jump to navigation

香港三日游; 3-days in Hong Kong 10/8 – 10/11/2008; 10/8/2008 – Kowloon 九龍 November 15, 2008

Posted by hslu in Travel.
Tags: , , , , ,
add a comment

香港三日游; 3-days in Hong Kong 10/8 – 10/11/2008

Wednesday, 10/8/2008 – Kowloon 九龍

From Japan, we flew to Hong Kong on All Nippon Airway. We left Narita at 10:15 in the morning and arrived at Hong Kong a little past 2:00 in the afternoon. The flight was uneventful and the lunch was good but the hot meal was just so so this time. We have booked 龍堡大飯店 BP International Hotel through the local travel agent and we decide to take public transportation to the hotel instead of a taxi. After a short inquiry, we found out that the cheapest way is to take the Airport Express to Kowloon Station 九龍車站 and then take the free hotel shuttle bus K5 at the station to 龍堡大飯店. The fair was $160 HKD round trip for each of us which would be about ½ the price if we took taxi to and from the hotel. The Airport Express was clean and comfortable and took about 20 minutes to Kowloon Station. We then waited for about 5 minutes before getting on K5. It then stopped by four other hotels before dropping us off at 龍堡. We checked in and were given a $50 HKD discount ticket to their seafood buffet at the hotel which cost $260 HKD. Since I have already decided which restaurants to go to, we had to skip this offer.

龍堡 is in the middle of 尖沙咀 Tsim Sha Tsui just north of the Kowloon Park. It is a few blocks from the Temple Night Market 廟街 , two subway stations; Jordan and 尖沙咀; and the Nathan Road 彌敦大道, the widest and busiest street in Kowloon. It is also within walking distance to Star Ferry, Peninsular Hotel and Huton Restaurant where I have made reservation for tomorrow night for us. In addition, taxi fares to 女人街, 鳥街 and 花街 are less than $30 HKD, about $4 in US dollar. Our room was on the 12th floor facing south but it wasn’t tall enough to see the night sky of the Hong Kong harbor.

We settled in the room and decided to go to Peninsula Hotel 半島酒店 for the legendary afternoon tea since we had a light lunch on the way to Hong Kong on the airplane. We decided to walk to get some exercise. Besides it wasn’t very hot outside. It was a good and relaxing stroll and it took about 20 minutes or less.

img_06141

The Peninsular Hotel was, and probably still is, a popular place for movie stars, businessmen, businesswomen and politicians to meet and chat. It is also a place for tourists to get a taste of high class life style. We got there at 3:30 PM and the lobby was about 1/3 full. It the has old world charm and a touch of class. The light was kind of dim and the level of conversation was quite low. We sat at a table away from the entrance and foot traffic of hotel guesses. It also gave us a good view of what’s going on in the lobby.

We ordered the pre-fixe menu which cost about $80 for the two of us. Maria had coffee and I had tea. The food came on a silver-plated 3-tier tray. The top level had French pastries. Finger sandwich was on the middle and the bottom tray had several scones. They came with crème and jelly. We each also got a cup of crème brulée which was soft and creamy. The greenish-colored crust on the top was even better than crème brulée. We took our time and enjoyed our moment of quietness. We didn’t want to finish the scone and pastries because we wanted to save some appetite for dinner. The hotel staff gladly put them in a beautiful box for us to take back top the hotel. We also checked out the level on the 2nd floor above the lobby. It had many stores selling top class fashion clothes and jewelry. There was a tea house there. However, all had more store clerks than customers

img_0618_edited1

We got out of the lobby and walked toward the hotel. It was quitting time for office workers and there were many people on the road and at the bus stops. We put the left-over pastries in the small fridge in the room and got out to our next stop which was 女人街. It took a 10 minute taxi drive and $29 HKD.

女人街 or Lady’s Market is actually a 4-block stretch of 通菜街, or Tung Choi Street, between Dundas and Argyle Streets. It has probably 100 vendors in make-shift stalls selling mostly ladies goods; including fake name-brand handbags, clothes, socks, pantyhose, ear rings, shoes, toys, fake jade Jewelries, CDs, DVDs, fake antiques, bronze statues, tea pots, paper fans, watches, suitcases, electronic gadgets and accessories for cell phone and iPods. We have been here 3 times before and we liked it very time we were here.

The place is the no. 1 tourist stop of the entire Hong Kong where prices for every merchant are open for negotiation. The right technique, I was told, is to ask for the price first, divided it by half and then start your offer a bit lower than that. The vendor will probably say something like:

“This is too low. How about so and so?” They will usually add:
“This is the lowest I can go. I won’t make any money at all,” or
“We haven’t sold anything yet today. You are our first customer,” or
“This is lower than my cost. How about so and so?”

Never take the second offer because it is usually still way over-priced. If you don’t like the second offer or you knew that you were offered something lower at the last stall, you’ll turn around and start walking away. More often than not, the vendor will call you back and ask for your offer. You will then add a little and insist that this is your last offer. Usually, you will get what you want but don’t need at a price that’s mutually agreeable.

Never do something like what this couple did with a vendor after we have just bought a pair of Kung Fu dresses from her; a white one and a black one:

The young couple was interested in the Kung Fu dress and signaled the vendor of his choice. The vendor took it down from the top shelf and said in her broken English: “$120 Hong Kong Dollar.” The guy showed the dress to his female friend and discussed the offer with her in less than 10 second and said: “We are not willing to offer anything more than $80 HKD.” The vendor then said “$100 HKD.” The guy looked at his female friend for less than 5 seconds, turned around and said “We’ll take it.” They looked happy and walked away without knowing that we had just paid $80 HKD for the same dress. Of course, it probably cost the vendor $40 or even lower to get her supplies from a wholesaler.

We walked from one end to the other and back. On the evening of the last day, we went back to女人街again for a quick look around. In two trips, we bought 20 paper fans, 2 fake Gucci bags, a small clutch with the same design and several Chinese movie DVDs.

The Temple Night Market 廟街 in 油蔴地 Yau Ma Tei was the next stop. It was less than a mile away and cost less than $20 HKD by taxi. 廟街 got its name from the temple 天后廟 Tian Hou Miao (Heavenly Empress Temple) near by. This place is similar to 女人街 because it has many stalls which sell everything you can find at 女人街 .

However, it is different from 女人街 in the following ways:

• 廟街 is also called 男人街 because there are many vendors who carry sports T-shirts, man’s dresses and pants.
• Because it is close to a temple, there were many fortune tellers 算命 who would check your palm lines, look at your face, touch your hand and then tell you what future holds for you. If you want to know whether you will be filthy rich, he’ll tell you when. If you need to know whether you will have a boy in your life, he’ll probably say that you are destined to have a boy after you are 40 years old. If you want to know whether you will marry a beautiful girl next year, he’ll tell you very much so.
• There are many restaurants with tables on the street corner selling Cantonese food and seafood.

We wanted to buy a voltage converter because both Hong Kong and Shanghai; our next stop, have 220V, instead of 110V, outlets. We talked to a couple of vendors and they wanted to sell us multi-function plug that works with 220V wall outlets. However, this wasn’t what we need. Since I didn’t know whether it would actually do the job, we decided not to buy it. Actually, we were afraid that it may damage our cell phone or electrical shaver.

We walked around but didn’t buy anything this time. We also walked by several busy restaurants where many customers had their midnight snack at tables on the street. The 10 or so small tables actually took over almost ½ of the intersection forcing cars and tourists alike to get by the tables slowly. We liked the bustling atmosphere a lot and the food and beer looked very tempting. However, we would not eat here because I have already decided to have 粥tonight. We did return here on our last night in Hong Kong and bought 2 Kung Fu dresses, 10 cashmere scarves (probably fake ones,) 6 pairs of underwear and a small bronze Guan Yin statue.

Our dinner was at the 40-year old Fu Ji Congee Restaurant 富記粥品, not far from the Temple Night Market. 粥is something one has to try when visiting Hong Kong and, according to some web sites that I researched, 富記is the place to go for 粥. Congee 粥 (Zhou) is different from xi fan稀飯. The former was cooked over low heat for a long time and the structure of the rice grains disappears completely while the latter was cooked rapidly with rice grain intact. In addition, xi fan 稀飯 is bland in taste and is usually eaten with side dishes. Congee 粥 is made in two steps: a pot of rice is first cooked with water until the grain of the rice disappears. It is then set aside. The rice is then cooked with meat, seafood or inners of pig (all have been prepared separately earlier) depending on customers’ order before it is served. I ordered 及第粥 ji di zhou or zhou with pig’s inners (豬雜粥) because I wanted to try something that’s different from what we usually order: 皮蛋瘦肉粥 pi dan shou rou zhou. 及第粥 was a staple of common people in canton. It uses all parts of a pig to make the zhou without wasting anything at all. It has the following ingredients: 瘦肉片、猪肝片、猪肚and 猪肠. The zhou went well with shredded ginger 姜丝and cilantro. However, we didn’t it finish all the inners because of their high cholesterol contents. The steamy zhou was good to the last drop; silky, tasty and full of flavor too.

香港三日游; 3-days in Hong Kong 10/8 – 10/11/2008 – Kowloon 九龍 November 8, 2008

Posted by hslu in Travel.
Tags: , , , , ,
2 comments

香港三日游; 3-days in Hong Kong 10/8 – 10/11/2008

Wednesday, 10/8/2008 – Kowloon 九龍

From Japan, we flew to Hong Kong on All Nippon Airway. We left Narita at 10:15 in the morning and arrived at Hong Kong a little past 2:00 in the afternoon. The flight was uneventful and the lunch was good but the hot meal was just so so this time. We have booked 龍堡大飯店 BP International Hotel through the local travel agent and we decide to take public transportation to the hotel instead of a taxi. After a short inquiry, we found out that the cheapest way is to take the Airport Express to Kowloon Station 九龍車站 and then take the free hotel shuttle bus K5 at the station to 龍堡大飯店. The fair was $160 HKD round trip for each of us which would be about ½ the price if we took taxi to and from the hotel. The Airport Express was clean and comfortable and took about 20 minutes to Kowloon Station. We then waited for about 5 minutes before getting on K5. It then stopped by four other hotels before dropping us off at 龍堡. We checked in and were given a $50 HKD discount ticket to their seafood buffet at the hotel which cost $260 HKD. Since I have already decided which restaurants to go to, we had to skip this offer.

龍堡 is in the middle of 尖沙咀 Tsim Sha Tsui just north of the Kowloon Park. It is a few blocks from the Temple Night Market 廟街 , two subway stations; Jordan and 尖沙咀; and the Nathan Road 彌敦大道, the widest and busiest street in Kowloon. It is also within walking distance to Star Ferry, Peninsular Hotel and Huton Restaurant where I have made reservation for tomorrow night for us. In addition, taxi fares to 女人街, 鳥街 and 花街 are less than $30 HKD, about $4 in US dollar. Our room was on the 12th floor facing south but it wasn’t tall enough to see the night sky of the Hong Kong harbor.

We settled in the room and decided to go to Peninsula Hotel 半島酒店 for the legendary afternoon tea since we had a light lunch on the way to Hong Kong on the airplane. We decided to walk to get some exercise. Besides it wasn’t very hot outside. It was a good and relaxing stroll and it took about 20 minutes or less.

The Peninsular Hotel was, and probably still is, a popular place for movie stars, businessmen, businesswomen and politicians to meet and chat. It is also a place for tourists to get a taste of high class life style. We got there at 3:30 PM and the lobby was about 1/3 full. It the has old world charm and a touch of class. The light was kind of dim and the level of conversation was quite low. We sat at a table away from the entrance and foot traffic of hotel guesses. It also gave us a good view of what’s going on in the lobby.

We ordered the pre-fixe menu which cost about $80 for the two of us. Maria had coffee and I had tea. The food came on a silver-plated 3-tier tray. The top level had French pastries. Finger sandwich was on the middle and the bottom tray had several scones. They came with crème and jelly. We each also got a cup of crème brulée which was soft and creamy. The greenish-colored crust on the top was even better than crème brulée. We took our time and enjoyed our moment of quietness. We didn’t want to finish the scone and pastries because we wanted to save some appetite for dinner. The hotel staff gladly put them in a beautiful box for us to take back top the hotel. We also checked out the level on the 2nd floor above the lobby. It had many stores selling top class fashion clothes and jewelry. There was a tea house there. However, all had more store clerks than customers.

img_0614

img_0618_edited

We got out of the lobby and walked toward the hotel. It was quitting time for office workers and there were many people on the road and at the bus stops. We put the left-over pastries in the small fridge in the room and got out to our next stop which was 女人街. It took a 10 minute taxi drive and $29 HKD.

女人街 or Lady’s Market is actually a 4-block stretch of 通菜街, or Tung Choi Street, between Dundas and Argyle Streets. It has probably 100 vendors in make-shift stalls selling mostly ladies goods; including fake name-brand handbags, clothes, socks, pantyhose, ear rings, shoes, toys, fake jade Jewelries, CDs, DVDs, fake antiques, bronze statues, tea pots, paper fans, watches, suitcases, electronic gadgets and accessories for cell phone and iPods. We have been here 3 times before and we liked it very time we were here.

The place is the no. 1 tourist stop of the entire Hong Kong where prices for every merchant are open for negotiation. The right technique, I was told, is to ask for the price first, divided it by half and then start your offer a bit lower than that. The vendor will probably say something like:

“This is too low. How about so and so?” They will usually add:
“This is the lowest I can go. I won’t make any money at all,” or
“We haven’t sold anything yet today. You are our first customer,” or
“This is lower than my cost. How about so and so?”

Never take the second offer because it is usually still way over-priced. If you don’t like the second offer or you knew that you were offered something lower at the last stall, you’ll turn around and start walking away. More often than not, the vendor will call you back and ask for your offer. You will then add a little and insist that this is your last offer. Usually, you will get what you want but don’t need at a price that’s mutually agreeable.

Never do something like what this couple did with a vendor after we have just bought a pair of Kung Fu dresses from her; a white one and a black one:

The young couple was interested in the Kung Fu dress and signaled the vendor of his choice. The vendor took it down from the top shelf and said in her broken English: “$120 Hong Kong Dollar.” The guy showed the dress to his female friend and discussed the offer with her in less than 10 second and said: “We are not willing to offer anything more than $80 HKD.” The vendor then said “$100 HKD.” The guy looked at his female friend for less than 5 seconds, turned around and said “We’ll take it.” They looked happy and walked away without knowing that we had just paid $80 HKD for the same dress. Of course, it probably cost the vendor $40 or even lower to get her supplies from a wholesaler.

We walked from one end to the other and back. On the evening of the last day, we went back to女人街again for a quick look around. In two trips, we bought 20 paper fans, 2 fake Gucci bags, a small clutch with the same design and several Chinese movie DVDs.

The Temple Night Market 廟街 in 油蔴地 Yau Ma Tei was the next stop. It was less than a mile away and cost less than $20 HKD by taxi. 廟街 got its name from the temple 天后廟 Tian Hou Miao (Heavenly Empress Temple) near by. This place is similar to 女人街 because it has many stalls which sell everything you can find at 女人街 .

However, it is different from 女人街 in the following ways:

• 廟街 is also called 男人街 because there are many vendors who carry sports T-shirts, man’s dresses and pants.
• Because it is close to a temple, there were many fortune tellers 算命 who would check your palm lines, look at your face, touch your hand and then tell you what future holds for you. If you want to know whether you will be filthy rich, he’ll tell you when. If you need to know whether you will have a boy in your life, he’ll probably say that you are destined to have a boy after you are 40 years old. If you want to know whether you will marry a beautiful girl next year, he’ll tell you very much so.
• There are many restaurants with tables on the street corner selling Cantonese food and seafood.

We wanted to buy a voltage converter because both Hong Kong and Shanghai; our next stop, have 220V, instead of 110V, outlets. We talked to a couple of vendors and they wanted to sell us multi-function plug that works with 220V wall outlets. However, this wasn’t what we need. Since I didn’t know whether it would actually do the job, we decided not to buy it. Actually, we were afraid that it may damage our cell phone or electrical shaver.

We walked around but didn’t buy anything this time. We also walked by several busy restaurants where many customers had their midnight snack at tables on the street. The 10 or so small tables actually took over almost ½ of the intersection forcing cars and tourists alike to get by the tables slowly. We liked the bustling atmosphere a lot and the food and beer looked very tempting. However, we would not eat here because I have already decided to have 粥 Congee tonight. We did return here on our last night in Hong Kong and bought 2 Kung Fu dresses, 10 cashmere scarves (probably fake ones,) 6 pairs of underwear and a small bronze Guan Yin statue.

Our dinner was at the 40-year old Fu Ji Congee Restaurant 富記粥品, not far from the Temple Night Market. 粥is something one has to try when visiting Hong Kong and, according to some web sites that I researched, 富記is the place to go for 粥. Congee 粥 (Zhou) is different from xi fan 稀飯. The former was cooked over low heat for a long time and the structure of the rice grains disappears completely while the latter was cooked rapidly with rice grain intact. In addition, xi fan  稀飯 is bland in taste and is usually eaten with side dishes. Congee 粥 is made in two steps: a pot of rice is first cooked with water until the grain of the rice disappears. It is then set aside. The rice is then cooked with meat, seafood or inners of pig (all have been prepared separately earlier) depending on customers’ order before it is served. I ordered 及第粥 ji di zhou or zhou with pig’s inners (豬雜粥) because I wanted to try something that’s different from what we usually order: 皮蛋瘦肉粥 pi dan shou rou zhou. 及第粥 was a staple of common people in canton. It uses all parts of a pig to make the zhou without wasting anything at all. It has the following ingredients: 瘦肉片、猪肝片、猪肚 and 猪肠. The zhou went well with shredded ginger 姜丝 and cilantro. However, we didn’t it finish all the inners because of their high cholesterol contents. The steamy zhou was good to the last drop; silky, tasty and full of flavor too.

%d bloggers like this: