香港日記 Hong Kong Diaries. Part Three.

Saturday 19 October
We’re on our way by cable car to see the Big Buddha on Hong Kong’s largest island, Lantau. Now that we’ve got our Octopus cards, there’s no stopping us! Gliding upwards in a glass- bottomed cabin, I can see Tung Chung Bay sparkling beneath my feet and the green slopes of the Lantau Country Park ahead.

It might be an obvious tourist attraction, but it’s a good one and reasonably priced too for the breath-taking sky trail which takes the best part of an hour for the return trip. I’m not especially bothered by heights, but can’t help bracing myself whenever the cabin enters a station to turn; the sensation of the ground rushing towards me is quite unsettling!

At the summit in Ngong Ping Village there are plenty of ways for tourists to spend money, but we’re going to climb the 240 steps to see the world’s tallest seated bronze statue of Buddha.  I’m not sure I feel especially enlightened, just hot after climbing all those steps, but both the statue and the views from the top are spectacular.

In the evening, we set off again to the harbour to see the nightly laser show which is a tad ‘meh’. Frankly you’d be better off soaking up the atmosphere of the night skyline from the ferry, but then I’m probably biased. The crowds mean queues for the most popular restaurants so we decide to head back to somewhere closer to our hotel. Unfortunately we take a long detour in the wrong direction and are both pretty weary by the time it comes to choosing somewhere to eat. Not perhaps the best starting place. ‘This’ll do!’ we agree, picking the least scary Chinese restaurant which, we realise once inside, is, um, quite basic. 

I’m not quite sure if we’re the novelty act or simply ripe for the plucking, but we’re ushered to a table and an illustrated menu with English subtitles is waved only briefly under our noses because the waitress has her own recommendations. ‘Good’ she says, stabbing her finger at a photo of something that looks like crispy duck. Coincidentally it also happens to be the most expensive item on the menu. Okay, the subtitle also claims that it’s goose, but, what the heck, I’m tired. Crispy duck, crispy goose? Whatever. We also order some rice, some green beans and then Tom, for some crazy reason best known to himself, orders a noodle dish too. And a couple of beers.

Oh my goodness, how I need those beers! The goose arrives along with a couple of interested staff to tell us how ‘good!’ it is and watch us take our first mouthfuls. I’ve no doubt they regard it as delicious, but I nearly faint clean away at the sight of lavish pillows of white fat peeping out from tanned leathery skin anointed in grease like an ancient sunbather. I aim for something that looks a bit meatier only to find myself chewing on some grisly piece of what, I don’t know. The noodles turn up quivering with something gelatinous and I want to cry but have to put on a brave face for the sake of the staff who are so keen for us to enjoy our meal. I’ve never been so relieved to see a plate of green beans in my life – thanks to that, and the rice I can avoid bursting into tears and insulting everyone. ‘Next time,’ says Tom, who has gamely chewed his way through a goose, a plate of alien noodles and a fair share of rice, ‘we won’t rush when we’re looking for a restaurant.’


Sarah Tranter said…
LOL. Crispy goose? I suppose it could have been worse! I've got to work out how to access the other two parts of your Hong Kong Diaries. So pleased to have you home X
Chris Stovell said…
Good to see you too, Sarah - will email you! xx
Kathryn Freeman said…
These are fabulous diaries Chris - you need to write a guide book. Perhaps the first guide book involving a hunky hero and some heart warming romance. Go on, you can do it!
Chris Stovell said…
You're very kind, Kate.. I'll probably omit the scene with the greasy goose though. Food scene that is. Or any other sort of scene, thinking about it.
Chanpreet said…
Well the first part of the post about the Buddha sounded great. The second half with the fatty duck/goose not so much...
Liz Harris said…
I sense a book coming on, Chris!

The goose, enhanced with inches of white fat, sounds absolutely gruesome!

Despite said goose and frightening heights, it sounds a fabulous trip.

Liz X
Chris Stovell said…
Chanpreet, it was wonderful! I'm so glad we paid the little bit extra for the glass-bottomed cabin as it was well worth it to see the sea beneath my feet. As for the goose... I still get flashbacks thinking about it!

I think so too, Liz! As for the goose fat, I won't even begin to describe the pork in tripe... heavenly for anyone who relishes fat, not so great for folks like me as I'm not a big meat eater anyway!
Another night in Hong Kong! It seems you really may have been that night's "goose for the plucking". Maybe by wading through it you did marvels for Anglo-Sino relations - and think of the "face" you must have accumulated!

Here's hoping the rest of your means were more enjoyable.

Chris Stovell said…
John, I think Tom deserved a medal for his services to local cuisine that night! Truly, I would hate to have hurt anyone's feelings - they were proud of the dish they served us... and probably did high fives in the kitchen for flogging us the most expensive dish on the menu. We were, indeed, plucked!
Mandy K James said…
I could almost taste that goose. Glad I have eaten already this evening or I might be tempted to recreate it. Not. You should SO enter that comp. As Sarah says, glad to have you back and really enjoying your holiday through these posts! xx
Chris Stovell said…
Mandy - thank you! I sent my entry off to them today... and had the reply "Please note that you are unlikely to hear from us again unless you win." !!

So, no goose tonight then ;)!
muddyboots said…
one of our students does an exchange with a language school in Hong Kong, he talks of ... chicken feet snacks!
Chris Stovell said…
We saw those, Muddyboots... but I resisted both them and the sliced pigs ears. Ewww!

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