Visiting Min Ron Nee With Frank – Hong Kong Cigar Experiences – Part Three

5 May

nfc cap

Part Three and Final

The fifth day was a very relaxed one.

It started with a leisure breakfast and was followed by a long and relaxing pool time.

We were picked up in the afternoon by MRN’s driver and had a late lunch in his home accompanied by a Magnum of 1996 Dom Ruinart Blanc de Blanc before driving together over to Central and visiting Simon Lam at the Mandarin Cigar Divan.

I was very happy to see him again and he offered us the best hospitality possible, nothing lacking. A great man.

Cigar smoked was a ’80 Punch DC from MRN stash. MRN was so kind as to give us a “care package” that contained a beautiful ashtray and some 1980 Montecristo A ( which he smoked himself ) and same vintage Cohiba Lancero Diplomaticos in cello. Superb cigar and this time I will let nobody take them away from me – these are mine to smoke 🙂

We returned early back to the Hyatt and sat by the pool drinking beer and smoking cigars while Frank made me laugh with his “war stories” – how he managed to have his platoon complete a night-time 40 km march in under 2 hrs by using a “broedjebus” …

The sixth day also started very relaxed by the pool where I met a nice gentleman that was very curious about our cigar smoking ( never once did we hear a complaint or received bad looks when smoking outside ) and we chatted quite a while. He was incredulous that we were in Hong Kong just for the pleasure of smoking cigars and having fun. I liked his glasses and his style.

It was back to Kowloon in the afternoon for some last minute shopping and I found the smart-phone I was looking for at an unbeatable price in a side alley of Nathan Rd., the guy even threw in 3 free cases and a fully loaded battery. Happy. Then it was another foot massage and some more shopping for menswear before we were picked up at the Peninsula by the driver.

We picked up MRN and his wife and they took us to one of the loudest, most crowded “dirty spoons” I’ve been to. While I loved the one MRN took me on an earlier trip, he had inquired to find one with more selection in Tai Wai, and the place was great indeed. Crowded to capacity, all happy eaters and we were the only gweilos among ca. 400-500 locals. And by now we had a hearty appetite. Food was excellent, from pigeon to the best pork knuckles I’ve ever had to spicy prawns, delicious crab and many more dishes that kept appearing for the next 2 hrs. Disposing of bones, shells and other discarded parts was easy enough, it was simply heaped on the plastic table cover.

All the fine dishes were washed away with copious quantities of Tsingtao and I was a very happy pig indeed eating all these delicacies. I could see MRN and his wife having fun as well and enjoying the experience. The pictures of our dinner were taken by MRN’s happy wife.

I was indeed very happy – while I enjoy luxury and appreciate a fine meal, the local “dirty spoons” all over Asia and particularly in S.E. Asia and China are places where you can eat away to your best delight if you are guided by the right local people.

We left the table and smoked a fantastic 1998 Partagas Churchill de luxe on a bench quietly enjoying the atmosphere, the food and the fact that we were the happiest guys at that particular moment and place.

And the best was yet to come – we would be back at MRN’s house for some enjoyment and a photo session of the boxes I have managed to acquire and be included in the II edition.

Four boxes are known so far or have shown up on the radar.

I have arranged for all four to have been photographed and included in the II edition and for three to receive a permanent new home at the most passionate preserver of Cuban cigar history for posterity.

A post on where I acquired them might follow – but if you follow my blog you should know …

We received some fantastic signed boxes of cigars from our host as well as a Magnum of 1996 Dom Ruinart Blanc de Blanc champagne each plus one that we intend to enjoy this summer at the Lommel Sahara with the Montecristo A commemorating our trip.

We finished the visit in the early hours after having a long conversation about MRN’s visit to Cuba for the I edition and many interesting insights and details of his endeavour back then.

A quick beer and a small cigar by the pool and off to bed.

The seventh day started badly for me.

I had not been able to sleep much and suffered a terrible few hours with my head spinning around filled with all the impressions of this great trip.
While I wanted to be tired for the return flight so as to sleep as much as possible, that short night was terrible and I felt like recycled garbage when I got up early morning.

We took the bus to Kowloon again, then a walk in the blazing sun to the Star ferry, had a bite to eat at the IFC in Central and then relaxed luxuriously at the Red Chamber for two hours.

I was happy to meet Terence again whom I knew from Cohiba Atmosphere, a great person, now manager at Red Chamber.

After having the PCC China jars we had selected packed, we enjoyed a Mareva and excellent iced tea. Time to unwind.

We then took the cab back to the Hyatt, finished packing our suitcases and went down to the pool to smoke a fantastic vintage 1980 Bolivar Especiales with our friend Edward.

We then were picked up for the ride to the airport, bid farewell and our gratitude to our hosts, checked in, did some last minute shopping at the duty free ( too expensive ) and had a cigar and a beer right by the gate.

We had the chance to make a Taiwanese gentleman in the smoking lounge quite happy by giving him a cigar as he was quite fond of us smoking cigars and bombarded us with questions speaking no English. He was quite happy and embraced the cigar we offered him with his arms – he had lost both hands in an accident. Very moving.

The flight back was again smooth as a feather, all 13 hrs of it, and, having taken a sleeping pill, I managed to sleep over seven hours.

Rested and fit we landed in Frankfurt, picked up the Talisker Dark Storm bottles we had stored there and drove to the village.

Breakfast with Frank and my wife, we still bubbling out our experiences and pleasure of the great trip, a last cigar on the terrace and Frank was off to Belgium.

I believe we promised ourselves to do it again soon before saying good bye … 🙂


5 Responses to “Visiting Min Ron Nee With Frank – Hong Kong Cigar Experiences – Part Three”

  1. Keith Rowson 05/05/2015 at 18:10 #

    Great report as usual Nino, thank you!

  2. Arild 05/05/2015 at 19:44 #

    Excellent report Nino. This must be the most awesome cigar/champagne/friends meeting I have ever read about during my cigar smoking years. Those days in Hong Kong must have felt like a dream..

    Thank you for sharing your experience and fine pictures!

  3. Oliver 06/05/2015 at 02:41 #

    Oh, Lord!

  4. CUBANO 06/05/2015 at 17:22 #

    That was a great trip, thanks for sharing.

  5. Michel Cottier 08/05/2015 at 10:17 #

    Wonderful three-part report! Thanks Nino.