Hong Kong: Day 1

Grace and I recently took advantage of a convergence of holidays to visit Hong Kong. Neither of us had been before and we were able to snag some pretty sweet tickets with frequent flier miles. We flew through Bangkok and were able to get business class upgrades for ~$75 from Bangkok to Hong Kong and back. Man... business class. So nice. So unnecessary. It's easy to see how, with enough power, privilege, and wealth it would be pretty easy to become detached. Sure, some aspects of business class seemed over the top, but a lot of it just felt like the way one deserves to travel. If it were a more frequent occurrence I can see how one would quickly become very entitled. Let me go into that "deserves" thing a little more. Things that felt completely silly: tablecloths on the tray tables, multiple course meals (food didn't taste any better, was just served up a little fancier), etc. But it was remarkably refreshing to just have enough space for my fellow passengers to feel like, well, fellows. In economy I feel like it's every man for himself in terms of fighting for overhead compartment space, desperately hoping the person in front of you doesn't decide to recline their chair, strategically queuing for the restroom, etc. It seems like there would be some option for a happy medium of a decently spacious cabin without all the fancy accoutrements, but I'm sure airlines have considered and dismissed this idea many times over.

Anyway, yeah, we arrived in Hong Kong around 10:30 PM. Everything was so easy! SIM card from 7 Eleven in the airport took like two minutes. Tickets for airport express train were similarly easily acquired. The train itself took 24 minutes (they are precise) to get to the stop closest to our Airbnb apartment. Cab from the train station took only a few minutes. Hurray. We managed to find a pretty great place on Airbnb. Not super fancy, but really, really spacious (for Hong Kong, that is) and a lot cheaper than a similar option at a hotel. We stayed in the SoHo neighborhood (named after the same in London) which was, I guess unsurprisingly, pretty hip.

We didn't do anything but crash and wake up super late (yay, vacation! boo two hour time difference!). The first order of business was getting food. There's dim sum chain of some renown (for being the cheapest Michelin star restaurant) called Tim Ho Wan that we set out for. There was a pretty big crowd, but it moved quickly enough and we got a seat:

Happy to no longer be waiting in line.

The food was pretty great, with a couple exceptions. The baked pork buns were beyond great. They were fantastic. So, so good! We actually revisited this place a few days later and the guy seated next to us ordered nothing but the baked pork buns. I don't blame him. The other exception was the poached cabbage. I felt compelled to get something green (as dim sum is otherwise pretty meat- and carb-heavy) and a lot of times there are pretty good veggies (Chinese broccoli, green beans, etc.). These were not so good. Oh well!

Delicious pork buns on left. Not so delicious cabbage on right.

After eating we spent a good chunk of the afternoon wandering around the Central neighborhood and ridiculously fancy malls. I'll let the pictures (and captions) tell most of that tale.

Malls, no matter how absurd, get old fairly quickly. Towards the end of the afternoon we headed to the waterfront to take a Star Ferry harbor tour. This was a great way to spend an hour and again I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

We ended the day by grabbing dinner at Little Bao, which was absurdly delicious.