Thursday, April 30, 2009

flag raising at 8a.m. on sunday

hk day 3

the last day in hk is another early day. this time we set out of the hotel at 7.30 p.m. the destination?? to catch the flag raising ceremony at the hk convention centre. well, we were just being typical tourists. the rest there were also tourists from the mainland.

the hk convention centre...hmm...i have forgotten what that monument is.

the two flags on the right and the golden bauhinia (flower). i think it was presented during the handover back to china. the whole ceremony ended in about 2 mins time. haha...and we practically ran there just to catch it. yawn.

kowloon's clock tower zoomed from hk island. they were promoting east asia games on the electronic board hence malaysia comes up.

one of the malls that we went to that morning. can't recall the name now. could be pacific mall. it was raining again. had a drink at starbucks coffee. regent had breakfast there. i love the grapefruit juice. not all the outlets have it.

the toilet is fascinating. the toilet cubicles are arranged into wavy form to suit the theme. there are about 15 cubicles. very spacious indeed. i guess this is one of the many posh malls on the island.

the famous lankwaifong. just a narrow slope on a side street with bars on both left and right. since we were there in the morning, everything was closed and it was oh so quiet and peaceful. dunno how it is at night. never been there at that time of the day.

and meal before i left. roast goose and charsiew rice. heavenly. the rice is so fragrant and nice. really nice ah. just soft enough but not soggy. my mouth can still water thinking about it. the roast goose was fresh lah. we went to do our take-away as soon as the shop opened at 11a.m. we had to catch our ride to macau at 12noon. haha...crazy...but i told myself i must have this in this trip. we had it in the hotel room before we checked out. luckily the hotel was near the harbour. the takeaway price is $40 for one box. if you eat there, the price is different. next time wanna eat the whole goose.

how do you eat these smoked pork hand? the roasted goose waiting to be packed into takeaway box. if hk was my last stop, i am sure i would have bought one or two home for dad to try. next time lah.
so with that lunch, it ended my trip in hk. the next stop, macau.

shopping in hk

what is a trip to hk without some shopping...heck....what is a trip overseas without any shopping???
although things are not that cheap anymore, you can still find some outlets having sales. we found one sports store having sales the whole store, seibu was having selected sales on certain items, bonjour (a store like sasa) has cheap cosmetic items. clothing items are actually quite expensive but of course they have more diverse and vast selection. we went into BAPE store in central, basically all the hip-hop outfits and colourful sneakers in the store. but the impressive thing in the store is the transparent floorboard at the shoes section and one can see conveyor belt below carrying an array of sneakers.

my stuff from hk, a calf leather bag, 2 tee-shirts, 2 keychains, masks, hooded jacket, milk candies for aunt.

yee's stuff. kose white mask and face scrub (must get!!! really does wonder...the black one), key chains, magnet, lamb skin bag (oh so soft), sports bag, shimmery sports jacket and running shoes.

mine again....from the esprit outlet store. couldn't be bothered to even try. anyway, blouse size 38 and skirt size 36.

stuff from tung choi street, 3 sets of cartoon characters pajamas (doraemon goes to atticus, my melody goes to jia en and another set goes to siew) and a bag shirley told yee to help get. the price has increased by $20 since she bought another similar one few months ago when she went.

hk light symphony

this is a little bit of what i recorded. spot the show and also the empty patch where lights were non-flickering.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

hk day 2

image taken with my handphone

ok..let us go back to hk...
so what time did i wake up huh?? i have forgotten...but it was early...8 plus i think. again, we took the tram out to central. i was getting used to the idea of travelling on the tram around the island.
first stop, cantonese: chung wan. it was a chillier day and cloudy. i was wearing a short babydoll sort denim dress (i love the dress which i got from isetan during the sale in march) with my patrick cox black ankle boots (got them donkey years ago in selfridges, london). so the bare legs felt chilly. then we decided to 'visit' the toilet in mandarin oriental hotel which is just right next to central mtr station so i can put on a pair of leggings which i had chucked into my bag before leaving the hotel just in case i felt cold. hehe....finally got to wear my pair of leggings which i bought last year with jia en in kl. the toilet in mandarin oriental isn't as posh as the one in peninsula but they do have someone to hand paper towel to you.

this is the bar council building square, opposite central mtr station on one side and all the big banks buildings on the other side. this is where a lot of foreign maids congregate every weekend on their day off.

china bank and hsbc building. we went into the hsbc building to exchange yee's australian dollars. you can actully get better rate in the banks. regent has an account at hsbc, so we din have to pay the $100 service charge. the building is really environmentally friendly. a lot of natural lights could get in and it is really beautiful inside. too bad, i could not take any photo.

the next stop: the peak. and of course you have to go up on the tram. buses ply this road too. we used our octopus card instead of joining the long queue to buy the ticket. many tour groups were here as well. so you see lots of foreigners. no local i think...except for regent. the tram is such an attraction to everyone.

and this leads me to think of the one we have in penang hill. do you know that they are going to stop it?? what a stupid move. some ppl will actually go there just to experience the furnicular train ride. it is an attraction in itself. it is like killing the goose that lays the golden egg.

and yes, you can shop at the peak too. they have an entertainment centre there....more like a gaming zone actually. lots and lots of video games.
and now they charge you to go out on the terrace which they have renamed sky terrace. it is $20 for the ticket. i remember going on the terrace with chinching (a lower terrace) and we did a wax hand there. the new sky terrace is a higher one and smaller. and it was while we were outside that it started raining. what a day....a full rainy day albeit no thunderstorm. it was not cats and dogs but it was still rain.

then it was more walking around central and we started looking for lunch.

this was where we had lunch, at one of the more famous cafe restaurants. but the food was only so so. there were so many ppl there. we ordered the crispy noodles beijing/szechuan style, fishball noodles, swiss chicken (soy chicken lah) and my glass of lemon tea. all these are recommended. the fishball noodles was ok, but i hate my crispy noodles. it is soo hard and dry because they are so stingy with the gravy. i could only eat some of those noodles which was soften by gravy. the rest...leftover. the chicken is nothing special. so i think this restaurant is over-rated.

then we went walking around soho. yes, they have one in hk too. when you reach all the slopes, you know you are there. there are pubs and cafes along the steps. to go up, you have elevators, but coming down, be careful and watch your steps on the slopes. most of those eating in the eateries are all gwailou.
and yippee....regent bought me egg tart...the famous one which is a favourite of hk's last governor. chris pattern i think. the cake was soft but not special. and the egg tart? the egg was really soft. i dun like the pastry so much but the egg was good. yee gave hers to me and i had two. she does not take egg tart. my lucky day. see i told you, it was an eating trip for me. and thank god, i din put on weight. hahha...i know because i went on the digital scale yesterday.

i savoured the egg tarts while sitting at the terrace outside ifc mall.

this is ifc mall, just in front of hk harbour. this photo is taken from the covered walkway to the harbour. and the photo on the right, the fitting room in lane crawford. all the designer labels that you need are here. just how much money do you have.
we took the star ferry to kowloon. i have to make sure that yee goes on all the public transport here. superstar aquarius is docking at the harbour too.

then we walked walked walked around, waiting for the night show...the light symphony i think it is called. every night at 8p.m. where the buildings will play with their lightings accompanied by music blaring from speakers.

ok...lousy camera cannot really get catch the lights clearly. but hk island is really a sigh to behold at night. so how much light pollution is it causing? hehehe...

this was my pathetic dinner. japanese ramen. waaaa.....we din have enuf time for a proper we had to be satisfied with this. well, at least i was getting something into my tummy. must eat!!! we only had 15 mins for the meal before the light show started.

the clock tower where we watched the show from and the crowd. not as crowded as the last time i was there. maybe because of the drizzle and the light show was not that impressive anymore. i felt not as many buildings are taking part now. a patch in the middle had non-moving lights. just keep your eyes on the right.

just walk down the clock tower and you will get to avenue of star. nothing much really. some handprints here and there on the pavement. we spent quite some time here, trying shots after shots to take good photos with the hk island as background. so we kinda drenched in the drizzle and was cold and windy. luckily we bought a sport jacket each in a discount sports store earlier, so we were kept warm.
and we called it a night after exploring some streets in kowloon. phew...what a long day.
enuf for today.
to be continued.....

aspirational shopper

learn a new term while browsing one of those shopping blogs (the recessionista) today: aspirational shopper.
i think this term refers to those who aspire get into the luxury bandwagon and own one or two pieces of those coveted items.
so can i put myself into that category?? what do i want??? bags....more bags....
drooling for them but i know i cannot afford them. first up: one of those balenciaga bags (covered giant bag to be specific) and who does not want an hermes birkin???

i wanna strike lottery! i have the heart to splurge? unless that is a big big amount. let me dream....

relax, be healthy

it is proven- stress leads to lack of sleep and all the dreams will start popping out hence disturbing the thought of having a sound sleep. these symptoms did not occur when i was in hk. although it was tiring, there was no mental stress at all. after coming back, the second night, the dreams started haunting again. therefore, i am mentally exhausted now.
and today we have to wait in anticipation for an officer from the state department. she is coming to check files and stuff. i think i have completed all my things...i just want today to finish fast.

and oh, is anyone having flu? so many ppl are having flu because of the hot and dry weather. swine flu, keep our fingers crossed that malaysia is not affected. am searching through my head if i come in contact with any mexicans while i was in hk. haha...but they have thermal scan in hkia, so they are one step ahead. well, we know the scanners are there because of bird flu scare.
drink more water to keep you hydrated in this harsh weather.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

hk day 1 regent (my pen-pal) came and met us at the hotel lobby and off we went. first stop, with the tram which is right in front of our hotel, to the mtr station to buy our public transport travel card aka octopus card. paid hk$150 with the card with $100 usable value while the $50 is deposit which you will get back when you return the card. the station that we went to was sheung wan. this is also where we bought our turbojet ticket to macau $150 each. the journey to macau would take only 1 hour from the pier.

hk-macau pier.

their mtr system. the carriage was empty because this photo was taken on sunday morning before 8a.m. very efficient and no breakdowns.

the tram system in hk island. get up at the designated stops...which is like every 50 metres and pay only when you get down. it does not matter how far you travel or how many stops, the price is the same: $2.00. these trams are really living heritage. the seats were all wooden and the stairs going up too.

this is the street behind our hotel, dried seafood street. this is where everyone comes to stock up their supplies. i think the prices are cheap but we did not buy any because we were really not sure what is considered 'cheap'. later go back get scolded. there are like 2 blocks of shops selling nothing but dried seafood on both sides of the rooad.

we went to mongkok area for a walk. it was bustling and shops were everywhere. the shopping haven? err...not really because i find the things rather expensive this time around. prices are not that competitive already compared to last time. they have a lot of shops selling clothes and facial stuff. are they really that beauty-conscious? i think you can figure out the answer yourself.
we had our dinner here...the street hawker fare and pizza. well, the pizza wasn't my choice actually but regent's. so i just went along with it. yee also had her milk tea drink with pearl. none for me because milk is not my cuppa.

smelly beancurd....which we bought one....and had to force ourselves to finish. the first bite was ok...but as you ate, the more pungent the smell became. it was crispy on the coating and soft as tofu should be outside. business was brisk at this stall.

our favourites are here....we had curry fish ball and fried squid. yummy...

and oh, while yee was queueing up for her milk tea, i spotted these mini egg puffs. bought a rack for $12. they are chewy and i finished almost all of them.

the pizza we had...just ordered a pizza supremo and shared among the 3 of us. could not really stomach so much actually.

opposite the pizza shop is already the famous lady street aka tung choi street. signs of failing economic recession is there. the place was not crowded at all (because we were early? around 8p.m.??). it was bustling few years back. well, this is the place if you want petaling street stuff.

the street is quite long...about 3 or 4 blocks.

that weekend was the celebration of the birth of tin hau, the goddess of the sea i think.
pirated goodies anyone???

then we walked all the way to langham place, a mall. yee wanted to go to H&M, we came out empty handed. overpriced items but still it was crowded. hk ppl can really spend. inside was seibu dept store as well. my first time in seibu i think........not as upscale as lane crawford but almost there. before that i got something from esprit outlet store. cheaper ah.

some herbal tea to cool the body.

my gwai lin gou, hk$50. expensive hor?? but it is a big bowl and really good. eating in hk is not cheap so be prepared to spend happily while eating. that way, you won't starve.

walked all the way to tsim tsa tsui water front and of course you will see the clock tower by the sea and opposit the road is the peninsula hotel. din go in lah of course. but i went to the washroom before and they have someone to hand you paper towels after you wash your hands.

then regent sent us all the way back to the hotel. i think we called it a night only at around 11.30p.m. what a day of walking.

she has a dream...hope it comes true

i have just listened to susan boyle singing i dreamed a dream. if you still dunno who she is, which planet are you living in? she is sensationalised in all the media now and everyone is watching out for her in britain's got talent. and oh boyle, what a voice you have. amazing. i am sure everyone in the auditorium had goosebumps the moment she sang the first line. three standing ovations from the crowd. the judges too except simon. well, you know simon, he is as simon as you can get. going to click on her singing cry me a river now.

it just shows you not to judge a book by its cover. this is the biggest lesson learn by everyone in the show and no doubt outside.

hello hk

gosh...this is all i can do for today. almost 1 a.m. already. the first few shots of hk on 17/4.

the new passenger terminal in lcct. everything is sparkling and yes, thank you for all the extra seats. we bought our drinks before boarding the flight. of course cheaper than buying in the aircraft. they dun check for liquid already once you are here. yee is holding the piece of margerined butterscotch gardenia bread we packed from home. our breakfast. love the smell of butterscotch. and we finished the whole loaf on the flight. that time it was almost flat.

the flight from kl was on time....7.35 a.m. so you can imagine how early we had to get up. dad sent us there. i was sleepy but i still couldn't get my sleep on the flight. a nap yes, but not sleep. reach hkia before 12noon. hk near the airport.

if you are planning to take the public transport to the city, be it kowloon or hk island, use the bus. they have the aero train, hotel shuttle and the public buses. hotel shuttle to our destination was hk$140. i walked out of the terminal building and asked for the public bus, the price was $48. my hotel was the 4th stop from the airport. around 15-20 mins. island pacific hotel on hk island, sheung wan to be specific. it is one stop north of central stop via mtr.

the view from our hotel and the hotel lobby which is on the first floor. ground floor is the entrance into the hotel, then take the escalator up to the first floor. it is a 4 stars hotel. buildings everywhere...and a little corner of the sea.

our comfortable room...where i had sound sleeps the 2 nights i was there. the tv even had welcome message for us. more spacious than the previous hotel i had stayed in hk.
then we waited for my pen-pal, regent whom i had corresponded with since college time. she overslept so was late for more than an hour. we promised to meet at 2pm but she only came at around 3.30p.m. well, at least that gave me more time to rest on the bed. be continued....sleep time now.