Sunday, 8 March 2009

Hong Kong trip – 8 Mar 09

Everyone is still sleeping at 4am but my mom and I gotta wake up as we got a super early flight to catch. YQ came to fetch us at 4.30am, I gotta thanks dear for waking up so early to send me to the airport. We reached the airport at around 5am and checked in our luggages. Wanted to have breakfast at MacDonalds but we don't remember which terminal is MacDonalds is located at. As we didn't see MacDonalds at Terminal 1, we board the skytrain to Terminal 2. We couldn't find the MacDonalds outlet so we had our breakfast at Ya Kun. I found out later from the internet that there is a MacDonalds outlet at Terminal 2 but it's located at the opposite side from the skytrain.

We went into the departure hall and went to our gate as it was time for boarding the plane. The plane departed at 6.40am. This is the first time that I watched sunrise from the plane and indeed was a new experience for me.
Sunrise Hong Kong Arrival card

We reached Hong Kong International Airport at 10.20am after 3h 40min. The Jetstar plane did not stop at the boarding gate but at the centre of the airport landing ground. We had to board a bus to reach the terminal.

Bus waiting to transport us to the airport terminal

After we cleared the immigration counter and collect our luggages, we looked for the Customer Service Counter. This is where the octopus card can be purchased.

Adult Octopus cards cost HK$150 with $100 face value plus $50 refundable deposit. A $7 service charge applies if the card is returned in less than 3 months. We looked for the bus station where we can board the bus to the hostel. Look for the sign for bus to city and the exit is located at the centre of the arrival hall and turn right and walk to the end is the bus station. We board bus A21 which heads to Mong Kok. It cost HK$33 ~ S$6.50 per person using Optus card. There are luggage racks for large luggages. We sit on the upper deck where there are good views. I feel that Singapore lacks in this as there is no airport bus for the visitors from the airport to town. Although there is Bus 36 but it's not convenient for the passengers if they have large luggages. Hong Kong and Taipei fare better in this.

Ngong Ping 360Such a huge handKap Shui Mun Bridge 汲水门大桥

Tsing Ma Bridge is the world's seventh-longest span suspension bridge. The bridge was named after two of the islands at its ends, namely Tsing Yi and Ma Wan . It has two decks and carries both road and rail traffic.

Tsing Ma Bridge 青马大桥

Ting Kau Bridge 汀九桥

The journey from the airport to Mongkok takes about 40min and we alighted at the 6th station. I followed the directions given when I booked the hostel. But I missed out one direction and we spent quite some time finding it. I have good direction sense and yet this time i failed. ><" Finally we found Sincere House, so so so happy.

Sincere House
Lots of hostels at Sincere House

The reception of Ah Shan Hostel is located at the 14th floor and there are 2 lifts, one heading to the even floors and the other to the odd floors. The receptionist is a 60 odds lady who is fluent in Mandrain. She is very jokable and chatty. We were given a twin ensuite bedroom at the 15th floor.

Our room is located inside a flat which is sub-divided into 7 rooms. The room is even smaller than the one I stayed in HCMC. At least there is a dressing table and a cabinet in HCMC plus the toilet is bigger than this room.

Our room

We left our luaggage and went out for our lunch. We passed by a fast food restaurant Cafe De Coral 大家乐 and had our lunch here. There are fast food restaurant in Hong Kong like Cafe De Coral, Maxim's 美心,Fairwood 大快活 which offer Chinese food.

I ordered 2 sets of 五宝饭 which cost HK$65 ~ S$12.80 each. The 五宝饭 has chicken wings, char siew, sausage, squid and salted egg. I didnt finished the rice as there are so much ingredients.

After our lunch, we head to the MTR station and went to Tsim Sha Tsui. We are heading to the Star Ferry Terminal and we passed by The Peninsula Hotel. It is one of the finest hotel in the world.

The Penisula Hotel

The clock tower is a famous landmark in Hong Kong and is the only remnant of the original site of the former Kowloon Station on the Kowloon-Canton Railway.

The clock tower
View of Hong Kong Island

We board the Star Ferry to Central which cost HK$2.20 for the upper deck. The fare can be paid by Optus Card. The Optus Card is a very useful card which can used to pay MTR fare, bus fare, star ferry fare, tram fare, the peak tram fare, buy things in 7-11 etc.

Inside the star ferry Pulling up the platform Star Ferry

The ferry journey is about 5 min from Tsim Sha Tsui to Central. There are 2 ferry routes from Tsim Sha Tsui, one to Central and the other one to Wan Chai.

Central Pier

Views from the Central Pier

We walked from the pier to take the tram. The walk is super long and I'm concerned that my mom cant take it. We walked slowly at our own pace and admiring the scenary. Central is the Central Business District Area of Hong Kong. Many MNCs and banks are located at Central.

Saw the fake canon at the top of HSBC bank?Maids gatheringOne of the two HSBC bronze lion statue - Stitt
One of the two Old Bank of China lion
Many banks are located here

One of the unique building in Hong Kong is Lippo Centre. It is dubbed "The Koala Tree" because they resemble koalas clutching a tree.

Lippo Centre

Hong Kong Tramways is one of the three tramways in the world that have regular operation of double-decker trams (the others being Blackpool, England and Alexandria, Egypt), and is the only system that runs exclusively on double-deckers. It is one of the earliest form of transport and operates from Shau Kei Wan and Kennedy Town, with a branch circulating Happy Valley. The fare is HK$2 ~ S$0.40 irregardless of the distance travelled.

We board the tram at Central and take the tram all the way to Happy Valley. Since we are tired after walking from the pier to the tram station, we just sit on the upper deck and enjoy the scenary. We alight at the Happy Valley terminal and reboard the tram back. We had ample of time so just sit in the tram and enjoy.

Trams Inside the tram Rally View from the tramThere are also lane reserved for bus in Hong KongHappy Valley RacecourseFree rental

We alight at the tram station where we board just now. Alas, there is no Bus 15 here so we walked back to the previous few tram station to board Bus 15. Bus 15 offers a scenic journey to The Peak and terminates at the bus station under the Peak Galleria. (Website: The fare is HK$9.80 ~ S$1.90 and the journey is ~ 40min. For better view, sit on the right side of the bus.

On the way to the Peak

It was so foggy when we reached the peak and the temperature here is much lower than the Central. We decided to come here on another day since we couldnt see the scenary.

So foggy


By the time we reached Central, it's almost 6.30pm so we decided to head to Yung Kee 镛记 for dinner. Yung Kee is famous for its roasted goose (Address: 32-40 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong). It is listed in Fortune Magazine as one of the top restaurants in the world.
Yum Kee
Vege & Roasted goose
Innovative advertisement

We left the restaurant at around 7.15pm and walked back to The Central Pier to take the Star Ferry back to Tsim Sha Tsui to watch the symphony of lights. The multimedia light and sound show lasts for about 14 minutes. We went back to the hotel after the show.

Clock tower at night
Night view of Central
Night view of Wan Chai

>>Day 2: 9 Mar 09

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