OK! So welcome to day 2 of my Hong Kong trip! Check out day 1 here! :)
Ok, so the next day, our first stop was once again food! This time, it was a place Justin had found called Australia Dairy Co. I was skeptical at first (Australian breakfast place in Hong Kong? Really?), but it tuned out to be a super popular place to get some food unique to Hong Kong with a line even at the early morning hour we went!
We had to order before we were sat, which made sense due to the 30+ minute wait line outside. Once we sat down, our food was out within minutes. I soon found out that it has traditional “Hong Kong” style breakfast, which is neither Cantonese nor British, but an interesting mix of both. The most strange item in the set meal we ordered was a chicken broth with macaroni and ham, but it was good! It was an interesting experience. :)
After breakfast/brunch, we headed off to find Chi Lin Nunnery, which we found by wandering through Nan Lian Garden. I don’t know what it was about that place, but it smelled very, very strange. We don’t know if it was the plants, or just a massive amount of body odor off a very large group of sweaty people… but the smell kind of ruined the ambiance. It came in waves, but after a while we grew a bit accustomed to it.
Anyway, the garden prides itself as an oasis from busy city life, and it was truly a nice escape from the buildings and concrete. It is built using traditional Chinese landscape gardening techniques, according to the pamphlet I picked up during my visit!
We first stepped into the Chinese Timber Architecture Gallery building with some beautiful wooden dioramas of buildings we were not familiar with. According to the pamphlet, the exhibition showcases buildings from various dynasties.
And then we re-emerged into the strange smelling atmosphere, to be greeted with a beautiful golden building! It is called the Pavilion of Absolute Perfection, which stands in the middle of the Lotus Pond. It is surrounded by eight pine trees, and two vermilion colored bridges. Seeing the pavilion against the high-rises in the background made for some interesting pictures. I would say these pretty much capture how I felt about Hong Kong – a strange but well functioning clash between the new and the old.
When we were done winding through the gardens, we finally approached Chi Lin Nunnery, which thankfully did not have any particular smell or odor. If anything, I think I remember it smelling a bit like incense.
Sorry for the pretty washed out photos! It was a bit overcast and I seem to be slowly forgetting everything I learned about cameras. D: Some of Justin’s shots are mixed in above and below, so if you see something that looks colorful and clear, it is probably his picture.
After wandering around slowly and trying to appreciate the lack of crowds there, we headed off to Wong Tai Sin Temple, which was celebrating the 95th (year?) of something. D: I am not 100% sure what was going on, but something seemed to be happening.
The Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple’s claim to ‘make every wish come true upon request’ might have something to do with its popularity. Home to three religions (Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism), its natural setting and beautifully ornamented buildings make it as much a scenic attraction as an important religious centre.
Unlike the Man Mo Temple, this one was outdoors. There were also MANY more people here, and you could see many people worshiping. Maybe they were praying for their wishes to come true! There was also a lot of incense being burned, as seemed to be the norm in spiritual places in Hong Kong.
The temple opened up to some gardens as well, which consisted of many pools of water and terraces that led over them. The little roofs over the terraces were beautifully painted.
The gardens here were really beautiful! I enjoyed walking around and resting – unlike some parks, there were plenty of places to sit, which was great! :)
Afterwards, we headed to the Heritage of Mei Ho House, which is both a hostel as well as a museum. The Mei Ho House was Hong Kong’s first public housing complex, built in the 1950s to resolve the housing issues dealt with by low-income families. The museum walks you through the history of the housing blocks with real life recreations as well as small dioramas of what life was like back then. In addition, most of the information on display at the museum relies on oral history interviews, which I think is a beautiful way of weaving people and their true experiences into history. I am not sure how this was done, but it was really nice to know this as we walked through the museum. I enjoyed this as well as the replicas of daily life (which I always love), so this was a lot of fun to visit, albeit a bit out of the way for us. One more thing about the museum – it is free admission!!
After we were finished there, we headed to have dinner at a noodle place my friend Megan suggested. :) We were really excited to try the noodle place, but there was a communication mix up and Justin’s food came out very bland, while mine came out super spicy. I tried to gesture for them to lower the spicy level, but when the food came back, it was even MORE spicy, and they added up an extra charge onto our bill. D: Was kind of sad, but with time, got over myself.
After that, we wandered around a bit again!
After that, we headed to this part of the water front called the Avenue of Stars where we were supposed to see a light show… but if we did see it it was so anticlimactic that we were not sure if it was it. It was beautiful seeing the city lit up at night though!! We also found a lot of statues along the Avenue of Stars that we took pictures with. :)
Those last two shots show some of the lights that we saw faintly across the sky. After that, we walked through a night market, had dinner, and called it a night. :)
That last shot is me posing with this amazing advertisement that I fell in love with hahahahaha. I have no idea what it advertises, but after a long day , when we were both exhausted and in a slap happy mood, we decided to snap this so I could remember the joy it brought me. :D
Anyway, that is it for this post! I think it is already so photo heavy it might mess up some of my post weight distribution, but it’s all good. :) I hope you have enjoyed! The second (and maybe third) part(s) to this trip should come soon! Let’s hope in under a month! ;)