29 March 2013 (Friday)
Since last year, or maybe even 2 years ago, I have been wanting to experience spending my birthday somewhere else – somewhere out of Singapore. Clique did try to make that happen by organising the KL trip 2 years ago and surprised me, but I wanted to try spending it on my actual day~
It has also always been my dream, or rather, something on my must-do list to travel alone one day. So on this 24th birthday, I decided to make 2 of my own wishes come true, which is to travel on my birthday, and to travel alone!
Why Hong Kong, you may ask. Because I’ve been there 3 years ago and I feel that it’s relatively safe. The place is also very accessible like Singapore, and most importantly, it’s a good shopping place!
The aim of this trip is not to visit those tourist-sy places as I have visited most of them during the previous trip. So this trip is gonna be mainly 买东西吃东西，买东西吃东西！:D Hence, it will be a good Hong Kong guide to those who wanna look for famous good food and cheap shopping places in Hong Kong, because I spent lots of effort and time researching and collating them!
My flight was in the afternoon so I had the whole morning to do my final packing~ Double confirmed and triple confirmed before setting off to the airport via bus! Everything was 100% independent for this trip!
Not lonely at all because I had my Kumakuma with me all the time as my guardian angel! I never fail to bring him out with me every day even though my bag was already damn packed and heavy from all the nonsense things I bring…hehe.
I’m surprised that I actually did not take any photos in the flight. I really don’t know how I survived the 4 hours flight but I was basically sandwiched between a stressed out-looking man and a stressed out-looking woman =/
Both of them looked stressed out because they were trying all kinds of positions to nap, but it’s true that budget airlines’ seat is a bitch. I managed to nap a little but I was having a backache after like 2-3 hours -.- Worst of all, our row of seats somehow doesn’t have that “lean back” function!
It’s kinda awkward because I was desperately trying to find the button to lower the back rest after seeing the person in front of me did that (which made my space more cramped than ever), but to no avail! I was “secretly” touching around the arm rest, looking up and down trying to locate the button and I actually woke the stressed out man and woman up a couple of times because of my sneaky acts! LOL!
But anyhow, I landed in Hong Kong safely in the evening after a 4-hour flight! I really dislike taking the planes because of all the air pressure, dryness and etc. And even for SIA flights (which I took to Japan), I still find it uncomfortable to sit still for soooo many hours straight!
Sadly, I love to travel!
SOMEONE PLEASEEEE MAKE TELEPORT HAPPEN!!! x.x
Took a Citiflyers airport bus, which I think is the cheapest mode of transport that brings you from the airport to the city within a relatively short time. The journey only took me about 30 minutes and I arrived straight in Mongkok, where my accommodation is.
But do bear in mind to prepare exactly HKD 33 for the bus fare if you do not have your Octopus card (their transport fare card). I went through an embarrassing moment of going around the bus to ask for small change due to my negligence -__-”
Did not take me too long before I found the building – Sincere House, where my hostel was located! Previously when I was looking for accommodations, I found many located in the building – Chungking Mansions, which is said to be a really run-down and messy place…
Since Shi Min had previously stayed in this particular hostel that I am going to reside in, she warned that Sincere House is about the same, so I was kinda mentally prepared. But it turned out that it was not as bad as I thought! In fact, it was quite a proper and safe-looking place! Not hidden at any quiet corner but along the busy street~
Another complaint about Chungking Mansions is that their lift is also very run-down and most of the time, you have to wait a really long time for that one lift because it serves so many floors. Some reviews even mentioned that they waited for up to 30 minutes!
But over at Sincere House, I had NEVER had to wait for more than 3 minutes for the lift. Maybe it’s because I usually use it during the non-peak hour and I only use it twice a day – to go out and to come back, that’s why I never encountered such problem before. But anyway, they have 2 gates and 2 lifts (:
This is the THIRD accommodation that I actually booked for this trip because the first one, I kiasu-ly booked it before I booked my flight and in the end I changed my travel date, due to change in airfare. The second one was because I stupidly booked a mixed dorm room without knowing that mixed dorm means mixed gender and I woke up in the middle of the night, suddenly enlightened and having nightmares that I might get gang-raped by the other men staying in the same room as me. Thanks to all the India news.
But even though I had to forfeit my booking fee (twice!), I think everything is fated! Because I was meant to stay at Dragon Hostel and not any of the other 2, which are located in the Chungking Mansions! I walked past that building one of the days and saw soooooo many GLKs standing downstairs…OH GOSHHHHH. Only 2 words crossed my mind – GANG RAPE.
I am just so glad that I chose Dragon Hostel ultimately!!!!!!!! It is a budget accommodation so I was not expecting much, in fact I was a little prepared for anything below my expectation, like poor wi-fi, poor service, slightly stained pillow or something but no! I totally had nothing to complain about this place!
Once you enter the gate, the office is on the right and their staff is there 24 hours. They are pretty nice and helpful, especially the man (whom I think is the owner?); women in Hong Kong are generally more … menopausal, I would say. Oh there is also computers with free internet connection that you can use! (:
It’s a small room but rooms in Hong Kong are generally quite small, even for hotels. Furthermore I am not someone who is fussy about accommodation at all because I only need it to sleep in!
So as long as it’s clean and no bed bugs, I am totally happy with it. In fact, I pretty love this cozy little room of mine! 😀 Every night when I come back from a whole day of shopping, I can just nua on my bed and watch TV, while replying all the messages…hehe.
It’s a small TV that can get poor connection sometimes but it won’t last long. My favourite kind is the singing competitions kind of shows! Even if I’m not watching, I will leave it playing so that there is some music in the room (:
They have rooms that come with the bathrooms but they were fully booked when I was booking, so mine was a shared bathroom one, which is of course cheaper. I figured that I have no issue with that since my accommodations in Japan were also shared bathroom~
The temperature of the heater differs quite a lot and the first time I used it, I even scalded my hand because I used it to test the water and it was boiling HOT!!! Subsequently, I will always have to “tune” it to the perfect angle to get my perfect temperature! Haha!
This is the corridor that leads to the other lift. It brings you down to 1 street away, which is 1 street closer to the train station~ Oh and the train station (Mongkok) is only like 3-5 minutes walk away by the way. It’s seriously a perfect location and a very valuable choice for budget travellers!
Enough of the review for Dragon Hostel~ Time to hit the street!
By the time I reached the city, it was already around 8pm. But seeing the crowded streets and the vibrant night life upon arrival, I felt so alive all of a sudden and I couldn’t wait to join them! I couldn’t wait to roam around the streets and visit the night markets! 😀 本来没什么 feel 的旅程变的超兴奋的！！！
I don’t know where in Singapore can you find such streets that is crowded with people and so full of activities at night. They even have street performances everywhere that attracted quite a bit of crowd!
Went to kaypoh around before I decided to grab something for my hungry tummy. I have a list of good food places and I decided to go and try this famous polo bun a few streets away.
It’s actually 1 train stop away but the train stations in Hong Kong are relatively near for certain areas and a good way to explore Hong Kong is to walk from station to station via Nathan Road – my favourite road! Haha! You can hardly get lost on that street because it’s a straight road and as long as you keep going straight, you will reach station after station, from Prince Edward to Mongkok to Yau Matei to Jordan and all the way to Tsim Sha Tsui!
金華冰廳 Kam Wah Polo Bun
G/F, 47 Bute Street
(Prince Edward exit C1)
Settled in 許留山 Hui Lau Shan for some dessert because if you have been to Hong Kong and never tried 許留山 before, you have never truly been to Hong Kong! I tried it during my previous trip and remember how goodddddd it was~
But somehow I have this memory that I tried some durian dessert, which now that I checked, I did not -.- I even asked the staff about it and she replied grumpily, “没有榴莲，榴莲臭嘛，没有榴莲。” -_____-|||
Opted for this mango dessert in the end because I remember their mangoes never go wrong. And indeed, this was simply DOPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The mangoes were so sweet and the whole bowl was just soooooo nice that I finished within 3-5 minutes! I regret visiting only once during this trip, since 許留山 can be found everywhere in Hong Kong~ Now I have to go JB to eat it!!!
Roamed around and chanced upon a few night markets, which in the end I realised are the few famous night markets that I planned to visit the following night. But it was more of a 走马看花 trip to find out what they have and check out some prices~
Although I loveeeee to shop around night markets (no matter in which country), I dislike and try not to buy anything from the night markets in Hong Kong. The stall owners will always mark up the price by like 50% or even more and bargaining is a MUST! But bargaining is kinda tiring -.- It’s like having to play mind games to know when to stop…Zzzzzz.
So I did not dare to buy anything on my first night in case I see the item somewhere else at a much cheaper price. It’s always good to “check the market price” around first before settling on the item, because this is very likely to happen =/
Anyhow, they have so many Rilakkuma stuff there as well including hair dryer and etc! They caught my attention for sure but I am also pretty good at controlling, knowing that I don’t necessarily need them.
As a result, the moment when I saw this Rilakkuma bolster, I did not have that impulse to buy. It’s much much much cheaper than what I saw on a deal website previously, but it was still S$20+ for a bolster! Let’s just say that I am not someone who will 宠自己 that much and as much as I may like an item, as long as the price is beyond my expectation, I will not really give a second look. So I did not get it, at least for the first night! Hehe.
The night markets were all quite near to my hostel, so it was not difficult at all to get back. In other words, I could shop till as late as I want, but I still try to go back by 10.30pm every night to be safe (:
Anyhow, this was one of their street performances that gathered the largest crowd! Their nights are soooo alive that it makes me wanna join in and dance in the middle too! Hahaha!!! Like when you watch those shows with villagers doing their cultural dance and they would drag the tourists in to join them – I have always wanted to try that! But never had the courage to…haha! But I know it will be fun and memorable!
Now the one-way ticket song is stuck in my head!!! Yet another song that brings back fond memories 😀