"...live seafood..."

While Jazz and Moe were looking at exotic birds, Henry and I took a half hour minivan through the mountains north of Hong Kong for a fresh seafood lunch at a quiet (on weekdays) harbour. The scenery changed abruptly as we left the dense city – the lush forests and mountains were surprising to see within such close proximity to the most populated place on Earth.

After arriving at the harbour we went to one of several jetties where small fishing boats pull up and display their catches. Here you can select from a huge range of sea creatures and the fisherman will put it in a net or a bucket and hoist it up to you to inspect before you put your money in the net as payment. You can then take your still live animals to any of the nearby restaurants to be prepared and cooked however you like.

After debating whether we should buy one of the cute and helpless horseshoe crabs just to release back into the water and after wandering past the vast tanks of live seafood to work up our appetites, we decided to order one large mantis shrimp each and some abalone. The restaurants were expensive compared to anything I’ve eaten in the last few months, but it was well worth the HKD$250 to try two new delicious sea animals with someone who loves seafood as much as I do. Fortunately we had enough food for a good meal, although with a bigger budget I could have stayed so much longer…

We headed back to the big city in time to meet up with Jazz for one last dinner at one of Henry’s favourite places. This time, an Australian bar called “Ned Kelly’s”, where homesick tourists can get a Woolloomooloo burger, a Toowoomba tuna salad or a Ned Kelly burger paired with a tallie of Fosters. While we took a pass on the Fosters, the burgers were actually amazing, and when Henry was the only Asian in the bar it was just like being back at home.

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We finished dinner in time to see the nightly lightshow that is orchestrated on the littany of high rise buildings adorned with architectural LEDs that probably number in the billions. Lasers and spotlights fire off into the sky while dozens of buildings dance their lights along to music. Hong Kong is an absolutely spectacular city at night and takes on a whole different personality to the daytime. Dense and bustling yet welcoming and relaxed. We caught a ferry across to Hong Kong proper and back again to take in our last glimpse of the city, and bask for one last time in the civilisation which we anticipated to leave behind in the morning at the border crossing into China…

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