshop: Tony washed his films here in Tsim Sha Tsui, the scan quality was really good.
Their chicken noodles is probably the most popular dish. We came here right after they opened in the morning, and it was already crowded. I loved this kind of casual dishes, and the meat and noodles were both tasty with the sauce and vegetables.
This is a chain of casual style restaurants that feature their long hours. We dined at the location near Lan Kwai Fong after coming back from the Peak late in the evening. Their menu was pretty big at a reasonable price, and the guy next to us was taking a nap probably for a night shift later.
This place usually had a long line when we went. Despite the “Australia” in its name, it is a traditional Hong Kong restaurant while the owner used to work in Australia. Sandwich and toasts with optional egg, ham and cheese are the most common food items. From their famous dairy menu, I tried the “egg white in steamed milk” (蛋白燉鮮奶). It was served warm, the texture was a bit unfamiliar at first but I enjoyed it after all.
I had to admit, we came here for their piggy creamy custard buns. The location we visited just had a few tables, and we waited for a bit. We got a few of our usual dim sum items and some of their specialty like the crunchy shrimp rice rolls. Now it also has several other locations in Taiwan and Shanghai, easy for us :).
Hong Kong cafes (冰室)
The Hong Kong style cafes were popular and common to see. The food varies, but most often casual noodles or rice dishes with Hong Kong-style drinks. For drinks, my favorites are the lemon tea (凍檸茶) and coffee milk tea (鴛鴦). We went to two of them, one of them was pretty new and modern. The other one, Star Cafe, was pretty hidden and not the fanciest place but the tomato noodle soup was tasty and there were many locals.
Hong Kong felt quite similar to Taipei, yet the culture is very different. There were several food items and the Hong Kong style cafes that are hard to find outside of Hong Kong. It also felt much bigger than I imagined, and there were many spots on our lists that we hadn’t got to see. I’d really love to go back to Hong Kong, to discover more cultural and culinary experiences it has cultivated.