Hong Kong May.15, 2015

Central area, trams and foods

Since I landed the current job in 2011, I was working hard without taking any vacation. I found a travel book on the tram of Hong Kong and the towns along the system at a book store. That made me think when the last time I visited Hong Kong was and I wanted to visit my most favorite place of the world again. I planed a trip of three days with two nights to the city and booked the flights and the hotel room. My theme of this trip is taking trams end to end on the island and have a din sum at a local restaurant loved by locals.

Meal on the JAL flight for Hong Kong

It was not too hot and not humid, a perfect weather for travel in May. I headed to Haneda airport early in the morning. I like this airport which is just a 30 minute ride by a limousine bus from Yamashita Koen stop in my neighborhood. And I like the airline, too. Meal was not bad. I washed it down with Kirin’s Ichiban-shibori, a popular brand. I enjoyed myself during the flight of 5 hours.

After I passed the customs, I headed to the MTR office in the building to get my octopus card and charge some money into it. Cause I had not used it for many years and I knew it could not be used without the activation. As soon as I finished it, I walked to the bus terminal outside of the airport building to take a city flier’s bus to North point. It is the cheapest way to get to the downtown. I got off at Central, I strolled around the place called by Hong Kongers “Cat street”, where is crowed with antique shops. That area is located towards the hill from the central market. You may know the hill with escalators. Cat street is between the top of the hill and the market. I am not a collector of something. But I like the atmosphere of the street. I enjoyed looking at items like old stamps, bank notes, posters, pictures, postcards and Mao’s pin badges and people who are watching those at the store front. There are many restaurants and bars along the central mid-levels elevator. It was the film shooting place of “Chong King Express” (1994). There was a Nepali restaurant “Sherpa” on Caine road. They served authentic Nepali dishes. I liked the food and its atmosphere. This time I found the restaurant had been closed for good. I missed it very much.

Antique shop at Cat street, Hong Kong

Soon after I checked in at Courtyard in Water street near Kennedy town, I took tram to Central again, this time to have a dinner at Kau Kee Food cafe, a noodle shop famous for beef brisket noodles. The restaurant is deep inside and packed with locals when I entered. I wanted to order a curry taste noodle. But I decided to have a beef brisket noodle in standard taste and a can of Blue girl beer. The meat was very soft and the noodle was good. The soup was not salty and of mild taste. I left the restaurant after I drank the soup to the last drop.

Kau Kee Noodle cafe’s signature dish

The next day, I rode the tram line “end to end” from Kennedy town to Shau Kei Wan, a route of just 60 minutes taking a few hours by getting on and off on the way. The tramway has been operated since 1904 and it is used as an important public transportation even after the MTR started its service. The tramway is loved by local people with its nickname “Ding Ding”, from the sound of its horn. A fleet of some 160 trams crisscrosses from early in the morning to the midnight. I saw a lot of street views which I would never have seen if I had not taken the tramway this time. Chun Yueng street, North Point, is one of them. The tram goes in the small street of market which people occupy the whole road. It is wonderful that the tram is mingled with people naturally.

Chung Yeung Street, North Point

This time, I stayed at Courtyard in Water street near Kennedy town in the island. I used to stay at the Salisbury, YMCA Hong kong when I frequently visited as it is affordable and you can see the harbor from the room. I went to Tsim Sha Tui from the central by Star ferry the last night of my stay. I found the area around the ferry terminal has changed a lot. I have realized that two decades passed since my last visit. There were a lot of passengers of different ethnicity on the ferry, Sikh, Indians Muslims, British, Chinese, Southeast Asians, etc. Those variety is one of things our society is lacks. They still have this important element. May this was the reason I loved this territory.

Star Ferry to Central from Tim Sha Tsui