019: Monkey Mountain and Mong Kok- A Hong Kong Bucket List Moment
Skip the Hong Kong Zoo and go straight to Monkey Mountain if you want a true animal experience! We finally fulfilled this Hong Kong bucket list experience and we’re sharing the details of that and our visit to Yum Cha! Scroll down to see the video version of the podcast as well as the Vlog where you can experience it with us!
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In this article:
Our Monkey Mountain Experience
Our Mong Kok Experience
The Podcast and Vlog Videos
Wanting more a cultural experience that’s family friendly? Check out our experience of Ngong Ping Village!
Monkey Mountain- A Hong Kong Bucket List Experience
I’ve wanted to see the monkeys since the day I learned they existed in the wild here in Hong Kong. I was on a bus coming back from a family picnic day with my new job. As we passed Monkey Mountain, my coworker told me that there were real, live, feral monkeys there and my head exploded! I mean we’re in the middle of a huge city! That’s something we could only experience if we went somewhere like Africa or Indonesia right?! I was so excited… but I never made time to go and check it out myself…
First Monkey Spotting
I’ll never forget the day I saw a wild monkey for the first time. We were in our car on the way to work with 2 of my coworkers just chatting away. Next thing I know I see this blob running along the side of the highway near a temple we pass every day. At first, I thought it was an injured dog from the way it running and started to feel bad for it! Then we got closer and I realized it wasn’t a dog at all, it was a monkey! Luckily it stayed on the side of the road and remain uninjured, but I finally had proof that the monkeys did in fact exist! However, it would be yet another 2 years before I finally took the time to go see them…
Making The Decision To Go To Monkey Mountain
Now that we’re leaving Hong Kong (see our announcement here), we finally have lit a fire beneath us to get out and explore! It’s taken us 4 years, but we finally have visited Monkey Mountain!
When we realized we didn’t have much time left we sat down to make a bucket list of places to visit before we left. My number one requirement? Monkey Mountain of course!
Getting to Monkey Mountain
Getting to the monkeys is actually way easier than I thought it would be. Especially with other bloggers and vloggers documenting their experiences.
From Tung Chung, we took the train to Lai King where we transferred to the red line to get off at Lai Chi Kok. This is actually where I work! Taking exit A, we came out in front of a mall and next to the bus terminus. We then took bus 72 to Shek Lei Pui Reservoir. But be careful! We almost missed the stop because the stop notification system suddenly changed mid stop!
When you get off you’ll see a gazebo with benches and a little tuk shop and public toilets with vending machines in front of you. There are also some bulletin boards with safety advice when observing the monkeys.
On the opposite side of the road is another section with hiking trails, but we stayed on this side of the road for a quicker experience. You will want to walk down the road next to the tuk shop and just keep going till it ends at the water treatment plant.
Finding A Surprise
We were honestly really confused about where we should go when we got there. Everyone was saying how the monkeys were everywhere, but we only saw a statue of one! So we went back and forth on whether we were going the right direction but ultimately decided to stick with going down the mountain. As soon as we started down we saw our surprise… 2-3 wild boar! They were just sleeping next to the road on a little hill. We made sure to be extra quiet lol.
This is one of those times where you have to trust your spouse… and then they have to trust themselves. We were hot and it was humid. John had fallen and scraped his knee. And honestly, I had no clue where we were. At first, Allen wanted to go down the hill, but I wasn’t seeing the landmarks from the videos and there were no signs! Then we made it to the reservoir and it was breathtaking and fun to watch the fish and turtles, but still no monkeys.
Then we saw the construction… And Allen’s first thought was “No wonder there are no monkeys, the noise has scared them off.” He also started questioning if we were in the right area. But by now I had seen the landmarks and just knew we were on the right path. So we checked to see how far the construction went and kept trecking!
However, it wasn’t long before we yet again started questioning our decision again! By this point, Allen was hot and frustrated and was never really interested to start. So he was more than ready to move on. I wasn’t. Stubborn as a mule comes to mind lol.
As we stood there
fighting debating, all of a sudden a lone monkey walked by us. We immediately when into photo/ video mode and tried to capture the moment. Boogie was pretty clueless lol. We felt exhilarated! And as we debated whether we should follow or not, another group of 3 came by, and then more and more and yet more again! Every time we thought that was all of them, more came through the hole in the fence. Typically they would just keep walking, but occasionally they would stop and chill for a minute before continuing on. Obviously, I won out and we followed them after all that lol!
The End Of The Road
Not too much further down the path we finally came to the end. It felt like I was in a scene of Planet of the Apes. On one hand, it was magical to see mommy monkeys with babies and see them grooming each other. On the other hand, it was this huge rock field and seemingly abandoned water treatment plant that was completely overrun with monkeys! At one point I thought one was going to jump on my head!
As we started walking back we stopped in some shade for Allen to get some time-lapse footage. While I was filming live for my facebook group all of a sudden two monkeys started walking toward us on the path we were on! As I went to grab Boogie I almost fell backward and broke my ankle and head! So definitely be aware of where you’re stepping! But they just wanted by us lol.
Soon after we heard some of them get into a fight and at that point Allen was ready to go back!
Precautions We Took When Visiting Monkeys
- I wore no jewelry besides my wedding ring.
- Packed away all food in lock-tight containers inside our backpacks.
- Didn’t look the monkeys in the eye.
- Stayed a safe distance away… when possible.
- Kept our voices low.
- Kept an extra eye on John or put him in a carrier.
Here’s a vlog of another one of our favorite experiences in Hong Kong, Tuen Mun Park’s Inclusive Playground!
Our First Yum Cha Experience in Mong Kok
Monkey Mountain will only take you 1-2 hours depending on how long you hang out and how fast you walk. So when we finished it was lunchtime and we were HUNGRY. Allen was more hangry, but I digress. Usually, we just go for something cheap like McDonald’s so that we can save our money. But as we were on the bus I remembered the video on facebook with the custard buns that looked like a face and knew we had to go there so we could tell you guys all about it!
As luck would have it there was one restaurant just a few blocks from Ladies market where I wanted to find a new phone case. So off we went to find this whimsical restaurant!
We went to the one in Langham Place which you can access directly from the Mong Kok MTR station. When you get inside head to the elevators and head to the 4th-floor food court. It’s to the left. Right next to the food court. Only a small wall separates the seating area so you’ll really have to pay attention. But essentially if you stay to the left you should be good.
What we ordered
Oh man were we hungry lol. There are a variety of typical Chinese/ Cantonese dishes for you to try, but we were mainly there for the fun food lol. We ordered the beef fried noodles, the balsamic honey chicken wings, the pig pork buns, the doggy sausage buns, custard buns, a smoothie, and a coke. All of this came to about 700$HKD… almost $100 USD… I was shocked.
Fun factor: A++
While they were so adorable and it really was an experience, the taste left much to be desired… Maybe I’m just spoiled by mom and pop restaurants from living here, but it wasn’t the greatest. I don’t want to go off on complaining, but I will say my favorite and least favorite.
Favorite- The beef noodles for the good flavor and decent amount of food. I’ll also say the piggy pork bun. They really are adorable.
Least Favorite- The doggy sausage roll… It’s not a hot dog… if you like Chinese sausage you will be fine, it’s just not my taste… which I find ironic because I love jerky and that’s what the texture reminds me of. I also thought the balsamic honey chicken wings had too much balsamic, but it was doable!
In the future, I think we’ll eat the bulk of our food in the food court and then just go for tea time where we can try a few different types without having to order so much. Tea time menu starts at 3 there!
Ladies Market in Mong Kok
Just going to touch on this spot. We didn’t spend very long because I really don’t feel it’s very conducive to toddlers. Just too many people and too many things for little fingers to grab at!
Ladies Market is a daytime market that opens just before lunch and is filled with all the knock-off and kitschy souvenirs you could want… and many you don’t lol! It’s where I’ve bought cheap phone cases in the past and thought I could find one to replace my current case… It was just too difficult to find one for my phone while hearing my son scream for me and knowing my husband was having anxiety.
This would be one of those situations where sometimes plans need to change… but I’m stubborn and had been waiting to come here. So it didn’t go very well at first. Plus Boogie was overtired and needed to sleep. Within 5 minutes of me wearing him, he was out! It was a good reminder though that we need to be flexible and pay attention to when others are not feeling the area.
I hope you enjoyed hearing about our adventures on Monkey Mountain and in Mong Kok. I’d love to hear your experiences if you’ve been and would be happy to answer any questions you have, just put them in the comments below!
See The Videos!
The Vlog! See our adventures as if you were there too!
The Video Podcast! Prefer to hear Allen and I speak about our experiences in video instead?
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