Eat: Hong Kong

Soooo….this is a love hate post.  We embark on a walking food tour of Hong Kong.  The tour takes place on Kowloon side, we head to Temple Street Night market, which is the place to head to for street food in Hong Kong.

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There are many things that we experience on our couple of hours of food adventure.  I won’t tell you them all and will definitely keep some secret so you are as surprised as we were.

We did try the famous stinky tofu,  which I actually really enjoyed.  It has a very strong flavour and is deep fried, served with chilli sauce.  Also along the way we try some very unusual things…like snake soup….gluttonous…but not too unpleasant, though I was not super keen on the live snakes kept in the shop. 

Over the evening we tried over 15 different things.  Some good, some really not good (in my opinion), I would definitely still recommend the experience.

There are lots of options for food tours and lots of different ways to experience the Hong Kong street food, you can absolutely do this on  your own as well!

 

Make sure you try before you leave Hong Kong:
Stinky tofu
Bubble waffles
Dim sum
Pineapple bun (the one at the top with the slab of butter)
We enjoyed all the bakeries and baked yummy things, there are so many options.

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Enjoy!

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Hong Kong’s Soul

“Affluence isn’t affluence at all. Hong Kong is the benchmark; everybody else’s affluence is mere tat. Until you’ve experienced that perfume-washed air as polarized glass doors embrace you into a luxury hotel’s plush interior, you’ve only had a dud replica of the real thing.” 

Jonathan Gash, Jade Woman

Hong Kong

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The first decision when heading to Hong Kong is whether you are staying on the island or main land.  We opt for main land, because the hotel rooms are generally slightly bigger and slightly cheaper.  We decided on Butterfly on Pratt due to its easy location, it is on the main land.

First thing to know when  you arrive, is transport.  At the airport head to the information booth and get an Octopus card.  There are ordinary ones which you top up as normal and there are tourist Octopus cards, which include one or two airport line trips and two or three days of travel.  The card its self can be exchanged for 100 dollar deposit on leaving.  We opt for the three day tourist card and it is well worth the money.  The transport system is great, easy to use and very well organised.

We arrive late on our first day and head into Kowloon on the airport train, then make the terrible mistake of thinking that we would be able to walk the short distance from the station rather than try to navigate further trains. Don’t do this.  It is not a good idea!  Eventually we admit defeat and follow the signs to the transfer bus.  This is a free service that runs frequently all days of the week to the big hotels…much better idea.

imag3856-1.jpgWe spend our first morning an a free walking tour (our fav!) of Hong Kong Island.  This is a great tour with lots of interesting information about politics and the current situation in Hong Kong.  I definitely recommend this as a great starting point for your trip.

This same group offer a “jump the cue tour” for the Victoria Peak Tram.  We take advantage of this, and again I would recommend this, simply because it cut about an hour standing in the sun in a line.  The Tram is great, really is something to experience.  We then spend almost two hours walking around Victoria Peak enjoying the views, the countryside and the wildlife.  There are amazing birds of prey and wild pigs rootling around.  This is not what you would expect from Hong Kong…its cool and calm and blissful.

So ends our first foray into Hong Kong.  Bring on the rest of the trip!

More information on the Free Walking Tours

Third Stop: Townsville

Our third and final stop in Australia for this trip is Townsville.  It is actually the only Australian stop that we haven’t been to before.

Townsville is in north east Queensland and is humid and tropical.  We have the privilege of arriving after the rain so it is looking lovely and green and postcard worthy.  The old second of town and strand area is particularly pretty and worth a drive or walk around.

We visit the Palmetum is one of the three botanical gardens in Townsville and is lovely, we spend over an hour wandering around.

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Castle Hill is another great spot, head to the top for a great view.  If you are fit, try running or walking the trail path.

However, our most favourite spot (aside from the hammock) is Little Crystal Creek Waterfalls.  It is a located along Mount Spec Road between Mutarnee and Paluma and it is stunning.  Crystal clear water and wonderful landscape.  There are BBQ facilities and picnic tables, bathrooms and so on and next time we are definitely taking a picnic.  It is a great spot and our highlight.

 

Elf’s Tip: If you like curry stop at Aalishan’s Indian Restaurant, the food is really fresh and yummy.

Second Stop: Brisbane

Next stop is Brisbane, capital of Queensland.

My favourite spot in Brisbane is South Bank.  There are lots of places to eat and drink.  There is also the South Bank markets which are full of crafty things, jewelry, clothes and interesting things.

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There is also a city beach with swimming facilities which is fab.  If you follow the paths  from the river front, you can walk through some nice nature areas and reach the Pavilion which is very pretty and tranquil.

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We stayed in Kangaroo Point and the City Hopper ferry stops near here which makes it a great spot to stay if you are looking for somewhere convenient.  The City Hopper ferry is the little red ferry, it is slower that the city cats, but it is free!

If you are looking for activities I would recommend the GOMA but remember nothing is open on Good Friday or the Easter weekend.  My favourite, however, is The Brisbane Museum especially the dinosaur and nature sections.

A special treat for Mr Elf, we go to The Gabba to is the Brisbane Lions play.  Its a great atmosphere and even if you only have a limited grasp on the rules, or no idea what is happening, I would still recommend going to see a match if you get the chance.  There are food trucks, drinks and everyone is having a good time…even the Lions’ supporters!

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First Stop: Hervey Bay

First stop on our newest adventure is a return to familiar soil…it is Hervey Bay.

Hervey Bay is part of the Fraser Coast of Queensland, about three and half hours drive from Brisbane.  There are buses and the Tilt train, but the easiest option is to drive.

Hervey Bay is famous for Whale watching, I have done this in the past and would highly recommend, however, be aware that the season for this is August – October.  Other things to do are mainly the beach, relaxing, and eating!  Perfect. If you want great fish and chips head to Madagens.

Head over to Fraser Island to experience something unique.  You can catch the ferry of do a tour.  The Lakes are beautiful, the wildlife stunning and it is something you will not see any where else in the world… we skipped this, this time…too many school trips.

We recommend Bean Beat if you fancy a yummy coffee and also try Enzo’s on the Beach for a relaxed lunch.

nearly time

Hold on tight we are writing up a storm…lots of new travel and lifestyle articles are on the way!