Friday, December 18, 2009

To Hong Kong I Go...

A friend of mine, Rachel, is fortunate enough to be going to Hong Kong soon, and our recent conversation left me pondering the following question: What would I do if I could go back to the city I lived in for 16 months? Here’s my list...

1) I would walk through a true, old-fashioned gai si, or Chinese market, again. My favorite is the one at Kwun Tong. I would buy fresh exotic fruits, marvel at the fresh vegetables, and avert my eyes as they slaughter live fish, frogs, turtles and more.

2) I would stop and order a big bowl of won ton noodle soup, with choi and Chinese mushrooms, and slurp it down as loudly as I please. (It’s not rude to slurp in Chinese culture, or burp for that matter.) If I saw a vendor on the street (a common sight in winter), I would buy his roasted yam or chestnuts.

3) I would pick at least 2 or 3 parks and visit them. My favorite choices for size and beauty: Kowloon Walled City Park and Kowloon Park. (Victoria Park - meh. Overcrowded and overrated.) Best time of day to go: Morning, when the elderly people are out doing their tai chi, swordsmanship, and other bizarre exercises (like banging their thighs or squirming about awkwardly).

4) I would go shopping at the markets at Mong Kok at night. During the day, one feels naked, vulnerable and conspicuously Caucasian, but at night, when the crowds of people throng in, one may be gloriously anonymous. I would walk the streets with mango boba drink in hand!

5) Go to Lantau Island and take the hike to see the Big Buddha. It’s a grueling trek, but lovely, and the Buddha itself is a marvelous spectacle.

6) I would go back to 10,000 Buddhas and admire all of the different faces of the honored one.

7) I would go to Monkey Mountain, carefully guarding my belongings against the aggressive and hungry monkeys.

8) I would go see the fishing village of Sai Kung, where one may watch locals buying ultra-fresh seafood from the floating markets. I would walk past the waterfront restaurants with innumerable clear bins in which one may see more species of sea faring creatures than you ever imagined existed. I'd eat dinner there and know that the fish and shellfish on my plate was alive just minutes before.

9) I would patronize an old-fashioned tea house in which to eat dim sum, one where the waiters roll the carts around and all you have to do is point. I would go in the late morning, which is prime time for Chinese to eat dim sum (they call it "drinking tea"); also, prime time for people watching.

10) I would go to the LDS temple at Kowloon Tong. It’s one of those buildings that a mission home/chapel/temple all in one. Lots of memories there! Also, the new chapel at Wan Chai because it’s gorgeous and there are always nice people there to greet you.

11) I would walk along the boardwalk at Tsim Sha Tsui, observing the celebrity monuments and enjoying the best views of the Bay. Hello, picture op!

12) Sure, I’d take one more trolley ride up to Victoria’s Peak (the ultimate tourist destination), but only on a clear day when I could truly appreciate the view and take a decent photo.


  1. I am honored! Thank you for my very own post!

  2. oh wow so the temple is also a church building and mission home? weird! i have never heard of such a thing!

  3. That sounds like a good list!! Make sure to eat the curry and BBQ pork with rice yummy!!!!! I miss it!!!


Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me!