Hong Kong no Phooey TR (Apr 2012)! The Yee's have it....TR finish #1101, 07/09

Discussion in 'Hong Kong Disneyland' started by PrincessInOz, Oct 26, 2011.

  1. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2010
    Messages:
    98,132
    There are at least 3 or 4 buildings where the lights are slightly different in the pictures.

    And the way I looked at it with the taxi, I had two other taxis stolen from me. This one stopped because I flagged it down but it stopped 10 m away and this family just appeared out of no where. So, I just claimed it back. :goodvibes


    I'll live with not eating at Mak's Noodles. The alternative was tasty.
    I think that DS learnt a very valuable lesson that night. When you have the chance to go to the bathroom, don't wait. After that night, whenever we were out and about and before we headed back to catch public transport, he completely understood why we all took a restroom break first.


    I love your animal towels! They are so cute!

    I'd like to think that the push and shove happened because the mainland chinese people were on holiday that week. When we queued up at places where the local Hong Kong people were (and non-tourist spots), everyone was really orderly and respected personal space. WHEN you decide to go, just check the holidays for China and if you manage to avoid going at their holidays, I figure it will be better.


    I was sorry too. It was actually quite funny....we had been served tea; and when they realised we needed a vegetarian meal, two of them followed us out of the shop!


    I didn't plan shopping time well at all. :sad1:
     
  2. Avatar

    Google AdSense Guest Advertisement


    to hide this advert.
  3. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2010
    Messages:
    98,132
    The Yee’s Have It – Back to Victoria Peak


    Day 4 of this vacation and it was Ching Ming Day.


    The Festival of Ching Ming is a Chinese tradition celebrated either on the 4th or 5th of April. The tradition involves ancestral worship where family members show their respect by visiting the graves of their ancestors to clear away weeds, touch up gravestone inscriptions and make offerings of wine and fruit. It is also known as Grave Sweeping Day and is also celebrated in Japan and Korea.

    The impact on us was two-fold. The first was that our TA friend was going to be busy for the morning with her grave sweeping; and the second was that we would be better to avoid any temples or public transport routes near cemeteries.

    I had originally thought that we might go to the Big Buddha today; but the plans were changed when I realised it was Ching Ming day. I then thought that we could go to Ocean Park today; but Vien, that lifeguard at the Disneyland Hotel told me that people also tend to head to the theme parks on Ching Ming day because it was a public holiday. She recommended we avoid Ocean Park on this day.



    I had checked with my parents; and they were keen to head to the Peak. In the times they had been to Hong Kong, they had gone to the Peak every time. However, they had not yet taken the Peak Tram up to the Peak. My mother in particular, was incredibly enthusiastic about catching the Tram.


    The Yee’s Have it Again! We were to re-trace our steps from last night and head back to Victoria Peak. When I had planned this trip and was looking at Victoria Peak, I had a hard time working out if I should visit during the day or the night. I really wanted to see the lights at night; which we did last night; and I also really wanted to see the Peak during the day as well. With 8 full days in Hong Kong, I knew we had time to do this attraction twice. So, heading back there again…and in the daytime….was something that I was keen to do. DH, on the other hand, wasn’t so sure.


    We arranged to meet my parents in the lobby at 8.30 am so that we could get an early start and get to the Tram terminal early. The best laid plans…..


    DS and my dad were hungry when we got down. They wanted food.


    Our hotel is located right next to the Metropolis Mall. One of the selling points for staying here was that my parents had raved about the food court at the Mall and how there was this one particular shop that served fantastic rice congee and other Asian savouries for breakfast. So, we headed to the food court. It was smarter than us....it was still asleep.

    [​IMG]



    Turns out the owner of that particular shop retired. It is now an electronic device shop.



    To cut a long story short, we eventually found a restaurant in the mall that was opened and serving dim sum. We ordered some BBQ pork buns to go…and waited….and waited…..and waited. It took over 20 minutes for us to get those steamed buns.

    The wait made me rather anxious as I knew we needed to get to the Tram Terminal early in order to avoid the queues.

    We caught the train from Hong Hum station to East Tsim Sha Tsui. From there we were going to transit to the Tsim Sha Tsui (TST) station and catch the Red line to Central.

    I will digress a little here for those of you wondering about the TST/East TST stations relationship. There are two separate train stations on the MTR map listed in the Tsim Sha Tsui area. On the map, it looks like you can interchange between the two stations. Yes you can; but you need to exit out of the station and WALK at least 5 – 10 minutes in order to ENTER the other station.

    [​IMG]



    I understand from our TA friend that if you use an Octopus Card, the interchange is not meant to cost you any money. This may be the case…but I have to say that the Hong Hum to East TST leg chews up HK$3.50 every time I walked out the exit (about $0.50 in our money) and re-started the journey leg again when I walked back in the TST entry. Considering that we were heading into the city and out at least twice a day, I quickly learnt that it was cheaper and more convenient to use the hotel shuttle bus to take us to the TST station. Afterall, whilst each journey was $0.50 in our money, for the 3 of us, at 4 trips back and forth a day, that was $6 in our money per day that we ended up not having to spend on train travel.



    Anyway….moving along. The MTR trains are really impressive as they are so clean. Take a look….

    [​IMG]



    See the bags? That was us yesterday!

    [​IMG]




    I had learnt yesterday that where to go and which train station to go to was not the most important question when one seeks direction in Hong Kong. Afterall, the tourist maps are great and you can easily see what the nearest MTR station is.

    No….the most important question to ask is what EXIT to take. Let me demonstrate what I mean. Take a look at this map of the TST/East TST area.

    [​IMG]



    Anyone notice that the last letter on the exit list is ‘P’? There is a similar board on the other side of the map; and I counted at least 20 exits alone for this station.


    Except for a couple of anomalies, most stations that we got off at had a minimum of 5 exits.



    Take another look at the map. You might notice red ‘dots’ or marks on the map. Those are the exits and there is quite a geographic spread for these exits. If you happen to choose the wrong exit, you might find yourself blocks away from where you really wanted to be.

    So, if you are asking for directions on how to get somewhere and are using the MTR, make sure you also ask which exit to take. It will save you a little time and confusion; and also help you blend into the local scene a little bit better.



    Our destination was Central Station and I had yet to remember to ask that second and more important question. DH and I figured that we found our way yesterday; we would find our way again today.

    Problem was, I was sure we took the exit near Ice House Street yesterday. DH was sure we took a different exit.

    You would think that DH and I would have learnt by now that I am nearly ALWAYS right! We went with DH’s exit.

    Nowhere near Ice House Street and nothing looked familiar!

    We looked around and tried to ask a few people for help. Yeah. Public holiday and all that…this was who we found.

    [​IMG]



    We had ended up in Statue Square, which used to hold the statues of English Royals such as Queen Victoria, Prince Albert, Prince Edward VII and George V. Now, only the banker statue remains.

    The architecture around the square was rather interesting; but I somehow seemed to have missed taking pictures of it. I did get this water feature.

    [​IMG]



    We eventually found someone walking by, and they pointed us in the right direction.

    [​IMG]




    We had ended up two blocks further away from where we had exited the night before.

    Still, it took us 15 minutes to walk to our destination and we walked past St John’s Cathedral along the way.

    [​IMG]



    The Peak Tram terminal is located at Central's Garden Road St Joseph Building.

    [​IMG]



    Can you see those poles in the walkway? They do connect them with the stretchy rope when the crowds get busy. Last night, the crowd stretched all the way from the left hand side, where the green truck is, round where DS and DH are standing all the way to the right where the purple flag is…and back and back again. The 90 minute sign was 3 lines deep near the purple flag.

    [​IMG]


    I was particularly pleased to see the lack of people; but then it was still before 10 am in the morning. I had stressed for nothing.

    We used our Octopus Cards for our entry and it was walk right in! I think that the price of the Peak tram using the OC was a little bit more than purchasing a ticket from the counter. I do remember thinking maybe we should have bought a ticket rather than using the OC; but it wasn’t enough of a difference for me to stress too much about it.

    [​IMG]



    We waited for the next tram…

    [​IMG]



    …and hopped right in. There was no pushing and shoving.


    If you have the choice, make sure you get a seat on the right hand side of the tram (the right side as you face up towards the Peak).

    [​IMG]



    And we’re off and heading up the Peak. I got the seat right at the back of the tram so that I could take pictures looking straight down the tracks.

    [​IMG]



    The scenery just kept whizzing on by..

    [​IMG]



    …as we kept climbing higher and higher.

    [​IMG]




    Central kept getting further and further away.

    [​IMG]




    We climbed to the heights of the skyscrapers….

    [​IMG]



    …and beyond.

    [​IMG]




    We had left the city well and truly below.

    [​IMG]




    And in a relatively short space of time, we were at the Peak Station.

    [​IMG]



    I snaffled this from DH’s collection…I guess it shows what I was doing for the trip up.

    [​IMG]




    (Continued in Next Post)
     
  4. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2010
    Messages:
    98,132
    (Continued from Previous Post)


    Soft mounds at the Peak



    We’d caught the Peak Tram and arrived at Victoria Peak in the daytime. The tram ride was a hit with my travel companions. The journey and the view certainly lived up to my expectations and I was not disappointed with this excursion.

    But now that we were back at the top, aside from checking out the view….what else was there to keep us occupied?

    None of us want to head up to the Tower again. My parents had been twice before and they didn’t feel the urge to. As it turned out, my mum really wanted to walk around the souvenir shops in the Gallery and my dad wanted to people watch. They were happy to wait for us.


    I had wanted to go for a walk around the Peak but DH thought he’s check out what else was on offer by asking at Information Services.

    So, whilst we were waiting for DH, I headed into the Jungle Juice shop in the Tower building.

    For about HK$40 (about $6 in our money), I scored me these snacks. Soft mounds of deliciousness!

    [​IMG]



    We were to find these sorts of panna cotta bottles, with a variety of flavours, in a few ‘sweet’ shops in Tsim Sha Tsui. I chose to buy the standard vanilla panna cotta and the pandan panna cotta.

    Pandan is a flavour that is widely used in the South East Asian region. The flavour comes from the leaves of the screwpine plant (Pandanus Amarylliforius) and adds a wonderful aromatic sweet, nutty, woody and vanilla-like bouquet to the food. Its smell is more intense and intoxicating than vanilla and when you taste it, there is a complete rounded taste in your mouth more rewarding than butterscotch. Much like vanilla, a little bit of the pandan flavour goes a long way.

    The pandan panna cotta was fantastic. DS had chosen to have the fruit cup; but I ended up having to get him a bottle of his own after he tasted our panna cottas.


    By this stage, DH had come back with information and advice from Information Services. He had decided that we should take a walk around the Peak.

    I just love it when he finds out stuff that I already know.




    (Continued in Next Post)
     
  5. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2010
    Messages:
    98,132
    (Continued from Previous Post)


    The Left Side of Victoria Peak by Day



    Our walk today would take us round the Peak on Lugard Road. The walk circles right round and connects to Harlech Road, which gets you back to where you start from. Our starting point is to the left of the Peak Tower and is sign-posted.

    Hong Kong tourist information is very organised. Everywhere you go (where tourists are expected to go), there are sign posts like this. For English speakers, it is a very easy city to get around and to ask for directions or to check out the street signs and posts.

    [​IMG]



    It provides amazing panoramic views of Victoria Harbour, Central, Kowloon, Mid-Levels and some of the outer Islands.

    DH was keen to hurry me along.

    [​IMG]



    I needed to take a quick look back at where we had started from.

    [​IMG]



    I loved the greenness of the walk.

    [​IMG]



    Lugard Road has residents living on it. Most of the houses are pretty exclusive and can trace their history back to English Colonial days. They were also pretty secluded from the walk.

    [​IMG]



    But every now and again, there would be opulent signs of the exclusivity.

    [​IMG]



    I liked that the walk contain information signs about the trees and plants.

    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]




    We also got great views of Hong Kong along the way. This one is looking down at the Mid-Levels and Central district and Kowloon on the other side.

    [​IMG]



    The gorgeous Harbour, with Ferry activity!

    [​IMG]



    The two shutterbugs were having fun! And it isn’t often that my dawdling son leads the pack.

    [​IMG]



    The view was spectacular and made even more so by the steep drop-offs of the Peak.

    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]



    There were also information posts about the area’s history. I did spend a bit of time reading each of them.

    [​IMG]



    The walk was not hard as the terrain was mostly flat. DS needed to take the odd breather here and there but he declined to stop here.

    [​IMG]



    (Continued in Next Post)
     
  6. ACDSNY

    ACDSNY I love my job! I love my job! I love my job!

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Messages:
    10,738
    If I ever go to HK I might need you to go along or we'll never get a taxi, neither DH or I are very pushy.:rotfl2:

    Beautiful skyline pictures.
     
  7. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2010
    Messages:
    98,132
    (Continued from Previous Post)


    This lookout was about 30 minutes into the walk (and that was with us stopping lots for pictures, reading and rests). I suspected it was the half-way point.

    [​IMG]



    It was incredibly green, and the plants were an indication to me that Hong Kong must be a very humid place.

    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]



    This Indian Rubber Tree is straight out of the memories of my childhood! I remember playing underneath many of these in my youth.

    [​IMG]



    At the 40 minute mark, we started to see signs of civilisation again. I was fooled into thinking that the end was near.

    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]



    But we turned another corner and I realised we still had a bit more to go.

    [​IMG]



    We had made it to Harlech Road.

    [​IMG]



    The picnic area was well used.

    [​IMG]



    As were the exercise stops along the way.

    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]



    Somewhere in the distance is Lantau Island. I’d had a full day away from Disney so the pull wasn’t as strong as it had been the night before.

    [​IMG]



    There is a pretty little waterfall feature along this road. I liked that the impatients were just blooming and adding their colour to the scene.

    [​IMG]



    Are we there yet? Not quite and not long to go.

    [​IMG]



    I guess this is the circuit we had walked.

    [​IMG]



    It took us just a little over an hour to complete the walk, with loads of stops. We had a lot of fun on it and we were all glad to have done it. The views had been great and it was nice to see the greenery in Hong Kong.



    princess::upsidedow
     
  8. ACDSNY

    ACDSNY I love my job! I love my job! I love my job!

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Messages:
    10,738
    Victoria Peak looks like a fun place to explore in the daytime. Nice family pic too.
     
  9. kmedina

    kmedina Loves all things Disney

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2011
    Messages:
    4,794
    I know you tried so hard to explain the train station, but I was still going :confused3. Directions and I do not do well together. When I was 16, I used to get lost driving home from work. My Dad waited nightly for my call. Thank goodness DH has a better sense of direction. The buildings are so beautiful there, and the Peak is like nothing I've ever seen. Glad you went back to see it in the daytime. The view from the trails is amazing.
     
  10. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2010
    Messages:
    98,132
    OT - seems like not so long ago, I posted my 30,000th post on this thread.


    Where has the last 10,000 posts gone????? :confused3



    40,000!




    princess::upsidedow
     
  11. ehsmum

    ehsmum Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2009
    Messages:
    477
    You've only got 35000+ more posts then me!

    We felt like we had so much time with 4 days in HK but I'm so envious of the extra time you had! We saw pretty much everything but we did rush through - we had lunch and a quick look at the view at the Peak. We certainly didn't have time to explore like you did.

    I so hear you on the exits of the MTR stations! We got lost so many times! The only time it really bothered us was at the end of the day when we were exhausted after a full day sightseeing.
     
  12. Princess_Melanie

    Princess_Melanie Princess in Training

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2007
    Messages:
    435
    LOVING the TR :)

    DBF has just agreed to doing 2 trips up the Peak - 1 for the daytime view and 1 for the night time view....we have the time so why not :)
     
  13. Princess_Melanie

    Princess_Melanie Princess in Training

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2007
    Messages:
    435
    Ok - slightly off topic but still HK related....reading one of our (many) guidebooks last night, I came across a "dress-code" section...Now, DBF and I are pretty good with knowing what to wear where and when. We were thinking our casual touring clothes for HK would be a mix of shorts / jeans / 3/4 length linen casual trousers, t-shirts, light jackets/fleeces, trainers and flip flops. All dependant on the weather - but from what I read/hear - the weather will be pleasant and warm, low humidity and rain when we're there. My query is for footwear - one of the guidebooks say that while sandals are ok - flip flops are frowned upon in HK. Is this true? My animal swish flip flops are incredibly comfy and are technically my "sandal" - I have never ever found sandals comfy :(

    Any advice you can offer on this? Are flip-flops a no go? I have lovely "dressy" flat shoes for places like the peninsula when we go for afternoon tea, but would not be able to wear for long peoriods of wear like touring the city etc. :confused3
     
  14. dgbg100106

    dgbg100106 Missing the Tag Fiary

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2008
    Messages:
    49,338
    You only have a few thousand more posts than me!!!! Congrats on 40K

    I will also add that the DC/NoVA/MD metro system does not have toilets either... just for future reference.
     
  15. skier_pete

    skier_pete DIsney-holics Anon

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2006
    Messages:
    6,432
    Catching up today from you leaving HKDL. It all looks very interesting. I noticed your view with the first picture - thinking "How did they swing that?".

    I hope there's more to do in HK than ride up and down the peak tram, though! :lmao: If so, no wonder you thought the trip was too long. Enjoying the pictures though. I have to say HK is fairly low down my priority travel list, so this may well be the closest I ever come.
     
  16. kmedina

    kmedina Loves all things Disney

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2011
    Messages:
    4,794
    Congrats on 40k.
     
  17. ACDSNY

    ACDSNY I love my job! I love my job! I love my job!

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Messages:
    10,738
    Wow 40K! :thumbsup2
     
  18. usnuzuloose

    usnuzuloose DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2009
    Messages:
    157,967
  19. usnuzuloose

    usnuzuloose DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2009
    Messages:
    157,967
    The peak looks very interesting, how high up is it? I panic with heights. But I love all the greenery. I wont make it to HK, so I will live it through you. But it is interesting to see the difference from day and night. I love those little bottles. It sounds so good to eat. Hope you still made some shopping trips for yourself. Keep it coming!:cool1:
     
  20. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2010
    Messages:
    98,132
    There was a longer walk to a reservoir that we decided not to do. I gather that its also a scenic walk. We had fun there.


    I prefer holidays where there is more open space and country; rather than just city. I was glad that we went there as it gave me some space away from the hustle and bustle of the city.


    I think 6 days is about right for Hong Kong city (and then add Disney time). You get to see everything without rushing about too much.


    You could go early afternoon, walk, have dinner and then go up the Tower at night. But if you have time....:thumbsup2


    I didn't see anyone wearing flip-flops, except for around the pool. Most people had shoes or sandals. Although.....DS wore crocs after his shoes got soaked; but I don't think crocs count as flip flops.


    Noted. :(

    You are reading my mind!....but I'll get to that in my next set of posts. ;)

    And its taken me over 40 years for HK to get up my priority travel list. I have to say that from Australia, HK is pretty easy to get to and relatively cheap c.f. heading to the US or Europe.


    The top of the peak is over 500 m high. The observation deck of the Tower is 428 m.


    Thanks! :upsidedow
     
  21. Aussie Wendy

    Aussie Wendy DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    Messages:
    1,543
    He needs some more lessons! 30 years of togetherness and finally-my DH figures I have the answer ::yes::
    and gets all disconcerted when my research sometimes fails me-"why didn't you know this" he wails.
     

Share This Page