Finally, the last batch of photos from this trip after x months! This is probably the most colorful day we’ve had, originally having plans but not really having an exact plan — which led to a pretty cool experience of getting lost.
Getting lost in a foreign country is one of those rare times facing the unknown gets actually exciting.
This lesson goes to everyone who travels, actually. I have heard stories of people who go to different countries but only opt to explore the glamorous parts, not opting to go for a little stretch. Walk — like, really walk — and take your time to explore places, try local delicacies. What good is the time you spent flying if only to see clean and internationally branded places? At the pace that globalization is at, store brands can easily make their way to your hometown’s mall in a year or two. So don’t be afraid to get something from the local stalls by a sketchy alleyway somewhere. At least if you’re with your partner, there’s an interesting travel memory you both can look back to after a couple of years’ time.
After having McDonald’s as our first line of breakfast in Hong Kong, Chase and I decided we had to eat at a hole-in-the-wall before our trip ended. So we took off in a direction that Google Maps recommended and headed somewhere. Least to say, we got quite lost after a while. Being hungry and trying to figure out directions make quite an interesting adventure.
We honestly do not remember where we were when we had this. All we know was we just picked a random eatery by a little neighborhood and decided to eat.
The noodle soup we ordered were the most local-tasting ones I’ve had. It tastes as fatty as it looks. I don’t remember much else apart from that but that one little exploration really makes for a good memory to look back on.
Coffee is always a good idea right after a meal, especially if it’s a stuffy one like the bowls of noodles we had. Chase’s family recommended a shop in Sheung Wan called Cupping Room. The place is pretty popular as it was jam-packed when we ordered; we had to wait outside for our coffee, which was freshly roasted, to say the least.
Moving forward! A friend from an old work once told me to visit a place called PMQ in Hong Kong. It was only in December I actually got to visit said place. And it was not what I expected it to be — in the best way possible.
PMQ is one of those tourist spots that you need to literally go through questionable routes in order to enjoy the rewards of. We walked a ton of roads and climbed flights of stairs to get to the gem of a place, although I’m pretty sure there are shorter ways to get there. Thankfully, Chase and I don’t mind walking so it was sort of a sightseeing trip while we were on our way to the place.
The road to PMQ was a journey of its own. And it was a journey worth taking because PMQ ended up being an artistic haven – a place that celebrates creativity regardless of the medium of expression.
Interestingly, at one of the shops I was roared at by a sales clerk, whose words were Chinese, so I wasn’t quite sure if she was angry during that time or was just explaining to me that the items they sold cannot be photographed. As an aspiring artist, I understand this protective nature towards design; some people don’t seem to respect the intellectual property that comes along with an artist’s work, and the respect that needs to come with every creation. This is a friendly reminder from someone who understands how devastating it feels for people to “steal” creative work, and I’m saying this on behalf of all the hardworking artists out there who constantly create original projects.
During the time of our visit, we came across a paper exhibition entitled Here is Zine Hong Kong. It was an exhibition of creativity that celebrates paper. We were encouraged to try our hand at creating something as well.
Since it was our last afternoon freely roaming around Hong Kong, we walked back to one of the alleys that had an abundance of restaurants. Initially, Chase was pretty sold on getting curry but was saddened by the fact that the establishment was closed for the day!
And so we walked and walked, until something caught our eyes – Shugetsu Ramen.
You can read more about our experience in Shugetsu Ramen here.
Lesson #7 for traveling couples: stay friendly.
There is a common fluttering feeling for couples, especially during their honeymoon period, where the world seems to shrink and revolve around just the 2 of them. It seems to be completely normal, but here’s the catch: you can stay in touch with your friends even while you’re together! I’ve heard of accounts of people who seem to have felt isolated by a friend who got themselves a relationship, but that doesn’t always have to be the case. You can always enjoy the best of both worlds.
As nighttime fell, we were once again reunited with our friend, Coin, who was eager to check out the Ladies’ Market in Mong Kok. The place being Mong Kok, lights and crowds were expected despite the chilly weather.
We went window shopping here and there for the majority of the night. And of course, took some photos to commemorate our last night in Hong Kong for the year.
The next day was the day of our flight. Chase and I decided to just have a chill morning until our flight in the evening. Little did we know that ‘chill’ would result pretty literally.
The place where we stayed was only a few walks away from Langham Place. While on our way to the iconic mall, the wind started blowing like crazy! According to our phones, it was 19°C that day but boy did the windy weather made it feel much colder. (Chase seems to be partially immune to the cold so he was like, nah, this isn’t cold.) It was then and there that I have discovered how much I do not like winter, much like how I physically cannot stand too much heat. Talk about a first world problem by a third world citizen.
Nevertheless, we had some tasty gelato from Holly Brown. No amount of cold can ever discourage the real champions from eating frozen sugar!
Coffee once more after lunch. This time from iCremeria in Langham.
Overall, it was a memorable experience for Chase and I. As we were only 3 months together when we went on this trip, it was a good learning experience for us to get used to each other’s quirks, and know how the other really is 24/7. It was a growing experience as it was a wonderful Christmas vacation.