weekly recap #13 – cebu & hong kong

q. current home/addy where i stayed (neighbourhood) and how long
a. cebu (one night, palu palu), hong kong (uncle’s apartment, five days, aberdeen)

q. favourite meal
a. oddly enough, hong kong has been a nice break from the gluttonous eating out we’ve been doing for most of this trip.  i want to put peking duck up as the best meal of the week especially since hong kong does it SO much better than vancouver but i have to stick with my guns here and go with our last meal in the philippines in cebu at zubachon.  they’re a cebu-based lechon chain that is sitting at about 8 restaurants now and their schtick is that they put their famous coconut-water basted lechon in almost everything on the menu (sometimes as a chicharron topper on ‘healthier’ dishes).  and it wasn’t just the fatty pork… every dish was good, service was excellent, drinks were amazing and it came in at only about $15 cad per person.

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sea grapes, part of the seaweed platter
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the one, the only, half order of lechon
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adobo lechon, slow cooked lechon in adobe sauce, melt in your mouth. the star of the show
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bangus sisig, milkfish on a hotplate
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five pork fried rice, lechon skin to top, fried in pork lard
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morning glory with chicharron/lechon skin to garnish
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halo halo for dessert
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kamias shake, similar to a starfruit and super refreshing
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leche flan for our final dessert

q. most memorable moment / best highlight
a. hiking the dragon’s back with haha.  we usually manage to hike once or twice a year and haven’t been doing a whole lot of physical activity aside from walking around the city.  it was a nice break to get away from the crowds of the city and into the lush green fields above shek-o.  at a few points along the hike, you have a 360 degree view from the southern tip of hong kong island overlooking some of hk’s beaches.  love the contrast between the two hong kongs.

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lookin over big wave bay from one of the humps on the dragon’s back hike

q. greatest challenge
a. breaking down and reloading on some spending.  i’ve been very reluctant to buy any goods this trip so that i wouldn’t have to deal with carrying them and it was especially hard to say no in japan but i somehow managed to do so.  i’ve gone on a bit of a spending spree in hk; new camera, lens for camera, gopro mounts, camera accessories and some warm weather clothing as we make our way to europe.  the exchange rate (5.8hkd:1cad) hasn’t been helping us either but we’ve been very fortunate to be able to save a few bucks by staying with my uncle.

q. what i miss most from home
a. springtime in vancouver.  STAHP TELLING ME HOW NICE IT IS!!!!!  missing out on whistler slush riding is KIRRING me.

q. next stop
a. barcelona, spain

q. weirdest observation about current culture
a. they’re the chinese.  what more needs to be said?

q. one tip i would give myself if i were to come back
a. it’s inevitable that i’m going to be shopping the next time in hk so i should do my research on one big ticket item to pickup over here.  also, to pick up some chinese to be able to bargain a little harder at the local markets.  english will get by… money is a universal language but it would make me more comfortable on the kowloon side

q. friends i’ve hung out with/visitors
a. cousins, uncles and some friends from vancouver who’ve made the jump to life in hong kong.  awesome to kick it a few nights with mark & gerald; it’s been years since we’ve seen each other.  also hung out with a friend we met back in hokkaido this year, karen the sea lion.

q. one random/weird/cool thing i learned about the country i’m staying in
a. with a population of over 7 million it always boggles my mind at how small of a city hong kong is.  it seems like everyone knows everyone.

q. one new experience/memory that will stick with me
a. our last night in cebu with frank, karan, toshi & sarni.  3.5 weeks is the longest i’ve ever traveled with anyone outside of haha and fraran have been super easy to do so with.  add in toshi & sarni and i think it’s going to be a long while before i have a group trip go as well as it did.  great food with great company.

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zubachon crew, stand UP

q. portion of luggage that’s been the most & least useful
a. with the humidity starting to creep up in hk, i feel like all clothing has been pretty useless.  shirts are getting soaked within minutes of stepping outside.  my shorts are helping the battle but it’s a love/hate relationship.  they’re either spongy from the sweat outside or crispy once i’m inside with the aircon on blast.

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