Hong Kong S.A.R. · 2 Days · 14 Moments · June 2018

πŸ‡­πŸ‡° Hong Kong

2 July 2018

By the next morning, we went for breakfast at one of the cafes in shopping mall near her home. My last breakfast in HK. I will never forget this taste of lovely local breakfast. In early afternoon, I bade Clara's family goodbye and thanked them for being good hosts during my short stay. We headed back to bus terminal near shopping plaza and boarded bus back to airport. We felt hungry so we grabbed a bite at dim sum restaurant after check in. When it was time for me to leave, I bade Clara goodbye as I went into transit area and went shopping for a while before walking to the gate where my plane docked. It was already over but this trip still lingering in my memory forever. I was the first passenger to board this plane. You can see there was no one around except me and air crew. I sat alone and tired but was glad to go back home soon. Like my usual activities on plane, I either eat and watch movies. My hubby was anticipating for me to come back home. Finally back to Singapore! πŸ‡ΈπŸ‡¬

1 July 2018

This new movie "Incredibles 2" got released in HK much earlier by a few months before the new release in Singapore. Many years ago, I went to watch this "Incredibles" movie with my best friends during polytechnic days. Times Square atrium set up an exhibition for this movie to create awareness and lure in more moviegoers especially kids and their families. I have not watched this new movie so I hope for a golden chance to watch this movie one day. It may be hot but I do really enjoy myself very much while strolling under buildings with busting neno-lit signboards. I came here in March many years ago, it was very cooling to walk around at night due to sea breeze. We went back home early to catch some good rest before I started packing clothes with these snacks and gift souvenirs which I bought for the last few days. Our jelly legs turned wobbly from walking around too much. Although, it may be tiring but I was glad to have enjoyed myself very much during my solo trip in Hong Kong.
I guess that theme of the cafe refer to those moms who had a bad day taking care of the kids who gave them so much headache that they felt like wanting to vent out their frustrations by eating at this cafe with their friends or families. This drink which I ordered is not so bad. I had deep fried enoki mushroom spaghetti. I have always loved pasta most. Their creamy sauces are able to satisfy my taste. I was in awe about diners being offered clean white places with Queen Elizabeth's face on it. HK was under British colony until handed over to China in 1997. Yes today was marked as 21st anniversary of handover to China. This was my last dinner before I would go back to Singapore on the next day. I was so glad to meet Clara again. I hope she will come visit me one day and stay at my home. I want to be a good host and give her warm hospitalility while she will be here on holiday in future.
MaMa Day is well-known to be one of the best recommendations by Open-Rice, a kind of food review app used by Hongkies when it comes to food. My friend showed me few choices in her smartphone so I chose MaMa Day, that whimsical cafe from Taiwan. We managed to reach there and queued up for at least about 15-30 mins. This cafe is situated on 2nd floor hidden away in a small building. We were given menu and think of what we prefer to eat for dinner. Situated at Causeway bay, a few streets away from shopping malls. We took tram bus and squeezed in the crowd until we finally reached there. I could remember the excitement of what it is like to be riding on the tram. This hipster restaurant comes with such adorable memes and with its lovely interior that drew many kind of customers to dine there. It came as the next one after that restaurant was set up in Taiwan.
As we continued walking and exploring at the same time, we met two uniformed staff standing outside. They approached to inform us about this former police prison being converted to heritage museum so they wanted us to go in and take a look. We did not need to produce admission fees for entry as it is open to public. Clara explained to me about the brief history of that place surrounded by high walls. This place was where criminals stayed in confinement as punishment for their crimes. We got the chance to enter solitary cells converted into pub. You can order drinks. I have seen what the actual prison looked like in Cantonese movies. One of the staffs working there approached to offer us special access for using staff toilet as there were a long queue outside toilet. We were surprised but glad to accept offer. The last photo is a famous painter sculpture made of chocolate. He was Vincent Van Gogh, the painter with missing ear. I visited his museum in Amsterdam to see his exhibits.
Many street art murals on wall are seen everywhere as we started walking from SoHo to Hollywood Street. Great for photo-taking. Have you been to Penang before? Do they remind you of Penang's art wall murals? I like exploring and take photos at Hollywood street wall murals. Look at these oddly shaped buildings. One of the building is decorated with many kinds of flowers. I guess it must be a restaurant as many people are seen queuing outside. My friend showed me the other building which is in triangular-shaped. This is one of the cool but bold design built by architect. I can imagine what it is like to stay or work in these shoebox apartments. Living costs there are very high with land values going up. HK government wanted to make more $$. Facing such pressure, Hongkies want to move out of HK for better lives. I suggested my friend to come work in Singapore if it is not easy to survive in a competitive society in Hong Kong. HK is known to be one of Asia's top competitive countries.
I am feeling grateful for this golden opportunity to explore this hidden gem although I never got the chance to, compared from last time where I only rode on SoHo's longest escalator without going down to take a look during my last visit in 2012. Clara brought me to try Michelin-awarded roasted goose at Yat Lok restaurant in small shop houses near SoHo. Eating this goose drumstick with rice noodles that is twice the size of duck drumstick is delicious as it is not available in Singapore. Famous HK celebrities like Chow Yun Fat always hang out there to have their meals. Their photos were on display everywhere. You ought not to give this place a miss when you will visit SoHo one day. We paid a visit to the actor-singer-chef Nicholas Tse's store at Gage Street in Central, manned by a friendly staff who recommended me to buy these cookies packages as souvenirs to bring back from Hong Kong. His store is quite small. He developed his love for cooking and used to host cooking shows.
This dried shark hung outside the shop attracted my attention as I bypassed while strolling around the village and took this photo out of curiosity. Quite big, I think it must be more than 2m long. I can imagine how these brave fishermen managed to muster up their courage to catch this dangerous meat-eating shark. I guess it can take more than just one person to haul this shark to safety and left to hang dry for a long long time. They did not cut off the shark fin as they wanted it to look original. I just found out from the articles about their tradition to catch shark and hang them dry before selling them off for good prices. In Japan, they are known as "fugu". You may think they look cute with bloated face but it is actually more dangerous to eat them unless they are prepared professionally by chefs. The puffer fishes are real although plastic eyes are attached on their eyes to make them look marketable so that tourists can buy them & bring home as gifts for their beloved ones.
Tai O's private heritage museum was established for showcasing their unique culture and history in showroom for the visitors to come in and explore local fishing equipment and other old relics without using flash photography. It is for free admission. Many years ago, villages got floods and the owners decided to close down but wanted to carry on their legacy alive with their traditions passed down from older generation to present-day generation. The fishermen's cloak is so captivating but it can withstand heat while fishing. They look familiar from cantonese movies. The exhibits have been donated and supported by local residents and they represent the whole history of this remote island just off Lantau Island where fishermen have traditionally lived for a long time. Their wedding tradition caught my eye especially their wedding attire which newlyweds wore during wedding event and how they celebrated during this process. The whole community will probably get involved in this event.
Orange cuttlefish is one of Tai O's best seafood deliciacies. Not just an ordinary orange cuttlefish but the biggest & amazing thing I have ever seen. Very common to eat in Guangdong & Hong Kong. Guangdong was my grandfather's birthplace before he migrated to Singapore long time ago. Hakkas lived in "tulou" village. My dialect is Hakka (Khek). This kind of hot special soup coated sliced pieces from a steamed cuttlefish into orange colour when boiling. This was how it got that name. The cuttlefish is so big, thick and white! Normally dry & hard cuttlefish I usually eat is usually thin, sun-dried and chewy. Determined to give it a shot and I vow to eat this, I ordered a set of sliced cuttlefish for only HK$50 (SGD$8.70) and shared together with my friend. So soft, thick and chewy when eaten. A lot of curious tourists arriving from buses flocked to buy and eat at that moment they arrived at Tai O fishing and happened to see the orange cuttlefish introduced by the tour guides.
The first photo taken was at Ngong Ping cable car station. There are only two alternative ways to reach Tai O village. You can visit big Buddha on Lantau Island so take cable car first but due to humid weather, I prefer the other one. The bus stopped near Rope drawn ferry bridge where we alighted before walking around. We paid for ferry tickets to observe at stilt houses and can get the opportunity to catch pink dolphins if we can. The ferry lasts for 20 mins only. The pink dolphins will only appear around 3pm. It depends by chance if you can see them. Tai O fishing village is known as a small waterfront community located on west coast of Lantau Island. In old times, there was no bridge for the village division so the fishing folks use rope drawn ferries to transport from Tai O to Lantau island and return back. This manually operated bridge was built for better mode of transport. Nowadays, the tourists are able to use this bridge for crossing to the other side without any hindrance.
Yesterday was such a hectic day for me. We went window-shopping along Mongkok. Turned in after watching World Cup match with my friend & her dad. She allowed me to stay alone in her room while she using her sister's room next to mine. Her bed was super comfy so I dozed off quickly. Woke up around 6~7am. As you can see through window as you woke up, I was greeted by a beautiful view of mountain tops, surrounded with private housings. To my surprise, my friend mentioned about famous celebrities like Bosco Wong & Faye Wong staying in private bungalows near her home. My friend woke up so we got ready to leave. She led me to a cafe in the other residence nearby where locals hang out for breakfast. This kind of breakfast which locals usually eat for breakfast. Macaroni oxtail soup comes with bun egg butter. The butter was smooth to put on bun. Look at the sweet syrup besides ice lemon water. If you prefer this drink to be sweet, can add in. Tried this already,it is surprisingly sweet.

30 June 2018

Heatwave was evident in HK during summer time. To ward off heat, my long time penpal friend Clara brought me to Nathan Road for dinner after a long bus ride journey from her home to Mongkok. This place she strongly recommended is Dim Sum Icon situated inside a shopping mall after few mins walk from Tsim Shat Tsui MTR. Widely popular for cute dim sum. I fell in love at first sight when I saw them being served. I could not bear to devour them as they were too pretty to look at. To satisfy my stomach, they had to go into my mouth to let me enjoy. We chatted and discussed about our planned itinerary for the next few days in Hong Kong. We toured night markets at Yau Ma Tei Temple Street and Ladies Street at Mongkok. It was very humid at night so we grabbed cooling drinks to expel heat from our bodies. Bought Nicholas Tse's cookies from that place where we had dim sum earlier. It was expensive but considered to be the one of the best snack souvenirs besides Eric Tsang's Bee Wah cookies.
Making a solo trip to the "Pearl of the Orient" is the biggest challenge I had for the first time in my entire life after being inspired by blog article on solo female travellers. To catch 955am morning flight, I headed down to airport for check-in with my luggage. I prompted to have an early breakfast with my hubby. Upon my arrival at the gate, there was a short delay in boarding time. Once the gate opened, I managed to board the plane. Was greeted by SIA crew who welcomed me in with their friendly smiles when walking in jet bridge connected to plane. The air stewardess led me to my designated seat. Later, I was informed of the delay time about extra 20 mins. To kill time, I either caught few winks or watched in-flight movies while eating. The plane arrived in HK after 4hrs long flight. I was grateful to SIA for providing me excellent customer service. I truly appreciated the offer by air stewardess to send me off but I declined as I got to meet my friend waiting for me outside.