a tourist-y weekend in hk

23 Dec

My best friend who’s Mongolian (we’ll call him Bob cuz it’s easier to type ^^) came to visit me in Hong Kong last weekend. I’m posting some pictures of our little tourist style weekend to give you a glimpse of what Hong Kong offers.  Having to take Bob around was the perfect chance for me to use my new DLSR, the Canon 500D.  The 500D is my first DLSR. 

Buying the 500D wasn’t an impulse purchase – I’ve been increasingly interested in photography the past 4 months after visiting several Asian travel blog sites – and my old point-and-shoot camera just isn’t sufficient anymore.  So I’d like to take photography as a new hobby of mine, and the 500D has proved to be an excellent DLSR for a photography newbie like myself.  Highly recommended!

Lunch and Tsim Sha Tsui (TST)

We had lunch in a newly opened Shanghainese restaurant, Crystal Jade, at Hong Kong International Airport. There are over a dozen branches of Crystal Jade across Hong Kong and Shanghai.  They are famous for their hand made “lai mian” (noodles) and dumplings, and after dining there, I have to say they fully earn their reputation.  We had dam dam mian (a spicy soup-based noodles with a heavy peanut flavour), pan-fried dumplings, xiao long bao (Shanghainese steamed dumplings) and friend pork lai mian.  All were excellent – but especially the dumplings, which was literally bursting with flavour. Make sure to not make the same mistake as me, as I took a huge bite into the friend dumpling and resulted with my Mum being splattered with the juice.  Sorry Mum.  The meal cost HKD350 (USD1 = HKD7.5) for 4 people, very reasonable with very efficient service and a pleasant enough environment.

Habour City, TST - Full of Christmas cheer

Weekend queues - no joke

Apart from visiting me, Bob’s main purpose of this HK trip was to go shopping.  Bob is quite rich (thanks for the mont blanc pen for xmas 😀 ) so I took him to Habour City in Tsim Sha Tsui, the biggest shopping area full of brand names such as LV and Prada, but also more high street brands for regular folk like me.

We braved the long-ass queues.

A man's job - carry bags whilst the lady shops

But you get nice perks that come with the job ...

TST Clock Tower

A view of Hong Kong Island from Kowloon side

Apart from shopping, TST has a number of tourist attractions that visitors can check out, such as the Science museum which is home to an IMAX screen, the Clock Tower, Star Ferry and the HK Harbour, the Avenue of Stars (a cheap version of Hollywood).

Stunning evening views.  You can see the Star Ferry on the left, which you can take to get to the other side (Central) – only HKD2 for a trip!

Need help? Come to HK to quit being a Communist!

Mong Kok

Apart from historical epics, the Hong Kong movie industry is probably most famous for their triad (like the Chinese mafia/gangs/yakuza) movies.  If you’ve seen one, most likely a large chunk of it was filmed in Mong Kok, more specifically Portland Street, where the red light district is still in full operation (prostitution is legal here).

"mmm....balls..."

Apart from random acid throwing attacks and falling banners, Mong Kok is home to many charming attractions, such as Ladies Market, street food stalls, “sport shoes street”, “guns and models street” and boutiques.

Dodgy side alley - One Night Stand services available 😀

After much persuasion, I got Bob to walk into the alley so I could take a picture of him.  Literally one second after I took this picture, a man suddenly appeared from no where.  I instantly turned around and Bob was frozen for a few seconds, before he got the fuck outta there.  He was not happy ^^

Ladies Market

Central

Trams - the cheapest method of land travel apart from walking.

Central is the CBD of Hong Kong – where all the multinational corporations operate from.  The City Hall, War Memorial, Star Ferry, IFC – all located in Central.  Everything is more expensive in Central, housing, shopping, food … it’s like the Manhattan/ Central London of Hong Kong – you get the idea.

Landmark shopping mall - Bring your credit card

Macau

Macau is just a relatively inexpensive jet ferry ride away from Hong Kong – around HK$130 for a single trip (journey time of an hour).  Last weekend was the 10th year anniversary of being reunited back with China (under the “One Country, Two Systems” principle, similar to Hong Kong) after being a Portuguese colony since the 16th Century.

Me in the old Red Light District (no longer in operation...)

A very cool street where all the doors and windows are painted right. I think it used to be the red light district, and the prosititutes would be leaning out the shutter windows at the top to lure in customers.  Now, many of the buildings have turned into macaunese bakeries and restaurants

St Paul’s Cathedral, or whats left of it.  Built in the 16th Century, it used to be the largest Cathedral in Asia until it was mostly destroyed in a fire in 1835.  Probably the largest tourist attraction in Macau. I sighted Hiro Nakamura there – obviously lost in time and space.

Our final stop in Macau was the Venetian, which I believe is the largest Hotel Resort / Casino in Asia. There are over 3000 suites, 1000 slot machinese, 600 gaming tables and 350 retail stores under one roof.  You would have to walk several km from one side to another.  Crazy.  Minimum bet is HKD200.  Most tables require HKD500.  Some high stake tables require minimum bets of over HKD10k a hand…

There are no casinos in Hong Kong, so head over to Macau if that’s your thing, as Macau is trying to establish itself as the Las Vegas of Asia.

===================

I took over 500 photos over the long weekend! Currently trying to filter through them, and try and learn how to photoshop effectively to enhance them. Argh, WordPress isn’t allowing me to layout my post the way I want!  Anyway…

If you want any advice or recommendations regarding Hong Kong, feel free to ask me!

PS. Izzie did you enjoy your trip in Hong Kong this week? ^^

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4 Responses to “a tourist-y weekend in hk”

  1. izzie December 27, 2009 at 8:57 pm #

    hey ya~ thanks for the help while i’m there lol. it was ok ~~i think one week is not enough! T.T but yeah we had fun. we missed a few ‘touristy’ stuffs tho but its ok..next time lol. omg on xmas eve it seem like everyone in hk come out to play! so000000000000 many ppl T.T

  2. qoobie23 December 28, 2009 at 3:09 pm #

    omg 1 week is a long time! my friend came for 2 and a half days… I did my best to show him hk o_o
    lol xmas eve, what a nightmare. I went out on xmas day for dinner at harbour city, took me 30 min to cross the road i think …

    what did you think of macau? maybe its because i’ve been there a couple of times before already, but i found it distinctly underwhelming.

  3. izzie December 28, 2009 at 4:22 pm #

    i was at harbour city too! i was dying halfway cuz its so packed T.T ..and we thought there is so many many ppl cuz of exciting shows or whatnot but actually there is none and they just wanna hang out..gosh.

    Macau..we took a bus and roam around ^^ i was surprised at the contrast.in one part, its full with tourist and its really happening and stuffs but in another part which is more ‘local’ its pretty ‘old’..we went to the ruins at around 7am and met lotsa local people doing their morning walks with their dogs and all. When we talked to them they say there is hardly any local young people anymore as they all left for hk for a better career. that’s pretty sad…

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  1. a tourist-y weekend in hk « freeyourwings PK hongkong - December 23, 2009

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