Friday, November 20, 2015

5D4N Hong Kong/Macau 2015 Autumn Itinerary

A year ago I made a free & easy trip to Hong Kong with my other girlfriend (you can read it from last year's pre-trip post, day one post, day two post, day three post and final day four and five day post.)

This year I went for another free & easy trip just a week ago hoping for a getaway from this heat (though it wasn't even exactly chilly until the last day of our trip.....) 

Since I've done a rather detailed post last year, and plus the places that I've went are rather touristy (which means a lot of you already know - maybe even better then me) so I'm just gonna keep it simple.


Estimated total cost including expenses for ONE pax:

Flight                          $306.30
Accommodation         $246
SIM Card                    $15
Est. Cabfare                $18.52 (Converted from HKD 100)
Est. MTR fare             $37.04 (Converted from HKD 200)
Ferry                           $65.37 (Converted from HKD 353)
Expenses                     $727 (You can determine this yourself)
Total damage             $1,415.23 (~$1,420)

Prior to last year's experience of being unable to get a SIMcard at airport itself (I've asked like 3-4 places they just shoo me aside and said they have either sold out or not available) I thought to seek for alternative since our flight will arrive at wee hours and it would be impossible for us to get a card upon arrival. Also to ease the trouble of having to find a decent SIMcard without risking being carrots heads... we found this on Changirecommends!

Credits: Changirecommends Website

Basically, you can just place your order online here through their website and then before you depart, you go and collect it! Installation is easy peasy, all you need to do is to remove your current simcard and slot this in and ta-dah! It works. 5 days of 1.5gb was definitely more than enough. I was practically routing google map everyday and till day 5 I still had half of the data left! 

The only setback was we didn't realize this simcard doesn't work in Macau. So when we were in Macau, we're practically lost birds. :(

But in any case, I totally recommend you to get this before departure. It's $15, which I find it reasonable because I remember getting it at $18 last year in Hong Kong itself. 

Note: This is definitely not advertorial because we found it out ourselves, it's just so convenient, I had to share about this if you don't already know.

If you're wondering how much you have to set aside for cab fares, my travel partner found this link to help me in my planning. It's pretty close to what we actually had to pay for but of course it's subjected to traffic conditions. So just use this as a rough estimation.


We went with Pandora Hotel listed on Airbnb, paying $118 a night with additional $56 Airbnb Service Fees. I had a referral discount of $35 so eventually the total amount due was $492.

Located near Jordan MTR exit A, nearby to Australian Dairy/Yee Shun and Mak's noodle. I would say that there's a fair share of goodies around. Don't have too high expectations for the room and it is small (compared to other countries when you pay for hotel pricing) but they have the basic amenities like hair dryer, changing of towels, room service and room cleaning.

If you're interested, here's the link for the hotel

Oh, and the cleanliness of the room is 5/10. You will see rusty shower rack and dust by your windows. It was fine with us since we're almost not in the hotel most of the time. The walls are really thin so if there are kids running around the corridor, you'd definitely hear them.


We booked through Expedia and gotten ourselves a promotion! 2 Cathay Pacific economy class tickets for $612.60! Though the timing had some setbacks but it was what we wanted - fully maximize the travel time. We departed in the wee hours and we still had a full day to spend there!


So here's the main gist of it, the itinerary. Well, we unfortunately did not follow most of the itinerary and impromptu a couple of new places which ain't even listed in the list due to unforeseen circumstances. Which, I'd point it out slowly below as I go along with the itinerary.



Upon arrival, we realized that the Octopus (EZ-Link card equivalent) top up counter before you leave the customs is closed. They only open at 0930, so if you're reaching any earlier then that and you don't have an Octopus card, please go to the service counter after exiting to the arrival's hall. Not exactly the best service - and you have no choice hahahaa. 

First stop, Australian Dairy. For first timers, just go with Set A/B, you'd get scramble eggs with toast, macaroni with ham and a cup of milk tea. 

Second stop, Prada outlet. Exit D and you will find the bus terminal - stupid C2 brought us to the taxi bay, so wrong direction there.

Prada outlet was disappointing but the view nearby was comforting.

Come only at 1045, when they are fully open or they will make you stand outside the store and queue up. Tsk.

We decided to give Horizon Plaza a skip after realizing that Marina Square and that entire area other then the Prada Outlet, it wasn't worth it to waste time there, so we hop on a random bus that says to go "Aberdeen" and headed off to this place called "PMQ".

Long bus ride of a good 45 minutes (good for my travel partner cause she took a wink) and a good 15 minutes of getting lost, climbing slopes after slopes before we eventually found this place.

Verdict: Not a place for shopping - cause the things are really pricey unless you love designer items. Or you're a designer yourself. But, good place to take selfie/wefie/groupfie/act cool ootd shots hahahahahhahaa.

Next stop was Argyle Center, which we had the best shopping in the entire trip. Gave Langham a miss because H&M wasn't on sale and plus all the clothes were 'Autumn' so.... meh. But oh, we had MOS Burger there instead of Mak's noodles.

Ended the day really early because... we were way too shagged. Friday woke up at 0800 for work, caught out flight at 0115 and only sleeping at 0000 on Saturday night is crazy shit. I could have done this when I'm 18 but too bad it's 7 years since then.

Actual route: Hong Kong Airport > Pandora Hotel > Australian Dairy > Prada Outlet > PMQ > Argyle Center > Langham (MOS Burger) > Pandora Hotel


Tim Ho Wan was a crazy queue at Shum Shui Po, waited for a good 45 minutes before we go in. Happy with dimsums and off we went to Hong Kong Industrial Center.... only to realized it's closed on Sundays. Seriously............

Anyway, in the end we went to D2 Place, which was also nearby. It's a weekend market alike to Scape. We bought some stuff there, ain't that cheap but affordable. 

I also did Henna there with this beautiful lady who has been drawing for 7 years and she draws really well!

You can see where she set up stores from her page here. For the one I did was HKD70. 

The Coffee Academics, pricey cafe but good ambiance. We watched the world go round here for a good hour I guess. Rest our feet and fill our tummy. You're probably looking at the same price as SG for their coffee and pastry. 

We wanted to grab a cup of Xu Liu Shan and walk over to the avenue of stars to watch the symphony of lights ONLY TO REALIZE it's permanently closed until 2018 for renovations... 

So we ended the day there and then after a disappointing day. Aish.

Actual route: Tim Ho Wan > Hong Kong Industrial Centre > D2Place > The Coffee Academics > Xu Liu Shan


Wanted to catch the 1000 ferry but unfortunately we woke up late and it was extremely packed so we only got the tickets for 1200 ferry and reached Macau at about 1300. 

We took a shuttle bus to Venetian cause we wanted to explore the other side first. We got lost in Venetian and the verdict is - we are never going back to Macau again. Hahahhahahaha.

But had the pork burger.

And the egg tart, so we were happy.

Totally did not realize that Macau and Hong Kong doesn't share the same network and so we were lost birds that day. Solely relying on maps we find on the streets, taking random cabs and tapping any wifi that we can get. It was indeed an adventure.

Taipa Village, which was a major disappointment for me. Thought it was good because of the reviews online but meh, it's nothing much forget about this place.

Route to St Paul.

Oh Hi, you're here.

Basically, we did not manage to cover alot of places as per planned mainly I did not realize that I won't have data... so without google map I was practically lost. (Sigh..) And because we were lost in Venetian and got to the Macau side late.... Even the canons were closed. So we make do with whatever we could see and headed to Senado Square.

Not very hungry, very tired and want to go back to Hong Kong Island. We treated ourselves to another unexpected impromptu cafe, Yee Shun Milk Company.

We basically ordered whatever that was in red. Red means recommended. So Red bean with fresh milk and egg yolk with milk. Both was good, well at least I felt compensated. Hahahahhaha.

We were so desperate to head home even though our ferry tickets were for 2135, we queued up for an hour for the 2105 ferry at the terminal. So guys, if you're like us and want to get out of Macau and don't mind standing and queuing, you can head back earlier to queue by the side of the Turbojet booth and see if there's any available seats for you.

To compensate us again and since we didn't eat dinner, we went to Mak's Noodles, which was nearby our house.

And the night was completed with a bowl of Wanton Mee.

Actual Route: Tsui Wah > Ferry Terminal > Venetian > Taipa Village > Kum Im Temple (Closed by the time we reached) > St Paul's > Senado Square > Yee Shun Milk Company > Mak's Noodles


Because we missed the wholesale shopping area on Sunday, we made a decision to forgo Ocean Park and head to the shopping place. Though we didn't do a lot of shopping either because of the season of clothes but we had a fair share of good loots. 

Switched Mido Cafe for Dimdimsum instead. 

Since I've not been here before and we ordered so much, I decided to put this post separately. If you want to find out what we had, click here. Anyway, this place is definitely a lot better then Tim Ho wan if you ask me. I prefer the variety of dishes here. Teehee. But it's also slightly more expensive. 2 pax and we ate a total of HKD228.

After shopping it was eating again. So another craving to satisfy was Roast Goose. Total was HKD218.

This is recommended online, you probably can find tons of reviews on it. I didn't managed to take a photo of the menu but rest assured, menu's in English. (Hooray!) Anyway it's worth to try. You could order 1 rice, 1 plate of goodness with a vegetable for 2 pax to share.

And you guessed it, we went for random walking again.... and ended up eating again.

Kam Wah Cafe, one of the best services in my entire trip. Toast and egg tarts are their specialty but unfortunately for me, egg tart were sold out by then. SOBS.

Actual Route: Dimdimsum > Hong Kong Industrial Center > Yat Lok Roast Goose > Kam Wah Cafe


And so the final day... Mido Cafe was closed. Darn! Closed on Wednesday by the way. So we went back to Australian Dairy for second round before venturing our way to Airport via MTR. Stopped by Tai Cheong Bakery for some egg tarts to bring home and finally, checked in our baggage and good bye Hong Kong.


As you can see, we basically eat, and eat, and eat and eat. There wasn't much to buy due to the season and since it's not the first time for us, we basically skipped a lot of tourist attractions like Disneyland, Ocean Park (wanted to go because partner never go before but...), The Peak, Cable car and etc.

Thanks for agreeing to go Macau with me though you've been there. Though we planned to try some exciting sports at Macau Tower but.. I guess it wasn't really our day then. Still, it is an memorable trip with us pigging out in Hong Kong.

Maybe, I won't be seeing Hong Kong in the next few years. Hahahahhahahahahaha.

Till my next adventure!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Hong Kong: Dimdimsum Specialty Store

This is a sub-post from my original 5D4N Hong Kong 2015 Itinerary post.

No pictures but the words were manageable. Ordered a feast to dig in that morning!

Total bill was about HKD224

Prawn Spring Rolls - a little too oily but still very good.

Reminds of me Singapore's Victor's Kitchen's Milk Tea.

Pineapple bun which was soooooooooooo good.


Har Gow, fresh prawns!

Custard buns, never go wrong - never. I could eat all 3 up if I had that capability. Hahahhahaa.

That chili, was the best chili - trust me. These carrot cakes win Tim Ho Wan hands down because of that chili lol. 

I forgot what is this called but this-is-a-must-eat. HOMGBBQ! It's really damn good, it's like soft outside, crispy inside with prawns dipped in their sauce...... I must confess I ate a lot of this.

I don't usually eat siew mai cause I don't really like it but this was crab meat and it was really good too. 

Basically, we pigged out big time. Totally worth the calories and okay, I'm definitely going back to eat this when I go back to Hong Kong.