So, it looks like I made a goof! I accidentally posted the third day of my trip before the second one went up. Oh well. And so, without further ado, here’s what we did the day before visiting the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery.
The second day in Hong Kong was just as busy as the first one. We started the day out by having a brunch with friends who coincidentally were also visiting Hong Kong the same time we were! We went to a well-known restaurant: Din Tai Fung. It apparently has a one star from Michelin. We took awhile to find our friends since we only could communicate where wi-fi was available but luckily by the time we arrived, the restaurant was just about to open and only had a small line.
When the doors finally opened, all the chefs and waiters/waitresses bowed and greeted us as we walked down the carpet. I know this isn’t too strange if you’re the first customers to come in but it still felt really nice. The food itself was pretty good. For a one-star restaurant, things were really cheap when we split it up. I’d recommend it!
After we parted with our friends, we decided what to do next. I was very impressed how one of my friends had a ton of information of the area in her purse and had a general idea what she wanted to do. Usually the people I traveled with in the past were super laidback and just walked around, hoping to find something. While that’s nice sometimes, I prefer to have a list of things I want to do and have a general idea where they are so it felt really good to have someone with a similar mindset. My other friend Shawn was also very helpful in trying to figure out our general game plan for the day.
We decided to hit the markets as my friends wanted to get their souvenirs out of the way. Hong Kong is pretty well-known for their markets having just about everything you are looking for. Prices vary depending on good of a haggler you are. Sure, you can buy something at the price the seller is giving you but you can usually get what you want for 40% off and even more if you’re good at haggling. I think that’s the most important thing to know when you’re shopping down the markets: haggle, haggle, haggle!
Our first stop was the Ladies Market. The name really has nothing to do with the market itself, it’s probably the biggest and most well-known market in Hong Kong. Although I didn’t buy much, I could see myself dumping most of my money here. You could find just about anything for cheap. Peru had similar markets but were nowhere near as big as Ladies Market. Even if you weren’t shopping, it was great to just browse stuff and people watch. I saw a lady trying to get a middle-aged guy to buy this one army pouch. They would keep exchanging prices on the calculator and the man would begin to walk away from the store. The lady would then quickly pull his arm and start saying something (which he didn’t clearly understand) and they would haggle again. This happened at least three times until he finally bought the pouch. The lady laughed and thanked him, even giving him a hug in the end. I’m sure this stuff happens all the time but it was great to watch.
After spending a nice chunk of time at the Ladies Market, my friend wanted to go to the Temple Street Night Market which as the name implies, opens at night. Luckily the market was nearby our hostel. After taking a small break, we were on our way to the market.
The Night Market is more or less the same as the Ladies Market except there is a lot more food stands around. Despite not eating there, the food looked really good. The market itself wasn’t as big as the Ladies Market but had stuff that wasn’t available there. There was also a hilarious block where they sold sex toys, particularly dildos.
After getting our fill of markets, we were off to the Avenue of the Stars one more time. We noticed that you had a nice view of the skyline (albeit the fog from yesterday) so we figured the skyline at night would be great. After all, you would see pictures of it everywhere if you researched Hong Kong at all. Lucky for us, the day was pretty clear out compared to the first day so we felt we could make up from yesterday’s mess at the Peak.
How right we were! The skyline from the Avenue of the Stars was breathtaking. There were loads of people there but we managed to get to the very front. We hurdled over the bars and just sat down and enjoyed the city lights for a very long time. The pictures I took don’t do it any justice. I could’ve been there forever but I noticed my friends were get fidgety after a half hour so we decided to head towards the nightlife: Lan Kwai Fong.
Lan Kwai Fong was one of the hot spots for clubbing and drinking in Hong Kong. My friend who had been here before had also recommended it so we decided to make it our final stop.
The place was…bizarre. Foreigners and expats were everywhere. Mostly guys in their 40s and 50s and people in costumes were walking around the area. I didn’t really see any people from Hong Kong. As the night grew later, the streets became jam packed with people. My friend read my mind when she said “I’m not drunk enough for this yet.” It just felt weird. Prices for drinks at most bars and clubs were super expensive! I’ll admit, I got a little drunk and paid for several drinks. Still, the amount I drank didn’t equal to how much I would pay back home. Shots ranged from nine dollars while beer and cocktails were around 8. Even when drunk, the environment was just odd. Let’s just say it was my first and last visit there.
In an attempt to sober up, we drunkenly headed to McDonald’s and had a midnight meal before we were off to bed. Something told me that we weren’t going to have an early start the next day and I was right, as we only had time to check out the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery the next day 🙂