A Sleepy First Day in Hong Kong

Hello from Hong Kong! After a fairly pleasant 15.5 hour Cathay Pacific plane journey from Washington, DC non-stop to Hong Kong, I arrived extremely sleepy but ready to explore this amazing city and eat all the pork buns.

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But first, I arrived at 5am and had to navigate my way from the airport to the city with most customer service/tourism helpers not yet at their desk. Most of my flight was with me in the confusion but eventually made it to the Airport Express train into Kowloon. It is easy once you figure it out!

Empty 5:30am trains:


Then I got lost at the Kowloon station. Sleepy Andrea gets lost easily. But some nice person helped me get on a free bus (at least I think it was free, I didn’t pay and they never asked!) that took me near my hotel. Of course rooms are never ready at 7am so I went walking around Hong Kong in search of breakfast. My first attempt was thwarted because I couldn’t figure out how to open the front door. Then I was so embarrassed I couldn’t open the front door to the restaurant that I just left. But never fear, I figured out the doors really quick (you have to push a button not just push/pull the door). Breakfast eventually was found at great little spot near my hotel- spicy brisket and noodle soup. And a lot of coffee! It was delicious.

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Now that my shenanigans were over and my hotel room was ready early, I took a 4 hour nap and woke up ready to start the day for real. And I was hungry again.

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My guidebook and Yelp said to go to Tim Ho Wan a Michelin-starred dim sum restaurant. I am not the type of traveler to hit up Michelin-star venues mostly because they are expensive and hard to get a table. But if you go before the dinner rush Tim Ho Wan is inexpensive and does not have a wait.

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Tim Ho Wan is famous for their BBQ pork buns, which I love. There were two different BBQ pork buns on the menu so I ordered both plus some vegetable and shrimp dumplings. I assume these were the talked about BBQ pork buns because they were the most delicious dim sum anything I have ever put in my mouth. The crispy, yet soft bun wrapped around the perfectly cooked pork and melted in my mouth.

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Everything was amazing and with tea, my bill was less than $8. My first Michelin star experience was fantastic! Happily, I have leftovers in my hotel room fridge for breakfast tomorrow. All of the food I  ordered together:

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After dinner, I made my way to the Avenue of the Stars and the Intercontinental Hotel on Victoria Harbour for views of the city skyline. Inside the Intercontinental I sat in the lobby bar (also suggested by my guidebook) and had an expensive, fancy gin and tonic along with sunset.


There is a tropical storm nearby (that is veering north of Hong Kong)so the sunset was too cloudy but those skyline views are worth it.


A lot of people line up here to hang out and watch the 8pm light show.

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I went to Temple Street Night Market near my hotel and street stall shopped my way down the very crowded market. There are a lot of food stands too but I was still full from my dinner.

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It was an excellent first day in Hong Kong despite the door fiasco and getting lost a few times. I’m heading in nearby Macau tomorrow to explore and maybe gamble a bit but I’ll be back in Hong Kong before nightfall for more amazing city sights.

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Reader Question: What is the silliest thing you did recently while sleepy? Getting lost and not being able to open doors are my latest!

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