Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Hong Kong - Still Day 1 (WARNING! LONG POST)

Below is a short narrative of how at the beginning of the trip, my itinerary more or less went out the window.

Moi': Hi Hong Kong! I'm so excited to be here and am looking forward to exploring your city during our short stay here.

Hong Kong: Hi Jannah. Good to hear that! What do you have planned?

Moi': Oh, nothing too tiring. Just mere introductory excursions here and there...To get to the feel of Hong Kong. We're skipping Disneyland and Ocean Park for now and saving it for the next trip to your lovely City. For this trip, I included visits to Kowloon, the Peak, Avenue of Stars, Mong Kok, Hollywood Road, Causeway Bay, Stanley Beach and some parks and gardens if we have the time. Not forgetting the Light Show too.

Hong Kong: Oh, that's love...(queue Husbie's entrance)...ly

Husbie: Wait a minute! That's nice and all but I have another agenda in mind. We're going shopping all the waaayyyy

Moi' : Say whaaaa.... (Already worried about budget)

Hong Kong: Eitherway works for me...Enjoy shopping!

Ok, so HE shopped most of the time. Of course I shopped a bit here and there but this time round, I prefer him lavishing on himself. It's nice to see Husbie enjoying the trip and getting those brands not available or updated in KL.

So, after freshening up, we took a stroll on Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. The mall in front of our hotel had an HMV, so you can imagine how happy we both were after ages of not having access to it post-UK. Husbie wanted a turn-table for a long while and the ones in Malaysia are either old, limited or not to his liking. If one catches his eye, too expensive pulak. However, for the first day, no shopping yet as we both agreed to survey first and decide on what we would like to get for ourselves. Nak shopping-shopping still kena within reason and budget.

Happy yeeeer?
Among the turntables we surveyed
At the Peninsula...Hong Kies must be super rich!
Survey-survey ajer dulu
Snaking our way in and out of the many shopping centres in Tsim Sha Tsui, we came upon Sogo. Before coming to HK, I did some research on local Hong Kong brands thinking maybe I'd get lucky and purchase something nice and original from HK without having to revert to the usual magnets, T-Shirts and other touristy souvenirs. Funny enough, Sogo in HK carries most of their international and local brands that are not to, my take, our Malaysian Sogo standards. 

"Maybe dekat-dekat ajer and not in Sogo itself kot?"

Kira-kira pricing pun very expensive. Cannot be...Nevermind, better to see it for myself since I'm here anyway. 

Lo and behold, Sogo HK manyak branded stuff woooor. They don't sell their branded watches in a special boutique. It's just open with an allocated section making it easy for people to browse without feeling pressured or hounded in any way.  I like it cos' it gives off that casual feeling of free and easy to browse from one brand to another. You like bags? Vivienne Westwood pun slumber dog just a section. Nice!

According to Husbie, the Hong Kies maintain their Sogo as per the original one in Japan. Ours is much Malaysianised and when you think Sogo, you can't help but think shopping galore and can borong cos' affordable and reasonably priced or cheap. Especially during Member's Sales. Not in HK's case! 

Nonetheless, we were lucky as they have started to have sales all over just it's not as grand as the Summer Sale usually held in late June. Husbie finally got a spectacle frame for himself which is exactly to his liking for a good price. It was at this point we discovered that there are no sales tax in HK. 

"No VAT? Nothing to claim at the airport?"

"None."

We then made our way to Harbour City to kill some time before meeting my old friends from Manchester. Lenny and Val were busy at Stanley Beach during the day. Lenny was occupied with his dragon boat competition and Val being his cheerleader. 

So, after exchanging whatsapps and getting directions on where to meet, we made our way to Central. By the time we were in Central, I was uncomfortable in my clothes. Lucky for me, M&S was having a sale so I went ahead and bought a whole new set of fresh clothes just for our special date with Lenny and Val... ;p

Once meeting Lenny and Val at the designated location, we went ahead for ice cream at PMQ. Sorry no pictures here. I was too busy enjoying my friends' company and chatting over ice-cream. PMQ is one of those hippy malls with street markets ala-ala the Curve. PMQ used to be an old police station but rather than tear it down, they converted it into a shopping mall allowing local designers to set up shop.

One of the shops I wanted to visit was HOMELESS which is basically a funky home-dec and furniture shop. It's not in PMQ but in Central area. That night we walked about the surrounding area and went to two HOMELESS outlets in Central before dinner. 

Lenny and Val took us to this nice place with a colonial ambiance serving authentic Hongkie food. Yummers and even more yummers with good company. During dinner, we saw many of the customers partaking this HUGE puff pastry. Like really...HUGE...blown out of proportion HUGE. We were tempted especially Val but we knew we wouldn't be able to finish it. 

By the time we made it back to the hotel, we were sore, tired and aching but damn puas hati wooor....a good start to our brief stay in HK. More grounds to cover in Day 2...wohoooo...

Me trying to look fresh but still sweaty by the time we reached the MId-Level Escalators. 
Husbie cannot cover his sweaty forehead. So shiny!
Manchester Law Grad Year 2005 UNITE! And one waaay SENIOR Manchester Law Student Year XXXX...hahah..he could still relate when we gossiped about some of our old lecturers though...