Friday, June 26, 2009

Hong Kong Trip Episode 2: The Arrival

Previous episode on my HK trip: boarded AirAsia at KLIA-LCCT and flew four hours flight to HK.

We finally landed at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) safely at around 11am.

Inter-terminal train transit.

M.I.A. (Maskman In Action), don't play play...

Hong Kong - Asia's World City

As the express train from HKIA to Hong Kong City is quite expensive, we took Express Coach Bus from HKIA to Tsim Sha Tsui - our hostel is situated there. One way bus trip by CityBus 城巴 A21 costs HKD 33.00.

Have to believe that the Airport Express 机场快线 train is way much faster than the double-decker bus that we wonder much more expensive. Single way ticket can up to HKD100 whereas to-and-fro ticket (within 30 days) can up to HKD180.

Even before reaching the city area, these condominiums have already made me stunned.
So huge and tall! How much an unit will be?

Taxis that are used to be seen in Hong Kong drama series...

Quite impressed that they make use of bamboo sticks on building renovations / constructions, instead of using metals that we commonly see.

Finally, we reached our hotel...
...which is as tall as The Peninsula Hotel...

It's the ChungKing Mansion 重慶大廈. Quite tall what, is it? lol...
Actually ChungKing Building comprises of many independent low-budget hostels for tourists. This is a very good location for backpackers as it is located at the centre of Tsim Sha Tsui, the nearest MTR (Hong Kong's light rail / subway service) Tsim Sha Tsui entrance is just opposite of the building, tourist attractions can be reached within minutes, with reasonable low room rates.

You can say ChungKing Mansion is a culture melting pot from various nationalities: besides tourists, there are a lot of South Asians, Americans, Nigerians running business or hanging around in the building. You may feel a bit insecure, but rest assured that there are security officers who look after the building 24 hours and lifts are installed with CCTVs. Don't try to dig your nose and show your ugly face while in lifts as what the CCTV captures will be shown LIVE at the LCD screens located at the ground floor's lift waiting areas. Har...

We booked our hostels through HostelWorld , a dedicated website to book cheap hostels around the world. We chose Maple Leaf Guest House as it was one of most recommended by tourists. We booked 3 nights first as we would like to check whether it's fine to stay or not.

3 bed private ensuite (with bathroom, 1 double 1 single bed) for 3 persons = US$ 51.00 per head for 3 nights. 10% deposit paid online, the rest paid upon arrival. We were welcomed by John, the owner upon alighting from the airport bus. Situated at Block E, Level 12, a nice and secured environment with clean bedroom. Although it's a bit small, with the nice room and excellent location, we extended our room stay till Sunday, means 3 more nights, each night HKD 110.00 per head.

The room, with aircond, fan, TV, bathroom, phone...正!

Rest a while...GO!

Bought ourselves Octopus Prepaid Card 八达通 at Tsim Sha Tsui MTR ticket counter before starting our journey in Hong Kong. Similar to Touch n Go in Malaysia and ez-link in Singapore, it's a cashless prepaid card system for transportation and other purchasing purposes. Paid HKD 150.00, with HKD 100.00 credit and HKD 50.00 deposit.

The MTR subway in Hong Kong. I found that even though occationally there are seats available in the train, passengers will not fight to get the seats, instead will leave it to those who need it. I think this is what we should learn from them.

First MTR journey: Tsim Sha Tsui 尖沙咀 to Sheung Wan 上环! 3 stations, HKD 7.70 gone...

Some of the snapshots around Sheung Wan when I came out from the MTR entrance. (Clockwise, from upper left) The street view of Sheung Wan from MTR entrance; Hong Kong's trademark: Trams 香港电车. Public Bank is in Hong Kong!; Sheung Wan Municipal Services Building & food centre; Western Market, one of oldest structures in Sheung Wan; some other trams, Old Town White Coffee ads on one of the trams.

Proceeded for lunch. Tried to find Cafe de Coral 大家乐, the local popular franchise food outlet. And we found it.

The interior and the price list. The cashier attendants' uniforms looked like as they were flight stewardesses.

My lunch in late afternoon:

Small BBQ Pork Rice 细碗叉烧饭. It looks plain: just char siew with rice, but it's tasty (or perhaps I too hungry?). With the gravy, even the rice tasted nice too!

and Hokkaido Fresh Milk with Coffee 北海道鲜奶咖啡. Normally coffee is the majority, fresh milk is the minority. Together with honey, reversible action applied here.

Total: HKD 24.50.

Next episode: Sheung Wan --> Central to Mid-Level Escalators!


Anonymous said...

wow hongkong!
i've never been there..
hope to visit there one day! =)

大飞<--->Daifeijay said...

You sure have the chance!
I miss Hong Kong now...