Hong Kong 2009 – Part VI

On the day that we were supposed to go home, we were informed that our UA flight was overbooked and we had to go on a detour to Vietnam before taking the next flight out to home. So we thought, ok, especially since UA was going to compensate us US$200 each!

It was cool, as we got a free upgrade to business class. In case you have not taken UA economy before, it is crap. It’s just a notch higher than budget airlines in my opinion, having taken Tiger Airways for the first time for my recent trip to Macau. Anyway, business class on UA is almost like economy on SQ.

Vietnam is very very different from SG and I was mentally unprepared for the scene that awaited. At night, it was still alright – I was really sleepy and tired from the traveling and waiting. I just wanted to go to the hotel, take a warm shower and sleep. (But of course, I had to watch some of my TVB drama before I went to lala land! LOL). My parents woke me up in the morning and we headed off to the market nearby. Just crossing the road was a nightmare for me. Motorcycles just zipped past, front and back of me, without slowing down. Dad had to really hold my hand tight and pulled me along. I couldn’t raise my head to look at the traffic because if I did, my legs would turn to jelly and I couldn’t walk.

We spent a night in Vietnam and I couldn’t be any happier to see this familiar plane that’s going to bring me home… nothing beats home. Hmm… maybe with the exception of Perth. Heh.

Hong Kong 2009 – Part V

After Ocean Park, we realised that we were quite near The Peak and since it was only 5pm in the evening, we decided to go to The Peak. It was like a must-go place for me since I like windy and cold places, and also it was in TVB dramas so much that I had to go see this place for myself.

Before reaching there, I encountered a political procession and took a photo of it. We never have such things in Singapore, so it was an eye-opener for me.

We bought train passes that included Madame Tussards wax museum tickets so we didn’t have to queue so long for the tram tickets. And it was like everyone wanted to go up to The Peak. The queue for the tram was super long!! The tram ride up was interesting – I didn’t realise how steep it was until I looked out the window and realised that the building were all 30 degrees to my right. I didn’t take a picture as I was standing and didn’t dare let go for fear of falling.

I shall not go on about the wax museum, but instead just show you pictures. There’s a picture of Yao Ming and my dad and it shows the height difference. I kid you not, those wax figures look exactly like the real things and there were a few instances I got confused! But I think the wax artistes don’t do Asian people very well. The Western stars all looked real and convincing, but the Asian ones were like “이 사람이 누구야? ” especially Jay Chou!

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Hong Kong 2009 – Part IV

I didn’t really miss the shopping and food in Hong Kong. Instead, I enjoyed sightseeing more than anything else. I love Ocean Park – it was ultimate fun!

I walked so much that the heel from my boots dropped off, rode in a cable car (am still scared of heights!), took a fun and scary ride (the one and only ride I took while in the park because I was too scaredy cat to take any other rides), visited the jellyfish museum, watched seals and dolphin shows and became friends with a hippo. While there, I also bought an useless hairband that had a snowman on top. Don’t ask me why I bought something like that – people are irrational when they go on holiday!!!

We went up escalators so high and steep that I couldn’t even see where we are going to. The park was so huge that we had to take a cable car down, or risk breaking our legs walking back the way we came up.

We also took a ride to see the whole of Ocean Park and man, it was HUGE! As if the place wasn’t big enough, they were still planning to extend the park.

The jellyfish museum was fun! It had many types of jellyfish, including one that I really liked!

We also watched a seal performance, and a dolphin show. The dolphin show, though enjoyable, was spoiled by tons of China tourists who were pushing and shoving their way. Irritating.

My new friend. I thought he looked cute.

Hong Kong 2009 – Part III

Hong Kong is touted to be THE shopping and foodie paradise. We did shop and eat all day long. In my previous HK trip post, I posted that I bought my favourite hair conditioner (Shiseido Aquair hair treatment pack) and 3M Nexcare acne patches, and also some Lush products.

Besides those, I also bought Covermark make-up. I don’t know if it’s any cheaper in Hong Kong but I’m not usually rational when I’m on a holiday, so I gave in and bought a foundation & its sponge for myself, and an eye cream for mum. Mum is quite like me (better buy if I like it, or live to regret when we get home), so she added in a cleansing set which consists of a cleansing oil and a face cloth. For our purchase, we get a loose powder sachet sample, 2 powder wash sachet samples, 2 types of makeup base samples, and a Covermark watch. Hmm… where is that watch now??

I think I bought Covermark at this shopping centre called The Langham? Cannot really remember but it was this shopping centre that sold lots of branded stuff. I also got Lush from there. For Lush, you simply just follow your nose. The fragrance from the shop is so strong!

We also bought 4 shawls at Ladies Market and close to 10 reusable bags. The shawls were about S$5 each, quite good for the price since I’m always cold in the office. The seller said they are real pashmina, but we all know that’s not true.

The reusable bags were cheap cos mum bargained for them. I think they were S$1 each? I love reusable bags. Always have one in my daily bag and when I’m traveling. They’re so handy and convenient.

I took a random picture of Ladies Market, or was it the intersection of Ladies Market and some other market? Anyway, it was all in the vicinity.

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You’d think that I will have lots of food pictures, but the weird thing is that no! I can’t find the pictures that I took in the first few days in Hong Kong… think they are in my other DSC.

Anyway, during our last day, or 2nd last day, in Hong Kong, we finally had dim sum. I think dim sum is so common in Singapore and we can get pretty good dim sum here, so it wasn’t on our ‘must-eat’ list when we were there.

Serenade restaurant
Address: Hong Kong Cultural Centre (1st floor), Restaurant Block, Salisbury Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon (walking distance from Tsim Sha Tsui MTR)
Contact number: 852/2722 0932
Operating hours: Daily 8am-4:30pm

Affordable dim sum with a good view.

Yung Kee restaurant
Address: 32-40 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong (walking distance from Central MTR, near Lan Kwai Fong)
Contact number: (852) 2522 1624

Good roast meats and century eggs to bring home.

Kee Wah bakery
Address: check website for outlet addresses
Contact number: (852) 2522 1624

Good assortment of Hong Kong pastries and biscuits as gifts for friends and workmates.

Hong Kong 2009 – continued

More pictures from my Hong Kong trip! Just found these pics in my handphone.

The airport express train was so cool… it was large and spacious and well designed (they had luggage bays!)

The hotel room was big… I had a queen sized bed all by myself! Shiok!

One thing that determines whether the hotel is a good one or not (for me), is the toiletries amenities. And I always like Holiday Inn’s! None of that cheapo feel. There was also an digital weighing scale in the bathroom! Ok, I sound very suaku now…

We visited Ocean Park and they have really cute entry tickets!

Hong Kong 28 Nov – 2 Dec

*Backtracking to my Hong Kong trip in November*

I have been watching lots of TVB dramas so I was pretty psyched up for the trip, anticipating to be lost in translation (I don’t really understand Cantonese that well) and be overwhelmed by the forward dress sense by the Hong Kongers.

We took United Airlines as the rest of the flight carriers were full. It was a vast difference from the usual Singapore Airlines service I was used to. First of all, the stewardesses were matronly, for lack of a better description, and harsh. I don’t remember seeing any young stewards or stewardesses. All were above 35, at the very least. Some of them even had super deep and pronounced undereye wrinkles.

Secondly, the Hong Kong auntie behind me was super irritating, to the point that I regretted going to Hong Kong though I was over the ocean. I was not given the chance to lower my seat at all to get some good rest because she claimed she didn’t have enough space when I lowered my seat. I bet a thousand bucks that if she put her luggage down on the floor, under her seat or in the overhead cabin, she would have the space she paid for! Super annoyed with such unreasonable people!

Unhappy things aside, the HK airport was huge and modern, quite like our Changi airport. I like! The transport system was also very good, with the airport express train bringing us to the major stations in the city where we can change to the MTR to bring us to our specific locations or take the shuttle buses. I stayed in Tsim Sha Tsui, one of the best areas to stay in when visiting HK as it’s in the middle of the shopping belt, akin to our Orchard Road. Holiday Inn hotel was good, clean and spacious rooms, adequate facilities and pleasant and friendly staff. Location was perfect – the TST MTR station was just beside the hotel!

I didn’t really shop much as I was feeling a little unwell during the trip. Perhaps it was the unclean air or the lack of rest, I kept feeling heavy-headed and some breathing difficulties. It was also winter in HK so most of the clothes were not that practical for our humid and hot weather. I ended up only buying a tulip skirt (that was S$100!! The horror!), a pair of shoes (that my sister said was ugly… *sigh) and a pair of earrings that was only S$6 (cheap!) for myself. But I did do a lot of cosmetic and skincare shopping because 1) Hong Kong is one of the best places for such shopping – they’re a beauty haven!, and 2) Sasa originated from there so there were Sasas in every corner and I couldn’t resist Sasa! I got tons of 3M Nexcare acne patches (for forehead and cheeks – they are not available in SG), Shiseido Aquair hair treatments (my sister’s HG for smooth and soft hair), Lush (I gotta tell you all about their new acne treatment product which is DA BOMB), Covermark Japan (to die for foundations).

We did go to places like Ladies’ Street and Sham Shui Po (wholesale centre for clothes, something like Wu Fen Pu Taiwan) but weirdly, that was all I got (besides the usual food and souvenir thingys) as I wasn’t into shopping this trip. I was more into sightseeing and enjoying the weather, so we went to Ocean Park where Dad and I acted like big kids and The Peak. We also just walked along Avenue of Stars which really was just 5 mins away from our hotel. The Symphony of Lights was disappointing as it was just light beams and that got boring after 3 minutes (the show was 15 minutes long).

I got myself 2 TVB dramas and I was watching one of the shows every night when we got back to the hotel. I finally understood what my mum meant about watching Cantonese dramas is the fastest way to pick up the language.

Food-wise, I have been looking forward to trying really good Cantonese food and so I stuffed myself to the brim each meal. Golfball-sized wantons (Kwai Kee, by recommendation of my boss), cha chan teng (Tsui Wah, by recommendation of my colleague from HK office), dim sum (The Serenade, by recommendation of the hotel concierge), snacks, roast meats (Yung Kee), mango desserts (Hui Lau Shan) etc. Quite luckily, I didn’t put on weight or maybe that has yet to come…

When we were coming back (we can actually check in our luggage at the Airport Express terminals, how convenient!), we were informed that our flight was overbooked and that we had to take a detour to Vietnam before we could carry on to Singapore. It was a new experience for me because I have never encountered such a situation before on SQ. So I was to fly to Vietnam and stay there for a night before continuing my way home. For all the trouble, we were upgraded to business class and I was so excited! The service level was great, with hot meals and so much leg room that I could not imagine. We also had our own interactive TV screen (UA economy class didn’t have it)!

Vietnam wasn’t on my itinerary so I was a little taken aback when I reached the country. The traffic conditions were really bad – it was quite the norm to honk at each other, there were no proper road markings, cars just zoom past at the zebra crossings, beating red lights etc. It was quite nervewrecking just trying to cross the road.

Pictures below!

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