small city with a big soul – hong kong

It lives around 7,5 million people in Hong Kong! So I suppose looking at cities like Manila, Istanbul, Tokyo, Moscow and Shanghai … is it a small city.  But compare to Stockholm with it nearly 1 million is it big.

After our well-needed nap … after our’s 24 hours awakening. We came back to life around 5pm and it was time to get ready for Hong Kong by night.

We started our evening with a Mojito that we ordered at the hotel’s bar & restaurant. They cost me one arm and it was the worst Mojito ever. They had forgotten the sugar stock???!!! But we decided to suffer through it up on the roof deck on 40’s floor. To get there we had taken the life from the restaurant on 38’s floor down to the reception and there take the special lift up to the roof.

Breathtaking view over the harbour, but so windy and nowhere to sit down in shelter from the strong wind. It was a forgotten area of the hotel, that couldn’t have been so inviting. That view is priceless. Extremely windy and in combination with the Mojitos we gave up quickly, but at least we gave it an honest try.

Our first evening we had our dining adventure was at a little French bistro, Scarlett Café & Wine Bar on Austin Ave, just off Chatham Rd about 10 min walk from the hotel. Fantastic food, fantastic atmosphere and great service… and every table was taken. We both had mussels as main and they were up with the ones we had in both Belgium and France. Mine was with cream and bacon. Next to us sat a lovely couple from Switzerland that only had a couple of days stop over on their back home from Australia.

After that nice evening, we were able to sleep all night through but woke up a little bit too early around 7am.

We decided to enjoy breakfast at one of the designer cafes that was in short distance from the hotel and we picked Maison Eric Kayser on the corner of Minden Ave. and Minden Row.

Éric Kayser, a French baker that open his first bakery 1996 in Paris and now to be found all over the world. A brand that today quite widespread over in the States. Fantastic coffee, great bread/sandwiches, superb croissants and exciting fresh juices on bottles. Every morning we enjoyed our breakfast there … and the girls were so lovely and helpful. In average our breakfast came to 230 HK$ for both. On the hotel, it would have cost us over 600.

We always sat by the shop windows and was soaking up the everyday morning for the locals. The little restaurant (whole in the wall) opposite was preparing for their day and it was always busy. The woman and men that as taken care of all the hotels rubbish and waste on their trollies.

Next door to our cafe is Wasco Cafe, people were queuing every time we pasted it and so many young people always lost while looking after it, with the help of Google on their smartphones. Every morning the same show. They are famous for their Pineapple bun.  A pineapple bun – Bolo Bao (冰火菠萝油) is a kind of sweet bun predominantly popular in Hong Kong, never tried … next time. We didn’t feel for joining the queue. Never seen queues like that to a cafe and only Chineses. No tourists.  They have 54 dishes on their menu and only in Chinese, so I suppose the queuing was about more than the buns.

So after breakfast, we walked down to the Star Ferry terminal which was a bit difficult because the busy roads don’t have any pedestrian crossings. The next day we found out that we could walk underground using the metro entrances/exits. Learn something new every day, even in Hong Kong.

As seniors we travelled free on the ferry, we only had to scan our Octopus card. We had Stanley Market as our goal. On the Hong Kong side, I did a mistake about the bus stations. We should have followed the gangway to the Exchange Square. It was a bit of a walk and we had to walk through the IFC mall, but we found bus 260 and it was just departing as we arrived. It takes about 30 mins to get to the market. Bus 260 is faster than the express buses because it doesn’t do that many city stops.

However, if you want more interesting views of Hong Kong countryside then the 6 or 66 to give some very interesting glimpses of the wooded hillsides, views over the sea, and pass by some of the most prestigious residential tower blocks in the city. There are 25 stops from the terminus to the market. We took 260 to the market and used 6 back.

Stanley Market has shrunk a lot since 2015 but in a good way. The shops have better products and it’s much easier to walk around in between the shops. It has the same layout as the Souks in Marraches has – all under one roof. The most famous open-air market in Hong Kong. It was pleasantly quite that day.

It is a place to find silk garments, sportswear, art, Chinese costume jewellery, other souvenirs and a host of fantastic bargains. A trip to Stanley would not be complete without comprises a six-story shopping centre. Right next to it is Murray House-former British army officers’ quarters, now houses the Hong Kong Maritime Museum and various dining outlets.

I didn’t buy anything, but Anna Liisa got herself pearl earring, some linen tops and a linen dress plus that she bought some presents for her friends.

There are many places to eat and drink along the seafront promenade. The yellow house (The Boathouse) is one of them!!! Very eye-catching (can’t be missed) and I have never had a chance to visit because every time I been at the market is has been filled to the rim.

This time we got in and a nice table out on the balcony. We both enjoyed a very good “Fish & Chips” with the mushy peas and everything. Special offer; Fish & Chips with a pint of Carlberg for only 139 HK$.  An excellent lunch with a spectacular sea view.

We took bus 6 back and jumped off at Central and from there we took the metro  … in full rush hour. Never seen so much people and I was very worried about Anna Liisa, because of her nearly none exciting sight. But she just followed the stream of people and we even got seats while travelling under the harbour, the next stop we got off.

Hong Kong people were not used to a white stick … they didn’t really know how to react, but there weren’t any major problems. Just as here at home, everybody had their heads in their smartphone.

It became fantastic day (not too hot)  … and just enough of everything. And our day cost us only 6 HK$ (p.p) transport cost instead of 27.

“Who said Hong Kong too small?
In size perhaps but not in its soul and personality.
Every corner in this city giving you full of surprises,
if not every hour but at least every day….”
Baris Gencel

30 thoughts on “small city with a big soul – hong kong

    • It is a very fascinating and exciting city. All the world’s culture meet there and mingle so well with each other. There is a HK for every budget.

  1. Reblogged this on retireediary and commented:
    I like Viveka showing the other aspects of Hong Kong, apart from the high rises and the CBD, which has impressed on the minds of so many people, regardless of whether they have visited the place or not. You will be impressed by the range , quality and price of food here too . . . . . . . .

    • Thank you so much for the re-post … fantastic support. The food in HK is fantastic … every where. Hong Kong is not a city … it’s the whole world in a very small space.

      • HK calls itself the World City – not sure how much true is there though . . . . only to be judged by visitors like you.
        Understand you were a chef; since you consider the food here is fantastic, I must agree to it too 🙂

      • Michael, I think it’s very true! HK gives surprises around nearly every corner … so much alive and gives exciting adventures. A friend of mine has lost my memory card with all my images from the trip – totally devastated. I ended up on hospital at the beginning of this week and asked her to bring the card so I could work on my images from my bed… and now it’s lost. Never made it to hospital. We can’t find it anywhere. So no more posts from my visit to HK and Macau.

      • That’s a shame! Hope she will be able to find it later.
        I like looking at HK from a visitor’s eyes as, living here, we are so used to things surrounding us.
        Take care 🙂

      • Yes, but it’s what it’s. We have gone through everything and it’s not to be found. But after all is it only a SD card, but it still … *smile – Nobody did it on purpose.

      • Thanks a million, Michael … it gives me also a reason to go back for more. The day we spent in Hong Kong Park … and the Botanic Garden was coming up next and I had some fantastic images from all the birds and the flowers. It’s what it’s … and who knows it maybe pops up one day.

      • Botanic Gardens was where my parents dated, where mom pushed us around in a pram, where we visited frequently when we were kids. A place I brought my mom back to have a look before she departed. It has such sentimental value . . . means so much to us!

      • I love the garden … but it wasn’t easy to find, I thought it was before the tram station … closer to the Hong Kong Park, we sent hours in the garden. Love to read about your childhood memories. You should do a post about the garden. Those scarlet red birds .. wow. Miss my images. *smile

      • The fountain there, particularly, brings back old memories. The garden is near the Peak Tram station and there are several exits / entrances. In fact, nowadays, the garden is divided up by the Cotton Tree Drive into two parts.
        Come back another time 🙂

      • Yes, it was very hilly to get there, the fountain is beautiful … and all the flowers. We used the main entrance and all the stairs, my poor feet was crying – we had a fantastic day … I wish I had my images. But it’s what it’s.

  2. a wonderful blog and thank you for sharing your experiences in this great city. i was there briefly in January and wished i had more time to re-explore.

    • A hearty thank you … for your nice comment. Yes, Hong Kong is worth to spend some time in. One of my favourite destinations. You have to back. *smile

  3. Pingback: small city with a big soul – hong kong — myguiltypleasures – Truth Troubles

  4. Pingback: small city with a big soul – hong kong — myguiltypleasures – jetsetterweb

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