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It’s tough to come up with an all-encompassing answer when people ask me how my trip to Hong Kong was. I jump to, “it was great,” because it definitely was – but it was also more…
The city has a lot to take in. Just walking around, your senses are overloaded with incoming sights and smells like you’ve never experienced before.
Visually, it’s a city full of contradictions. The city is half built on an island and winding up a mountain full of lush greenery and wild animals. As you wander through its labyrinth-like pathways, your eyes take in the many skyscrapers (each a mind-bending architectural fete) juxtaposed against an abundant natural foreground.
The people and setting are a mixture of old-world and new. Modern-day businessmen walk amongst temples and traditional street vendors while at every turn you are discovering something of British influence alongside the Chinese heritage.
And the smells! Markets with strange foods waft new scents your way. Dried seafood, bubble tea, and strange grills line the street.
I loved learning more about some of the traditional Chinese practices. One of which – ancient Chinese medicine – is very interesting. From what westerners who have sampled the remedies tell me, it really works!
I hunted down this neat place where they prepare you remedies using obscure ingredients. Once you are given the makings, you take them home and brew everything into a bitter tea-like concoction that you drink down for healing. It was amazing how busy they were doling out remedies for a crowd of clients.
In addition, I picked up some Tiger Balm which is found everywhere. I’ve fallen in love with the stuff. It works on anything from sore muscles to head-clearing for a stuffed up cold.
Lastly, there was a lot of food sampling on my trip – some good, some bad, and some just okay.
Traditional Dim Sum was as I expected. I’m not a huge dumpling fan, but it was consumable. Sadly, the congee didn’t really fly with my palette. I wasn’t a fan of the texture and overall flavor. What I really fell in love with though, was hot pot and the century egg.
Not only is hot pot a fun sociable activity, but it also tastes great. I made my sesame dipping sauce extra spicy which left me in heaven, but, if you’re not into spicy, you can prepare it however you want and it still tastes great. For those that don’t know what Century eggs are, they are eggs that are buried underground for a supposed 100 years before they are dug up to be eaten. You have to have an open mind to consume these black eggs, but I swear – they taste amazing. Also, if it’s on the menu, order a milk iced tea to go along with your meal. It has a particular, creamy, tea flavor that is well worth the try.
On top of these suggestions, I also enjoyed the variety of noodle soups, munching on dried mango, and hydrating with a selection of great iced teas that comes in fun juice boxes. There are so many things to try! If you ever go, I suggest tasting anything you can stomach. It’s an entertaining eye-opening experience – and for those who like to cook, it’s always fun to expand your horizons.