Hong Kong, Shop Eat

Ahh Hong Kong; we knew that we weren’t in India anymore when 15 minutes after getting off the plane we were on a train doing 50 miles per hour into the city.  Hong Kong is a very modern city that is crowded onto a small mountainous island and facing peninsula full of tall apartment buildings, office skyscrapers, and malls.

After seeing the sights of the city our basic plan was to eat and shop.  The eating was everything that we had hoped for and more, while the shopping wasn’t what we had expected.  Hong Kong is a city of malls and shopping.  Almost every subway stop lets out below a mall, and you have to walk past the stores just to get to street level.  While we were expecting unique Chinese merchandise or good deals on clothes made nearby, we found neither.  Instead we found American and international brands, and a huge concentration of luxury merchandise (Coach, Louis Vuitton, etc.)  Believe it or not, for two budget travelers hoping to stretch their money for many months to come, a Coach handbag just doesn’t hold much interest.

Fortunately our stuffed bellies made up for the shopping.  We had dim sum (or as it’s called in Cantonese yum cha) 3 days in a row, and each time it was delicious.  One afternoon we walked into a crowded dim sum restaurant with a waiting list at 1pm on a Friday.  The restaurant only had large tables so we were seated across from a local couple.  While our Cantonese consisted of 10 phrases on a cheat sheet, our tablemates did speak a tiny bit of English.  We got some ordering recommendations from them and learned how the dishes were priced.  (They basically have 4 ascending categories which determines the price.  However the price chart is set by what time you sit down.  If you arrive between 11:30 and 2:00 you pay peak prices while outside of that period it’s something like 40% off.  Good to know for two hungry travelers!)  Our new friends also confirmed our suspicions about the city when on they way out they gave us some suggestions: “Hong Kong, shop eat!”

Hong Kong was the perfect 4 day stop for us to spend some time adjusting back to western life after our 5 weeks in India.

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