My Best Meals in Hong Kong


Oh yes! I love good food! It is a true pleasure even if I don’t consider myself a foodie. Maybe because I don’t eat out that often (and I’m a finicky eater). I love finding good places to eat when I travel. I don’t have a criteria on how to find good places to eat. Sometimes I do it by seeing if a place is crowded (and checking the menu posted outside). Other times I have asked staff at my hostel or hotel. I get info from online too. And of course, I use TripAdvisor. I have heard some people say that the latter is not always an indicator of how good or authentic a place is. I disagree – especially in Hong Kong. I found one place via TripAdvisor that are known for their pineapple buns. Since it was so busy I was seated with a local couple and ended up learning a bit about life there. I had a good breakfast and even better conversation with locals. Sounds authentic to me. 

So where were my favourite places? Check it out:

Kai Kee NoodlesG/F., 15C Carnarvon Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China
I wanted to try noodles for breakfast but didn’t know where in my neighbourhood to go. I had walked past one place that looked busy but the menu didn’t entirely appeal to me. So I checked Trip Advisor and this place came up. A small yet busy place with no real decor (in fact not fancy at all) though the food was good.  The waitress recommended the shrimp dumplings with noodles. She said it was Hong Kong style. They did not disappoint. So tasty. The serving size was good and the price was right. I also ordered hot milk tea. It was a bit bitter but manageable. I went back on my last day and tried the noodles with fried pork. It was good but the shrimp dumplings were much better.

 

TAP The Ale ProjectG/F, No. 15 Hak Po St, Mong Kok, Hong Kong, China
I found out about this place from an article by The Culture Trip naming some places to find craft beer in Hong Kong. It was a happenin’ place. I was seated at a long community table and ended up chatting with some ex-pats from Italy and Scotland. They suggested the Coriander Burger.  This burger was AMAZING. I like burgers but don’t love them but I loved this burger. Wanna know why? Because it was cooked medium rare or just a bit more – so juicy and flavourful! The meat was slightly pink, came on a fresh bun with cheese,  a garlic mayo sauce and deep fried cilantro (coriander)! Deep fried cilantro! Who’d of thought that would add to the overall experience. And add that I had a great hoppy Heroes Beer Company’s Cereusly IPA and it was one of the best meals I had in Hong Kong! I do recommend this place (if well-cooked burgers are your thing then maybe order something else or ask them to cook it longer). And the service was great. They checked in on me and made some beer suggestions too as I also had a flight of beers. 

One Dim SumShop 1 & 2, G/F, No. 15 Playing Field Road, Prince Edward, Hong Kong, China
After spending the morning in Mong Kok perusing the Goldfish, Bird, and Flower Markets I was hangry….uh hungry. The crowds in the street market were getting to me and I knew I needed to get some food in my belly. I didn’t know where to go so I used TripAdvisor again. The first place that popped up was One Dim Sum which I had marked previously as a place to try. It was close so I made my way there. As the reviews stated, there was a line up, however since I was dining solo I only waited about 15 minutes. I know dim sum is often a group affair but I was going for it anyway! I’m glad I did. It was so good and I was so stuffed. Even chatted a bit with the father and young son seated across from me.

Kam Wah Cafe – 47 Bute Street, Mong Kok, Hong Kong, China
Another place I found on TripAdvisor. I was heading to Mong Kok to check out the markets mentioned above. I wanted to try another place for breakfast so I did a search and this place popped up. Many reviews suggested going here for their pineapple buns. I though might as well and made my way there. It was busy and honestly I was a bit intimidated at first. I looked around for a seat but nothing so a waitress (rather brusquely) ushered me to a corner booth with couple sitting across from me. We smiled politely and I perused the menu (which was in both English and Cantonese). I eventually asked them about the buns. They spoke English very well and they agreed that the pineapple buns were very good. They flagged down the waitress and ordered for me. We had a good conversation and I learned a bit about Hong Kong. The bun was good as was the hot milk tea.

N1 Coffee & CoShop G, No. 34 Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China
My first food place on this trip. Again I used TripAdvisor. It was in my neighbourhood even though I walked past it a few times since I’m horrible at directions and I was jet lagged. The decor of this place was so cute. I just loved it. Order at the counter and they bring it to you. It was later in the morning so I opted for a sandwich to go with my tea. The ingredients were fresh and the tea was good quality.

I can’t finish this post without mentioning some of the bars/pubs that had some amazing local craft beer. Both of the places below I learned about from the Culture Trip article I mention above. 

The Roundhouse TaproomNo. 62 Peel St, Central, Hong Kong, China
How can I not like a place that carries at local BC beer?! Actually Roundhouse has a decent variety of local and imported craft beers. This time around I tried a Japanese craft beer. 

Kowloon Taproom No. 24 – 38 Ashley Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China
The bonus part of this pub is that it was only about a 5 – 10 minute walk from my hostel. In addition to have a great selection of local beers it was accessible too. I went 3 times!! I liked the atmosphere as it was rather chill. The food was standard pub fare and the service was good. I miss it.

 

All photos taken and owned by Eeva Valiharju / Wanders The World

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Top Five – My Hong Kong Favs


Still relishing in my Hong Kong travel memories I have decided to post a Top Five of  my favourite places/things about Hong Kong:

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Incense coils at Man Mo Temple

  1. Mo Temple
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    Koi Pond at Nan Lian Gardens

  2. Nan Lian Garden
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    Orchids at the Mong Kok Flower Market

  3. Mong Kok Flower Market
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    Big Buddha on Lantau Island

  4. Lantau Island
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    Craft Beer!

  5. Craft Beer (Everywhere) – The craft beer scene in Hong Kong is great! Many many places serving local brews. I made a point of checking out a places everyday.  Heroes Cereusly IPA was my favourite.

Notable mentions:

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Star Ferry

  1. Star Ferry
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    The view of Hong Kong from Ozone Bar on the 118th floor

  2. Ozone Bar at The Ritz-Carleton – Asia’s highest bar at 118 floors. I had to check it out. I liked it. Thoroughly modern with some great views it was a good way to enjoy a drink.
  3. MTR(throughout Hong Kong) – Can you actually love a subway system? If so then I love the MTR. It is by far the most efficient subway system I have ever used. The stations are big and signs are clearly marked. The place is busy but runs smoothly. And loading and paying for items well beyond your fare with the Octopus Card is the best!
  4. Food(Everywhere) – Need I say more? Hong Kong is a food mecca! Local and worldwide cuisines abound. I will be making a post soon about my favourite foods and food places.

All photos taken and owned by Eeva Valiharju / Wanders The World

Day Trippin’ – Macau


During my trip to Hong Kong I made a one day sojourn to Macau which is located about 64 km / 40 miles east of Hong Kong on the Pearl River Delta. A bridge is currently being built that will link the two cities by road. Though presently the most direct route is via ferry. There are two ferry terminals:

  1. China Ferry Terminal in Tsim Sha Tsui area of Kowloon
  2. Hong Kong Macau Ferry Terminal on Hong Kong Island

The second is the one I opted for. I was originally going to go via China Ferry Terminal as I was staying in TST, however, according to Google Maps there was not way to get there via foot or transit. Hmmm. I opted to take the MTR to the Hong Kong Macau Ferry Terminal which was very easy to get to.  Later I learned you can get  to the terminal in TST  via foot through Harbour City Mall. Go figure.

Once I arrived at the ferry terminal it was easy to go and buy my (economy class) ticket. The next departure was with Turbo Jet so that is who I went with. The whole process was easy and smooth. I had remembered to bring my passport so I was good to go! The high speed ferry is only for foot passengers (they assign seats) and it motored on at quite a clip. At times it was a bit rocky but I managed. 50 minutes later I was in Macao Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China (the official name). From the ferry terminal I stopped at an ATM to get some Macau patacas then caught the public bus to the historic centre.

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St Dominic’s Church, Macau

Since Macau was a former Portuguese colony for centuries (until 1999) there is a number of colonial style buildings in area that have been maintained very well. It adds a European feel to that area of the city. Macau is also popular as a resort and gambling destination. Numerous casinos can be found that, with their sheer size and excess, gives Las Vegas hotels a run for its money. This also means that there are tourists galore! Especially as the day progressed. In fact there were too many people for my liking. Macau is the most densely populated area in the world (650,000+ residents in a 30.5 sq km / 11.8 sq mile area) and then add tourists – well it makes for a crowded place! This that left me not admiring Macau as much as I thought I would.  All the sights were jammed with people. I did find a few less crowed streets and a nice park for a short reprieve. In the end I left rather early (5:30pm ferry) as I was getting annoyed with the massive hustle and bustle. I did enjoy seeing Macau’s architecture, both colonial and modern (and the egg tarts) though the masses took its toll on my wanderings. I think Macau and I need a do-over. Include an overnight stay and wander in the mornings and evenings and then relax at a restaurant or cafe during the day. Yeah, Macau, let’s have a do-over one day.

All photos taken and owned by Eeva Valiharju / Wanders The World

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The Ruins of St Paul / Ruinas Sao Paulo (before the crowds got really heavy)

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The Grand Lisboa Hotel and Casino

 

 

Sunday Special – Yangon, Myanmar


Today’s post takes us to Yangon, Myanmar. A city that I have actually visited. I have to say that the few days I spent in Myanmar made me fall in love with the country especially the area of Bagan. I did not see much more of the country so I do plan to return one day.  I can’t really explain it but it was, for me, a magical place. Which is why I was so horrified and saddened to learn after I returned about the genocide and conflict occurring there (which you would not know was going on in the areas that I was in). But this post is not a political one. It is simply to showcase the largest city in this Asian country.

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Yangon view from Sule Pagoda

Yangon (formerly Rangoon) is Myanmar’s largest city although it is not the capital (that title belongs to the city of Naypyidaw). It is however the commerce capital of the country. To be honest, Yangon is not my favourite city. Not even close though it does have some areas that I enjoyed seeing. Some of its sights are impressive and then other areas are less so. The state of wear of many of the buildings and failing infrastructure was a bit of a surprise to me especially coming from Malaysia where it was much more modern. Yet it still holds its own charm. I must admit that part of my time where was plagued by an uneasy tummy so at moments I wasn’t up to my usual wandering speed.  However, I did always encounter kind people. Yes, many wanted to sell me items, often assertively, but that is to be expected. Many were curious especially since I was a female travelling solo. Yet they were mostly polite (unlike the cab driver who overcharged me but I was desperate to get back to my hostel as I need a toilet so I only mildly argued with him). 

So what can you see in Yangon?  Let’s take a look (those marked with an * are places that I visited):

  • *Shwedagon Pagoda – The most significant of all pagodas in Myanmar this stunning sanctuary is a sight to see. It stands 110 m / 360 ft and is covered in gold plates and studded with diamonds. There are smaller temples, stupas, and statues surrounding the grounds. It truly is an incredible place.

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    Shwedagon Pagoda

  • *Chinatown – This is the neighbourhood that I stayed in. Plenty of markets and some Chinese temples in the area as well.  Known for night markets and street food  I did not actually visit these areas in the evening as I had some early mornings.
  • *Sule Pagoda – The first pagoda and sight I visited in Yangon as it was close walking distance from my hostel. It was where I prayed to Buddha to find me space for the sold-out hot air ballooning  in Bagan and he listened. Or it was luck. Either way I was happy.

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    Followers listening to a teacher at Sule Pagoda

  • *Bogyoke Aung San Market – Built in 1926 in a colonial building you can find many items and souvenirs here. T-shirts, textiles, jade, jewellery, antiques, paintings, handicrafts and food are the main wares found in over 2,000 stalls. This is one of my favourite markets that I have visited during my wanderings.
  • Kandawgyi Park – Get away from the bustle of the city and relax along the lake and take in views of the traditional barge, Myanmar architecture, and a view of the golden Shewdagon Pagoda.
  • Botataung Pagoda – This is another pagoda of importance to the Myanmar people. It is located by the Yangon River and claims to house a relic of Buddha himself (a sacred hair). During WW II this pagoda was completely destroyed and was rebuilt in 1948.
  • Rangoon Circular Railroad Ride – I did not go on this train even though I was aware of it. I am not certain why though I wish I had. Built by the British in 1954 this railway line does a 45.9 km / 28.5 mile circuit stopping at 39 stations. It is a way to see some of Yangon’s local life.
  • *Chaukhtatgyi Paya / The Reclining Buddha – This was my favourite sight in Yangon. I had not seen a Buddha quite so large and was quite fascinated by the experience of taking it all in. The Buddha is 66 m/ 217 feet long. Built in 1966, it is a replacement of the Reclining Buddha built in the same location in 1907.

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    The Reclining Buddha

  • *Visit a Teahouse – Tea is more than tea in Myanmar. Tea houses are common and a place for socializing for the locals and visitors alike. When I researched a tea house to visit, one popped up often: Rangoon Tea House. It did not disappoint. I enjoyed 2 cups of tea and curry lunch.

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    My tea and a book I bought from a seller on the street

  • *Drinks at The Strand Hotel – The Yangon climate can be a bit warm and humid for a northern gal like me. So when I had my fill of the warm afternoon sun I checked out Sarkies Bar at The Strand Hotel. The AC was welcome and the design was reminiscent of 1900s prestige and luxury that is still associated with the hotel. And the drinks were quite good too.

I’ll be back Myanmar. =)

All photos taken and owned by Eeva Valiharju / Wanders The World