This is how my mind works when it comes to traveling: as soon as I decide on a destination, I become obsessed. I fall hard and fast down a deep and long trip advisor/instagram/pinterest/reddit hole researching flights, food, hotels, and things to see. I need to be one thousand percent sure I will not be missing out on anything amazing before I depart. I had spent the weeks prior to this trip doing all of that for Siem Reap, Cambodia. Even down to the tuktuk driver who was going to take me on my sunrise tour of Angkor Wat (sorry for not showing up, Heng!)
Long story short, after doing whatever it took to get myself to Hong Kong despite flights being jam-packed with I-brought-my-bed-pillow-from-home teenagers, screaming little seat kickers giddy from being set free from kindergarten, and those traveling to the annual Dragon Boat Festival, I somehow managed to make it on a flight. Yet all of those hours on the airplane were for naught, or so it seemed, because I was not boarded onto the final leg of my journey to Siem Reap. The last words any standby traveler wants to hear spoken to them by a gate agent were uttered to me: "sorry, but the flght has checked in full". NooOOOOoooooOOOO!
Ok. Panic. Wait...don't panic.
After 24 hours of travel, my head was swimming. I headed to the departure screen. Where could I go instead? As I searched the screen that rotated between what seemed like thirty seconds of Chinese, and only one millisecond of English, the adrenaline started to wear off. I started to feel the dryness in my eyes, the intense throbbing of my poor swollen sausage feet. I looked and felt like a drowned sewer rat. I needed a shower and a bed. So I thought to myself...what if I decided to stay here for a night? It would give me time to come up with a plan of attack with a clear (and showered) head.
Well, I never did end up leaving. Hong Kong sucked me into its vibrant, bustling, infinite system of skyscrapers and swallowed me whole. Oh and it fed me so so so so well. Going with the flow allowed me to be in Hong Kong the same weekend as the Dragon Boat Festival by chance, one of the most wonderous sights to be seen. The colors and decorations on the boats were stunning. Not to mention the performances from the rowers themselves. What is it about watching things move in synchrony that is just so satisfying to the human brain? I'm not quite sure.
Now, let me show you how I ate my way through Hong Kong...