Writing about Hong Kong as an exciting, exotic pearl of the East is like writing about Paris as enduringly romantic and beautiful. Both statements are true and almost anything written about either city becomes practically a cliché and hopelessly repetitive. So this posting concerns a few gems of practical information based on our recent visit. We hope it will be useful for both long-time and first-time visitors.
Looking for good dim sum: Dim sum are these delicious little steamed dumplings filled with bits of pork, shrimp, etc. usually served for breakfast or lunch. Hong Kong is famous for this culinary delight and Jay, especially, loves them. Forget about the high-priced, touristy Jumbo floating restaurant for your dim sum. Instead, head for Hau Fook Street on the Kowloon side. This little street parallels Granville Road and Cameron Road and is a short walk east of Nathan Road in the popular Tsim Sha Tsui district. There a number of little restaurants on this street and you may find yourself sharing a table with others in this no-nonsense local worker and shoppers area. Don’t worry about what to order. Menus usually come with pictures and often are in English as well as Chinese.
A Quality Museum Experience: On the Kowloon side, head up Chatham Road South to the Hong Kong Museum of History. Admission was free on the day we visited and the state-of-the-art museum gives an overview of the history of Hong Kong from pre-historic to modern times. Rather than dwelling on the colonial history of Hong Kong, the exhibits center on who the various people and tribes were, and are, that have inhabited this area for the last 4,000 years. Next door is the Hong Kong Science Museum, a popular destination for school kids.
Temple Street Night Market: This is a perennial favorite for visitors and locals trying to pick up bargains on “stuff”. But, for us, we always enjoy eating at one of the outdoor restaurants here, like “Spicy Crab”. Sitting on little plastic chairs and being handed a roll of toilet paper to use as napkins, places like this are a wonderful place to enjoy dining al fresco, enjoying a cold local beer and rubbing elbows with locals and fellow travelers.
Hong Kong Tram: Take the venerable Star Ferry (still just 27c per trip) over to the Hong Kong side and walk a few blocks along the overhead pedestrian walkways to Des Vouex Road Central and catch the old double-decker tram. The tram lumbers along an east west route, roughly paralleling the northern shoreline. We took the North Point tram and followed its route all the way to the end, where it then made a turn and headed back toward Central. Forget the on/off busses and expensive tours. For about 35c you can ride all day and see a variety of neighborhoods where you won’t see any non-Chinese faces.
There are your Hong Kong travel tips for today. Have a wonderful trip!