I spent a few days with my younger brother and mom in Hong Kong, a city she loves but has not visited in decades.
It was in the twenties before we came but it became a balmy thirty-four degrees Celsius when we landed.
I was last here in 2013 when we were testing a new camera, and in 2016, where I hiked three mountains in seven days, with Ryan.
Not for mother the glitzy and touristy attractions. No, mom sought out the wet markets of Nathan Road, and made us take her to the grungiest, grimiest bits of Hong Kong we could find.
Mom grew up in Chinatown, Singapore, so she was in her element here. We helped to carry her marketing, like dried seafood. If she could cart fresh meat and fish past customs, she would have bought the entire wet market too.
She also insisted on visiting Wing On Department Store and even though the brother and I thought it was very OG, it turned out to be quite well-stocked with decent brands.
We made a side trip to Chueng Chau island, and visited my 堂兄 (paternal cousin) in Discovery Bay.
At Cheung Chau, they were preparing for the Cheung Chau Bun Festival on their Vesak Day. My brother and I purchased matching fedoras because we were vain. It turned out to be the best decision we made, because of the heat and sun.
We took a bumboat to see a temple there, because mom is a temple nerd. Every temple also must see.
Cheung Chau is very pretty and quaint. It is like time stood still here. And you can see a side of Hong Kong that you normally don't see. I was here some years back but it was too cold to swim. This crazy hot summer weather was perfect for a day at the beach.
Back on Hong Kong island, I insisted on taking the tram. It was slow and a corny thing to do, and my brother said he had never taken one before, so I insisted we all try, even though it added 30 minutes to our travel time back to our hotel in Kowloon East. I know, I know, the MTR was faster but I am a tram otaku.
In the end, mom said the ride was ok but "aiyoh so very slow" and "one time is enough". I guess she does not share my love of trams.
On the last day, mom wanted to see The Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery in Sha Tin. In the mad heat and humidity, we climbed the hill. Only to realize it was the wrong temple. It was the Po Fook Ancestral Worship Halls next door.
It was still a lovely view from up there, but down the hill we went, to look for the right trail of Golden Buddhas. We did find it, but halfway up the hill, I decided the heat and exertion would be too much for my 76-year-old mother to reach the top, and declared Exercise Cut.
So we only managed to see One Hundred Buddhas.
It was great for spend time with my younger brother and mom, but next time I’m going to come to Hong Kong in a cooler season. I shall end this post with some photos of the other thing we did a lot of in Hong Kong: stuffing our faces with food.