Having hit all the major areas in HK, we decided to venture elsewhere. There are a number of outlying islands, most notably the country of Macau, but we decided to visit Cheung Chau. There are about 20,000 residents, but it is less touristy than the others and is known for its cheap, high-quality seafood. Oh, and it has a few nice beaches which always helps.
The ferry ride was painless and we disembarked ready for a tasty lunch. Most of the good restaurants were along the coast, so we walked up and down the stretch looking for something interesting. We ended up having a cheap dim sum lunch, which was good but nothing spectacular. The only disappointing dish was the salt and pepper squid; too chewy.
Sated, we made our way to the beach. Being able to think clearly again, I noticed that the island was covered with cyclists, which made sense since cars aren't allowed. It could be somewhat chaotic, but it's far less stressful than car traffic. Also of interest is that almost no one in Hong Kong or Japan wear helmets when they ride. Are we smart or paranoid? I say smart, but only because U.S. drivers are awful.
The beach was nearly deserted, aside from the lifeguards. It made for a peaceful afternoon in the warm water and warmer sun. Once we felt relaxed we spent a couple hours hiking around the island. The views were beautiful and the entire walk was quite peaceful.
For dinner we returned to restaurant row and sat down at the restaurant with the nicest host. Looking to try a bunch of things, we order five dishes to share. It was a little more than we needed, but it was fun to try things out even if the food was barely average. That was the most disappointing aspect of the trip. We came for good seafood but it ended up being lackluster.
Once back in the city we decided to catch a late showing of Park Chan-Wook's latest film, Sympathy for Lady Vengeance. It was spectacular and I made a fan out of Robbie. It was wasn't as good as Oldboy, but I was very happy.
On my last real day in Hong Kong I started slow since I needed to do some laundry. We were considering going to Macau, but my feet couldn't take another full day of walking, so we took it easy. We went to a great food court at a mall in Admirality, just east of Central, and then took in a Hong Kong movie called Election. It was a nice wrap-up of the trip as I got to see a number of neighborhoods in HK on the big screen. Unfortunately, this slightly above-average Gangster film had arguably the worst ending in film history. I will be happy to recount the details for anyone who might be curious.
For the movie trifecta, Robbie took me to Chungking Mansions, where parts of Chungking Express was filmed. I saw only a mild resemblance as tourists swarmed around me but it was a good time-killer before dinner. My last meal was at Yung Kee, one of the best known Cantonese restaurants in the city. Robbie tried their 1,000 Year Old Egg, which looked gross but Robbie gave it an "eh." The rest of the food was quite tasty. This fancy meal was our most expensive, at barely $30 a person.
At night we packed up in preparation for Japan. HK was a blast and I'm glad I went, but I was ready for the intensity of Tokyo.