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10-day in Hong Kong/Macau, Trip Report by yk

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10-day in Hong Kong/Macau, Trip Report by yk

Old Mar 6th, 2008, 10:04 AM
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yk
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10-day in Hong Kong/Macau, Trip Report by yk

Hello there-

I usually hang out over at the Europe Forum. Husband & I were in Hong Kong in early January 2008 for 10 days, with an overnight trip to Macau, so I'll post a report here.

In case you don't know, I'm the younger sister of Fodorite rkkwan. I am not as familiar with Hong Kong as he is, because I don't go there often at all. My last time there was Nov 2004 and the trip report is here:
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...7&tid=34546118

My husband has never been to HK (or Asia), so one of the goals was to have him meet my relatives and friends.

We were able to coordinate our trip so we overlapped with rkkwan for a few days (we went to Macau together), and my parents were in HK the entire time during our trip. My Dad basically was our tour guide for many days.

Day 0 & 1, Getting there
One of the reasons I don't go to HK often is the journey. DH & I were living in Dallas when we went, and the trip to HK took about 24 hours.

We flew on AA/CX: DFW-SFO-HKG. We upgraded the domestic leg but sat in economy for the longhaul. We almost missed our CX connection in SFO because our first leg was delayed for over an hour. Fortunately, the CX staff knew we were on our way and waited for us. Our checked luggage didn't make the connection but was promptly delivered to our hotel the very next morning.

We took the A21 airport bus from the airport to the Victoria Park stop in Causeway Bay. From there, it was a short walk to our hotel, MetroPark Causeway Bay. rkkwan and my parents were waiting for us at the hotel. We pretty much just crashed afterwards.
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Old Mar 6th, 2008, 10:10 AM
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Day 2 - The Peak and Hong Kong Park

Despite being up for over 24 hours with our travels, we woke up around 5am or so due to jet lag. We decided to join my parents and rkkwan for dim sum breakfast with relatives at Ho Choi Seafood Restaurant in Wan Chai. It was great to see my uncles and aunts that morning.

After dim sum, we took bus 2X back to our hotel to rest. By the time we got back (around 10am), our checked luggage had been delivered.

Unable to sleep, I lay on the bed for an hour while DH did some reading. Finally, at 11, we ventured out again. First, we checked out a small temple called "Lotus Temple", located just around the corner from our hotel.

Then we took the tram (which has been in operation for over 100 years) towards Central. We got off just outside the HSBC building. It was designed by Norman Foster and is considered to be one of the first famous skyscrapers in Hong Kong.

We then walked uphill through the Cheung Kong Center, designed by Cesar Pelli, to get to the Peak Tram station where we met up with Dad. The Peak Tram is one of the must-dos on every tourist's list to Hong Kong. A round-trip ticket costs HK$33.

As it was a beautiful day, there were plenty of tourists waiting for the Peak Tram. By the time we arrived at The Peak, it was lunch time. Strangely enough, there are very few Chinese restaurants. We settled on Zen & L16. We ordered a clay pot of glutinous rice with preserved meat, a winter favorite; and Hainanese Chicken rice. We shared a layered Thai dessert which I believe is called Khanom Chun. The bill was HK$380.

Mom met up with us after lunch and the 4 of us took a walk at the Peak. We first headed for the Lions Pavilion lookout, then walked along Lugard Road for more views of the city and the Harbor. As I've said, it was a nice clear day and we were able to enjoy great views.

DH & I then took the Peak Tram back to Central. We crossed Cotton Tree Drive to reach Hong Kong Park. Even though the park is located right in the busiest center of Hong Kong, it is surprisingly tranquil there.

We saw several couples in wedding attire getting their wedding portraits taken with the pond or the waterfall as backdrop. We visited the conservatory and the Flagstaff House. The Flagstaff House, now serving as Museum of Tea Ware, is the oldest surviving Colonial-style building in Hong Kong.

We walked towards Admiralty to catch the tram back to our hotel.

That evening, we had dinner with a friend and Dad at WunSha's Kitchen, just round the corner from our hotel. It is a rather new eatery with nice minimalistic decor. We had a bowl of Winter melon crab soup, "three cup" chicken, panfried grouper with asparagus and ginseng, and a dish of abalone mushroom with baby bok choi. For dessert, we ordered 2 to share, with one of them being Serradura (translated as sawdust pudding). Overall, it was good food and good company.

WunSha's Kitchen
G/F, 33 Wun Sha Street
Tai Hang
Hong Kong
Tel 2890 1230
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Old Mar 6th, 2008, 10:18 AM
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Day 3 - Macau
Got up early and met up with my family to head to Macau today. We had a quick breakfast at MX (part of the Maxim's group in HK, a fast food chain restaurant) inside the ferry terminal. The trip to Macau is only 1 hour, and we took a taxi to our hotel, Hotel Royal. It's a pretty good package deal - HK$500pp for 1 night hotel and r/t ferry tickets.

After checking in, we headed out for some sightseeing. We walked past a square lined with beautiful colonial buildings, and arrived at Jardim Lou Lim Ieoc. It is modelled in the style of gardens of Suzhou. My family and I had spent many hours here when I was young, and it's one of my favorite spots in Macau.

We then went to Kun Iam Temple which was the location of the signing of the Sino-American treaty in 1844. Decorated on the roof of the temple are ceramics depicting scenes from Cantonese Opera.

For lunch, we headed to Taipa by bus and ate at Dumbo. We were looking for Pinocchio (very famous) but couldn't find it. Dumbo was just as good, serving Macanese cuisine. We ordered numerous dishes, including bacalhau, caldo verdo, and portugese egg tarts. Lunch was HK$110pp.

After lunch, we walked around Taipa. My husband was courageous enough to try durian ice-cream. It had a strange, salty flavor. We walked to Casa Museu, which consists of 5 colonial-style mansions which have been nicely restored and now serve as museums.
However, I was disgusted by the sight of the newly-built Venetian Hotel. Casa Museu used to sat right at the coastline. However, the harbor is now filled in and sits the Venetian.

We returned to the village of Taipa and took a bus back to our hotel for a rest. Later that evening, we took a bus again, this time to A-Ma Temple in the southern part of Macau. It was already closed, but we had a nice walk from there along Rua do Almirante Sergio back to the town center. We had seafood dinner that night (including part of a huge grouper) followed by dessert at a store nearby. We did some more walking around Leal Senado and saw Teatro Dom Pedro before heading back to the hotel.

To see a more detailed description of the food we ate in Macau, see this post by rkkwan:
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...7&tid=35099770
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Old Mar 6th, 2008, 10:23 AM
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Day 4 - Macau

For breakfast, we ate at a small restaurant right next door to our hotel. We then climbed up Guia Hill to check out the fortress and the chapel & lighthouse (oldest lighthouse in SE Asia).

Next, we headed to Jardim Luís de Camões, named after the Portugese poet, whose bust is inside the garden. Next door is the Casa Garden, once the headquarters of the British East India Company. Further next door is Cemitério Protestante. Missionary Robert Morrison (who translated the Bible into Chinese) was buried there.

We caught a bus from there to the most famous site in Macau, São Paulo. What remains is just the facade as the church was destroyed by fire in 1835.

Right next to it is Fortaleza do Monte where a relatively new Museu de Macau is located.

We returned to our breakfast place for lunch, where I had a satisfying plate of beef tongue with spaghetti.

We took an early afternoon ferry back to Hong Kong.

That evening, we had a huge family dinner/banquet at Ho Choi Seafood Restaurant. There were about 40 relatives who came, some of which I hadn't seen for many years. The food was great, though my parents ordered way too much food. There was fish, chicken, geoduck, just to name a few.
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Old Mar 6th, 2008, 10:27 AM
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Day 5 - Diamond Hill
Husband started feeling sick the night before after we got home from the banquet. He subsequently spent quite some time in our hotel bathroom.

In the morning, I went to a tiny eatery just around the corner from the hotel to get my favorite food in Hong Kong - steamed rice paper roll. It's basically a sheet of thin rice paper, steamed, then rolled up. One adds soysauce, hot sauce, sweat sauce, sesame sauce etc for flavor. My parents found this stall and told me about it.

DH was still not feeling well by late morning, so he stayed at the hotel while I headed out for a lunch gathering with my high school friends. The lunch was dim sum at Canton Deli in Tsim Sha Tsui. I think I was 5 minutes late, and when I got there? Yeap, I was the first to arrive.

A total of 15 people from high school came, one of them I didn't even remember (ooops!). Most came alone, without their spouses or children, and that was nice in a way. The food was pretty good too. Lunch went on for over 2 hours, and I could have stayed longer but had to leave as I made plans with my family. Lunch was HK$90pp.

Canton Deli
3303 3/F Gateway Harbour City
5-25 Canton Road
Tsim Sha Tsui
Tel 2613 9889

DH was feeling better by then, so he met up with my parents and took the MTR to Diamond Hill stop. I was about 10 minutes late. What's there in Diamond Hill? Chi Nin Nunnery & Nan Lian Garden, both of which I haven't been to before. Both are a short walk from the MTR station.

Chi Nin Nunnery is a Buddhist nunnery. The current structure was rebuilt in 2000 and styled after Tang Dynasty architecture. The entire place is very peaceful, unlike other temples I've been to. Even the roof tiles, lamps etc have nice details, while the buildings are beautiful.
http://www.chilin.org/

Across the street is Nan Lian Garden. Again, the garden is styled according to Tang Dynasty. It opened in November 2006. I found the garden amazingly beautiful and well worth the trip.
http://www.nanliangarden.org/

Mom booked a table that night at the vegetarian restaurant inside the Garden. It has received many praises from my relatives. They serve upscale vegetarian dishes, and we opted for the deluxe mushroom menu for 4. It included 5 or 6 dishes using various types of wild mushrooms. Dinner was HK$200pp.
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Old Mar 6th, 2008, 10:38 AM
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Interesting report. Thanks. I was planning on doing a day trip to Macau during my 6 day trip to Hong Kong in April but it seems like it may be worth staying overnight.
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Old Mar 6th, 2008, 10:42 AM
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Small correction on Day 4. We walked from the Jardin Cameos to the Sao Paulo ruins, not by bus. It's a very short walk.

And how come you didn't mention what you guys went on Day 3 in Macau after dinner?

My pictures of the Nan Lian Gardens are here:

rkkwan.zenfolio.com/p109490864/

As for the dinner on Day 4 at Ho Choi, the reason there's so much food is that for the restaurant to give us that private area for the whole evening, they have some unwritten minimum charge. We didn't order the REALLY expensive stuff like shark's fin or abalone, so they just give us more food for our money. And I think we have only about 10 persons/table, while usually they expect 12.
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Old Mar 6th, 2008, 10:46 AM
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Day 6 - Cruise to Lamma Island

We went sailing on a motor yacht with my college friends today. We met up at the Causway Bay Yacht Club at 11:30am. One of them and his wife came all the way from Singapore for this mini-reunion. I haven't seen him since 1995! There was 15 of us total for the cruise.

Even though our plans were to sail to Lamma Island and then have lunch there right away, it didn't keep my friends from bringing bags of snacks along. We are all foodies. Among the snacks are drinks, chips, cookies, and Portugese egg tarts. My Singapore friend brought pork jerkies and a delicious pandan cake from Singapore!

It was a beautiful day for sailing. Weather was warm enough for us to hang out on the deck. The sail to Lamma Island took probably 40 minutes or so. We docked at Sok Kwu Wan.

We had a lunch reservation at Fu Kee, one of the seafood restaurants on Main Street. Lamma Island is pretty much dominated by seafood restaurants. These restaurants don't have formal dining rooms. Instead, they have covered patios with views of the sea. They also don't have menus. The store front has tanks of live seafood and diners pick the seafood they want.

This was the best meal we've had on this entire trip. Our foodie friends ordered: battered calamari; scallops (still on the shell) steamed with garlic; razorclams in black bean sauce; shrimps steamed with garlic; stir-fried mantis prawns; steamed grouper; sweet and sour pork; plus fried rice and fried noodles. All the seafood was so fresh and so delicious.

Our friends insisted on paying, but I think the bill came out to HK$360pp.

Fu Kee Resturant
G/F, 9-10 First Street
Sok Kwu Wan
Lamma Island

After lunch, we returned to the yacht and sailed to the other side of Lamma, to Yung Shue Wan. Then we walked for about a mile to Hung Shing Yeh Beach. It was too cold to swim but plenty of people were walking on the beach. We ate a nearby stall which serves tofu fa, a dessert made from tofu and served with a ginger syrup.

By the time we sailed back to Hong Kong Island, it was 6pm. Since we were so full from lunch, we skipped dinner that night. What a wonderful day to spend at sea with friends!
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Old Mar 6th, 2008, 10:58 AM
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Day 7 - Lantau Island

Mom and Dad took us to Lantau Island today. We took the ferry from the new ferry terminal in Central and arrived at Mui Wo. Instead of going to see the Big Buddha right away, we first made a detour to Tai O by bus.

Tai O is one of the very few remaining fishing villages in Hong Kong that has not changed in decades. It is famous for its stilt houses, salted fish, and shrimp paste. It even has a nickname, "Venice of Hong Kong." That is quite an overstatement.

From Tai O, we took the bus to Ngong Ping where Po Lin Monastery and the Big Buddha are. Since it was lunch time by the time we arrived, we first had lunch inside the Monastery. The Monastery serves a no-frills vegeterian lunch daily. It is a set menu, and you buy your "meal ticket" at designated windows. No matter how many people are in your party, the number of dishes is the same (unless it's a solo diner). The only difference is the size of the dishes. We had 1 soup and 5 dishes, which really was a lot of food. Since DH wasn't feeling 100%, we had plenty of leftover which my parents packed to go. Lunch was quite a bargain at HK$60pp.

After lunch, we toured Po Lin Monastery.
http://www.plm.org.hk/blcs/en/index.asp
Next, we climbed the stairs up to the Big Buddha. It is the largest outdoor seated Buddha in the world. It also gives a great view of the surrounding landscape, including Phoenix Mountain, the second tallest peak in Hong Kong. Dad was recounting his climb up the peak in his younger days, and a fellow Aussie traveler overheard him and told us he just finished climbing earlier in the day. Inside the Buddha are 3 levels of exhibits. One can only enter if you have the ticket stub from the vegetarian lunch.

We left Ngong Ping by way of Ngong Ping Village. Ngong Ping Village is a new development of souvenir shops (Starbucks included) housed in ancient-style buildings. At the far end of the Village is Ngong Ping 360, a cable-car system which connects Ngong Ping with Tung Chung.
http://www.np360.com.hk

The ride is great, IMO. Cost is HK$58 one-way. The whole trip takes 25 minutes and has great views. We had fairly decent weather that day so it was worthwhile. The cable car initially passes through several peaks, and one can see the International Airport. Towards the end of the ride, the cable spans across the Tung Chung Bay; a fairly long span over water without any support towers.

There was actually an incident last year when a gondola fell. There were no pax inside, but the whole system was shut down for 6 months for safety review. It just reopened on December 31, 1 week before our ride. I thought my husband knew about this accident but he actually didn't. Good thing he didn't know because he was actually worried about the safety throughout the whole ride! If he had known about the accident, he might have refused to get on the cable car!

From Tung Chung, we got on a bus which took us directly back to the hotel.

After a brief rest, we headed out to Central by MTR. We met up with another college friend of mine who wasn't able to attend the sailing yesterday. He picked Cafe Landmark>, right inside the atrium of Landmark, the center of Central's shopping mecca. Despite it being in the atrium, the noise level was a minimum and we were able to have an easy conversation. Printed on Cafe Landmark's drink menu was, "We Proudly Serve Starbucks Coffee."

I noticed that apart from Starbucks, they do offer their own coffee blend, so that's what I ordered. The guys both had tea.

We had a great time catching up with one another, and an hour flew by quickly. My friend insisted on picking up the tab. I think the drinks were HK$48 each.

Our next engagement was dinner with my high school friend in her flat on Conduit Road. Conduit Road is in the Mid-Levels on Hong Kong Island. I had lived on Conduit Road for several years during high school. Back then, one had to take either a bus, or light bus, or taxi to get up there. In 1994, an escalator opened which connects Central with Conduit Road. It is actually a series of escalators connected by bridges or streets, as it bisects many roads during its course. This is the longest outdoor escalator system in the world. And to make things even better? It is free. The escalator runs downhill during morning rush hour, and runs uphill the rest of the day.

So, we took the escalator up. En route, we passed by the hip SoHo district, an area "created" by the escalator. In the past, it was just a regular residential neighborhood. After the escalator opened, it attracted lots of restaurants, pubs, boutiques and art galleries.

My friend's flat is just a few minutes' walk from the top of the escalator. We had a simple dinner, followed by long conversations on their comfortable couch.

We didn't depart until past 11pm. Initially, I planned for us to take the light bus to Central and then change for the MTR back to our hotel. After waiting for a few minutes, I gave up and we waved down a taxi. Ingrained in my head from childhood is that taking taxi is a luxury. Well, that's no longer true anymore. The ride took just 15 minutes and cost HK$40. It would have taken 3 times as long if we were to take public transport home.
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Old Mar 6th, 2008, 11:30 AM
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Day 8 - Seeing Old Hong Kong

We met with a high school friend for breakfast. She initially suggested breakfast at one of the new boutique hotels in Causeway Bay, either Jia or Lanson Place. When we inquired, it turns out that neither one serves breakfast (or maybe just for hotel guests). We ended up going to the basement level in SOGO Dept Store. The basement level mainly is a supermarket selling all kinds of Japanese foods, but it also has a few eateries. One of them offer a pretty good breakfast deal. If you order one of their specialty Japanese coffee, you can choose a breakfast item (various kinds of omelette) for a very cheap price. I cannot recall exactly how much it was, but it was a decent deal.

After breakfast, we met up with my parents in Sheung Wan, the area just west of Central. Dad took us for a walk along Nam Pak Hong (translated as South-North Trading Houses), several streets filled with old Chinese trading houses. These flourished a great deal in the 19th/20th century. They serve as the middle-man for trades between China and overseas. These days, the streets still have some trading houses, but majority of them sell dried seafood and herbs. A good number of them sell high quality shark's fin, bird's nests and Korean Ginseng roots. This is a great contrast to the haute couture shops in Central.

From Sheung Wan, we took a bus to Aberdeen on the south side of HK Island. Aberdeen was a fishing village, but of course, it is just another residential area these days. There are still a number of fishing boats in the harbor. While we were walking along the seafront, we were accosted nonstop by these older women who asked if we wanted to go on a sampan ride. I'm sure they wouldn't have done so if my husband weren't with us.

Aberdeen is famous for its floating restaurants, especially Jumbo. We didn't eat at Jumbo. Instead, we sought out Tse Kee Restaurant (its full name is actually "Hole in the Hill" Tse Kee) for their famous fish ball noodles. It is a no-frills restaurant with a limited menu. Basically you can order fish balls and just a few other things, and you have a choice of noodles. They also serve fried fish skin which is delicious. Lunch was very cheap at HK$30pp.

Tse Kee Restaurant
80-82 Old Main Street
Aberdeen

From Aberdeen, we took another bus to Stanley. The bus passes several scenic spots along the south side of HK Island, including Deep Water Bay and Clear Water Bay. We got off at Stanley Plaza, a mall just above the main attractions. There is a fancy gelato cafe in the mall, so we went in for some dessert. The desserts came out to be just as expensive as our fish ball lunch!

We checked out the Murray House and the original Blake Pier. Both are over 100 years old and used to be in Central, but relocated to Stanley because they were occupying land in Central that was too precious.

Next, we walked to the toursity Stanley Market. Most shops sell the same souvenir goods. We bought a "kleenex box sleeve" for HK$10.

From Stanley, we took a bus back towards town and returned to our hotel.

After a quick rest, we took the MTR to Central to meet a friend. Since I haven't had roast goose yet on this trip, we went to Yung Kee Restaurant for dinner. It has been around for decades and is very popular with tourists. Because of that and its prime location, prices are quite high. Their menu includes bird's nest soup, shark fin's soup, and abalone. We weren't that rich, so we picked something more modest. Apart from having roast goose, we also had a soup, a beef dish (with chinese crullers), and a plate of vegetables (enoki mushrooms with baby bok choi). The roast goose was rather disappointing - the meat was very tough. Overall, this place is not worth the cost. Our dinner was HK$170pp.

Yung Kee Restaurant
32-40 Wellington Street
Central

After dinner, we walked to the Soho neighborhood since we hadn't been there except when we saw it from the escalator. It is hard to believe how many restaurants there are in this area! These are all small, independent restaurants. The variety of cuisines they offer is amazing. OTOH, the area is so gentrified that DH says he felt he could be in any city in the US. We walked past a real estate office. A 500 Sq Ft basement apartment in Soho is asking for US$2000/month rent.

After wandering the streets for some time, we went to Sift for dessert. It is an upscale cafe that serves Western desserts only, opened by a pastry chef. The decor is modern and simple. We ended up spending quite a long time there. Other patrons are mostly 20-something US college students who are home for holiday. This place is certainly not cheap by Hong Kong standard - each one of us had one dessert and a drink, and it was HK$120pp.

Sift
G/F, 46 Graham Street

This brings up an interesting phenomenon in Hong Kong. The prices of food vary greatly depending on where you eat. One can get at bowl of fish ball noodle soup for HK$16. Or one can have a piece of cake for 4 times that amount.
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Old Mar 6th, 2008, 11:38 AM
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Day 9 - A Day at the Museums

Today is our last full day in Hong Kong. It is also a Wednesday, which means free entry to most museums in Hong Kong.

We first grabbed breakfast at Cafe de Coral near our hotel. Cafe de Coral is a Hong Kong fast food chain, not unlike Burger King here. However, they serve Chinese food and overall healthier than American fast food. We split a breakfast meal: he had scrambled eggs with hot dog while I had a bowl of macaroni with ham in soup. Adding 2 cups of HK-style milk tea, this breakfast cost HK$24! What a steal!

We took the MTR to Shau Kei Wan, and walked to the Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defense. It was an easy walk with signs along the way. The museum sits at the site of Lei Yue Mun Fort, built by the British in the 19th century. The Fort overlooks the Lei Yue Mun channel, a strategic location for defending the Victoria Harbor.
The museum consists of an indoor section (exhibit displays) and an outdoor section (old canons, tanks, and a torpedo station). Overall, it is well-done and well-organized and worth the visit.
http://www.lcsd.gov.hk/CE/Museum/Coastal/en/index.php

We walked to the main bus station in Shau Kei Wan to take a bus towards Sha Tin. As we were getting hungry, I picked a no-frills, hole-in-the-wall eatery near the bus station for lunch. This eatery mainly serves wonton noodle soup. 2 bowls of noodle and 2 drinks came out to just HK$34 total.

We arrived at Sha Tin's Hong Kong Heritage Museum with a change of bus. The permanent collection features a section on Cantonese Opera. But overall, I didn't find it that great to warrant the trip to Sha Tin.
http://www.heritagemuseum.gov.hk/

From Sha Tin, we took the train to Hung Hom and visited the Hong Kong Museum of History in Tsim Sha Tsui. I think this is a much better choice for a visitor to go to. It covers most of the stuff we saw at the Heritage Museum and some more.
http://www.lcsd.gov.hk/CE/Museum/History/en/aboutus.php

Dad wanted to meet us for dinner, so we met up by the Star Ferry pier in Tsim Sha Tsui. He took us to the food court inside Harbour City shopping mall. The Ocean Terminal, Ocean Center, and Harbour City are all connected together and forms one mega-shopping mall.

The food court has many options with most stalls serving Asian cuisine. Dad wasn't hungry so he only ordered a Thai dessert. DH & I picked a Japanese stall which has a chef making fresh udon (not unlike Auntie Anne's here with their staff making pretzels). We each ordered a udon set for about HK$65 each. Each set comes with a udon noodle soup (with your choice of meat), a tea, a rice ball wrapped with dried tofu skin. Even though I was full after dinner, I couldn't resist some Thai dessert.

After dinner, we walked along the harbor front in Tsim Sha Tsui to admire the nightscape of Hong Kong Island. Even though I have seen it a million times in my life, I still find it beautiful. We took the Star Ferry back to HK Island.
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Old Mar 6th, 2008, 11:45 AM
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Day 10 - Going Home. It must be my Lucky Day!

Today is the day to go home. Our flight departs at around 1pm. My dad had an appointment in the morning, so mom came to our hotel to see us off at the bus station. Taking the Airport bus was very easy, and the bus stop is less than 50 yards from the hotel.

I wanted to get to the airport at least 2 hours early, and we did. I guess other travelers weren't as uptight as me, because the check-in line at Cathay Pacific for our flight was empty.

After the agent typed away for some minutes, he asked me, "Ms yk, would you like to be upgraded to Business Class? Unfortunately, we can only upgrade you but not your husband. What do you think?"

What do I think?!?!?! :-? Of course I said YES!!!

As much as I love my husband, I don't love him that much to give up a free upgrade on a trans-pacific Cathay Pacific flight! DH is really cool though, he actually told me many times before that he doesn't mind being in coach, whereas I really loath coach for long flights.

I believe our flight is oversold in Economy, and since we're the first ones to check-in for the flight and I have OneWorld Sapphire status, I guess that's why I got the upgrade!

Before we entered the secured section of the airport, we returned our Octopus travel cards to get our refunds.

After we went through security and immigration, we headed for the Cathay Lounge, The Wing. It is a very nice lounge with an excellent food spread. Apart from the buffet spread (which has both Chinese and Western food), it has a noodle bar offering made-to-order noodle soup. Between the 2 of us, we had some dumplings, a taiwanese noodle soup, fried rice, and a few sandwiches. It was lovely.

I was in heaven on my flight back. It is such a huge difference sitting in Business vs Economy. I went back to visit DH once during the flight - the sight of Economy finally made me fully comprehend the term "cattle class." It was noisy, crowded, kids jumping up and down, babies crying ... I was so happy to escape back to my Business class haven.

I didn't nap at all during this flight. It was simply too nice to sleep. The IFE has AVOD, so I watched 3 or 4 movies. Apart from the 2 meals served on the plane, I also asked for the snack which was beef shank noodle soup.

I was so sad when the plane landed in LAX. I don't think I have ever not wanted to deplane, but I certainly felt that way on this flight! Flying business made the trip so much more pleasant!

We had a couple of hours in LAX before our flight back to Dallas. Immigration and customs were very fast, so we chilled out at the LAX Admirals Club. It was not bad, but very crowded. Our upgrade request for LAX-DFW also came through, and it was a 767-300 with new Business Class seats. The seats are very comfy and we each get a duvet blanket. We had a nice nap before landing in Dallas.

Overall, I think this was a well-paced trip, except for the beginning when we rushed off to Macau. And too bad my husband was sick for a few days and couldn't enjoy all the lovely food on this trip.

It was great to have my Dad as our tour guide. After all, he has lived in HK for over 50 years and knows its history very well.

My husband enjoyed the Macau part the most. He finds the mix of East and West fascinating.

A lot of people on travel boards comment that 3-4 days is plenty for Hong Kong. Many have the preconception that all there is to do in Hong Kong is shopping. As you can tell from my report, there is plenty to do, as long as you can look beyond the glitzy shops!
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Old Mar 6th, 2008, 11:49 AM
  #13  
yk
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HK Hotel Review
Metropark Causeway Bay

http://www.metroparkhotel.com/

I booked MetroPark through Travelocity. Normally I don't use these 3rd party booking engines, but Travelocity offered a lower rate than the hotel's website. In addition, Travelocity had a "Mastercard promotion" and I got $50 off by purchasing with a MC.

We stayed a total of 8 nights at the hotel. Our stay was split into 2:
First 2 nights we had a Harbour View room - $163/night
interupted by an overnight in Macau
Last 6 nights we had a standard (no view) room - $145/night

We picked this hotel because of its location - it is very near to where my parents and my brother were staying, and that was the most important thing to us.

Around that area (Tin Hau MTR) is another hotel, L'Hotel. That one actually offers King bed in the double room, but it is more expensive.

The Harbor view room is more spacious, and of course, has a nice view. OTOH, as it faces the main road, it is rather noisy. Traffic starts around 6am and one can really hear the street noise.

The standard room is smaller and faces an apt building. The good thing is it is more quiet. We were out most of the time so the small space didn't bother us.

Overall we were pleased with the hotel. The staff is very polite. There are 2 computer terminals in the business office where one can get on the net for free, though it can be quite busy some times. The top floor has a gym with a panaromic view (we didn't use it but checked it out late one night after it was closed). It also has a roof top pool but was closed during our stay (closed Jan/Feb). It is on the small side from what I could see.

You have lots of transportation options from the hotel. It is a few minutes walk to the Tin Hau MTR station. Plenty of bus lines run on the main road next to Victoria Park, as well as the tram. As I've said earlier, the airport bus stops nearby as well.

Around the corner from the hotel is a 7-Eleven and a Wellcome (supermarket).

I definitely recommend this hotel to anyone. Of course, if you want to stay in the middle of action, you may prefer hotels in Causeway Bay or Tsim Sha Tsui. But this place fits our needs.
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Old Mar 6th, 2008, 11:51 AM
  #14  
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I posted this trip report over at Travelerstogo. Over there, I posted some photos as well. If you want to look at some pictures by me, here's the link:
http://tinyurl.com/2yq2wo
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Old Mar 6th, 2008, 11:57 AM
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Awesome report yk, as usual (I enjoyed your recent Spain report too). You are so fortunate to have had so much time there and had your Dad for a tour guide. . And lucky you, getting upgraded on the way home.
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Old Mar 6th, 2008, 12:49 PM
  #16  
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Y'know, this is what happens when I post a trip report TWO MONTHS after I return from the trip. I've already forgotten so many things!

An Addendum to Day 3 in Macau

After dinner, rkkwan wasn't feeling well, so he went back to the hotel. The rest of us ventured into Grand Lisboa casino. Even though we aren't gamblers, we feel like we should at least check out a casino during our trip to Macau.

The inside was actually not as noisy and crowded as I had imagined. It is pretty nondescript - just like the casinos here in the US. Mom played at the slot machines for 15-20 minutes (she lost), then we wandered around for a bit before we left.

Anyway, like I said, our goal to Macau was not to gamble but to see its Chinese/Portugese heritage, so just a quick glimpse inside a casino was enough for us.
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Old Mar 6th, 2008, 01:07 PM
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Thanks for posting yk! We leave Tokyo for Hong Kong in just a few hours!
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Old Mar 7th, 2008, 09:36 AM
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Really enjoyed your TR, little sister writes as fun and detailed as big bro, must run in the family!
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Old Mar 7th, 2008, 01:48 PM
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What a great report! I have gleaned so much information from your brother and yourself! For me Macau is not as interesting as it used to be or it is but in a different way. I love the Camoes gardens there.Lots of helpful info for my trip in October ,especially as we are also staying at Metropark, Causeway Bay. I read reports before that the harbour view apartments can be noisy and as we have booked one, I asked for one on a higher floor.Thanks again for the report!
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Old Mar 9th, 2008, 03:58 PM
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Bookmarking... awesome report!
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