My first visit to Hong Kong had a very rough beginning – my suitcase broke as I towed it down the crowded streets (notes to self: Just use a pack, not rolling luggage and never buy a suitcase a Chinese grocery store), the hostel my travel buddy and I booked turned out to be a scam (no one had ever heard of it) and we were harassed by a group of Indian men on the street about staying in their ‘special rooms’ above the pawn shops in the shadiest building we’d ever seen. At that point, I started to second guess why he had even included HK in our itinerary and not just skipped ahead to Thailand. BUT… we met up with an old friend (on the other side of the city) who graciously showed us around the city and took us to all of the must-see sites. By the end of the day, I had fallen completely in love, head-over-heels, with Hong Kong. (In fact, I loved it so much, that for a few seconds, I considered deliberately missing my plane to Thailand so I could stay. It was bittersweet.)
One of the places our friend took us to explore was in Lan Kwai Fong (the bar district of HK) to a Russian Vodka Bar called Balalaika. We, of course, had no idea what we were getting into. Since HK has tropical weather and is super humid, we were in tank tops, flip flops and shorts. Little did we know we were visiting a vodka ICE BAR!