April 4, 2012

A day in Hong Kong

*warning: long post ahead - grab a cup of coffee or a bar of chocolate to munch on

During our tour in Zhuhai, we had a day to do whatever we wanted. It was a last minute planning but we decided to jump at the opportunity to spend a day in Hong Kong. We woke up early and caught a cab to Zhuhai Jiuzhou Ferry Terminal . From there, we paid RMB300 for a return ferry boat ride to Hong Kong. Since we had to wait quite a bit, we took the opportunity to grab some biscuits before heading to the waiting area. When we boarded, I was pleasantly surprise with the interior of the ferry. It was clean and very well-maintained. However, the ferry ride was a different matter all together. I got so sick as the ferry was bouncing up and down the whole journey. When we reach land almost an hour later, I could almost kiss the ground if it wasn't so dirty. 

We arrived in time for breakfast!! Upon recommendation from Tze Hong, a friend and 'sifu' who works in Macau, we walked around the HK Macau Ferry Terminal with a rough sketch and the name of the restaurant. It was a short hunt as we were so confident we could find the place. However, we gave up and decided to ask the security guard. Lo and behold, it was just around the corner. I won't bother giving you the directions, just ask the security guard. It'll save your time :)

There was an unending queue of people waiting outside for seats. It was a short wait before we got seats, sharing a tiny table with 3 other guys dressed in office attire. Since the menu are in Chinese, we checked out what other diners were having before pointing at the pictures on the menu.

Rockstar ordered a duck rice set and I ordered some chicken with noodles set. His duck wasn't that fantastic but my chicken was really good. Each set comes with milk tea and it was the best milk tea that we both had tasted. Each set were priced at HKD44 per set. It was a satisfying breakfast to start a great day :)

Lan Fong Yuen
HK Macau Ferry Terminal
(another outlet in Hong Kong Central)

After breakfast, we walked to the IFC (International Finance Centre) to check out the rush hour and to people-watch. It was a mad rush as we had to avoid fast walking people all dressed up in their power suits. I felt so out of place.

We took the Mid-Levels Elevators, 1 of the longest elevator ride I have ever taken, which goes passed many many streets and climbs up to 4 stories high. Its actually nothing spectacular but it was nice to see buildings and people fly pass as you ride higher and higher up.

I took this because it look like something out of a local Hong Kong gang fight with swords and sticks clashing drama scene...

.. and this because its suppose to be a happening place at night - think bars and clubs. Not much to see but this is actually Mongkok.

Next destination for people-watching was the Queens Road. Since we decided to cross the road to watch, we had to first brave the throngs of people. We waited patiently for the green light and before we even knew that the lights had turned green, we were swallowed up by the crowds... this was the only clear picture I managed to take while walking as fast as I could without the fear of someone crashing into me.

When we reach the other side safely, I quickly scrambled to the side and waited the crowd out. It wasn't a long wait as I'm kinda amazed by the whole thing. OK, I feel kinda 'jakun' (aka coutry pumpkin) but its really cool. First, the lights turn red and the crowd slowly gathers. Minutes passed, more and more people appears. Then its like the lights knew there were enough people waiting to cross its path, it turned green. And then, there are people everywhere. Walking from all directions, all with a purpose in mind. Heads down, quick steps, purposeful. More people. More and more people. And then, slowly they disappear and it was over. The whole thing begins again.

After that, we decided to take a tram ride. But before that, it's snack time. According to Tze Hong, we must try the croissant from Pret-a-Manger. So we went hunting for it. The smell of baking goods reached us long before we spotted the shop located at the MRT station below IFC. (They have a couple of branches all around HK too). We couldn't decide between the Almond Croissant, Chocolate Croissant or the French Butter Croissant but finally settled on the original. We paid HKD 14 and before we could even stepped out the stop, we turned back and bought the Almond Croissant. It was that GOOD!! OMG!!! Soft and warm on the inside, crispy and flaky on the outside. The Almond Croissant had tiny bits of almond inside the pastry and sugar sprinkled on top. The almond wasn't too overpowering but blended in so well with the croissant. Just thinking about it made me salivate all over my keyboard

We then held on tightly to our croissant and ran to catch a tram. Tram rides are a cheap and easy way to see Hong Kong without walking much. HKD 3.20. 

When we arrived at Causeway Bay, I spotted Times Square and we decided to get off to do some shopping and sight-seeing. Rockstar and I decided to separate, he to look at watches. Me? Sasa and Bonjour of cause. I could spend hours in there. Its big and there were so many things to see and buy *yiks* 

After shopping, time for tea :) Hui Lau Shan is popular for its mango desserts and the internet claims that there is a long queue every time. However, the outlet located opposite Times Square were empty, except us and another customer. We quickly ordered 2 types of dessert and waited. The first was just mango cubes in mango pudding. Cold, sweet, delicious. The second was a mix of mango cubes, taro balls and mango ice-cream. For me, both tasted kinda the same. It was after all, mainly mango. However I preferred the 2nd dessert as there were more variety. Rockstar likes just the mango cubes so his choice was the 1st bowl of dessert. HKD 39 per bowl. Guess where are the mangoes from?

We were walking back to Times Square, when I spotted this unique looking egg ball, just outside Times Square. I was very full from the 2 big bowls of mango dessert but couldn't pass the chance to try this. So I handed over HKD 15 and eagerly took the paper bag. However, I was sorely disappointed. It tasted like flour. No eggs and it wasn't even sweet. 

Inside Times Square. 

A random photo of us while waiting for the MRT. 

We took the MRT over to Tsim Sha Tsui. HKD 9.90. Since Rockstar had to visit a supplier there, I walked around by myself. Its actually not a very good thing to leave a girl alone. No, not for safety reason but for financial reason. :)

When Rockstar was done, it was getting late and we were hungry. We walked around and finally decided on this restaurant because it had ducks :) Rockstar have a thing for ducks in Hong Kong. At first we thought it was a bad choice cause the interior look expensive and the other diners were most dressed-up. However, that change when the food arrived. Portion is huge!! We had no choice but to leave some food balanced. Thank God we only ordered 2 dishes. And not only that, the roast goose was super yummy. It was just nice with the right amount of crispiness and oil and flavour. Best goose I have tasted. Total meal HKD 201. Pricier but so worth it. 

After dinner, Rockstar wanted to bring me to watch the Symphony of Lights at Victoria Harbour Waterfront. Since we had time, we took a slow walk down Nathan Road and reached the Clock Tower at the Salisbury Road with time to spare before the show began. 

We found a spot towards the end of the platform and sat down right before the music started. It was spectacular!! My camera could not capture the beautiful sights so I gave up after a while and set it aside to enjoy the show. It lasted for 15mins with coloured lights mounted on different building and search lights and laser lights flashing out from 40 different buildings in time with the music. It was colourful, beautiful and really impressive. If you ever go Hong Kong, it is a must to see - at least once. 

After the show, we walked down Avenue of Stars and laugh at other tourists who were all so excited when the spotted a famous movie stars they know. Since we didn't want to fight with others for a good spot, I didn't take much photos. It was a beautiful night, cool breeze blowing, beautiful lights. I didn't want to leave. But it was getting late. 

1 guitar, 2 shopping bags, tired legs, its time to head back. We took an MRT from Causeway Bay to Sheueng Wan (HKD B8.90) and caught the ferry back to Zhuhai.

Its the end of a really great day in Hong Kong. 

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