A Trip To Hong Kong (Part 3)

My sincerest apologies for not having any photos of the places mentioned below. Blame it all on my non-existent photography skills about 7-8 years ago when I last visited these places.

After introducing some of the areas in and around the city of Hong Kong, I will be bringing you out on some excursions, which could be part of your next itinerary if you’re going to Hong Kong.

Tian Tan Buddha 天壇大佛

This is the largest outdoor sitting Buddha statue in the world. I wouldn’t fault you if you think that’s already impressive. If you have a chance to visit this, you would be surprise to find that it is located on top of a small hill on Lantau Island. You are required to climb about 250-300 steps just to reach the Buddha itself, which is part of an area known as the Po Lin Monastery (寶蓮禪寺).

When we were there, the Ngong Ping 360 cable car was still under construction. The second time, we were there, the cable car service encountered some technical difficulties resulting in its closure for almost a year. Do not worry, just make sure you get yourself to the Tung Chung MTR station, both the bus terminal and the cable car terminal lies just outside the MTR exit. Be aware that there will be queues for the cable car.

The cable car offers quite a view throughout it’s 5km journey from Tung Chung, across a small body of water and then ascending towards Ngong Ping. Once you arrived at Ngong Ping, either by bus or cable car, you will be quite near to the Buddha. For the hikers, there are plenty of trails around the area, be sure to ask around and there are signs shown for the hiking trails.

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A Trip To Hong Kong (Part 2)

I was talking about Hong Kong food in the last post, today we will bring you for a walk and maybe some discussion about food in Hong Kong. I am not the adventurous type, so don’t worry, there won’t be any weird food photos. Please bear in mind that I last did this in 2006, so there will be some gaps in my memory and there’s not a lot of photos to share. Too bad really, at that time, the SD cards probably held like 128MB of photos and the cameras were of the 4 megapixels type. Maybe one day I will go there and re-do it all again.

Octopus Card

This is your go-to transportation-cum-debit card while you are in Hong Kong. If you have been using Singapore’s eZ-Link card, London’s Oyster Card or Melbourne’s myki Card then this is very easy to understand. It can be used on all public transport except taxis and some of the red buses. Convenience stores and vending machines also accept them too. A typical card costs HKD$150, with a value of HKD$100 and a deposit of HKD$50 (refundable upon return). If you’re planning to use a lot of public transport, then this is the card to get.

No, that's not the size of the card

No, that’s not the size of the card

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Settlers Of Catan

You would have probably heard about Monopoly, Cluedo, Risk or Scrabble. The traditional boardgames that most of us grew up with back before the days of the Apple product invasion. Even way before computer games were that much fun to play with.

What about Settlers of Catan? Ticket to Ride? Le Havre? These were the few boardgames that I started playing when I was in the late 20s. Lately, my family have been bitten by the Settlers of Catan bug, we have been having weekly sessions ever since. This is a game published by Klaus Teuber back in 1995. Although it isn’t as old as Monopoly, it has sold almost 15 million copies. Sad to say, there isn’t a shop here that sells Catan, I had to travel 450km to the capital to get my hands on it. But boy, it was worth it.

The full board

The full board

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A Trip To Hong Kong (Part 1)

Hong Kong.

I went there twice, with the last visit in 2006. People always ask, why Hong Kong? Now that is an interesting question. Different people travel or take a vacation for different reasons, my first reason was because of the newly opened (then) Disneyland Hong Kong Resort. It is the nearest to where I was and in a language in which I could understand. Previously, the nearest place where I could find Mickey was in Japan.

One of the famous logos

One of the famous logos

Another reason was because of the influence of Hong Kong serials on local TV networks. We have been bombarded with them ever since I could remember. Every day during dinner time, the family will be sitting at the dining table with the TV on, sometimes it would be a period piece depicting stories from historical books, other times it would be the cop and robbers series, family dynasties with plot and intrigue and the usual slapstick Hong Kong comedies.

A Cantonese will eat anything with four legs except a table, and anything that flies except an aeroplane.

Thirdly, it was because of the food. There is a saying in Cantonese (I am one, by the way):”A Cantonese will eat anything with four legs except a table, and anything that flies except an aeroplane.” Where else could you find, edible, chicken feet, frog legs, pig ears and jellyfish? If you are the adventurous sort and willing to try exotic dishes a la Fear Factor, then Hong Kong’s abundant varieties of delicacies would be a must-try.

Lastly, the shopping angle. Hong Kong is a shopper’s paradise. From the haggling trade along the various streets around Mongkok and Jordan, right up to the brand names on Causeway Bay and Central. You will find what you’re looking for, as long as you know where. But beware of imitation goods from mainland China.

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