Yesterday I wrote about a mileage run to Hong Kong and how it was pretty transformational to the rest of of my year. My time in Hong Kong was pretty non-traditional this time around. While there are a host of resources on 24 to 48 hours in Hong Kong and what to do on a layover, having lived there before I had already done a ton of them, plus I was traveling with a fantastic photographer so our trip was a little different that most.
We got into Pacific Place were we were staying at the JW Marriott I’d booked with Avios points. (side note: all those miles you earn can be used for hotels and rental cars as well as flights & is often how I choose spend them.)
After about 4 hours of sleep we headed up to Victoria Peak before dawn. Andy took some amazing photographs and I took pictures with my iPhone and then just stood mesmerized watching the incredible magic of a city coming to life. We made our way to the shops at the Peak had coffee at one of my old haunts, grabbed noodles for lunch, and then naps were the order of the afternoon. I was actually just going to sit down for just a second and made the mistake of laying down instead…2 hours later! Oops!
That evening two things were on the agenda, the first being a visit to Tim Ho Wan in Mongkok. Tim Ho Wan – this place could have a blog post of its own. A hidden gem in the city, it is a Michelin award winning restaurant that is smack in the middle of a nondescript Hong Kong neighborhood. I love dim sum as a general rule, but this place is award winning for a reason. Incredibly unassuming when you walk in the door, if you didn’t see the Michelin awards on the door you would probably mistake it as just another local dim sum place that are on every other street in Hong Kong. However, that mistake would quickly be corrected with the first bite of steamed dumpling or the award winning pork bun (a baked version of the traditional steamed pork bun). Just typing about it makes my mouth water.
We made our way from there back to Harbour to watch the Symphony of Lights show. Hong Kong does nothing with mediocrity, and this light show is no exception. Known as the largest light and laser show in the world it showcases the lighting and highlighting of 44 buildings on both sides of Victoria Harbour – many which are architectural wonders in their own right – huge laser beams join the dance over the harbor into the night sky all choreographed to traditional Chinese classical music. My simple iPhone photo does nothing to capture the incredible wonder of this show.
The next morning we were up early to capture the sunrise again, this time from the boardwalk. It was once again magical as the sun’s rays lit up the clouds from behind the buildings and slowly made slowly woke up the city. But what caught my attention was the Tug boats coming in to pick up their crew and head out of for the work of the day.
As one of the busiest commercial harbors in the world, Hong Kong Harbor is full of all sorts of sea vessels and tug boats are numerous and busy. In my humble opinion, tug boats may just be the cutest boats out there, so tiny and yet they move big vessels around without effort. I was like a giddy child watching them make their way in, waving to their crew as they loaded on from the pier and headed back out for a day of work. I could not get enough of their cute little selves. ( I am sure their captains would be horrified to know I think they are “cute little boats”, but there you have it.)
We made our way back to the airport and onto the plane exhausted, yet exhilarated. What a fantastic first trip of the year. It set the stage for so much more.