Barely settled down after arriving back from the Philippines last October, and there I go again, packing up for another trip almost immediately. And this trip to Hong Kong wasn’t just another whimsical travel plan. It was with no one else but the buddies for a good wholly TEN years!
These fellas, we might have done some really out-of-the-world kind of stuff together ever since, but we are worlds apart sometimes somehow. So it was truly quite surprising that we coordinated, came to an agreement and had a holiday planned out together like that…
Departure | Changi Airport, Singapore
Sometimes it is a true blessing to have friends with watchful eyes who will spot great deals like our flight out to Hong Kong via Cathay Pacific to start the countdown clock ticking till the countdown is finally over and the grand escapade happening!
For the records, because we opted for an apartment for all six of us, expenses for flight and five nights worth of a secure roof over our heads turns out to be slightly under a grand sum of… SGD$500 per person only! Hehe…
Anyway, Annie and Ivan’s apartment is located very strategically in the heart of Wan Chai. There are markets, lots of shops/convenience stores and endless food choices all around. And since the MTR station is just downstairs, it can get really busy in the morning when the locals rush around on their daily routine and it is still bustling at night with all the night clubs and eateries staying open till late. But that didn’t cause any disturbance to us since the apartment is located on the higher floors. The apartment was clean and neat when we arrived. However, it turned out a little smaller than what I imagined it to be (probably because of the perspective of the photos) and it took us a while to orientate ourselves in the apartment.
But no doubt, every fixture was exactly where it was shown in the photos and it was actually really cosy when we finally settled down. And to add, I am really very grateful that Annie was very prompt with replying to all my enquiries and the clear instructions on how to get to their apartment and everything else that was sent to me prior to our stay. Thank you, Annie! I must say that those were very helpful! And such a shame that we didn’t manage to meet either Annie & Ivan personally! [Link: https://www.airbnb.com.sg/rooms/4179484]
And with that, here’s presenting my Hong Kong November 2015 travelogue! Whee~
[Hong Kong November 2015]
5 November 2015
Wan Chai & Central – Hong Kong Island | Hong Kong, China
Even though I do it all the time, I have to say that it is never easy to try and fly overnight and wake up by arriving at somewhere different on the globe.
But thank goodness we arrived safely at Hong Kong International Airport, found our way to the city smoothly via Airport Express and managed to locate and “check in” to our apartment so swiftly! It built up the momentum and we were ready to go out despite the lack of sleep. Haha!
Wan Chai 湾仔 | Hong Kong Island
Judging by our characters, it wasn’t a surprise that we made friends with the guard at our apartment almost immediately. And when he found out that we are tourists and not just new tenants, he very kindly walked us over to one of his favorite breakfast haunt along Lockhart Rd!
富臨酒家(灣仔) | Wan Chai, Hong Kong Island Guess school and work trained us all too well… No sleep, no problem! We were still capable of flashing a wide smile! Hehehehe…
To be honest, we were a little shocked when we were ushered into a place that looks like it is lavishly set for a wedding banquet! We are definitely not ready to eat a feast for our first meal out in Hong Kong! But after we studied the menu carefully, we realised that we are actually about to have dimsum for breakfast just as I was complaining that I forgot to check where we can go for dimsum in Hong Kong!
Anyway, those were just a handful of the food we had. It was good and prices are fair. And it was really nice that the staffs slowed down and were exceptionally patient with us when they realised that we aren’t locals!
街食 Street Food 1986 | Wan Chai, Hong Kong Island And it’s not like we haven’t just had our breakfast, but we can’t help being curious with this street food stall with a long breakfast queue just beside the entrance to our apartment building. We ended up with some Curry Fishballs 咖喱鱼蛋, Chee Cheong Fun and Soy Bean Milk before we continue to explore the neighborhood. Haha…
Tai Yuen Street 太原街 | Wan Chai, Hong Kong Island For a start, we were drawn towards Tai Yuen Street since one of us is an avid collector of toys. And we found ourselves on a lively street, located in the heart of Wan Chai, lined with stores offering toys of all sorts, from nostalgic ones from the 1980s to the latest limited edition figurines.
And aside from the various toy stores, Tai Yuen Street offers a peek into the locals’ livelihood as well. We were totally absorbed by everything that was happening around us and before we realised it, we stumbled our way into Wan Chai Market!
Wan Chai Market 灣仔街市 | Wan Chai, Hong Kong Island Just like at every other market, it was bustling with loud exchanges between the stall vendors and locals haggling for the best prices. Such a common sight! Haha but this is possibly the first time I walked through a market with live slaughtering and whole carcasses passing through beside our legs. Quite an eye-opening walk through actually!
Anyway, we are not superheroes after all. We headed back to our apartment to catch some sleep before heading out again for the rest of the day.
City Gallery (Hong Kong) | Central 中環, Hong Kong Island Quite unconventional for our first stop after a quick nap but we checked out the City Gallery after all since it was of interest to one of us! Yeah… work related. *cues some eye rolling* Haha!
But if you are interested in the history, planning and eventually the infrastructure development of Hong Kong in general, you can seriously consider stopping by. The gallery and exhibits are pretty informative and interactive, I have to say!
And when we were done at the City Gallery, we took a short walk towards IFC for the rest of our evening at Central 中環.
IFC Mall | Central 中環, Hong Kong Island A different perspective of Victoria Harbour from the roof terrace at IFC Mall…
Pottinger Street 砵典乍街 | Central 中環, Hong Kong Island Pottinger Street, or better known as the Stone Slabs Street by the locals, was named after Henry Pottinger, the first Governor of Hong Kong. Aside from the fact that granite stone steps are rather rare in Hong Kong these days, there is a long history behind this street that defines its novelty.
This section of Pottinger Street between Wellington Street and Stanley Street is lined with a street market offering costumes, masks and wigs or in other words, essentials for a Halloween party all year round! Very random!
Anyway, it wasn’t until we got to Wellington Street that it crossed our minds that we barely ate anything else ever since breakfast! And that was when an impromptu food trail began!
BÊP Vietnamese Kitchen | Central 中環, Hong Kong Island Pho Tai (Pho Noodle Soup with Medium Rare Thin Sliced Sirloin)
There is a long list of eateries and restaurants located along Wellington Street, so much so that we don’t quite know where to start. And since Monkey had been to BÊP before and she pointed it out to us, we decided to kick start our food trail with a Vietnamese fix.
It is rather unusual to discuss Vietnamese food in Hong Kong but honestly, the food we had wasn’t too bad! I was totally in love with the pork belly and pickles! Hehe…
Mak’s Noodle 麥奀雲吞麵世家 | Central 中環, Hong Kong Island And when we were done at BÊP, we spotted Mak’s Noodles a few doors down and did a takeaway so that we can eat this much-talked about wanton noodles together at another place we were going to try.
This was probably just wanton 雲吞 and noodles in my opinion. Nothing really special about it to mention so I am genuinely glad we didn’t take it so seriously! Haha…
Wah Fung Roast Meat 華豐燒臘專家 | Central 中環, Hong Kong Island 華豐燒鹅 Roast Goose
I know everyone talks about Yung Kee when it comes to roast goose in Central or Wellington Street to be precise, but we had ours at Wah Fung instead! And without comparing, since we didn’t have the chance to try Yung Kee during this trip anyway, the roast meats and the deep-fried preserved eggs were damn awesome!
I am really not much of a fan of roast goose but the meat was really tender and the skin was slightly crispy. And not forgetting those thick fatty slices of charsiew! Haha… It was really quite addictive.
Anyway, by the time we were done at Wah Fung, we were so stuffed and we cannot afford to eat anything major already. So we decided to take a short walk over to Tai Cheong Bakery to finish off our food trail with some egg tarts!
Tai Cheong Bakery 泰昌餅家 | Central 中環, Hong Kong Island
Monkey savoring her egg tart!
The ladies at the bakery were bringing out fresh and piping hot egg tarts when we arrived at Tai Cheong Bakery. How timely! And you know, anything piping hot is definitely better so we didn’t wait any further and started chomping our egg tarts right at their doorsteps. Haha!
The egg tarts from Tai Cheong Bakery come in a biscuit tart filled with custard that is on the sweeter and milkier side. It’s actually not that bad but I personally prefer flaky puff tart for my egg tarts. Or in other words, my heart is still with Lord Stow’s. Hehe…
Anyway, we also spotted Lan Fong Yuen 蘭芳園 while we were headed for Tai Cheong Bakery so we stopped to grab some stocking milk tea for ourselves. But erm… just like Mak’s Noodles, I really don’t get why everyone is saying that the stocking milk tea is a must-have in Hong Kong.
Streets of Central 中環 | Hong Kong Island We took a slow walk over to the Lower Terminus for The Peak Tram after we were done with all that eating since we planned to spend the rest of the evening at Victoria Peak, only to find ourselves face to face with a massive crowd and a snaking queue of tourists trying to get onto the tram too.
If I didn’t remember wrongly, the predicted waiting time is approximately 2h 45 min when we got there! So we called it off immediately and left. Such a bummer but really too crazy!
And since we didn’t get the chance to get on the tram to see Victoria Peak, we turned to the Ding Ding tram and took a long ride across Hong Kong Island to Causeway Bay just for the fun of it before we call it a day! Haha… Silly fellas 🙂
More posts from Hong Kong November 2015 travelogue series:
- Wan Chai & Central | Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong
- 1 day trip to Macau | Macau, China
- Wong Tai Sin Temple, Mong Kok & Tsim Sha Tsui | Kowloon, Hong Kong
- Ngong Ping 360 Village & Big Buddha | Lantau Island, Hong Kong
- Hong Kong Disneyland | Lantau Island, Hong Kong
- Tsui Wah Restaurant and Hong Kong International Airport | Lantau Island, Hong Kong