Wet market on Chun Yeung Street and new year’s eve in Hong Kong

It’s new year’s eve 2015 and what better way to start the day than visit a wet market. I had explained to Miss14, Ms18 and Ms20 before we embarked on this holiday that while I was happy to spend hours in shopping centres, there would be times when I would need to indulge my own interests.

After a breakfast of toast with scrambled eggs and baked beans combined with dim sum and pickles we were off.

Scrambled eggs and baked beans combined with dim sum and pickles
Scrambled eggs and baked beans combined with dim sum and pickles

We caught the Number 10 bus from outside the Cosmopolitan Hotel and went to Chun Yeung Street where there is a wet market.

Wet markets are my idea of the best part of an overseas holiday. I was very conscious I was with my daughters who do not necessarily share my interest in seeing raw flesh, raw vegetables and live animals being dispatched and butchered fresh for the consumer. One of the things I think we really miss out on with our ‘modern’ approach to food technology and processing is freshness. Sure our modern approach is safe and I’m the first to stand up for food safety and food security, however, there is something to be said for watching a fish monger pull a live fish out of a tank, club it on the head and immediately remove it’s head, bleed it and then fillet it. If I was alone I would have tried to video record the process. I was conscious my daughters wanted to keep on the move.

I’m also fascinated by seeing how produce is presented. I love seeing a pig’s chest pluck hanging up as well as a whole pluck in some cases. Being able to identify organs and see how clean and smell how fresh they are is amazing.

When it comes to vegetables, being able to see how fresh the vegetables are is really good. That’s not to say there wasn’t a good supply of preserved and dried foods. My father would have loved some dried sea scallops. I didn’t want to appear on an episode of Border Security so I refrained, after all I’m also a human quarantine officer.

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I love seeing bamboo scaffolding
I love seeing bamboo scaffolding
Intestines, livers and hearts under a sink wet market
Intestines, livers and hearts under a sink
Fresh fish wet market
Fresh fish
Fried seafood my Dad would love
Fried seafood my Dad would love

I should also mention I had ample opportunity on this holiday to eat shark fin soup. I refrained. My grandmother used to cook me shark fin soup when I was a little boy. I loved it. I will no longer eat it because of the cruelty to sharks being finned alive and then dumped to die in the ocean depths.

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Fresh vegetables
Fresh vegetables
More fish
More fish
More meat and offal for grinding wet market
More meat and offal for grinding
Sweet corn
Sweet corn
Shrimp and pork filling for wonton soup
Shrimp and pork filling for wonton soup
Squid wet market
Squid
More fish
More fish
Miss14 and Ms18 outside a fresh meat joint
Miss14 and Ms18 outside a fresh meat joint
Chest pluck from a pig
Chest pluck from a pig
This guy was very funny
This guy was very funny
More sweet corn
More sweet corn
Trotters and intestines
Trotters and intestines
Have a heart
Have a heart

I’m so proud that none of my daughters gagged or objected to what they saw, smelt or heard. The wet market is really a place a food lover should visit. I would have loved to have visited more wet markets but time wasn’t available. Have you ever visited a wet market?

After the wet market we caught a bus back to Causeway Bay MTR station and looked to have lunch at Times Square in Causeway Bay.

Millenium Falcon at Times Square. I still think the NX-01 is a better looking ship but then Star Trek is better than Star Wars.
Millenium Falcon at Times Square. I still think the NX-01 is a better looking ship but then Star Trek is better than Star Wars.

We ended up in Cooked Deli and I went for a laksa.

Indonesian prawn and chicken laksa
Indonesian prawn and chicken laksa

It was a nice laksa but the prawn was well and truly over cooked. The egg wasn’t too bad and the chicken was tender. The soup was delicious.

After lunch we made our way back to Mong Kok to check out Ladies Market and Langham Place again. Miss14 and Ms18 were keen on some bargains there.

Ladies Market
Ladies Market

Miss20 bought us some egg custard tarts.

Miss20 with egg custard tarts
Miss20 with egg custard tarts
Egg custard tarts
Egg custard tarts

These tarts were pretty nice. Not too eggy and they were still warm.

During the afternoon the girls spotted a Sasa. I had no interested and waited outside. I spied these men in comfortable “Dad seats”.

Men in "Dad seats" outside Sasa in Mong Kok
Men in “Dad seats” outside Sasa in Mong Kok

After shopping we had dinner at Chee Kei in Mong Kok. We were keen on something light so I had some deep fried wonton, a crumbed pork chop and some rice.

Deep fried wonton
Deep fried wonton
Crumbed pork chop
Crumbed pork chop
Crumbed pork chop and rice
Crumbed pork chop and rice

After dinner we made our way to the Star Ferry Pier to prepare for the NYE festivities. We got there at about 7 pm and staked out an area.

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New Year’s Eve in Hong Kong at 7.30 pm from Gary Lum on Vimeo.

A big wheel
A big wheel
New year's eve Hong Kong
New year’s eve Hong Kong
Red sailed boat in the harbour on new year's eve Hong Kong
Red sailed boat in the harbour on new year’s eve Hong Kong

As we’ve experienced the people have no sense of personal space nor spatial or situational awareness. People crowded in on us and really had no idea how offensive it was to have such close contact and to ‘trespass’ onto staked out territory. When I say ‘staked out territory’ I mean about 30 cm around each of us. It got to the point closer to the countdown to midnight and I had almost full body contact with strangers.

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Close to midnight I started experiencing colicky abdominal pain. As someone with irritable bowel syndrome a sense of urgency developed and I started to look for a rest room. The closest one was quite a walk away. When I got there the only toilet was a squat. My last bowel motion for 2015 will long be remembered for the duration of the event, the discomfort and the quadriceps burn I felt. I’m just grateful the flushing mechanism worked and that I had brought ample hand sanitiser.

Squat toilet
Squat toilet
This is where we celebrated New Year's Eve in Hong Kong
This is where we celebrated New Year’s Eve in Hong Kong

Here is a gallery of the fireworks. These photographs are not processed. I’ve run out of time.

The number of people watching the fireworks was huge. I have no idea how many of thousands of people who were there. It was amazing to see so many thousands of people move to trains and then disperse so quickly at the end.

The best thing was there were very few drunk revellers. The most drunk were English and very few Australians. The local Hong Kong people and other Asians were all sober. As far as I know there were no coward punches and no one punch deaths unlike the situation in Australia and other non-Asian centres.

How did you celebrate new year’s eve? Have you ever been to a wet market? What did you think?

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