Hong Kong: A Short Business Trip
Excited for my first business trip to Hong Kong.
When we were told that we were going to Hong Kong for a short business trip, I was ecstatic. I managed to use up the extra time to explore the lovely country, especially around the city area. The flight from Malaysia to Hong Kong was a short one, where my colleague and I spent the time talking about where we should eat as soon as we arrived.
The journey was good and when we landed my colleague told me that we we could get the hotel shuttle (bus) at the arrival hall rather than take a cab to our hotel. Hong Kong has is split to districts such as Lantau Island (where the airport is located), Kowloon (where you can find the famous ‘Ladies Market’), Hong Kong Island (where our hotel is located), New Territories & Outlying Islands. Besides taking the shuttle, you can also opt for a taxi or the MTR train which takes only 25 minutes to Hong Kong Island.
Hong Kong Island.
It takes 1 and a half hours from Lantau Island to Hong Kong Island via the shuttle and along the way we saw many tall apartment buildings that seemed to reach the sky and blue waters beyond the eye can see. After checking into the City Garden Hotel, we went about walking around the area which happens to be Kings Road.
Hong Kong is such a lively place with its streets buzzing with cars, the *ding ding* from the trams to the chatter, rows of shops, small cafes and markets selling fruits and vegetables and friendly chatter everywhere. The nearest MTR station to the hotel is Fortress Hill which is just 5 minutes away.We got hungry because we only had breakfast on the plane and none since then but finding a place where I can eat proved to be difficult as there are not that many Halal cafes around.
Luckily we found a quaint little restaurant (which reminded me of those lil cafes in Tokyo) which serves vegetarian dumpling noodles and that’s what I had.. for lunch. The noodle is think like udon and the clear soup reminds me of Ipoh Hor Fun! It was good and with just the nice amount of seasoning too.
Taking the local tram.
That evening itself, I was introduced to our colleague, Paula from the Hong Kong office who turned out to be the best local guide for us. She knew all the facts & history of Hong Kong from the British time (and even before) up to present and could identify many historical buildings & landmarks. I suddenly had a thought and tried to recount as much knowledge on history or facts about my own country… hmmm.
Paula took us on the decade old double decker trams by Hong Kong Tramways which run across Hong Kong Island and this seemed like a very convenient transport. For only HKD$2, you get to sit on the upper level of the tram (with everyone else of course) and enjoy the view of Hong Kong Island with the blowing breezily in your face.
We went passed Kings Road, zipped through Causeway Bay all the while with Paula pointing out to us the old pawn shop building which had been there since forever and the people clutching their shopping bags at Times Square. Finally after 40 minutes, we reached our pitstop and I took this chance quickly to take a photo with the ol’ tram.
Legislative Council Building & Bank of China.
This Legislative Council Building became home to Legislative Council in Hong Kong. According to Paula, this is where the Philippines meet up once a week with their friends as it was their given off day. No wonder there were many people surrounding this building at this hour. The building is beautiful against the bright spot lights and we even saw a couple taking a wedding photograph at the main entrance.
It was quite a journey uphill to the peak tram station and opposite the Legislative Council Building we saw the great Bank of China which was very recognisable from those TVB shows! It was tall and looked like it was disappearing into the sky with its vast window panes.
Heading up to Victoria Peak.
Phew.. we finally made it after a 15 minute walk uphill to the Peak Tram Station and after quickly buying the tickets, we quickly joined the queue which was getting longer and longer by the minute (luckily we came on time). We learned from the facts on the display that the tram was already there since the early 19th century to ferry people up to their residences and downhill again. We sat on the right side of the tram just like how Paula told us to and saw the bright lights of the Victoria Harbour area.
The view at Victoria Peak turned out to incredibly gorgeous! It was one of those lucky nights where the sky was clear and there was no rain that day so the scenery was quite clear! I could pinpoint the IFC which is the tallest building in the world, the Bank of China and the Victoria Harbour. Everyday at 8pm there would be fireworks lighting up the sky but this would be much more clearer if you we to stand at the Arena of Stars area (Kowloon). The weather was extemely cold and I was freezing my guts out just to wait for that few precious minutes til the sky shone bright.
Afterwards, we took the shuttle van downhill and walked to Lan Kwai Fong (Central) which was one of the most popular drinking areas in Hong Kong. There’s even a banner with the name of the place and people lining up to take photos in front of it. Most of the places were closed as it was a Sunday (not much drinking happening then) so Paula took us for some midnight snack instead.
Our midnight snack happened here at Tsui Wah Restaurant. Look out for this place at Lan Kwai Fong area because they serve food until midnight if you’re still hungry by then. We shared the dishes so that we’d get to try out more local Hong Kong food. First up was the crispy condensed milk bun which was crispy as it said it was and sweet too. Super yummy.
Followed by the Swiss style chicken and instant noodle. The technique to this dish is to take the noodle, dip in the hot soup and soy sauce and then put it on your plate with the chicken and voila it’s ready to be eaten.
The final dish for the night was this specialty called French Toast (which was not originated from France!). Unlike the ordinary bread, this one was baked and spread with butter on top. How you eat is by swishing the butter around the top of the bread until it melts *swish right* *swish left* and then for some sweetness, add a generous amount of honey over the bread (like so above), cut it into smaller pieces of 9 (but ideally how many to cut will entirely be up to you) and start putting it in your mouth for a big bite!
Boy after all that food I was spent but super super happy because I got to eat like a local on the first night! It’s rare that the tummy accepts such foreign delicacies but the ones I had seemed to gel perfectly well together. From Lan Kwai Fong, we took the train back and walked to our hotel.
About Yafieda Jamil
A Malaysian girl currently working abroad in Phnom Penh city. I love a good road trip, hot cappuccinos, spicy food and staring at old buildings. My mission is to inspire people to see the world differently before we all get any older. Oh and giraffes are the most beautiful creatures on earth.