Saturday, October 18, 2014

Hong Kong: Wan Chai, Repulse Bay, Aberdeen

During our holiday in Hong Kong, we stayed at The Emperor (Happy Valley) Hotel.

Not a luxury hotel for sure, but I think it's not too bad! Would recommend it if you are looking for an affordable yet not too shabby accommodation in Hong Kong! Located very near Causeway Bay and Wan Chai, it is located in Happy Valley, a peaceful residential area in Hong Kong.









We had a city tour around Hong Kong Island with our tour guide! First, we went to a dim sum restaurant in Wan Chai for breakfast. Was very excited to taste how dim sum taste in Hong Kong, especially since most people immediately think of Hong Kong upon the mention of dim sum!



The restaurant was filled with elderly. Not sure why, but there were hardly any young people in sight!


I was all ready to start sharing about how each of the dimsum dish fare, then I realize I don't remember how this one taste at all. Haha. It was not bad I guess! Hahaha.


The typical siew mai which is a must-order for every dimsum meal~ I liked the version in Hong Kong because it contained a right mix of prawn and minced meat, which gave it a very springy and nice texture to bite into.


The congee!!! Everyone around the table loved it so much! Although it looks very white and plain, it was actually very tasty and probably one of the better dishes we had there.


Thumbs up for the carrot cake in Hong Kong! The texture was nicer (Singapore's version is too floury in my opinion), plus there were white carrot cubes to crunch on!


Chee Cheong Fun in Hong Kong came like this. Finally, one type of dimsum which I prefer Singapore's version. The skin in Hong Kong is thicker and not so smooth. Also, it tasted very similar to our steamed Soon Kueh.


The rest of the dimsum came in one big dimsum basket! Hargao, Crystal dumplings, and BBQ pork buns. The pork buns were really good. Just.... awesome.


After a good breakfast, while exiting the restaurant, we saw a tank in the restaurant and it had this really huge fish inside!! Is it really for the diners?!


Afterwards, we went to visit the Golden Bauhinia Square, tourist spot with a famous sculpture symbolizing Hong Kong's return to China. Our tour guide spoke in Cantonese, so I didn't really manage to catch the detailed history behind it!


First proper family photo in Hong Kong!



Near the sculpture was a pretty waterfront promenade! I was very absorbed into the beauty of it all~


Hong Kong is very much surrounded by waters, just like Singapore. But, sometimes water in Singapore is a bit green. The waters I see in Hong Kong are all blue!


OOTD photo by the waters, with my dad taking photo for my mum in the background! Haha. It looks like I am wearing a white top and a separate skirt but it is actually a one-piece from Earthdoll!




Just as we were about to leave, we saw a helicopter taking off from the helipad! It was kinda loud and scary but also quite exciting! Have never seen a helicopter flying right in front of me!




Next on the itinerary was "Aberdeen Fishing Village", which was actually a boat ride charged at HKD60 per person.


Before we arrive, we were told by our guide that the Aberdeen Fishing Village used to be occupied by fishermen during the older days when it was still one of the important fishing ports in Hong Kong. However, due to fisheries development elsewhere and the increase in operating costs, the fishing community has decreased rapidly. Now, it is mainly a tourist attraction and many of the occupants earn through the sightseeing boats like the ones we sat on.




I really do not know how to describe this place. On first look, it is very old. But actually, surrounding the village were many modern high-rise buildings. Even expensive yachts, which were a big contrast to the fishing sampans parked just beside!


There is also a boat restaurant selling fresh seafood.


At the end of the ride, before we reached land, the aunty who was moving our boat stopped the motor and collected payment for us before moving again to alight us on land. It kinda amused me because it seemed like they were afraid we would run off without paying!


Then, it was the most dreaded stop on our itinerary. "Jewellery Factory"..... We all know stops like this are common in guided tours, and what it all means. I didn't feel comfortable entering a big hall with so many salespeople trying to persude visitors into buying good luck necklaces and all that. I feel very pressurized to get something! The manager was really nice and good at her sales talk though... No wonder she is the manager.


Next stop was something I kinda looked forward to... Repulse Bay! Hong Kong really has a lot of pretty bays. Just see this pic! Although it is an artificial beach, but it still looks so good!








Beside the beach is a temple with a 10 meter tall statue of Goddess of Mercy.


And this Bridge of Longevity! Walk the bridge to have a long life, but don't walk back via the same route or it would not work! Haha, there's an alternate path after reaching the other end to go back. On the other end, is"Yue Xia Lao Ren" and for good luck on love, I 'pulled' one of the red strings. Hehe. Yeap, I am the kind that will go three rounds around the Fountain of Wealth at Suntec. Haha.









Repulse Bay is actually very quiet and not many people around. There were some street huskers selling umbrellas at only HKD10 each!!! It's extremely cheap right?! Where can you find such cheap umbrellas in Singapore? But the thing is....... we didn't buy any. So wasted! It was only after we left then I realize it's so cheap!

Anyway, our guide told us, the names of places in Hong Kong are very literal, no special meanings one. For example, direct translation of Repulse Bay in Chinese (淺水灣) is shallow bay. And it was named that way because the bay is really shallow. Haha.

Last stop at Hong Kong Island, the outlet store selling souvenirs, with a free delivery service to hotel so that we don't have to carry so many bags of food around!



And guess what? After so many stops around Hong Kong, it wasn't even lunch time yet. I really feel that time passes slower in Hong Kong!


***
Read:
Hong Kong: Mong Kok, Tsim Sha Tsui
Hong Kong: Victoria Peak

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Lokal



















Just some photos taken at The Lokal awhile back when it was still new. Loved the vibe and the good service which many people also mentioned in their reviews. I liked the quirky furniture, as well as the flexibility of customizing our own platter from a list of common breakfast items. The grilled sausages left quite a good impression, and the smoked salmon came in a chunk instead of sliced like how it's usually done outside. Worth a visit!

The Lokal
136 Neil Road
Singapore 088865
Tel: (65) 6423 9918


Afterwards, we headed to The Pinnacle nearby because bf's friend told him that we can pay a few dollars to access the roof garden!



The view was so pretty!


Bf took this photo of me taking a photo of myself. Haha. Anyway, bf and his friend wanted to walk somemore but I was already tired, so I said I will sit on this lawn chair to wait for them. Just as they walk away, I saw a bee coming in my direction so I quickly siam, and ended up stuffing my heel into a pool of mud on the wet grass. Wahlao -_-


Bf's mini stage. Haha.


Outfit of that day was this polkadot dress c/o www.earthdoll.co! I liked the comfy material a lot!