Min Ron Nee Visit – September 2016 Hong Kong – Part Two

22 Sep

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The third day I wanted to show a bit of Hong Kong to both Frank and J. & T., the latter first time visitors to HK.

Frank had wanted to visit Victoria Peak last trip but we didn’t made it then as the weather was too hazy. This time it was perfect blue skies.

So after breakfast we left the Shatin hotel and MRN’s kind driver drove us into Central – but instead of dropping us at the Victoria Tram Station he insisted on driving us all the way to the top.

A breathtaking, incredible winding ride that offered fantastic views.

We spent some time at the top, taking pictures and admiring the view.
To me it was particularly interesting as I had been up there so many years back when Kai Tak airport was still in operation – now I could see it from the peak and I could feel how time had passed.

While Frank and I went to the second viewing terrace our friends had a nice Vietnamese lunch at the peak.

We took the tram down to Central and walked over to Pedder St and Red Chamber for an invigorating 3+ hours of iced tea and Partagas Lusitania and good conversations.

Pure bliss – especially needed afterwards as we would have to line up to get a cab at rush hour, no easy task, but I managed to get a mad Michael Schuhmacher copycat and we took off for Shatin and a shower before being picked up by Min Ron Nee and his family for a long top class seafood dinner in Lei Yue Mun.

What a fantastic seafood market it was and Frank and I were about the only foreigners, 95% of the patrons being locals.

We first selected the seafood we wanted from one of the best stalls.
All seafood alive and kicking of course. Some fish were large, very large. The king crabs were also outrageously sized.

It was a delight to see all the stalls and the seafood on offer – just mind-blowing for me as I am on a permanent¬† “seafood diet” : I eat all the food I see … ūüôā

I should gain 6 lbs in Hong Kong that week.

Min Ron Nee had reserved a private room for dinner and taken along another fine selection of champagne, a Dom Ruinart Magnum and 4 bottles of epic champagne house names.

He carefully selected the champagne that would suit the scallops or the spicy sea snails or the black pepper crab ( the only disappointing dish by the way, no comparison to the Singapore version¬† ….

My friends J & T, being from the arid desert plains of north-western China could not believe their eyes and happily dug into the stellar plates being delivered.

The beauty of the restaurant was that it had a large open air courtyard and smoking was permitted.
In fact, the two tables having dinner out there were all cigar smokers.

I went outside to smoke a cigar, it was fun to start a conversation with the local HK cigar smokers and suddenly we were all sitting together, a bottle of Kavalan was offered and we were sharing cigars and impressions.

We all, but particularly MRN, his wife and son enjoyed the long pleasant evening outside shooting the breeze and having fun.

Then it was back to MRN’s home and some more champagne and cigars.

It was my friends last day in HK and Min Ron Nee was kind enough to present J. with a signed copy of the Spanish version of his book.

Very touching for J., a passionate cigar smoker who shares my passion for Cuba where he studied 6 years and shares many of my best Cuban friends with me.

The next day we all left for mainland China by train after a long breakfast.

The train ride was a short 25 minutes hop from Shatin to Shenzen – but the hassle and effort to get a Visa would take us almost a frustrating hour.

It was back to inefficient socialist system BS – line here, apply there, no, no HK $ accepted, go change into Yuan, hurry up and wait while watching 4-5 Visa staff chat and joke among themselves while paying no attention to their customers. Reminded me of Cuba.

We shared a Tsingtao in downtown Shenzen with our friends and were all a bit sad and depressed at saying good bye after such fantastic and fun filled three days together.

They continued to southeast China to have their wedding pictures taken before flying back north.

We wanted to see Shenzen as due to the Autumm Festival all hotels in Canton/Guangzhou were full – a city I love and wanted to show Frank.. next time.

Shenzen itself was a waste of time and energy – compared to HK it was unattractive, chaotic with many hustlers and with no markets or shopping malls to speak of. Waste of time and money coming here we decided and turned on our heels, took the Metro back to the border and left China – not by lift as commanded – we walked up the three flights of stairs ….

It was the best idea we could have had – back to the hotel pool, iced tea cigars and feet up.

Nino

One Response to “Min Ron Nee Visit – September 2016 Hong Kong – Part Two”

  1. Arild 22/09/2016 at 15:43 #

    Thank you for sharing your holiday in Hong Kong with us Nino. Amazing time shared with friends, a great host, lovely food, cigars and wonderful bottles of the finest champagne!