Hong Kong: Day 1

By Esther Rachel Lai. - 7/13/2016

Early last month, I ditched my mama duties for an impromptu break with the girls and a couple of their other friends on a 4-day trip to the land of Dim Sum while my dearest husband, Shane took care of the kids in Singapore (WOOHOO!!!)!

Although I had been talking about a trip to Hong Kong with the bestie for the longest time, we never got round to it until one day, she suddenly dropped me a text saying "Hey, the rest are planning to go to Hong Kong in June, you wanna go?" & before I know it, we had the flight and lodging all booked the very next week! I was a lot bit apprehensive of leaving the kids in SG with the hubs (after all, it was my first time ever being away from them for more than a day) but I also knew that I desperately needed this break so with mixed feelings of excitement, guilt and worry, I was off on the midnight plane, bound for Hong Kong!

It was a 4-hour flight to Hong Kong as I futilely tried to catch some sleep in the most uncomfortable, upright position (now I know why people bring neck pillows on their plane rides). When we arrived, it was roughly about 5am (Hong Kong shares the same GMT+8 time zone as Singapore) and the first thing we did was...connect to the airport's WIFI. HAHAHA. Typical Singaporeans right. We then bought ourselves tickets for the MTR (aka the Octopus card) & the airport express ticket to Hong Kong Central + hotel shuttle which amounted to about SGD30 if I didn't remember it wrongly. All I know is, transport in Hong Kong is really expensive! Haven't even reach the city, money fly already, ouch!

It was my first time ever in Hong Kong while the rest had all been there before so I was really excited and I absolutely fell in love with the scenery during our journey to the city!

I expected Hong Kong to be jam packed with buildings and stuff but the train ride there was an eye opener! We were greeted with lush greenery on one side of the train...

& the vast blue sea on the other! We were all feeling the fatigue from the flight so the sight of nature was refreshing!

Took a shuttle to our hotel and when we got there...

Everything just spelled swanky!

We stayed at the Royal Plaza Hotel in Kowloon and there really isn't anything for us to complain about the hotel!

The hotel's lobby was sleek and classy & the rooms?

Equally sleek and spacious with 2 queen sized beds!
We stayed in the Plaza Deluxe Family room which accommodates up to 4 people but since I was bunking in with just the bestie, we had one bed each to ourselves!
The room even has a balcony area for us to chill (and pry on the young boys in the opposite boys' dormitory -HAHAHA I KID!).

My favourite part of the hotel room has got to be the bathroom though!!! It's partitioned by glass (so if you couples wanna get kinky, you can just roll up the blinds on the inside), includes a bathtub and adorned with expensive-looking marble tiles!

You probably think the hotel costs us a bomb but guess what?! We got it on a deal so for a 4d3n stay, we only paid about SGD150 each in total! 

The location of our hotel is A-class as well!! It's just adjacent to MOKO shopping mall and only a few minutes walk to where all the action is!

It's VERY accessible as well, by MTR, Mong Kok East Station is literally just right outside the hotel/mall! So if you're looking for a good hotel to stay in Hong Kong, I would definitely recommend Royal Plaza!

193 Prince Edward Road West, 
Kowloon, Hong Kong

We could only check in at 1pm so all of us dropped our luggages, freshened up, slapped on our makeup and headed out for breakfast while we waited for our rooms to be ready!

It's less than 5 minutes walk from our hotel to the streets where all the food & cheap shopping awaited us!

Kam Wah Cafe 
47 Bute St, Hong Kong

I left the itinerary to the rest of them so I just followed wherever they decided to go the entire trip. Our first stop found us at this cosy little "Cha Chan Teng" (Tea house) that served up the typical Hong Kong breakfast!

Thankfully for a mandarin-handicap person like me, I had my friends who were well-versed in canto and mandarin because the ENTIRE MENU WAS IN TRADITIONAL CHINESE with ZERO PICTURES. Oh god, I cannot imagine Shane & I both trying to tackle Hong Kong on our own.

Our group's "motto" was to order lots of different food in small variety to share so we could all have a taste of everything so that was exactly what we did! We had peanut butter + honey & butter french thick toast...
Polo bun & egg tarts...

& a superbly good bowl of "rojak" instant noodles (Gong Zai Min) for breakfast and damn, it was worth all the calories! I could use another round of traditional HK breakfast right this moment!

Unlike in Singapore where people hogged tables after eating, we were "chased" out the moment we finished our meal which is understandable since they were running a business and it's not like they have the luxury of space either.

After breakfast, we explored the vibrant streets!
Honestly, I will probably get lost travelling in Hong Kong alone because their streets all look the same! Love the whole grunge "street vibe" of Hong Kong though!

Also stumbled upon what we would call an "old school" aquarium shop selling pet fishes! The last time I saw a shop like that in Singapore selling fishes in packets was when I was in primary school?

We then made our way to Tsim Sha Tsui for the renowned butter cookies from Jenny Bakery!
I'm aware that they've also opened an outlet in Singapore but have heard that it doesn't taste as good? I can't compare since I've only tried the ones from Hong Kong but I'll say it's nothing to rave about either. I don't get the hype and it's not something I'll queue hours for but my friends love it. It's not cheap though...I bought the cheapest tin and that already costs about SGD12.50 for a tin of mere BUTTER COOKIES! I guess you gotta try it yourself and see if it's really worth the hype and price!

Jenny Bakery
Tsim Sha Tsui
Shop G24 Ground Floor & Shop 42 1st Floor
Mirador Mansion, 54-64 Nathan Road
Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon

Headed back to our hotel to check into our rooms and drop off our stuff before we headed out for more sightseeing, eating & shopping on the streets right outside our hotel (Nathan Road - I think)!

Hong Kong will make all mothers go broke really. Their street stalls sell such cheap and nice apparels for babies and kids I splurged like water until my girlfriends had to tell me "Esther, stop buying things for the kids already! We're only in the first shop you know?!" HAHAHA! I spent like SGD50 on clothes for Kylie within 5 minutes of hitting the streets! One of it is this really nice jacket which I got for only SGD13?!?!??! Omg!

I bought a packet of really pretty bibs (you know the triangular scarf kind that's really in trend these days?) for only about SGD2 per piece!!! Cotton On Kids sells a pack of 2 for a good 15 bucks mind you! I went back to the shop (left in picture above) and grabbed another 2 packs of 3. & I really regret not buying more!

I would have bought probably three pairs for Kylie if the shop owner wasn't so disinterested in attending to me. Lol. Waited for a good 15 minutes for her to finish serving another customer but she couldn't be bothered to even look at me so in the end, I walked off empty handed. Oh well, your loss.

They've really hipster looking shops out of nowhere too! I probably should have got a few pieces of clothes for Shane but...I didn't. heh.

And if you're around the area, I urge you to find this mochi shop and try their durian mochi!! It's about two bucks for one tennis ball sized mochi but it's VERY delicious!

The skin is soft and chewy on the outside and the durian filling on the inside is so good! It's fresh durian paste that's sweet, creamy and chilled, almost like ice-cream! I even bought a few back to Singapore but a couple of them burst during the flight back. Still damn good though!

I snapped the road sign just right in front of the Mochi shop so you guys can know where exactly it's located at! It's also just around the corner of all the food shops (pictured below). So it's actually pretty easy to find!

Looking at all the pictures of Hong Kong's street food is making me hungry! I love the curry fishballs! Their siew mai is really unique too! It's mini sized and tastes like fishcakes!

& of course, cheap and good bubble tea!

I don't know where we walked to but we ended up splitting up and walking in different groups all over the place and there was this street which was every pet-lovers haven!

It was lined with shops after shops selling cats/dogs/rabbits/hamsters etc and pet stuff!

They've lots of beauty & cosmetics shops such as the one above as well where you can stock up on facial masks and stuff at a really good price! It makes you wonder whether it's authentic or not cause some of the prices are really too good to be true. I bought 2 boxes of My Beauty Diary facial masks at only about SGD8 for a box of 10! About 5 bucks cheaper than in Singapore?

For dinner, we took a train to Tung Chung Station, and had a typical but sumptuous "zi cha" meal at Federal Palace, Citygate Mall!

It's a pretty luxurious looking Chinese restaurant decorated with chandeliers and glass sculpted fishes hanging from the ceiling. I can't remember how much we spent there but it wasn't cheap (as expected).

Fun fact: Do you know that in Hong Kong, they provide two different pairs chopsticks for each person? One is for you to eat with and the other, for you to take food from the main dishes onto your own plate.

I don't know how the Hong Kongers do it but their fried rice all tastes so yummy! Even the normal teahouse cafeteria ones! 

When in Hong Kong, eat roast pigeon!!! I've always heard so much about roast pigeon and now I know why. It's really delicious, even better than chicken!

The har gow (Crystal Shrimp Dumpling) at Federal Palace was mediocre though. The skin was too thick and the inside of it was very dry. I definitely tasted much better ones in Singapore.

Overall, the meal was only "okay" standard. I expected more from a restaurant such as this so it was kind of disappointing.

But the whole reason why people flock to Citygate mall isn't for the food, it's because it's an outlet mall! Much like Changi City Point in Singapore but much larger and they carry big designer brands as well! Think - Coach, Burberry, Kate Spade etc.!

Citygate Outlets
20 Tat Tung Road, Lantau Island,
Tung Chung, 
Hong Kong

Ended the night with more eating back at the streets of Mongkok! I was actually surprised that the streets were still bustling with people and shops were still open even at 11pm!
Hong Kong's version of Lok Lok. It's like pick and mix ingredients such as squid, pork innards, fishballs, fish skin etc, then cooked in their curry broth! Very tasty!

Also tried a bunch of their other stuff which frankly, I have no idea what I'm eating half the time but it all tastes really good! Dying to go back and have some more of Hong Kong's street food!

& that's how Day 1 of my trip to Hong Kong went! I'll update more on my Hong Kong trip in the coming days/weeks, including our visit to Disneyland!

  • Share:

You Might Also Like