John Harvey Photo

Hong Kong 5Go to Slide Show

Another trip to a "World Class City"


Helen has Family in Hong Kong so I have visited a number of times before.  (If you are looking for a "I have a few days in Hong Kong, what should I do - you should probably start with the entry from Hong Kong at New Years. (My 4th trip).  This trip was pretty low key - we spent a lot of time shopping and since Helen is pretty pregnant, we didn't do much walking outside of what we "needed" to for shopping purposes.  That said, there is always something worth seeing in Hong Kong so in no particular order, here goes...

Dim Sum

Dim Sum is quite possibly the most "Hong Kong" thing to do in Hong Kong.  I'm not a big fan of pulling out a camera and documenting a meal, especially if it's a family event in a nice restaurant so I haven't taken photos of Dim Sum before.  Things have changed though - food blogging is now common (OpenRice.com has thousands of postings in Hong Kong) so taking out a camera is no longer so weird.  To make things even better, there is a highly fashionable (as in local's don't often go) Dim Sum place in the neighborhood - Tim Ho Wan (添好運).  This restaurant rocketed to fame (and huge line ups) when it was awarded a Michelin star.  If you arrive just after it opens (at 10am) you will be waiting 2 hours plus before getting in. 

Tim Ho Wan添好運 Helen And Aunt Jennie


What got them their "notable" (star) was the baked "Char Siu Bao" - 叉燒包.  These take about 45 minutes to make so you want to order as soon as you sit down.  Most of the items are classic Dim Sum items - some with twists.

Char Siu Bao_叉燒包Cheong Fun_腸粉Har Gau_蝦餃Ngau Juk Kau_牛肉球
Chiu Chow Dumplings_潮州蒸粉果 Fried Pork And Vegetable Dumplings_家鄉鹹水角Gum Zhi Si Ha Cheun Guan_金蒜芝士蝦春卷_Lo Bak Go_蘿蔔糕
Hong Kong has many brilliant people looking to get around limitations.  The long line ups make this restaurant hard to visit, especially if you have a large party.  They don't do take out so if you want to experience you have to visit.  The "get around" that people have found is to reserve for one person and then order enough food for six.  They pack this food up as left overs and leave while it's still hot.  If enough people do this while you are visiting, expect a long wait for your food to come - the kitchen isn't that big.
 
Paai Gwat_豉汁蒸排骨 Siu Mai_燒賣
Spicy And Sour Dumplings_酸辣雜菜餃子 Pan Fried Glutinous Rice_腊味糯米飯Steamed Molasses Sponge Cake_香滑馬拉糕
Worth a three plus hour wait?  Maybe.  Worth getting a ticket early and checking back?  Yeah.

Fruit and Vegetable Markets

Stack Of Pineapples
Fruit and Vegetable markets can be found almost everywhere in the older parts of Hong Kong.  The markets reflect the neighborhoods so watching to see what is for sale will tell you a little bit about where you are walking.  I frequent two markets - the tiny markets nearest Helen's Grandparents and a larger markets on Canton Road (West of Nathan Road, south of Argyle).  For the first time, I noticed that the selection (and more obvious - quantity) of product varies with day of the week - Friday night produce stands are overflowing, but on a Tuesday morning you can expect sparse pickings.  Being Asia, there is a great selection of fruit year round.  Being a world city, you find seasonal treats from both hemispheres - Japanese Strawberries (further North) were common, as were Southern Hemisphere blue berries.  Durian could be found, but it was pretty rare.



Bamboo Shoots Chinese ChivesDragon Fruit Stacked In FoursSticky Rice Tied Packets

The mechanics of selling is always interesting.  Many products are bundled - 15 dollars (about 2 dollars Canadian) buys you 4 dragon fruit.  10 dollars buys you 4 large or 5 medium sized star fruit.   On the other hand, some vegetables are sold by weight - Gai Lan is frequently about 7 dollars a "pound".  Weighing is done by either a pan scale (what a westerner would recognize) or a stick balance with a free weight (you get to do the math). 

Gai Lan Green Peppers With Lotus Root Star Fruits

Meat Markets

Meat markets are more challenging.  Freshness is job one so inventory control gets quite a bit of effort.  While you can easily buy an orange at 10pm, there is no way you will find a meat stall still open.
 
Blood Covered Fish Blood Covered Fish MongerFish Monger Weighing FishCooked Meats Shop

 
  Ring Necked Pheasant And Pigeons
Of course it is freshest if the animal is still alive when you pick it.  It used to be that you could bring live chickens home to slaughter yourself, but avian flu being what it is, home slaughter is no longer an option.  You pick a bird (and a lot more than chicken is available - there is a ring necked pheasant in one cage) and it is slaughtered, cleaned and dressed for you when you come back after some period of time.  Almost like Safeway!

Chickens In CagesFresh Meat For Sale

Buildings In Scaffolding

White Sheathed Building Under Renovation
I live in Vancouver and we had a leaky condo crisis so from time to time you see buildings wrapped in plastic and having their exterior replaced.  In Hong Kong you see buildings scaffolded when they get a paint job, exterior repairs or updates.  Unlike Canada, the scaffolding is bamboo tied together, even up to 50 story buildings. 


Soft Light On Shrouded BuildingBuilding Wrapped In White Building Wrapped In GreenBamboo Enclosed Building Behind Old Building
 

Life In Hong Kong

 
Red Mini Busses
Apparently Vancouver was once famous for it's neon lights the city government changed a few bylaws (specifically that you had to take them down to service them) and the neon quickly disappeared.  Hong Kong on the other hand has embraced it's neon traditional (at least in Kowloon) - many huge signs are up to date and amazing.  Taking good photos of them isn't very easy.

King Lam Night Club

Green Bird
I visit the bird market pretty much every time I visit Hong Kong.  The first time I was faciniated by birds in cages.  The second time I was facinated by the people that own the birds.  This time I saw more birds outside of cages.




Bird Working On LeashBird Portrait
The best time to visit the bird market is definitly on the weekend.  More people are out and you are more likely to catch the interaction of owners, birds and people new to bird ownership.

Bird And Her Owner


Roast Chestnut Vendor
Helen and I are also big fans of street food.  By far the most common (and often unlicensed) mobile vendor in Hong Kong are the roast chestnut/yam carts.  These have burners on them to roast chestnuts and a bag of hot chestnuts costs only a few dollars.  These carts are all over the city and worth the support.



Making Traditional Candy
A new one for us this trip was candy vendor (licensed).  The snack is basically cane sugar pulled into a honeycomb shape, packed with coconut and wrapped in a flour wrapper.  Apparently this treat goes back hundred of years - it was certainly popular with the kids!

Girl Watching Candy Being MadeFinished Traditional Candy

Hong Kong is filled with random moments - sometimes it's getting your glasses from a shop the size of a phone booth, other times it's seeing beets as bonzai.  Hong Kong is an amazing, dynamic city that always has something new to discover.

Helen Fitted For Glasses Making Up ALemon CokeChinese New Years Beets In Pots


Har Gau_蝦餃
Tags: food porn
Red Mini Busses
Tags: Hong Kong, neon
Gum Zhi Si Ha Cheun Guan_金蒜芝士蝦春卷_Lo Bak Go_蘿蔔糕
Tags: food porn
Cooked Meats Shop
Tags: Hong Kong, roast meat, street photography
Bird Portrait
Helen And Aunt Jennie
Person: Helen, Jennie
Green Peppers With Lotus Root
Tags: produce
Chiu Chow Dumplings_潮州蒸粉果
Tags: bamboo steamer, food porn
Blood Covered Fish Monger
Tags: fish, street photography
Chickens In Cages
Tags: chicken, Hong Kong
Sticky Rice Tied Packets
Helen Fitted For Glasses
Person: Helen
Char Siu Bao_叉燒包
Tags: food porn
Building Wrapped In Green
Tags: building, construction, Hong Kong
Girl Watching Candy Being Made
Tags: street food
Building Wrapped In White
Tags: building, construction, Hong Kong
Tim Ho Wan添好運
Roast Chestnut Vendor
Tags: Hong Kong, roast chestnut, street food
King Lam Night Club
Tags: Hong Kong, neon
Bamboo Shoots
Tags: bamboo, market, produce
Making Traditional Candy
Tags: Hong Kong, street food
Star Fruits
Tags: fruit
Fried Pork And Vegetable Dumplings_家鄉鹹水角
Tags: food porn
Paai Gwat_豉汁蒸排骨
Tags: food porn
White Sheathed Building Under Renovation
Tags: building, construction, Hong Kong
Bird And Her Owner
Pan Fried Glutinous Rice_腊味糯米飯
Tags: food porn
Siu Mai_燒賣
Tags: bamboo steamer, food porn
Soft Light On Shrouded Building
Spicy And Sour Dumplings_酸辣雜菜餃子
Tags: bamboo steamer, food porn
Green Bird
Chinese Chives
Tags: produce
Cheong Fun_腸粉
Tags: food porn
Blood Covered Fish
Chinese New Years Beets In Pots
Altitude: 3m (9 feet)
Location: Go To...
Dragon Fruit Stacked In Fours
Tags: fruit
Fresh Meat For Sale
Tags: Hong Kong, market, street photography
Finished Traditional Candy
Tags: street food
Making Up ALemon Coke
Bamboo Enclosed Building Behind Old Building
Tags: building, construction, Hong Kong
Ngau Juk Kau_牛肉球
Tags: bamboo steamer, food porn
Stack Of Pineapples
Tags: produce
Steamed Molasses Sponge Cake_香滑馬拉糕
Tags: bamboo steamer, food porn
Bird Working On Leash
Fish Monger Weighing Fish
Tags: fish, fish market, Hong Kong, street photography
Ring Necked Pheasant And Pigeons
Tags: bird, Hong Kong, market
Gai Lan
Tags: produce
Tags: Hong Kong(13), food porn(12), produce(5), bamboo steamer(5), street photography(4), building(4)
People: Helen(2), Jennie(1)
From: John Harvey Photo > Trips out of the Country > Hong Kong 5

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