I am 24 years old and for the first time in my life, I left the United States. Hong Kong is about the last place in the world I expected I would travel first, but off I went. I traveled for work with my coworker with the goals of attending an industry expo, meeting with our company at our Hong Kong office and visiting the factory. Fortunately, we did also have one day to ourselves to explore, shop and site see. I am hoping to do more traveling, abroad and domestically and I hope to keep up a little log of my experiences, here we go:
Favorite Taste: We enjoyed five Dim Sum meals with our Hong Kong office. Think of Dim Sum as Chinese Tapas, plates of varying sizes meant for sharing that are served on a Lazy Susan table. While visiting the factory in Mainland China we had my favorite dishes. Peking Duck, which is sliced duck on top of cucumber and a chip that reminded me of a Pringle, wrapped in a thin pancake dipped in Hoisin sauce, I hope I can find that in the US. The crunchy chip, the refreshing cucumber and the delicious duck that was filling without being too rich.
The Hong Kong skyline is at its brightest and most gorgeous just after it rains.
Favorite Site: The skyline of Hong Kong at night from the Clock Tower in Kowloon. Just a short 15-minute walk from our hotel was this walkway along Victoria Harbor. From there you can see the gorgeous convention center, Victoria Peak, the Ferris wheel and all the lights that make up Hong Kong. It’s truly unique to be able to have a skyline view from any point around the harbor making it just a gorgeous place for an evening stroll.
Favorite Smell: During our stay we heard that from the top of the International Commerce Center you can eat dinner and look out over Victoria Harbor, we had to go check this out. Turns out it’s also the Ritz Carlton Hotel- we fancy. We rode the elevator 103 floors up to a cozy bar and lounge. The entire hotel smelled like vanilla and was so warm and inviting, I immediately felt comfortable and relaxed. A pleasant change from strange food and pollution smells I found in other parts of the city.
Favorite Touch: Victoria Peak is the highest point in Hong Kong. You can ride a tram all the way to the top to visit the sky deck and get a full view of Hong Kong, Kowloon and the surrounding areas. Even though it was raining on our one day to site see, the view looked something like this:
So we ate lunch there and then checked out what the shop venders had to offer. I found several scarves hanging against a wall and proceeded to feel all of them. Silk. Cashmere. Cotton. All so soft and so beautiful, I stood for several minutes touching and modeling a few before making my selection.
Favorite Sound: As many of my friends know, birds are not my favorite animals, but the birds in Hong Kong were a welcomed noise. Amongst the blaring horns and congested traffic, it was simple to hear birds chirping. Simple is a strange way to describe a sound, but hearing a bird sing in an otherwise developed area reminds me to stop and look around and take notice of where I am.
One place I didn’t mention that was a very cool experience was the fish market. You’ll question yourself getting out of the cab because it looks like you’re about to walk down an alley, which you sort of do. You’ll pass a few restaurants and fruit venders before seeing fish tanks with lobster, crab, shellfish, sharks and other local catches. I know what you’re thinking, but it actually doesn’t smell too fishy as you walk by.
You wind your way through an open-air fish market where fisherman will try to sell you fish as you walk by. Behind or next door to the tanks you’ll notice restaurants. These are Dim Sum style restaurants where you select your order not off a menu but by choosing the fish from the tank. The fisherman kills the fish and the restaurant prepares it. I was not present when they picked out the fish, but the experience and the food was delicious and something I’ll never forget. If you have a hard time looking at a cow and then going to eat a cheeseburger, maybe not the place for you, but for everyone else, definitely check this out when you’re in Hong Kong.
I feel extremely fortunate that I was able to travel abroad for work and also have the opportunity to take time to be a tourist. I know this is a perk not everyone gets to enjoy. Should you ever find yourself in Hong Kong, have a great time, I know I did.