Re-exploring Hong Kong Day 3 – Lam Tsuen Wishing Tree & Symphony Of Lights!

31 March 2013 (Sunday)

This is the “expectation” of how Rilarila and Kumakuma will wake up looking like…awwwww~
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And this is the reality. Gua gua gua~
Kumakuma is emo that I hugged the silly bear the whole night!
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Haha! Enough of silliness, but I indeed had a much better sleep with my silly bolster!!! So much that I didn’t wanna wake up, but I have to! Before it rains againnnn -.-”

After all the shopping, it’s time to fulfill other missions of this trip, which is to visit places that I miss in Hong Kong, and also places that I did not get to go during the previous trip! It was quite an exciting day for me…hehe.

A view of Mongkok in the day time (:
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Setting off for my journey! 😀

There is really not much difference between their MTR and our MRT. Both are equally accessible, organised and clean, except that maybe theirs don’t have train faults that often? Haaaaa!
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Reached my destination for brunch – Jordan, which is just 2 stops away!
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A comparison of 2010 and now. OMGGGGGGG. Nothing to comment.
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Anyway, I could have walked over to Jordan but I was really trying to rush for time while the weather is still fine. I have an important place to go after the brunch! 😀

But luckily I took a train because look at the queue before I can even have my brunch! Jiang jiang jiang jiang~
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Looks like it’s a longggg way to go x.x
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And even a longer way behind!
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Vibrant light from the signboards even in the day! They look really pretty at night (:
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The famous Australia Dairy Company 澳洲牛奶公司!!!
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This is like a MUST-HAVE breakfast when you visit Hong Kong! I tried it during my previous trip and Gui ended up whining like a kid on the last day, insisting on having it again…hahaha! I totally missed it!!!!!!!!
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Once again, the good thing about travelling alone – you get to jump queue and overtake all the bigger groups because once they have a seat from one of the tables, they will put you in…hehe!
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The cafe itself is not very big and it’s always packed with people. It is so popular that everything is super fast paced. You order your food, your food gets served shortly, you eat, you leave.

The staff are always on the go and there is basically no service, because they don’t need it. They can just kick your chair signalling you to move in a bit (lao niang kanna that), or they can be speaking to you in a real impatient tone but it’s normal. Don’t get offended; think of the food.

I had a hard time deciding on my food, or rather, reading that Chinese menu!!! I was desperately looking around, pointing at other people’s food to place my order…LOL. “Picture menu” still works the best for me xD

I did not order the breakfast set because I wanted to try the milk pudding which I did not try the previous time! It’s much more expensive ordering them ala carte but I did not want to be too greedy and end up ordering too much.

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Macaroni, scrambled eggs & milk pudding!

I ended up getting a big plate of macaroni because the staff said, “你没有叫套餐,所以你的比较大碗。” x.x
The whole idea of ordering ala carte was so that I can save space for the milk pudding!!!
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In the end, I couldn’t finish the macaroni and neither could I finish the milk pudding. But I am still so glad that I managed to try it, because the milk pudding is really nice!!!!!!!!!!!! I was still afraid that it would have this milky smell which I dislike, but not at all! It’s just damn smooth and niceeeeee *slurp!*
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Australia Dairy Company 澳洲牛奶公司
47-49 Parkes Street, Jordan
Exit C2 Jordon’s MTR Station and walk towards Parkes Street
(
Opening Hours: Daily 730am to 11pm)

Headed over to Bowring Street, which is also in Jordan, and it is another street like Ladies Market and 花园街, except that the stalls open much earlier in the day. But many stalls were still closed when I went after my brunch, so I did not manage to get much stuff there.

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BEE jumper! 😀

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Something that guys don’t get~

Walked back up 1 station to Yau Matei to get to my next destination and it was surprisingly quite a “dead town” in the day. Street stalls from the night markets were of course closed, but so were most of the shops! I even encountered this black man winking to me…Zzzzzz!

Finally arrived at Temple Street!
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廟街

Finally seeing some crowd again~
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In order to get to my next destination, I had to change to the East Rail Line at 九龍塘 (Kowloon Tong), and the East Rail Line seemed like bit different from the MTR that I had been taking.
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It is the open-air kind of railway station rather than the underground kind; feels more obsolete too. And they somehow have this First Class seat thing which I didn’t get, but I just followed the crowd =/
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Reached Tai Po Market station after quite a number of stops and it did not take me too long to find the bus terminal (their signboards are quite clear and prominent), where I had to take a bus to reach my destination! *Exciteddddd*
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The young bus driver was very nice and helpful, trying his best to communicate with me regarding where I should stop. I also picked a seat closest to him so that he could alert me in case I miss my stop…hehe.
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After a long journey from Jordan all the way here, I finally reached my destination! 😀 It is a place that I wanted to visit during my previous trip but did not get to because it’s kinda far and inaccessible. So this time round I researched about it again and found that there is actually public transport that takes me there! Cho~ happy!

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Lam Tsuen 林村

What I came all the way here for is actually this wishing tree which I have always seen in Hong Kong dramas! The guy going after the girl will always end up coming to this tree together with her and the guy will then make this “secret wish” about getting together with the girl…HAHAHAHA! Even one of my favourite dramas – 陀枪师姐 (I used to be crazy over Marco Ngai!!!) featured this tree before! Hehe!

(Credit: visitourchina.com)

(Credit: visitourchina.com)

Every time I see the casts throwing their wishes up the tree, I will tell myself I wanna visit one day and try it as well! It’s one of the places that I really didn’t wanna miss during this trip and hence I was praying real hard for good weather! Thank goodness the weather was really fine and I could finally fulfill my own wish! 😀

Walked all the way in and came by this nice-looking restaurant deep inside… But, where is the wishing tree??????
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I could not spot it so I went into this temple beside to ask about it. Before telling my about the wishing tree, the auntie in the temple told me to buy these 2 paper scrolls (I think they call it “bao die”) that I can write my wishes on and guided me through the steps patiently.
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Then she told me that the tree has been replaced by some hanging boards and instead of getting to throw the “bao die” onto the tree, I have to hang them on the board according to my zodiac. Doesn’t sound so fun anymore! She said it has been quite a few years since they stopped the practice of allowing people to throw the stuff on the tree D:

I was kinda disappointed but since I had come all the way, I decided to just go ahead with the “custom” now and give it a try. But later on I got to know that the 2 “bao die” are overpriced. Because while walking in, they were several aunties trying to sell me the same thing, but I did not know what is it so I declined. Then later on when I was hanging the “bao die“, they came and “nagged” that I did not wanna buy from them when they are selling at a much lower price =/

Anyhow, this is how the “bao die‘ looks inside. You can write your wishes on the side of the paper; one is more for work and wealth, while another is for health, love and life in general.
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After I had finished writing my wishes, the auntie then told me to buy these 2 sets of big joss sticks to pray to the 土地公 (The Deity of Ground?). At this point of time, of course I started to suspect that this is getting more like a “tourist gimmick“…hmmmmmm.
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I did ask if it is part of the procedures and she said yes =/
But since I had already bought the “bao die” and written my wishes, I kinda had no choice but to complete the procedures.

Those joss sticks weren’t cheap some more; they were more than 10 bucks. But in the end I did not have enough small change and I got a discount! xD

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Lighting the big joss sticks~

I am not a strong believer of all these and neither am I such a religious person. But it is all more for the fun of it and just to “try“. Who knows your wishes might come true??? Hehe.
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Praying to the 土地公

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Wishing board to hang your “bao die”~

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Hanging mine under the snake zodiac!

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My other “bao die”~

While guiding me through the procedures, the auntie later mentioned that there is a replica of the Lam Tsuen Wishing Tree 林村許願樹 but it is made of plastic, so she concluded that it’s not as “real” as her wishing board custom =/

Nevertheless, I went to take a look at it and saw many people throwing their wishes up the plastic tree, that is already filled with wish lists tied to a plastic orange!
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The Lam Tsuen Wishing Tree at the entrance was covered with “Bao Die” all the year around. As a result, it became extremely fragile. The practice was discouraged by local authority for the collapsing of the old Wishing Tree, which hurt two visitors in 2005. Since then, wooden brackets were established for tourist hanging their  scrolls. Nevertheless, there are still people who cast “Bao Die” on the old Lam Tsuen Wishing Tree. Most people make wishes on the plastic Wishing Tree.

Apart from enclosing the Lam Tsuen Wishing Tree, some other measures are taken to protect the tree. In 2008, Lam Tsuen Village office brought in a new Chinese banyan tree and planted it two meters away from the old Wishing Tree. The new Wishing Tree has an age of approximately 60 to 70 and a height of 20 inches. It is also banned to cast “Bao Die” onto it.

In 2009, a 15-foot-tall plastic Wishing Tree was brought in as a substitution. It has the half height of the old tree. The public can make a wish by buying a “Bao Die” and a plastic orange, writing down wishes and then casting it onto the tree.

(via visitourchina.com)

Although this is not the real wishing tree featured in the dramas, at least it was more like  the practice that I wanted to try!

I was so eager to try after checking the price of the “bao die” and this is much cheaper! Only around $2 I think…hehe! But then I recalled that I have given all my small change to temple’s side x.x

Went to have some dessert (even though I was still rather full) in order to get some small change~ It’s beancurd with some sugar thing on top which tastes like our 红糖 and it’s actually such a nice combination!!! The beancurd is damn smooth too~~~
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Finally has got small change to get my “bao die” with orange! 😀
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Done writing my silly wishes! Hehe!
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It’s not easy at all to get it up on the tree! I took soooooo many attempts! But there is a belief that if you get your wishes up on the tree on your first try, your wishes will be granted or something. If you take many attempts, it means your wishes are too greedy x.x
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I actually got the staff selling the “bao die” to help me take a video of me throwing my wishes up! It’s damn embarrassing and I really took many attempts, until even my shoes came off! Please don’t laugh!!! x.x

Mine is the one in the centre of the picture that is merely dangling on the edge of the tree branch… It looks like it might drop anytime, and that means my wishes won’t come true? 😦
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With my “bao die” up on the tree!

Lam Tsuen Wishing Tree 林村许愿树 (8am – 6pm)
Taipo Market Station Exit A1 > Take Bus No 64K or 65K directly to the Wishing Tree (Fong Ma Po Bus Stop ) > Walk opp OR Tai Wo Station > Exit A > Take Bus No 64K or minibus 25K directly to Wishing Tree

It started drizzling a little just when I was done with the place! Phew~ I’m still really glad that I managed to accomplish what I had always wanted to do, thanks to 老天爷,and thanks to myself! (:

Set off to my next destination for shopping again~! Took the train down to Lai Chi Kok, which is supposed to be the place where many wholesale outlets are located, so you can get some cheap loots there.

Cute mascots in one of the malls there~
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This bee-Pooh was smiling to me from a shop and it’s really so cuteeeeeeeeee!!! 😀
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Took me a while to find the area where the outlet stores are located and unfortunately, they are all closed on Sundays!!!!!!!!!!! It was a wasted trip in the end D:
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Travelled down to Sham Shui Po to try my luck instead and it is another place with this long stretch of outlet stores – Cheung Sha Wan Fashion Street. Sadly, many shops were closed too, but there were still a few opened, so I managed to get 2-3 loots~

Chanced upon this crowded street market which I think is the Apliu Street Flea Market and I decided to go check it out. They were selling all kinds of things but just not clothes. Mostly electronics stuff =/
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And lots and lots of pots! O.O
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Since it was kinda a wasted trip for the whole Cheung Sha Wan area, I had plenty of time left. In the end, I decided to bring forward my following night’s plan, which is to visit the Avenue of Stars and catch the Synphony of Lights, cause I did not manage to catch during the previous trip.
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Sadly, it was raining when I reached Tsim Sha Tsui, and I actually arrived pretty early, like 1 hour before the Symphony of Lights started. Although it was just a drizzle, the wind was rather strong and many people’s umbrellas including mine were all flying upwards! =/
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It also made taking photos with the different sculptures rather difficult 😦 I wanna take photo with my slate!!! But everyone was busy fighting their umbrellas and it’s really difficult to find someone to take a photo for you. Now, that’s the bad thing about travelling alone~
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The night view was also a little misty due to the rain and it couldn’t do without filter~ Now it’s pretty!
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The rain and wind were getting kinda irritating and I didn’t wanna wait another hour under such condition. So I decided to explore another place on my itinerary first before heading back again (:

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My shop!!!

But that’s not where I was going to explore~ What I was looking for is actually this pâtisseriePaul Lafayet! 😀
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The stuff are not that cheap (since when French pastries are cheap) and each macarons was around $2.50. I was really getting broke by Day 3 so I did not dare to splurge on trying the different macarons. Got this big macaron pastry instead and it was so yummyyyyyy! Hehe! Satisfied now~
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Paul Lafayet Patisserie Francaise
G23, G/F, K11, 18 Hanoi Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
(Opens daily from 1230 noon to 11pm)

Went back to the Avenue of Stars and the timing was just nice~ The weather had gotten slightly better and I could do without an umbrella, which made it easier for me to take photos of the night scenery. Rainy days are really such a pain!

One of the prettiest shots without any filter! 😀
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Their river cruise~

The Symphony of Light started shortly and honestly, it was not thatttt amazing for you to wanna put up with the tiny bit of drizzle and the strong wind that is trying to blow you off =/

The 2 girls beside me were contemplating about leaving halfway and a few other people around me left too. Nevertheless, I still stayed for throughout that 15-20 minutes, since I was already there and since my shoes were already wet -.-”
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I personally think that our own light and water show in SG is nicer, even though I have not had the chance to catch it yet; only saw it from a distance. But you can judge for yourself!

Finally got someone to take a picture of me with the slate! But I look like a ghost…LOL.
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Avenue of Stars / A Symphony Of Lights
Exit J of East Tsim Sha Tsui Station
Dates: Nightly
Time: 8pm – 8:20pm

Decided to take a train to Yau Matei and then walk a station back to Mongkok, so that I can explore a cafe along the way and also to visit the night market in Temple Street. Unfortunately, it was yet another wasted trip because the cafe (Mido Cafe) was also closed and I did not get anything from Temple Street.

Walked back to Mongkok and before visiting the night markets again, I went to search for this snack stall – 肥姐小食店 Fei Jie Snacks Shop to get some food!
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Just look at the queue and you know it’s damn popular! 😀 Told ya I only recommend popular food places for this trip…hehe!
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The recommended items are the 大生腸 and also the squid I think. Anyway, I got both of them and excitedly took a big greedy bite! Then I started crying T.T
Not because it’s too awful, and not because it’s too nice too, but because there is WASABI!!!!

I think it totally spoils the whole thing for someone who doesn’t like wasabi like me. But after removing the sauces, it actually tasted quite good!
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肥姐小食店 Fei Jie Snacks Shop
55 Dundas Street 旺角登打士街55號4A舖

So off to my night markets again to get my Rilakkuma bedsheets which I KIV-ed on the first night! I wanted to get them before I really became too broke to buy…hahaha!

After walking 1 round again, I confirmed that there are only 2 stalls in the Ladies’ Market selling these bedsheets. So I actually went to and fro stall A and B to compare prices and to bargain!

After knowing stall A’s offer, I walked to the other end of the street to ask for stall B’s offer. It was HKD 20 more and the lady kept claiming that hers is better quality -.- But both are exactly the same!!!

So instead of me bargaining with her, she was actually the one bargaining with me, asking me not to sacrifice the quality just for that 20 bucks. Then when I refused to give in and walked off apologetically, she actually shouted for me to come back from like 5 stalls away!!! =O

She shouted that she would give it to me (at the price I want) and asked me to come back first. So to save the hassle of having to walk all the way back to stall A again, I went back to her stall and who knows she was actually only willing to reduce by HKD 10, which means it’s still HKD 10 more than stall A!

I mean if I know I can get the exact same thing from stall A at a cheaper price, why would I wanna let you con my money right? -.- It’s just a matter of walking over for me. So of course I refused to give in again and walked off again, then this time round, she shouted for me from 7 stalls away!

She reluctantly gave it to me at the price that I want and so I went back. Although she continued to persuade me a little, saying that stall A doesn’t have this and that design that I want, which is not trueeeee, I just refused to give in. So in the end she gave up and sold them to me reluctantly, though mumbling and cursing under her breath =/

In other words, these bedsheets didn’t come so easy…hahaha! But I cho~ love them!!!
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Got a few more items from the night market and this sums up my pathetic loots of the day! But at least I fulfilled one of my lifetime wishes today 😀
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P.S. For those who are interested in visiting any of the places I listed, I have uploaded my itinerary (with maps) to my Google drive and you can download it here. There are some food places that I skipped because I was too full, but they are all recommended places that you can try (:

(via zodiacchic.tumblr)

(via zodiacchic.tumblr)

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5 thoughts on “Re-exploring Hong Kong Day 3 – Lam Tsuen Wishing Tree & Symphony Of Lights!

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