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Exploring South East Asia Like A Rock Star

Exploring South East Asia Like A Rock Star

Old Jun 24th, 2012, 01:50 PM
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Exploring South East Asia Like A Rock Star

With a promised inheritance from a rich uncle, my exploration of South East Asia is fortunately only limited by time not cash flow. As my dear uncle would often tell me, “Son, time maybe money but sometimes money can be time”.

I will take my uncle Sam's advice to heart as I adventure to the Far East and wherever else my promised inheritance takes me.
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Old Jun 24th, 2012, 01:55 PM
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China, Go East To Hong Kong

It seems strange to see daylight as we begin our approach into Hong Kong from the north over mainland China. Having left Newark at 3pm our initial flight path was east over Greenland with a scheduled arrival in Hong Kong at 7pm. For me, this in of itself is a fascinating journey.

However, not so fascinating is sitting in a cramped coach sit for 15 hours and having a fellow window seat passenger that has to go to the bathroom about every two hours. Although offered the aisle seat, she preferred the best of both worlds which included preventing me from getting my beauty sleep. I arrive in Hong Kong looking ugly.

The Hong Kong airport with clean open spaces and free Wi-Fi is impressive. The immigration and customs process is a breeze and just outside of customs is a very helpful tourist information booth. Using the latest technology, I am shown pictures of where I am headed with other information available on an Ipad at the touch of a finger.

Having being told about the happenings of the Mong Kok area, I find accommodations there for $39 per night. This is in a local “Guest House” type accommodation that suites my way of travel just fine. I am told by the gentleman at the Tourist Info Booth there are many options in this area, even a 24hr McDonald's is nearby if things don't work out.

Before I leave, I get to practice some Cantonese with him. “Ng Goi”. Almost hum the first word, do a high pitch sound on the second one and you have just said, “Thank You”.

There are several ways from the airport to the City Centre. For HK$55, I purchase a round trip ticket and under a light falling rain make my way to board the A21 bus. About 45 minutes later, I exit on Nathan Road in search of Geo Home Holiday. A few passes up and down the street and I am at a 24hr McDonald's. I start spying the seating arrangements as a helpful manager gets me connect to their Wi-Fi network so I can clarify my directions for Geo Home.

Before long I am standing at an elevator with about six others. Being courteous, I let them board first them I am embarrassed as I step inside. A flashing light and a buzzing sound announces my arrival. “Overload”.. buzzz... buzzz... “Overload”. Apparently, the nine passenger limit does not account for too many 6 foot, 200 quarter pounders. I graciously step off and smile as the elevator door closes in my face.

On the 9th Floor of 739 Nathan Rd, I find Geo Home Holiday Inn along with several other hotels. A helpful desk clerk, free Wi-Fi, a small clean compact room with a view and I am ready to call this place home for the next two nights.

It is already late in the evening as I get settled in but not too late to explore a bit of Mong Kok by night. This is a bustling area of Kowloon and there is no shortage of restaurants and businesses that are open late into the evening hours. At Choi Kee Restaurant, I am sure it's name is not pronounced locally the way it would be in English, I get my first sampling of local Cantonese cuisine.

A wonton soup loaded with noodles, a salt fish, eggplant dish with sensational flavor along with an easy favorite, Singapore noodles and I am stuffed. Well, almost stuffed as I have left just enough room for a Hot Salty Bun from a bakery next door.

About 24 hours after leaving Newark, I go to sleep with a full stomach knowing I am going to wake up beautiful, ready to explore more of Hong Kong.


Video:http://youtu.be/GJB95TdWNg4
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Old Jun 24th, 2012, 03:40 PM
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Great start!
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Old Jun 24th, 2012, 03:47 PM
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Nice report but I think the Cantonese for thank you is "doh je".
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Old Jun 24th, 2012, 04:10 PM
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i am enjoying thus far... just wait till you get the bulk of uncle's $$ and you can fly 1st class and stay at the peninsula..
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Old Jun 24th, 2012, 05:37 PM
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Hanuman,

I don't think they have wool in Hong Kong... besides the gentleman at the Tourist Booth was too nice to have pulled it over my eye. I retrieved the paper he gave me and discovered there is at least another way to say "Thank You".

You maybe correct but it states, "Ng Goi" is Thank You (For a service).. "Dor Tse" is Thank You (For a gift).

Guess there are many ways to say "Thank You" here, I'm just glad I could struggle to say one of them
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Old Jun 24th, 2012, 05:41 PM
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rhkkmk,

I guess I'll have to wait for dear uncle to pass away but I'm in no hurry for that to happen.

A free look in the gorgeous lobby of The Pennisula Hotel and standing besides one of their Rolls Royce will have to do for now.

Don't mind coach as long as I can get my beauty sleep and not show up looking ugly at my destination
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Old Jun 24th, 2012, 05:45 PM
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Simpsonc510,

Thanks! More reporting to come ... from Hong Kong, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and ??????

Jus be patient, Grasshopper
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Old Jun 24th, 2012, 05:46 PM
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I usually say Ng Goi only when I want service from a waitress or something like that, sort of like saying "excuse me". However, I don't speak Cantonese and only know a few words so I guess your man at the booth knows best!
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Old Jun 25th, 2012, 05:23 AM
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How long is your trip? I'm in BKK in July for 5 days. You must be doing 'live'.... that's what I do.
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Old Jun 25th, 2012, 06:35 AM
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Carol, he has already been to Thailand.....this is the guy who ate the cricket.

Hey DMB....find anything interesting in Hong Kong for us?

ni hao=hello in Mandarin

neh ho+ hello in Cantonese

xie xie=thank you in Mandarin

That and bu yao is about all the Chinese I know,lol.....got me around.

Aloha!
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Old Jun 25th, 2012, 07:33 AM
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DMBTraveler is correct about Ng Goi vs Dor Tse. Ng Goi when you receive a service and Dor Tse a gift (whether material or not). Only in Cantonese.
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Old Jun 25th, 2012, 07:42 AM
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Interesting rkkwan. How do you say "excuse me" like to get past people?
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Old Jun 25th, 2012, 07:49 AM
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Seriously, I strongly advice visitors not to stay at one of these guesthouses at mix-use buildings. The last 5-alarm fire in HK occurred in 2008 at 687 Nathan Rd, one block from the OP's guesthouse, of a similar styled building. 4 deaths in that one. And then just last Nov, a 4-alarm fire killed 9 on Fa Yuen St, 3 short blocks from the OP's guesthouse, again of buildings of similar design and (multi-)uses.
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Old Jun 25th, 2012, 08:01 AM
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Hanuman - Ng Ho Yi Sze (Excuse Me) or Je Je (Borrow you space) to get around people. Or in Chinklish, Soli Soli.
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Old Jun 25th, 2012, 08:04 AM
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Or, actually most commonly Ng Goi Je Je. Since Ng Goi also means Please.
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Old Jun 26th, 2012, 03:55 AM
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simpsonc510,

Doing a "C" loop from BKK.. Laos.. Vietnam.. Cambodia.. BKK
Out of BKK sometime beginning of July.. Depends on how long my dear uncle keeps sending me $$$

Highly recommend Moonite Htl in BKK... 1800B per night.. nice breakfast included near Swiss Embassy and easy access to canal taxi's
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Old Jun 26th, 2012, 03:59 AM
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HTraveler,

Will post more on HK shortly...

Think I'll be back home for months before my postings will be complete

Having too much fun enjoying it all
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Old Jun 26th, 2012, 04:13 AM
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rkkwan,

Sad to hear about the tragedies. Your postings is useful and should be considered when booking these types of accommodations.

However, like in many other countries these are the places where locals tend to stay. I enjoy the character that these places add to my travel experiences, something you don't get at a Holiday Inn Express.

There are many inherent dangers in travel and in life which we must all manage according to our own personal acceptable level of risk.
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Old Jun 26th, 2012, 10:22 AM
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China, To Hong Kong Island

A light rain is falling as I head down a busy Nathan Road to find the No.2 bus that will take me to the Hong Kong Cultural Centre located near the Star Ferry terminal. Surprisingly the bus fare is relatively cheap, only HK$4.5 (about US$ 0.50) and comes with a nice double decker view if you so choose.

I am a bit worried about my sightseeing options for the day as “Typhoon 1 Warnings” are posted around the city and I am beginning to feel like it is raining all over the world. From the HK Cultural Centre, I look across Victor Harbor at the skyscraper shoreline of Hong Kong Island. Even with the morning clouds casting a dull gray and moist shadow over the city there is still something spectacular about the view.

Life in the city and along the harbor goes on as the thump of a helicopter blade beats the humid air and various types of boats cross the harbor in all directions, leaving huge rolling waves behind. I soak it all in as I continue my walk toward the Star Ferry terminal.

Just outside the Star Ferry terminal is a Clock Tower, a monument to the 1900's Kowloon Canton railroad. Continuing to the ferry ticket window, I am approached by a young man that makes me an offer that is almost too good to refuse. We make a deal and I am headed to the Upper (First Class) section of Star Ferry.

For HK$300, I am going to see all of Hong Kong that I can within 24hrs. First, I am going to meet a guy named Stanley.


Video:http://youtu.be/HYvVTSKEHnE
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