Okay it’s time to blog!!! If I don’t blog anymore, I’d really regret this few months or years down the road… I mean the photos of my overseas trips are always the most enjoyable to look at. Hehe. Overdue: NDP, Graduation, Prom, Hong Kong, Bangkok, upcoming Malaysia…
Hong Kong (26th to 30th November 2014)
Planning started as early as August! I wanted to go Hong Kong since a pretty long time ago (actually, ever since I interacted rather significantly with the Hong Kong cadets from ISCEP). At that point in time, my family had booked their flight tickets to Xiamen in October without me because of the big As, and the disgruntled me decided that I won’t let it rest at that!!! I want to travel too!
So I asked my sister whether she was free and he he he she wanted to go to Hong Kong damn badly too!!! So we asked our parents whether they’d like to tag along but since they already took such a long break in October, they couldn’t take time off work again to go to Hong Kong again the following month. It wouldn’t be very nice 😦 so only my mother came along. So there you go, 3 women on a trip to the shopping paradise.
We didn’t want to follow any tour groups to avoid the tipping, being brought to scam shops, …and so on, and hence we went on a complete free and easy tour. We booked the flight tickets by ourselves, we Googled hell lot about convenience of hotels, proximity to attractions and shopping, proximity to the MTR, we sourced for the cheapest flight tickets and also the best available date before Hong Kong turns really cold (Mom didn’t like cold weather). Right after As ended on the 24th, I spent the entire day packing, researching about all the food that food bloggers have given reviews on, made a list of everything that we wanted to eat, and of course researched on my bloody expensive bungee jump *-* And we set off 25th night, technically at 2.30am on 26th. Budget airline means budget timings means waking up in horrible hours of the night. Okay, the price to pay for trying to save that $20? LOL.
Thank god 3 of us seem to be permanently hungry so we ate everywhere we went, had some food at Changi Airport to while away 3 hours due to the early check-in 😦 Chilled a bit too long, and together with airport shopping (Mom did some wallet movement at Braun Buffel), we were nearly late for the flight… I mean, it was still 30 minutes to departure and we heard our names over the PA system in Changi Airport. LOL. Had to run so badly to board the flight HAHAHA and the airport staff were slightly pissed at us because we were the last passengers to board. Hehe.
Compulsory selfies at Changi Airport / on the plane? hehehe.
Then we reached HK! Unfortunately we had to buy a bottle of water on board (walao small Evian for $4) because we boarded late and I didn’t get the luxury of time to refill my water bottle 😦
We reached there early in the morning given that our flight was at 6.30am, so we cabbed to the hotel! We bought our Octopus cards and SIM cards at the airport as well 🙂 Getting a SIM card was probably the wisest choice of the trip, especially when it’s really affordable and allows you to keep in touch with social media. Can’t find the location? Use Maps. Need to find a picture of something? Just Google. Need to find somewhere else to eat? Just Google. Thank god I didn’t bother scrimping on that HKD100 🙂
Selfies upon reaching, as well as the nicest selfie I’ve probably taken on any cab (or the only selfie). Super good hair day! I thought the static nonsense on planes screw up your hair, but man my hair was as smooth as Rapunzel HAHAHA.
The first day is arguably the toughest in any new country, we had a lot of familiarisation to do with the neighbourhood, we needed to navigate around, look for the MTR, use GPS to cross roads… I mean afterall, we were absolutely clueless about the cafes and eateries that were nearby. Our original plan was to visit the Mido’s Cafe which was supposed to be near our hotel. Thankfully, our hotel (Carista Bianchi) was conveniently located at Yau Ma Tei, close to all the shopping districts and only 3 minutes away from the MTR.
This was an alley just beside our hotel which turned really dark at night. It was pretty scary LOL and this is probably one of the many alleys where dramas are filmed, where criminals ran into and hid under baskets, where they threw dustbins and brooms at one another, where they ran at top speeds and climbed over walls to hide from the police that were chasing them and saying “别跑!” “站着!”. I don’t think these dark alleys are commonly seen in Singapore, and uncommon sights are probably the most intriguing on any overseas trip 🙂
Right beside our hotel! LOL. It’s a little hilly up to the hotel but I guess it’s fine, we have a supermarket and 7-11 just adjacent to each other just 30 seconds down the road!!! Totally a traveler’s choice 🙂
But guess what…. took like 5 minutes to locate Mido’s by GPS and when we finally did, we found out that they do not operate on Wednesdays!!! Super unlucky, it’s like a 1 in 7 probability of the eatery not opening and we just had to arrive on that very day. Eventually, we went to a stall across the road because we were too hungry by then to care about what we should save our stomachs for.
Our first meal in Hong Kong!
After eating, we headed to Sheung Wan to visit the Man Mo Temple. Didn’t visit the temples from the previous trip (namely Wong Tai Sin), and instead we headed to this rather classic place instead. The interior of the temple was really nice, I guess it’s a temple that thankfully missed out on modernisation.
Er selfie on the MTR because I’m a tourist and the MTR is slightly different from the MRT. More frequent and more squeezy. 🙂
On the climb up to the temple… and did I mention how bloody high it was?! We couldn’t find the escalator that led us all the way up so we did the climbing up and up and up. Thank god for the good weather (aircon temperature) or I’d probably be soaked in perspiration, I believe I got a muscle ache the next day from the endless staircase climbing LOLOL. A Levels did my fitness well indeed!
As I mentioned, the interior was really pretty!
After that my mother got a bit tired so we sent her back to the hotel (buying some food along the way), before heading to Jordan where my sister did her first Sasa trip… freak me man. I totally have no interest in cosmetics, masks, nail polish, lipsticks…… I was damn damn damn bored. Totally the exact feelings I had when my sister/mother visited endless The Face Shops / Skin Food in Korea back in 2008, 6 years on and I’m still feeling the same. NO INTEREST IN COSMETICS AT ALL. I think she took an hour or something EVERY TRIP OF HERS TO SASA TAKES AT LEAST AN HOUR. I still have absolutely no idea how someone can take 30 minutes to pick a colour for their foundation.
After that we just walked around Jordan aimlessly,
This picture already found itself on Instagram but here’s a repost cause I think this is what defines the Hong Kong skyline: tall and seemingly rundown buildings urgently needing a new coat of paint; bright lit signboards lining all the shophouses; advertisements sticking and hanging out from every building, every gate, every door; and Chinese words that don’t make sense when you read them in Chinese.
To highlight: seemingly rundown buildings. They look so out of place amongst brightly lit shophouses… but these were the sights I really loved to see, probably after studying Geography hehe 🙂
My favourite Watsons water bottle that I insisted on bringing home. Should have brought home more! I really liked the bottle and the fact that there are different Christmas animals on the bottle covers 😦 I like the fact that it contains 700ml as well, hehe. I think 700-800ml water bottles have the optimal capacity for me, for an entire day’s usage.
Another picture I look nice in so there’s there: backdrop of rundown buildings again. They really need new coats of painting.
And hehe here’s walking down Temple Street lined with roadside stalls selling seafood and…. a sex shop! Obviously I didn’t go in, but it just seemed rather interesting that brightly lit advertisements were placed everywhere near the shop. It’ll be a long way before I can go in anyway, not that I have any intention to do so in the near future actually HAHA.
After walking around aimlessly for a pretty long time, taking selfies with the thousands of different shops that were beginning to look the same, we headed back to the hotel to pick our Mom up. Our relatives living in Hong Kong (Dad’s cousin) wanted to host us that night, so we went ahead! We enjoyed a lavish 10-course meal with two rounds of dessert and loads of expensive food. Crab, abalone, oysters, scallops, shark fins’ soup… omg. We felt so terribly bad, and they kept turning the table wheel (?) to us LOL. I was really really full by the end of the meal, yet we couldn’t finish the food on the table. Our relatives are too generous!
That night, I learnt that I attended the wedding of the relatives hosting us that night back in 2004 when my family went to Hong Kong. I also learnt that my father’s surname was originally supposed to be 周 which meant that I was too, supposed to be a 周. And my relatives are from China by the way, which means that my China blood is really really close hehe. I’m quite China afterall! No wonder I yearn to visit China so much 😛
Buying wine for our relatives because we didn’t expect to visit them in Hong Kong. Here’s me being a model for some wine.
A selfie at their house, which was honestly really cramped. Let’s just say the size of the entire house was about the size of a JC tutorial room? Every inch of space was used extremely wisely, there wasn’t any more room to place anything else. (eg. piano/new table) However, I think my relatives are already considerably affluent among Hong Kongers, especially after reading about cage homes in Hong Kong today. Suddenly, I don’t think I ought to be complaining about the size of Singapore houses anymore, even after seeing bloody huge houses in New Zealand and erm everywhere else??? I guess it made me slightly more thankful.
We returned home pretty late that night because my mother had lots to catch up on, and rested really well for the next day. Because of minimal sleep the previous night and a flight characterised with lots of turbulence, I had a really really good sleep that night. Thankful for the fact that I give no two hoots about makeup, I think I get an additional 1.5hours of sleep compared to my mother and sister.
We didn’t get to visit Mido’s Cafe the previous day, so we woke up early to visit the cafe! The ambience of the place was really cool… and old. Apparently, many dramas and movies were filmed here for the charm that the cafe brings, and I understand why. I can totally imagine a typical drama scene: an old uncle hidden behind his newspaper with a glass cup of milk tea on his table, subsequently lowering his newspaper to eye the triad members and confirm his suspicions. Can I be a scriptwriter now?
Face pale as heck because of the very fact that I don’t put makeup- as soon as I get changed I get out of the hotel. So that’s me in my bed face but without the bed hair 😉 sorry to my fans, this is how I look like barefaced! Anyway the point isn’t my face, the layout of the cafe was really… rustic? The flooring of the cafe looks like that of any old and smelly toilet but it felt really amazing to eat in the cafe. It’s like time travelling into the 80s!
Here’s some me and some food hehehe
Here’s the food which was honestly ordinary: I wouldn’t go for a second visit. My taste buds are pretty much insensitive because I was not really brought up to be fussy, but I must say it was pretty obvious that their macaroni, milk tea and noodles paled in comparison to the rest of the food I had in Hong Kong. Won’t deny that the pineapple bun I camwhored with above (菠萝包) was nice though 🙂
Mama and sister and me hehe 🙂
After breakfast we sped off to Tung Chung which was bloody far from Yau Ma Tei, just to get to Lantau Island! The Citygate Outlet was also nearby, and mama sister decided that… WHY NOT DETOUR TO THE OUTLET MALL FIRST? It’s the branded heaven, where you get the cheapest branded goods. I cried pretty much holding their shopping until I decided to buy my very first branded item: a new Kate Spade wallet which didn’t hit 3 digits hehe! I’m not exactly someone who craves for branded goods, but I must say that holding a pretty Kate Spade wallet feels better than holding my old $4.90 purse from Bali. I honestly hope that I won’t turn into a materialistic gold-digger in the future, because afterall you tend to take after the habits and preferences of the people you grow up with. Shopping at such places with my mother and sister is quite a pain in the ass because they already have a crazy number of expensive bags (at least to me) and they can’t seem to ever get enough… I guess it’s the same reason as to why women have thousands of clothes. I hope I won’t spend a disproportionate amount of my income on such luxury goods next time.
Please welcome Maid Ng bored out of her wits.
AND THEN… THEY DECIDED TO VISIT SASA AGAIN. I have no idea how they always enter and exit Sasa with a NEW SASA PLASTIC BAG! Are there that many cosmetics to buy??? I am absolutely clueless. Is it because I’m still 18? Maybe I’d be like them when I’m 28, excitedly entering every Sasa store even though the products on display are all the same. Oh, of course I got so bored that I drew faces using black eyeliner. I even took a selfie with one of the thousands of Kim Soohyun all over Hong Kong, he’s literally everywhere! It’s as if he advertises every brand: Samsonite, Haagen Dazs, Sasa, The Face Shop… anymore?
Finally after 3 hours we left the damn mall!!! We took the cable car to Lantau Island. I am the true tourist: I am a sucker for scenic places, for dilapidated and run down places, for rural villages that are tucked nicely away in the countryside. I have no idea why because I’m sure I never enjoyed visiting villages as a young child, but now I wished I could stay in a fishing village or farm. Not that I despise city life, but it’d be nice to experience life as a rural dweller for an extended period of time. It’s something that many people will never get to experience again, especially with urban areas becoming increasingly common today.
Here’s some wind and a nice background while heading to board the cable car.
While waiting! The ticketing staff were really impatient, like most of the other service staff in Hong Kong anyway. We were ticked off several times by many rude service staff who probably aren’t expected to show any form of “service”. Singaporeans aren’t gracious? You have no idea man.
Honestly my legs went soft when I saw how high up we were above the water body. I was getting really scared on the cable car not because I was afraid I’d fall, but I was contemplating whether I should really go ahead for my bungee jump. It’ll be even higher, and much scarier, and and… goodness gracious. If I were afraid on a cable car which was so damn secure, how am I gonna do the bungee?! That aside, the scenery was really pretty, but it gets boring. It’s really pretty when you first get up, until 3 minutes into the ride when you realise that the view will remain the same throughout the cable car ride. It’s still a great sight to behold though 🙂
Finally reached Lantau Island and the typical tourist struck: we bought a cup of Starbucks. ???????
This was how the place looked like. It was a really modern place though, which didn’t cater much to my liking hehe. I love my candid shots because my hair tend to look the nicest in candid shots 😦
Mom got tired after that so she decided to skip the climb to the Big Buddha. Apparently, I read that lifts/elevators were available, but most people undertake the long climb as a form of sincerity. I underwent the long climb indeed, and with no regret. It was really really pretty up there.
At the entrance to the Po Lin Monastery / the Big Buddha with my sister!
Bad picture because HTC’s camera ain’t at all amazing, but this was the climb that we undertook. I think it’s about 12 storeys high?
Here’s us on the climb up!
The stunning background behind us! Many people were intentionally photobombing our photos so it was really difficult to take a nice photo, but the last picture is really nice! I love the mountains and the sky HAHA I’m truly a sucker for such scenic views 😦
With the Big Buddha. Thank god for the invention of the selfie stick, here’s to the end of “Excuse me, can you help me take a picture?” 😀
After taking another 1000 photos at the Big Buddha, the stubborn me insisted on going to Tai O Fishing Village to revisit my roots. Maybe I was born a fisherman’s daughter, because I really enjoyed the sea breeze, the smell of saltwater, cuttlefish, seeing storekeepers hollering their items for sale, wooden houses standing on stilts above the water level and scene of sampans. Although it’s been said that the fishing village has undergone a lot of change due to the influx of tourists, I still really like the place and how it stands out from the rest Hong Kong. Had a pretty sour experience trying to get there because of unhelpful service staff and rude bus drivers (which honestly wasn’t new to us by Day 2), but we made it there eventually.
We obviously look like tourists in a foreign country hehe. Check out the houses by the sea omg *-*
Just like how I didn’t enjoy all the shopping for cosmetics and luxury goods, sister and mother aren’t suckers for such places unlike me. This explains all the photos, with only me inside. LOL. Really liked the narrow streets and the squeezing for space by strange carts, street food and the lines of seafood restaurants. It truly made me feel like I’m in an overseas country, what more with the excellent aircon weather. Not too cold, not too hot. I believe I didn’t perspire at all the entire trip! 😀
The village was rather small and we sort of completed walking through the entire place in an hour? Went back to Ngong Ping subsequently.
Camwhoring with some of the movie sets and… donuts at Ngong Ping hehe. After that it was getting late and the last cable car ride was at 6pm, so we joined the long queue to go back to Tung Chung… and technically Hong Kong!
Went to Jordan for dinner if I recall correctly, at Mak’s Noodle. This was another one of the overrated eateries that we read about online. Maybe we had too high expectations, but honestly the bowl was really small and the food was ordinary. I guess, instead of relying on such reviews in the future, it’ll be better to just eat by roadside stalls. A more authentic experience, and it’s more likely that you’ll enjoy the food given that you pick the store by yourself (eg. whether they serve porridge or dim sum). After dinner, we went down the street for some Hui Liu Shan, which serves mango dessert. We ordered too much and our bill came up to about HKD180?! (SGD30 for 3 people) The service staff misunderstood us and two portions of a jumbo sized mango dessert. He obviously didn’t check carefully because he was yawning as he took our orders.. We couldn’t even complain or request for them to take it back, because we thought it came in such portions. This is what you get for not knowing the country’s language 😦
The food which looks really photogenic.
And the dessert which was present in large excess. Couldn’t finish the food because we were too damn full from the large portions, couldn’t takeaway since we were halfway through the dessert, so we left feeling a little cheated. It was a rather upsetting way to end the night, but I guess it’s fine. We don’t go overseas all the time anyway 🙂
Went to Argyle Street and Temple Street to buy some stuff for brother and father, before returning to the hotel which was only one MTR stop away. Thank god for the convenience of our hotel, or we’d probably have to spend great amounts of time travelling. The hotel is so convenient that you can just return there and take an afternoon nap if you’re too tired, which was what my mother did occasionally. Hehe.
Macau day!!! Honestly, it was quite difficult to plan for Macau and we were afraid that we’d get lost navigating around in Macau, because our SIM cards bought in Hong Kong obviously no longer work in Macau. We got to the Hong Kong Ferry Terminal and bought tickets by TurboJet to Macau. It was quite scary because travel agencies were shouting out for you from many stores (like Chinatown but 100x noisier) and offering you different tickets. I read online that some customers were scammed by agencies who sold them tickets for a ferry that was going to depart in the next 5 minutes, and I was really afraid of that. Thank god our ferry was bound to leave in 30 minutes, it wouldn’t be nice to get scammed early in the morning man.
Queuing up for the ferry even though there are seat numbers because we are Singaporean.
We wanted to go to the Macau Tower, the Venetian, the Ruins of St Paul (Senodo Square), which were all too far to walk to and fro. We took the lazy way out eventually, and made a total of 3-4 taxi trips which were rather cheap compared to the cab fares in Hong Kong anyway.
First stop: the Macau Tower!!! The full package for the bungee was freaking expensive, like 3680 HKD which is around $630 SGD?! The package without the photos and video was about $100 cheaper, but what’s the point of doing a bungee if you don’t buy the pictures to record the moments? Photography wasn’t allowed so… aiyah! Just get the full package. It’ll be once in a lifetime anyway, because I don’t think I’ll ever do a bungee again. High costs incurred LOL. I can’t believe I actually did i5. My siblings went to Hong Kong back in 2010 when I was away at March Camp, and they did the Skywalk (walk around the tower LOL) while watching people do the bungee. I was telling them then that I wanted to do the bungee, and they told me that I’d definitely not choose to do it when I am on ground and see how high the tower actually is. I’ve officially defied their words and accomplished something on my bucket list, and I’m so so so proud of myself. 😉
Someone helping me to fasten my harness. Originally, there isn’t anything wrong about this picture, but my sister just had to remind me that it looks wrong, and it really looks wrong. HAHAHA what the heck.
Preparing for the jump hehe, both from the platform and from my sister’s view of me LOL. All the security checks, fastening of harnesses and everything. It was cold and windy and scary, couldn’t stop laughing. I laugh when I’m nervous which is really strange but I guess good at times? Obviously a very nice picture of me 🙂
Standing on the edge of the bungee which was the scariest shit ever because of everything you see below and the fact that YOU’D HAVE TO LEAVE THAT PLATFORM SOON. My legs were trembling like crazy and I was so afraid I’d fall from the trembling… thank god the countdown to the fall was rather immediate and not long after I found myself falling at terminal velocity, screaming like mad with all the air entering my lungs like crazy. The first 5 seconds were amazing, it’s as if I paid SGD 100 for every second of thrill. The fall felt really long though, and honestly it wasn’t really scary anymore after the 5th second. You’re too well secured for it to be scary.
Falling progressively before I found myself at the bottom of the 233m tower after all the rebounces. I was quite upset because I didn’t know I had to pull the string TAUT for me to sit upright, and all the way down I found myself upside down. I couldn’t even enjoy the surrounding sights and the skyline of Macau, because it was a fall all the way, and I only saw the tower and the ground. They should have let me read the instruction sheet 😦
That was all at the Macau Tower. I was glad to be the first one to jump at the 1pm timeslot, because other jumpers were much slower than me (much hesitation at the platform LOL). Actually, come to think of it, I should have taken a longer time at the edge. Maybe I might have had more photos of myself, and a longer video at that. JUST KIDDING HAHA 😀 Took a cab down to Senodo Square subsequently, where we were dying of hunger because of our unsatisfying hotel breakfast that morning.
Our cab dropped us somewhere from Senodo Square because of traffic concerns because Macau was really really crowded, and here’s a blur wefie on the way because people were walking through the streets at freaking top speeds. It was like a carbon copy of Hong Kong, where people push and shove to get to their destinations as soon as possible. They must have been really irritated at stupid tourists like us 😀
The heart of Senodo Square. The place was really crowded and Chrismassy and I liked it! Some people detest crowds, and I think I’m not one of them. In fact, the very reason why I enjoy countdowns to New Year and concerts is because of the crowd. It feels really good to be there, enjoying the decorations together with crowds of people.
Walked around for a little bit, ate street food like their famed portugese egg tarts where Yoon Ji-Hyo (HAHAHA) went with Geum Jandi (and why the hell do I still remember their names?!). The shop is STILL playing the same clip from Boys Over Flowers when they filmed at Macau HAHA. We chanced upon a Korean celebrity from a reality show, although I obviously didn’t recognise him. My sister did.
One egg tart of course.
And our lunch! We ate at a random eatery along the streets and it wasn’t disappointing at all, it looks boring and plain Jane but the curry / ramen soup was really good. Or maybe we were just hungry, afterall I did such a tiring jump… maybe? 😀
We were near the St Paul Ruins by the time we finished walking through most of the streets, and we visited the Ruins of St Pauls! Apparently the rest of the building got burnt in a fire many many years ago and what’s left standing is this wall, that has become a very famous tourist attraction today. 4 years ago I visited the place at night and the photos turned out really bad because night mode wasn’t that advanced back then. It’s much clearer and better in the afternoon, although with a much larger number of people. Many intentional and unintentional photobombs once again 😦
From bottom up you can already see the sheer number of people there: tour groups and tour guides shouting through megaphones, as well as random people sitting along the railings.
With Mama hehehe who is shorter than me, so I’m obviously the tallest woman in the family. Won’t thank Mama for my short genes, but I’m thankful for everything else 🙂
Some candid/non-candid me and the background overlooking Macau. I think it’s no longer new that I love looking at buildings. They bring unfamiliarity because many countries have high buildings, but they are all differently taken care of (paint peeling, or fresh coat of paint?) and of different architecture.
After climbing down the Ruins. We were tired man, HAHAHA, don’t know tired from what. Walking too much? HAHA.
After we left the Ruins, we went to buy biscuits and several cakes for souvenirs. We were led down a more quiet street to buy boxes of egg rolls, and we chanced upon this great place for phototaking. So here’s more me and an empty selfie stick. I honestly think I look better in photos than in real HAHAHA.
Day turned into night quickly, I think the sky turns dark at around 6pm everyday when we were there. We wanted to go to the Venetian, so we headed to the cab stand and walked out of Senodo Square, camwhoring along the way.
The crowd was no joke man, much more crowded than The Venetian. Not sure why there’s even so many people on a weekday.
and here’s me and some… Korean men! I didn’t know they were from EXO, until my sister told me. I decided I had to hold their hands and send the photo to Edina HAHAHA. Where are the days when I used to spazz about SHINee to no end? LOL.
Taxis were difficult to hail because they couldn’t stop anywhere, but we got one after walking for a long, long time. It was a short ride to The Venetian!
Eating yogurt upon arriving, I don’t think we were really hungry but you’d feel like eating anyway. We ate a lot of street food that day: their famous pork bun (which honestly in my opinion wasn’t all that great), drank really good passionfruit juice and had a lot of biscuits that were for sampling along the streets hehe. Not a bad thing to go to tourist attractions afterall!
Mother and sister went into the casino to take a look while I sat on the floor openly and read my e-book that I downloaded many months ago. Thank god for entertainment.
Taking pictures with a Christmas set-up at The Venetian because we had nothing to buy. Walked in and out several shops because the layout of the shops was too similar to that in Marina Bay Sands, and is probably pricier or of equivalent prices. We didn’t spend too much time because it was rather late anyway, and we went back by shuttle bus to the ferry terminal.
…..but guess what, after taking the 15 minute shuttle (if you think about it, it’s quite long) to the Macau Ferry Terminal, we realised that we were at the wrong ferry terminal. A round of applause please!!!!! So we had to take the shuttle bus back to the nearest hotel, and take another shuttle bus to the correct ferry terminal (Taipa Ferry Terminal). We wasted a total of 1 hours travelling to and fro, and let’s thank god we left early, or else we may have been stranded in Macau. Mistakes we make while travelling free and easy which we’ll never make if we were travelling in a tour group. Thankful for the experience 🙂
It was 11pm by the time we arrived in Hong Kong and cleared the immigration counters and all, so we didn’t have time to grab dinner (which stores would be open man). Ended up buying cup noodles by the supermarket down the road but it felt really good anyway. It was such an eventful day and it felt really good to be sitting on the bed cleanly bathed, holding a cup of hot noodles, and drinking hot soup in really cold air-conditioning.
My hair in sexy curls because I am always lazy to comb.
Slept happily with a round big tummy, and I am obviously not embarrassed. Hehe. In fact, it felt better than any day to have a round, big tummy. Life was always meant to be enjoyed.
We had Tim Ho Wan for breakfast that morning! Okay well, obviously we know that Tim Ho Wan is also available in Singapore, but it just feels good having it in Hong Kong. Furthermore, the prices of the dim sum were about 1/2 of that in Singapore? However, we queued for about 40 minutes despite going to the supposed least crowded outlet.
While waiting. You get a queue number and the order sheet. Upon sitting down, they’d take your order sheet right away and your food arrives really quickly. That’s why despite the really small space in the eatery, food is served really quick and turnover is very fast.
The 3 pigs and 3 barbecued pork buns. It’s really good man, whether you’re in Singapore or Hong Kong. HAHAHA.
After breakfast we headed to Repulse Bay. I didn’t really like it although I am a sucker for scenic locations, because that was obviously a tourist haven. You see only 1% locals (the people who live there in the luxurious condominiums and freaking huge bungalows), and the rest are made of locals. I felt a little upset when I saw sports cars driving down the road, and the bungalows along the entire Repulse Bay stretch. There are people living in cage homes tucked away in Yau Ma Tei, and on the other hand there are people living so luxuriously. Not being xenophobic, but there were many foreigners that drove many of the sports cars. Income inequality was really, really glaring, and you won’t truly see it until you take the bus through the roads up the hills yourself. I know that Singapore is no different myself, and I believe that’s the price to pay for developing too quickly. (just Googled, the Gini coefficient of Hong Kong is 0.55, honestly not very far from Singapore’s of 0.47 I think?)
Had to put on my spectacles in case I didn’t know where to get off, and yes, we missed our bus stop by 2 stops. In the end, we had to take a taxi down back to Repulse Bay Beach. It was a 40 minute ride there just to see the beach infested with tourists!!! I wonder why we went there knowing that.
A view of the… expensive houses, and many tourists who alighted off tour buses.
We witnessed a wedding! I couldn’t understand most of the speech because it was in Cantonese, but 3 letters struck me: “TVB 的同事”. Maybe there were some actors there! But I was too blind to see anything anyway HAHAHA.
Camwhoring with strange hairstyles at Repulse Bay Beach because I was pretty bored. At least we created some entertainment for ourselves LOL.
Took another 45 minute bus ride back to Admiralty MTR which had a lot of protesters, tents and notices from the Umbrella Revolution. It was really interesting to walk through them all and read their revolution slogans. Due to late sleeping hours the previous night and early waking hours, my mother was really really tired so she headed back to the hotel to sleep. Sister and I decided to go cafe hopping then. I don’t even cafehop in Singapore, so doing it in Hong Kong was the first time. I hopped…. two cafes. HAHAHA. Still considered hopping!
We first went to teakha (茶家) which well, serves tea. No coffee at all.
At the entrance! It was tucked in a corner after much climbing (near the Man Mo Temple at Sheung Wan) and the ambience was really nice, especially outside. If not for the fact that it started drizzling, we would have stayed outdoors.
The exterior of the cafe! Looks like the locals enjoy chilling by a cup of tea, reading a book and just doing nothing too. 🙂
We were sitting on a log! Damn cool right *-* As I mentioned, it started drizzling, so we brought our green tea cheesecake indoors hehe.
Guess it’s quite nice indoors too, where they deliberately placed fashion magazines and fake flowers to make the interior of the cafe prettier.
Stayed in teakha for quite a bit after finishing our green tea cheesecake, before we decided to walk down the street to another cafe to get some coffee.
Some cool van outside a bar/restaurant? HAHAHA.
Afterwards we headed to Homei. Unfortunately for this cafe, if there were 2 patrons (me and my sister), you had to buy 2 cups of coffee. I was quite irritated but we got 2 cups of coffee anyway, what an ultimate waste of money 😦
The interior of the cafe and some me, poor angle because I was charging my phone HAHAHA oops. It was a nice ambience lah, just not worth SGD14 for staying for about 30 minutes 😦
It was still drizzling when we were heading back to pick up Mama so we kinda ran through the drizzle… but it didn’t rain anyway. Brought my mother for dinner at Cafe De Coral, which was a fast food eatery in Hong Kong. Man, you really had to fight for seats in Hong Kong. No one would be nice enough to give up their seats even after finishing their meals or anything, and any empty seat is automatically assumed as “vacant”. There’s also no “queue system”, if you fail to see the seat vacated, it’s your problem even if you came earlier. Had so much difficulty looking for seats.
Went to Argyle Street for more shopping again, and also went to Mongkok to watch the protests and policemen in action.
Sorry but LOL. I’ve never seen such a large group of police at work before. There were so many young men (and some young women) on duty at almost every corner of the street. In those days of the protests, it seems as if being a police is the most common career in Hong Kong. Morning, afternoon, night, police lined the streets on standby. I really respect them, and I hope the end of the protests would finally give them breathing space and time to rest.
and the only inch I’ve caught of my husband the entire trip… RAYMOND LAM ON AN ADVERTISEMENT!!! My love for him really doesn’t stop here man, lately I’ve been rewatching Mysteries of Love and I realised that he was supposedly an “assistant professor at Cambridge University”. HOW COINCIDENTAL CAN THAT BE? Just 3 months ago, I was working hard to be his junior hehehe. Unfortunately I’ll probably get rejected so ah well, I’m already ready for the letter of rejection hahaha 😦
Couldn’t catch most of the protests that day (where the students were marching in yellow umbrellas) and I got really sad because that was our last night there. Went back to our hotel subsequently while I researched on what I was going to do tomorrow because my dear mother and sister was going to the Citygate Outlet Mall AGAIN AGAIN AGAIN O M G. After much deliberation, I decided to just tag along, and watch a movie while they shop hehe. It’ll be nice to watch a movie in a foreign country anyway 🙂
Finally, we ate Australian Dairy Company that morning!!! It was famed and raved about in blogs, that even locals willingly queue up to 45 minutes to eat their scrambled eggs. We just had to try it man 🙂
Here’s the food! To be honest, the service was really sucky but we were all prepared for it. Food bloggers commonly mentioned that taking more than 10 seconds for your order would tick the staff off, and they were so annoyed at us when we couldn’t decide between 煎蛋 and 炒蛋, and 冷 or 热 for our egg and milk custard. But whatever man, HAHAHA.
My bed face and my food because as usual, breakfast seems to be right after I wake up.
In all honesty, the food was really quite good. The scrambled eggs were really good. Some may wonder what can be so good about a plate of scrambled eggs, but it goes really well with the toast. It’s the type of taste where you’d be willing to return for a second visit despite the 45 minute queue again. It wasn’t a pleasant experience with the sucky service (as usual), but I can’t deny that I enjoyed the food 🙂
After food, we headed to Tung Chung once again (a very long MTR ride man), and then I decided to split up with my mother/sister and catch a movie! Once again, thank god we got SIM cards.
At the cinema which was so very crowded, as you can see. I wanted to watch Mockingjay, but the only available timeslot was at 1.20pm and it was only 12pm. I was quite afraid that I wouldn’t make it back before the meeting time with my mother and sister (at 3pm). Quite coincidentally that day, KK sent me a Facebook message about how I have been and how I was enjoying Hong Kong, before letting me know that he was taking part in a parade that very day. I got so excited upon hearing that!!! He asked whether I could go down to Ocean Park to watch the parade, and OF COURSE I WANTED TO!!! I got so excited because watching a parade in Hong Kong is too damn bloody cool, and furthermore the venue was at Police Training School!!! Where Ron Ng trained to become a police hehehe!
I met up with KK at Causeway Bay and we took a bus to the parade ground!!! Coincidentally we passed by Ocean Park so I took a photo, pretending to be a tourist who has obviously gone there HAHAHA. Can’t believe I’ve been to Hong Kong thrice but have never been to Ocean Park.
This photo was really well taken!!! Thanks KK hehe the background is so pretty!
Sneaking in behind the cadets, and KK was like “不要说普通话!!!” LOL.
The event I was attending, their annual parade! There were many parents present hahaha, so I guess I smuggled in successfully? 😛 I was pretty awkward while KK went to change because I couldn’t even eavesdrop on people, I didn’t understand Cantonese at all LOL. So I just secretly took photos while the cadets were on standby, and used my phone throughout. Thank god for entertainment and mobile data!
Their parade ground is so pretty as opposed to any of ours HAHA. It overlooked mountains and the large large sky, and the parade ground was really damn huge. But I guess this police camp doesn’t belong to HKSCC, technically it belongs to their police force. It’s a really pretty place to train in though, I wouldn’t mind doing 2.4km around this place I think 😀
Their military band and Guard-of-Honour. It was cool man! It’s like watching a COC parade in a different country, with the same marching beats and almost similar music for the marching. I am really very privileged hehe.
Took photos with the ISCEP Hong Kong exchange friends from last year, before it was running late and I had to run back to Yau Ma Tei to meet my mother and sister. Couldn’t risk missing my flight man, LOL. I was a burden to KK the whole day because he had to bring me to the parade ground and back, but I am really really really grateful. I think watching a parade overseas is truly a rare opportunity, and a really authentic one. Not every local even gets to have these opportunities, and I think I was a very lucky girl that day. How do you find such coincidences: KK talking to me the very day I was BORED, KK having a parade that very day, KK having a break at that very hour. Thankful! 🙂
Afterwards, we quickly grabbed our luggages and cabbed to the airport for dinner. This sort of ended our stay in Hong Kong I guess?
Turning into a nerd right after reaching the airport because I couldn’t be bothered anymore HAHAHA I had enough of being a blind mice for nearly 5 whole days. That concluded the trip!
I’ve learnt a lot by being on our own this entire trip. We relied primarily on our own research, our own experiences and the mistakes we made from day to day. We left a bottle of water that was paid for at the counter, we over-ordered and we pissed service staff off. Hence we started using photos to give our orders instead to prevent misunderstandings, and avoided ordering too slowly. We embroiled ourselves in the sardine competition during peak hours, and we successfully learnt the skill of squeezing onboard as quickly as possible. We saw how stark income disparities can be, we saw how much a country can be facing aging population, and we saw how students unified for the protests: but only at night. They are aware that they are not fighting against their own country, but fighting against the Chinese. All operations were conducted with much thought, they were all started at night only after the final shop along the street shut its doors. I believe this was to prevent any loss of business, and hence damage to the economy. This is why the authorities couldn’t find fault with the students, because it wasn’t a hoard of unreasonable protesters. They knew what they were doing.
There are many experiences that you will never receive following a tour group on a tour bus, being brought to places that have absolutely no appeal. This was truly experiential learning for me, and I’m glad I went on this trip with my mother and sister. Although we obviously do not share the same shopping habits, we have the same values when it comes to spending and eating in an overseas country, and I have definitely enjoyed myself throughout the 5 days. It marked the start of post-As, and it’s been a great journey thus far.
It’s been a beautiful end to November, and honestly I don’t think I’d return to Hong Kong anytime soon. Perhaps 5 years later, or 10 years later, I’d re-read this post for old places to revisit. I want to visit the Kowloon Walled City Park the next time I’m there (TARCE contestants went there!!!), as well as the Avenue of Stars at night. And I know I’ll definitely get a chance 🙂 Thank you Hong Kong. 2004, 2010, 2014, and I do wonder when I’ll see you again.