HK Raw and Ready: Day 4

Since it’s past midnight, this technically goes in a new post.

I know what I said earlier about not needing dinner, but I was browsing the HK Tourism Board app I had downloaded on Day 1 and chanced upon this entry on fried rice that was for nearby Tai Woo Restaurant on Hillwood that opens till 2 am on public holidays. So I’m here now, typing this, waiting for my food to arrive. There are three tables of diners, stragglers, and there’s a friendly, convivial atmosphere.

This is my late dinner of roast goose and a bowl of fried rice. I plan to order some hot dessert later. The joy of finding good eating places that open till late.

I don’t know how I’m going to do it, but the plan is to get up early later, and get my century egg congee fix at a place on Saigon Street also recommended by the app. Then on to Wan Chai and Causeway Way for my walking tour. I don’t really want to shop anymore; I think sampling the culinary delights or the sights is a much better way to spend the time.

So far, I must say the experience has been great. In 2003, my first visit, I was too raw and saturated with my Vancouver experience and the stopover on the way home too short to really do anything meaningful. In 2007 I jam-packed the itinerary with activities so that my ex would be happy. 2008 was a bit better but Daodi literally rushed me through everything over the National Day holiday weekend so there was not much by way of retaining meaningful experience. Fourth time lucky then.

I think I would be okay vacationing alone.

Now it’s back to the hotel to find some way to digest all that tummy yummy food.

Slept soundly (even dreamt!) and eventually left the room at eleven past. Turns out I could not find the Saigon Street congee place. But I still had my porridge after all, somewhere on Nanking or Ningbo Street. It just caught my eye. What happens when you chance the unexpected and embrace it.

On to explore Wan Chai and Causeway Bay next. Took a while getting to the MTR, but I finally found Nathan Congee. It’s opposite the Wing On building. I may pop by tomorrow morning for brekkie.

Typing this at the highest point of Olympic Square in Hong Kong Park. It only a small climb of 54 steps to get here. It’s five thirty now, and soon the light will get weaker. Really enjoyed this afternoon exploring Wan Chai, Causeway Bay and Admiralty. The street wet markets, the diviners of fortune under an overpass, found a hobby store tucked away on Wan Chai Road and it took me back. Then I finally had my hot chocolate poring over the day’s SCMP. A good rest for my tired legs. Thus sufficiently recharged, I continued, following the path of the interconnected skybridges that take you through some of HK’s iconic buildings. Landed in Cheung Kong Park, an oasis of calm watched over spiritually by St. John’s Cathedral and financially by the massive skyscrapers looking down on us – the Bank of China tower, Lippo Towers, the ICBC Tower, the Citi Tower. Then on to Hong Kong Park, where I am now. Okay the view is not as great as from The Peak but it’s so much calmer here, far from the crazy tourist swells and the human jostling and the commercialism.

Hongkongers and their relationship with feng shui. There’s water aligned everywhere – fountains, waterfalls, man-made streams. The Olympic Square pays homage to the ancient Coliseum. An affectionate couple in the front on one end, another (male) couple working out vigorously at the other end. Is this the kind of love on public display that will somehow mark 2013?

I’m tempted to stay on in Central and enjoy the light show from Hongkong Island at 8. The skyscrapers’ lights have started to come alive. In half an hour it will be dark. Time to be moving on.

First stop, to see if HMV was still at the Landmark on Pedders Street. Turns out they moved: but only to the nearby Entertainment Building. It was lucky I had decided to look for it because they actually carried ‘A Walk on the Moon’ on DVD which I could not find back home. I was also toying having dinner at good old Yung Kee on Wellington Street, whose location I remembered perfectly, but something told me to look around and explore some and true enough, I came upon Yat Lok Restaurant on Stanley Street, which was Michelin-rated in 2011 as they proudly proclaimed. This is rice with roasted pork and goose, washed down with hot honey lemon tea. It was so good I got another serving of roast pork and char siew. I’m typing this now as I’m finishing up, and they’re actually about to close.

Next stop the Central Mid-levels Escalators. This is one llloonnng escalator ride. You pass by lots of trendy watering holes in SoHo and right at the top, nice apartments with names like Botanic Terrace and Victory Court along Conduit Road. Because I didn’t want to take the stairs all the way down, I minibused it down to Pedder and MTRed back.

Now I need to pack (urgh!) and go to bed and see how much of my last day itinerary I can finish. Kowloon Park. Nathan Congee. Maybe give Hankow one last look. Then to the airport for my four o’clock flight.

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