Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Over-Spent HongKong Trip from Day 2 - 5 in Tai O & Within Hong Kong Island

I guess my post-holiday trauma for my Hong Kong trip last month has finally simmered down.
As much as I enjoyed certain aspects of this holiday, that would have to be my travel mates and the beautiful Tai-O village, I am still quite traumatised by how much I've splurged on for this trip. 

I think what surprised me most was the cost of our meals and admission tickets for the mainstream tourist attractions. It was only until the 3rd or 4th day that I came to realise I should be dividing the currency exchange rate by roughly 5 instead of 20 (Taiwan's about 20).  

For something which I thought I was spending S$10 on, it was actually S$40!
Which explains how damage sprouted out of control. 

To round it up, here are the places I visited in Hong Kong from Day 2 - 5 and some items I've spent on (estimated value).  Check out the rest of my damage on top of the amount I spent in Day 1. Unless it's for a business trip or a short getaway to the quieter parts of Hong Kong island like Discovery Bay (which again is an expensive place), I don't think I'm going back to Hong Kong anytime soon. 

Now just before the picture-bombs begin,
THANK YOU Colin, Yongwei, Smith and Chris for keeping me sane and bringing me so much laughter throughout the trip, best travel kakis! I couldn't have survived the 5 days without these fun-loving people. In fact, this trip was made most memorable and fulfilling solely because of the company I was with.

THANK YOU for the fun and love!

Day 2: Tai-O Fishing Village, Big Buddha & Ngong Ping Crystal Cable Car

Colin and I decided to check out earlier from Discovery Bay > Sunny Bay > Tung Chung station.
Travelling time: About 30min.

The baggage storage area is NOT at the MTR station.
You'll have to cross the overhead bridge to the opposite shopping mall to deposit your baggage. We took another 10-15min to find the lockers for the baggage. Then another 10-15min to settle the luggage storage.

1. The coin-changing machine next to locker is not working.
2. You can only use coins for the lockers.
3. You have to give EXACT change.
4. The lockers only accept HKD$10 coins.
5. The customer service counter does not provide any change either.
6. Shop owners are not willing to provide change for you. Colin finally found a kind soul at Life convenient store to help us with the change.

HIGHLIGHT: Please bring exact change if you wish to use those lockers.

The lockers were spacious and clean on a lighter note.
We used the Large locker, enough for 1 x biggest-sized luggage.
For the jumbo size locker, my luggage only occupied about half of the space.

Estimated size of my luggage: 

Total cost for 6HR luggage storage: HKD$80 = SGD$16
(Estimated Currency exchange rate from Singapore Dollars to Hongkong Dollars is about 5.0)

The mall to store your luggage at Tung Chung MTR Station: 

There are TWO bus terminals at Tung Chung. 
1. One is next to Citygate Mall. 
2. The other one is a 2min walk pass Ngong Ping Cable Car Station. 

To go to Tai-O Fishing Village, take bus 11 from the bus terminal further down as you walk pass Ngong Ping Cable Car Station.  Tai-O is about 40min bus ride away with plenty of scenic views.

Alight at the entrance of Tai-O fishing Village. 
Easy to know when to alight because the name of the stop is reflected on the LED screen in front of the bus.

It says 'Tai-O Ferry Terminal'.

My favourite HK bus journey.  :)

20min bus ride to visit the village and catch views of the Wild Dolphins.
Ride: HKG$20 per person (SGD$4)

Tai-O is a beautiful place to chill and take lots of ootds.
Experience a different type of holiday when you dine at any of their river side cafes.
The place is so small you can finish exploring the whole village within 1 hour by foot.

From the Tai-O, take another 15-20min bus ride and you'll reach the Ngong Ping + Big Buddha. 
My first visit there and i like the peace and serenity in the area. 
We also walked further in to explore a deserted village and wisdom path. 
A breezy place despite Summer. 

Visit Ngong Ping: FREE.

Please DO NOT eat anything from this stall right at the entrance of Ngong Ping Village.
Not nice and expensive.

We had a bowl of Sesame paste, cold Tao Huay & 3 Siew Mais. 

Siew Mai: Hard
Taohuay: Blend
Sesame Paste: Blend

The cleanest chinese ingot i've ever seen!
Actually it's the first clean one.
The ones in Singapore and Malaysia will be vandalised with lots of 4D numbers.

Crystal Cable Car Single Trip: HKD$180/pax  (SGD$36/person)
Q-time: 10min

*Afraid of heights*

Day 3: Mongkok, Eaton Hotel

For the rest of the trip, Smith took us around most of the time and we're thankful for that.
We were mostly exploring the streets, local culture and staying around ur area - Mongkok.

Eaton Hotel is pleasantly affordable, clean and spacious.
It comes with free access to their gym, roof swimming pool and massage chairs.
About SGD$120 per night.

It is located just opposite Temple Street, 5minute walk to Mongkok, 5min bus ride to Tsim Sha Tsui and the public transport to the airport is just across the street!

Stay at Eaton Hotel if you're going to Hong Kong!

Xi Chap Lala is THE BEST FOOD ever!
Smith and I alone whacked 1 plate each.

SGD$10 per plate.

Hui Lau Shan: HKD$35 per cup = SGD$7
We had the mango ice 2 days in a row.

Day 4 & 5: Ladies' Street, Tsim Sha Tsui, Lan Kwai Fong, Wan Chai, Causeway Bay, Temple Street

Mostly touch-and-go visiting.
We ate non-stop.
Minimal Shopping.

Shopping Damage
1 pair of normal leggings at Trendy Zone: HKD$210 = SGD42
1 3/4 pvc/leather skirt at Trendy Zone: HKD$450 = SGD$90
1 x Vivienne Westwood watch: SGD$450

*Hole in the pocket*

I LOVE the food sold at Leng Leng eatery in Tsim Sha Tsui.
Address: Shop 22, G/F, New Mandarin Plaza,, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong

Expensive or not, you decide. 
As for me, I don't mind lavishing on the food again because it's really very yummy. 

Rough Food Pricing
5 Curry Fishballs cost HKD$20 = SGD$4

Large Pig Intestines: HKD$12 per stick (SGD$2.40)
We bought 5 sticks and finished it in 5 minutes.

We spent about SGD$50 for a few sticks & a bowl of Che Zhai Noodles.

Enjoyed the live band performance along the street of Wan Zhai! :)

Managed to step into Causeway Bay once in my lifetime just before last train. :)

The pricing for their set breakfast at Australian Dairy Co. has risen to HKD32 per set instead of HKD$29 last year. 

Scrambled eggs
Macaroni Soup
1 cup of Tea/coffee

Service: still as bad as forever.
They never seem to allow you to browse the menu.

Steamed milk for HKD$26 (SGD$5) per bowl. 

The mantis shrimps were so yummy but cost a bomb.
Cravings satisfied though.
Those I find in Singapore can never taste as fresh.

HKD$100 per shrimp (SGD$20 per shrimp)

We decided to try their mcdonald's just before we board the airport bus opposite Eaten Hotel. 

Mcdonald's value meals are about HKD$35 per set (SGD$7).
About the same price as Singapore and some even more expensive.
Look at the menu, do the math.

They taste about the same as that of Singapore's.

Mummy Chris and I choping the seats while the boys went to get mcdonalds.

The packaging is too cute to resist!

Box: Actual serving.

The box of chicken looks so stingy so we tried to stack potato croquettes and nuggets underneath to make this picture look fuller and more appetising!


The cheapest way to Hong Kong International Airport is perhaps taking the public transport A21.
 The bus ride is about 1hr from Temple Street and cost HKD$33 per trip (SGD$6.60).
We waited 30min for the bus.

Very packed and some of them had to stand.
We're fortunate to get some seats for ourselves.
It's a double-decker and you can only place your luggages at the lower deck.

Someone is extremely happy to be coming home.


Colin and I spent a total of about SGD$3800 in total for this 5D4N HK trip. 
For the first time in my life, I felt the pinch.

Bye Hong Kong!
See you in a long long time.