Thursday, May 1, 2014

Hong Kong

Due to a superbly good deal on airfares from Bangkok to Hong Kong we decided to have a long weekend in Hong Kong.  The only downside of the deal was that the departure leg from Bangkok was at the ungodly hour of 1:20am!  So leaving Vientiane at 3pm we caught an 8 pm flight from Udon Thani, filled in 3 hours in Cathay’s airport lounge before a 2 hour flight to Hong Kong.  We got into our hotel at 6:30am and slept for about 5 hours.  It was enough to make us all bright eyed and fluffy tailed for a couple of days in the big city.

First off was some lunch.  A Din Tai Fung restaurant a 10 minute walk from the hotel, – well why not? There was a minimal queue and within 5 minutes we were sitting at our table waiting for baskets of Xiao Long Bao to be delivered.  They were superb.  Little mouthfuls of flavour and every dish we ordered was a winner.  This chain really deserves it's Michelin star.

Happy Andrew…xioa long bao devoured, where is the next one...

Din-Tai-Fung

Well fed, we headed off on the number 6 bus for the ride across the hill to Stanley.  The views from the upper deck of the bus were a great way to get a feel for the route.  There were certainly plenty of high-end cars parked at expensive houses or out for a Sunday drive.

Stanley was a pleasant spot to have a drink, to watch the locals catching tiny fish off the pier and just to wander about.

stanley general


stanley fish

And very nice to see public art, with a recycling pollution theme along the waterfront.

recycle art

Back in Central we headed for the 2nd Michelin starred Dim Sum restaurant chain of the day, Tim Ho Wan.  There are no shortage of people raving about this place and particularly the pork buns.  The place is so popular there are stories of people waiting an hour for a table – we only had to wait under 15 minutes.  Overall it was good but not great; there were some dishes we really enjoyed and the pork buns were indeed wonderful.  And you are packed in like sardines – Andrew did some glaring at the small child beside him who kept hitting the chair.  Glad we went, but we probably wouldn’t return. 

tim ho wan

After a mid-day start in Hong Kong we had managed to pack in quite a bit, and getting back to the hotel early evening we slept well – again.

Day 2 was spent on the both sides of the harbour.  Our morning highlight was going into a high-end supermarket.  As I said to a few people when I replied to birthday emails, it really shows we have spent too long in the wilds of Laos when spatulas and bottles of honey are a major thrill.  But it was wonderful to see Spanish hams, wagyu beef, wine that doesn't come in a cask…NZ red scorpion fish – which we had to look up – also known as grandfather hapuku or red rock cod

supermarket

The rest of the day was wandering, briefly window shopping and generally relaxing.

Hong Kong

After a day of cruising about, our evening plan was to celebrate my birthday at Din Tai Fung.  And we duly wandered back down, only to find it was closed for a staff party.  Such disappointment!!!  Quickly looking at our research we had another Michelin starred noodle-joint left on the list and it was 5 minutes away.  This one had mixed reviews with some people thinking it didn’t deserve a star.  But we ordered the ‘famous’ Wonton soup and did enjoy it – not as much as we would have enjoyed Din Tai Fung – but it wasn’t a complete washout. 

Then pretty much a day travelling to get back to Vientiane – but a great time away.

And a bonus insight into how Andrew eats noodles.


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