Hello from Hong Kong! After a long night of travel and a late arrival, the Dins were thrilled to arrive at the Mini-Hotel in Causeway Bay. There, we enjoyed the comfort and privacy of individual rooms, a luxury not even guaranteed on our beloved campus.
The next morning, we embarked on what would be our main mission for the week to come: finding the best food and bubble tea in the Causeway Bay area. Divided into two groups - those preferring Asian food, and those looking for a good old steak - the Dins were thrilled to experience the culinary variety and multiculturalism that the city has to offer. In the afternoon, we met with our contacts, Wing and Karina, who would accompany us through the rest of our stay, helping us to navigate the island. Our first performance took place at the beautiful Queen’s Garden, where residents of the complex came to enjoy some food, drinks, and music.
The next day, still led by the wonderful Wing and Karina, the Dins performed at the International Finance Center (IFC) Mall, where passersby halted to enjoy a few of our songs. From there, we took some time to look around Hong Kong’s bustling Central District, before returning to our hotel. There, we started the tradition of sitting in the Mini-Hotel’s lobby to play cards for countless hours.
After a good night of sleep, we headed to the Dragon Center Mall. Clad in everyday clothes, the Dins blended in with the crowd before starting an impromptu pop-up performance in the mall’s food court. As we were singing, we hopped on an escalator, and were followed by a crowd down a few flights of stairs – one of the many perks of using no instruments.
Later the same day, we headed to another location of the Mini-Hotel, in Stanley, where we would be spending the night. The residents of the Mini Studio in Stanley got to enjoy a lobby performance before Wing and Karina treated us to some delectable dim sum. In sum, some Dins dined on some dim sum.
Upon waking up in Stanley, we decided to get a whiff of the local air by checking out the local attractions. First, we took a stroll through the streets of Stanley Market. Second, and most importantly, we feasted on some more dim sum. Finally, armed with sunscreen and umbrellas, we braved the scorching sun on Stanley’s beach where the water was barely cool enough to make the temperature bearable! Then came the time to make our way back to the center of Hong Kong, where some of us went to see the city’s skyline brighten up from across the river for the daily musical light show.
The following day, the Dins completed their tour of the Mini-Hotels in Hong Kong, performing first at our basecamp, the Mini-Hotel Causeway Bay, and later at the Mini-Hotel Central. Sadly, this night was our last one with Wing and Karina, who took us yet again to an amazing restaurant before we parted goodbye.
But the Dins’ experience in Hong Kong wasn’t over quite yet. With two more days to spend in the city, we went to visit some more traditional tourist spots. Some went to see Macau with its casinos and its enchanting Portuguese influence; others went for a scenic experience on the Peak, offering a breathtaking view of Hong Kong. A third group, with clearly better priorities, went to get lunch at Tim Ho Wan, the cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant in the world!
In the evening, the Dins were invited by the Rainbow Foundation at Noah’s Ark, a themed educational amusement park. There we got to share a dinner with children who were part of a program conceived for the underprivileged youth in Hong Kong, organized by the Rainbow Foundation. Its founder, Mrs. Kwok, also joined us. After dancing with the children and getting to know them a little bit, we performed for them, and for children from the Foundation’s basketball training camp. The evening was filled with joy, laughter, and heart-warming moments with the children. Later, we reconvened in the lobby for yet another round of cards; at this point, the staff and residents of the Mini-Hotel would have been surprised not to find us there…
For our final day in the city, the Dins still on their gastronomical quest went to Sing Heung Yen, a street restaurant specializing in tomato flavored noodles; a unique and delicious cultural mix. Finally, in the evening, we were invited to perform at Bond, where we got to enjoy some refined cuisine alongside Mr. and Mrs. Kwok, as well as their son, Dominic Kwok ’16, recently graduated from Harvard!
And so, stomachs filled and bags packed, the Din train keeps on rolling, Bangkok bound! Stay tuned for more of the Dins’ adventures.
Jacques Berguig #233