Hanging Out in Hong Kong

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hong kong skyline
When deciding which places to add to the HoneyTrek itinerary we usually search out the tallest mountains, most ancient cities, picturesque beaches, and fascinating cultures…but in the case of Hong Kong it was all about our great friends: Nancy, Guillaume and their two-year old daughter JuJu. It was so great to stay with old buddies after months on our own but as it turns out their local knowledge showed us that Hong Kong is an incredible destination in its own right. A metropolis alive with culture, inspiring architecture, quaint neighborhoods, lovely landscapes, and the best dim sum in the world…Hong Kong was a world-class city and the ideal entree into China.

 

best hong kong dining experiences
To celebrate the six years since our first date at The Hoboken Writers Hang, we went to one of Hong Kong’s most iconic restaurants…Jumbo’s Floating Restaurant. Built like a Chinese palace electrified from every eave, this place is as kitschy fabulous as it gets. To access it, we took this pagoda-style barge across the Aberdeen Harbor and went up to its chic new restaurant Top Deck for a romantic meal.

 

best hong kong beaches
The following day Guillaume played hookie from work and took us to his favorite beach for some pick-up volleyball and a dip in Repulse Bay (fyi, aptly named after the British “repulsed” the numerous pirate clans who used this bay as their home base). After we got our fill of bump-set-spikes we meandered back through the beautiful mountains of northern Hong Kong to meet Nancy and JuJu for a few steins of our new favorite brew, Kronenbourg’s 1664 Blanc, at their local beer garden.

 

honeytrek and hong kong family
For a bit of family time Nancy’s parents took us all out to a traditional dim sum meal and taught us all the Hong Kongese dining tricks–from what to order to properly pouring a cup of tea.

 

spiral incense lanterns
To burn off one-too-many barbeque pork buns, the five of us went for a walk in Tai Po, the region north of the city center, where Nancy grew up. It was so great to explore the winding streets and food stalls with a local and to see our New York Nancy in full Cantonese mode. The highlight of our walk through town was stumbling upon this small 19th-century temple, smoking with incense coils, that even she had never even seen before.

 

hong kong designer stores
Hong Kong is a shopping mecca, no two ways about it. If you put the electricity of the Las Vegas Strip, the glamorous store fronts of New York’s Fifth Avenue and the opulence of Dubai in a blender, the result would be something close to the endless shopping malls of Hong Kong.

 

lion dance festival china
As luck would have it, while exploring the temples and historic shops climbing in the historic Hollywood Road neighborhood, we stumbled upon this amazing lion dance celebration. Check the slideshow to see these mythical creatures dance 15 feet off the ground.

 

hong kong park tower
The architecture around Hong Kong is otherworldly, from skyscrapers that look like Transformers to skylines that would make any sci-fi director jealous to British colonial mansions, there is no shortage of excuses to look up.

 

hong kong soho bars
After day trekking the city, we decided it was time to pull up a stool and order a frosty beverage and simply watch Hong Kong go by. We watched posh Hong Kongese strut down the cobblestone streets of trendy SoHo (South of Hollywood Road) as we sipped our two-for-one Asahis for a Sunday funday.

 

hong kong ladies market
As the day ends, the night markets come alive. Jam packed with knock-off designer fashions (or are they knock off….hmmm) and all sorts of interesting foods, the Ladies’ Market is the premier place to shop cheap. Anne picked up some cute “Chinese MC-Hammer” pants, and I scored another terabyte worth of hard-drive space to house our ever growing collection of photos.

 

hong kong travel tips
For the perfect ending to our stay in Hong Kong we went up to The Peak for lovely dinner with Nancy, Gui and JuJu at Cafe Deco. The views from the highest point in downtown, with twinkling buildings and waterways stretching in every direction, left us with a deep respect for this city and excited for what China has in store.

 

  • http://www.facebook.com/guillaume.leprieur Guillaume Leprieur

    Thanks for the nice post guys, great memories of a fun (extended) weekend ! What the heck did we do on top of that spiraling tower? Ah yes, admire the surrounding urban architecture and the surprisingly robust structure…of beer cans ; )

    • http://HoneyTrek.com/ Mike Howard – HoneyTrek.com

      such fun spending time with you guys and getting to know Nancy’s family and the beautiful juju! Though beautiful I their own right, the architecture was indeed enhanced by the beers ; )

  • carol laager

    i was going to look at photos which i can tell are absolutely stunning you know how to capture the moment. Maybe you should work for National Geographic My question is how can i look at the photos in slideshow format so I dont have to hit next 189 times. Thanks. Take care Glad you got to reconnect with some old friends

    • http://HoneyTrek.com Mike

      carol, i made a change that i have wanted to for a while, and your comment gave me the extra kick in the pants. now you dont need to move our mouse around for the next button. you simply click anywhere on the image to advance to the next image. let me know if it works.

    • http://HoneyTrek.com/ Mike Howard – HoneyTrek.com

      carol, well for starters…YOU ROCK, for always looking at the photos and leaving such great comments. so for that, i went into the code and tweaked some things so you dont need to mouse around and find the next button, now you can click anywhere on the image and it will take you to the next slideshow image. not quite an auto-play solution but let me know if you like that better than the old way cc: @77a1cee5b202b84f4a7ecfdef84e47d2:disqus

  • http://www.facebook.com/andiperullo Andi Perullo de Ledesma

    Gorgeous pics of one of my most favorite places!!!

    • http://HoneyTrek.com/ Mike Howard – HoneyTrek.com

      yeah, i still can’t believe we almost skipped HK. great city.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=348328805240266 Ctrl Alt Travel on Facebook

    Loved Hong Kong, although only did it for a day (very long plane layover).

  • pattie colgan

    Thanks once again for a peak into another world. Loved the bikes/food carts.

    • http://HoneyTrek.com/ Mike Howard – HoneyTrek.com

      It wouldn’t be a journey if we didn’t have great friends and family along for the ride Pattie!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=5602201 Chelsea Iversen

    Looks like Hong Kong a lot of fun :) Loving these city photos, capturing the architecture and the nighttime colors …interesting contrast to your last couple of posts. You two are chameleons!

    • http://HoneyTrek.com/ Mike Howard – HoneyTrek.com

      Chameleons

      Have an excellent day indeed. Especially when we can get a good shower! glad you liked our city coverage!

  • valcope

    Your photos knock me out! Gorgeous. I’m waiting for the coffee table book. You already have the title.

    • http://HoneyTrek.com/ Mike Howard – HoneyTrek.com

      Thanks Val! What is the title?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=513806197 Rashaad Jorden

    Actually, the photos look like they’re from Nepal

    • http://HoneyTrek.com/ Mike Howard – HoneyTrek.com

      LOL, yeah some of them definitely could be….some of them :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=137775936298821 Mike & Anne’s – HoneyTrek.com on Facebook

    Yeah the city was quite interesting and the country side was even cooler.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=19216379 David Barger on Facebook

    I was shocked to find they had nearly empty white sand beaches!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=340916572622092 Travel Transmissions on Facebook

    Those beaches almost deserted, just around the corner from one of the biggest cities in the world. Incredible!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Patrick-Collins/1000083636 Patrick Collins

    Not as I remember it from 35 years ago…but better, much better!

    • http://HoneyTrek.com/ Mike Howard – HoneyTrek.com

      Oh how things change…great city!

  • http://twitter.com/ArtofTravelAOT The Art of Travel

    Gorgeous photos as always! Our Creative Director used to live in Hong Kong and loved it. Glad you had a great time.

    • http://HoneyTrek.com/ Mike Howard – HoneyTrek.com

      Yeah we really had a blast @twitter-396959836:disqus ! How long did your Creative Director live there? Downtown?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=137775936298821 Mike & Anne’s – HoneyTrek.com on Facebook

    @david and @travel transmissions. You are totally thinking what we were. How are these beautiful beaches so empty right next to Hong Kong. Amazing.

  • ConfusedJulia

    Ahhh I miss Hong Kong! Loved it there, and love your photos.

    • http://HoneyTrek.com/ Mike Howard – HoneyTrek.com

      yeah we miss it now too….had a blast there. thanks for the photo love @ConfusedJulia:disqus !

  • http://travelingreporter.com/ Traveling Reporter

    These photos make me wanna go back. I got scammed by a camera salesman on Nathan Road in Kowloon and was served half-raw chicken, but that just added to the experience. Once you’ve been to HK you never really leave.

    • http://HoneyTrek.com/ Mike Howard – HoneyTrek.com

      Glad our blog could bring you back @TravelingErik:disqus – camera scam and a half raw chicken eh? lol. sounds like a title of a book :)

      • http://travelingreporter.com/ Traveling Reporter

        Mike, it’s not a bad idea… I’ll at least do a blog story on it.

  • Turtlestravel

    It’s such a treat when you have friends in a city during your travels! Looks like you had a blast in Hong Kong! I had been there in the late 80s, and when we returned for a visit last year, so much had changed (and so much hadn’t!) We gorged on the amazing food, enjoyed the contrast between old and new, and walked for miles and miles through the various neighborhoods of the city. We’ll be back for sure.

    • http://HoneyTrek.com/ Mike Howard – HoneyTrek.com

      yeah visiting friends, or having a local contact totally changes how you experience a place….we love when we can do that….not as often as we would like though. are you guys big travelers? on and RTW now, or planning one?

      • Turtlestravel

        We did our first RTW in 2008-09 and another in 2011-2012. We’re home (US) and working for a bit until we can make another escape. Our goal is for it to be permanent. We’ve been enjoying following your adventure! Safe travels!