Hong Kong was the type of city I was supposed to hate: a city of traffic, pollution, crowded sidewalks, with little to no nature.

But I didn’t hate it. I actually really like Hong Kong. Standing outside in the street breathing in the city’s heavy humidity, with the air conditioning units dripping down, and the people hurrying down the sidewalk and chattering in harsh Cantonese, I found the energy intoxicating.

While Hong Kong is a city I doubt I handle long-term, I loved the four days I spent there.

From the $3 beef brisket noodles…

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To the $5 manicures…

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To the beautiful views…

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And really, just the differentness of the city. Hong Kong was so starkly different from anywhere I’d been before. IMG_8054

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And as this was a weekend of firsts, it was the weekend of my first xie long bao, or Shanghainese soup dumpling. The way you are meant to eat xie long bao is by biting the skin to release the steam from inside, and then sucking the broth out of the dumplings.

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YUM. I heart dumplings.

An on my final morning in Hong Kong, I finally indulged my biggest Hong Kong craving- dim sum. After much deliberation and being advised by several locals, I headed to Tim Ho Wan, called ‘world’s cheapest Michelin star restaurant’.

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And though there were no food carts (what?) and it was located within a shopping mall (double what), it was definitely the real deal.

We started out with turnip cakes and then ordered about half the menu. When in HK, right? IMG_8414

The slimy-textured turnip cakes that I first found unappealing but strangely grew on me.

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Shumai, pork and shrimp dumplings. Dim SumThailand

But nothing came close in deliciousness level to char siu bao, or barbecue pork buns. They were sweet and crispy on the outside, and savory and meaty on the inside. If they weren’t so rich I would’ve ordered a second one. Or third.

IMG_8427 Crack. IMG_8431 Not my favorite. The slimy rice wrappers kind of reminded me of grubworms. IMG_8432

A deliciously tender beef dish I can’t remember the name of.

Have you ever been to Hong Kong? What did you think of it?

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Ashley Fleckenstein

Ashley is an American travel blogger and freelance writer who moved to Paris at 21, traveled the world for a year and now lives in Denver. She's usually in pursuit of skiing, languages and perfectly ripe cheese. Her writing has been featured in National Geographic, Viator and Jetstar Australia.
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