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Alas! I finally had the opportunity to utilize my annual leave =p
Sometimes I do reflect on whether I prefer being a student or a working adult. The perks of working is that I am financially independent and i’m able to go on a vacation any time I like (subjected to approval). This means that I can actually make spring & autumn trips. Previously it was only summer (which was like 3 months). HAHA. bittersweet. well I need to move on to the next phase in life (DONT LOOK BACK)
This is the long procrastinated trip as I was supposed to visit this place like 2 years ago but I ended up in Korea. Well, I’ve been to HK 3 times (very young, young, 5-6 years ago) and we have decided to skip all the usual places and visit places that we have never visited.. and of course, feast on the delicious delicacies that may not be well known to the tourists; introduced by her friend who studies there.
CHAPTER ONE: $$$ WHAT’S THE DAMAGE $$$
Air Tickets (8th to 13th Jan):Tiger Airways – $260 each (SG-HK: no baggage; HK-SG: 15kg baggage for 1 pax)
Flight was smooth and we even reached HK before the scheduled time. Flight back to SG was delayed by 10~20 mins but I guess this is reasonable according to LCC standards.
Accommodation: Yessinn @ Fortress Hill (Hong Kong Island, 2 stations from Causeway Bay)
*UPDATE: I guess I should no longer recommend this accommodation anymore. As at 30 December 2013, there was a fire which broke out in the building which I had been staying in. http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/article/1392331/least-23-injured-after-fire-breaks-out-north-point Hope you have not been affected by my recommendation and I guess there’s a trade off for it being so cheap..*
Usually, people will choose to stay in Kowloon because the major shopping areas are nearby/ However, we chose Yessinn @ Fortress Hill because it was extremely cheap.. 1799 HKD for 5 nights promotion en suite double bed (the bed was like smaller than the usual queen size). I had to pay via paypal in full in order to get the promotion price. So after all that conversion, it was about 29 SGD/pax/night.
So basically, for Yessinn @ Fortress Hill, it occcupies a few flats in different buildings within the same area. They have the main reception in this building at level 15. Luckily, I was staying in the same building, but.. it had to be accessed at a different lift lobby. They have rooms in 3 other buildings which are all like just a few blocks away or even across the road. It can get a little annoying on the last day if you require baggage storage which means you will have to drag your luggage back to the reception.
(This is the first time I’m staying in a Hong Kong hostel so i’m unsure if this is actually a norm in the country)
- Less than 5 minutes walk to Fortress Hill metro station.
- Airport Shuttle (Hostel to Airport) is just like 20 steps away from building lobby.
- There’s this really nice tang yuan shop nearby and a lot of good food in central.
- Room was relatively clean and they make your bed and clean the toilets everyday.
- My wifi connection was terrible. There was a big problem with the router. I kind of made a complain every morning and then gave up. Finally, on the last day, I learned how to reset the modem myself.. and it worked.
- Room is small but seems decent for Hong Kong standards. not much walking space and basically our luggage was all over the floor.
- If you get a room in the other building, it might be not that convenient if u need to visit the lobby.
- My room had a useless window. It was a window but it was facing walls.. so we can’t really tell whether it is day or night because it is dark.
For expenditure, I budgeted about $400 but I kind of exceeded it because I thought I had a lot of money so I bought like almost $200 worth of polaroid films.
All in all, I paid only $407 for accommodation and flights!
CHAPTER TWO: SUMMARIZED ITINERARY
Day 0.5: 5pm flight from SIN, reached at 9pm. check in + supper.
Day 1: Hong Kong Museum of History, Lunch, Shopping @ Kwaifong, Dinner, Supper
Day 2: Island Tour (Pengchau, Lantau, Chengchau) Sashimi dinner + Crumbs
Day 3: Ocean Park + Claypot Dinner + Crumbs
Day 4: Ladies Street + Kwaifong + Beef Noodles
Day 5: Porridge @ Central, Agnes B Cafe, 5pm flight back to SG.
CHAPTER THREE: SUPER DETAILED + COMMENTS & FEELINGS + DIRECTIONS
Went to work for half a day since my flight was only at 17:00. There was no delay and we reached HK timely at about 9pm. Took the airport shuttle (40HKD) and there’s WIFI and a LED screen which tells you the next stop in ENGLISH. awesome thing.
We took 20 mins to circle around the area before finding the building. But I guess if you prepare yourself well, you shouldn’t take long. It was a less than 5 mins walk.
After throwing our bags into the extremely small room, we went out searching for dinner/supper. My cousin vaguely remember that there was a tang yuan place under the bridge not too far away and yes we did manage to find it! If you are thinking of visiting it, look for “Gongcha”, it is 2 shops away from gongcha. Here’s a map if it helps.
The Blue star is the airport shuttle bus stop (when you travelling from airport to hostel) and the yellow/red star with “A” is the hostel reception and “B” is the fantastic dessert place which i had 3 out of 5 nights in HK.
We stared blankly at the menu and then ordered some tang yuan which was like “yuen yang” which was mixed between sesame and peanut with ginger soup which was.. something that i didn’t like =/ but despite the awful tasting ginger soup (i’m against the ginger..), the sesame tang yuan was like the best i ever tasted! the sesame sugar or powder was so finely grained that you can feel it in your mouth. i don’t know how to describe that taste/touch but it was extremely nice.
Desserts are painfully expensive in hong kong. for this light snack it was like 17 HKD (almost $3 each) which means that each tangyuan is $0.60.
Then, we ordered some tou hua thing which has brown sugar on top? it tasted quite nice too!
Well, it was so so so so so so nice, that we ate it 3 out of 5 nights 😀 for the other 2 nights, we found something even better =p
It was like 11 plus 12 by the time we actually settled down so we didn’t really have much food choices.. but just opposite the tang yuan place, there was this restaurant open. We went in and ate century egg porridge and some you tiao zhu chang fen thing.
I don’t know if we were too hungry or what, but the century egg porridge really tasted great.. Really anyhow whack also good food. *salivating*
After the sumptuous supper, we went back to a “wifi-less” hostel and bathed and slept. it was quite a good sleep as we didn’t sleep in the plane at all. we practically talked the whole 4 hours plane ride.. well we meet like once/twice a year now that she’s studying overseas..
Can’t remember what time we woke up but our plan was to meet my friend(s) for meals. I brought 2 boxes of pandan cake from the airport. Apparently, the pandan cake from Bengawan Solo is quite a famous delicacy in other asian countries, mainly Hong Kong, Taiwan. There’s a lot of celebrities who rave about it.. Thus, I decided to buy them over for my HK friend to try.
First up, was the supposedly (in)famous Australian Dairy Co which people love/hate. We were lucky, the queue wasn’t very long and we waited for less than 10 mins. There’s a price to pay for the “short” wait time.. It is at Jordan, Exit C2 if i’m not wrong.
If I had to rate the service level of this place base on a scale of 1 to 5, it will be 0.
The moment we sat down, we didn’t really get a chance to ask any questions and the waiter placed order for us, “SET A” saying that it is the most popular and walk away before we can even breathe a word. He didn’t even let me order the milk pudding. Saying that I will be too full -_-
So this is what we got in set A.
Well, the egg is nice lah. the macaroni and ham is like? i don’t know nothing fantastic? Wouldn’t recommend it and go back again.. the service is.. speechless.. i really felt like they were just throwing me into the restaurant and throwing me out. i can’t even appreciate my food..
Since this trip was supposed to be “not the usual”, we decided to drop by the museum. It was a good 15~20 mins walk. Since it was winter, it wasn’t too bad.. but the sun was shining so i had to wear my cap =p
As it was a Wednesday, there was free entry to the Hong Kong Museum of History.
My expectations of the museum was to learn more about the British in HK and all the whole history and heritage and blah blah blah.. but.. the first part of it was all about the geography aspect. On how the rocks the formation the hills the islands were formed. Being a non-enthusiast for geography, it was quite a bore at the start.
It wasn’t too bad after that as it moved on the history, the culture and there’s this huge pau thing which we could see if we went to chengchau in may.
Things started to get really interesting as we see miniatures and replicas of the housing in the past, the various festivals ( 7 sisters or something) and the whole table of offerings, together with the colourful (opera or wedding) clothings.. Then it developed into modern hong kong and blah blah blah. Really interesting. We spent about 2 hours inside? There’s a lot of short videos to watch too!
After that, we walked over to this restaurant where I was supposed to meet my HK friend for the first time! She chose a shanghainese cuisine which has awesome xialongbao!!
It has a website and I found it: http://www.kings-lodge.com/eng/aboutus.html
Oh man, I don’t have a photo of that fantastic xlb.
Whoops, it was kind of pricy but my friend insisted on paying T_T After that, she realised that we wanted to go shopping and she recommended us this place which had really cheap clothings! We have never heard of that place before.. and since we didn’t really have any plans till tonight, we decided to follow her to that place. It’s along the red line, all the way to Kwai fung. It’s like the 3rd last station of the red line.
Once you exit the station, you just exit and walk along the bridge. There’s 2 malls in the area. One is the expensive mall, with brands (mid range), and the other one is the cheaper mall (platinum, far east, bugis street standard). We started off with the cheaper mall and she brought us to this shop where she bought her outfit from (top & bottom). The prices were like 50 HKD for like skirts/tops/leggings/sweaters …
My cousin even bought like 6 items from one shop.. You know those knitted sweater, it’s only 50 HKD and we found this shop selling polaroid films! The prices were lower den most gmarket/qoo10 prices and.. i spend like half the money i brought there on films. HAHAHA. I even bought this spikey boots which wasn’t that nice but omo. it was only 49.90 or 59.90. I changed into them immediately =p I also bought a bag for 50 HKD.
For dinner we went to a.. kind of upscale place but we only managed to eat like 9plus.. It was the first time I ate in a chinese restaurant with 2 sets of chopsticks per person..
After dinner, I insisted on supper because I wanted my friend to try that awesome tangyuen =p
& I spend the whole night talking to my cousin. Slept only at 4/5?
We decided to nua a bit more since we slept so little.. Ended up missing the earlier ferry and took the later one. We followed some online person itinerary for island hoping.
apple shop @ IFC mall.
Went to Central Ferry Termianl 6 @ Central MTR (follow the signs). The good thing about the transportation is that everything can be paid using the octopus card! Can’t remember the price we paid but it ranges from 10-20+ per boat ride.
From HK Island, we went to Peng Chau, this quiet island which we went trekking. Since it was such a random thursday, there was almost no tourists at all!!! Throughout the whole trekking journey, we were almost alone =/
We were quite tired and the steps only got higher and higher. if i’m not wrong, we were only climbing a 96m hill.. T_T
When we got to the top, we didn’t really see the view we wanted.. Haha it was kind of blocked by all the trees and leaves which have grown really messily. And the picture that we saw from the online page was probably taken with a super pro camera at an awkward position. haha. this was the best photo i took. *disappointed* but, it was a good morning exercise!
This place is really a quiet little town, kind of slow pace, and close to nature and reminds me of those village scenes in dramas.
We chanced upon a pavilion while walking down the hill by the other side!
It was pretty isolated and there were 3 other tourists there.. The weather was really windy and good!
The owner of this house is damn interesting. I wonder what happens to the birds when it rains.
After that, we used the map and found another temple which was pretty plain (I’m not exactly a fan of temples). We manage to catch a glimpse of the empty beach.
and then we dashed back to the ferry terminal to catch the ferry to lantau island!
Do remember that you should always be aware of the ferry timings as they may be infrequent (once every houre or every two hours).
(snacks on the boat ride) the hotdog was surprisingly delicious. so were the drinks!!
And finally we reached lantau island. You know usually when you mention lantau, people think about the airport, the big buddha and the factory outlets.. and this time, what we did was.. NONE OF THE ABOVE! haha, cool right.. we discovered gems on the island!!
FYI: CHINA BEAR = PANDA (Random bar we saw along the way.. not to worry, there’s macs as well.
Using their map, we saw that there’s actually a waterfall in lantau island! since we had time to kill before our next ferry to cheng chau, we decide to explore the unexplored =p
Interesting sights on our way there.
and we found the waterfall with trickling drops of water..
We followed the map and found some cave. A little disappointing as I seriously thought we could enter the cave..
and this was it.. blocked D:
and guess what, on our return journey, we spotted bulls!! my cousin was freaking me out because i had a red jacket and a red bag. :/
HOWEVER, i’ve read somewhere that bulls are not angry because of the colour red, but from the movement of the flag.
We started off grabbing some food from the local stores.
Then we caught the next boat which brought us to Chengchau.
Since we didn’t really have a proper lunch, we were snacking non stop in chengchau.
taohuey (soft beancurd), HK-style
durian mochi. NICE!
Anyway, the purpose of our trip was to see the sunset.. but we got distracted by this stationery shop selling super cute angbaos and stationery. There’s like little twin stars angbao and also rilakkuma. muahahha. and with that, we missed the sunset. when we left the shop, the sky was dark already.
We dashed off to the ferry terminal as we were going to meet my cousin’s friend for dinner. She was supposed to meet us at our ferry terminal at HK Island..
I can’t remember how we got to the dinner place. I think we took a bus. Oh gawd, there was a super long queue outside.. Despite the wait, the food was so extremely awesome!
Address: Shop A6, G/F, 22 Sands Street & Shop B, G/F, 1 Sands Street, Kennedy Town, Western District
It was absolutely yummy!!!! I’ve never tasted this much sashimi before. and you look at the thickness of the sashimi. The only bad thing about this place, is the long queue and the menu is all in chinese >_< and there’s like 3 million words i can’t recognize.. but i didn’t really have to do the ordering because the friend was helping us!
It is so nice that I really wanted to return to eat another night of it.. but we had other plans and we couldn’t squeeze this in.
The best sashimi ever!!
Then we went around the corner (though we were already very full) to have this Yam Cake which my cousin was craving for..
It was nice, but we were so so so so full. and that’s not the end of it!! we had to get this crumbs frozen yoghurt ice cream strongly recommended by a friend!!
We went all the way to causeway bay via bus and (sadly) missed a stop and had to walk like 15 mins back.. but the walk was good. the weather was cooling and we needed that exercise to digest our food.
I conclude this brand to be the best frozen yoghurt that i have ever eaten!!
Tip: JUST ORDER THE LARGE CUP. REGULAR AND KIDS IS NEVER ENOUGH.
it was so nice that i insisted on returning just to try it again! it was so nice that i went to look for it specifically when i was in KL!!!!
*It was an extremely long day 2 ain’t it?*
Well, we were supposed to meet earlier to have dimsum breakfast but obviously we were tired. All plans were delayed and we met at central to eat this ramen which was known as “a universe within a bowl”
When we arrived, the shop has yet to be opened, but there was already a queue!! it was friday morning, 10:40am. and the shop was to open at 11am. So, there were a few chairs across the street where the shop was located. We were not even in front enough to sit on the chairs.. *another food that was worth the wait* (I have never ever queued so long for food in anywhere else in the world.. never ever.. but HK)
G/F, Wo On Building, 8-13 On Lane Street, Lan Kwai Fong, Central
Seriously, you can see the reviews.. hahahahaha. now you know why the queue is forever long~
There isn’t any menu in this restaurant. All you are given is this paper to choose between normal and spicy and extra spicy, with egg seaweed blah blah blah, how you want your noodles to be done, hard, soft, very soft, blah blah.. if i don’t remember wrongly it was all in chinese..
Yes, the ramen was absolutely delicious! the soup was very strong in taste. i think i actually drank up almost the whole bowl of soup! it was a little on the salty side.. but it was absolutely delicious!
yummy yummy yummy.
After the fulfilling lunch, we were all set to go to ocean park! We had to go to this Admiralty metro station and transfer to bus 629 ($10.60 HKD). We bought our theme park tickets at the bus terminal for $280 HKD. I think it was quite a reasonable price to pay for an afternoon of fun. and oh gawd, the park was really huge!!
We started off by taking this cable car which brings you from the bottom to the top of the mountain. It is a really crazy park which is by the ocean D: the cable car ride felt a little scary as we were hanging really high up! and then when you look to your left, it IS the ocean. and.. the ride seemed like NEVER ENDING.
Look at these luxurious houses.. only for the rich & famous..
and this was the scariest coaster which we did take eventually.
highlights of the place as seen from the map!
So we went on some rides, starting with the easier ones.. explored their different animal exhibits as well.. It was kind of cool to do so different things within the same park. why would i say so? Usually places are either focus on animals, or on rides, or on a theme.. this ocean park has everything from thriller rides to animal shows to penguin exhibits to pandas. Kind of like a rojak place, but it makes my 280 HKD more worthwhile!
Well, the highlight was this dolphin & seal show!!
The commentary for this show is really hilarious. They speak in 3 languages, english, chinese and cantonese. and the best part of it, they don’t repeat what they say. Means, if i only know one language, i will only understand 1/3 of the whole commentary..
then there were the cute little penguins..
with the otter/seals.
there were a lot of semi scary rides which makes u feel like screaming.. haha. there was the rather terrible mine train.. we always wonder, why do rides called mine trains always seemed to be scary..
and.. the (i thought i would feel more excited) pandas.
They just sit there and eat and eat and eat all day long..
Then, there was this aquarium~It was not bad. the animals were huge.. just that maybe a little on the “messy”side..
Spotted Eagle Ray
And we also took the hair raiser ride.. the scariest roller coaster of all in the whole ocean park. apparently it is a new ride!
It was getting late.. and it was time to go………. for another awesome dinner!!!!
I don’t know where this place is.. cousin friend just ask us to board a bus, alight and board another bus.. and despite already making reservations at 8pm. we were no where near the queue..
apparently the shop is beside a shark fins distributor and they have this poster to educate people.. saying that shark has other uses other than its fins.. (If my chinese didn’t fail me)
I think we waited close to 2 hours? the reason why it took so long.. is because there’s only 5 stoves and they cook each pot from the scratch.. with the rice.. which was why it took so long.
It was not bad! I took the frog and lapchiong choice and oh gawd the potion was so huge but cousin didn’t wanna share because she was looking forward to this for like the whole trip.
I forced everything in. because we waited for 2 whole hours…
and the night was not over yet! we went back for more CRUMBS and to buy this severely overpriced yeeshun milk pudding. totally not worth it!!
Woke up to a saturday morning with the main agenda of collecting lapchiong from this guy at mongkok. We started off having dimsum breakfast at somewhere, somewhere.
and the not very nice xiao long bao. i keep forgetting that xlb is a shanghainese cuisine which usually won’t taste nice in a HK restaurant.. but i just keep wanting to order it.. and i always usually regret.
Then we head over to mongkok to collect the lapchiongs and buy my $3 saboteur..
and of course, the famous xu liu shan which is as usual, overrated.
then i went myself to kwaifeng to get more polaroid films.. because i haven’t been spending much money, i kind of splurged my money on polaroid films and now i have tons of them at home with no idea what to do with them..
Then for dinner, we went to buy this kau kee beef noodles.
九記牛腩 Kau Kee Restaurant
G/F, 21 Gough Street, Central
it was damn funny. when i went back, my cousin said. “For someone who is sick and think that this is super delicious, it must be really good”
Indeed, it was heavenly, yet I wasn’t craving for water after that.. which means that they didn’t use much MSG..
and that night, i went back for my last dose of tangyuen. all 5 sesame.
It was finally the last day but cousin was still not feeling too good. We gave up our last dimsum plan and headed out for this really awesome porridge place at central!!!!!
It was really good because it had a lot of ingredients and my favorite pig liver =p
We also stumbled upon this agnes b cafe. Super nice!
and with that, it was the end of my HK adventure.
We had to go back to our hostel and collect our luggage before taking the efficient and on time airport bus all the way back to the airport.
and soon it was home sweet home, singapore..
and back to the reality of… wo….rk…..work…………..
(It took me 3 months to finish writing this entry =p)
*Such a procrastinator*
Stay tuned for my next entry! Coming up soon~~