Saturday, 16 January 2016

#003: #cytwanders to Hong Kong (Day 1)


So I started off 2016 with a short trip to Hong Kong with Sherie! Some people say Hong Kong isn't any different from Singapore (urbanised city, high density, high costs, Asian countries etc) hence there's no point going but I beg to differ.

In this 4D4N trip, both of us agreed that HK is in some ways less orderly than Singapore. Housing are generally low-rise and are built way back in the 80s (?), with several others undergoing redevelopment. There are of course, shiny, modern buildings towering over its lacklustre counterparts, but really, its a serious case of misfits. Yet somehow, this is what makes up Hong Kong.

I'm gonna be adding some tips for traveling to HK so hope it helps!:)

Day 1

Hello from the plane! Photo taken with a 'fake' GoPro. Sherie got it off Lazada at less than $200 (during their End-Of-Year Sale!!) and it functions as a camera and GoPro at 1080HD + wide lens (as seen from the photo above) Pretty good quality for such a price!

It was a pretty uncomfortable ride though. Ah well, what to expect from a budget airline anyway. We also heard that other non-budget airlines (think SIA, Cathay Pacific) were having promotions to HK (and some other countries) for the period that we went at less than $300 per pax?!?? So

Tip #1: Check all airlines, not just budget ones!! It costs us ~$360 AND a comfortable flight to HK... By comfortable I mean like, drinks (or at least plain water) provided, choosing of seats without the extra surcharge, literally comfortable seats etc etc. I also read somewhere that Skyscanner doesn't take into account ongoing promotions and that's probably another reason as to why we chose Jetstar eventually since it appeared as the most affordable flight on Skyscanner.

Made it to HK after a 3hour plus flight, and oh boyyy the weather!! I. Love. It. It was super cooling (unlike SG's current warm weather omg). Upon reaching, we gotten our SIM cards at A13 counter and tada~ unlimited 3G for the trip! A HongKong friend of Sherie's told us that it wasn't necessary to get 4G hence we bought the 3G SIM card for 7 days at S$11 via Klook. The other packages available are 1 Day unlimited 3G or 5 Days 1.5gb 4G.

Tip #2: So if you're intending to travel to HK and wanted to get a SIM card/not rely on wifi, 3G will be enough!! Us Singaporeans are too pampered with our 4G LOL

Tip #3: Klook is the keyword here. I love Klook omg its a super good website to check out when planning trips to Asian countries!! It usually offers better deals than other websites (just see the price reductions!!) so yeah, just google Klook and you should be able to find the website! But do remember to cross-check with other websites just in case.

Anyway, back to HK.

It took us about 2 hours to get to our hotel from the airport. Our hotel was located a fair distance away from the MTR (their version of MRT in SG) so we spent quite some time finding the right direction. But despite its less-than-convenient location, I feel that it was a pretty decent hotel. We stayed at Best Western Plus Hotel Hong Kong, located between Sai Yung Pun MTR and HKU MTR. For 3 nights, it costs us only ~S$230 in total for a superior twin bedroom, which is really cheap actually! The room is also quite spacious for a hotel room.

Tip #4: We didn't airbnb 'cause we heard that it could be quite expensive (aka equivalent to hotel pricing so why not hotels?) in HK given the skyhigh housing costs plus we only started looking for accommodation in late December (the better airbnb would have been snapped up already) but my friend did (she's a solo traveller) and she stayed in a hostel so its not totally impossible I guess!!

I've been rambling on so much that I think I sucked at this travelogue stuff LOL

Ok back to HK.

The first place we wanted to visit was Sai Wan Swimming Shed (nearest MTR: Kennedy Town). Google Maps told us the fastest way to get there was via bus 54. So two girls who knew negligible Canto, boarded the bus (it was a minibus btw and it was SUPER fast, imagine 7 stops in 8 minutes??? but it was an interesting experience nonetheless) but we don't have any slightest idea on how to alight LOL #recipefordoom

Since we know HK-ers generally do not like PRCs (not being judgmental but its a fact) so we refrained from speaking Chinese by telling the bus driver... 'next stop'. Thinking back, that was a really stupid thing to say HAHAHA but then how do Caucasians communicate with the driver?! 'Cause there were two Caucasians in the minibus but we didn't manage to catch how they got off the minibus. We knew for sure it was in Canto though... LOL

But after a thrilling and somewhat embarrassing ride, we reached Sai Wan Swimming Shed!!!

Beautiful sunset at Sai Wan:)

It was actually quite scary (for me anyway) to walk on the bridge 'cause first and foremost, I can't swim at all LOL and to add on to that... the bridge was pretty slippery from the waves (did you see how big and majestic those waves are) and also the rain earlier on. We didn't manage to get good photos either cause of the direction the sun is facing, hence its either the background or our portraits are sacrificed (the latter as seen above :()

Tip #5: Avoid going Sai Wan Swimming Shed in the evening!! A preferred timing would be morning or early afternoon I suppose

We also met a friendly HK couple there (it was surprisingly deserted that evening, probably due to the rain) who told us how to get down a minibus by saying 'yao luo' (aka 'i want to alight'). But it turned out we don't need to worry 'cause the next minibus we boarded to Kennedy Town MTR has bells for passengers to press in advance. We didn't notice it in the previous minibus so maybeeee not all buses have the bells installed. But anyway, we were so happy we didn't have to speak Canto that we pressed the bell a tad too early LOL. The driver even commented something along the line of 'bell pressed too early' ahahaha.

We went to probably the most expensive place to dine for the whole of the trip - Sun Kee (Nearest MTR: Tsim Sha Tsui)

All 4 walls are covered with stars who patronised the place!!! This is only 1 side of it.

We had grilled pork cheeks cheese noodles + coke (a set for HKD $55). Yeahhh expensive?! But it was still really yummy so here's a thumbs up from me hehe

After that we toured the place and went to HK Cultural Centre to watch the Symphony of Lights.

Tip #6: Honest opinion? It's not worth going to watch the Symphony of Lights if you're on a tight schedule. Other than being a tourist hotspot (think alot of people congregating in a place), its just lights shining here and there (from less than 8 buildings) for about 15 minutes. But the view was amazing and its free of charge too, so if you're in the area then feel free to check it out.

After that we tried to find some cha chan teng to chill but our first stop doesn't look good, the second stop was closed and finally we went to Tsui Wah. It looks pretty atas though and since we're looking for a quick bite so we didn't order much.

Closed :(( Apparently it serves really good milk tea sigh...

At Tsui Wah!! Look at the cute cups hehe.

This was a pretty long post and I am contemplating on whether to proceed with the following three days in great detail or to just sum it up with all the tips in a single post hmm. Since school barely started so I shall see how it goes!!

Till next time:)

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