Saturday, May 25, 2019

Cambodia to Thailand to Hong Kong Michelin Star

As so often happens when we are bouncing around the earth, this was our last morning in the country. I don't know, there are those that poo-poo our frenetic travel pace but I think it encourages me to take advantage of the time I have in each place because I know that it will be brief. Cambodia has been great.

I was glad to get another crack at the hotel breakfast. Yesterday I ordered fried rice which was kind of boring.

The fruit is definitely a high point in this part of the world.

This time I went with "Cambodian Bor Bor: white rice porridge, served with minced chicken, spring onions, Chinese mushrooms and carrots.

My last act as a Cambodian hotel guest was to pop open the bag of exotic mangosteen and salak fruits I purchased at the night market last night. Sticking my nose in the bag brought a whirl of strange sweet fragrance.

The awesome tree-overgrown sites of Ta Prohm Temple we saw yesterday are apparently a big deal. They were featured on the country's stamps.

I said goodbye to the scenic hotel pool. We were so busy adventuring that I don't think I ever had time to actually get in it.

The one bad thing I could say about Cambodia was the airport. It seemed kind of cartel-like. For example airport security wouldn't let us through the metal detector line until we had a bag tag on our bag, which of course resulted in the dirt bags at Air Asia charging us fees because our bag was too heavy. I was just annoyed that the airport personnel were enforcing this douchebaggery.

It was nice to see this sign at the airport because we'd spotted some fresh pepper on our plate yesterday and weren't 100% sure what it was. 

I was happy to see that we would be lounging in a Plaza Premium brand lounge today. I've had good experiences with them in the past. We camped out in the the Plaza Premium in Brisbane so long I think we could qualified for residency.

I think this qualifies as being right but for the wrong reason.

Fish ball soup is not good. Sorry not sorry. All of this fish in-a-shape stuff is like the fish equivalent of hotdogs and I just cannot get on board.

Luckily there was beer to cure me of the culture shocks. Shh I won't let those fishballs bother you my sweet brewskie.

Had a lil Bangkok layover.

I appreciated the cheerful presentation of this naughty list of countries.

As they say, when in Bangkok, lounge like the locals do.

These sweets in a refrigerator were interesting. You know you're about to eat something good when there's a multiple paragraph explanatory sign nearby.

"Khanom Thong Yib is considered to be one of the most widely known sweets. The unique feature of Khanom Thong Yib can be seen through its exquisite shape which is imitated a flower.

Khanom Thong Yod or sweetened egg-yolk droplets is one of the ancient desserts. The name of Thong Yod is "Thong" means gold and "Yod" can be translated in this context as the act of gently dropping something.

In addition to the meaning of Khanom thong Yib, Khanom Thong Yod and Foi Thong, there is a strong belief that all recipients of these desserts will be successful in all business dealings."

This place was fancy because they had free cocktails that a bartender would mix up for you. 

There were two different lounges, so we switched it up once we were done pillaging the first one.

The Air Asia employees on our Thailand to Hong Kong flight were mercifully much less militant about their stupid baggage weight rules. I'm going to start filling my pockets with rocks in an act of heroic plane weight civil disobedience. 

This visit to Hong Kong's airport was much more pleasant than our last.

Lydia's never been to China of any flavor, and my last visit to Hong Kong was Christmas 2008, so we were both really excited to check the place out. After eating some extremely questionable street food in Vietnam and Cambodia, I was feeling like I had paid my dues and could now practice some culinary indulgence. I might be exaggerating but I think we ate at place that was at least mentioned in the Michelin Guide for every meal while in Hong Kong.

The Uber driver was playing this song during our ride which was like the most Chinese song I'd ever heard so I took a little video of traffic.

Luckily I infringed on the content owner's copyright and they were happy to tell me the name of the song. Hurray?

Here's the full song I jam out to when I'm practicing my kung fu.

I was initially rolling my eyes when I remembered I'd spent IHG points to stay at the Holiday Inn Express® Hong Kong SoHo, but it was actually pretty cool. Even the hotel restaurant had some Michelin love!

I have some sort of IHG status which I don't really care about, but the hotel thought I was cool enough for an upgrade to a room with a view of Victoria Harbor and a bit of the impressive Hong Kong skyline.

This is a poor picture but the white topped building on the far right was One International Finance Centre and just to the left and behind was Two International Finance Centre.

Seeing these buildings always reminds me of that scene in The Dark Knight where Batman jumps off the taller 2 building and smashes into the 1 building to kidnap a bad guy.

The hotel was nice enough to supply a little complimentary bag of snacks. I thought this was a nice gesture until I opened the bag and found these lemon flavored Ritz crackers. Then I realized this was some sort of a punishment. What have I done to deserve this awful snack, Hong Kong?

Not only does Hong Kong have a bunch of fancy Michelin star restaurants, but they also have many of the cheapest. So while we were pretty weary from our travels at this point we ventured out in search of cheap delicious food.

We picked the Ho Hung Kee Congee & Noodle Wantun Shop inside of the Hysan Place shopping mall.

Michelin had this to say: 

"No discussion about Hong Kong's historic noodle shops would be complete without mentioning Ho Hung Kee, which originally opened in Wan Chai in the 1940s and is famed for its springy wonton noodles and fresh, sweet soup. More elements have been added here at its new address - dim sum and some Cantonese dishes are now served too. For the interior, they've adopted a more contemporary, western style aesthetic."

Well with "wonton soup" in the place's name I figured that was the wise choice.

We rounded out our little dinner with some choi sum with oyster sauce(which I think must be a relative of bok choy) and some roasted pork buns.

Delicious times were had. While the soup was nice and noodly the broth had a fishy quality to it. I'm sorry but I much prefer ramen.

All of that magic only cost us $22 US, including a 75 cent unordered tea charge and a 10% service charge. Not too shabby, Mr. Ho.

For a dude made out of stacked up tires the Michelin Man has got taste.

I don't think we actually planned on going to McDonald's but after passing one and seeing shrimp burgers advertised... well.. what was I supposed to do, not go in?

We rounded out our shrimp and pineapple burger with some potato grids. I hurried up and concluded my order before Lydia could touch the "fresh corn cup (jumbo)" button.

The sandwich was actually called an ebi burger with pineapple, the Japanese word for shrimp. That's like culture plus culture times delicious.

I tried to convince Lydia that she would be totes stylish if she brought this Hong Kong McDonald's tote bag to work but she didn't see the light and now has to live with that decision the rest of her life.

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