Saturday, March 24, 2018

End of Day 1 in Hong Kong.


After visiting Lantau Island, we decided to head back to Kowloon but we weren't quite ready to call it a day yet. We had read about a fruit market in Yau Ma Tei that we wanted to check out. As we all know, Bro is a fruit addict and well, there is no way we would have skipped visiting this place once we knew of its existence.

The Yau Ma Tei Fruit Market is a wholesale fruit market that also sells the retail customers.   We made our way there via the MTR, stopping at the Yau Ma Tei station.  From there, it's barely a 5 minute walk to the market - presuming you exit the station at the correct exit.  Make sure you check the board before you leave the station.

As with the goldfish and flower markets, the fruit market is not housed in a single building; it's a collection of shops and stalls that fill up a small section of street blocks.  By the time we arrived, it was very late in the afternoon and the place was still packed with people.  I don't think we've yet adjusted to the scale of the population in Hong Kong versus where we live in the US.....this despite the fact we both live in large, major metropolitan areas!


Like salmon swimming upstream, we just walked along with the crowd, peeking at the selection of fruits that the individual vendors were offering for sale. 


The variety of fruits that are for sale is very impressive.  Here you can find durian from SE Asia, cherries from the US, wood apples and mangoes from India, among the numerous varieties of grapes.  Chinese must really love grapes.


Nothing here is cheap to buy, at least not by US prices.  Hong Kong Chinese must be wealthy!



We also found the latest Asian fruit trend here - white and pink strawberries.  I didn't know such things existed but apparently, white strawberries do exist, even in the wild.  But it's taken the Japanese to elevate them to cult status.  Any vendor selling these was mobbed by people wanting them and they are not cheap!  I did not do an exact cost conversion to USD but I would say that a single strawberry would run you several dollars.  In case you're wondering, the flesh is also white.  There was no option to buy just few rather than an entire box worth so we didn't bother trying any of them.  Supposedly, they taste like a red strawberry so it's just the color is different - something akin to a yellow watermelon.


We did partake in a few samples here and there but given that Bro lives in California, he is really spoilt by the quality of the fruit he gets at home.  Let's just say he was not all that impressed by the things he saw here.  Okay, we can at least say we did our due diligence and checked this place out because if we hadn't come, he would've been wondering what he might have missed out on.

The market is actually just a short walk from our apartment but with our useless Google maps, we could not find our way back very easily.  In fact, we got into quite a heated argument over which way to go.  We're both stubborn so neither was about to conceded.  That's when I realized we really were tired.....like two babies having a tantrum when they really need to just lay down and sleep.   We were probably also hungry.  It was time to call it a day.

After a while, we did cool off and we made our way back to the apartment.  The night market vendors were already busy setting up for the coming hours.  It's amazing how quickly Temple Street transforms itself everyday.

After resting for a bit, we headed out for dinner.  We got about as far as last night.  Like....literally, right across the street....to yet another hole-in-the-alleyway restaurant.  We found an empty table and seated ourselves.


The waiter came by and dropped off the dishware, the chopsticks and the ubiquitous roll of toilet paper.  Bro still can't get over the fact that toilet paper doubles as napkins here but I say napkins are just sheets of toilet paper presented in nicer looking package.  Function wise, toilet paper works just fine!


Our table had a *front row* view of the stalls on Temple Street 😁  Today, we were hungry.  Those Subway sandwiches that we had on Lantau Island had long made their way through our systems.   Thankfully, this restaurant also had a large banner with photos of its menu offerings so we just pointed out to the waiter what we wanted.  We decided to stick with the seafood theme so we ordered a plate of razor clams, an oyster omelet and a plate of stir fried veggies which turned out to be Romaine lettuce cooked up with big chunks of garlic (yum!)





After dinner, Bro wanted to do some shopping on Temple Street.  Specifically, he wanted to get a car holder for his cellphone and an HDMI adapter to hook up his LG phone to his TV at home.  Luckily, I had researched what type of port his phone has so I knew we were looking for a SlimPort to HDMI adapter.  As you might expect, Apple and Samsung devices are the most popular ones here so finding anything for an LG phone was challenging - we were getting a lot of vendors shaking their heads at us when we asked if they had the connector.  Then, I spotted on in a store.  I had Bro go back to the apartment to get his phone so we make sure the connector fit....and it did.  Voila!  We ended our shopping spree back at the vendor selling sugar cane juice.  At HK$24 for a small bottle's worth, it's not a cheap drink but I use it to flavor my drinking water and for that, it's perfect.  I just need a small amount and Bro gets the rest.

By now, it was close to 9:30p and we were both tired.  Back in the apartment, I had just enough energy left to take a shower and run a load of laundry.   Tomorrow, we have a really full day so I am going to sleep as much as I can.  So far, we've not really struggled with any jetlag.  Fingers crossed, it continues that way!

Goodnight from Hong Kong!