Ms Matchmaker’s Guide to Hong Kong #1

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By , July 18, 2010 11:46 pm

Having submitted my blog a month or so ago for the omy’s Singapore Blog Awards 2010, I never thought that I would eventually emerge the winner of the ‘Most Insightful Blog’! I have checked out the various nominees and eventually the finalists, and I thought that there were definitely many deserving bloggers who would win the award. Hence, when I knew I won, I was like ‘Wow… am really blessed!’ A big thank you to the organizer – omy.sg, the wonderful panel of judges, as well as all my readers who have been voting for me daily!

Having known that I have won was the FIRST surprise. Knowing what I have won was the SECOND surprise! And boy, was I in for a pleasant surprise! Not only we each receive an ASUS netbook, 10 of us are going on a sponsored trip to Hong Kong, courtesy of the Hong Kong Tourism Board from 23 – 26 July. How generous is that!?!? Now, I understand why so many people turn into full time bloggers! 🙂

Pre-Departure Preparation:

To prepare us for our upcoming trip, omy organised a pre-departure briefing for us on Wednesday where I met up with the 9 other bloggers! 🙂 And today, finally, after putting the kids to bed, I have time to sit down and have a peek into the HK familiarization kit provided by the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) after our meeting on Wednesday.

Love the tagline… Hong Kong. Live it. Love it! Especially the word ‘LOVE’, since I am a matchmaker after all. 😉

HKTB Trip 2010 001

Was very happy to see what was inside!

I have been meaning to get a new luggage tag for my new luggage bag, but never found the time to do so.

Inside the paper bag, there was a big folder with all the information, a pen, and a leather luggage tag (which can also double up as a name card holder or a staff pass holder)!

HKTB Trip 2010 002

After going “ooh and aah” over the luggage tag, I finally opened the red folder to devour the information provided! They have definitely provided us with lots of ‘homework’ to do! 😉

HKTB Trip 2010 006

When you have a business to run and two kids in toll, what do you do? You start to think out of the box! And voila!

My iPhone to the rescue!

I was amazed to find so many apps based on the search keyword ‘Hong Kong’. And some of these apps are actually developed by the Hong Kong Tourism Board!

HKTB Trip 2010 007

Here is one of the apps I really like!

When you think of HK, what is the first thing that come to mind?

For me, it’s great food! 🙂

HK Delicacies is one of the apps developed by HKTB. And it’s divided into 4 different categories – Rice, Congee, Noodles and Rice Noodles. And they are dishes placed on a revolving table, which we see in Chinese restaurants. So on the app itself, you can rotate the table to choose the category you would like to view.

HKTB Trip 2010 008

I wanted to share with you one of my favourite HK delicacies…

HKTB Trip 2010 009

Yes, and it’s none other than Cart Noodles, or better known as 車仔麺!

10 years ago, when I went to HK to visit my friend, she being the wonderful host she is, brought me to expensive restaurants to try out various cuisines e.g. Shanghainese, Japanese etc. And on the last day, she brought me to a simple, humble looking restaurant to try out Cart Noodles, and I declared it the best food I have tasted! She was like, “Aiyoh… I could have saved so much money if I knew earlier!” Haha! 🙂

Anyway, the app even shows you where you can go to try out all these various delicacies recommended by famous personalities in HK!

HKTB Trip 2010 010

Looking at all these wonderful delicacies, I am wondering how many KGs I will be putting on when I am in Hong Kong! 🙂

Am really looking forward to see ‘Fragrant Harbour’ (香港) once again as this will be one of the first trips in a long time where I am in HK for pleasure and not just work!

Looking forward to catch up with all my friends too! So for those of you who are in HK right now, drop me a message if you are free to catch up between 23 – 26 July! 🙂

Countdown to Hong Kong : – 5 Days

By , July 18, 2010 5:00 pm

THE RESEARCH

Friends who’d travelled with me know I’m a super kiasu (‘afraid to lose’) traveller who’s also a control freak. I will always try to cover as many places as possible and plan my itinerary with a time schedule stating what time for morning call, activity allocation, and what time to sleep. Is this a holiday or some tourist bootcamp they ask me. My answer is : “Let’s work hard at relaxing!”

Be your own Hong Kong travel guideAlthough I’ve been to Hong Kong previously, I hadn’t really researched nor find out more about the place.

To me, Hong Kong is always about shopping, Ocean Park, Lantau Island, and exercising dietary indiscretion. So I was really surprised to find so many things to see and do while preparing for this upcoming trip.

The thoughtful folks at the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) assembled a very comprehensive info kit for us so it was real easy to find places of interest, what to expect, and how to get there.

I believe these brochures, flyers and maps are available at the Hong Kong airport so do pick up a copy. They are REALLY very helpful. I also supplemented my research with HKTB‘s website at discoverhongkong.com.

My favourite is the blue coloured Hong Kong – A Traveller’s Guide. It acts like a quick tourist reference bible and very handy.

From the booklet, I got a quick history lesson about how Hong Kong became a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China under the ‘one country, two systems’ principle. Hence, the proper name to refer to the island destination is actually Hong Kong SAR.

  • Pre-1842 – Hong Kong was a ‘barren rock’ with a collection of fishing villages
  • 1842 – Britain claimed Hong Kong Island after the First Opium War with China under the Treaty of Nanking
  • 1860 – Britain claimed Kowloon Peninsula and Stonecutters Island
  • 1898 – Britain granted a 99-year lease of the New Territories and 235 outlying islands
  • 1997 – Hong Kong was returned to China

So with 150 years of colonial influence embroidered into China’s 5,000 years of rich traditions, the resulting tapestry is a fabric I’m tailoring to fit my vacation whims and fancy! I’ve formed a rough idea of the places I want to visit and will be planning a full itinerary soon… with what time to wake up, play, eat, and sleep!

Meanwhile, here’s a map I find really useful as it clearly puts into geographical perspective the places to go in Hong Kong, Kowloon, Lantau Island and New Territories. I’m visiting some of these places next week. Don’t be jealous… 😀

07-HK-Map

The colourful kaleidoscope that is Hong Kong

By , July 18, 2010 10:28 am

It is always nice to look forward to a trip and even with what has proven to be a hectic week that I haven’t been able to leave behind and what promises to be another hectic week before my trip to Hong Kong, I have allowed myself to look to it excitedly with the anticipation of a curious child. The trip, courtesy of the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB), and in the company of bloggers – winners of their respective categories in Singapore Blog Awards, who on their on would make any trip interesting, would be made even more so with the host of activities that the HKTB is planning for us. Hong Kong has been one destination that has always fascinated since the early days of my childhood. Back then, it was the likes of Bruce Lee who seemed to be what Hong Kong was about, and in many ways, Bruce Lee did epitomise what Hong Kong was about: a sprinkling of the west and a lot of what was essentially east. There were of course the wonderful stories of food, bustling streets, and a city that never sleeps, which was certainly enhanced by the only other trip I have made to Hong Kong which left me with a deep impression of the colourful kaleidoscope that is Hong Kong.

Hong Kong gives me the impression of a colourful kaleidoscope with the promise of food, shopping, street life and excitement awaiting the visitor.

Hong Kong gives me the impression of a colourful kaleidoscope with the promise of food, shopping, street life and excitement awaiting the visitor.

This time around, I can look forward to the hospitality of the HKTB on the four day trip that will introduce the “Hong Kong Summer Spectacular”, which runs from 11 June to 31 August this year, and features a series of promotional activities. Of theses activities, one would be the highlight of the trip, the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Carnival, which runs from 23 to 25 July. The centrepiece of the carnival would be the SaSa 2010 Hong Kong International Dragon Boat Races, which will feature 191 dragon boat teams from 12 countries and regions, which would be held in Victoria Harbour. While the teams are in action in the water, a carnival atmosphere would be created up on the East Tsim Sha Tsui promenade where spectators can visit the San Miguel Beer Garden, which will tempt visitors with beer, fragrant food and live performances. A Dragon Boat Fun Plaza will also be on hand to offer cultural entertainment. Incidentally, the races will also feature a bathtub race for the media, and four of my fellow bloggers, Darren, Geck Geck, Violet and Aussie Pete (lucky chaps!) have been selected to participate in this event which looks like a whole lot of fun! And it does look like Darren and Aussie Pete are planning to have as well as provide a lot of fun based on the preparations they have mentioned their respective posts.

Map of the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Carnival venue.

Map of the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Carnival venue.

Artist impression of the San Miguel Beer Garden.

Artist impression of the San Miguel Beer Garden.

The theme for the Hong Kong Summer Spectacular is “Hot Events, Cool Place”, and in line with the theme, the HKTB has lined up a host of other activities, information on which can be found on the Discover Hong Kong website. The HKTB in conjunction with Visa, is also running a promotion during the period: the “Visa go Hong Kong Super Shopper” contest, in which local and visiting shoppers spending over HK$3,000 on their Visa cards would be entitled to enter an online lucky draw.

Besides the activities that the HKTB has lined up for us, we would be having free time to explore some of Hong Kong on our own, and this is something I can look forward to as one of the things I like doing on any trip is to discover a place at leisure. I guess with all that in store for me, I can’t help but allow myself to look forward to the trip with a tinge of excitement.

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