Exploring The Peak, Hong Kong

Since TT was only in Hong Kong for the weekend, we really tried to fit as much as we possibly could in to the two days he was here.

Waking up bright and early Sunday, we emerged bright eyed and bushy tailed ready to make the most of the last few hours we had together.

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This time heading to a different Cha Chaan Teng for breakfast called Honolulu Cafe in Wan Chai.

Honolulu Cafe looks a bit more established than Kam Fung. For starters, it’s much larger. People aren’t squished together at shared tables and there are a few more waiters and staff members milling around.

We ordered a bacon and egg omelette,

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an HK french toast,

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and the HK classics – an egg tart,

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a pineapple bun with butter,

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and two milk tea iced coffees to wash it all down.

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We thought the Kam Fung pineapple bun with butter  was better than Honolulu’s (but how can you go wrong with a pastry stuffed with slabs of butter?) but Honolulu stole the show with the egg tart. It was buttery, flaky, custardy – everything and more.

Our big activity for the day was going up to The Peak. Ranked #1 for things to do on most every Hong Kong guide, taking the tram to the peak has been an established favorite attraction since its inception in 1888.

With its fame comes the inevitably long lines but we braced ourselves and headed over, pleasantly surprised by how quickly the line moved. We waited maybe an hour and I’m sure if we had gone earlier in the morning, we might have beat the crowds.

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Victoria Peak is the highest mountain on Hong Kong island and offers dreamy panoramic views of every inch of HK city below you. The mountain itself (The Peak) is where the wealthiest of Hong Kong live. Obviously the views increase the property value but I also read that being so much higher up, the climate is actually a bit more temperate than the sub-tropical temperatures and rampant humidity in the city below. Interesting!

Part of the draw of visiting the Peak is getting to ride the rickety old tram up the mountain. The tram runs up and down the mountain, shuttling 120 passengers each way each time. The track up/down the mountain is so steep that on the descent, passengers sit facing backwards so they don’t pitch forward and fall over.

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Once at the top, you can head even higher to the Sky Terrace 428, the 360 degree viewing terrace at the tippy top of the mountain. You can also hike up the mountain on foot and walk along the vantage points from the trails but we didn’t do that this time around.

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After taking plenty of pictures and peering out in every direction, we made our way back down the mountain and back into Central to continue exploring the twisty, winding neighborhood roads.

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Always looking for the next snack and knowing we couldn’t possibly leave Hong Kong without trying roast duck or goose, we sought out Yung Kee Restaurant on Wellington Street.

The restaurant is large and very pretty. Red marble lined the walls and floors and waiters were dressed in black suits. We weren’t looking to split an entire roast goose between two people so were delighted to find that Yung Kee offered a miniature portion of roast goose, rice, and the fixins on a much smaller plate at a much smaller price.

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The goose was fabulous. Buttery, tender meat encased by deliciously crispy skin. We did run into a slight debacle when I bit into a piece of bone and got bone stuck between my tooth and actually thought my tooth was going to break and the bone would never come out. It irrationally soured my mood quite a bit but after TT reassured me that floss would, in fact, keep me from dying in this particular situation, I was able to relax and realize just how good the food was.

We had one more place that TT really wanted to try before he left – Mak’s Noodle. Originating from Guangzhou, China in 1920, Mak’s Noodle is renowned for its wanton noodle soup. The restaurant is run by direct descendants of Mak Woon-chi, the “wanton master”, who was so well known for his wantons that he served the former President of the Republic of China – Chiang Kai-shek.

We ordered one bowl of wanton noodle with beef brisket to split and it did not disappoint. A bit on the smaller side but the taste more than made up for it with wantons that were smooth and delicious, hand-pulled and perfectly elastic noodles, and an incredibly flavorful broth which I think was only enhanced by the addition of the brisket.

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With a little bit of time left to spare, we hopped on the lil ding ding tram and rode it all the way to the end of the line. If you’ve been following me on instagram, you’ll have seen the lil ding ding trams in full force. The ding ding trams are skinny double decker trams that run all over Hong Kong island. You can hop on, hop off for just HKD 2.30 per ride. They are cheap, efficient, and the greenest form of transportation in the city. They are called ding ding trams because of the double bell ring the trams use to warn pedestrians of their approach!

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After traveling the length of the line, we stopped off at Woomaloomoo steakhouse in Wan Chai. We bypassed the restaurant and headed up to the rooftop bar to take in the beautiful views of Wan Chai and Central and toast our spontaneous vacation with a cocktail.

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This bar was magnificent. The view was really second to none. So beautiful in every direction and a great cocktail list to boot.

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Finished with our cocktails, we waved goodbye to Woomaloomoo and headed back to the hotel to pack TT up before heading to the airport, bringing a fantastic babel weekend to a close.

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