Thursday, May 17, 2007

hong kong march 2007 - day 1

I risked time off from my busy studies (missing 4 days of lectures and tutorials) to visit Hong Kong. It was from 1st to 6th March, a normal study week. Furthermore, I was supposed to go for a Discrete Math test the next day upon home-sweet-home. However the travel arrangements were made in December 2006 as I planned to take part in the Standard Chartered Marathon (Half). No choice but to carry my notes in the faint hope that I get to read it there. The next few days, the only information I read was from my travel guide and local maps ^-^

Day 1 / 02 Mar 2007

Boarding pass

Breakfast at CIA T1

Onboard CX710 - Airbus 330 Inflight Entertainment System

The outgoing flight was CX710 at around 0805 hours. However I worked night shift day before and didn’t manage to catch any sleep. After meeting with my colleague at around 5.30 AM, I ended up “floating” around at the airport. Exchanged the e-ticket for boarding pass and ate some stuff to fill my stomach at Burger King. Fell asleep in the air after only 15 minutes!

This is my first time with Cathay Pacific (国泰航空), and I’m happy with their in-flight entertainment and service standards. For some odd reason my sinus set in when I woke up for their meal, which didn’t subside until the evening. HKIA (赤腊角香港国际机场) was crowded, because it was around noon when we reached. Immigration clearance took around an hour with the snaking queues. The maps, guides and clear directions at the airport were very useful for tourists. I didn’t read up much hitherto, but getting around was so easy. We chose the Airport Express and bought the original Octopus card (八达通卡), and transferred to one of their shuttle buses to Miramar Hotel for our race pack collection.

Airport Express from HKIA to Kowloon MTR

If you’re not aware, passengers are prohibited from talking to the driver! We collected our stuff at Miramar without much waiting, and took the MTR to Mongkok (旺角). Then we realized Prince Edward (太子) station is nearer to our Metropark Hotel, but the weather was cooling enough for a longer walk.

Metropark Hotel (Mongkok)

They say Wanton Mee is nice. It is indeed nice.

The double bedded room was small! To fit a 3rd person in the room could be a challenge. After having wanton mee for lunch, we went to Central (中环). Along the way, we saw the lovable display of Hello Kitty and Dear Daniel! Alighted at Hong Kong MTR, and browsed the posh shops in International Financial Centre (IFC) 1 and 2, and traversed the long walkway that was used by Jackie Chan in his movie “Rob-B-Hood”.

View from IFC and the long bridge

Next, we went up the Mid-Levels Escalator (中环至半山自动扶梯系统), the longest covered outdoor escalator system in the world, that residents and tourists use to get to mid-peak level. We went all the way to the top, ending at Conduit Road, took a very long walk through the countless residential buildings along Robinson Road, Seymour Road. We visited Sun Yat-sen Museum (孙中山纪念馆) at Caine and Castle Road. After a while, we got lost, but managed to end up at the popular Hollywood Road that has many antique shops and a well-known Man Mo Temple (文武庙). After stopping at a donut café for a quick dinner, we continued walking towards Lan Kwai Fong (兰桂坊), which is a good representation of HK’s night life.

Start here - Mid Levels Escalator(s)

We were only midway through at Hollywood Road

It's not a normal escalator you know...

What's so special? At least 20 cubicles, MANY urinals and all automatic taps!

That's where my colleague told me Graham (Graham St is nearby) really resigned! oops.

Lan Kwai Fong - Nightlife

I forgot the route towards the Lower Peak Tram terminus as I was really lacking sleep (it was like walking with eyes open but brain turned off during BMT’s 24km), but of course we reached Victoria Peak (太平山) via the tramway (山顶缆车), and took a photo with the waxed Jackie Chan and Kelly Chen. The view from the Peak Tower was terrible due to excessive mist. Walked around Peak Galleria too, but it wasn’t really fantastic.

Very relieved to reach here. Was walking like a zombie

Wasted money on Victoria Peak. Mist and mist

After coming down from the Peak, we took the MTR to Causeway Bay (铜锣湾), and walked along Wan Chai Road (湾仔) to find dinner. My colleague couldn’t find the exact restaurant anymore, so we settled for some chicken rice. Bought a cardigan and 2 t-shirts from Giordano costing HKD 350, went back to Hotel and I dropped dead after a long-awaited bath.

Not i want to complain, but how to compare SMRT with MTR?!

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