Hong Kong – City of Stairs

It’s what I’d call working out – everything is either up or down.

I’m staying at Mini Hotel Central.  The hotel isn’t mini but the rooms are minuscule with the added feature of glass screens in lieu of a wall so that had I not have been alone in my room, whoever was present would have been able to observe my ablutions or worse.

I’m recommending it because it’s not only brilliantly located but was also the cheapest room I could find during the Chinese New Year and it was spotless. The pillows were good quality, the mattress a bit hard, but that’s common out here I’m told.

I walked, carrying my bag on my back, for ten minutes from the HK station (Central) and up a very long flight of stairs to get here! It’s next to the Foreign Correspondent’s Club – where you can’t get in unless you are a member, but there are lots of FCs smoking outside and I reckon, if you were inclined, you could strike up a conversation and get in as their guest for a drink or a meal. I simply didn’t have time. If that fails, then right next door is the Fringe Club, a music venue where Colette’s Bar is open to all from midday till late and the Vault Cafe is open from 11am till 8pm. Both are closed on Sunday. A bit further up the road is a Seven-11 and two streets below, a dozen steps down, is a Starbucks which is handy as the hotel doesn’t do breakfast.

You can get all the info about the two parks, various museums and the Man Mo Temple from the guidebooks. I did discover a great place for Dim Sum (which I’m told is traditionally eaten at lunch-time). Ling Hueng Tea House is at the top of a steep flight of stairs at 106 Wellington St on the corner of Aberdeen Street. One is seated at a communal table and issued with a card on which is entered the food you select from the trollies which are brought round to tempt you. None of the staff speak English and so I was lucky that a fellow diner and his wife managed to explain to me what the various dishes were. It didn’t really matter ‘cos I pretty much like most things – but would be trickier for a vegetarian or someone with a restricted diet. The place was heaving and full of the noise of conversation. No canned music here!

On my last morning I ate an iconic breakfast at Sing Huen Yuen 2, Mee Lun St, a Dai Pai Dong (makeshift outside eaterie) with noodles in tomato broth with egg, followed by a light crunchy roll spread with lemon honey and a HK speciality – milky tea. Easiest way to find this is to go where Aberdeen & Gough Streets meet, walk up Gough and you’ll find it 50 meters on the left. They open at 8am.

Feeling a bit stuffed, I welcomed further exercise as I climbed the two hundred or so steps up to visit the Dr Sun Yat-Sen Museum afterwards, which will have burned off some of the calories!