Our plane landed in Hong Kong just before sunrise.
Even though it had been some of the best 15 hours of flying anyone could wish for, with objectively good food, it was still a 15-hour flight in a confined metal tube. A good stretch was overdue. Thanks to our excessive layover schedule, we headed into town.
It was 65 and cloudy, a slightly humid version of home and perfect condition for an exploratory stroll. Although Hong Kong was one of the densest cities in the world, the two of us were among the few on the road this early Sunday morning.
Suddenly, it occurred to me how I much action I could see even when the whole city stood still. Atop the Bank of China building was where the “Black Panther” special force soldiers had that explosive fist fight; on the curvy roof of HKCEC Jackie Chan had his standoff in a hostage situation in the last installment of Police Story; from a high floor of IFC2 the Dark Knight extracted his bad guy back to Gotham; Stephen Chow’s God of Cookery fight for redemption on the funky-looking Lippo Centre; Donny Yen’s police car cruising on the highway as he pondered the meaning of life; gunshots and explosions on the Central streets… Even though this was merely my second visit to this tiny island city, I already knew it intimately well.
Jackie Chan on the left; Donnie Yen on the right
“Black Panther” on the left; Christian Bale on the right
We walked along the bay for some time, then took a random shot at turning toward the hill. Downtown HK was definitely the most 3D place we had been, with a complex system of bridges and tunnels connecting roads and skyscrapers together on a hilly terrain. While awesome in concept, it was confusing to visitors from out of town. Where else does crossing a street involve going up and down stairs, through a mall and then an office building’s lobby? Our Fitbit was pleased with our progress of the day, though.
A very nice office lobby en route to visit the JW Marriott
Chinese New Year decorations were everywhere
At 9 o’clock, we arrived at the only Lan Fong Yuen open on Sundays, and met up with Cynthia, Aaron, and Aris. Formerly best buddies at Mercer and closest friends in the Bay Area, they were now freshly minted HK residents and big shot industry leaders. The last time Hong and I came to Hong Kong, we dragged our 14-month-old to attend Cynthia and Aaron’s wedding. Four years later, we met again here and it was their turn having a sub-two-year-old. Hmm. It was hard to believe it had been over two months since we last saw them, and it was great to catch up.
Happy Jones family
Lan Fong Yuen invented the Hong Kong styled milk tea that we dearly love. But our craving for this cafe had more to do with its rice and noodle dishes that we tried four years ago. Those heavenly lunch dishes, however unfortunately, were not served so early in the morning. We ended with a few breakfast items instead.
The fourth location of the birthplace of HK milk tea
Happy new year Aris!
After waving the Jones family goodbye, we hopped on the Airport Express, went through an automated passport control, killed some time at Cathay’s lounge, and moved on to destination #2.
February 18, 2018
February 22, 2014
Southeast Asia 2018 Index
- Peninsula City Hopping
- Pig Out 1/3
- Pig Out 2/3
- Pig Out 3/3
- Hong Kong Déjà Vu
- Unfinished Business in Singapore
- Exploring Kuala Lumpur
- Week-Long Birthday in Thailand
- Wats in Bangkok
- Bangkok Food Scenes
- Ayutthaya Road Trip on a Full Stomach
- Vacation Within Vacation on Koh Samui
- Farewell Thailand