Thursday, October 01, 2015

151001 Mongkok, Tsim Tsha Tsui

so i planned a trip to hk just 2 weeks before, since we both got sick of visiting korea and singapore and hk was one of the lowest priced tickets after searching for several places. the day before i had to finish editing a thank you video for CSL, so i slept at 2am and had to wake up at 4+am to get ready for my flight at 605am. booked a taxi on uber and got myself to changi for about $26. not so bad for a midnight/early day charge. i even reached with enough time to eat mac breakfast, and kept a wrap for later. it was a good thing i had 3 seats to myself on the plane, so i could actually sleep for a good 3hrs or so before i touched down at hk airport.

unfortunately, upon arrival, i had to wait 4hrs for mr kong, since his flight got delayed by 2hrs when he was supposed to land around 1230pm. still, i'm glad i got to see my birthday present in the end! (that's him) we took the airport train to mongkok, but didn't realised that it costs 80hkd per person.. it was really expensive and we were tricked because there was no indication of price not a gantry before you take the airport shuttle. at least the ride was fast and comfortable, but it still wasn't worth 40sgd for 2 person... we could have taxi-ed over to our dorm directly with that money.

our hostel became another problem when i reached the station. thought i knew that the exit was at E2 and i had the address, i wasn't prepared to be asking people who couldn't read or understand english at all. and my address, unfortunately, was in english. i had to ask about 8 person at every turn before i finally found our lodging, which turns our to be just a short 2 mins walk away from the station (and a straight road without any turns at that).a new issue arose though, because there was so many hotels at the bulding and i didn't have the name of the hotel!!! or any contact number! talk about being underprepared. T_T

So we walked back to the station with the hope of meeting my friend, Kami (we studied at the same school at Sungkyunkwan). we were supposed to be meeting at the station at 330pm. i couldn't find her, and i sought to ask a random girl to tether some data to me so i could contact her. thanks to my persuasion, she saw how pitiful i was and agreed so i met my friend in the end. Kami helped solved my problem with the hostel too as i managed to locate the exact name and floor no., as well as helped contact the owner for me so i could check in. thank goodness!!

the hotel looked pretty clean from the outside, but it was just a brief look. in any case, we paid $104/night, so i didn't expect it to be bad. but it really wasn't worth the money. the thing was the room, at normal times, was probably under $50, but because 1st oct was a national holiday (china) and the 7 days that followed was Golden Week, everything suddenly became twice as expensive. i really came at the wrong time, to the wrong place...

So anyway Kami brought us to have some local HK lunch at a cafe, then we walked a bit of Mongkok's lady street. ordered black pepper beef, beef tongue baked pasta and french toast. toast is still the best..!

we walked a little of lady's street and ate this really nice cheese tart at a store selling liquid nitrogen icecream.

so this shop actually sells drinks and ice cream made out of the selection of sweets you pick. interesting concept, but i don't really fancy anything too sweet. i thought their FUNNY CHOCOLATE menu was funny though. hurhur.

had to try the ice cream so we ordered a rainbow cocktail. it costs 45hkd and totally not worth it, except that it had nice visuals. didn't taste as great as expected... the popping cotton candy was cute though.

To add to the crowd mass and bad preparation, i also realised the 4 days i was gonna be there would be filled with rain (though to this, i did bring an umbrella in advance...). we then walked over to yau ma tei along lady's street and took a train to Tsim Tsha Tsui to get our tickets for Macau, and to walk the Avenue of Stars. I wouldn't say that i wasn't prepared for the crowd, but i had no idea there would be fireworks there - which also means that half of HK would be there. anyway they had some nice lantern displays there -

there was also some korea festival going on, and they had little booths with traditional games and hangeuls all over as displays

Kami did tell me in advance, but i still went despite that. in the end, we had to give up because there was just absolutely no way we would be able to squeeze in the crowd - even the Avenue of Stars area was blocked because there was too many people. the fireworks was supposed to start at 9pm but the crowds was already crazy at 6pm!! some pictures of the harbour before anything started...

So we went to a nearby book store... and realised you can see the display from there! heard fireworks sound but couldn't see anything though..

shopped a little in the end, before deciding it was time to go home. found a nice little shopping/garden avenue for pictures.

 this place has comparably less people so we snapped some pics here~

suspicious person in the back!

there was no straight bus where there was supposed to be, since the traffic was immobilized due to the firework. we had to walk back to Tsim Tsha Tsui station via a loooong way too as many parts of the streets were blocked due to crowd control measures.

mongkok street was still bustling and there's a lot of old folks singing and dancing...!! the 2 grandmas look so cute.

mr kong was hungry but there didn't seem to be too much food places around, so we ended up eating at macdonalds. there was a creepy woman talking animatedly to no one just beside us. don't want to think too much about this, so we quickly ate and left.

went back to our hostel around 10+pm, where i had a closer look at the state of my AirBnB booking. sure, there were basic necessities such as toothbrush, towels and toiletries provided but the room was not exactly worth the money we paid for due to the following:

+ there were ashes in the tray with the glass cups

+ 1 strand of hair

+ the taps on the sink looks like the've not been washed for ages.. all that dried up water stains!

+ the toothpaste has the worst taste ever - the aircon looks like it was about to fall out any moment.

but anyway it was all minor problems and i could live with that... for 4 days.

and yes, that's how i spent my bday. 

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