Day 2 is about touristy things and lots of walking... jeez it was gloriously tiring, but I'll do it all over again
The first agenda of the day was to see pandas at the Ocean Park. We had coffee and croissant at a local Starbucks and got to Admiralty station for the bus. Unfortunately, there had been a reroute, so we got back to the MTR to Tin Hau. I just have to spend a moment though to say that the signs were put up the night before and it was so efficient and traveler-friendly of that move right there!
I haven’t seen theme parks abroad plainly because I’m
boring like that almost always alone traveling so it was kind of refreshing to see the humongous park. But I’ll be honest that, I wasn’t so thrilled – haha! Signs of ageing, indeed.
The Ocean Park houses a lot of zoo animals including this sad-looking but adorably cute fish that Nica and I couldn’t stop staring at! He’s like that chubby-faced kid from Up!
AND FINALLY! PANDAS!!!! But lazy pandas, at that! I think s/he fully know that he’s being watched and that s/he’s being a troll for not moving. Huhuhuhu, that all our HK$ 320 (US$ 42) went to because spending half a day there with the hot sun above and the throngs of Hongkongers slash tourist crowd was too much to bear. I think half of the island’s population were concentrated there on a Sunday. So yeah, we watched this lazy panda, which I’d correct myself was just making kuyakoy (moving its feet sublimely as it slept) on us, and the playful red panda enjoying the tourists’ attention.
We were a bit disappointed with the pandas, so we went back to Sheung Wan to grab lunch. We ate at this nondescript diner with no English menu and a TV with horseracing on all day. Pretty legit. I felt like a kung fu scene from one of those movies we used to watch when we were kids would happen anytime. Flip all the tables, flying kicks, and flailing people. The works. But nah, it was just a peaceful meal with bouts of arguments in Cantonese, I think, whether who won the race and if their bets earned money. Beats me.
We continued walking from Sheung Wan to Soho and the Aberdeen area (yes, walked) and saw these quirky wastelands (!!!!!!!) There were a lot of home stuff, but mostly were artisanal or curated so I guess that’s why it was a bit expensive. But, I got a few things like a wooden postcard (another !!!!!!!!) and we just passed through. We were looking for PMQ which was at the end of Soho bisecting Aberdeen.
PMQ or Police Married Quarters is formerly what you think it is. It was transformed into blocks of creative shops selling artistic items from toys, postcards, books to clothes, furniture, and food. In Manila, we have these kind of stores, but not on steroids like these ones! We were just in time, I think there was an event there and there were a loooooot of people – both locals and foreigners – checking out the good stuff. I had an amaziiiing time looking at the stores. The stuff they sell there were on the pricier side though, so unless you came with a big budget, don’t expect to bring home a lot of stuff. I brought home a couple of postcards, a biographical photo-poetry book, and a really good shopping experience.
The walking didn’t stop there. Oh god, can you imagine our aching feet?! But the city is too charming to resist. Literally, the place is a living and self-manifesting art in itself. Walk a bit and you’ll see great street art and the next would be a slew of local market finds like meat, vegetables, and oh dim sum ingredients (I think that was Graham Street Market, one of the oldest in Hong Kong!) We rode the train back to Austin and lucky for us, there are a lot of dim sum places in the area so, hello dinner!
We wouldn’t mind egg tarts for dessert really (from another store with no English menu again.)