Tracy's Nest

Friday, September 29, 2006

Hong Kong Trip (Part 2)

3rd day (18th August - Friday)
June was early on day 3, (18th August, Friday) to pick us up at around
8.30 a.m. Guided us to the subway of Yau Mah Tei and took the MTR to Sheung Wan. While we were having our breakfast in Maxim's Fast Food, Gilbert joined us. After breakfast, we were on our way to the Ferry Terminal to board the ferry to Macau. Gilbert was working in Macau then. It took about an hour to reach Macau. Actually we planned to go to Lantau Island to see the giant Buddha and Macau was not in our planned itinerary but the cable cars were not in service so we decided to visit Macau instead.

The MTRs are all built underground and there's a subway station in every district. Shops can be found at every subway stations too.

Elaine and I had a bad experience when we were queueing at the Macau Immigration counter to have our passports stamped. There were lots of people going over to Macau for the weekend. We were queueing in a lane and suddenly came a large group of Chinese tourists from the mainland who were extraordinary noisy and shoving their way thru with their luggages. Instead of one lane, they shoved and made it into a double lane! These people tried to jump queue and squeezed into any gaps they could find and pretended nothing happened. *tsk tsk tsk* such manners and attitude. And surprisingly there were no officers around to take charge. There was this Chinese man who was pushing his luggage with his legs and making his way thru OUR place and he even dared to complain why Elaine was ‘occupying’ his place. *duh* Elaine gave him a nasty stare and he dared not uttered a word anymore. We saw some of the Europeans were kind to allow them to jump queue in front of them. *shake head*

We took a bus and got down at 'Sun Ma Lou' (New Road). From here, we walked our way to the famous sight of Macau – the ruins of the church of St. Paul. Didn't take many photos cos the sceneries did not appeal to me (I have no interest in ruins, Rome, Angkor Watts, Great Wall are definitely a No No for me).

We tried the famous 'Chee Par Pau' (Pork Chop Burger). June waited for quite a while for her turn cos they were so many thronging to buy the 'Chee Par Pau'.

Came lunch time, June took us to the Tou Tou Koi Restaurant where they serve Cantonese-styled food. June ordered Sharksfin soup again, knowing dat the soup is one of my favourites. There was another dish called the "Kum Chin Yuk" (Gold coin meat). The meat was something like the grilled pork meat which the restaurant is famous for (too bad, forgot to take a pic of the dish). Below are the other dishes June ordered. Swallowing ur saliva? Kakakakaka.

This was the restaurant where we had our lunch.

We went into the largest casino in Macau – Lisboa Hotel and Casino. Wow, wow, wow, it is no doubt dat it is one of Asia's finest casino hotel. I didn't try my luck in the casino cos losing 10 sen will be like extracting my tooth (heehee). Eugene did try his luck and won about HKGD1,000. Not bad, huh?

After sight-seeing for a while, we had to make a rush to the ferry terminal to catch the
5.30 p.m. ferry back to HKG. Another experience which I would like to remember is when June took us on the wrong bus! Instead of going to the ferry terminal, we were back to where we started. Quickly we had to go to the opposite direction to take the correct bus. We had a good laugh. Hahaha, 'kow ng tup putt' June is always like dat. To say dat I'm blur-blur, she can be blurer and a 'bigger head prawn' at times. Da's the cute part of her.

We had dinner with Gilbert's parents, brother and some relatives in a private restaurant in Tin Hau where u have to prebook and walk-ins were not allowed. They were all very nice people but I did feel a little uncomfortable having dinner with them. There were 8 dishes and were simply delicious. Didn't notice the name of the place and too bad I dared not take any pics (manners mar if not Gilbert's parents will think dat we came from the jungle and live in trees, heeheehee).

Day 4 (19th - Saturday)

We got up early, went to the Yau Ma Tei subway and took the MTR to Mongkok to meet up with June at 8.30 a.m. From there, we took the Mongkok KCR (Kowloon-Canton Rail) to Loh Wu in Shenzen. The journey was about 45 mins. Once we reached Loh Wu, I had this funny feeling I don't like the place. Most of the people and their attitude were different where Cantonese was spoken in a very funny Teochew-like accent. After getting down from the train and we walked to a large shopping mall to have our brunch. We had the chance to try the 'knife scraped noodles' whereby they hold a dough of kneaded flour and using a sharp knife, the chef scraped pieces from the dough into the pot of soup. It's something like the 'pan meen' in M'sia. We oso had 'chee cheong fun', dim sum and veggie.

After brunch, we went straight to a 'relaxation' centre in the Loh Wu Centre. June, Elaine, Elyss and I went for the foot massage, manicure and ear candling whereas Eugene went for the body massage. Poor Ah Por sat in the cafeteria to wait for us. The services were very much cheaper compared to HKG and M'sia.

It was in Loh Wu Centre where we went 'mad' shopping from tea to bags, toys, quilts, etc. There were lots of 'branded' goods. We were advised to hold on to our bags tightly and beware of pickpockets (guess everywhere's the same).
Another experience was when Elaine and I were queueing in the washroom (Loh Wu shopping mall) with 2 other HKG ladies (from their accent), came this young pretty salesgirl who went passed us and stood in front of us. One of the ladies told her politely to queue behind and she answered (in a not-so-fluent Cantonese and funny accent) "Ng sai pai lar, chuin pou dou hai gam kah mar" (no need to queue lar, all are like dat mar). We (including the ladies) stared at her immediately and she, embarrasing, went behind us to wait for her turn. *shake head*

Gilbert took us for dinner in a restaurant where we had Wu Pak (Northern China) food. Haven't tried such food before. When the food were served on the table, I was like 'huh?, so weird looking' but when I tried, wuah lau eh! They were so delicious and tasty!

Gilbert told us dat Wu Pak dishes are mostly of the spicy taste. The people in the northern regions have to preserve the meat for winter use.

After dinner, went back to HKG by bus. On the way back to hotel, made a stop at the ever popular Temple Street (Mew Kai) – something like Petaling Street in Kuala Lumpur or any other Pasar Malam (Nite Market). June told us we could not bargain much as compared to previously cos the prices were not 'jacked' up as high as it used to be. A bargain of a few dollars was quite reasonable.

Below are some of the 'dei dou' (local) HKG food.

Top left: An 'imitation' of sharksfin soup - slices of mushrooms & chicken, beaten eggs and lots of tapioca flour.
Top right: Fried Yau Char Kwai wrapped in ordinary chee cheong fun with 'tim cheong (sweet sauce) and chillie sauce.
Bottom left: HKG's famous 'Cheh Jai Meen' (where ppl used to push their carts on the streets to sell mee) - khinzir's intestines, blood, radish, sotong, veggie + noodles (optional) etc. - maybe 'Yuks' to some but 'yummy, yummy' to June, Elaine and me.
Bottom right: Curry 'Yue Tan' (Curry Fish Balls)

... to be continued ..... Part 3

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Thumbs down for BLOGSPOT!

I had just finished my post on HKG Trip Part 2 and was saving it and suddenly when it returned, I found there were a few pictures with captions and paragraphs missing!

GAKS! Took so much of my time uploading the pictures and writing the passages and now I have to 'repair' the missing parts! Not easy to remember what I have written leh. *duh, duh duh*

So frustrated!

Noticed dat some bloggers have 'migrated' to Wordpress. Is Wordpress better?

Monday, September 25, 2006

Hong Kong Trip (Part 1)

Ya, ya, ya, I went to Hong Kong on the 16th August and came back on the 22nd August (envy, envy? hahaha). So sorry to have kept my frens waiting for such a long time for this post (heehee). After my trip from Hong Kong, I was so very very very busy (I had explained my reasons to some of my frens thru msn) and I just could not find the extra time to start writing the story of my stay in Hong Kong. I know I'm going to be a little long-winded again about this post and before I forget what happened during my stay (in which I don't I will) took the advice of Michelle to do this in parts.
Before I continue, on behalf of Elyss, Eugene, Ah Por (Eugene's granny) and Elaine (my very close and long time fren), I would like to convey our very very very sincere and heartfelt thanks to my sis June and her hubby Gilbert for their most wonderful and warmest hospitality (especially to June who oso became our tour guide). We enjoyed ourselves very very very much and what more can we express. Thanks (uncountable), June and Gilbert!
It was during the Matta Fair in KL where Elyss booked the free and at leisure tour for us. It seemed like ages waiting for the time to arrive. June and I were chatting at Skype every day about the trip and the itinerary. We were so excited as the days approached.
Finally came the long waited 16th August (Wednesday)! We boarded the plane (CI) and left at 7.55 a.m. (imagine, we had to be at the KLIA at 6 a.m.) and reached the Chek Lup Kok airport at 11.40 a.m. There was a Hong Kong tour guide who waited at the airport to escort us to the hotel. We reached Dorsett Seaview Hotel in Yau Ma Tei (in Kowloon City) in the afternoon.

The room was so small dat we had a hard time moving around and finding space for our luggages. Notice the mattress (tilam) beside the bed? Dat was the 'extra bed'. The room was meant for 2 persons but we booked for 3 persons and what they did was added the so-called extra bed for us.

After being settled in the room of the hotel for a while, June came with Gilbert at around 2 ish. We were so happy to see them! Pai seh (embarrass) to say dat it was my first trip to Hong Kong and to visit my sis (who has been staying in Hong Kong for 11 years and now a permanent resident!) and my BIL (who is a Hong Kong borned). We were indeed very hungry too after taking the 'fei kei charn' (flight's meal) at about 9 a.m. Off we went to have our very first meal in Hong Kong! June and Gilbert took us to the Dou Heong Restaurant where we had Hong Kong Dim Sum.
We had the usual Dim Sum but there were 2 specialties which I like most –
the Fried Lobak Kou and the dessert 'Yeong Chi Kam Lou' (I will try this out and blog about this). I was informed dat it's a usual practice for the people of HKG to go for Dim Sum after 2 p.m. where they have discounted prices for the Dim Sum.

After Dim Sum, June took us on our first ride in the Van to the famous temple of Wong Tai Sin. It was a good idea to pray after reaching HKG and I sincerely prayed for many things especially for good health and good business (heehee, no wonder I was so busy after I came back from HKG).

Apart from the usual vans and taxis, the double decker buses can be seen every where on the road of busy streets.

At about 7.30 p.m., we were off to Spring Deer Restaurant in Tsim Sha Tsui for our very first dinner! We had to wait for about 45 mins. for our turn eventhough June had booked a table beforehand.

The restaurant is very famous for its many varieties of food esp. the Sharkfins soup, Peking Duck, Roasted Lamb etc.

June insisted we should try the Banana Toffee. We hesitated to try cos at one look, they were so sweet and oily looking. But once everyone took a piece, wuah lau eh! It was simply delicious! Eventhough we were very full to the throat, we 'walloped' the whole plate of banana toffees! It's something like apple toffee but the mashed bananas are coated with flour and deep fried. The banana fritters are then dipped into a bowl of melted sugar and quickly dipped into a bowl of ice water.

The dinner was simply yummy!

At nite before going back to the hotel, we went to the shop (Hui Lau San) across the hotel to have 'kwai lin kou' (a dessert for cooling heatiness of the body) in which the shop is famous.

Eventhough I was tired, I didn't get to sleep well (maybe it was due to dat I was in a foreign place and not used to the bed).

On the 2nd day (17th August – Thursday), we joined the tour as scheduled in the Tour's itinerary (half day tour). The tour guide (Chuin) came and picked us up at 7 a.m. and together with another group of 12 people, we went for another round of Dim Sum in a restaurant (sorry, didn't take note of the name and place).

We were taken to the Golden Bauhinia Square. In the tour bus, Chuin introduced many places and their histories when we passed by but I wasn't really paying attention as my mind and eyes were surveying around. FIY, the Golden Bauhinia Square is located in Wanchai and at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center. It is one of the famous landmarks in Victoria Harbour. It was where the handover of Hong Kong from the British back to China which took place on 1st July, 1997. After dat, we were taken to the Middle Peak where we were able to see the view of Hong Kong.

Left: Dat's the 'Chi King' flower. Top right hand: Waterfront of Bauhinia Square. Bottom right hand: View from the Middle Peak.

Circled 1: represents the handle of a knife. Story told was before the 'handle' was added on top of the building, the business of dat building was not very good and after the 'handle' was added, business flourished. Notice dat the building looks like a knife? Meaning? U guessed right, 'chop chop chop' until u bleed, hahaha.

Circled 2: The top of a building. Story told was the building looked like a cigarette and so happened dat the top level of the building was on fire for umpteen times and under the advice of a very famous feng shui master (belated Chan Pak), a swimming pool was constructed on top of the building, meaning water to prevent fires. Believe it or not, there were no more fires after the swimming pool was constructed, well .......

Chuin took us to Repulse Bay (Chin Sui Wan) where all the 'big shots' stay and to Aberdeen (Little Hong Kong). On the way uphill to Middle Peak, we saw a bungalow with green roof and we were told dat it belongs to Sir Run Run Shaw (chairman of the multi-billion dollar TV empire).

Top left hand: Circled – Residence of the famous Jackie Chan

Top right hand: A temple where the large statute of Kuan Yin is placed.

Bottom left hand: The yacht which belongs to the rich and famous magnate Lee Kah Sing.

Bottom right hand: The yacht of Leon Lai (HKG singer - one of the Four Heavenly Kings)

After visiting the life style of the boat people, we visited a jewellery and herbs shop. Of course we didn't buy anything under the advice of June. We got away from the group and June joined us. We had lunch in one of the 'Char Charn Tengs' (shops where u can have simple meals). 'Char Charn Teng' can be found in every corner on the streets. It's a shop with a few (7-8) small tables. We got to taste the actual Fried Beef Noodles, HKG style (Kon Chow Ngow Hor) and the Fried Rice, Yeong Chow style. June ordered fried pak choy, kangkong (funny, the kangkong were not fried but blanched and bean curd paste (fu yue) was spread onto the veggie), Fried Meehun, S'porean style which is very different from M'sia. The thick meehun were fried with curry powder.

Later, we passed a restaurant where roasted (bbq) pigeons were hung in rows. We didn't get to taste dat (maybe the next trip, heehee). I was told dat the restaurant was owned by the 4th wife of the Stanley Ho (Macau's Gambling king). We bought some Portuguese tarts instead. They were very delicious, different from the Portuguese tarts baked by confectioneries in M'sia.

There were lots of fruit juices stalls on the roads of distinctive places. I was so fascinated by the fruit juices they have. There were lll sorts of fruits and the juices extracted were really concentrated i.e. without sugar or water being added. A cup of fruit juice was about HKG$7-8 depending on the price of the particular fruit. I tried the red apple juice and I was surprised they put about 3 apples into the blender and I got a perfect cup of concentrated apple juice!

We were queueing for the arrival of the bus dat I noticed a mosque behind us. Dat was the only mosque found in Kowloon. We were on our way to Trendyland sales in Mongkok. Trendyland sales happens only twice in a year and we were lucky dat we were able to experience the sales. In Trendyland, toys and stuffs like stationeries, furniture, kitchen wares etc. of cartoon characters were on sale.

We were joined by Gilbert in Hotel New World Renaissance, Tsim Sha Tsui for our Shashimi Buffet Dinner. My favourite were the fresh salmon and desserts whereas Elyss had a hearty meal of fresh oysters.

After dinner, we made our way down to the 'Sing Kong Dai Dou' (Avenue of Stars ) located at the Tsim Sha Tsui Waterfront Promenade. Hand prints of famous celebrities and behind the camera from the film world were imprinted on the plaques of the pathway. The Victoria Harbour is just alongside the pathway (too bad the nite view were not professionally taken – had to get help from my fren, Chris, to lighten up the pics for me).

... to be continued ...... Part 2