12 November 2007
Travel: Hong Kong, Part 4
I jumped in a taxi at the Macau Ferry Terminal and asked the driver to let me out in Lan Kwai Fong, in Central towards the Mid-Levels. Little did I know that I was headed for the annual Lan Kwai Fong Carnival. The area is a hotspot for expats and locals alike, filled with restaurants and bars but populated with the young professional set, not the clientele of the seedier Wan Chai (see Part 1).
I got out of the cab into a mob scene. The steep streets of the district were packed with revelers, and every establishment along the row had a stall in the street selling food and drink. It was like Mardi Gras! The crowd was generally well-behaved, although it was clear that a good part of it had been celebrating for several hours. I ran into some Coloradans who were enjoying themselves and gave them best wishes for their team (up 2-0 against the Diamondbacks at the time, on their way to the sweep and a World Series berth). It was a great atmosphere. But, alas, I had to behave, as my flight was early enough that I couldn't sleep in, so after a walk around the entire area, I headed back to the hotel. Not before watching four young men (one a teenage boy) participate in a Tabasco eating contest. Each was given a bowl of chili that was LOADED with Tabasco, and off they went. It was like a mini-Coney Island on July 4th, although these guys were throwing back hot chili. Of course, hailing from Texas and having spent six months now testing the local chillies, I had to scoff. But, at the same time, I wasn't volunteering.
Lan Kwai Fong apparently is a great place any time of the year, but I lucked into visiting during a particularly festive time. I can't wait to go back. Especially because I left my car there.