Wednesday, March 17, 2010

hong kong march 2010 - 4 days

this travelogue has limited pictures, requested by my Missus.

as my faithful readers are aware, i'm a big lover of Hong Kong. Even joked to my girl, maybe we should have a kid holding HK citizenship, learn some good Cantonese and have good skin complexion owing to their seasonal climate. Singapore is just too stressful to bring up a kid, the cost of living is too high even for people holding citizenship. This is something our political leaders keep ignoring....anyway enough of the political mumbo.

day 1

this time round i chose Cathay, the same airline as my very first trip almost exactly 3 years ago. CX710, the early morning flight that required us to be checked in by 6.15am, and the homecoming flight CX735. Both are codeshared flights, so we saw some prominent groups of people, such as Japanese businessmen going home via HK, etc.


booking via Zuji seemed a bad move though. Not sure whose fault it was; we checked in rather late at 7am and got seats that separated us. Of course the lady was understanding and immediately changed our seats to babyseats (the seats right in front each section, more leg room). Went to T2 to have a quick breakfast at BK, then back to T1 just in time before the gate closed.

we're quite well seasoned travellers to HK by now, so going through the arrival procedures felt almost the same as going to JB. Decided to give Airport Express a miss this time, took bus S1 from the T1 bus terminus to Tung Chung MTR. From there, we took the normal MTR to North Point. Saved lots of money (HKD3.50 vs HKD160, excluding MTR charges), enough for 1-2 meals!

S1 - your normal double decker

checked in at our Ibis hotel at North Point, which offered a decent view of the harbour. In front is a giant carpark and a ferry terminal, that seemed to ferry people to Kowloon City. We didn't try that though. As usual i had problems adapting to the climate there - it was about 15 degrees with some winds, and had a headache.

Ibis - no bells and whistles, but decent accomodation

after a short rest, we went to Shun Tak at Sheung Wan to get our Macau tickets, then walked to Central Pier 5 to board bus 15. Bus 15 offered a really good experience up to the Peak Tower. Most tourists would take the Peak Tram since it's unique. But it's not so special to me by now! Bought tickets to access the Peak Terrace, which offered a reasonable view with some fogs.

Costs HKD25 to go up to the top

our dinner was simple, settled for a cha chan teng (Tsui Wah) at Causeway Bay. Wished the girl happy birthday when the clock struck 12!

day 2

The mess after only a night...

went to Ho Choi at Yau Ma Tei for dim sum, but it was full. I hated the wait, so i decided to forget it and we had normal breakfast nearby.

took the train to Sheung Wan and went on to board the fast craft. We were blur folks, joined a queue which was meant for the next trip. Then we saw people getting up and going direct to the exit gate, and realised we were queuing up for the wrong timing. zzzz...

Once inside the fast craft, not too bad

it's her first trip to Macau, so more attention paid to this part of the trip. She wanted to visit Venetian, so that was done. But before that, we took the Emperor Hotel's free shuttle and hopped over to Casino Lisboa for some Sic Bo. Lost HKD200 there...

Walked over to Lisboa...

The original Lisboa

Senado Square

then we went Ruins of St Paul, and took a cab to Coloane Island. I really loved the place, and wanted to revisit it. Thank god we managed to make this trip, felt happy when she enjoyed the time there.

The original Lord Stow's cafe

after walking through Venetian's nice Grand Canal Shoppes, we hopped over to City of Dreams, which is a relatively new casino that opened in June last year. Managed to recoup my losses, but lost it all plus another HKD200. Decided to stop the stupid gambling and left..

Venetian's bustling gambling fish market

City of Dreams Casino entrance

remembered we queued up earlier? We did this again, thinking it's for us. Then we only realised our foolishness after some people went into the gate directly. The boat ride back was alright for me, but she got seasick. So we didn't have our hotpot and went back to North Point. Happened to pass by a chan teng selling congee, so we happily ordered some nice stuff.

day 3

it's our 2nd last day, and the only actual full day left. But still woke up quite late, decided to give Ho Choi another try. Managed to get in, but had much difficulty ordering dimsum because of the Chinese characters. Can't even find siu mai!

Ho Choi's menu

we took the MTR to Kowloon Tong and transferred to the ex-KCR East Rail. Alighted at Tai Po Market, hailed a NT cab in green to Bride's Pool. Took us quite a while to get there, which was unexpected. And further in surprise was the location - it's in a hilly area, and it was part of a larger hiking trail! Didn't mind much anyway, because the weather was cooling and we had to keep warm anyway.


Bride's Pool story...

Never knew HK has this right?

i learnt some basics of hiking from this nice little adventure. Lucky it was rather easy to complete, and hope to go for similar trails in future.

after spending few hours at Tai Po, zoomed over to Sha Tin and had some small shopping there. She wanted to see Snoopy, initially didn't find it and thought it was demolished. Then managed to find it, and got no time wasted to take pictures with the dear dog and the companions...

dinner was at Little Sheep, Mongkok branch. Loved this meal as well, although we again had problems ordering the food in Chinese. Cost us HKD313, which is around $58.

Order freely at HKD128/pax, not inclusive of service tax

day 4

we had to be at the airport by 12pm, so we didn't do much. Decided to opt for the in-town check-in at Hong Kong MTR, and realised an Airport Express ticket is required. Wanted to go Yuen Long since there's spare time, but she suggested not to due to the distance.

so we went to Sogo to get our biscuits, had lunch again at Tsui Wah. Then it was home sweet home!


i hope my kid will be a Hong Kong citizen! (just joking...)