Thursday, January 14, 2010

Hong Kong and All Its Jazz

We awoke at 6:00 PM from a three-hour nap. Though we were able to recuperate from lack of sleep, we felt bad for sleeping in because we could have used the three hours on a walking tour.

Will our host, assured us that no time was wasted for it rained the whole afternoon. We didn't have any plans that evening so he said he'll show us around Kowloon after he feeds the cats.

Hongkong's skyline.

And he did take us to the 'feeding-of-the-cats' thing. He led us to a cluster of residential buildings, a fifteen-minute walk from his place. It turned out that Will had to feed the cats every evening while their owners were gone. We never found out who owns the pad (we didn't think it was appropriate to ask), but what we do know is that he or she is very lucky to have an astounding view of Victoria Harbour - day in, day out.

After his errand, we left the pad and walked to the nearest bus station. We hopped on a double-decker bus, our first for this trip. When you a got a guide taking you around, you're less stressed about where you're off to and what you're going to do next. Since we got Will, I didn't make much mental notes about commuting. Hence, I don't know where the bus dropped us off.

The Peninsula's dazzling Christmas lights, at the junction of Nathan Road and Salisbury Road. Hong Kong's very first hotel (1928).

I do recall passing by Nathan Road and Canton Road or Luxury Brand Street. The sight of opulent boutiques one after the other was overwhelming. The energy used by each of their billboards could probably power up a small provincial baranggay.

Christmas is in the Hongkong air.

We walked briskly towards the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront to watch A Symphony of Lights. This show is the Guiness World Records' titleholder for the world's largest permanent light and sound show. More than 40 buildings on Victoria Harbour participate 8:00 PM nightly.

Victoria Harbour at night.

How to get to Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront: MTR East Tsim Sha Tsui Station Exit J, just follow the signs to the Avenue of Stars.

It was about to finish when we arrived. As in, a minute towards the end. It was alright. I was more eager to know where dinner would be. I have been hungry since cat-feeding time.

The Clock Tower stands on the original site of the former Kowloon Station (Kowloon-Canton Railway).

Undecided where to dine, we wandered off to nearby landmarks. We passed by The Clock Tower, Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Hong Kong Space Museum and Hong Kong Museum of Art before we ended up back on Nathan Road and entered dilapidating Chungking Mansions. The building houses the cheapest accommodations in Hong Kong, Indian restaurants, currency exchange stalls, and a few shops selling inexpensive clothes and accessories (SIM cards and second hand mobile phones too!). On the ground floor, there's a CCTV camera for each of the elevators. Will pointed out, "to ease your agony of waiting".

If you're familiar with the curry restaurants in Chungking Mansions, can you please help? We went to an Indian restaurant, and I'm not sure if it was indeed Delhi Club. My sister told me she saw the name written on the menu card, but I don't want to claim that I've eaten at the first Indian curry restaurant in Chungking Mansions - not until someone else affirms. Refer to the photo hereunder:

How much do you reckon a sign board costs in Hong Kong? It's either this resto doesn't want to pay for it or they don't need one because they're already famous or they're trying to impose a 'secret society' image.

Please let me know. I don't want 'A Tea House With No Name' to happen again.

After our splurge-but-oh-my-gosh-worth-it (billed at HK$186 for four people) meal, we strolled back to Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront toward Star Ferry's pier. We paid HK$2.30 for a scenic ride en route to Central Star Ferry Pier, Hong Kong Island. What a way to cap off our first night! Hong Kong pleasantly surprised me and proved that the cliche expressions 'east meets west' and 'old meets new' are in fact its best descriptions.

Are you a museum lover? I mentioned above two (Space Museum and Museum of Art) museums that you can access if you have the Museum Weekly Pass. This pass costs HK$30 and will also allow you to visit the other five: Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence, Dr. Sun Yat-sen Museum, Hong Kong Science Museum, Hong Kong Museum of History, Hong Kong Science Museum, and Hong Kong Heritage Museum. You may purchase them from any of the participating museums.


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pinoy boy journals said...
January 16, 2010 at 3:51 AM

did you stay in chungking mansion??, was suppose to stay there but for a first timer, the crowd outside was really scary! but all wong kar wai films are shot in chungking mansion so i just went there for a photo op. hehe

☮Pinay Travel Junkie☮ said...
January 16, 2010 at 7:11 PM

haha! kinda what we did at on on hotel ('the beach') in phuket town. did not check in there but went anyways for a photo.

nope, just ate at chungking. yeah the crowd can give you a creepy feeling but i kinda liked it. haha!

Lakwatsera de Primera said...
January 18, 2010 at 12:46 AM

We also looked around the stalls of goods there, kinda like the usual shops in Greenhills. I like the street markets though of HK and just strolling along Nathan Road, nakakalula ang mga shops.

☮Pinay Travel Junkie☮ said...
January 18, 2010 at 1:53 AM

shops are over the top! unbelievable.

Ryan said...
January 29, 2010 at 4:45 AM

Best area to stay in Hong kong to travel around for sight seeing.?I'm planning to visit below places with my kid, kindly let me know around which area should i look for hotel with reasonable price.Thanks.

Victoria Peak
Victoria harbour light show
Tan buddha (thebigbuddha) on Lantau island
Aberdeen fishing village
Stanley - for shopping

☮Pinay Travel Junkie☮ said...
January 29, 2010 at 4:55 PM

Ryan, Kowloon budget hostels! Or any accommodation that's near the MTR station, for convenient commuting.

Philip said...
March 5, 2011 at 12:34 PM

Hostels are money saving way of lodging.

Rio Pousadas

Markyramone said...
June 7, 2011 at 1:28 PM

I think I'll try the Star Ferry during the night. :)

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