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Embracing 31 – Hong Kong (Part 1)

While this is my 5th trip to the Pearl of the Orient. It is one of my happiest amongst all the trips to Hong Kong thus far. I recall the first time I visited was back in 2008. At the age of 22, I was still at the tender age where everything around me seems to fascinate me. Back then, I went with a friend who frequents HK, and it was during that time I came to realise how it was pretty easy to move about without much of a difficulty. It was also the dawn of the internet era. Over the next 9 years, I have since visited HK about 5 times (including the current trip). HK has gone through quite a lot of changes especially in the recent few trips which happen less than 1 year apart. While the earlier 3 trips occurred in 2008, 2011 and 2012. Back then, it seems the acceptance of mandarin speaking vs Cantonese in Hong Kong has improved quite a fair bit.

While the few places I would usually visit has also changed, another notable area is the food choices and food prices. While transportation does not seem to have inched up a lot, but the price for food has indeed increased.

So here comes a simple itinerary of places I have toured during the short stay of 4 Days 3 Nights in Hong Kong.

Day 1

Flight to HK: Breakfast (Gluten Intolerant) on Singapore Airlines

As Singapore Airlines was having promo fares to Hong Kong, decide to ditch the idea of taking Budget Airlines and opt for a full-service flight instead. However, due to the inclement weather and closure of one of the airport runway on arrival in Hong Kong International Airport, my flight arrived 30 minutes late. For the in-flight meal, I opted for Gluten Intolerant Meal and had also requested for a birthday cake – which I did not consume during my flight, but took it along with me.

Airport Express

The HK International Airport is served by both Buses and Train. As it was raining heavily during the time of arrival, decided to take the train instead of the bus to the hotel.

Website: http://www.mtr.com.hk/en/customer/services/airport_express_index.html

ibis Hong Kong and Sheung Wan

The ibis Hong Kong and Sheng Wan is located near Sheung Wan MTR, within walking distance. You may read more about the hotel in the review here.

Cafe Muji & Meal

Muji is pretty well established in Hong Kong and it is also the country out of Japan to have the Cafe Muji and Meal dining concept. While I have tried the food offering back in Singapore, I decided to visit the cafe at Lee Theatre, Causeway Bay to experience the food offering there. Suffice to say, it tasted good and of course, at a higher price as generally food prices in Hong Kong tend to be higher than in Singapore.

Location: 3-4F, Lee Theatre Plaza,, 99 Percival St, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
Website: https://www.muji.com/jp-en/shop/HK102CM

Fitness First HK

Hitting the gym for workout has become a routine habit which is hard to kick. However, on the bright side, it was good to know that there is a Fitness First Platinum branch nearby Sheung Wan which I could visit during my stay at ibis. Took the opportunity to check out the small gym which is located just a short 2 minutes walk from Sheung Wan MTR or 10 minutes walk from Ibis HK and Sheung Wan Hotel.

Location: 3/F, Nan Fung Tower, 88 Connaught Road C, Central, Central, Hong Kong
Website: https://www.fitnessfirst.com.hk/en-GB/clubs/nan-fung/

Mid-level escalator

Whenever we go on trips, we will tend to visit tourist attractions as much as would like to see how the local culture is like. The Mid-Levels Escalator is the longest outdoor covered escalator system in the world, and it is totally unique, this is how thousands of Hongkongers commute every day to work. The escalator connects Central and Western Districts, with the SoHo and residential districts of the Mid-levels, from Queen’s Road to Conduit Road. Not to be mistaken though, it does not take you to the Peak Tram station.

The Peak

If you are travelling to The Peak tram station via the Mid Level Escalator, you will have to exit along Hollywood Road and trek along the shops towards the Peak Tram station.

However, if you are taking the tramway or walking from Central MTR Station it will also take about 5 – 10 minutes walk to reach the Peak Tram Station. You may use the Octopus Card to pay for the tram ride instead of purchasing the bundled ticket for the observatory. It will cost HK$45 for a return trip.

Location: Central, Hong Kong
Website: http://www.thepeak.com.hk/en/home.asp

Day 2 – Central & Sheung Wan

Tramway ride

Each tramway ride is HK$2.80 (Adult) which is a very reasonable ride, and if you have time to spare and avoid the crowded MTR Trains during peak hours. The tramway runs 6 different routes on Hong Kong Island and has 120 tram stops, with a tram fleet of 164.

Website: https://www.hktramways.com/

Lunch

Looking for places to dine in Hong Kong can be an interesting fare to me. As much as I would like to go for the easy option of Fast Food, I decided to give it all a miss and opt instead for restaurants or food style coffee shops. Staying in Sheung Wan as compared to my previous trip where I stayed in the Shatin area proved to be worthwhile. I visited Hainan Restaurant. For lunch, I ordered the curry fish rice and a cup of HK Milk Tea.

Location: Hong Kong, Sheung Wan, 上環干諾道中130-131號誠信大廈地下. Sheung Wan MTR Exit B.

ICC Light show

During the second night of my stay, as I have no activities planned. Decided to stay in the hotel room. Which to my surprise, I realise I was staying just opposite the ICC Building. As the sky in the evening has cleared up as compared to the first night where it was dusty and cloudy, I could have a clearer view from across the straits.

I recall from years ago there was mention of the ICC Light and Music Show, however, I did not really check it out the previous time. It is a groundbreaking LED light show which has won the Guinness World Record for the “largest light and sound show on a single building” in 2013.

The LED light animation was first choreographed by Hirohito TOTSUNE, a renowned lighting designer who has worked on numerous Japanese light design projects including Tokyo Skytree.

Location: West Kowloon, Hong Kong
Website: http://icclightshow.com.hk/
Video clip: View from Ibis Hong Kong and Sheung Wan.

Tsui Wah Hong Kong Cafe – 翠華

During the evening, Sheung Wan can appear to be less busy than in the day time. As I took a walk from my hotel to Sheung Wan MTR. I was looking for new places to dine, once again skipping the fast food joints. I passed by Yoshinoya and McDonalds as well as KFC before arriving at Tsui Wah.

Tsui Wah is frequented by many diners and is an established food chain around Hong Kong. They serve meals from Breakfast till Supper and also have some outlets which are open 24 hours. The food prices tend to be on the higher side for dinner and lunch. Ordered a Deep Sea Fish with Tomato Egg Rice and a cup of Milk Tea.

Location: Cheong K. Building, 84-86 Des Voeux Rd Central, Central, Hong Kong.
Website: http://www.tsuiwah.com/business/restaurant/branches/

That sums up the first 2 days in Hong Kong. Stay tuned for Part 2 as I share on my 3rd and 4th-day experience in Hong Kong.

Last Updated: June 18, 2017 – link to ibis HK and Sheung Wan Review.

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