What to Do for a Week in Hong Kong

I planned to spend a week in Hong Kong. I just picked this amount of time based on flights, and I like to spend about a week in each city. It gives me enough time to do everything I want to do and then some. It gives me time to wander aimlessly and go to so many coffee shops. Here is how I spent a week in Hong Kong.

Day 1: I arrived at the Hong Kong International airport in the morning, around 10 am. I got some breakfast and coffee in the airport and then took the bus (14 HK dollars) to my couchsurfing hosts apartment. His maid met me and brought me in. I worked a bit on editing (I had slept two hours the night before and was in no shape to go out) and then I wandered around the area. I was staying in Mei Foo, which has a little shopping center. There is a restaurant in that shopping center which seemed like a popular place for the locals. I went in and had to ask for an English menu and ordered a curry. Don’t kill me for not ordering Chinese food immediately – I didn’t know how to veganize it yet!

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After dinner, I went back to the house and met up with the two other people who were staying there. We all took the MTR (subway) to Jordan, where we met our host, Dennis, who showed us a great noodle place. Dennis openly admits that he is obsessed with noodles – we ate noodles every time I ate with him. We walked around the ladies market, which is a market that sells knockoff luxury brand products, like purses and iphone cases.

We walked down temple street and passed through a road where people were getting their fortune read. I can be a pretty spontaneous person, and I was feeling wild, so I decided to get my fortune read. It was my first time getting my fortune read and it was really interesting. The woman told me a lot of stuff I already knew about myself, but she also said that I’ll live to be 84 and my first child will be a girl. One of these is a big surprise – if you know me well, you know that I don’t plan on having children. I guess time will tell if either of these come true 🙂

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The next day, I went and touristed with my new friend Marijs. She has a website that you can check out here. She takes amazing pictures, so I was stoked to spend a day with her where we can both be super tourists, taking pictures and videos for each other. We spent the day trying chinese food (vegan, of course – luckily she is veg so it worked out perfectly!). We started out with some veg dumplings for breakfast at DIN TAI FUNG. It’s an amazing, Michelin starred restaurant. The dumplings were amazing and we finished it off with some sesame dessert buns. Delish!

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We spent a lot of the day walking around. We went to the harbor and took the ferry across the water to Hong Kong Island. We walked around the botanical gardens and through the aviary where we saw some really beautiful exotic birds. I definitely recommend the botanical gardens if you go to Hong Kong – it’s a great getaway from the busy-ness of the city. We took the tram to get to the peak next – but soon realized that was not going to work out. There is only one tram that goes to the Victoria Peak, and it had a two hour wait. We decided to go out for a drink instead. 🙂 We went to a really cute place (I totally didn’t get the name of it), with a really sweet and informative Australian expat who had lived in HK for ten years. She told us to go to Aqua for a great view of the city at night. We headed over there (it’s a bar/restaurant, so we had to buy a pretty expensive drink to stay there). It was a fancy place and a great place to hang out and talk. The view was great as well.

The next day, we were determined to get to the Victoria Peak. The Aussie woman from the bar the night before had told us to get a taxi from Soho to the Peak – it’s roughly the same price as the tram if you have two people. We did this and split the price of the taxi – 80 HKD. It was totally worth passing up that two hour wait.

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And we got the view! The view from the top was incredible. Definitely one of my favorite things that I did in Hong Kong. I could have stayed up there all day, but Marijs had a flight to catch, so we headed back.

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The next few days were spent wandering solo through Central and Soho. I went to lots of coffee shops, restaurants, and dessert places (so much vegan ice cream!). Soho was my favorite place to wander. It was full of shops, healthy restaurants, and lots of people watching. There are so many great coffee places in HK as well. Check out this post for my favorite restaurants in Hong Kong. IMG_1389.JPG

One day, while I was bored in Soho, I even popped into a salon and got my hair colored. I was having a pretty wild week.

IMG_1332.JPGraspberry sorbet at Emack & Bolios in Soho 

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coffee at Holy Chef with Jeremy

Overall, Hong Kong was an amazing city to explore. I loved the huge variety of health-focused restaurants, and I love that I can get whatever I want to eat. It was so exciting to go to my first Michelin-star restaurant, get the best city view I’ve ever seen, and meet so many amazing people. Hong Kong has EXCELLENT public transportation, and they even have a really fun ferry service that you can take to HK island if you feel like being a little more adventurous than just taking the ferry. Hong Kong is a great place to go if you feel like spending some money. There is so much shopping, so many amazing places to eat, and so much to do.

 

A big thank you to Dennis and Jeremy for hosting me during my stay in Hong Kong!

 

Have you been to Hong Kong? Did you go to any of the same places I went? Let me know in the comments below! Also, don’t forget to check out my Hong Kong video here.

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The Best Vegan Restaurants in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a beautiful city full of places to eat, drink, and shop. The views are impressive, the harbor is beautiful, and the city is jam packed with over 7 million busy, bustling people. You can buy anything your little heart desires here. What my little heart was desiring was some good, nourishing, healthy food. And maybe a bit of junk food too.

Hong Kong was a week worth of indulging in fancy vegan restaurants, all in the name of research. You’re welcome 😉

DISCLAIMER: I was not sponsored by any of these restaurants, I paid for all of my food myself, and I must say, it’s an expensive city to eat in. But a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.

I walked and ate and walked and ate and walked and ate my way through Hong Kong, all in one week. It was a busy week of eating but I was able to come up with a list of the best vegan restaurants in Hong Kong. Without further ado, let’s get into it. PS This list is not in any particular order.

Classified

This place was awesome. The only drawback was that I didn’t find it sooner. There are multiple locations; I frequented the Soho location. It’s pretty close to the Man Mo temple, so stop by Classified on your way there. It’s a wonderful place for coffee, breakfast, lunch, or (my favorite meal) BRUNCH. Classified has a few vegan options and a huge variety of smoothies and drinks aside from coffee. The ambiance is great and it is SUPER instagrammable. I definitely recommend this place –  I wish I’d had time to go to their other locations! IMG_1389

avocado toast with tomato and a date banana smoothie 

See Classified’s menu here.

Grassroots Pantry

Grassroots was the first restaurant I went to and I was super impressed with the menu. For breakfast/brunch, they were offering lemon chia seed pancakes, and you KNOW I had to order them. I love lemon anything and I will always order lemon whatever is on the menu. Grassroots has great coffee and a lot of vegan options. They even offer a wide variety of vegan desserts, most of which are raw. Can I get a “hell yeah”! They focus on organic and sustainable ingredients and also are an instagramers paradise. I give them 8 out of 10 for presentation – you can tell they put effort into it. The entire front wall is floor to ceiling windows. The prices are a bit high but not too extreme.

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lemon chia seed pancakes 

I went back to Grassroots for one light dinner (vegan meatballs in marinara) and another breakfast. I got an acai bowl the second time. I think the pancakes were the best meal there. The acai bowl was good, but a bit overpriced I think (over $10) and was full of ice chunks.

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acai bowl

See Grassroots menu here.

Mana! Fast Slow Food

The place I was most looking forward to going to was Mana. I had seen the menu online and it looked amazing. They also have a few locations, and the one I went to was in Soho. They have a cafe and they also have a restaurant that focuses more on the working lunch crowd that takes food to go. They have seating, but it was pretty limited, considering the amount of people they had coming through. I’m assuming the cafe location has a bit more seating.

Mana offers a great variety of healthy fast food. I tried a few things – the burger, the kale salad (I added avocado), and the acai bowl. Mana definitely had the best acai bowl out of the ones I tried in Hong Kong. The burger was made with a block of tofu as the “burger” part, which was not my favorite thing. It was a bit crumbly, but the bun and the grilled veggies made up for it. I saw most people eating the flatbread wrap, which seemed to be the popular item there.

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See the Mana! menu here.

Cali Mex

I hadn’t searched for vegan Mexican food in Hong Kong, but I passed a few Cali Mex locations while strolling through Soho, and if you know me, you’ll know my deep love for Mexican food. Burritos are the most amazing thing in the world and they are relatively easy to veganize. But when I walked in and took a look at the menu, I saw that Cali Mex has  a VEGAN BURRITO. I was sold. I ordered the Venice Vegan burrito and they even added daiya cheese to it. Like really. I could not have been happier when I saw that bag of daiya pulled out from behind the counter. The ambiance at Cali Mex is pretty cute. They had upstairs seating and a very colorful, Mexican vibe. I brought my burrito upstairs and just about died of happiness while eating it. I was so happy about it that I didn’t even get a picture. I did get video of me hugging my burrito though – see my Hong Kong video here. I would definitely recommend Cali Mex. It’s a great, chilled out place to grab a bite to eat.

See Cali Mex’s menu here.

Oddies

Now we are moving on to the sweet stuff – dessert! I ate so many desserts and vegan ice cream in Hong Kong. One of my favorite places was Oddies. They offer a guava sorbet as well as a blood orange sorbet. I tried both and they were both to die for. Oddies is located in the Soho district, pretty close to Grassroots and Classified. Oddies is a great, very instagram worthy place to chill out (pun intended). The lighting is great and the service is friendly.

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Oddies doesn’t have a website, but check out their instagram here.

Emack & Bolios

Emack and Bolios is hard to pass by. You’ll see it while climbing the stairs in Soho. It’s a colorful, adorable, and incredible smelling place. I tried the raspberry sorbet in a dark chocolate dipped waffle cone with sprinkles and IT DID NOT DISAPPOINT. I definitely recommend this place. They have seating inside but there is also a few places to sit across the street (not part of the restaurant). I chose to people watch while eating my sorbet, and it was fun to see everyone enviously eyeing my cone.

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Check out Emack and Bolio’s here.

What do you think of my list? Want to try any of these places or do you have a favorite restaurant in Hong Kong to add? Let me know by commenting below!

PS CHECK OUT MY VIDEO HERE 

 

 

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Unexpected Encounters: Killer Wildlife in Singapore Botanic Gardens

I needed a chill out day after two full days of touristing through Singapore. I thought I’d head over to the Botanic Gardens in Singapore to relax with some greenery. I arrived at the gate of the garden. I walked a bit. It was serene. There were butterflies fluttering around my head. The birds were singing, along with a couple of hippies that had a guitar. It was more serene than I ever imagined a botanical garden could get. But then it turned bad. And dangerous.

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About half way through the garden, I basically turned into Steve Irwin after spotting a massive killer lizard. By “I turned into Steve Irwin”, I meant that I bent down and snapped some pictures. No way was I going to touch that thing.

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Okay, he isn’t a killer lizard. It’s a monitor lizard. Harmless. He looks pretty serene, right?

I would be lying if I said I didn’t automatically assume that he was a hunter. He looks a bit scary. I looked up monitor lizards when I got home and apparently they are carnivorous. Not necessarily for humans, though. He mainly eats turtle eggs.

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I also had some nice, serene moments before (and after, shockingly) this near death experience. I experienced total relaxation in a foliage garden. You really haven’t experienced life until you’ve been in a foliage garden. You can see the relaxation and pure bliss in my face below.

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I was feeling so giddy and full of sunshine and nature that I decided at this point that it would only be fitting to hug a tree.

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I believe this tree hugging experience really brought everything together. I think if you visit a botanical garden, you really can’t leave without hugging a tree. It was just the cherry on top of a wonderful, garden filled day. Here is me walking out of the garden, alive and mostly well (in case you wanted proof).

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Catching up in Chinatown, Singapore

Today I headed over to Chinatown in Singapore. San Francisco has a Chinatown, which I haven’t been to since I was a kid, so I was excited to see a different version of what I knew growing up. I was so happy when I hopped off the MRT directly in the middle of Chinatown. The buildings here are so brightly colored and the alleys have beautiful paper lanterns draped through them.

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It was a hot, overcast day. I walked through the streets and alleys of Chinatown with my lukewarm bottle of water and a sense of adventure and awe.

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The alleys were packed with tourists. I snuck a peek at one of the restaurant menus (I RARELY eat in touristy areas because the food usually is really expensive and not that great), and the beer was $6 for a Tiger, which is the Asian equivalent of a Coors light. My couchsurfing host had told me to look out for alcohol prices in Singapore, because it is so expensive to drink here. Good thing I’m not too big on drinking! I walked and walked and walked instead. Finally I came upon something that caught my eye…

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How cute is this?? Finally, after walking over 5 miles, I had to call it a day. I’ll leave you with this picture. What do you think the lady in the background is doing?

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I think I just fell in love: Singapore

OH MY GOD. I landed in Singapore late last night (my flight got in around 8:30 to the top rated airport in the world, Changi), and I trudged to my couchsurfing hosts’ condo after scarfing down a veggie sandwich at the airport. I got to his place around 10 PM, but he was really nice about it and I could tell that we will become good friends. I chose to stay with this host because he seems super cool, he is Australian (I’ll be going there later this year so I could use some of his tips), and he has a spare bedroom! So after a bit of a chat, I went to my room (with an ensuite – seriously) and went to bed. In the morning, I got ready super quick and basically ran out the door. I was so excited to go to the place with these massive “trees,” which I now know as the Garden by the Bay. It is a MASSIVE garden, so lush and green and beautiful.

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This garden is so cool and definitely the spot I was most excited to check out in Singapore.

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After walking around for a bit, I hopped back on the MRT (an underground train system, like a subway) and headed to another spot I was DYING to get to.

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In San Francisco, there is an amazing place called Veganburg. It is basically vegan fast food. My favorite food in the world is a good, solid vegan burger. So you better believe I was beyond excited to find out that Veganburg has ONE other location, and guess where it is. SINGAPORE! I had to go. 

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Please be patient with me as I am still learning how to use a camera, obviously. I could not be bothered to do a full photoshoot considering how hungry I was when I got here. I snapped a picture and devoured that burger. And it was incredible. 

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I am so happy that I planned to stay here for five full days because I have a long list of places to explore! Stay tuned 🙂

 

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