豪华早餐 072410

By , July 25, 2010 11:31 pm

7 月 24 日 – 豪华早餐

近四点半才睡,八点半便起身,准备下楼吃一吃这梦幻酒店的早餐。

早餐会否…… 金玉其外?

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显然,我是多虑的。The Mira,金玉内外!感谢香港旅游局!

美食一道又一道,真想和 Peter 借个 BellyCan I borrow your belly, Peter?

不说还好,一说,Peter 便脚底抹油,吃饱便离开,就剩我和两位眼镜先生 – Lawrence 和 思斌。

少了 Peter 的 Belly,只能少吃些……只吃了这么:

哦,还有两杯新鲜榨的苹果汁和芒果汁……

之后,便和 Lawrence 上街逛逛,好好消化消化,等待午餐!

Peak Peeks

By , July 25, 2010 11:27 pm

Upon arriving in Hong Kong, the first thing on my mind was taking a photo of Hong Kong’s aerial skyline from Victoria Peak. It is the view of Hong Kong that must not be missed. No wonder there’re throngs of people going up and down the hilltop at any given time.

Getting There : From Central MTR Station, take Exit J2, and turn right once you come out of the exit. Walk in the direction of the iconic Bank of China building. Along the way, there’re many signposts to point you to the Peak Tram Terminus on Garden Road. It is pretty straightforward.

Three peaks before the peak

There’re a few ticketing options available such as a single trip or return trip on the Tram. And you can choose to include the entrance fee to The Peak’s Sky Terrace as a package as well. I bought the 3-in-1 combo from the Madame Tussauds ticketing counter by the side. That includes a 2-way Tram transfer + entrance fee to The Peak Sky Terrace + entrance to Madame Tussauds (HK$200). MT is located inside The Peak Tower.

Well connected and sign-posted

Hot Tips :

  • Sit on the right-hand side when going up and left when coming down. That way, you can see the skyline of HK unfold by the window. The slope is rather steep and at some points, the angle of elevation is about 45 degrees so it’s kinda bizarre to see the surrounding residential blocks slanting at that angle. The effect is more dramatic when coming down as it looks as if the buildings are ‘falling’ towards you.
  • When planning a visit, do allocate extra waiting time for the Tram. I waited about 30 mins to board on the way up (about 5 pm), and almost an hour on the way down at 9 pm.
  • Frequency and duration of Tram ride : 10 – 15 mins

There’re two shopping complexes at the top – The Peak Tower and The Peak Galleria. Both offer lookout points on their roofs. The Peak Galleria is free but since it’s behind The Peak Tower, the view is slightly blocked. But it offers a great view of the surrounding islands.

Around the summit

The Peak Tower’s Sky Terrace offers an unobstructed view of the skyline for a fee of HK$25 (adult) and HK$12 (child and senior). A short walk in the downhill direction will bring you to a lookout point called the Lions View Point Pavilion which is also free. My photo of the skyline taken during the day was at Lions while the night view was taken at the Sky Terrace.

Day view of HK skyline

Hot Tips :

  • In summer, the sky starts getting dark around 7 pm. That’s when the lights on the buildings start coming on too. I was there at about 6.30 pm to stake out a front row spot for the view.
  • At 7.30 pm, there’s a photo service that charges HK$120 to have your photo taken with the night skyline. Choose a spot just out of the camera range so as not to be chased away.

Apart from taking in the aerial view, you can also shop at the two Peak complexes and visit Madame Tussauds. It was really magical watching the Hong Kong skyline transit from day to night… almost as if it took off its business suit and donned on a Technicolour coat to party!

Night view of HK skyline

For more photos, please visit my album A Lingering Fragrance.

我的涂鸦香港行4——第一天

By , July 25, 2010 5:25 pm
我是个迷恋旅行的人。当然,旅行的定义不在于到一个非常遥远,通常只有在《Lonely Planet》才会出现的不知名国度。远有远走,近有近看,想象着路上将邂逅的人,或会遇到的风景,就足够让我雀跃一整天的了。对我而言,无论地点是什么地方,每一次的旅行,都是一次不同的体验。这一次亦然。
 
旅行肯定不是那几张站在名胜前的标准V字手势照。一旦启程,就开始用另一个角度开始关注生活,好像突然闯入了爱丽丝的仙境。你将会睁大眼睛,贪婪的注视着所有的美丽,因为它们只会短暂地划过你的生命;在旅行中你将会打开心房,让最柔软的地方去感受周遭的一切,甚至细小的事物都会给你很大的触动。这就是我向往的旅行。此行中一同前往香江的大家,年龄身份各异,但因有着共同的激情而走在一起,且看这次能擦出些怎么样的火花。

香港行首天的行程,从年年入围世界最佳服务机场,让很多机场眼红的新加坡樟宜机场作为起点。国泰航空CX710航班是这一次的载具,将港新两点一线的衔接起来。经历了近四小时数万尺高空中的颠簸之后,7月23日中午,我们终于踩在了东方之珠的土地上。(霎那间有想插只旗子,然后宣布我占领这块土地的冲动啊… XD)

——————-抵达香港的分隔线——————-

瞧大家热烈讨论的模样,虽然略显疲态,但都掩盖不了下机后立足香江的兴奋之情。

拖着行李,前往集合地点后经由小巴士载送我们到这次下榻的酒店。此番香港旅游发展局(HKTB)为我们准备的酒店地点是位于尖沙咀(港人简称TST)的THE MIRA HONGKONG,一个相信会让我们一行人(绝对不仅是我这么想)津津乐道上好几年的酒店。为什么呢?且容我细细道来!

香港国际机场位于新界大屿山以北的赤鱲角,又称赤鱲角国际机场。与位于九龙尖沙咀区的酒店有一段距离,约莫半小时~一小时的车程,视交通工具而定。上图即是酒店的外观。比起一些百年老店,去年刚耗巨资装修的The Mira看起来就充满了时代感。但这并不是重点。重点在于拿了房卡,推门进去的那一瞬间。


踏进房间的那一刻,我着实愣了一下。这房间简直是豪华到一个不行!玻璃全罩式厕所(附浴缸)、42寸SONY平面电视兼电脑荧幕、白色圆形SONY VAIO vgx-TP1主机、无线遥控键盘、豪华双人床,你知道这表示什么吗?酒店房间一定很贵(废话)?不!这表示你可以在房间里的任何角落使用电脑!!!舒舒服服的埋在床上用42寸荧幕上网,又或者是在厕所内边用功边上网,(遥控键盘价值不菲,所以请原谅我没有尝试泡在浴缸里上网)这是多少人(宅男?)的梦想!!!


这样的组合梦幻到让我一度以为进错了别人的房间…不过,如果上面的照片并没有让你们感到很梦幻,请相信,那绝对是我的相机烂摄影技术不够好的问题。后来游览了一些酒店的简介,发现原来The Mira获选2010年TGG中国旅游大奖之“香港最佳商务酒店”、及英国权威旅游杂志Condé Nast Traveller所选出2010年“Coolest New Hotels in the World”。酒店的室内设计是由专门设计高档豪华住宅、酒店的CAD International所完成,而CAD International总设计师Charles Allem曾入选“AD 100”,一个只有被誉为世界最有天赋的顶级建筑师和室内设计师才能入选的名单,更于2009年获得室内设计组别的Stars of Design Award。由这样的一位大师操刀,难怪The Mira会让我有如此惊艳的感受。真的难以置信吗?没关系,一图胜千言,就到这里来看看大师级人物所拍的房内实物图吧。友情提示:按进去前还请做好见证世界第八大奇迹的准备。

休息没多久,就约了正巧回来香港度假的表哥准备出去走一走

第一站,去的就是位于九龙西区的旺角(英文:Mong Kok)。在尖沙咀站买了“8达通”卡(类似新加坡EzLink卡,可用于公共交通及购物上)后,便沿着荃湾线,经过了佐敦、油麻地两站,就可以抵达旺角。旺角是九龙早期发展的地区,留有不少旧日痕迹。虽然建筑物颇见老态,却是十分繁荣的地区,由几条主要街道构成了一个极富特色的购物场所,是潮流物品的集中地。购物的同时,不妨多留意街道两旁,可发掘真正的香港市区生活面貌。这一次的旺角行,因为表哥是地头蛇,所以就由他来带路。但故事告诉我们,就算是地头蛇也不一定可靠。



这就是不看地图的结果…旺角的地形颇为复杂,就连香港土生土长的表哥都不小心带错了路。兜兜转转之下终于找到了目标。(其实…要去的地方还蛮靠近的,地铁站的其中一个出口出去就可以了,先前走错了出口)第一站去的是旺角电脑中心,位于奶路臣街8号,楼高三层的主题电脑商场,所有新鲜出炉的数码产品都可以第一时间在这里找到。科技控的朋友们不妨来这里淘一淘宝,绝对会让你满意。

电脑中心之后,接着我们继续向花园街前进。不要误会,我并不是去逛花园。花园街就是这里著名的“波鞋街”,既球鞋街!这里卖的球鞋种类之多,相信我一天换一双,一辈子都穿不完。可我好奇的是,在《岁月神偷》里头,花园街却是买观赏鱼的地方,不知与以集中售卖观赏鱼及养鱼用品闻名的金鱼街有什么关系呢?待解。

我承认,我爱死球鞋了。以前任职独中教师时,常常穿黑色球鞋代替皮鞋去上课。另外,同一地点还有一个闻名的通菜街,又名女人街。为什么叫女人街呢?因为这里好多女人!呃…好像解释得不是很妥当…换个方式来解释,这里以服装店、首饰店、女装鞋店居多,这么说就应该很容易了解这条街名字的由来吧?这些店铺的女性服装十分廉价,一件小背心10 多元起已有交易,其他服饰也只是由几十元到百多元不等,如果要安排时间购物,可别忘了这个地方。照片我就没拍了,外表不重要,重要的是在这里可以找到心头好!

当然,如果你想在购物的同时体验香港风土民情,就别忘了“扫街”,意指在路边搜罗小吃,横扫摊档一间接一间,由街头吃至街尾。在旺角街道的头尾两端,你总会找到一条条人龙在等着购买劲辣咖哩鱼蛋、煎酿三宝等。队伍的长度往往和小吃的美味度成正比,要牢记这一点!

好不容易逛完了这里,天色渐晚,该是医肚子的时候。我们去到了位于中环站附近的ifc(国际金融中心,不是kfc),420米高,88层的这里曾经一度是香港最高建筑物,现在已经为490米高,118层的icc(环球贸易广场)所取代。我们用餐的地点是ifc里一间叫银座梅林的日本餐厅。银座梅林在日本成立于1927年,已经有80多年的历史。虽然日本的餐厅中百年老字号者大有人在,但他胜在口味正宗的同时,价钱亦十分公道,绝对物有所值。

(后记:原来新加坡乌节路ION B4底层也有一间银座梅林分店。)




点菜后,就静待食物上桌。上图是我们所点的前菜,生猛鱼虾大拼盘!(我自己唬烂的,原名绝对不会这么俗,但忘了叫什么)这一道拼盘新鲜到…那只被满清十大酷刑剥皮的虾还在…动???(果然生猛)除了晶莹剔透的虾,盘中还有海胆、鲔鱼片及另三种不知名的生鱼片。海胆的甜、生鱼片的鲜以及鲜虾的弹牙,着实让我回味无穷。

主食是日式炸猪扒及其他的饭食,虽然好吃但卖相一般,所以就不拍了(其实是因为食物一上桌就被风卷残云般的横扫,来不及拍…) 。忘了说,这一餐要感谢我的大舅及大舅母,谢谢他们邀请我到银座梅林享用那么美味的日本餐,弥补了没有跟着omy大队去另一间日本餐厅的遗憾(根据原定行程,今天下午应该要出席香港龙舟嘉年华开幕礼,接着是到备受好评的Busy Suzie日本餐厅用晚餐。要知道Busy Suzie有多棒,就到这里来看看!)。吃饱拍拍肚皮撇人…下一站往山顶(The Peak,又名扯旗山,顾名思义是香港海拔最高的地方,高554公尺,可以鸟瞰维多利亚港湾两旁的景色)出发。香港太平山的山顶是游客必到之地,自开埠以来,这里一直都是香港的地标。原因很简单—美!夜幕低垂时是来此地观赏维多利亚港景色的首选,而且要注意,登上缆车后,最好坐在右边,因为香港的美景尽在右方窗外。





再一次碍于相机太烂技术水皮的关系,我以我的名誉(有吗?)保证,上图真的并不足以带出实际景色的十分之一美感,更不论那种居高临下的震撼!杜甫名句“会当凌绝顶,一览众山小”,就在这时我深深的体会到了。当然,如果你还有时间,不妨拨冗前往山顶凌霄阁二楼,参观伦敦杜莎夫人蜡像馆的香港分馆,感受一下与名人的面对面接触。话说回来,“山顶”所住的人家,非富则贵,所以有空应该多上来转转,当个香港女婿也不错…哈哈!

看完夜景,应该是时候打道回府享受浴缸泡澡,然后睡觉?当然没那么快!感受了香港白天的活力后,当然要见识一下香港夜晚的激情(?!)。回酒店稍作休息,就于尖沙咀天星小轮码头沿着海滨长廊(也就是龙舟赛的地点)走到了香港闻名的星光大道。



下次你们就会看到我的手印在上面了…哇哈哈!(做梦!)大道全长440公尺,仿照好莱坞星光大道设计,由身高4.5米的香港电影金像奖雕塑竖立在入口,犹如亲善大使,引领我们走进光影缤纷的电影世界。欣赏过了海滨长廊的香江夜景,走完了星光大道(发够了明星梦),经由地铁站再抵达知名的夜店区兰桂坊(Lan Kwai Fong)。兰桂坊位于中环云咸街与德己立街之间的一条短小、狭窄、呈L形并用鹅卵石铺成的街巷,街巷满布西式餐馆和酒吧,总数超过50间。到了深夜,这里则会是香港最充满活力的地方。

在无数的酒吧中穿梭,我们终于抵达了Dragon-I。Dragon-I有香港第一夜店之称,人气极高,更会有艺人不时出现(我是没见到啦,不过据悉连万人迷大卫贝克汉姆都曾来过)。更巧的是,这间夜店的老板正和omy大队去吃晚餐的Busy Suzie老板是同一个人,香港英皇集团杨受成的儿子杨其龙。


这些…是网络上的截图…因为里面的人实在太多了!虽然看到很多模特儿级的大美女,可是里面人多得连手都没地方摆,更不用说拿起相机来拍照…可以想象在那种茅草长得比人还要高的大草原吗?挤过这些人群,就像是拼命拨开茅草通过大草原的感觉,比较不一样的是这里的茅草会扭来扭去。在舞池旁待了一会,见识了震耳欲聋的音乐及疯狂的群众,就离开这一层楼,上到了开放式的顶楼。这里没有音乐,也没有舞蹈(醉猫是有几个),绝对是与朋友一起喝两杯,抵足谈心的首选。

第一天的香港行,从繁华的白昼到万家灯火骤然散落如繁星的深夜,这一切都那么的新奇,深深烙印在我的回忆里。拖着疲惫不堪的身子于凌晨回到酒店,却迟迟无法入眠,开始期待,明天会是怎么样的一天呢?

Day 2: Hong Kong, the city of contrasts

By , July 25, 2010 7:03 am

The second day in Hong Kong began with the promise of a beautiful day that greeted me through the window of the hotel room and after breakfast, on the advice of the very informative Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB)’s PR escort, I decided to have a look at the wet market near Langham Square. So, armed with a map and my camera bag, I hopped on the very efficient MTR system at nearby Tsim Sha Tsui station and in a breeze, found myself at my destination for 5 Hong Kong dollars, three stops up the Central Line to Mongkok Station.

The modern and efficient MTR - a wonderful way to get around.

The modern and efficient MTR - a wonderful way to get around.

In contrast, the old tramways can be hot and uncomfortable - but they do provide an interesting way of getting around northern Hong Kong island.

In contrast, the old tramways can be hot and uncomfortable - but they do provide an interesting way of getting around northern Hong Kong island.

Mong Kok MTR station - the gateway to some of the street markets of Kowloon.

Mong Kok MTR station - the gateway to some of the street markets of Kowloon.

Stepping out of the station and up through a modern shopping mall – the very interesting wet street market on Nelson Street, set amidst ageing and tired looking residential cum commercial buildings, sat right next to ultra modern shopping malls and a very posh looking hotel, my very first impression of the area was that it was one of contrasts. I suppose that this isn’t remarkable and very typical of much of Asia, but why it caught my attention was that it probably typified what Hong Kong as a whole has been and still is very much so today.

The contrast seen from the glass windows of a modern shopping mall towards a traditional street market.

The contrast seen from the glass windows of a modern shopping mall towards a traditional street market.

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The second part of the day started with a coach ride under the Victoria Harbour through the Cross Harbour Tunnel, which our HKTB Media Fam Facilatator told us interestingly was also referred to as the “No-excuse tunnel” as when it was opened, it took away the excuse of wealthy men who lived and worked on opposite sides of the harbour for staying overnight on the side of the harbour on which they had their offices to be with their mistresses whom thay had kept on that same side (the ferry operated until 11 pm). Lunch was at the popular French Italian restaurant Gingko House (another contrast!) on Gough Street in Central. What is remarkable about the restaurant was not just the ambience in which you could be transported by the strains of La Vie en Rose playing in the background to the streets of Paris, but also the fact that the restaurant was started by social workers providing employment to the elderly as well as channelling its proceeds towards charitable causes.

The Cross Harbour Tunnel is also referred to as the "No excuse tunnel".

The Cross Harbour Tunnel is also referred to as the "No excuse tunnel".

Gingko House, a popular restaurant on Gough Street run for charitable causes.

Gingko House, a popular restaurant on Gough Street run for charitable causes.

The setting and music transports one to the streets of Paris.

The setting and music transports one to the streets of Paris.

Gough Street itself is a contrast of old trades and bohemian shops and cafes.

Gough Street itself is a contrast of old trades and bohemian shops and cafes.

A popular tradition on Gough Street - a queue for the very popular noodle stall.

A popular tradition on Gough Street - a queue for the very popular noodle stall.

Another very bohemian shop near Gough Street.

Another very bohemian shop near Gough Street.

Ending up in Causeway Bay after lunch where the ladies were having a makeover session with a famous Hong Kong stylist Celia Wong, I somehow ended up wandering through the sea of people that seemed to fill every inch of the lively streets of shops, shopping malls and restaurants and cafes. Amidst all this, was another startling contrast – stumbling into some of the quiet and run down side lanes and back alleys, was like stepping into another world that existed behind the façades of the buildings and the busy streets that they faced where another dimension existed. What was interesting this time around was stepping into a store named GOD, due not in any way to devine influence (except for the devine objects of desire that the store sold – GOD being an acronym for “Goods of Desire”). Again, the store was all about contrasts, with modern objects sold bearing features that were reminders of yesteryear.

It is always nice to know that GOD can be found in Causeway Bay.

It is always nice to know that GOD can be found in Causeway Bay.

Causeway Bay is also a contrast of old businesses and ...

Causeway Bay is also a contrast of old businesses and ...

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and the modern ... a modern art work seen in the atrium of Times Square.

and the modern ... a modern art work seen in the atrium of Times Square.

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The sea of people in contrast with the ....

The sea of people in contrast with the ....

the relative peace found in the sidewalks and back alleys ...

the relative peace found in the sidewalks and back alleys ...

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I guess the highlight of the afternoon was the tram ride which allowed Aussie Pete and myself to get to the Central Piers where we were to board the Bounty, a replica tall ship of the infamous HMS Bounty (for which I would devote another post to) for a dinner cruise around Victoria Harbour. The charming double decker electric trams which started service in 1912 are run by Hong Kong Tramways and offer routes along the northern coast of Hong Kong island, providing the visitor with a very interesting alternative to the MTR and the taxis to get around the Central and Causway Bay areas.

The trams are good fun for two Hong Kong Dollars a trip.

The trams are good fun for two Hong Kong Dollars a trip.

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Getting off the stop near the Central MTR station, the walk to the Central Piers took us pass the beautiful neo-classical former Supreme Court Building, which is now houses the Legislative Council (Legco), the General Post Office which has an interesting collection of coin boxes which are small scale replicas of post boxes used in Hong Kong throughout the years, and the International Finance Centre (IFC) Building which was Hong Kong’s tallest building until this year when the International Commerce Centre (ICC) Building was completed. Finally able to rest out feet after the earlier excursion around Causeway Bay at a cafe on the pier, we could now look forward to the mutiny that was to come on the Bounty.

The former Supreme Court Building, now the Legco.

The former Supreme Court Building, now the Legco, stands in contrast to the skyscrapers (the tallest of which is the IFC) it sits in the shadow of.

The Central Piers where the ferries to Kowloon (Star Ferry) and outlying islands can be taken from.

The Central Piers where the ferries to Kowloon (Star Ferry) and outlying islands can be taken from.

The Star Ferry.

The Star Ferry.

A replica Chinese junk coming in to Pier 9.

A replica Chinese junk coming in to Pier 9.

Ms Matchmaker’s Guide to Hong Kong #2: Discovering our Not-So-Humble Abode…

By , July 25, 2010 1:25 am

As the saying goes, ‘a picture speaks a thousand words’… I shall let the photos do the talking…!

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We were warmly welcomed at the airport. Our transport for the next few days will be the minivan! 🙂 From the airport to the hotel, managed to capture some street scene of HK!

When we arrived at The Mira (the gorgeous hotel that we are putting up for the next 3 nights, we were warmly welcomed by their hospitality team.

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And when I got into my room, I was suitably impressed! 🙂

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And being the gadget-crazy person I am, I simply love all the gadgets in the room! 🙂

1) Do you see the mobile phone below? It’s a mobile phone that you can bring with you wherever you go and if someone calls you at the hotel, you can pick up the call even though you are out shopping! How cool is that?

2) And there is a super big flat screen which is connected to a PC, and you can use it to go online! 🙂

3) Check out the wireless keyboard. So you can access the Internet from the comfort of your bed!

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Love the hotel that we are staying in. It’s so cozy and comfortable that sometimes, I contemplate staying in rather than going out! 😉

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