*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.