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Hong Kong

We’re sorry that it’s been so long since our last post, but we we were in Hong Kong! The trip was followed by some technical difficulties (not to mention some sleep difficulties). To make up for the radio silence, here’s a quick wrap-up post on our trip (and the food):

Hong Kong

We visited the Tian Tan (“Big”) Buddha on Lantau Island and the Po Lin monastery that built it:

Tian Tan ("Big") BuddhaPo Lin Monastary

An although it’s half a world away, there was a hyper-local element. They grow and process all their own tea on site:

Tea TreesTea Tree

While there we ate at the monastery’s cantina, which serves a delicious vegetarian meal:

Po Lin Vegetarian Lunch

Hong Kong was a British colony up until 1997, and there’s still plenty of evidence, from their double-decker buses to the fact that they drive on the left. One that I really enjoyed while Lindsay was at her conference: high tea at the Intercontinental Hotel (with a nice German beer). We also experienced some bizarrely cloudy (very English) weather, with clouds rolling down the mountainside but not onto the rest of the city:

English TeaHong Kong Weather

For a day trip, I visited Macau, which was a Portuguese colony (rather than British) up until 1999. Parts of it feel very Mediterranean. But then you turn a corner and you’re clearly back in China. I had a great Portuguese meal there, which was basically cod, covered in oil and thin slices of garlic (I’d say at least 10 cloves’ worth), and baked. A definite but authentic break from Chinese cuisine.

Macau 1Macau 2

Here’s a contrast in local vs. not: on a small outlying island that I visited they had freshly caught fish in shallow tanks. That doesn’t sound strange, except they were selling live stingrays, live horseshoe crabs, and live squid the size of my arm! Meanwhile, on the ferry ride back (as well as the ferry to and from Macau), we were literally playing Frogger with massive container ships, one after another. The Pearl River Delta is the largest source of Chinese manufacturing, and I witnessed that first hand. We passed the port at Hong Kong on our ride from the airport, and it is massive, making Long Beach, CA and Elizabeth, NJ look like jokes.

Live squidContainer Ship

The day that we left, Lindsay and I ate breakfast at the grand Peninsula Hotel in Kowloon. It used to be located next to the terminus of the railroad which brought people from Paris, across Europe, to Moscow and then mainland China (until the terminus was moved). The hotel serves a wonderful breakfast in its regal lobby, with full sterling silver service, and the poached eggs were perfect! I still can’t get them that neat and perfect free-form (so I use those silicon cups):

Peninsula Hotel LobbyPeninsula Hotel Breakfast

None of this even touches on the terrific dinners that we had while there. We ate a lot of Cantonese food (appropriately) but also some tremendous French and “fusion” food as well. The hands-down winner, in both our opinions, was the restaurant Hutong. (Apologies for the horribly annoying website if you choose to click.) The food was terrific and the view of the Hong Kong skyline was unbeatable. It’s on the 28th floor across the bay, and it was one of the few truly clear days!

Hong Kong

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