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Friday, July 27, 2018

Anilao 2018: Stop in Hong Kong (Day 1)

Cab ride in Hong Kong
Rob was in Asia the week before our trip to Anilao, so I met him in Hong Kong and we hung out there for a couple days with our friend Bev (and her not-so-imaginary boyfriend, Matt).  It was not the ideal time to visit Hong Kong, as it was super hot.  But we had a lot of fun, in between feeling like I might collapse from heat stroke.  I'd really like to go back sometime in the winter (or at least not the peak of summer).

PDB on flight to Hong Kong
I arrived in Hong Kong on a Friday morning, and Rob and Bev also flew back to Hong Kong that morning, so we planned to meet at the airport.  The flight was uneventful, and actually better than expected.  I flew premium economy on Cathay Pacific, which was better than I expected.  I managed to sleep for a reasonable amount of time, which I didn't expect to be able to do without a lie-flat seat :)  Plus they gave me champagne before takeoff, which is really all that's necessary to make me happy.  Anyhoo, I arrived a couple hours before Rob and wandered the airport and had some dim sum.  We eventually met up and headed to the hotel, but Rob had a meeting in the afternoon.  So he deposited me at the hotel and I went to the pool and napped for a while, until Bev was free for a late lunch.

Brisket noodles!
She took me to a "brisket noodle" place called Kau Kee, which was a tiny restaurant with a ridiculously long line in front of it.  But somehow the line moved incredibly fast, so after not too long at all, we were seated (at a table shared with some other random people) and we (well mostly Bev) ordered some delicious noodle soup with delicious meat in it.  And iced coffee, which is exactly what I needed considering the heat and jet lag.  The bowl of soup was pretty small, so we ate it quickly and moved along, which explained how they could move people through there so quickly.  We walked around a little bit and eventually made our way to the escalators that run through central Hong Kong, and took that up the hill a little bit to Tai Kwun.  It's a good thing for those escalators or I would have died of heat stroke walking up the hill.  Around this time we finally heard from Rob, who was headed back to the hotel.  He said after he got there and changed, he'd come and meet us.

Really good iced coffee
We walked around a bit more and after we couldn't stand the heat, we found a cafe/wine bar whose name I can't remember.  It's unfortunate that I can't remember it, because I had what I think is the best iced coffee I've ever had.  And I drink a lot of iced coffee.  I think it was right on Hollywood Road, but I did a bit of googling around and couldn't find it.  After quite a while, Rob eventually showed up, and only after Bev got on the phone with his cab driver and explained where we were :)

Beer at Blue Supreme

After a bit more wandering around, we ended up at Blue Supreme, a gastropub-ish place where Bev's nephew (whose name I have forgotten) cooks.  The kitchen wasn't open yet so we drank beer for a while and then eventually when the kitchen opened, Bev's nephew brought us a few dishes of his choice.  Everything was very tasty.  The plan was that we would just eat a little and then have dinner later on, though that didn't end up working out, because we ate too much tasty food here :P

Next we went up to Victoria Peak to see the view.  It was insanely crowded, but we managed to get up there and get some nice views and snap a few pictures without getting pushed over the railing by the throngs of people.

View from Victoria Peak
 After that we headed back down to Central and went to a bar called Stockton, which was way too cool for me.  I suppose you could say it had good ambiance, but the cocktail menu was full of complicated cocktails that each had so many ingredients that at least one was something I don't like.  But I sucked it up and found something to order.  I don't remember what the actual cocktail was, but it came with this huge cube-shaped ice cube (maybe that's redundant) which was coated in cocoa butter (I assume) so it was matte white.  So that looked pretty neat.  I think it had Frangelico in it.  Or something nutty.

We finished up the evening at another bar that was right next to our hotel, the Cafe Gray Bar (no relationship to Grey Cat).  It's on the 49th floor of a hotel, so there is a nice view.  It had a much more reasonable cocktail list than Stockton, though it felt a lot less like I was in a James Bond movie.

Rob's third birthday cake
When we got back to our room, we found that the local sales team (that Rob was with in the afternoon) had sent a cake and bottle of champagne to our room for Rob's birthday (which was on Thursday).  Gotta love sales guys.  This was the third birthday cake that Rob had during his travels around Asia.  Unfortunately I was too tired to eat cake.  Isn't that terrible?  So we saved it for tomorrow.

I was planning to cram all of our Hong Kong stay into one post, but it seems it was too eventful for that.  So I'll save the rest for a second post.

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