Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Hong Kong IV: Lan Kwai Fong

The beer festival. Don't I look thrilled?

By the time the fireworks ended, we were all starving and wayyy past ready for dinner. We set out from Kowloon to Lan Kwai Fong, an area in the Central district with many bars and restaurants. A few of the guys had heard there was a beer festival going on that weekend in Lan Kwai Fong, and couldn't wait to get there.

Packed, I tell you!

I'm definitely not a beer aficionado, but it was still a pretty cool experience. The streets were packed -- I mean, literally packed from side to side -- with people, mostly foreigners, all buying beer or calling to friends or simply (like us) trying to struggle through the masses of people to find somewhere to eat.

Eventually, we found it: a Thai and Malaysian restaurant with three different menus. Ordering stuff in Chinese is usually an interesting experience, even if English translations are provided, because these basic descriptors (like "red-cooked beef" or "fragrant pork") mean very little to foreign visitors. The challenge is doubled when they cuisine being ordered is not Chinese anyway, and (for me at least) doubled again when the language it's being ordered in is Cantonese and not Mandarin.

The "green coconut"! Pictured behind: Sheila.

I ordered some stir-fried vegetables and a drink the menu called "green coconut," which turned out to be an entire Thai young coconut, served with the top chopped off and a spoon and a straw inside. I drank up all the coconut milk inside (which was clear? I guess because it was a "young" coconut) and scraped out the interior with the spoon. It was like no drink I've ever had before, except maybe this one. (For more about that day, see here).

More beer market. Pictured: Manuel, Chris, Matt.

The festival was cool, but after dinner, Kevin and I were about done for the night. The guys and Sheila stayed on in search of further revelry, and we made our way back to the hostel.