Anna Bonet, Travel Columnist, shares her tips for travelling in Hong Kong in her fourth instalment of ‘A Taste for Travel’ and shares a special fried rice recipe with us….
There’s nothing more fascinating than the fusion of two cultures. Maybe I would say that, having a dual nationality, but Hong Kong’s combination of Chinese and Western influences is like no other.
The city is home to temples and traditional bazars as well as skyscrapers and high-fashion department stores: a teeming hub of commercial and historical spirit. I was only there for a few days as a stopover on the way to Melbourne, but that little time was enough for its charm to captivate me and leave me longing to return.
The Peak is one of the most popular attractions in Hong Kong and for a good reason. Being the highest point of the city, it offers an incredible panorama of the urban skyline with a beautiful backdrop of the mountains. To get there you take a 120 year old funicular tram up the hillside which is an experience in itself: the angle being so steep that if no one held on you’d all finish up in a pile at the back of the carriage. Not true of course, but I still kept a firm grip of the bar.
Despite the view from The Peak being incredible, the best time to see the cityscape in all its glory is from a boat trip in the harbour at night. Every evening at 8pm begins the world’s largest permanent light show, with over 400 buildings using laser beams, colours and search lights to dance in perfect timing to music that is played on your boat or on the radio. It’s called The Symphony of Lights and is an absolute must-see, capturing the energy and creativity of such a dynamic city perfectly.
Current Hong Kong
The Good News: Hong Kong’s fashion industry is massive. Their forward-looking style and the numerous up-and-coming designers are manifested in the annual Hong Kong Fashion Week, which is becoming bigger and better each year. The imagination they bring to fashion has a huge influence on the West, being an increasingly large exporter of textiles.
The Bad News: Since the start of September this year, thousands of pro-democracy activists have been taking to the streets of Hong Kong to protest against how China elects their next leader. They are striving for the chance to nominate candidates rather than just voting between a few that Beijing have already decided upon. They are doing this with demonstrations and marches as well as surrounding government head quarters with tents, creating tension and unease in the city.
A Taste of Hong Kong: Student Style
Maybe I was just imagining it, but I swear the smell of Chinese food lingered on the streets the whole time I was there and so I was constantly hungry. Although noodles or rice formed part of nearly every meal I had, the food wasn’t quite like your standard takeaway. Instead of being greasy (and delicious), it actually felt pretty healthy and actually tasted even better.
Some delicacies of Hong Kong include Snake Soup, waffles made from egg, and pineapple bread. But this week’s recipe is for special fried rice. It’s cheap and easy to make, so it’s a great alternative when you feel in need of a good takeaway to help you along with your end of term deadlines (or your Netflix session).
- 80g of long grain rice
- A handful of frozen peas
- Two rashes of bacon
- Two medium sized eggs
- Three handfuls from a mixed bag of stir fry veg (or half a red pepper, a quarter of an onion, a handful of beansprouts, plus any other veg you fancy)
- A tablespoon of olive oil
- A tablespoon of soy sauce
-Boil the rice according to packet instructions. For the last two minutes of its cooking time, add the frozen peas.
-Meanwhile, in preparation roughly chop up the bacon and any veg, as well as beating the two eggs in a separate bowl.
-Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan and fry the bacon for two minutes over a medium heat.
-Add the veg and soy sauce and fry for another two minutes.
-Add the beaten egg to the pan and stir constantly for a further two minutes.
-Mix the fried veg, bacon and egg with the cooked rice and enjoy!
Anna Bonet, Travel Columnist.bookmark me