Hong Kong is like New York’s Asian sister; it’s obviously in Asia but the Western influence is very prevalent throughout the city. Hong Kong was the perfect way to ease into my big Asian adventure because I found my creature comforts like Starbucks, fast wifi and green juices. It’s a modern city, a financial hub, and everyone speaks English. Not to betray my hometown of New York but Hong Kong’s public transportation system is so much more efficient. There are actual signs of where you’re going. If you’re familiar with the subway in the city, you know what I’m referring to.
The first day I arrived in Hong Kong, I was extremely jet lagged. I couldn’t sleep during the 14 hour flight from New York. I fought really hard to stay awake at least until 8pm which is a respectable time right? I took the A21 bus from the airport to Tsim Sha Tsui neighborhood. The bus dropped me off just down the street from my hostel. It was so convenient! I stayed at the Hop Inn hostel which is this cute place with its own roof deck. It was perfect for what I needed: bed, shower, wifi and a convenient location. I quickly freshened up and went in search of my first dim sum. The receptionist at my hostel suggested a place by the hostel which in reality probably wasn’t their best dim sum spots but it was still some of the best dim sums I’ve ever had. Since it was my first night in Hong Kong and the jet lag was real, I strolled down to the waterfront to watch the sunset. The Hong Kong skyline is magnificent. There are mountains, skyscrapers and the water.
I woke up early the next morning and ventured out to get my second dim sum at Tim Ho Wan which was a recommendation from my friend Martin. I took the subway there and arrived just in time for when it opened. This place was even better than the one I had the night before. Afterwards, I walked across town to check out this goldfish market that I read about in a blog. It was basically a street where they sell goldfish by the bag. I love whimsical and weird stuff like that.
Around sunset, I took the Star Ferry to Hong Kong Island to explore the Soho neighborhood which has all the best restaurants. One quirky and fun thing to do is to ride the Central Mid-Levels escalators which is the longest escalator in the world. At the suggestion of my other friend Jen, I went to Yardbird for dinner. When I walked in, I thought I was in Brooklyn because I saw a bunch of White dudes with beards and beanies. The menu was also reminiscent of the food scene in New York right now; everything cauliflower, brussel sprouts and kimchi fried rice. Nonetheless, the food was excellent. Make sure to get their signature KFC (Korean Fried Cauliflower) it tastes like general tso’s chicken. After dinner, the jet lag was kicking in so I took the Star Ferry back to Tsim Sha Tsui. The skyline at night is worth the ferry ride. I also caught the laser light show just in time but it was very underwhelming.
I know I was only in Hong Kong for 36 hours but my first impressions of the city was that it’s totally livable. It’s also a great hub for the rest of Asia which was why I started my journey there. Onto the next stop!
Past guests leave notes on the hallway walls of the Hop Inn Hostel
This scene looks so much like the Chinatown in New York
So does this scene
Tim Ho Wan for the best dim sum
Central mid-levels escalators
Exploring the Soho neighborhood
More in Soho
Korean fried cauliflower from Yardbird
Asian desserts are so quirky
Hong Kong Skyline