pursuit of happiness

February 11th, 2012 / by / in: travel / 6 Responses

After a short cab ride from our hotel in Aberdeen, our day in Hong Kong started with a walk around Central. Central is sort of the main business area of Hong Kong, but it’s a pretty big area. Down some side streets was this market.

Cute cat! Cats are lucky, so a lot of shops have one.

Incense extravaganza at the Man Mo Temple in Sheung Wan.

Incense spiral.

This temple is the home to the god of war and the god of literature. (How those are related, I have no idea.)

Random park shot.

Apparently it’s bad luck to throw these out, so people just leave them under this tree. In my mind, they all come to life at night, a la Toy Story.

The Chinese have this custom of burning paper money for the dead — it’s to ensure that the dead person has lots of good fortune in the afterlife. Hong Kong is a little more materialistic, so this store had not only paper money, but paper EVERYTHING.

Even paper iPads! You want to make sure you have an iPad in the afterlife, right?

When I’m dead, please burn some paper dim sum for me. Or maybe some paper sushi. There’s even paper McDonalds.

Hong Kong is an interesting contrast of extremes. Such a rich city and a poor one at the same time.

Speaking of dim sum, we went to eat some some. (Real, not paper.)

I’ll tell you this now, so you’re not confused if you ever go to Hong Kong. You are supposed to wash your dishes (bowls, spoons, cups, chopsticks) with hot tea.

I would like all my food to be wrapped in bean curd sheets, really.

I love dim sum. (Who doesn’t?)

These were steamed buns filled with egg and lotus root paste.

Lotus root goodness.

Shrimp shumai!

Wandering around near Central somewhere.

Sorry, turtles! (Or are these snakes?)

The Central Mid-levels escalators, the “longest outdoor covered escalator system in the world,” according to Wikipedia. The escalators go in one direction in the morning (down) and the other (up) at night for commuters.

I’ve seen a lot of Apple stores, and this is one in the IFC mall is one of the nicest. (The one is Paris is pretty amazing too.)

Time to board the Star Ferry!

Taking the Star Ferry over to the Kowloon side of Hong Kong. (If you’ve never been to Hong Kong, there’s the Hong Kong Island side and the Kowloon side. Here’s a map. We stayed on the Hong Kong side.)

TOURIST PHOTO

The Avenue of (Chinese) Stars. Like the Hollywood Walk of Fame, but more Chinese. It’s a nice walk along the Victoria Harbour waterfront, even if the only Chinese star you know is Bruce Lee.

The (in)famous Chunking Mansions in Tsim Sha Tsui. As scary and weird as they say. Go here if you’re a white tourist and you like being harassed. I was told that I was Asian enough to be left alone and it was TRUE!

English tutors in Hong Kong are like superstars. The have all these crazy brochures where they advertise their glamourous lives that you too can have if you just learn English! If you see a poster that looks like a Chinese reality show, it’s probably for English tutors. (They also get paid really well.)

Heading over to the Ladies’ Market. (Not just for ladies.)

The Ladies’ Market is really just home to a gigantic wonderland of fake goods. Fake Uggs! Fake Louboutins!

Fake Marc Jacobs!

And even more fake Marc Jacobs.

Fake Justin Bieber headphones!

Enough of this. Time for some food.

Mmmmm, fish ball congee.

Can’t remember what this was — noodles with meat inside.

AAAH! This was so good. It was sort of like fried donut pastry INSIDE noodles. Dipped in peanut sauce. Amazing.

And at the end of the day, we had drinks on the roof of the IFC mall. I could live in Hong Kong, I sigh. But then I remember that I say that about every city.

 


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