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Old 05-10-2012, 07:25 AM   #856
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Wow, those are alot of esculators. Along way up. I noticed people carrying different types of bags. Arnold Palmer, I love Paris. That would be a heck of walk back down, but great excercise... I also notice in your food walk there was a burger place, I wonder how that would of tasted? I am glad your dad was a good sport about it later. I have to ask, in using HK money what is the largest bill and what is the smallest bill? When you say 25 - 48 it almost seems like you would be carrying around alot of currency.

I would love to explore that mall. Those little vendors do they do bargins with people? Or are they not very pricey? Looking forward to more of the good story telling you do, along with the pics.
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Old 05-10-2012, 09:00 AM   #857
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Originally Posted by PrincessInOz View Post
Orientation from the Escalators

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

Maybe just me, but I saw this and just pictured Jackie Chan and 20 bad guys scurrying around here throwing wrenches and bamboo logs at eachother while swinging off of ropes. Happens every day in HK - right? (Westerners view of HK!)
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Old 05-10-2012, 10:29 PM   #858
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Nice update. You did well if that was the only grumpy time.
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Old 05-11-2012, 05:56 AM   #859
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klmall View Post
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!

Kathy
Kathy - . So glad you made it over here and I'm glad that youre enjoying the TR. Hope that you are making a speedy recovery.


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Originally Posted by kmedina View Post
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.
Pac Man? I'm not sure that I spotted that in my pictures???


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Originally Posted by ehsmum View Post
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 .
The green mini buses cost about double the price of the standard buses and the MTR. I think this might have been the only time we caught the mini bus; but the stop was most conveniently located. They also take Octopus Card for payment.


Quote:
Originally Posted by usnuzuloose View Post
Wow, those are alot of esculators. Along way up. I noticed people carrying different types of bags. Arnold Palmer, I love Paris. That would be a heck of walk back down, but great excercise... I also notice in your food walk there was a burger place, I wonder how that would of tasted? I am glad your dad was a good sport about it later. I have to ask, in using HK money what is the largest bill and what is the smallest bill? When you say 25 - 48 it almost seems like you would be carrying around alot of currency.

I would love to explore that mall. Those little vendors do they do bargins with people? Or are they not very pricey? Looking forward to more of the good story telling you do, along with the pics.
I remember having $10, $20, $50, $100, $500 and $1000 bank notes. The funny thing about the bank notes were that printing is not done by a central bank. It seems that each of the different banks will print their own notes and whilst the colours of each denomination are roughly the same; the pictures are all completely different.
There are coins in the Hong Kong currency system as well. I do remember a $1 and $5 coin.

And you'll have to wait till Market Day to see how the vendors were.


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Originally Posted by skier_pete View Post
Maybe just me, but I saw this and just pictured Jackie Chan and 20 bad guys scurrying around here throwing wrenches and bamboo logs at eachother while swinging off of ropes. Happens every day in HK - right? (Westerners view of HK!)

R-I-G-H-T. I just missed the bad guys swinging off when I took that shot!



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Nice update. You did well if that was the only grumpy time.
Yes. We did do rather well with that one and only grumpy time.
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Old 05-11-2012, 05:59 AM   #860
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Party@8 - Picking your travel buddies by School Playground rules


Much as I hate to admit it, DS had been right to drag his parents out of the ifc mall and back to the hotel for a swim. The hotel pool, whilst nothing to shout about, had one amazing feature….the view. I didn’t bring my camera down on this visit but there will be pictures later.

It was great to go for the swim and just have some time away from the hustle and bustle of the city. And this would set the trend of our go-see’s for the rest of the week. We’d be out and about early then head back to the hotel late afternoon for a bit of down time; followed by activity at night.
We did catch up with my parents when we got back to the hotel. Turns out they didn’t head straight back either. Our TA friend had finished her ancestral visitation and had called them up. She met them at Central and they walked around there for a bit as well.


Those of you that followed the PTR will know that when I planned this trip, my parents had decided it was a good idea to come along.


Well…..if I knew how the travel party would have eventually turned out….

Remember the old school days of picking teams? Someone would be the originator and they would pick someone to be on their team. That someone would then pick someone else to be on that team and so on.

For this trip, I was the originator. The party = 3.


I picked my parents. The party = 5.


Because we were going to Hong Kong and because my parents were going to be there, our TA friend decided she would come and join us as well. She didn’t want to ‘do Disney’; so she joined us at the end of Day 3, when we changed hotels. The party = 6.


As a result of her being in Hong Kong, the Angel and his wife decided to stop in Hong Kong for a couple of extra days before heading on to China. The Angel and his wife also stayed at the same hotel and they arrived on Day 4. The party = 8 (and it would grow some more!).



I met Mr and Mrs Angel for the first time on this afternoon. DS and the Angel hit it off and Mrs Angel was, well….an angel to hang out with. She was fun and vibrant and witty.


With the Party@8, we arranged to meet in the hotel lobby for the night’s activity.





(Continued in Next Post)
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Old 05-11-2012, 06:03 AM   #861
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(Continued from Previous Post)


The Elephant Realm Landmark



The thing about having a local with us is that they know how to get about locally. Left with my MTR map, I would have chosen a completely different way of getting to our destination.

Our TA friend took us to the back side of the Hung Hom Train Station to the Bus terminal there. As today was Ching Ming day and a public holiday, bus number 107 was running. We were to hop on it and it would take us where we wanted to go. It was one of those double decker buses and we sat at the top where I got the front window seat.





Rather than cut across town, this bus headed straight through the Cross Harbour Tunnel.





I really had no idea where we were but I recognised some of those buildings ahead. I’m guessing we were in the Wan Chai district on Hong Kong Island.





This route took us through another tunnel…..





….the Aberdeen Tunnel!





Our destination tonight…that landmark of Hong Kong, the Elephant Realm…..Jumbo Kingdom. The bus had taken about 20 minutes to get here.






The Jumbo Kingdom Floating Restaurant is located in Aberdeen Harbour. It is one of those institutions in Hong Kong that feature in almost every postcard that depicts Hong Kong attractions.


Envy – more than anything else – has placed the Jumbo Floating Restaurant high on my bucket list. As a child of 8 or 9, a friend of mine from school sent me a post card from her school holiday from Hong Kong. It was of the Jumbo Floating Restaurant and ever since that time, this place has been on my bucket list to visit. Admittedly Hong Kong itself has never figured high up in my bucket list; but when opportunity came a-knocking, I moved HK on up the list. So, Jumbo was pretty high on my target hit list of sites to go-see in Hong Kong.

Lucky for me, it was also pretty high on the list for Mrs Angel.


Located in the middle of the Harbour, we needed to find a way to get out to the restaurant itself. There are two docks like this one where you can catch a free ferry shuttle out to the restaurant.





It was definitely my day for ferries!





The apartments in Aberdeen twinkled in the night; but they all seemed rather close to each other. Aberdeen itself is still famous for seafood and there are still fishing boats that catch seafood in this harbour.





You might have noticed that there were two ferry sheds side by side in that dock. The second shed will take you to the Tai Pak floating restaurant. It also belongs to the same consortium that owns Jumbo.





And right next door….with the welcome mat burning bright…





Jumbo Floating Restaurant (I had to swipe this picture from DH’s set. He had a much better angle than me in the boat!)





The dock that we departed from approaches the restaurant at an angle. There is another dock that approaches it front-on. We never did head that way; so this is as good as it gets!

My pictures, as the boat closed in to dock, turned out like this.





I was starting to get the impression that this place was going to be ornately opulent!









From the deck of the restaurant, I could see the second dock.





But we weren’t here to look at docks…we’re here to go-see inside.





(Continued in Next Post)
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Old 05-11-2012, 06:08 AM   #862
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(Continued from Previous Post)


Inside the bowels of the Elephant



There are 3 main levels in the complex. When you enter, you’ll find the middle dominated by a flight of stairs.





I’m not sure if I like the colour tone of this level. But it does need to have the appropriate signage.









I preferred the mosaic on the next level up.





It was really intricate and oriental in design.





And there WERE elephants in the room!





There seems to be two restaurants in here, entry off the stairs. I was standing with my back against the mosaic wall when I took this picture.





Aside from the restaurants, there is a Top Deck…bar area….





…and rooftop garden space.








I liked the feel of the space here. Seems like a nice place to hang out and have drinks.



The Party@8 now had a decision to make. Our TA friend had arranged to catch up with some of her friends locally. They were waiting to find out if we wanted to eat at Jumbo Kingdom or if we wanted to eat elsewhere.

Angel and his wife and I were keen to eat at the Jumbo Kingdom. Afterall, it was meant to be one of those tourist traps that was almost a rite of passage for any tourist in Hong Kong. So, we called it and were going to be staying here for dinner.

And then I walked into the restaurant at the top.









The empty tables spoke volumes and I had a word with our TA friend and the Angels. We reversed our earlier decision and decided to eat elsewhere. I know our TA friend was relieved. She had lived in Aberdeen, after all.
In any event, I had seen what I needed to see here.



We got back to the dock and on a shuttle boat.





As we pulled away, I realised that the Jumbo Kingdom is now ticked off my bucket list. For me, this sight-seeing trip had been well worth it. Jumbo Kingdom has to be seen and experienced first-hand rather than through a postcard. Even the locals will tell you that...and the locals will also tell you not to eat there. I couldn't say either way about the food; so I'll go with the local intel.







(Continued in Next Post)
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Old 05-11-2012, 06:13 AM   #863
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(Continued from Previous Post)


Always Eat where the Locals Eat



I believe that we had taken the shuttle ferry to Jumbo Kingdom from the Aberdeen Promenade. In any event, the Aberdeen Promenade is where we returned to.


Aberdeen was just across the road (we used the pedestrian overpass). Our TA friend had called her friends, who had been waiting for us in Aberdeen and who also had made a booking for a table at a local restaurant. I was to find out that these friends of our TA would have cancelled the table and taken the ferry across to Jumbo Kingdom if we had chosen to stay.


Wherever and whenever I have travelled in the past, I have always maintained that we are best eating where the locals eat. This philosophy in life has served me relatively well in the past. Although with today’s lunch at Fairwood, I had been reminded that it was not 100% fool-proof. Whilst I was to test it out again tonight, I think I always knew that tonight’s dinner came with a ‘satisfaction guaranteed’ stamp – ALWAYS eat where the LOCALS eat!


Aberdeen shops and restaurants, as a tourist attraction, just do not figure on anyone’s list. The MTR currently does not head out in this direction and aside from the Jumbo Kingdom, it really is a district for the locals. You will pass Aberdeen on the way to Ocean Park; but the next areas along from Aberdeen, Repulse Bay and Stanley Market, are real drawcards for tourists. So, aside from looking at the apartment blocks from the bus, and Jumbo Kingdom aside, most people just drive on by.

This may change in the future as the MTR will be expanding its network out this way. There will definitely be a MTR station at Ocean Park and I believe (but am not 100% sure) that there will be one at Aberdeen as well.


So it was that our Party@8 ended up at a restaurant in Aberdeen.





Paramount Banquet Hall restaurant is located on the 1st floor of the Aberdeen Centre Hoi Lung Court in Nam Ning Street in Aberdeen. I gather that there are three other branches around Hong Kong. It is right around the corner from the Aberdeen bus transit but aside from the 107 at Hong Hum, which is a public holiday and weekend special, I don’t know how else to get there.

The restaurant serves food in the Guangdong or Yue cuisine style, which is to say that the flavours of food are to be delicate and tender. The main ingredient of the dish is meant to shine and all other flavours are toned down. We were not going to be experiencing spicy food here.





DH obviously thought he was doing the sweet thing by posing for this picture. But then again, I don’t think he expect me to share it on the Dis. However, it’s the only one I have that shows some of the restaurant.





Crystal chandeliers in the Hong Kong restaurants are the norm. The restaurants all double up as reception banquet places; so the light fittings are dressed appropriately for weddings.


Our party@8 increased to party@12 for this dinner. Our TA friend had 2 friends that she used to work with for dinner. One of them brought her adult daughter along and the last person in the party was the TA’s BiL, who also happened to be in Hong Kong for a visit. He lives in New Zealand. And because I need to provide a name for everyone, let’s just go with S, I1 and I2 (mother and daughter) and BiL.


But let’s get to dinner.

We ordered drinks all round.





And then we were left in the hands of S and I1 for the meal.

I must say that I was a little bit wary about Guangdong or Yue style banquet food. Aside from Dim Sum, it is renowned for “rare” ingredients such as snake, snails and all sorts of organ meats. And we weren't having Dim Sum tonight!

We started with a plate of traditional Chinese cold meats – jelly fish and pork.





We also got a platter of Siew Yoke, crispy skin roasted pork. The crackling was divine!





Lotus root with greens. Lotus root was a favourite of mine as a child. Still is.





Abalone with home made fish balls. The abalone was perfectly done and beautifully tender.





Fish – I never quite worked out which type it was – and green vegetables. There are cashew nuts in this dish. So those of you with a peanut allergy, I advise against licking the screen.





Pork in a sweet and sour like sauce (but it wasn’t). The pork had been fried with some sort of thin batter beforehand. The batter was a really thin skin, rather like tempura, and still had a slight crunch to it despite being coated with that lovely sauce.





These prawns had been steamed with the ‘nuts’ you can see. I think they may have been gingko!





This was the tofu dish, in an oyster based sauce. The tofu was wonderfully silky and soft inside; despite the fried puffiness on the outside.





The steamed fish. Perfectly done. The topping are pickled chinese vegetables. Rather unusual to my taste as I’m so used to having steamed fish with ginger and shallots and soya sauce.





Scallops with fried egg white. As you can see, the yolk was left whole and raw for us to mix in to the dish before serving.





The pork in this dish was really lean and tender. The sauce was more savoury i.e., salty than the sweet and sour we previously had.






This dish was technically not part of our banquet. DS needed something more ‘Western Chinese’ to eat.





Aside from DS’ fried rice, I don’t think we had rice with this meal. The locals we were eating with are used to eating just the dishes, no rice. So we didn’t order any. And given the number of dishes that came out, none of us needed rice.

We did finish up the meal with a complimentary plate of fruit……which included more dragon fruit.





As we headed home, I thought over the meal we had just had.





Our dinner didn’t include as many unknown meats in it as I had feared. I guess the locals that we were eating with also shared my food boundaries. We had a great time that night getting to know our TA friends and family – and they were all fantastic people to spend time with. It was during the course of this dinner that we made arrangements for Saturday. You’ll have to wait for Day 7 of this TR to find out what it was.

As expected, eating where the locals eat had been the winning strategy. For me, this meal was incredible value for money and rather tasty, despite not having any spice.

The cost? This was the most ridiculously cheap banquet we had on this trip. For the food that came out, we were up for HK$125 per person. That’s about $16 in our money.

I think I can live without the spice at that price!




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Old 05-11-2012, 06:52 AM   #864
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Highly informative-as always and you have solved a puzzle for me-on our Japan trip I had a crunchy veg a couple of times that I really enjoyed but had no idea what it was-thank you-lotus root!
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Old 05-11-2012, 02:19 PM   #865
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That restaurant is beautiful. I am glad you got to see it. It must have done the postcard some justice. The empty restaurant was not a good sign, so it was a good idea to eat where the locals eat. Glad you had a great dinner, and the restaurant you ate at looked pretty nice too. I love your discussion on what to call people. Choosing a name can be a lot of fun. My DH makes me call him Crap (Bag) whenever I refer to him on the DIS.

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Pac Man? I'm not sure that I spotted that in my pictures??? :
It’s the 8th picture on post 851 under the Game & Fun sign. Pac Man is yellow, not red.
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Old 05-12-2012, 08:45 AM   #866
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The food looked divine!
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Old 05-12-2012, 05:00 PM   #867
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Highly informative-as always and you have solved a puzzle for me-on our Japan trip I had a crunchy veg a couple of times that I really enjoyed but had no idea what it was-thank you-lotus root!
Glad to have solved the puzzle for you.

If you liked the lotus root, most chinese grocers sell them (pre-cut/sliced) in the frozen section.....


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Originally Posted by kmedina View Post
That restaurant is beautiful. I am glad you got to see it. It must have done the postcard some justice. The empty restaurant was not a good sign, so it was a good idea to eat where the locals eat. Glad you had a great dinner, and the restaurant you ate at looked pretty nice too. I love your discussion on what to call people. Choosing a name can be a lot of fun. My DH makes me call him Crap (Bag) whenever I refer to him on the DIS.



It’s the 8th picture on post 851 under the Game & Fun sign. Pac Man is yellow, not red.
I checked with the locals. The food there isn't all bad.....just expensive.

Crapbag? (I was going to ask why) never mind.

And thanks for pointing out the pacman. I had to go back to look before I realised that he almost nearly blended into that red sign.


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The food looked divine!
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Old 05-12-2012, 08:38 PM   #868
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Glad you enjoyed your dinner. Unfortunately my kids are picky eaters, so we didn't get to sample too much of the local cuisine. We did enjoy the dragon fruit though!

Yes, the MTR is extending to Aberdeen. After our Sampan ride, we were waiting for our bus back to Central when we spotted the MTR sign and decided to hop on a train instead. We couldn't figure out how to get into the station though and eventually realized that it was under construction and not open yet! :lol:
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Old 05-13-2012, 01:19 AM   #869
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Crapbag? (I was going to ask why) never mind.

And thanks for pointing out the pacman. I had to go back to look before I realised that he almost nearly blended into that red sign.
Long story short. He is private and does not want me to mention his name, which is unique. Google his name, and he is the only one. Do the same for me and you cannot even find me. The iconic show Friends is a favorite of ours. When Phoebe jokes about changing her name to Princess Consuela Banana Hammock, Mike insists that she will have to call him Crap Bag if she does. DH insisted that I call him Crap (Bag) if I felt the need to mention him on the DIS.

No problem. It stuck out to me, because my Dad can play the same man for hours.
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Old 05-13-2012, 01:20 AM   #870
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Happy Birthday!!!
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