The picture I took above encapsulates what I’ve always envisioned Hong Kong to be—full of lights, full of people, chaotic, fast-paced, bright, ALIVE. And that’s exactly what I witnessed and experienced on our first night in this Chinese SAR.
|Hong Kong street food|
After eating dinner at Australian Dairy Co., we proceeded to explore the rest of what the Mong Kok area had to offer (download this amazing Mong Kok walking guide here). There are actually a lot of street markets in the area and one can indulge in a lot of nighttime shopping. Since we were already tired from the flight, we only got to explore one of them that night—the Ladies’ Market along Tung Choi Street.
While it’s called the Ladies’ Market, it really has stalls that cater to everyone, not just the ladies. I’m no stranger to the street market scene and in fact, the Ladies’ Market somewhat reminded me of the crowded street set-up in the Philippines’ very own Divisoria (especially the ones along Roman and Ilaya streets) except that Ladies’ Market was well-lighted at night and the goods had more variety.
There were a lot of touristy souvenir items and as expected, most were obviously mass-produced from China. I didn’t have any illusions of finding one-of-a-kind souvenirs here. In fact, I was specifically looking for a black “I ♥ HK” shirt to add to my growing collection of “I ♥” t-shirts from my travels. And well, because it’s also one of the quintessential Hong Kong souvenirs. And in a place like Mong Kok, there is no other way but be quintessential Hong Kong.
Then we had a bit of respite in Hui Lau Shan Healthy Dessert along Dundas Street, where we got some cold fruit drinks.
As we stood on the street corner where Hui Lau Shan was located, sipping our drinks, I found myself in the middle of the chaos that is the Hong Kong night street life. I think it was actually the first time that I was able to breathe since I arrived in Hong Kong that day!
And because I was still, I was able to take in and for the first time, and appreciate everything that was going on—the people frantically walking and talking, what the kids were wearing (although taking photos of them was hard since everyone seemed to be walking so fast!), and basically got to take in all the noise, the chaos, the spirit of Hong Kong. It was overwhelming but at the same time, really exhilarating! Welcome to Hong Kong indeed!
|Street sign chaos everywhere|
Hui Lau Shan Healthy Dessert
G/F, Dundas Square, 43 H Dundas Street, Mong Kok