Countdown to Hong Kong : – 3 Days

By , July 20, 2010 11:46 pm

THE ITINERARY

There are two kinds of travellers – the type who wants to see everything, and the kind who just want to relax and take it slow. I’m the third kind. I want to see it all and chill out to the max at the same time. 

Call me greedy. I call it ‘punishing money’. Since I work so hard for it, it must work hard in return to ‘buy’ me these life experiences. My tourist dollar is hard to earn.

What about a free trip like this HKTB sponsored tour of Hong Kong? Air-ticket and accommodation are free so surely I can stop sodomising my wallet. Well, there’re still the expenses on transportation, attractions’ entrance fees and food.

So when taken in the totality of a travelling budget, I’m still paying. And I shall continue to slave drive my finances during this trip. If you would like to know what I mean, please click HK Itinerary (23-26 Jul 10) to have a look at my  4D3N itinerary. (After I completed the itinerary, I think it’s a little too ambitious. Well, let’s just see how many of them I can accomplish.)

HKTB has some activities arranged for us and released the itinerary to us today. Apart from the Bath Tub race which Aussie Pete and I have been going on and on about, I’m scheduled for a Chinese Sauce Making class with a celebrity chef! Wow! Experiencing Hong Kong doesn’t get more exquisitely unusual than that. I’ll definitely share the recipes here. But that is provided I learnt well and didn’t turn sweet-plum sauce into sour-grape mousse.

In my itinerary, I plan to visit some of the must-see sights (aerial view of Hong Kong at The Peak, Symphony of Lights show), get into a little culture (Cultural Plaza, Nan Lian Garden), embrace nature (Wetland Park), sample the cuisine (The Bounty, Yin Yang Restaurant) and nightlife (Lan Kwai Fong), and just chill at our ultra posh hotel, The Mira Hong Kong.

When I visited the hotel’s website, the ambience, gym and swimming pool seemed almost too good to be true! Especially the pool. Well, photos have a way of distorting reality so I shall see when I get there.

I’ve kinda planned myself into a frenzy now. Uber excited about the upcoming trip. If only tomorrow is Friday. But well, three more days to go and all I have is to fine-tune my itinerary and salivate over photos of the places I’m going to visit. My itinerary contains some additional info about the places I’m going to visit and I hope they could be of use to you.

Meanwhile, please get a bucket and drool with me…

Hong Kong to-be-Seen 1

Hong Kong to-be-Seen 2

Good-to-know facts about Hong Kong

By , July 20, 2010 2:00 pm

Thanks to omy.sg and Hong Kong Tourism Board, Shinnpark.com has won the e-Commerce Blog this year. 3 more days to go and we’ll be off to Hong Kong! Here is a mini list of what I have trawled over the net for a good-to-know bite-size list.

#1 Victoria Peak Imagine yourself standing from the tallest point and you’ll see the most magnificent harbors on Earth! The one thing that is on top of my list would have to be The Victoria Peak. Even my friends, who have been staying there for years, raves about it.

If you think you have a slight acrophobia like I do, and in need of almost real to life virtual walk, take a peek here.

#2 Its in the name — ‘Fragrant Harbor 香港 A vivid aroma. Buttery egg tarts, freshly made dumplings and pipping hot fish congee. Hong Kong derives its name from a Cantonese word meaning “fragrant harbor.” Do you know that their national flower rendering in the National flag is a Bauhinia blakeana flower discovered in Hong Kong?

#3 Get your fortune read! You’ll see many fortune tellers with differing skills, from reading tea leaves (yes, the one for drinking!) to Tarot Cards. According to my girlfriend who is residing there, fortune telling is very popular and is chargeable at around HK50-150, my girlfriend swears that her reading was 80% accurate! and that is through palm reading style.

#4 Cha Chan Teng 茶餐廳. For some odd reason, I love to hang out in these ageless charm of the 1960s decor cafe. Maybe it has to do with my childhood, hanging around my grandmother’s vintage ware and rolling chinese tea leaves into my plastic cup for play. Soak into that old-fashioned and romantic ambient! Thick toast, half boiled eggs and tea — all served in a vintage ware will totally make my day! *screams

#5 A Symphony of Lights at the Avenue of Stars. Well known by the Guinness World Record as the world’s “Largest Permanent Light and Sound Show”, this is defintely Hong Kong’s version of the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It celebrates icons of Hong Kong cinema from the past century, and the seaside promenade offers fantastic views, especially at night.

#6 Wi-Fi. This could possibly be a good place for my tired legs and also an e-update on my trip — Starbucks offers free internet access for those who like to connect with friends over a cuppa.

#7 A cheap sightseeing tram ride. Hop on to one of these cheap tram rides and see how Hong Kong is the epitome of east-meets-west culture! Through the slow-paced journey, you’ll be able to see the neighborhood area gradually changing from old eclectic buildings to all mighty skyscrapers.

#8 Sail with Bounty The original Bounty was built in 1784, and carries a legendary story in the British nautical history. She is the only European tall ship that resides in Hong Kong! I’ve never sat in one like that before. Thanks to The Bounty, we’ll be enjoying a nice cruise ride and wonderful BUFFET dinner!

#9 Getting Around in a Taxi Although I love to take the MTR with the Octopus card, sometimes you will need to get to a destination, fast. With the first two kilometers priced at only $2, and a charge of $0.90 for every kilometer thereafter, taxis are one of Hong Kong’s great bargains and can be hailed almost anywhere. Here is a tip — try and write out the destination in Chinese.  The drivers are generally more familiar with this language and also, they are able to get to your destination at the soonest time possible.

#10 Bring home a slice of Hong Kong’s unique culture If you are bored of getting the usual souvenirs for your friends, head over to G.O.D. (the initials are a homonym of the Cantonese phrase “to live better”) instead. I’ve seen them on an interview in Singapore’s Channel News Asia and I tell you, every single item sold in their store echoes a past erain Hong Kong. They have almost everything from lifestyle and living products and much of them have incorporated the 20th-century Hong Kong imagery.

What excites me …

By , July 20, 2010 12:39 pm

Just got the news that we would be having dinner and a cruise on board a Tall Ship, the Bounty on the evening of the 24th! I can never resist the sight of a Tall Ship, especially when she is fully rigged, and I think there is nothing more magnificent to see one … there was one, the STS Pallada, in port in Singapore back in March and I made it a point to visit her. So the prospect of a cruise on board the Bounty, which is a 1978 Australian built replica of the ship famed for giving us the Mutiny on the Bounty. The replica was built for the Dino de Laurentis film “The Bounty” released in 1983 which starred Mel Gibson as Fletcher Christian and Anthony Hopkins as Captain William Bligh. More information can be found on the website of the Bounty.

The Bounty, a replica of the HMS Bounty as seen on the website.

The Bounty, a replica of the HMS Bounty as seen on the website.

Particulars of the Bounty.

Particulars of the Bounty.

Symphony of Lights and the Transformation

By , July 20, 2010 12:34 am

SYMPHONY OF LIGHTS

A "Symphony of Lights" is staged every night at 8:00 pm and the show comprises five major themes, taking spectators on a unique journey celebrating the energy, spirit and diversity of Hong Kong!

A "Symphony of Lights" is staged every night at 8:00 pm and the show comprises five major themes, taking spectators on a unique journey celebrating the energy, spirit and diversity of Hong Kong!

One of the key things that I’m completely committed to checking out while I’m in Hong Kong this weekend, is the world famous ‘Symphony of Lights‘. This visual and auditory spectacular has been awarded the world’s “Largest Permanent Light and Sound Show” by Guinness World Records. It occurs every night, and combines interactive lights of 44 key buildings on both Hong Kong Island and Kowloon with “musical effects to showcase the vibrancy and glamorous night vista of Victoria Harbour”.

What would be even cooler, would be if we could manage to get aboard one of the sight-seeing ferries on the Victoria Harbour which apparently offers one of the best vantage points of the show in its entirety (I’m going to use all my powers of pursuasion to get my fellow bloggers / travellers to take part in this)!

The participating buildings on the Hong Kong side

The participating buildings on the Hong Kong side

And the participating buildings on the Kowloon side

And the participating buildings on the Kowloon side

 

THE TRANSFORMATION

Majula Singapura

Majula Singapura

Now back to another very important topic that’s been getting a lot of airplay recently on our joint Hong Kong blog and across the social media networks!! – the competitive spirit brought about by our participation in the World Media Bathtub race.

Fisrt, let me state for the record, that my blogging buddy, Darren and I are definitely on the same side. Although we are in different tubs, we are both in this race to represent both OMY and Singapore!! (MAJULA SINGAPURA)!!

Having said that, I cannot help but feel intimidated by the much better shape that Darren Ng is was in (I say ‘was’, because over the last week of daily training and a strict diet of raw egg smoothies and boiled pigs brain, a truly incredible transformation has taken place). Not only was I concerned about how I might look alongside Darren, I see in his recent article that he is an experienced Dragon Boater – What the??!! How to even come close to this? How good does he look here, girls??

Darren as he was in Dragon Boating Days

Darren as he was in Dragon Boating Days

Well here you have it… I told you some days ago about my intense training schedule, and now I’m proud to reveal the ‘Before and After’ results…

Aussie Pete Before and After the strict diet and intense Bathtub Racing Training

Aussie Pete Before and After the strict diet and intense Bathtub Racing Training

 ‘Eat Ya Heart Out’ all you other country media competitors – Darren and I’ve got this race sorted right out now!!     🙂

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