Hong Kong Day 2: All around Hong Kong Island

It’s not every day that you can say this: “Today for breakfast we had a Michelin-starred 10 course meal…for $25 USD” Yep. 🙂 Dim sum breakfast at Tim Ho Wan was AMAZING. There are three branches in HK, and we pick the one at Central since it is in the area of our tour plans for the day. We walk down to the ferry terminal around 9 am, and take a Star Ferry across Victoria Harbor to Hong Kong Island. Enter breakfast. If you’re ever in HK, you have to eat here. The BBQ pork buns are unbelievable, and definitely the best pork buns I’ve ever had. It’s like one of those amazing Korean bread buns wrapped itself around the most delicious char sui pork, and then magically became even more perfect (right upper). Our other 9 dishes included (left lower from left to right, top to bottom): poached lettuce (tastes exactly like it sounds), steamed pork dumplings with shrimp, steamed spare ribs with black bean sauce, deep fried dumplings with pork, glutinous rice dumpling, steamed egg cake (like a faintly chocolate tasting sponge cake), pan-fried turnip cake, tonic medlar and petal cake (right lower), and steamed dumplings chiu chow style.

Aside from the pork buns, we thought the  must-eat-agains were the steamed pork dumplings with shrimp, steamed egg cake, tonic medlar and petal cake (really jelly), and the steamed chiu chow dumplings. Most of the dishes were still better than the pretty good dim sum we usually have. We worried also this might be too much food, but it turned out okay. 🙂

Stuffed and happily exiting past the now fairly long line at the restaurant, we head back to the ferry terminal to hop on the Big Bus Hong Kong open top bus. These hop on-hop off buses are one of our favorite things to do in any city, and two of the lines we use frequently are CitySightseeing and Big Bus. Today we see many examples of the modern architecture in HK, including the Bank of China Tower (by famous architect I.M. Pei) that played a starring role in last night’s Symphony of Lights (left upper). Apparently this building was locally controversial because of all the pointy angles that raised feng shui concerns. The Lippo Center towers are also quite cool, with interlocking C’s, which some have described as koalas hugging a tree (right upper). It is striking during the drive how quickly the cityscape changes; the left lower photo was taken only a few blocks before the right lower photo.

We stop at the Peak Tram station, and take the trolley up to Victoria Peak, which overlooks the harbor. The Tram is very popular (left) and at some points of the ride, feels like it is climbing at a 40 degree angle. The view on top of the mountain is spectacular though, and worth the line (right upper). We then walked the 3 km hike down the mountain (right lower).

On our walk through the city, we ride portions of the central mid-level escalators – a novel 2,600 foot long transportation solution to the hilly terrain in the city. It holds the Guinness World record for the longest outdoor covered escalator system, and runs uphill at some hours and downhill at others. We also wander the Hollywood Road with its famous antique stores and art galleries (unrelated to Hollywood, CA) and see the Man Mo Temple honoring a deity of literature and a deity of war (below).

On a detour down Gough Street, we are drawn in by the delicious smells at Kau Kee – a restaurant that we later learn is famous for its beef brisket noodles. Just by chance, we order a beef brisket with e-fu noodles in broth, and it is delicious. Yes, you should try this place the next time you’re in HK as well, and definitely get the beef brisket with e-fu in broth.

At the end of our walking adventures today, we pass this amazing Claritin billboard (left), as well as a helpful display on common phrases (right upper), before heading back to Kowloon on the Star Ferry. Note the striking resemblance between the ferry terminal (right middle) and the ferries themselves (right lower). The lower deck ticket token is only ~25 cents USD and the journey takes just a few minutes.

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