FC: Hong Kong
2: After spending a grueling day of stormy travel via longboat, ferry, shuttle, airport, metro, and taxi, we were happy to meet up with Mom and Angie in Hong Kong.
3: The next day, we slept in, laundered our soaked and stinky clothes, then headed out to an old school dim sum dive. In this no frills establishment, you stand near a table you hope will soon be vacant, and share the remaining space with other guests. They clean chicken bones off the table with some hot tea, then your fun in ordering begins. Upon mom asking what was inside one of the steam baskets, one grouchy server snapped back, "You know what's in here!" and refused to lift the lid. Still, a yummy chow fun!
4: Visiting Hong Kong was a trip down memory lane with Mom as our guide. We sampled snacks at a shop where mom has fond memories of picking out childhood favorites and meeting with her father. | Down the road is Dried Seafood Street, where Mom stocked up on abalone and dried fungus. Pricey shark's fins, elk horn, bird's nests, and the makings for other potions can also be purchased.
7: Cheung Kong Park offers city dwellers an oasis in the busiest part of central Hong Kong. We liked the juxtaposition of tall, hard steel and soft, lush green.
8: Flammable paper outfits, watches, and jewelry, intended to follow the incensed into the after life
9: Old banyans still conquer over city walls
10: We were delighted by whimsical murals that covered a city walkway
12: We enjoyed a few Hong Kong cafe meals at the Tsui Wah Restaurants. In the morning, enjoy soup noodles, and for an afternoon snack, nai cha and crispy filled buns. | Hong Kong Cafes
13: Mmm...tomato sauce covered pork chops...
14: Tram to The Peak
15: The steep tram has brought its passengers safely past sprawling greenery and soaring towers since 1888
16: The View from the Top
19: HK Culture We're ever amused by Asian media and Asians in the media
21: Meet the Fongs We met Dad's brothers, cousin, and their wives at a hot pot dinner. The love of good food must run in the family - we were astounded at the number of courses that kept coming, long after we were full. The most surprising treat was a fishball filled with oozy cheese.
22: The lineup: different versions of Dad | The black plastic tubes contain fish and shrimp pastes to be scooped out | An abundance of veggies came out later, but by then, we were stuffed with meat, seafood, and the delicious sauces
23: Say, "Da Bin Lo!"
25: Exploring Natural Wonders at Ocean Park
26: Cuddly cuttlefish
31: From the cable car, Mom pointed out her old home in the distance. She recalls visiting Ocean Park as a kid with her nanny, to whom she was a bit naughty.
35: I see you, panda impostor!
37: Mom's Hood We hired a taxi driver to assist in our personal tour of Mom's old neighborhood. We were impressed as we ascended the "Hollywood Hills" of Hong Kong. Mom was able to sneak past the gates to pose for a picture at what was once home. At Causeway Bay, she reminisced about days venturing down for a swim.
38: Happiest girl on Earth | Repulse Bay
39: Hotel features a hole cutout for feng shui purposes
40: We met with the Ngs for dinner in the Hong Kong Times Square. Our meal featured some of the best pork products on our trip.
41: Uncle Michael is sought-after knitting pro. His father-in-law's knitting shop rocked the real estate market when its 900 square feet was sold to a famous drugstore company for $250 million. They moved the knitting shop upstairs, so they are still in a prime location. | Grandpa's other claim to fame is his amazing story of how he conquered a mysterious illness with Chinese herbal medicine. Mom helped to translate as he spoke with great enthusiasm.
42: Pets in the city
43: Fongs in the city
44: We were enthralled at the Hong Kong Museum of history, which features scale models and artifacts from prehistoric, ancient, colonial, and modern times. Have you ever pictured an Asian caveman? | How cute are these school kids?
47: Wedding procession | Yummy plastic food
48: Chinese Opera House Peering into the "backstage" to imagine the performer surrounded by her intricate costumes, putting on her makeup, was very convincing.
49: I don't know who was more impressed - the kids, or me.
51: A festival famous for its towers of buns
52: The raised platform in pawn shops force customers into a submissive position
53: We walked down full-sized "streets" featuring docks, medicine shops, banks, tea houses, and tailors
55: Post WW II My favorite section was "Modern Hong Kong" in the 50s and 60s. The fusion of East and West made me think this could be any Chinatown in California.
58: Diamond District
59: Auntie Pearl, Maria, and Carl treated us to a fancy dinner at the Kowloon Hotel
61: A trip to Hong Kong wouldn't be complete without seeing its night skyline aboard the Star Ferry. | Recognized by its triangular outlines, the Bank of China building is featured on paper currency. It is also said to project negative vibes onto the other buildings, according to feng shui principles.
64: An impromptu trip to Macau was an inspiring way to spend our last day in Asia. We explored the old sights to see the remains of 400 years of Portuguese history. Largo de Senado is the square recognized by its wavy patterns of black and white tiles.
67: We ate traditional Portuguese specialties at a famous restaurant. The ribs were amazing. We burned off a few extra calories at a park with exercise equipment suitable for children and the elderly.
68: Old Macau's most famous landmark is the Ruinas de Sao Paulo
69: Note the very visible human remains in the crypt | After catching fire in 1835, only its facade remains
72: We finally found the source of the percussion music we heard throughout the city
75: Updated tilework echoes Macau's nautical history | We stumbled upon this artsy shop where pandas have a sense of humor (and menace)
77: Macau is known as the gambling capital of Asia. It's Venetian is the largest casino in the world. We went to the Grand Lisboa to get a glimpse of the opulence and featured ornate artworks. Too bad we weren't hungry enough to eat at the buffets!
79: HONG KONG: Fabulous fun for us Fongs!