Saturday, 29 June 2013

Hong Kong Day 1

Hello everyone!

Hong Kong was a BLAST. Albeit the very erratic weather, walking for 6-7 hours straight daily in search of food places/ tourist attractions etc/ getting 'scolded' by the numerous grumpy canto old ladies, it was a much fulfilling trip.

So today I'm here to help you guys out. I'm not the best planner (I'm not good at all) but in the next few posts I will be giving you tips and tricks into getting around the city that never sleeps.

After looking at the numerous hotels around the Mongkok area, I decided to settle with Langham Place Hotel in Mongkok. Ranked #6 out of #507 hotels in HK and chosen as the traveller's choice 2013 winner, it was one of the better hotels I have lived in in HK. It is a little pricey though (It sets you back SGD900 for 4 nights but I had a discount), so if you can afford to splurge on accommodation, I would definitely suggest Langham Place Hotel.

Right below the hotel is Langham Place Shopping Mall, a huge mall which caters to brands like H&M, Monki, Agnes B and several other higher end brands. Foods like Awfully Chocolate, Mos Burger and a huge food court is housed in this mall too. 

The best part about Langham Place Hotel, apart from their service, is the location. It's literally a stone's throw away from the MTR station and is located in the heart of HK. We didn't need to take a cab anywhere and most of the food places we wanted to go to were just a short walk away.

Getting to the hotel was relatively easy. I took a bus from the airport to Jordan station and took an MTR to Mongkok. When you exit you'll hit H&M afterwhich, around the corner, will be Langham Hotel.

The room was relatively big for a hotel in HK, with a king sized bed and ample room for 2 clumsy dinosaurs to move about. The glass that separates the bedroom and bathroom is transparent which adds a very elegant touch (Of course there are blinds for you to pull down when you bathe;) )

The view from the 21st floor. Buildings, buildings, more buildings. 

Langham Place Hotel, Monkok
555 Shanghai Street, Hong Kong


Here's Tip #1: Buy an octopus card! It's the first thing you should do once you step in Hong Kong. An octopus card acts like an EZ link card, enabling you to access public transport, pay for foods at 7-11 amongst other things. We spent about SGD80 on public transport for 5 days which was pretty expensive in our opinion but taxis in HK cost much more than public transport. We did take the MTR everywhere we went, though. 

Tip #2: Get a map! The reception desk was very helpful as to have provided a map for us to get around. Several of the food places we visited were situated at quieter areas and the map helped greatly. Alternatively, download the MTR map + food guide + cantonese phrases on your iphone/android to help you get around a little better.

The streets in HK are cluttered and I really mean cluttered. HK people can be a lil grumpy at times (And VERY impatient might I add) but don't take it to heart. Most of them like to speak their minds and though they might grumble about/at you, they'll still treat you nicely and maybe even smile at you after you're done with your meal.

My advice? Learn a little bit of cantonese before heading over. It's good to know about the language and how to order/ ask for directions. However in recent years the people in HK have been brushing up their Mandarin so speaking Mandarin would definitely help you in getting around!

Our first stop: Chan Kee Restaurant!

Before heading for HK, I managed to dig up the best places to eat around the Mongkok area and was directed to this stall. Famous for its geese, Chan Kee serves the crispest most fatty geese I have ever come across. And boy, was it gooooooood.

Like any other restaurant in HK, there are several seats with little space for you to move around. It's best if you eat and leave too, as throngs of people normally eat at all times of the day and hogging the seats would grant you a scolding my the grumpy canto waitresses.

My advice would be to go for a late lunch (Around 3pm) or a late dinner (Around 8pm) as lunch/dinner times can get extremely packed. Don't go too late though as they might run out of their specialities.

First up: The very famous nai cha. When in HK, one must drink milk tea. The tea was pretty much to my liking. Thick, sweet, ice cold. Mmmmmm.

I apologize in advance for all the dishes I will show you in this and the upcoming posts. There are certain dishes I have forgotten the name of but I'll def let you guys know if they were worth ordering!

The most appetizing thing on the plate was the geese. The sausage and duck was mediocre but the geese. Oh, the geese.... Fatty, oozing with oil and bursting with flavour, it goes well with the plum sauce accompanying the dish.

We ordered a bowl of geese noodles too. I'd say this was the better of the 2 as it was solely geese. Yum.

Sham Tseng Chan Kee Roasted Goose
427-427A Reclamation Street, Mong Kok, Hong Kong
Mon-Sun: 7am - 12am (Depending on how well they sell each day)

Service: ♡ 1/2

We managed to try HK's famous roadside egg waffles too! Also known as gai daan tsai, these little fluffy waffles are basically pockets of circular pieces you pluck out and nom on whilst browsing through the millions of shops. Sadly I found these normal. Maybe I should have gotten the chocolate one but what these are are simply egg batter balls. Sounds mediocre? That's cos they were. I wouldn't mind getting them again though, just to see what the difference is between an original and flavoured one.


So that concludes Day One of HK! I'm dead beat as I'm writing this post so I'll leave the rest for tomorrow. Stay tuned!

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