Friday, September 5, 2008

Hong Kong: Day 1 (Arrival & Night Markets)

I know many of you have been waiting (frantically) for this update. Apologies for the procrastination. As much and as enthusiastic I would want to post up these updates, I do have a day job to keep and work have been taking up so much of my time. I just managed to process all the pix taken (yes, I take in raw) after days of bugging from the sister. But without further a do (or rantings), let's just start off this journal of my recent trip to HK.

So it was a Sunday morning when we left for Hong Kong. While most of the people awake that time would prob be at church listening to (or sleeping during) sermon, I was up XX,000 thousand feet above the ground taking the flight to HK.

4 hours of flying is no joke when you're flying with Air Asia. Seat space of a mere 20 inch across and enough legroom to put your legs straight. Forget about crossing your leg, you won't even have space to lift your knee to put on the seat in front. Oh well, to think again I'm only paying a fraction of what if I would to take MAS or Cathay Pacific. Guess now "Everyone Can Fly".

Flight didn't really take 4 hours as expected. The flight arrived about 20 minutes earlier than ETA. Guess Tony Fernandes must have hired some Mat Rempits to fly his Airbus now.

The view of Tsing-Ma bridge. World's 7th largest suspension bridge.

First food outlet when we came out from the arrival hall. How can one resist?

Olympic was in the midst when we were there. Hong Kong was the co-host for their equestrian event. Lotsa publicity and advertisement were put up to get the people there hype for the game.

So when we booked the hotel awhile back in March, we thought the room we're getting will be that sort of a 2-star hotel with no proper amenities, bad view of brothels across the street (those with yellow signs hanging outside) and broken bed (with squeaking sound) and to top that, our promotion was called Run-Of-House (Google on that to see what it means). But to our surprise, when we check-in to the room, it actually look not bad. OK at least it's better than First World Hotel. No view of other people's flat unit but we could see the Happy Valley Race Course from here.

Nearby our hotel here at Wanchai, there's a market that's always open in the morning, afternoon, evening and late night. If you notice some of the TVB series where they always go market-ing after work, here's how that scene would look like. Notice that some of the seafood are still alive. Fresh food downtown!

Day one is about familiarizing with the new place that we've just arrived and also going to the few famous Night Market they've got in Kowloon.

One of the mode of transportation here would be using the MTR (Mass Transit Railway). We picked up the Airport Express Travel Pass from the airport that gives you a return ticket to sit the Airport Express (similar to our KLIA express which u take from KL Sentral) and an unlimited 3-days travel pass to use the MTR. This card cost HKD a pop and you can top up values when the 3 days is over. It's basically an Octopus card.

So first stop, Mong Kok...

Me and the sister...

I can't probably describe Mong Kok but my first impression is that it looks almost like our Petaling Street. OK you've got Ladies Street (another market) on the other row and you have this stretch of shops with shops selling all kinds from clothing brands to electronics. Among many there's Giordano Concept, Tough, Levi's, G2000 and one Esprit outlet here too. Maybe not like Petaling Street as the main road does not have trolley stalls selling fake-ies and DVDs. OK if you're there, go try the desserts at Hui Lau Shan. It's to die for!

We shared some mango special that has pomelo nata de coco and some chee-ma balls.

You can prob see this almost everywhere in HK. Stalls selling curry fish balls (not so tasty IMHO) but the bacon wrap taste quite delicious (sorry no pic as the store aunty didn't allow me to take). Notice there's some waffles on the right too but I didn't try any.

Wantan noodles there taste abit different from what we have here. Prawns are fresh and they don't use fish/prawn paste. Delicious I would say.

Typical scene at Mong Kok. Doesn't look so dangerous compare to the movies we see. I decided to come here on the first day because I wanted to buy some new toys for my camera. Camera accessories are generally cheaper in HK and Mong Kok is the place to be if you wanna stock up on your gears.

Ladies Market (Tung Choi Street) is just a row behind the MTR exit & Hui Lau Shan. Things there are somewhat uninteresting. This is the part that looks like Petaling Street. Peddlers there are not the friendliest and tourist can't get much of a bargain.

Just a row behind Ladies Market is Fa Yuen Street. It's basically famous for their sports goods. Maybe like Pertama Complex to us. Was looking around and the stuffs there are considerably cheaper than Malaysia. Birkenstock for around RM200 and i went back there on day 5 to buy a Puma shoe (checked the price in Malaysia and it's about approx rm100 cheaper). So this is definitely a place to go if you're looking for a new pair of sneakers.

Sai Yeung Choi Street, Mong Kok's main street

Interesting advert banner. Looks like some advert for a tuition center to me.

Traveling around HK requires one to have a map all the time. Get a copy from the airport or any tourist booth around. Notice the new Manfrotto bag I'm carrying.

Next stop is to Temple Street Market. The market itself is located in Yau Ma Tei but to get there it's easier to come out from the Jordan MTR exit.

Temple Street Market as the name suggest has a small temple at the end of the road. Nearby the temple you can sight alot of fortune telling stalls. No nice pictures of that area as I didn't take much. Alot of them was staring cock at me like as if I'm trying to disrupt their business. There's one or two corner with groups of senior citizens singing Chinese operas. Either they're there busking or just passing time.

OK, the stuff here are probably like what you see in Ladies Market in Mong Kok but the peddlers are definitely nicer people. I think there's more variety here as well. I would recommend visiting this market. Things are easy to bargain and one should usually start by slashing the price by 70-80% and then work your way to a comfortable bargain. Was trying to negotiate to buy a leather strap Omega but didn't manage to come to a deal. He was trying to sell for almost RM200.

Interesting sight of an ice-cream truck. Nah, they don't sell board shorts in there.

OK so twas day one for you. Our hotel is situated in the ends of Wan Chai therefore the nearest MTR exit would be at Causeway Bay (Tong-Lo-Wan). Seeing this place always remind me of Chan Ho Nam from Young & Dangerous. haha

Emo me? with my new toy!


Next up on Day 2... Stay Tuned!


Wye Jon said...

quiksilver ice cream ah? wtf?

jeremy said...

FRANTICALLY huh? BIG word.... wasn't that what you said to me last time??

and look who's using it this time??

dec21st said...

2 years ago it was a big word.. now it's just an ordinary word u use any other day.. haha

ge said...

no day 2 also :p

almond said...

where is second day a? :(

dec21st said...

sorry readers..

will upload it up by hook or crook by tonight

been busy with work and also procrastinating