Stanley, Deja Vu

My life seems to be stuck on fast forward mode these days. I haven’t had the luxury of being bored since the first week of my arrival in Hong Kong. 係香港來講, 一日只得廿四小時又真係唔係好夠用.

I’ve been meaning to write about my Saturday, but like I said, I never seem to have enough time. I still don’t have enough time, but if I don’t do it anyway, it’s never going to happen.

I went out early on Saturday morning for some errands, and specifically made a note to stop by Stone Nullah Lane. Just a few steps up from with Queen’s Road East is a historic building called the ‘Blue House’, built before the World Wars and preserved to this very day. Queen’s Road East was also once the coastline of Wan Chai, from 1842 to 1890, but that’s before the Blue House was constructed. The inhabitants never got a chance to enjoy an ocean view!

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I had plans for lunch at 1 PM, but I went out a bit too early. By 11 AM, my stomach was growling. Too much time until my rendezvous to ignore it, but too little time to get a heavy meal… what do you do? Luckily, Hong Kong is a great place for handling these kinds of situations. Street food! I got one of my favorite snacks, called 豬腸粉. It’s a plain rice noodle roll – similar to what you get at dim sum, but without other ingredients. You must order it with 混醬 to fully appreciate it’s beauty. It literally means a mixture of all the sauces: soya sauce, sweet sauce, peanut sauce, sesame oil, chili sauce, and a probably some others that I don’t know about. If you’re not good with spicy food, you can also ask them to skip the hot sauces (走辣), but make sure you leave everything else in! Money still can’t buy happiness, but what you can get is this simple pleasure at $7 HKD 😀

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At this point, I had to start making my way over to Causeway Bay for lunch. There was enough time for me to walk over, but I wasn’t in the mood for that. MTR would’ve gotten me there way too early. A bus would’ve been just fine, but since I was right next to Johnston Road, why not take the tram! It’s a great way to kill some time and enjoy the scenery on the road (as opposed to the pitch black tunnels of the MTR). They’re also much cheaper than those rooftop buses that advertise their scenic ride. Who needs those when you can get across the entire island of Hong Kong via tram?!

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By the way, I love how the tram is also called the 叮叮, literally named after what it sounds like. It reflects the culture of Hong Kong, and also gives a touch of dearness to it.

It’s almost weird that I went back to Stanley, exactly a week after my previous visit. What actually happened was that I left my pencil case at the cafe last week. There’s nothing all that valuable in there, but definitely some meaningful tokens. For one, there’s that charm I got at the peak of Mt. Fuji just two months ago. Not to mention my beautiful array of pens that I need to record my inspiration. Anyway, I called the cafe immediately when I realized I left it last week, and they held onto it for me the entire week. I’ve told this story to quite a few friends here, and almost everybody has been amazed that I was able to even get it back… even after I emphasized that it’s not really worth much money. I won’t lie, I find this fact quite pitiful about Hong Kong. 

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Since I was in Stanley, I might as well enjoy it! Last week, I didn’t walk around the market, but this week I did as the tourists do. I still didn’t buy much, but it was a nice walk. Most of the stores in the market are really similar and it gets boring after a while. Instead, I like these kinds of cheap accessory stands, which are a bit more uncommon, and there’s a lot more for me to look at.

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I also stumbled upon this temple, called the Tin Hau Temple. You’d expect that it’s in Tin Hau, but nope… it’s in Stanley. Apparently, two Japanese bombs hit the temple in 1942, but they didn’t explode. Just a cool fact. I didn’t go inside, but just so you know, if you’re looking for this place, don’t head to Tin Hau.

I had a lot of time to kill, so I pretty much stopped at every tourist sign and read what it had to say. It’s hard to imagine that Stanley was once the most populous area on the island!

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Finally, right before I left, I had to try this ice cream place: Gino’s Gelato. They had green tea and pistachio! I really enjoyed it, but it was around the same price as the liquid nitrogen ice cream at Lab Made.

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SPEAKING OF LAB MADE… I just went again yesterday night! They changed their menu (no more mooncake flavour!), and since I had another group of friends, we were able to try three of the flavours all at once. Actually, we would’ve gotten all four, but they were sold out of the Lemon Ribena Greek Yogurt flavour. The Mango Gelato was okay, but I’ve tasted better, and it’s also quite a boring standard flavour. Bailey’s (being my favourite liqueur) was good, but since I got an extra shot of Bailey’s in it, I couldn’t actually tell whether the ice cream tasted like the real thing. HK Crispy Toast tasted a lot more like Peanut Butter Crunch, but since I love peanut butter, I liked it anyway 🙂

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Just a few more days and they’ll be out with a new menu! These people can get gullible consumers like me so easily…

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