Thursday, July 31, 2008


Junk Boat Ticket

Apart from "The Peak Tram", another of Hong Kong's famous icon is the Junk Boat. It is traditionally used as fishing boats in the 1960s.

The harbour area used to be clogged with them that it became the trademark of Hong Kong. Eventhough their numbers had dramatically reduced, you may still spot them on postcards and stamps.

An actual real life Junk Boat (With the sails down)

Prior to the trip, we found out that the HK tourism board is providing tourists a chance to experience the high seas on the Junk Boat. (All bow to almighty internet) ;o)

Sadly it used to be free before early 2008, but now they do charge a fee of HKD50 per passenger for the novelty ride, due to high cost of maintenance.


When the Junk came in to the pier, it created quite a commotion because it's like a walk into the past. (Like an ancient ship sailing through a time warp) There was a group of indian tourists who wanted to join in for the ride, but it was too late for them.

You have to go to the HK tourism board office at the Kowloon Pier to obtain your tickets prior to the scheduled time of departure. (There is a limit so be early to avoid disappointment) ;o)

Crew helping passengers on board

The Junk is manned by 3-4 elderly men. They were really helpful and friendly. I had a nice chat with the guy on the left as he was manuevering the Junk around the harbour later on.

Board early to get a good seat

We sat beside the driver at the end of the Junk, on which appears to be one of the best seats on board. The weather was drizzling before but luckily it held on for us during the ride.

FYI it kept raining during the whole time in Hong Kong, which kinda dampened our trip to a certain extend. Quite difficult to move around using public transport with the torrential rain pouring.

With the driver

The Junk sails around the harbour area for an hour, enabling us to take in the superb sea front view of Hong Kong. We took the Kowloon - Central route. Obviously there are easier ways to go from Kowloon - HK Island (MTR/bus/taxi) but none will offer the novelty experience. ;o)

Few things I learnt from the kind uncle:

  1. If you live and work in HK for 7 years, you will automatically gain PR/citizenship.
  2. There are tons of cruise/casino ships the Hongkies can take out to the open sea for some casino-tainment.
  3. There are 3 underwater tunnels linking Kowloon - HK Island. (We were previously discussing this because we didn't spot any bridges)
  4. Hong Kong & Singapore have a of similarities. Mainly the expensive land, high rise buildings, island country,frequent government campaigns, efficient public transport & non-stop complaining. ;o)
  5. He likes to complaint about property prices. (like singaporeans)

With the Iconic Sails

The most famous part of the Junk boat is obviously the sails, made out of clothe/canvas. (i think) The pictures we see on postcards and stamps normally have their sails at full flank.

At the driver seat

He never offered to let me sail the ship. ;o(

Another view of the sails, with HK island in the background

The entire trip was really pleasing, with the sea breeze blowing in your face and letting your worries drift away. It's like a temporary retreat from the bullet train speed of HK.

Let the video below blow your worries away ....

When the sails came down, we were nearing HK Island

Central Pier

The Junk ride only operates 2 days a week at the following times:

Kowloon Pier:
2:00 pm & 4:00pm (Thursdays)
10:00 am & 12:00 noon (Saturdays)

Central Pier:
3:00 pm & 5:00pm (Thursdays)
11:00am & 1:00pm (Saturdays)

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Hong Kong Junk Girl

Hong Kong Girl

This is the kind lady who assisted us in obtaining our tickets for the Junk Ride. She works at the HK tourism board office along the Kowloon Pier.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Hong Kong Island

The Avenue of Stars is located at the Tsim Tsa Tsui area, which is located directly opposite Central. It's about 10-15 mins walk from TST Mtr station.

TST is a newly developed shopping area with lots of mega shopping complexes. But we opted for the street shops along Granville Road & Cameron Road. There were lots of wholesale shops there and we had a great time spending. hehe

Walk of stars

It is a Hong Kong version of the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Stars of the entertainment business get accolades by receiving a star with their hand prints on them.

Leon Lai Hands (quite small)

Cecelia Cheung

This must had been cemented before the Edison Chen scandal. ;o)

1, 2, 3 Action!

Stephen Chow - God of comedy

Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee is the only star that has a statue and is placed in the middle of the walk. The entire stretch is quite long and takes about 20-30 mins to finish. Extra time for posing with the hand prints, and waiting for people to pose with hand prints.

Candy car

There was quite a large group of Mainland China tourists while we were there. I don't like their pushing and bossing and having no respect for other people.

Have you ever waited to take a picture and people just keep cutting queues? Wahlan eh feel like slapping them up down left right and all over again.

Mr. Bruce Lee - Master of Gong Fu

The GF didn't want to act along ;o(

Nice poster

There was a comic exhibition nearby so we went for some cam-whoring.

Orange figurine

Green thingy

Kowloon Pier

At the end of the Avenue of Stars is the Kowloon Pier, that has appeared lots of times in TVB dramas. Feels damn familiar. This is usually the spot where they come to "jump sea" and commit suicide.

Long view

I tried to take multiple shots using our canon camera and joined them together using the software. A bit cacat. ;o(

The view of Hong Kong island from this side is really marvellous. They have a "Symphony of Lights" performance, a laser and lights display nightly at 8:00pm. We couldn't catch it as we were at "The Peak" at that time.

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008



This is the train of HK. We took the train from Mongkok - Tsim Tsa Tsui (3 stations) for HKD 5.00. Very affordable. ;o)

Mongkok station

Jam packed

It was early morning rush and the train was quite packed with Hongkies going to work. Trains were much longer than Singapore's MRT and the frequency was about one train every 2-3 mins.

Efficient man!

Very Good Restaurant

After exchanging some HK currencies at HSBC, we wanted some breakfast. Exchanging currencies in banks offer better rates than money changes, albeit with some charges.

HSBC charges HKD50 service fee for an unlimited amount. No service fee if you're a HSBC customer, regardless of country. (We weren't ;o( ) Standard Chartered charges HKD100, but we finally found another local bank that charges no fees at all.

The kind HSBC staff at the counter recommended this shop for our breakfast.


English menu

They had an english menu complete with pictures. *Glee* At least now we can order without any suprises. Sometimes we don't even know what we're ordering till it arrives.

Egg tarts (3/5)

Har Gow (4/5)

Ham Sui Gok (3/5)

Chicken Feet (4/5)

I guess I was more interested in the food than the photo taking.

BBQ Pork Bun (3/5)

Steamed Shrimp Dumpling (2.5/5)

Up close

This was recommended by the waitress. It costs a bomb. It tasted quite nice but definitely not worth the price.

Chicken rolls with meat & mushroom (3/5)

Steamed pork ribs (1/5)

The pork ribs was the worst of the lot. Too much fat and too oily. Total bill came to HKD200 (AUD$28) , pretty cheap eh? ;o)

Overall the meal was mediocre. We have dim sum occassionally in Sydney (Zilver) and it appears to beat this restaurant hands on. I'd expect it to be marvellous considering dim sum originates from HK.

Maybe its just this particular restaurant. I guess we should have sensed something amiss from the name. Which good tasting restaurant would name itself "Too Good Restaurant" ?

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Monday, July 28, 2008


It was Day 5 of our trip. We had to travel from Chiangmai to Hong Kong via Bangkok and Macau. Got me exhausted just thinking of it.

Macau Airport

So here was our itinery for the day.
  1. Chiangmai - Bangkok (1hr)
  2. Bangkok - Macau (4hrs)
  3. Macau - Hong Kong (2hrs)
**All flights are operated by AirAsia.

It was quite weird landing so close to the water in Macau Airport. Few inches off the mark and we would be swimming with the fishes.

Macau Airport

From the airport, we grabbed a cab to the ferry terminal. 20mins (57HKD). The taxi uncle was kind enough to instruct us how to get the tickets and where to board the ferry.

Be careful - Go to KOWLOON!

At the ferry terminal, one may choose to go to Hong Kong island or Kowloon. Both journeys are identical in terms of price and time.

We got our tickets to Kowloon. Our hotel is around that area. There was a guy trying to sell us cheaper tickets before the counter. Wonder if they're counterfeit.

HKD 140 (one way)

It costs HKD 140 = RM60 which was quite expensive for a ferry ride. But then again, we're in Hong Kong, which is infamous for its inflated prices of goods.

First Ferry

We were just in time for the 5:00pm ferry. We're hoping the ride wouldn't be too chompy as the GF might get sea sick. It looks sturdy enough though.

Have to note that it was quite tedious to lug around the luggages from the airport to the ferry. We had 1 big backpack, 1 trolley bag and 1 medium slingbag. We're poor travellers so we opted for the cheaper option. Rich travellers can fly direct into HK.

If we had travelled now we could fly direct from Bangkok - Hong Kong, a new route by AirAsia.

The interior

The ferry was quite comfortable. With air conditioning and snacks and drinks for your convenience. Luckily it was quite spacey as I'm claustrophobic. ;o(

The ride was quite chompy especially nearing the piers. The entire ferry bobbed up and down like a cork in the sea.

Finally touched down in Hong Kong

I've been to Hong Kong before on a company organized excursion. (2 days) I enjoyed myself so much I don't mind coming back again and again. This is the GF's virgin trip to the Pearl of the Orient.

Snacks stall

We finally arrived at our hotel about 7.00pm. We were dead tired after an entire day of travelling and definitely starving. (No food on AirAsia) ;o(

After checking into our hotel (mongkok area) we hurriedly went downstairs in search for food. We didn't have to walk far before we came across a familiar sight.

Curry Fishball + Beef steak

It is the "Curry fishball" so dearly loved by the hongkies in their TVB dramas. FYI we had a whole list of food and places to visit which was thoroughly researched and meticulously jotted down on our little notepad.

This dish was right on top of our "TO EAT" list. However we didn't really like the texture as it was made of flour rather than the normal fishball we're used to having in Malaysia.

It taste more like china dumpling than fishball. The beef on the other hand was excellent. ;o)


I think we paid about HKD20 for that. This was just entree before we walked in search for our main course.

Scene around Mongkok

Our hotel is about 10mins walk from Mongkok MTR. It is strategically located steps away from Mongkok's main shopping area which includes Ladies Street, Jade Street & Sports Street.

Look at how many people there are walking about. It's like ants moving about fast forward at X3 speed. Singapore felt like a kampung compared to the hustle and bustle of HK. ;o)

Cafe De Coral

In the end we decided to try Cafe De Coral, which is a chain of food court available in almost every nook and corner of HK. There are 2 stores located just blocks away from each other.

Menu options

The menu is listed at the entrance. Everything was in chinese so we spent a while reading and grasping what's available. To make matters worst, there are tons of combinations where you add this, substract that, add a combo etc etc.

When its my turn to order I almost fainted when the counter staff asked if I wanted to add this and that, why don't I add this for just HKD15 etc etc. Took a while and the customers behind me were slightly aggitated.

I need some time to get used to the speed here man!! It's like bullet train speed. ;o(

It didn't feel this fast when I came here from Singapore. I guess staying in Australia does slow one down, mentally and physically.

Rice + gravy chicken + soup (37HKD)

This turned out to be quite a suprise. Wasn't what I thought I ordered. hehe Rice was normal, nothing to shout home about. Soup was also so-so.

(Expected the soup to be superb, since Hongkies are famous for making sky- movingly delicious soups. Maybe we were expecting too much from a food court)

BBQ rice (37HKD)

It was good, as expected from cantonese cuisine. Famous for their BBQ stuff.

37HKD (RM15) felt kinda pricey for a meal especially since we just came from super cheap Thailand. hehe

Ladies Market

After our dinner we strolled around our area. We found Ladies Market which I missed during my last trip.

Night Market

It's basically a night market. True to its name, most of the stalls here sell goods catering to the species of XX cromosomes. Its really long and it has more than 80 stalls. (my guess)

Shoes, bags, hair accessories etc etc

Stamps and Cutters

We saw lots of press stamps with various designs, including the "double happiness" stamp for making wedding invites.

We only found out back home that these "double happiness" stamps are very popular and unavailable there. We should have bought a bunch of them and sold them for exhorbitant prices.

Sexy lingerie (Notice the guy versions?)

Price haggling is a must in Ladies Market as prices here are slightly higher. The one thing I dislike is they don't show their prices. Ask in cantonese (normal high), ask in mandarin (very high), ask in english and have blonde hair (super duper confirm kena cut throat high).


If you show slight interest by asking the price, they will cling on to you like leeches, lowering their prices again and again.

If you still decline, they will scold you. One lady walked away while the furious stall owner shouted, "Give you so cheap still don't want. You go lah! If you come back price will not be so cheap anymore!!!"

Welcome to HONG KONG! ;o)

Note: Photography here must be done discreetly. Some stall owners don't your photography unless you pay. If words of wisdom are not heeded, they have prepared an entire vulgar vocabulary to scold you + entire family. (including your pets)

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