Seems like I’m pretty much an ‘asian’ traveller for most of my trips in recent years. Looking back at my travelogue history, this trip marks my 4th trip in 6 years.
Well, the reason why I’m visiting Hong Kong (again) was because of the
super cheap Black Friday ticket sales that we bought via Cathay Pacific on the 24th of November 2017. I don’t remember much about the ‘decision-making process’, except that I sent my passport details to my friend at 1am for her to decide and make the booking cause I was too tired to think.
CHEAP FLIGHT TICKETS
My Cathay Pacific air tickets cost $212.60. (Fly out Saturday 01:15am; Fly Back Tuesday 20:00pm)
On hindsight, it was a good decision that we booked at the wee hours of the morning as such good timings were unavailable the next morning. Told my mum the next morning and she could only book the not-so-good timing flights on a separate date. In comparison, my SIA flights back in 2016 was $274.80 and it was booked >6 months in advance. To be honest, $212.60 is a pricing that budget can’t even give you..
HOTEL VS AIRBNB
In my previous 3 trips, I’ve stayed in hostel, airbnb and Hotel (always in Hong Kong Island). This time round, I really wanted to return to the hotel I stayed previously (JJ Hotel) but sad to say, the price per room per night has increased 100% from $86 to $158.20. Back in 2016, we made a 6-months in advance booking but this time it was only 3 months in advance and at the point of booking, it was the ‘LAST ROOM’ and after booking, the staff sent me an email saying that my request for the non-smoking room could not be fulfilled, unless there was a cancellation. Anyway, since there was FREE CANCELLATION policy on booking.com, we spent the next 2 months looking for alternative and we eventually booked an airbnb. It was in the same district (Wan Chai), except that the nearest MTR was Causeway Bay, not Wan Chai. We paid $134.98 per night (well slightly cheaper) for a somewhat bigger room which comes with a sofa which we lazed on before we bathe. The airbnb (on the 7th floor) also overlooks the harbour and there was walking space even with our luggage all laid out. The only minor issue I had for this room was that the toilet was seriously tiny (but acceptable for HK standards I guess). The owner allowed us to store our luggage in the tiny corridor before check-in and after check-out. Also, there was a short flight of stairs from the street level to the lift lobby so do take caution if your luggage is super heavy.
This trip, I made use of the StarHub Data Sim Card which I previously bought. I bought 2X 3 Days – 1Gb Data plan and used a total of 1.82gb for just $10. So far, this seems like the most affordable option apart from Klook, which is retailing at $8.90 for 1.5gb 5 days.
Searching for Scenic Spots
The major difference for my trip (compared with the previous few) was that food was not the focus. I only ate my beloved tangyuan shop once and most of our itinerary (planned during the trip) were exploring scenic places decided the night before or that very morning.
The most random place that my friend wanted to visit was a beach which overlooks the ‘Golden Gate Bridge’ of Hong Kong, also known as the Tsing Ma Bridge. It was the 2nd longest suspension bridge at the time of completion and now, it is at 11th place. In order to visit this special beach, we took a star ferry to this island called Ma Wan.
A local friend also recommended a place 喃呒山 (I have no idea how to pronounce this place but the english name could be Garden Hill) where we could see the night views of Kowloon. It was an easy climb (proper stairs and railings) but it did make me sweat and feel tired.
Prior to this trip, my friend wanted to scale some mountains to take some scenic shots and after her countless research, her decision was Kowloon Peak. She told me that she has chosen the ‘easiest route’ but to be honest, the climb was rather taxing for me. It took us 4 hours in total and this includes a lot of time spent resting along the way plus a long wait at the peak because I was simply too tired and my friend attempted (and failed) to explore the suicide cliff.
Finally, the last IG-worthy spot was some random carpark rooftop at Lok Wah. Till today, I’m still clueless as to why they build such random useless structures at the carpark of a public housing district. Apart from hipsters and #forthegram seekers and.. random explorers like myself, I don’t see any purpose of it.
Day 1 [Saturday] 28,403 steps
[01:40] Slight delay, Departed Changi Airport Terminal 4
[05:20] Arrived at Hong Kong Airport
[06:00] Breakfast @ McDonalds in the Airport (waiting for first airport bus)
[07:10] Airport Bus to Wan Chai
[07:54] Arrived at Wan Chai
[08:09] Reached airbnb, deposited luggage
[08:11] Explored Causeway Bay Area (looking for toilets)
[08:53] Ding Ding Tram to Central
[09:17] Explored Central area
[09:40] Breakfast at Sing Heung Yuen
[10:32] Coffee at Halfway Coffee
[12:15] Went to buy cookies at Jenny Bakery
[12:47] Took the escalators up the mid-levels escalators
[13:03] Last few escalators were on maintenance so we decided to stop and walk down
[13:46] Reached the famous roast goose shop ‘yi le shao e’
[14:29] Grabbed a drink @ Flamingo Bloom
[16:00] Back to airbnb for check-in and taking a break
[18:00] Left airbnb to go admiralty
[18:26] Explored harbour area for the Harbour Arts Sculpture Park festival
[19:03] Dinner at Admiralty
[20:33] Went to Fortress Hill for my favourite Tang Yuan
[21:23] Explored Lee Tung Street
[22:20] Back in AirBnB
Day 2 [Sunday] 18,565 steps
[10:30] Leave AirBnB
[10:45] Breakfast at Capitol Cafe
[12:10] Take boat to Ma Wan to look at Tsing Ma Bridge
[13:10] Observe Tsing Ma Bridge from the beach
[14:10] Bus to Tsuen Wan
[15:47] Dim Sum for Lunch
[18:07] Trekking @ Pek Tin (near Sham Shui Po)
[19:10] Appreciate the night view
[20:00] Explore Mongkok area
[20:15] Explored vintage Starbucks
[20:41] Drank HEERETEA (which is supposedly an imitation of HEY TEA
[21:21] Went to Argyle Centre to eat Cold noodles
[22:00] Claypot Rice Dinner at Cheun Moon Kee
[23:48] Back at airBnB
Day 3 [Monday] 18,509 steps
[09:10] Left airBnB
[09:31] Breakfast @ Honolulu Cafe (fav egg tarts)
[10:20] Took bus to Diamond Hill
[11:06] Took Mini Bus 1 to the start of our climb
[11:27] Arrived at the ‘entrance’ of ‘fei er shan’
[12:04] Arrived at the start of the steps climb. Rock labeled ‘328’ in red ink
[13:37] Reached the top of Kowloon Peak
[14:21] Started descend
[15:08] Arrived back at ‘328’ starting point
[15:44] Back at the ‘entrance’ of ‘fei er shan’
[16:10] Back at Diamond Hill. Snacked at McD
[16:39] Took bus to Lok Wah Estate
[17:00] Visited a carpark rooftop for some instgram-worthy blue circles
[17:45] Took bus to Kowloon
[18:31] Visited Chunking Mansions
[18:46] Visited Starbucks for Peach Pudding
[19:31] Dinner @ Yum Cha
[20:59] Drank ‘cha li shi’ tea
[21:33] Took the Star Ferry from TST to Wan Chai
[22:39] Back at airBnB
Day 4 [Tuesday] 13,341 steps
[11:08] Checked out of airBnB
[11:40] Breakfast at Glee Cafe
[13:07] Bought ‘Cha Long’ at Causeway Bay
[14:30] Took ‘ding ding’ to Central
[15:03] Ate my universe in a bowl ramen (Butao Ramen)
[15:38] Walked to Harbour Arts Culture Park
[16:30] Returned back to AirBnB to collect luggage
[16:48] Took Airpor Bus to Airport
[17:33] Arrived at Airport
[19:21] Flight back to Singapore
I do not have time to update the more detailed writeup for the places that I’ve visited. If there’s any information that you would like to know, feel free to leave a comment below!