Travel Recommends now offers not only pocket WiFi, but also cheaper overseas attraction tickets and airport transfer service! Get them all in one go to make your travel planning more convenience!
We went on an impromptu 4D3N trip to Hong Kong last week, because Summerkid really needs a holiday before starting his new “challenge”. Air tickets and hotel were booked one week ahead, itinerary goes on “no plan is our plan”. As long as we have internet with us, it shouldn’t be a big issue. We can always check out what to eat, what to buy, what to do and where to play in Hong Kong through mobile phone.
Travel Recommends came as our choice again, as it offers one of the cheapest pocket WiFi rental in Malaysia. This was our second time using Travel Recommends, satisfied as usual with its small & light body, good connection that let us stay online throughout our journey. We browsed through the website further after finished our booking, and realized Travel Recommends now provides attraction tickets and airport transfer in various countries too!
Since we’ve no specific plan yet, we decided to purchase Ngong Ping 360, Madame Tussauds, The Peak and Ocean Park tickets with Travel Recommends to fill up our time in between food hunting. Complete with airport transfer too because weather forecast saying that it would be raining most of the time when we were in Hong Kong. We’ve no interest to board on free airport shuttle bus or HK Airport Express Train but ended up having to drag our luggage in rain to find our hotel.
DAY 1: HK International Airport -> Grand City Hotel -> Mak Ming Noodles Sai Yin Pun -> The Peak Tram -> Sky Terrace 428 -> Madame Tussauds -> Mcdonald’s NEXT -> Grand City Hotel
We’re glad that we pre-booked the airport transfer. It was raining heavily once we touched down in Hong Kong International Airport. The rain didn’t stop after hours. Our driver had been waiting us for some time due to flight and baggage delayed. We went straight into the car and reached safely directly in front of the hotel in Sai Ying Pun, which took about 50 minutes. Oh yay, no need to walk in the rain. The most interesting part, we went back to airport in a BMW! So cool!
Checked in to Grand City Hotel this time, a hotel in Hong Kong Western District. Room was small but considered clean and comfortable, size was definitely bigger from hotels we stayed in Jordan and Central last time. It is a brand under Best Western Hotel group, with strategic location that is less than 2 minutes from Sai Ying Pun MTR Station, Exit B1. Plenty of restaurants, convenient stores around.
We walked to Mak Ming Noodles 麥明記 for late lunch while waiting for the rain to stop. It was just 1 minute walk from Grand City Hotel. This shop is also belong to the Mak’s family, a famous wantan noodles specialist. Spacious, more modern design, with a touch of classic cha chan teng ambience. They use ipad to place our order! So “up to date”! Had Sai Yung (aka wantan mee) and Pei Dan Sau Yok Zhuk (Preserved Egg with Lean Meat Congee). Yeah! Happy.
4PM. Finally rain stopped. What a rainy day that ruined our plan. Need to skip Emack & Bolio’s ice cream at Hong Kong Central because it was quite late already, so we headed straight to The Peak Tram. A sea of people, we waited patiently for our turn. The good thing was we had physical tickets with us bought from Travel Recommends, so we did not have to queue at ticket counter.
By the time we reach Sky Terrace 428 凌霄閣摩天台428, the observation deck of The Peak, it was already 6PM. Just in time for the sunset, and welcomed the beautiful night scene up the hill. Summer in The Peak is breezy, but wasn’t cold at all even after rain. Just wear short sleeves shirt and short pants are enough.
After leaving The Peak Observation platform, we went down to Madame Tussauds. Changed our e-tickets bought from Travel Recommends to physical tickets at front counter. Generally no queue so the process was completed in less than 5 minutes. Walked on the “red carpet” again and met over 100 of life size wax figures, putting together memorable people and superstars from different countries. Manged to say HELLO! to Doo Min Jun Shi this time! And also the beautiful artists GEM Tang Tsz-Kei.
Pretty exhausted by the time we finished taking pictures with these wax figures, as we had been awake since 2AM for early flight. Summergirl said NO to dinner and requested to go back hotel but Summerkid insisted to pay a visit to Mcdonald’s NEXT, the world’s first concept restaurant by Mcd with table services and build your own menu.
Mcdonald’s NEXT is located at Admiralty Center. Aligned at Admiralty MTR Station, follow exit A1 to reach. Luckily its location is inside the station, else Summergirl would “fat lan za”, stand there and stop walking already. Hahahaha. It was so fun eating in this next generation Mcdonald’s! We really love the concept and don’t mind coming back! Customized our own Angus Beef Burger from the touch screen booth, paid using Octopus Card. Will share a blog post about it soon!
Finally got to go back. Sai Ying Pun is very quiet at night. Most shops are closed, except the fruit stalls which seems opened till late everyday.
DAY 2: Grand City Hotel -> Ocean Park -> High Street Cart Noodles -> Yuen Kee Dessert -> Mong Kok -> Sai Yee Street Starbucks -> Grand City Hotel
Woke up to a gloomy sky. Checked the weather forecast and the result was still cloudy, thunderstorm, rain and whatever that was opposed to clear blue sky. But since we had bought our ticket, we stick to the Ocean park plan, which would occupied whole day. From Sai Ying Pun MTR, passed through Sheung Wan, Central and reached Admiralty MTR. So close! We’ve began to like the location of Sai Yin Pun. Followed the sign board of Ocean Park, then waited for Bus 629. This bus number travelled between Admiralty – Ocean Park from 9AM onwards daily, at HKD10.60 per trip.
Again, we did not have to queue at the ticket counter, because already have physical ticket booked from Travel Recommends. It was super hot at 10AM, but the sky didn’t look happy, so did our look. Managed to ride on roller coasted ONLY, then it began to rain. Even the dolphin show was cancelled. Emo to the max. We had umbrella with us but the wind was too strong. We ended up having flipped umbrella, broken umbrella support. “Buried” it at one of the rubbish bins in Ocean Park. Speechless.
We guessed we covered less than half of the park’s attractions. Most activities turned indoor, like getting close to penguin, panda, goldfish, etc.. Rain only stopped after 4 to 5 hours. Continued to walk for a short while, whole body felt sticky, in the end gave up and returned to hotel.
Finally get to bath and felt refreshed again. Happily climbed the staircases from Queen’s Road to High Street Sai Ying Pun to have a taste of 英記牛腩面 Ying Kee Ngau Lam Min (Beef Belly Noodles) but it was closed! Really cry a river. What a day. Switched to High Street Cart Noodle opposite to Ying Kee, and tasted a bowl of surprisingly good, beyond expectation cart noodle at ~HKD50.
Walked down the slope back to Queen’s Road, as Summergirl wanted to have Tong Sui. Coincidently, Sai Ying Pun has one of the best Tong Sui shop in Hong Kong, named Yuen Kee Dessert 源記甜品專家. Tried out their signature Egg Herbal Tea, Black Sesame Sweet Soup and old-school egg cake. We found it expensive, but still worth trying once a while.
Sai Ying Pun was quite boring at night. Did not know what to do after finishing our tong sui. Took MTR, crossed Hong Kong Island to Mong Kok. It had been 3 years from the last time we visited this place. Still crowded, with street art performance, opened till late shops and more. A shopping and eating paradise that showcases big contrast to the more slow pace, calm neighbourhood of Sai Ying Pun.
Checked out Starbucks Coffee Sai Yee Street 洗衣街星巴克, a rather hidden cafe in movie theatre style, reflecting the local culture of Hong Kong. Skipped coffee and had Yuan Yong Parfait 鴛鴦巴菲, a dessert that layered up vanilla ice cream, jelly, yuan yong pudding, chocolate ice cream and more cream on top.
DAY 3: Grand City Hotel -> Ngong Ping 360 Crystal Cable Car -> Ngong Ping Village -> Tian Tan Buddha -> Po Lin Monastery -> Wisdom Path -> Fun Walk -> Grand City Hotel -> Sai Ying Pun Station Wall Art -> Sai Ying Pun neighbourhood -> Ying Kee Beef Noodles -> Chi Lai Xiang Egg Rolls -> Winston Coffee -> Causeway Bay -> Grand City Hotel
Summer in Hong Kong is on ever changing weather. Day 3 was scorching hot with no rain, so we got sun burnt hahahaha. A little tired from two days of walking. We departed from hotel to Ngong Ping 360 at around 9AM without having breakfast. Got down at Tung Chung, the MTR station near to airport. Many tourists will visit Ngong Ping 360 and the outlet mall next to the station – Citygate Shopping Mall on the last day of travel, then leave to Hong Kong Airport directly.
Exchanged our e-ticket at Ngong Ping 360 counter. You will be directed to the Agency Ticket line, which has less people. In our case, no one in the queue LOL. Felt grateful that we booked our ticket earlier from Travel Recommends. Sat in crystal cabin to reach Ngong Ping Village! So much fun stepping on transparent floor on the cabin while enjoying the breathtaking view.
The end point was Ngong Ping Village, a place with ample of eateries. From fast food chain subway to popular tong soi Moon Kee Dessert, Hong Kong Style Cha Chan Teng, Tea Room, etc., get them all along the street. Lunch and dinner can be settled well here.
Since it was so hot, we passed through the street pretty fast and reached Tian Tan Buddha 天壇大佛. Summergirl planned to take photos at the bottom of this statue only. So imagined her horrifying face when Summerkid said: “Let’s go up.” Summergirl : Har…go up? (while looking at the super long staircases). Summerkid: “Of course, why not?” OMG so sporting #facepalm.
268 staircases to the top, exhausted but feeling proud with our “achievement” LOL. Scenery was awesome up there but so hot! Wind was strong but this time no more overturned umbrella because we were using the expensive umbrella bought during Seoul trip in Korea.
Stopped at a vegetarian shop inside Po Lin Monestery for quick lunch. Total price was 65HKD for a plate of vegetarian char siew, dao pau, fried mee hoon, dau fu fa, popiah, and two dim sum. That 山水豆腐花 San Shui Dao Fu Fa is must try! Slippery smooth, melt in the mouth.
Walked down a quiet forest path to reach Wisdom Path after lunch. So many mosquitoes hahaha. Got bitten until Summergirl shouted : “Another 5 more minutes if I don’t see you I will turn back!” hahahahaha. Luckily these came in sight not long after. These giant wood columns in 8-10 metres, crafted with calligraphic works by master of Chinese studies, Professor Jao Tsung-I are super nice!
Finally done for attractions we wish to visit in Ngong Ping. Returned to Tung Chung Station, shopped a while in Citygate Outlet to enjoy the air-con. Went back Sai Ying Pun and started our touring in this area. 3rd day here and we had not discover this historical place properly, which was famous with banyan trees growing along stone walls, but now chopped down. The nostalgic moments of this place is well portrayed at the relief sculpture and wall art near to Exit B1 of Sai Ying Pun station. Fantastic artwork that you shouldn’t miss out.
Just in time to drop by at Ying Kee Noodles shop 英記面家 for 牛腩面Ngau Lam Min (Beef Belly Noodles) and 炸云吞叉燒米 Zha Wantan Char Siu Mei (Deep fried wantan with Char Siew Mee Hoon). Wantan was all sold out!!! Why again! Haihs. Settled down with cuttlefish balls and roasted pork instead. Both are delicious, with good portion of noodles and meat. Total bill came to less than HKD80. Considered reasonable in price.
Jalan-jalan lepas makan. The main area in Sai Ying Pun is very easy to recognize, like a Sudoku Box. High Street 高街 – Third Street 第三街 – Second Street 第二街 – First Street 第一街 – Queen’s Road West 皇后大道西 horizontally, sectioned by Western Street 西邊街 – Centre Street 正街 – Eastern Street 東邊街. Slope after slope, staircases after staircases. We literally didn’t feel like walking up again after coming down. Hahaha.
So we walked on the flat land instead once reaching Queen’s Road West, and had a cuppa at Winston Coffee. A quaint little place right next to Exit A1 of Sai Ying Pun MTR. Matcha was 40HKD, cappuccino was 35HKD. Like the biscotti that came with the coffee.
Thought of boarding Ding Ding Tram to Causeway Bay but the tram seemed like never arrived. Ended up taking MTR again, because Summerkid wanted to look for coca-cola in Hysan Place. Sadly, nothing special so we called it a day at 9PM.
DAY 4: Grand City Hotel -> Sun Hing Dim Sum Restaurant -> Lee Tung Avenue -> Omotesando Coffee Wan Chai -> Artisan Room Hong Kong University -> Hong Kong International Airport
The hope-it-never-comes day 4 was here. Sun Hing Dim Sum Restaurant at Kennedy Town as breakfast. This restaurant is rated as one of the best local dim sum shop in Hong Kong, also recommended by CNN Go. However, it doesn’t really live up to our expectation. Their signature Lau Sha Pau filling was like custard with no pipping hot “lau sha” flowing out out. The pau was so dry and cold. We suspected they didn’t steamed well. So bad. Char Siew Cheong Fun was so so too. Luckily the har gau and Steamed Duck Feet with Yam were delicious. In short, this shop is more towards experiencing the traditional dim sum scene in Hong Kong. Plus point, it opens from 3AM till 4PM.
Take a stroll in Lee Tung Avenue Wan Chai 利東街 quickly after that, because Summergirl wanted to try out the legendary Omotesando Coffee from Tokyo. Managed to take some photos of the street filled with lanterns to celebrate the up coming Mooncake Festival. Woohoo so colourful!
Checked out from Grand City Hotel at 12PM. Flight was at 6PM but we didn’t want to go on board with sticky and hot body, so we found a cafe near to Hong Kong University Station, which is Artisan Room. Tried out their Garlic Basil Eclair, quite interesting in taste, surprisingly paired well with our cappuccino.
Finally, is time to go back. Had Hong Kong chicken rice and duck rice as early dinner, and left reluctantly. Time to go back to the real world. Upon reaching Malaysia KLIA2, we returned out WiFi device at Travel Recommends KLIA2 booth, which is the same location as Container Hotel at B2. This was also the place where we picked up our portable WiFi and attractions tickets. Very easy and fuss free. Deposit of RM200 for the device will be refund within 3 – 4 working days after the device is received.
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