For my second day in Hong Kong, my main plans were to meet up with my two local friends.(Among my major motivations to get to Hong Kong for the conference, aside from the conference itself and the reputed amazingness of Hong Kong, was the rare opportunity to get to see these friends, one who I hadn’t seen for 9 years, and the other who I’d never technically seen.) Seeing as my friends don’t know each other, I was meeting up with them separately: lunch with one, and dinner with the other. As such, my day was a bit fragmented, so I couldn’t stray too far. Also, and it may not surprise you to learn this, I was a bit tired after my rather long and busy (read “insane”) first day. Here’s a summary of my major activities:
Day 2: Tuesday, August 16
- woke up early to say goodnight to my kids by 7:30 a.m./p.m. (the 12-hour time difference was remarkably handy for this)
- puttered about hotel room, trying to decide whether I had time to do much before my 12:30 lunch date
- wandered about near hotel a bit
- walked to Admiralty to meet the friend I knew from high school for lunch
- After my friend had to go, took MTR to Central with goal of going up the Mid-Level escalators and checking out Hollywood Road
- went up big escalator as far as Hollywood Road
- wandered down Hollywood Road, browsing among antique shops
- headed back down the stairs along the big escalator and back to MTR
- met my other friend, YTSL, for a delicious dinner at Din Tai Fung, then over to a pub to continue conversation over a pint of ale
- headed back to hotel to attempt a decent night’s sleep before the onset of the conference
(Not included in the list are several walks back to my hotel room to do things like collect forgotten MTR card, and pick up and/or drop off purchases and/or gifts, and also to change clothes and shower. It was hot as hell out and twice as steamy. And also like day 1, I walked so much that I got new blisters on my feet.)
This was the dessert from my lunch with my high school friend. I can’t remember what it was called, but it involved apple, caramel, custard and pastry, four food-things of which I am quite fond. It didn’t look nearly as pretty once I started eating it, but I’m happy to say it didn’t suffer long.
The skyline is definitely dominated by ultra-modern skyscrapers, but more traditional Chinese architecture can be found here and there. Hong Kong is also quite hilly, and alleys that lead to stairways, such as the one in this photo, seem to be pretty common. (This was along Hollywood Road.)
Lions outside, and a goofy looking horse and what looks to be a Great Dane inside, at an antique store along Hollywood Road. Many of the shops had signs in the windows saying “no photos.” This one didn’t.
Going back down the stiars along the Mid-Levels escalator. The escalator part is actually one-way. Apparently it runs down during morning commute hours, and then up the rest of the day. It was afternoon when I was there, so it was going up. This section has more of an upward-angled moving sidewalk. I wish that I’d found time to go up further. (I have a thing for stairs, escalators included.) To see what the whole thing looks like, here’s a youtube video that someone made while ascending.
Dinner was fantastic, except maybe for the bitter gourd, which is the rectangular thing on my plate. Having never tried it before, I was curious. You may not be surprised to learn that it was bitter. Also shown (going clockwise from the left): a glass of fresh soymilk, some sort of salad with turnip and jellyfish, some sort of salad with strips of bean curd and vegetables (but I can’t remember which), vegetable dumplings, spicy cucumber, more bitter gourd, and sauteed water spinach.
You can find quite a few more photos from my second day up on Flickr, but I haven’t yet added captions.