28th February 2009, Saturday
We started the day at 6.30 am and got our sleepy asses to the ferry terminal in Macau. The moment we get out from the hotel, we were embraced by the freezing northern winds. Everyone was in their jackets and scarves. I wish Malaysia is as cold as this.. so I don’t have to sweat too much!
The bus ride to ferry terminal was a breeze. It was a good thing we were early. As soon as we cleared immigration, there were hordes of people at the immigration counters! I guess it’s still not as bad as the last time I came to Macau from Hong Kong where the queue was horrendous. Surprisingly, the ferry we took was not that full and we got on turbojet half an hour earlier than our scheduled time at 7.30 am. I quickly text a friend in Hong Kong, Vincent to inform him we would be there half an hour earlier.
Vincent and I met on the yesteryears’ popular IRC when he was still in UK pursuing his masters and myself, in KL struggling with ICSA. He has been a good friend of mine ever since. He’s a great conversationalist, super humorous, frank, patient and super generous. Girls, sorry.. but he’s married. Ok enough about him.
Vincent caught up with our earlier schedule as we were having milk tea in one of the eateries found at the Shun Tak Centre. We took Turbojet. There will be a journey every 15 minutes to and fro Macau and they are pretty on time. It’s advisable to book your ferry tickets earlier to avoid wasting time waiting.
You can opt to take either First Ferry or Turbojet from Macau to Hong Kong and vice versa. We took Turbojet and the ferry docks at Sheung Wan – more central compared to First Ferry, where it would dock at Kowloon. So, depending on where you want to explore, you may consider which ferry you want to take.
Giant Buddha at Lantao Island
Without wasting time, we went to the nearest MTR station to get to our first destination – Ngong Ping 360 and Giant Buddha at Lantao Island, where I missed going the last trip to Hong Kong in 2007. They have one day tourist pass at HKD55. A one way trip from Sheung Wan to Tung Chung, where the cable car to Giant Buddha is situated costs HKD20.50. So, it would be more worthwhile to buy a one day tourist pass on MTR at HKD55. Or if you are in Hong Kong for many days, you may opt to purchase the “Octopus” with top up value which gives you 20% discount on normal tickets.
At Tung Chung, there are many factory outlets for sport shoes and also sportswear. We didn’t check it out as we didn’t plan for shopping. I heard from Jasmine that you could get Rocksport’s shoes at RM100 (original price is about RM300 – RM400)! Perhaps, it’s good to make another trip here.. solely for shopping! We had a quick brunch of dim sum before going up.
We reached the Ngong Ping hill slightly before afternoon. The journey via cable car was quite a pleasant one. The officer in charge would let you travel together with your friends in a private cable. Since there were 8 of us, we were placed in one cable car on our own. One cable car would carry up to 17 people – so my very well meaning friend, Vincent, told me not to worry as my weight would not pose any problem. Very funny.
You need to pay HKD96 for a return trip or more if you would like to go to their “Walking with Buddha” and the “Monkey Theatre”. Since we were here for a short visit, we decided to just go and walk around the Giant Buddha. We were advised against eating the vegetarian food there as they were too expensive and not that great. I overheard some tourists complaining the vegetarian food sucks. LOL! So Vincent was right.
I couldn’t believe that I actually climbed the steps till the top. It wasn’t really a hard climb. So, I was glad that my sluggish stamina didn’t give up on me. Batu Caves’ staircases looked more intimidating! So, you lazy people! Get your arse up there! If I can do it, so can you!
We made a brief stop at the Path of Wisdom before going back to the cable station to get back to town. By the time we got to town, it was already 4 pm. I was famished! Vincent took us to Tsim Sha Tsui’s stop and he suggested Sweet Dynasty. I thought the name sounded familiar and I asked if it’s on Canton Road? He said I was right. So, I veto-ed the idea of going back to the place with bad recommendations from the internet and went to Taiwan Beef Noodles shop instead, on the same road.
Our dishes choice comprised of all meat – siew ngor, char siew and siew yok! Other dishes were quite mediocre but the roasted goose and char siew is quite delicious. I wonder why they add peanuts to char siew? The peanuts made the char siew more aromatic?
After the late lunch, we loitered around Mongkok and Langham Place. The 8 of us went on separate ways. I was with Vincent, Lil and Amy. Lil, having a Hong Ki as a sis-in-law, surely knows what’s good in Hong Kong.. apart from the roasted goose. We ended buying Tempo tissue paper instead. LOL! What the hell? Lil claimed that the tissue paper here has better quality and we wouldn’t get this type of quality back in KL. So, just to amuse myself, I bought some tissue paper too.
Playful and friendly traders at Ladies’ Market
Our legs were so tired and in pain after the whole day of walkathon around Hong Kong. I think I’ve met my quota for exercise for the entire year by walking this whole day alone!
We made our way to Arena of Stars to watch the laser show. There was a thick fog or mist surrounding the harbor and hence, we could hardly see the laser in the sky. There were hordes of people standing and applauding while the laser fired into the thick fog, accompanied by some very oriental music.
The very nice but expensive award winning siew ngor @ Yung Kee
We took the Star Ferry to Central and then, went to Lan Kwai Fong to end the day with a bang. We had the famous roasted goose at Yung Kee along Wellington Road. It’s HKD420 per goose!!! But it’s delicious. The skin is crispy and the meat is tender. But, beware of the crowd on weekends though.. it can be quite a wait.
We bid Vincent good bye as he sent us to the ferry terminal. Thank you, Vincent for being such a generous host. It was indeed a pleasure to see him again.