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Old 05-08-2012, 07:05 AM   #841
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40K now if only you were rewarded in equivalent $

I presume all of us (Aussies) had a ticket in the OzLotto jackpot tonight? Any winners...anyone suddenly jumping on the boards posting an unexpected lavish trip..no?

Back to your great pics-Peak circle walk-check! Looks lovely and we like to see contrasts to cities too-you are making my stopover in HK en route to England proposed trip (shhh) next year even longer though.
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Old 05-08-2012, 07:10 AM   #842
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He needs some more lessons! 30 years of togetherness and finally-my DH figures I have the answer
and gets all disconcerted when my research sometimes fails me-"why didn't you know this" he wails.
30 years? Your DH learns quicker than mine!


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40K now if only you were rewarded in equivalent $

I presume all of us (Aussies) had a ticket in the OzLotto jackpot tonight? Any winners...anyone suddenly jumping on the boards posting an unexpected lavish trip..no?

Back to your great pics-Peak circle walk-check! Looks lovely and we like to see contrasts to cities too-you are making my stopover in HK en route to England proposed trip (shhh) next year even longer though.
Alas...it's back to work for me tomorrow.

And I'm only just starting to warm up the Hong Kong sightseeing!
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Old 05-08-2012, 07:15 AM   #843
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Finishing off Victoria Peak on the Right Side



When we were starting out on our walk around the Peak, DH and I noticed something on the other side of the Tower.





Look hard! Seems like there was a Chinese style terrace on the other side. DH was keen to check it out.

As you look at the Tower, head towards the right side. There will be a walking path there. On the day we were there, there were some artists selling their paintings along this path. I don’t know if there are usually more vendors there or if this was just for this day.





The entry is about 50 m down the path. I think the Lions Club help set it up.









Hey! Don’t blame me….this was the most obvious point to shoot from behind the camera.





Whilst there was a lot of concrete, the terrace was rather charming and pretty with the bamboo and chinese architecture.





Another one that I snaffled from DH.





The view of the city from the terrace was as good as from the top of the Tower.





Anyone notice the garden in the residence just below? Seems like a lovely place for a spot of tea.








(Continued in Next Post)
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Old 05-08-2012, 07:21 AM   #844
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(Continued from Previous Post)


Two ‘Wongs’ do not make a FairWood good



At this point, we’d spent nearly 3 full days in Hong Kong and all we’d seen was Disneyland and the Peak. I was conscious that we needed to branch out further and it was because of this feeling that I ended up upsetting my father.

My father had seen Mak’s Noodle shop and Tsui Wah at the Gallery concourse. He was keen to have lunch at the peak. Given our experience the night before and coupled with my impatience to see more of Hong Kong, I was not.

This was my first mistake or ‘wong’. In hindsight, we should have eaten lunch at the Peak.

Somehow, I managed to talk him into heading back down and seeking lunch in the city. So, in a surprisingly short space of time, we entered the very empty Tram terminal…





…and on to the next tram down.





By the time we got to the Tram Terminal in Central, my dad was grumpy, hungry and tired. As luck would have it, there was a No 15 bus right there when we walked out, so we jumped on. It might have been a 10 – 15 minute walk to Central but I knew my dad was not in the mood for the walk. The bus ride saved us the walk but only allowed my dad to stew some more.

Sadly for me, I’d left some of my information behind at the hotel and was totally blind to where the places to eat in Central were.

My second ‘wong’.


I kinda knew that we needed to head towards the Lan Kwai Fong area.

The Lan Kwai Fong area is an area defined by D’Aguilar Street, Lan Kwai Fong street, Wellington Street and Wyndham Street. It is about 2 – 3 major blocks away from Central station and is famous for its night life.

It was the middle of the humid day and my dad was in no mood for aimless wandering.





I can't remember exactly if this picture is pointing in the right direction. But literally, the Lan Kwai Fong district pretty much was right there.....somewhere; but not far! Maybe as far away as the top of that little rise.


So, my mother decided to ask a worker in one of the shops for a recommendation for lunch. He pointed us to the nearest place – Fairwood, in one of the buildings along Queens Road.

Fairwood is a fast food chain that sells Chinese and Western style meals throughout the day. I was to find out later that it is the second largest fast food chain shop in Hong Kong (the first being Café de Coral). As you enter the shop, you will find a large menu board with pictures, description and a number. You will find a check-out close by, where you place your order. You can see the check out and the Fairwood logo in this picture.





The person behind the register spoke little English; so we placed our order by the menu numbers. Meals are cheap; with most items that I was interested in ranging from HK$25 - $48 (that’s about $4 - $8 in our money).

Once you order and pay, you’ll be handed the docket. Take the docket to the kitchen counter and the people behind the counter will organise your order. I think you can make out the counter at the back of the picture here.





DH told me that this system was identical to that at Maxim’s.

There are communal tables and chairs for you to sit and eat at.





For our 5 dishes and drinks, the bill came to HK$180 which is about $23 in our money. By Australian standards, these prices are incredibly reasonable for food.

As my dad was in a pretty hungry, grumpy mood, I didn’t dare ask him to wait whilst I took pictures of his meal. And my mother was sitting at the other end of the table, so I didn’t get her meal either. But this is what DH, DS and I ended up ordering.

DS went with the spaghetti bolognaise. As there was no cheese, this meal was filling but not a big hit with DS.





This was one of the ‘specials of the day’…pork chop in special sauce and fried egg with rice. The pork chop was a little tough.





DH ordered the Ma Po Tofu. On the menu board, it looked like it was a vegetarian dish. And as the check-out person didn’t speak much English, DH didn’t check. It came with value-added meat. He didn’t eat it.





My dad? He and I had words over this meal. He was not happy with Fairwood or his meal selection. I didn’t blame him.

The food here was not terrible but it wasn’t good. In my book, I would equate it to eating at McDonald’s but maybe that’s harsh. I did check with our TA friend and she quite enjoys eating in the Fairwood chains.


No prizes for guessing that my mother decided to take my dad back to hotel after this meal.




(Continued in Next Post)
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Old 05-08-2012, 07:26 AM   #845
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(Continued in Previous Post)


A little exploring around Central



We walked my parents back to Central station to make sure that they were okay. DH and I had decided that we needed to look around. Afterall, this was our first real foray into Hong Kong city!

We headed back the way we had come….
Wellington Street is but a short block away from Queens Road.





It took us all of 3 minutes to walk there. We were on the edge of the Lan Kwai Fong district and when we turned down the street, look what I found.

There was a Tsui Wah right there on Wellington Street.





Even these chickens looked like they were mocking me!





I was pulling my hair out in frustration and DS looked at me funny!




Even worse! I found a Mak's Noodles shop just down the street.


I took these pictures to show my dad later when I got back to the hotel. He and I had a very good laugh about it. Surprisingly, it was to be our only minor note of discontent for this entire trip.



Given the greenness of the Peak, this walk seems rather grey.





But Hong Kong has a most unexpected way of surprising you. Not much further along, we stumbled across….





Li Yuen Street is one of those market streets in Hong Kong. It comprises of two alleys – Li Yuen East and Li Yuen West – with stalls on both sides of each alley.





It was still early afternoon and we were to learn that most markets of this sort in Hong Kong are best explored after 3 pm. From the stalls that were opened, I could see souvenirs, clothes, bags and toys.





I had thought we would come back later during our stay to check this out when it was busier. But that was before I discovered the other markets on the Kowloon side, which I’ll cover on another day.



We kept going. There was more of Central to explore!






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Old 05-08-2012, 11:30 AM   #846
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so much fun to explore... Sounds wonderful!
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Old 05-08-2012, 01:53 PM   #847
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Glad you and your Dad did better the rest of the trip. I get grumpy when I am hungry too. It is interesting how it looks so nice on the main street and just around the corner looks so different. Cannot wait to see what you bought when you go back later to shop.
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Old 05-09-2012, 02:13 AM   #848
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Another nice set of updates! I was glad to see that if we ever did decide to go to HK that the path would be HA and she could take her scooter around it. I hope that the Tram would have accomodated a scooter/wheelchair or both.


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I will also add that the DC/NoVA/MD metro system does not have toilets either... just for future reference.
I didn't even notice that on our trip last year. Good thing we didn't need it!
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Old 05-09-2012, 08:36 AM   #849
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Another nice set of updates! I was glad to see that if we ever did decide to go to HK that the path would be HA and she could take her scooter around it. I hope that the Tram would have accomodated a scooter/wheelchair or both.




I didn't even notice that on our trip last year. Good thing we didn't need it!
And the ones in the above ground area are always locked to keep people out, you have to buy something in a business before you can use the bathroom...
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Old 05-09-2012, 08:01 PM   #850
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Originally Posted by dgbg100106 View Post
so much fun to explore... Sounds wonderful!
It took me until this point before I was over my post Disney blues. I found it a lot more fun past this point.


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Glad you and your Dad did better the rest of the trip. I get grumpy when I am hungry too. It is interesting how it looks so nice on the main street and just around the corner looks so different. Cannot wait to see what you bought when you go back later to shop.
I didn't plan my shopping time well.

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Originally Posted by franandaj View Post
Another nice set of updates! I was glad to see that if we ever did decide to go to HK that the path would be HA and she could take her scooter around it. I hope that the Tram would have accomodated a scooter/wheelchair or both.
I did try to keep an eye out for HA stuff but didn't notice if the Tram did so or not!


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And the ones in the above ground area are always locked to keep people out, you have to buy something in a business before you can use the bathroom...
I guess we'll have to plan ahead for this.
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Old 05-09-2012, 08:07 PM   #851
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Orientation from the Escalators



The Central to Mid-Level escalators is, according to the Guinness Book of Records, the longest outdoor covered escalator system in the world. Constructed in 1993, the entire system covers a length of 800 meters and elevates 135 m top to bottom.

We started our journey up the escalators at Queens Road. As with all tourist attractions, it was well sign-posted on those pink poles and finding our way there was quite easy.





We’re heading up this way!





Our first view of the travelator. From my research, I had known that the escalators was not a continuous stretch but rather a series of escalators. Despite this, I was still rather unprepared for how short each of the escalator sections were. In total, there are over 20 elevators and moving platforms in the system.





Checking out the view was something that we did a bit of during our trip up.





For the time of day that we were there, the escalators were travelling up the hill. I understand that in the morning, the escalators travel downhill for the Mid Level residents to head down to Central. Seems like quite a few people were taking the escalators.





In Australia, we stand on the left and walk on the right. I thought it was the same in Hong Kong. Perhaps there were a lot of tourists from Europe and America on the escalators.





The escalators run parallel to Cochrane Street and Shelley Street for the length. Along the way, they bisect a number of cross-streets.









Anyone else notice the bamboo scaffolding? Very common in Hong Kong!





There is one stretch of the escalators that is the longest continuous stretch.
Sadly for me, this section was under repair and was not operating. We had to resort to pedal power.





Gage Road, with the restaurant signage was definitely taunting me as well! Another one of those pictures that my dad and I laughed over.





Lyndhurst Terrace, looking towards Hollywood Road.





There is a little dog-leg to walk where the escalators move from being parallel with Cochrane Street towards Shelley Street….





…and we got to look at the façade of the Former Central District Police Station





Staunton Street is the heart of the SoHo (South of Hollywood) entertainment area, with lots of restaurants, pubs and shops.









I would have liked to stop; but we continued our climb up.





We were heading into the Mid Level District where the more affluent live. I could well imagine that on a warm, balmy night the residents would be out and about mingling in their local areas with tables and chairs out and the clack of the mah-jong tiles in the air, whilst their children played.





And still we climbed.





Until we finally reached the top of the escalators…at Conduit Road.





It had taken us about 20 – 25 minutes to climb up and when we looked back down to Central, there was only one thought that crossed our minds.

We.do.not.want.to.walk.down.



In my planning for the mid-level escalators, I had thought that we would be meandering slowly back down to Central and check out some of the local sights. I had thought we would walk to the Zoological Gardens.

In reality, whilst not hot, it was a humid day and we all only had one thought on our mind….a swim in the hotel pool!

As DH and I stood there debating what to do, we noticed a young family nearby…mother, father and two kids; one in a stroller. They had also done the climb on the escalators and were wondering how to get back down. They had planned to go up to Victoria Peak.

Thankfully for us, a local walking his dog saw us and stopped to help.

Between my Cantonese and his English, we managed to work out that our options were to catch a taxi or catch a mini bus.


Conduit Street is a rather narrow street with seemingly little traffic. But every so often a taxi will whizz by. The young family got lucky, the third taxi to go by was empty and I can only imagine that they caught it to the top of the Peak.



Us? Well….when you get to the top of Conduit Street, take a look to your right. About 10 – 20 m down the road, you’ll see this.




We waited about 5 minutes and a No 3 green minibus came by.

I swiped these next two from DH’s set of pictures. The local told us that the minibus would take us past the Zoological Gardens. If you take a look at DH’s first picture, you’ll see the Zoological Garden walls in the front.





The local also said that the bus would terminate at the ifc mall. No prizes for guessing that we all decided to stop off here.







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Old 05-09-2012, 08:12 PM   #852
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(Continued from Previous Post)


Another Hong Kong public transport institution



We had just spent a rather enjoyable time orienteering ourselves around Central and the Mid Level escalators. I would say that if anyone feels the urge to jump off the escalators; do so at that time rather than continuing to trek upwards to the end. You can always come back to the escalators and continue your journey. I had thought that I’d be meandering back down after the orientation; but when we got to the top, we just didn’t feel like the walk. You might feel differently to me but if I had that afternoon over again, I would have gotten off to do a little side exploration on the way up.

In any event, thanks to a little local advice, we made our way to ifc complex. The ifc or the International Financial Centre comprises of a number of buildings. The IFC consists of two skyscrapers, the mall and the Four Seasons Hotel.

As the green mini-bus was driving near the mall, both DH and I were completely awestruck by the size of this shop! The first Apple store to open in Hong Kong.





The ifc is quite a hub for public transport. It is the Hong Kong Station, which, if you are catching the MTR from Sunny Bay, this is where the line terminates. It is also where you would catch the Airport Express from.





DH and I happily spent some time exploring the shops of the ifc. There was quite a nice array of international brands in the mall and we were doing a fair bit of window shopping and price comparison.

DS….well, he got bored and really wanted to go back to the hotel for that swim.



I did say that the ifc was a hub for public transport. Well….it wasn’t just for the buses, mini-buses and the MTR. Within a 5 – 10 minute walk over another one of those overhead walkways…





…with a view back to the Central District buildings….





….is the Central Pier.





Have Octopus Card, will travel!

We swiped our cards and walked to the boarding area for the Star Ferry heading towards Tsim Sha Tsui. We were going to be travelling on one of these!





We got on board and took a look back at Central Pier.





And we’re on our way!

That tall building in this picture is one of the ifc towers. It is the second tallest building in Hong Kong.





I took a picture of Hong Kong Island. That building in front is the HK Convention and Exhibition Centre. The Golden Bauhinia Square is in front and is the site where Hong Kong was handed back to the Chinese. I had planned to visit the square but it just never happened on this trip. This would be the closest I would get.





As with every other form of public transport we would take, the Star Ferry interiors were rather clean.





It seemed to only take 5 minutes to cross the Harbour to the Star Ferry Pier in TST. From memory, I think it cost less than $1 in our money for this trip.





I put my camera away at this stage. There were heaps of people around the Star Ferry terminal area. We were in the tourist and transport hub for TST.
Along the waterfront side of this area, you’ll find the HK Cultural Centre, the Space Museum, the Museum of Art and the start for the Avenue of the Stars.


We walked along Salisbury Road as we were heading back towards the back of the Peninsula Hotel to catch our hotel shuttle back. It was roughly a 5 – 10 minute walk.

As we had to walk past the 1881 Heritage building, DS let me take some snaps.













1881 Heritage is one of those landmark Colonial Buildings in Hong Kong, that is now converted to an up-market shopping mall and hotel. We would need to come back!

For now, we caught the shuttle back to the hotel and enjoyed a swim in the pool. There would still be time for a bit more sightseeing later.





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Old 05-09-2012, 09:14 PM   #853
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Well Princess I finally got a chance to start and read your HK trip report from the first page to Escalators and Ferry. You are an amazing writer and photographer and after spending the last couple hours with you I feel like I have gotten a taste of Disneyland Hong Kong!

What a family adventure! I truly look forward to more of your wonderful humor and mouth-watering food porn! I'm glad I saved your PTR/TR for post-surgery; it's the best reading I've had in a long time!

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Old 05-09-2012, 11:43 PM   #854
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The red Pac Man sticks out like a sore thumb. I used to watch my Dad play that for hours when I was growing up. Those escalators remind me of a larger version of the ones at Universal in Hollywood. My husband's Aunt refuses to even go down them, because she does not want to come back up. Your pictures from the ferry are awesome. When we go to Hong Kong, I know my Apple obsessed husband will be going into that store.
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Old 05-10-2012, 03:11 AM   #855
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We only got about halfway up the escalators before we decided to walk back down. My plan had been to get off at each level and explore a little, but that wasn't too exciting for the kids. DH and I saw lots of little pubs and cafes that we would have loved to have stopped at, but alas it wasn't to be.

We were wondering about those little green mini buses! That's for explaining what they were .
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