Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Hong Kong: The Great Outdoors

You may well have spent every day in Hong Kong drinking and eating rad food, all without leaving a few square kilometers. Namely Central. But Hong Kong is pretty massive, with a bunch of outlying islands and natural areas. Do yourself a favor if you get stuck there for 3 weeks while everyone in Tokyo goes crazy, filling their apartments with bottled water and toilet paper. Do yourself a favor and go see some trees.


On Lamma Island, you can walk to a few beaches. There are also hella stray animals, but they are all tame.


The view south is beautiful!


The view north... not so much. 工場もえ!


The other island that everyone goes to is Lantau. I wanted to do something that no one does in Hong Kong. Namely hiking. I asked the bus driver if he went to Nam Shan. Jpmey confirmed that destination and I rode. NAM SHAN! Look, I don't speak more than 3 words in Cantonese, and two of those are dirty phrases that my buddies in the projects taught me, and I pronounced Nam Shan like it is spelled in English.


Then the bus dropped me off at Cheung Sha. How do these words sound alike? Chinese people, please explain.


Taxis in Hong Kong are straight cheap. $40 in Tokyo cost be about $5 in Hong Kong.


Nam Shan god dammit.


Anyways, you can hike over the mountain. There aren't so many people. The two peaks of Nantau is about a 15km hike. There is a bus stop halfway if you want to give up.


Everyone comes to Lantau to take a ropeway up to a giant Buddha or visit Disneyland. So you could do that as well.


Actually, Lantau was kind of weak. The trails are all stairs, and the bus drivers take you an hour from where you want to go. Nam Shan dammit!


Get out to Tai Po and you can rent a bike. And ride by some weird shit.


The horse tracks are on the other side of the fence.


Beverly Hills (3rd phase). Most of the houses were empty, and my HK buddy told me they were mostly investment property for rich mainland Chinese. Dudes with mad cash just buy housing, then leave it empty for however long.


Just past Beverley Hills you can pick some medicinal herbs. She told me that they are organic. No shit, I don't think anyone is fertilizing wild weeds with chemicals.


Flying high. Sick muffler by the way.


Flying high. You want some?



Not really nature, but next to my housing project was was an ill playground.


Yes, it's a giant dragon. And the entire area was covered with foam flooring. So you could do a backflip off the top of the dragon, upload the fail video of you breaking your neck, but the joke is on the viewers, cause you walk away uninjured.


Yes, after 3 weeks I was bored. One day I woke up, and with nothing to do, decided to walk up some stairs in the distance. Seriously, my plan for the day was to check out some stairs.


Awesome! Religious shit on the side of some construction / mountain.


More religious stuff. Maybe an Asian dude would be fascinated by crosses in random spots, but I dunno.


From the top of stairs mountain I could see another government housing open pace. The track in the upper right is for racing RC cars. Sick! But I took the wrong path down.


Check out Nan Lian Gardens at Diamond Hill station. Seriously, it's fresh.


Rock gardens and bonsai.


And a Buddhist monastery to boot. Oh, by the way...


Happy Birthday?!?


Hong Kong Food: Cheap Street Food

Dai Pai Dong. 大牌檔. Wontons. 云吞. Hong Kong. I spent most of my time eating at places with few white faces and even fewer clean dishes.


But in Hong Kong, you rinse your own tableware before eating. I seriously thought the old dude at the table next to me was a crazy man, pouring tea all over the place. Turns out most places use copious amounts of bleach in the cleaning process.


Hong Kong suffers from an overkill of food guides. But when they all recommend a shop, hit up that shop.


Breakfast of dim sum out in Tai Po, north of the main city, for a few bucks. A few minutes later, out on the street, I saw a dude beating his girlfriend. Like full on domestic violence in the street.


A buck for wonton noodles at my housing estate. This was the first thing I ate in Hong Kong, mere minutes after arriving.


More noodles? Sure. How about some beef soup with beef parts.



Fresh juice stalls abound. Mango-coconut... delicious. Random green stuff... not so much.




Dai Pai Dong are fresh. They issued special licenses to operate these places back in the 70s, but the licenses aren't transferable upon death. And they never gave any new licenses. There are only about 20 left in the city. So these spots, where you'll pay like $9 for a ton of food and beer, are a dying tradition. The specialties are things like baked fish guts or ostrich stew. Eat there before they are gone.




Holy shit, I want to eat THAT! Sex sells. Homeboy is getting skeeted on with the muffin, and there is an arrow pointing into his mouth, and a heart in the bottom right.


Less rad than advertised.


I ate at Australian Dairy 4 times. For less than $3, you get macaroni and ham soup, scrambled eggs which I think have butter poured on them, and a drink.



Those eggs are hella rad.


Making tofu for a loooong time. Out on Lamma Island you can meet her, I guess she's famous.


I was having a shitty day, but yak cheese fritters turned it around. Also beer.


My host family hooked up the home cooked meal. Awesome, though I think they cooked safe food for me.



My buddy's mom wanted to cook for me too. For sure not safe food. Frog and celery stew. Maybe frog legs could be safe, but this was straight up frog carcass. We're talking spines and shit.




A couple bucks for all this fruit.


Voted best desert in Hong Kong. I felt weird being there, since I wasn't a teenage girl. The shop is very pink.




I mean, bleeehhhhhhh.... Even though the food on the flight home was shit, there were only a dozen people on the plane. So I guess the makeshift bed, aka row of empty seats, was worth it. ただいま!