Lantau Island, Tai O, and Buenos Aires Polo Club
12/02/2016 - 12/02/2016
So I forced myself to sleep in today since I've felt pretty run down the last day or so. And met up with Jen, I mean MooMoos. (I actually knew she was in Hong Kong because of Facebook and had seen her at Clockenflap and randomly ran into her at Happy Valley. The world is truly a small place. We met at Pier no 6 in central and took the ferry over to Lantau Island (to the Mui Wo port). From there we hopped on to a bus headed towards Big Buddha. The ride took about "2 hours", so said google, but was really like 30 minutes.
Apparently, this Buddha was inaugurated in 1993 to "bring tranquility and promote the Buddhist monastery", in other words, bring money. The Buddha is pretty impressive though. There is a stall where you can pay for a meal ticket but walking up the stairs to the Buddha is free. (Do NOT try to make a joke about not paying for a meal and walking being free...you may be cursed at...ahem, moo) we hiked up the stairs and enjoyed a close up view of the big bronze Buddha and then enjoyed the view of the monastery and the Lantau greenery! Still had a layer of that mist smog around but beautiful nonetheless.
We were super starving and the BEST CURRY FISHBALLS are sold by the lady at the very beginning right where you get off the bus. The fish balls were so amazing HK$20. We then headed down to the "village", basically a bunch of shops built for tourism like Subway (also, one of the cleanest bathrooms). After admiring the neat picturesque town, we took a taxicab to Tai O (HK$57).
Tai O is a tiny fishing village that is very popular with tourists. It has a very old time feel. I loved walking around to look at the foods they were selling or contemplating eating the foods they were cooking. If they also cooked the fresh fish and shrimp right off the boat, I totally would have tried that.
We got some not as good fishballs, a squid on a stick, pork jerky, and mochi filled with red bean paste or peanuts. The pork jerky was super delicious and she cooks it right there in the stall. Don't forget to try a sample before buying! I wish I could get more jerky like this stall. The squid was on a long stick and was tasty but they throw a lot of seasoning on and it becomes overpowering. We were convinced into buying the mochi HK$6 from a very nondescript stand on the walk towards Tai O hotel by a retired Tai O police officer. He told us this was the best Mochi ever and the 90 yo man runnning the business wakes up at 6a to make it and they usually sell out by 4p. The sad part is that the old man is apparently looking for an apprentice to past down his mochi making abilities. We sat for a bit enjoying the old boathouses stilted over the water. We then headed back to the bus terminus past the ladies yelling at you to ride their boats. We took the bus to Tai Chung to take the MTR back but I have to say this is ride felt like it took about an hour. You can also take a gondola to and from tai Chung instead.
I got back home and said bye to Moos. I then headed to Stevva with Gav to enjoy cocktails on the roof of the Prince Edward building in the middle of central. I got a sort of Pimm's cup which was delicious and they give you free rice cake snacks that are pleasantly hunger satiating. We all headed (Gav, Er, and her coworkers/friends) over to Bruno's Aires Polo Club in LKF. The bar here is known for their cocktails which are unique with interesting flavor profiles. We then proceeded to devour chorizo, steak, and dessert. The cool thing about the restaurant is that they give everyone a different kind of knife to use, like a samurai one or a switch blade. The chorizo was super tasty and juicy and paired well with the chimchurri sauce. The T-bone steak was super flavorful and perfectly cooked. The ribeye was also delicious but for some reason I liked the T-bone better. They give you different sauces but the chimchurri was my favorite. We also got mashed potatoes, fries, and heirloom tomatoes. The potato sides were worth the extra space in my stomach. We then had dessert which was a smore with frozen chocolate ice cream inside that you roast over a charcoal fire at the table!! It was such a great way to end a delicious meal. We also lucked out because there was a free musical performance starting at 930p. It was Brenda Voss from Oakland of all places!! She had a great jazz/soul vibe. Then, we headed back home.