It's a very belated post as we have been back from Hong Kong for almost a month now, busy with CNY Preparations and CNY visitings during this two weeks. I have done a quick summary on our huge family vacation below. Be warn that it's gonna be a pictures heavy post! :)
It's all about eating and shopping!
Travel period: 26 Jan to 30 Jan 2013 (5 days 4 nights)
People present: Me, Hubby, KD, my Father, my Mother, my Father-in-law and my Mother-in-law! I was 27 weeks plus pregnant when I departed Singapore and 28 weeks plus when I came back. We have a super active 3+ year old boy (KD) and our parents are in late 50's to early 60's! So basically the only fittest person in this group is my Hubby! Haha!
Travel by: Tiger Airways, on NTUC Union Promotion at only SGD205 nett per pax, all in (with big & heavy luggage option for everyone!). *grins*
Accomodation: Cityview Hotel at Yau Ma Tei, 1 minute away from the Yau Ma Tei MTR and less than 5 minutes walk to Ladies Market
26 JAN 2013, SAT
We set off for the Changi Airport for departure to Hong Kong!
Father and Son Boots!
Upon landing the Hong Kong Airport at around 6.15pm, we proceeded to check out with our luggages, headed up to the departure hall at level 7, 1010 centre (Address: Unit No. 7T040 Level 7, Departure Hall, HK International Airport Lantau) to buy the One2Free mobile sim cards for our iPhones and Galaxy Note II.
Tip #1: The micro sim card only costs us HKD88 each and the activation for a 7 days unlimited mobile data usage on the sim card is only HKD78, leaving HKD10 for local phone calls. We called each other as well as back to Singapore and at the end of our 5 days 4 nights trip, we still left with balance for making phone calls! This is a very cheap and convenient way of contacting each other via Whatsapp and Tango, as well as staying very well connected on the move with Google Maps, Internet Connection for various apps and GPS. Do note to not use SMS though, their SMS charges are higher than making phone calls.
After which, I also went to buy the Airport Express Tickets for the train ride to Kowloon. Note that there are promotion packages available, so do inform the counter the total number of passengers and see what they have on offer.
Tip #2: We ride Airport Express in Groups of 4 and 2 (KD travelled free as there was a promotion for that month where kids below 12 years old travel free on the Airport Express). We only paid HKD360 for the 6 adults, instead of paying HKD540 if we were to purchase our tickets separately.
Tip #3: After about 20 minutes on the Airport Express, we interchanged with the Free Airport Express Shuttle Bus Service which brings us directly to our hotel for check-in. This is probably the fastest and cheapest mode of transferring to this hotel from the airport. Note that taking the Taxi from the Airport will costs about around HKD 400 to Kowloon and will take almost an hour.
Upon check-in, we were already so famished, thus we quickly meet at the lobby and headed to Mong Kok 旺角 via MTR. We exited at Exit C4 and took a little walk to Cheun Moon Kee (featured as one of the top Claypot Rice Restaurant in Hong Kong) for their super yummy and cheap Claypot Rice. [G/F, Man Fok Building, 419 Reclamation St., Mong Kok, 3760-8855.]
27 JAN 2013, SUN
Sundays are usually very packed everywhere and my Hong Kong friend advised us not to stay in Mong Kok area especially me being pregnant with a toddler in toll.
So early in the morning, we met at the lobby to go queue for Dim Sum.. Along the way to the Dim Sum Shop, we were shocked by the super long and snaking queue! At first we all thought that that was the queue for Dim Sum! Turn out that we saw a very very very long queue of people that snaked around a few streets queuing for a limited edition toy!
Anyway, the Dim Sum that we wanted to try is Tim Ho Wan 添好运点心专卖店 and we had to go early to queue as it only opens at 10am! [Shop 8, Taui Yuen Mansion Phase 2, 2-20 Kwang Wa Street, Mongkok]. And though we went before the shop opens to queue, we already got a queue number for 2nd round and had to go back around 1130am for our Dim Sum! Their Dim Sum is very good! Everything is very nice and their Char Siew Bun is a must try!
Their Char Siew Buns!!!!!!
After which, we took the MTR to Diamond Hill Station and exit C2 to walk to the Chi Lin nunnery 志蓮淨苑. It's a beautiful and relaxing place and we prayed for good health and safety of our love ones. It's the second time i came here actually...
All because we want to come here to eat their vegetarian food and buy the dried figs!! (see below)
Followed by a very good and hearty lunch at one of the TOP 5 Vegetarian Restaurants in HK at Chi Lin Nunnery called Long Men Lou [Nan Lian Garden, 60 Fung Tak Road, Diamond Hill]
We also went into the retail shop there to stock up the goodies that we been missing very much since last time last we were there exactly one year ago!
i just love this dried fig so much!!
very just nice lotus seeds, not too hard and is very nice to bite.
Cashew nuts is good as well!
On the same day, we also went toSham Shui Po 深水埗 MTR Exit D2 to right opposite Golden Computer Arcade. You can simply just shop around there for there are a few street of whole sales shops of fashion clothes, children's toys, children's clothing and bags etc.
Dinner was settled at the Chinese Restaurant located in our Hotel, The Balcony, 樂雅軒中菜廳 [1/F, The Cityview, 23 Waterloo Road, Yau Ma Tei] We had ate there a few times and the cantonese dishes are really good, fresh and surprisingly cheap! Hotel guests still enjoy additional 15% off total bill!
p/s: Sorry, forgotten to take pictures here!
Lastly, how can you go Hong Kong and not eat and eat? Supper was settled along the way when we took a stroll along the very happening streets which are just 5 minutes walk away from our hotel, namely:
1) Sai Yeung Choi Street for the street performances and we saw a shooting for a scene of a movie!
2) Tung Choi Street, a.k.a. Ladies Market
Yummy Curry Fish Balls and Smelly Toufu from Kai Kei Snack Stall [41 Dundas Street, Mong Kok]
Spicy Fish Balls
Super Yummy Smelly Toufu (Fermented Beancurd)
And once again, what's Hong Kong without eating their desserts?? Presenting Super Yummy Desserts from my favorite stall at Shek Mo Fong [G/F, 66 Soy Street, Mong Kok]
28 JAN 2013, MON
We are heading to the Hong Kong Island for our adventure!
Early in the morning we met at the lobby and took the MTR to Central 中環 Station. We brought the grandparents to experience the Tram 電車. A few stops later and we got off to walk to our first food station - Lin Heung Restaurant 連香樓 [160-164 Wellington Street, Central] for dim sum.
Be warned, it's a good try if you wanna experience the authentic and traditional way of having Dim Sum in Hong Kong. For it's very difficult to get a seat especially if you are in a big group, the staffs are very rude and basically, the locals are really there to Yum Cha (eat, read newspaper and chat with people, even strangers). It's very hectic and not easy to order the food, many times people rushed over whenever a new cart is pushed out.
They have another branch in Sheung Wan and i have tried that outlet before. Personally, i prefer that outlet because it's further away, has 3 storeys opened for guests to consume Dim Sum and lesser tourists. The staffs and food in that outlet is also better. :)
After a few yummy but not so stomach satisfying Dim Sums, we decided to leave the place and instead, we crossed the road to opposite Wing Kut Street 永吉街 to eat Tsim Chai Kee 沾仔記 wanton mee [中環皇后大道中153號兆英商業大廈地庫]. They are actually one of the cheapest eats you can find with Michelin's Rating.. So, if you are in Hong Kong, you can head over to try this! They have a total of 3 branches all located in the Hong Kong Island.
Finally, after a very full stomach, we strolled to the Exchange Square Bus Terminus to catch a bus [Tip: You can take bus 6, 6A, 6X, 66 or 260] to get to Stanley 赤柱, which is a very beautiful estate in Hong Kong.] It is a different scenery altogether and considered a getaway from the hectic city life. :)
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500"] View from along our stroll.. Hong Kong is a really very crowded country with super fast paced environment[/caption]
Me and KD cam-whoring ;p
Me and KD cam-whoring ;p
Finally we arrived in Stanley after about 35 minutes and we strolled along the Stanley flea market first. What's interesting to note is that different flea markets in Hong Kong does sells slightly different things, but be warned that things in this market are good to see but expensive in my honest opinions. I still prefer Sham Shui Po the best! ;p
Beautiful Sea and Perfect Weather
Picture Perfect Place
Famous blue house which is shot in many movies and drama serials too
Grandparents queuing for Ice Creams!!
There is also a shopping Mall in Stanley called the Stanley Plaza. After a long walk and rest at the MacDonalds there, we took taxis and head on to........ SPACE, The Prada Outlet Shop [2/F Marina Square (East Wing), South Horizons, Ap Lei Chau, Hong Kong] located in Ap Lei Chau. The store sells a wide range of mainly the last two seasons’ fashion, shoes, sunglasses and accessories from Prada, Prada Sport, Miu Miu and also Church & Car Shoes. You’ll need to spend some time on the shoe and bag section as they have some excellent bargains from time to time.
From there, we took a direct bus from the bus terminus across the shop to head back to Central to have dinner at 翡翠 at the IFC mall. After dinner, it will do our tummies good by window shopping in the big mall before heading to the Central Ferry Pier No. 7 to take the Star Ferry back to Tsim Sha Tsui
the apple shop that we always see on HK news
We walked over to the Avenue of Stars 新光大道 to enjoy Symphony of Lights that starts at 8.00pm sharp daily. Be warned, the winds are very strong at the harbour, so do put on a jacket!
29 JAN 2013, TUES
We have booked a Macau tour for KD's grandparents so they set off 6am early in the morning for their one day tour cos we feel too tired to join the trip (remember? me a 28 wks preggie and with an active 3yo in toll??) We? Haha, of cos we had our beauty sleep to recuperate all the tiredness from the walkings and carrying of KD in earlier days..
KD's OOTD. He is soooooo cute and charming!
We walked to Tim Ho Wan and this time round, we are smarter. We do not eat there but instead, i told the cashier that I would like to order takeaway that i will go back to the outlet to collect later at 2pm. ;p What's a better way of enjoying the good food without having to wait and queue?!
We strolled around in Mong Kok and chanced into their wet market. Many people cannot understand why had i travel to Hong Kong the 4th times in two years.. Little did they know that i went to different places every time! Isn't Hong Kong a very beautiful place? Everywhere is a mixture of modern and yet screams nostalgic!
We headed to Sham Shui Po (again) for shopping and bought our mobile phone casings, screen protectors and a bag (HKD20 only!). We always go to this Kwan Kee Store 坤記糕品專家 as they sell nice Red Bean Cake. [Shop 10, 115-117 Fuk Wah Street, Sham Shui Po]
Of cos, our little boy loves to eat MacDonalds and we are glad it is easily available all over in HK.. It's cheap as compared to Singapore too!
We went back to the hotel to sleep again and wait for the grandparents to be back from their Macau excursion.. Had dinner in the hotel once again and we took a stroll in Temple Street. It is also a nice experience. We also chanced into people singing the cantonese opera which my mother loves.
30 JAN 2013, WED
It's the last day of our trip! We met in the morning for breakfast at Cafe De Coral, a fast food chain that serves fast and nice food in cosy setting.
The oldies were also K.O. from the exhaustion from the last few days! Hahaha.. to think that i didn't even bring them to Lautau Island for some trekking and climbing!
So, we left my son with my parents and my mother in law in the room and we went to Tsim Sha Tsui for some last minute shopping together with my father in law..
One of the must go shops in Tsim Sha Tsui will be Lung Shing Dispensary. They only have one outlet in Hong Kong and just by seeing the below picture you will know why... They sells cosmetics and medical supplies Cheap!! I think my father in law regretted following us cos he was waiting outside for at least half hour while we queue! haha
Of cos, we headed back to hotel to check-out and transit to the Airport the same way we came.. I think a vacation in Hong Kong should be longer, cos it made me feel so... AT HOME. LOLx.
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500"] We saw a big round moon on the plane, but we couldn't manage to capture it very well.. this bright light is the moon, not flash. ;p[/caption]
Other Goodie Foodie that we Brought back From Hong Kong: