Thursday, December 15, 2016

Along the causeway, Hong Kong and Kowloon

15 Dec 2016 Thu

After a rigorous day ‘scaling’ the Dragon, we opted for a relaxed pace that involved moving along both side of the causeway on HK island and Kowloon.

But first, no DIY trip is complete without visiting how the ordinary folks do their marketing. Chun Yeung Market is touted as one of the most colorful markets in HK and one of the oldest as well. It was just down the road so our morning started with a walk down the busy market street where man, goods and the HK tram jostle for that little real estate on Chun Yeung Street. There was no order in how the businesses where set up but there was order in the chaos.

We had a very expensive, ripoff breakfast of plain toast and noodles off the market place and then we hopped on the westbound tram or Ding Ding to Des Veoux West Street. It was a very slow ride with more than 20 odd stops to the destination. Ding Ding passed through the residential area of North Point to the business district and then to the wholesale area at Sheung Wan. There were many photos opportunities just sitting at the top deck and the sunlit city simmered as glazed building reflected the image of nearby buildings. For a ride of HKD 2.30, it was cheap thrill.

We got off at Dried Seafood Stop and very soon, I made my purchase of scallops, giant oysters, dried fins, goose liver sausage – the ‘damage’ around $200 Sgd. I have never been more decisive in my shopping before!

We took the Ding Ding back to town. Near Peddar Street, we made our way onto the Mid Level Escalator and got off around Wellington Street. We found 77 Wellington Street very quickly where we had dumpling noodles at Mak’s. It was pricey and food was heavily seasoned. It may be award winning but not completely to my liking. Out little meal cost us a princely 150 Hkd, considering its minute portions. A mid afternoon tea break was immediately in our plans.

We walked towards IFC by way of the escalators and covered walkways, admiring the reflection of the city on the glass buildings. Beyond IFC, we took a ferry at Pier 7 at the Central Star Ferry to Kowloon’s Tsim Sha Tsui. It was a cool 2.50 Hkd on the upper deck. The ride was short but the HK skyline offered a great photo opportunities for Pat.

At Gateway Harbour City, we wondered in search of food again and ended up at M&C Duck. It was a strange menu of Chinese savories and tea but the quiet restaurant offers a respite for our tired legs. That was another 150 Hkd off our per diem that day.

We walked northwards to Shanghai Street, a good 2 km away from Harbour City. The scenery was not pretty and I made it a point to return to TST by MTR later.

Shanghai Street, famous for its kitchenware, was a complete letdown and not as ‘happening’ as I wanted it to be. I ended up with 2 pairs of goose sausage for 26 Hkd and some friendly advice on how to cook them. It took away the gloom of that failed walk.

Near TST, we had our 4th meal of the day at The Sphagetti House. We waited a while for our baked rice (284 Hkd) but it turned out pretty decent. By now, I have noticed that eating out in HK is twice as expensive as in Singapore and wondered how working folks can afford to do that often.

At Ocean Terminal waterfront, we waited for the Symphony of Lights show to start at 8pm. It was the most anticlimactic event, with laser lights coming from mainly 3 buildings at odd intervals. It was like that for 13 minutes and unspectacular. The laser pulses were quite able to induce fits for some. In my opinion, the digital displays on the buildings across the causeway were lovely enough. The ‘light show’ was what the Chinese called ‘drawing legs on snakes’ , a futile and unnecessary exercise.

We caught the 8.20pm ferry back to HK ( lower deck ,2 Hkd ) and transferred to Bus 2 ( 4.10 Hkd ), just steps from Pier 2. It was a jolty ride and I was glad to be back on stable land after 30 minutes at North Point Tong Shui Street.

What can I make of it other than I have experienced the tram, ferry and got back on an unplanned bus trip. That alone made the day worth it!

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