We left Toronto at 10 am on Thursday morning and after a 15 hour plane journey, we arrived in Hong Kong around 1 pm on Friday. We squeezed in a couple hours of sleep on the flight but it was mostly movie-watching, knitting (for Elizabeth), and reading our Hong Kong guidebook to get some ideas for things to do and see during our visit.
After taking the Airport Express to the Central Station, we dragged our suitcases up a long and winding road to Mini Hotel Central. And boy, was it mini! At under 100 sq ft total, it was pretty tight for two people who are 5'11" and 6'2" but it was in a perfect location so it was well worth the sacrifice for 2 nights.
After the light show ended, our tummies were grumbling so we walked up Nathan Rd to Temple St Market; it was our first, but not last, market of the trip. We weaved our way through stalls of cat bobbleheads, purses, and characters we couldn't understand. We eventually stopped at a restaurant with outdoor seating and dined on noodles and fried rice. Great start to the trip.
So we ate at the Taiwanese restaurant next door which was an interesting experience. Beef soup that gives your lips a tingly feeling that just won't quit? Check. "Winter Melon Tea" that is actually a cold barley drink? Check. And oolong tea that tastes like BBQ sauce? Absolutely. We honestly think the mix ups were our fault, but we'll never know for sure.
Somewhat sated, we made our way to the Peak Tram and waited in line with the masses. Over an hour later, we were in the tram/funicular on our way up to Victoria Peak admiring the stunning views. Definitely worth the wait. At the top, we meandered through the tourist traps, picked up some iced tangerine tea, and set off on the Peak Circle trail. We went around the peak counter clockwise which was a great way to do it as we saved the best views for the end of the hike.
Our last main stop of the day was the Taoist Man Mo temple, which celebrates the gods of Literature and War, respectively. The temple may be located in the centre of Hong Kong, but upon entering, we were completely immersed in what feels like another world. The temple was built in 1847 but it is in use today so we had the chance to stand back and watch some people complete prayer rituals in the temple.
Unfortunately on Sunday at lunchtime, we had to say farewell to Hong Kong. We enjoyed our time in Asia's World City, but Luke had already been twice before so we wanted to spend more time at our second destination - Taipei!