After spending four months in South America, spring had finally arrived in the northern hemisphere. So it was time to continue my endless summer and head north to my first ever destination in Asia: Hong Kong.
I fell in love with this city immediately. It was clean, modern, and was a great way to ease into Chinese culture.
The first night had me stumbling around the streets at 2am in a jet lag induced haze. This was the first time I had experienced jet lag in the past five months. One of the advantages of my continuous travel south from North America.
I felt like I was walking through the streets of some futuristic movie (think: Fifth Element or Total Recall). Bright neon signs in Chinese and English glared through the falling rain. Pedestrians speaking all different languages while shop keepers are trying to pull you into their stores to sell you their wares.
I found my way to Lan Kwai Fong, and area packed with bars and restaurants. It’s such a densely packed neighbourhood that in 1993 twenty-one people were killed by a human stampede as 15,000 partiers crammed into this area.
I plopped my self down at a restaurant with a view of the street and fired up Bumble while munching on some food.
Bumble and Tinder are a great way to meet locals, something that would pose a problem here in Hong Kong. With over 200,000 expatriates in the city, you’re bound to match with someone that is either a teacher or a banker originally from the west.
The next day and with my jet lag cured, I decided to try some of the famous street food. Heading to the Fa Yuen Street Market I sampled as much as I could stomach.
I wasn’t sure what I was ordering, but that’s half the fun right? Most items were $10HKD to $15HKD ($2-3CAD) and were served on a stick for easy eating.
Feeling full after 5 or 6 skewers of mystery meat, it was time to wash it down with some beer. I was walking to a bar when I felt my phone vibrate.
You have a new Bumble match!
Awesome! It looks like I matched with an American named Becky. We chatted for a bit and set up a time and place to meet up tonight. Perfect! Not a local, but someone who lives and works in Hong Kong is good enough for me.
Later that night I walk up to the bar where we are supposed to meet and see her sipping wine on the street with her friend Jun. I introduce my self and we immediately hit it off. Turns out Becky is in between jobs and has some time to hang with me and her friends! Awesome!
The next morning we stumble across the road to a breakfast place, where Becky is a regular. I immediately order some OJ, an espresso, and poached eggs on avocado toast to quench my hang over.
We end up spending the next two days together when she suggests that I just check out of my hostel (since it was in Kowloon, about 30-40 min away) and stay with her for the rest of my trip. Plus, it will make things easier for the beach BBQ we’re going to hit up. I get to live like a local for a bit! Yippee!
Shek O is located on the south east part of Hong Kong Island. It has some amazing views and a great sandy beach to get some sun. We arrive and our BBQ and picnic benches are waiting for us. It was a pot luck, so all of Becky’s friends and ex-coworkers brought food to share with everyone.
We had an amazing time, drinking, eating, and chilling on the beach before having to head home.
My time in HK was winding down and I was getting sad. Becky really made me feel at home and It would be bitter sweet to leave her behind.
But alas, this is the life of a traveller. She made my time in HK so much fun and had injected that level socializing that I needed after being on the road solo.