Navigating Through The City
My travel diaries are building up and I have a lot of catching up to do if I'm ever going to share all of it with you on this virtual space, and the first one is none other than Hong Kong. I'm feeling nostalgic now that I'm back in our cozy little corner here in Tung Chung. So before I head over to San Francisco, let me share with you my last adventure in this bustling city.
Filed this year under the month of March, the cities we explored included Sheung Wan, Kennedy Town, Tsim Sha Tsui, Central and Sunny Bay.
Even though I consider Hong Kong as my second home, we still got lost in the alleyways and maze-like structure of the city, making the whole journey even more adventurous. (I swear, this place is comparable to the Hogwarts universe, with all its congested streets, countless constructions, and looming buildings. That's me below, trying to figure out which road to take and failing spectacularly.)
Quiet Morning At Man Mo Temple
Hong Kong is a bustling and vibrant city. Right off the bat, you can tell how vivid and lively every space is just by walking down the street. There's a different energy that surrounds the area, and every single time I'm engulfed in it, I'm overwhelmed by its authenticity and beauty.
During our trip, we visited Man Mo Temple in Sheung Wan and observed the practices of the people on that quiet morning. Filled with candles and statues, the temple was a corner of worship and praise for folks who would come and go, lighting an incense or two to go with their prayers.
Immersing in the history and culture of a place gives me a level of awareness and appreciation. Whenever I step foot on foreign soil, I always make sure to engage in the local traditions and explore nondescript spots that are mostly discovered through getting lost or going out on my own.
Vegan Explorations & Afternoon Tea At Teakha
Tea At On the topic of culture, a notable signifier for it is the flavors and exquisite tastes of a certain country. The majority of our trip consisted of experiencing new cuisines. My favorites being NoodleMi and Teakha; both of which are vegan-friendly spaces, located in the trendy suburbs of Sheung Wan where we stopped over for some lunch and coffee before heading to Kennedy Town.
On my travel occasions, one question I often get ever since I went vegan is: how can I appreciate the local dishes if my lifestyle is ultimately 'restricted'?
Let me put this train of thought out there: it's painfully true that going vegan has certain setbacks and difficulties when it comes to consuming food that both nourishes and fuels your body (especially when you're not at home to prepare it yourself). But that's only because our society brainwashed us to eat in a certain way that we neglect to see the other side of the coin. Shifting lifestyles is only hard because our mindset is geared towards a certain truth that our culture and the people we're surrounded with has planted in our heads since the day we were born. It's a battle between willpower and deep-rooted beliefs, and these so-called 'difficulties' and 'setbacks' are minuscule things compared to the positive impact of shifting to a plant-based diet.
While I have to be 100% aware of what goes into my food — from the ingredients down to how it's cooked — it certainly made me more open and enlightened to better alternatives that's also safe for me to eat. I learned how to cook and bake, and most importantly be intuitive to what my body needs. Yes, I haven't touched meat, dairy nor any animal-derived produce for more than a year, and yet I found a lot of great vegan friendly restaurants and cafés along the road. It's not that difficult once you educate yourself and know what you're looking for. Needless to say, it's an exploration in my own way, and to discover these hidden gems is as exciting as it is to hunt down native street foods in a different country. And let me tell you, I sure as hell am not missing out on anything, contrary to what others believe.
Throughout my travels, I would always keep an intensive list of restaurants that I plan to try out and prior to visiting the place, I would research it's location, schedule and the kind of food it offers; whether they serve alternatives or fit with my itinerary. The key is to be prepared, aware, and conscious.
Can't drink dairy? Exchange cow's milk for soy or nut milk when ordering a chai latte. Can't eat meat? Order a vegetable dim sum and stir fry noodles. There are hundreds of options to choose from without having to add meat or any animal parts to your bowl. To say that it's difficult and restricting is a negative, self-limiting belief.
I'm curating a roundup series of vegan hotspots or plant-based friendly restaurants and cafés that I gathered from my adventures. So if you're keen on that sorta thing, then better watch out for it!
Amusement parks bring out the playful, inner child in every one of us, especially me (even though many claims that I still look like one despite being twenty-one). I find it as a fun way to engage in my surroundings and forget all the mundane nuisance that I tend to leave behind once I step foot in the magical land of sunshine and dreams.
Laughing like a loony on roller coasters and shuffling from ride to ride is probably my favorite way of forgetting everything else and being present in the moment. Plus, Disneyland is bursting with creative inspiration and facsimiles — from the rustic setting of the Grizzly Mountain to the dreamy ride of It's A Small World, down to the playful, giant land of Toy Story — every single nook and cranny is filled with visual illusions that engage your imagination.
Nothing beats a day in a world of imaginary place where dreams come true.
That ends our neat little journey and my side thoughts for this post. I would love to hear yours in the comments below; like your favorite things to do and sights to explore whenever you're out and about!