our Southeast Asia trip — first steps

My wife and i decided to have our honeymoon in the remote (to me) part of the world where she was born and raised: Southeast Asia.
She is a proud (and rightly so) Pinay, and just being with her has made me stronger and more mature, being with someone from a completely different culture is really the best thing i could ask for, besides of course my endless love for her.

To be honest, i obsessed about this trip for weeks before departure, i started searching on google for diseases, safety in the countries (our trip included Hong Kong, Thailand and the Philippines), safety of air and land travel, cleanliness of hotels, literally went OCD on everything.
I always traveled in mostly safe-ish places and this was my first time in a culturally far-far-away strange (and tropical) land.

I was anxious and i actually even started doubting my willingness to go, i bought dozens of meds, mosquito repellant (the strong jungle stuff and an even stronger 97% DEET version), sunscreen, bandaids, disinfectants and anything you could think of, i printed several lists of chemical components and foods i’m allergic to (i have G6PD deficiency), i lost entire nights of sleep going though endless articles and forum threads about dengue, malaria and a thousand other things that could make me sick, trying to find the best solution to keep mosquitoes away, or making lists of which foods to avoid and which ones to eat.

The anxiety kept going on even when we reached our first step: Hong Kong.

The most probable reason is that HK disappointed me on several levels: first of all it was described as a city of yin and yang, a place where history meets technology, where areas of complete calmness clash with the craze of a huge metropolis, which to a degree, i saw.

Contrast between the very well kept park and a couple of huge skyscrapers

But i just found a clusterfuck of people running through malls, getting into transportation, queuing up to grab a bite and mostly going about their business.

View from the Sky100 Building

I was also disappointed about the food, we went to literally the top places, even three michelin star restaurants which were all, sadly, very disappointing and overrated.

So, not a very good start for me if you also add the heavy jetlag (i think eastbound gets to me way more than westbound).

Then a very good thing happened at the Hong Kong park: we went inside the Lock Cha Tea House where we had two astonishing cups of tea (i of course ordered a unique blend of Longjing) and the most scrumptious dim sum that i’ve ever had.

Lock Cha Tea House
Shifeng (Lion Peak) Mingqian Longjing

I barely managed to eat anything before that but their dim sum awakened me as if it was saying “remember that you love food and Asia has a lot to offer”.

And so it began, from that moment, my real trip started.