Friday, October 9, 2009

Stanley : 赤柱

autumn is on its way!!
the last few days have been bliss! although the temperature is still hovering at 30 degrees the humidity has dropped from a sticky 90%+ down to more comfortable 50%.
i never thought this day would come after our long, way too long summer.

so now that sitting outside doesn't feel like you've been locked inside a sauna, we decided to go al fresco.
visitors to hong kong are often shocked at the lack of al fresco dining spots, especially for a city the size of hong kong.
however one spot which does promote outdoor dining is the southern town of stanley (
赤柱) on hong kong island.
it's a bit of a tourist magnet because of the tacky markets, but it's a great location to sit outside in the sun and sip on a vino or two. it kinda feels like you're not even in hong kong.
why? well firstly the town has a sleepy feel to it, even though it's only a short bus ride back into the chaotic city center.
secondly, if you come on a weekend 90% of the people enjoying the sun are foreigners (as in non-locals).
and thirdly, most of the dining here is western "pub" food.

stanley main street

looking towards murry house & blake pier

me about to dig into a burger & chips...

lanterns for the mid-autumn festival

after a satisfying brunch (and a few wines) we strolled along the small bay until we reached the eight small houses called "baat gaan" (八間) which were built back in the 1930s.
these treasured homes are tiny!
without being too nosy it's a good idea to peek inside (if the door is open!) just see how really tiny the living space is.

baat gaan houses

small bay in front of the baat gaan

we then wandered through the markets which are totally targeting tourists.
sure you may find a good deal in this warren of narrow winding streets, but most of the stuff on sale here has "hong kong" printed all over it.
now that i consider my self a semi-local, it's funny to listen to the conversations of the nearby tourists.

"awwww, would ya look at that beau---tiful chaiiiiineeese frock. wouldn't pam look lovellly in that"

"barry! barry! i got these shorts for $10 bucks. that's like a dollar"

"right, after we have lunch i'm coming straight back here to do some more shopping! oooh, that nike t-shirt is cheap. time to bargain!"

lots of XXXL clothes for sale...

i couldn't help but snicker and roll my eyes at the tackiness of it all.
but by this time the sun and the wine was beginning to kick-in... i'm obviously not young anymore.
time to head back to the real hong kong.


pascale said...

Stanley is nice! I always feel like it' a holiday when I am there, mostly because I always used go on a Sunday... :p

Luuworld said...

stanley? a peculiar name for a chinese town. anyway, looks nice! and also, it's funny funny how you think your summer's been "way too long". i wish for once i could say that about my summers here up north...i've worn my winter coat for a week already now. it sucks!

What big portions of food you get over there. The burger is huge, and all that chips! portions over here are smaller...

ps- the thing you've done with your face looks super scary! i'm sure your real face is much nicer. lol

world of sekimachihato said...

* pascale
yup, stanley is definitely a weekend escape!
one year when i took my friend there for brunch he said we could have been in spain, the atmosphere was very similar!!

world of sekimachihato said...

* Luuworld
the chinese name for stanley is "chek chue" but all us non-locals know it as "stanley" (named after a man called lord stanley)

anyway, yes, summer is way too long here!!
but today i'm wearing a light-jacket for the first time!! finally i can start to "layer".
so can't believe you are in a winter coat!! that's crazy!!

i know what you mean about a big portion.
my eyes popped out of my head when i saw this burger... (i'm a small eater but i managed to finish it all!)
i think the portions here are unique to stanley.

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