Victoria Peak, Happy Valley
12/01/2016 - 12/01/2016
This morning I had a little time to myself for breakfast and classic me, I decided to buy enough food for three people. I initially had wanted to try Mcdonalds Twisty pasta with sausage and egg but then also found out a good dim sum place was also nearby called Sun Hing. I went to order my dim sum in Cantonese and they fulfill take out orders the minute you order. My kind of service. I ordered spareribs over rice, ha gow (shrimp dumpling), Siu mai, and a runny egg custard bun. The spareribs rice was on point with the soy saucey goodness and slightly oily spareribs. The buns were good but tasted too much like egg yolk for me. The other two items were okay and I would eat it if I was in the area and needed dim sum but nothing to write home about.
Then I walked to McDonald's and the best thing about Hong Kong ones is that they have automated screens that also include English!!! I tapped in my order and paid. I have to say the pasta was interesting, not better than Cafe de coral but decent. I decided to try the cheese one because why not. The broth wasn't heavily salty but didn't have a lot of flavor. The classic McDonald's sausage patty was really good in it. The value meal also comes with a drink (I got milk tea) and hash brown.
After I was happily full and disgusted with myself, Gavin came back and ate some. Food is really a terrible Vic's to have. We then headed to Victoria Peak so I could work off my disturbing eating habits.
We took the tram up the mountain. If you have an octopus card, you can walk to the left and enter and skip a rather huge line of people buying tickets. It cost HK$32. Worth the money to take it up the steep slope. If you are standing on the ride, they carved little trenches to help you stay upright at the steep angles so you are basically parallel to the floor. Pretty crazy. There are also a couple stops along the hillside for residents or hikers to board on or off. When you get to the top, there's a huge mall called Peak Galleria. You can pay money to go additionally further to the top of the mall but you can actually get an equally awesome view on the 3rd story of the smaller adjacent mall building. They even have telescopes you can see through for free and you can look at the penthouses and imagine you are rich. The weather was really good but there was still a layer of smog and mist in the air.
View from the mall
We then decided to do a hike towards Lugard Waterfall. We took the popular Victoria Peak Circle walk. The Peak Circle Walk is a flat 2.2 mile walk along Lugard Road and Harlech road. We started by heading clockwise but I think most people do counterclockwise and just look at the view. I think the entire walk is actually really nice and enjoyable given there is plenty of shade and no slopes. While we were hiking, we heard a helicopter overhead and for some reason it just hovered right near the radio towers for like 15-20 minutes. It was so close my ears definitely suffered but it was worth watching a helicopter fly so close to my head. We took tons of videos and pictures and then continued hiking. A huge thing in the parks here are the outdoor "gym" equipment. They are these fun structures that you can use and have instructions on them like a pull up bar or jump up and over Or monkey bars. We explored many of them and decided this would be a great place to work out. Around the Pok Fu Lam country park area there's also a decent public bathroom, in case you are worried about needing to urinate on this hike. We then circled around through these amazing India rubber trees that swing down branches to soak up nutrients and then grow from the sky into the ground. As we circled on Lugard road, you also get to see these amazing residential complexes that you can rent for a mere HK$180k a month. I don't know why you would live here because getting home or leaving would be such a nightmare...but the views would be crazy awesome. We started nearing the end of the circle and came out to the expansive lookout over all of Hong Kong. It was stunning and well worth the hike even if you just come here and come back. I realized how small and minuscule I am compared to the world and we headed back to hike down the mountain. The trail down is actually all paved and I ran half the way just because it was less stress on my knees. It spits you straight into the mid levels.
The most still grasshopper
The helicopter that we don't know what it was doing or why it hovered for so long
India rubber trees
Views for days
We hopped in a cab and headed to Wah Fung for super late lunch. Mainly because it was in central near Sunny Hills and because Yat Lok was closed on the one day out of the month it closes (last Wednesday of the month--we saw some pretty disheartened tourists). We ordered all the meats and I have to say it was pretty good. The squab was the most tender and juicy one I have ever tasted and although I would have liked some lemon and five spice salt, I was delicious without it. The roast duck was decent and deliciously fatty. The roast pork had a really crispy crunch but the rest of the meat wasn't anything special.
Squab (baby pigeon)
We then headed to sunnyhills to pick up the special request my mother had made and to compare chiate to sunny hills. The shop itself was really cool and minimalistic and would be a great place just to enjoy some tea and pineapple cakes but we had to get going so I bought a bunch and they came with cute little sunny hills canvas bags!
We then headed home to change and head to Happy Wednesdays at Happy Valley! I definitely recommend going to check this horse track out if you are in Hong Kong on a Wednesday night. It's MASSIVE and feels like the place to be. Literally tons of people come to enjoy the scenery, the beer, the food, the people, and the gambling. It's like a huge party if you go to general admission HK$10 and walk around the beer gardens. The fences also put you super close to the completely grass track and horses! It's a way different culture than the racetracks in the USA. Very much so a night time scene. You can buy pitchers of beer or pints as well. And if you want to bet on a few horses, the workers are SUPER helpful and help you fill out the betting slips. The first race starts around 730 and the last one is around 1030-11z we watched the last 4 races but if we had been there earlier I don't think we would've waited for the last race. It's so entertaining to cheer and yell with the crowd and we even WON one of the many bets we placed. But we definitely lost money. But considering the entertainment value, the money was well spent.
We quickly headed on to a ding ding and headed to central to meet up with my sister who was just getting off work. we are some late night eats at the Chinese equivalent of a Denny's, Tsai Wah. We ordered some fish balls, hainan chicken, and minced pork chow mein. The noodles were the only thing worth getting but they were really crispy and had a lot of flavor.
We finally headed home after a full day of activities.