Hong Kong, Hari Keempat – Kepulangan

We did nothing much on the last day. We walked to Museum of Art to check out the souvenir shop. There were many antique oriental souvenir but I didn’t get any. The view from the mezzanine was beautiful so we took few snaps.

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The view from Mezzanine level, Museum of Art.

Later on we went to Tsim Sha Tsui area again to get some souvenirs.

Check out was swift and taxi was readily available in front of the lobby. At the airport, We had our lunch at Popeye (with big Halal signage), which is at Departures Check-in Hall, Level 7. We continued shopping at Disneyland store and my wife bought some cosmetics. There are prayer rooms at the airport. The one we went is at Gate 42, Terminal 1.  Ablution can be performed inside the prayer room as there is cleaning basin.

We enjoyed shopping in Hong Kong. There were few incidents where we had to face rude people but in general Hong Kongers were courteous to us. When we used MRT, there will be somebody offering their seat to us – seeing me carrying my son. We also observed that most Hong Kongers were fashionable and their sense of style is to my liking.

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Hong Kong, Hari Ketiga

My friends went back the next day, going directly to office to work to face their Monday blues, while I took annual leave which actually days that were carry forward from 2012. That morning we had our breakfast in the room with leftover from last dinner.

That day, we went to the Peak. Many people said visit to Hong Kong is incomplete without getting the nice view of the city from there. That was one of the reasons why my friends rushed to the Peak the day before even they just got back from Macau. We took MTR to Central Station and exited J2 and had short walk to Peak Tram Lower Terminus. While getting there we met a Malaysian family from Johor. They were friendly and enjoyed having our company. The husband is a retiree and the wife is a homemaker, with them their teenage daughter. Since Johor is just next to Singapore, they took Tigerairways from there.

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View from the tram – choose the right side for the view.

At the Lower Terminus, there was a small exhibit of the Tram depicting the history of the Tram. As we got into the Tram, all of us sat at the right side of the Tram, for the view of the city. The family went to Madame Tussauds, we went to the top of the the Peak – Sky Terrace 428. Initially the plan was to have lunch at Wan Chai Mosque Canteen but I suggested to my wife for our lunch at Bubba Gum restaurant, there was not many people, so we got good table with nice view of Victoria Harbor. We ended our visit there  by strolling around the complex before going down by Tram.  As we reached down, it was getting crowded at Lower Terminus. I was glad that we went there earlier.

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Epworth lodge with beautiful roof top garden, the tram and Lion Pavilion.

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Victoria Harbor – was cloudy that time.

We went for shopping at Tsim Sha Tsui area and had a rest at the hotel before going out again that night.

Within walking distance from Butterfly on Prat, we walked to Avenue of Star to watch the Symphony of Light and continued strolling the promenade trying to locate hand prints of our favorite Hong Kong artists. Hong Kong entertainment was famous in Malaysia in 80s and 90s but now K-Pop has overshadowed everything including Bollywood and J-Pop. K-Pop popularity among Malaysia youngsters is greater than Hollywood.  While locating the hand prints we could smell delicious grilled squid from stalls there. We wanted to try but we concerned whether the squid was marinated with non-halal ingredient.

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People were waiting for the Symphony of Light.

We ended the night with shopping again around Tsim Sha Tsui area. We didn’t go to Ladies’ Market since we heard reviews that they were selling low quality goods from China.

Hong Kong, Hari Kedua – Seharian di Macau

It was hard to get halal breakfast  in the early of the morning. We had no option, my friends and us went to McDonald’s for fish burgers, fries and hash browns. From there we walked to China Ferry Terminal to get ferry ticket to Macau.

It was about 9am. At the ferry terminal counter, the earliest boat available was about 11.30am. Meanwhile there were men touting in front of the counter to those queuing including us, to buy ticket from them for 10am ferry. We were taking time to learn the situation since we were careful not to be cheated. We checked and asked every counter until the last one which actually the company where the men belong to. Their boat offered the 10am.

The women at the counter was rude talking in Cantonese, she spoke little English and forced us to buy the 10am ticket.  I began to ask questions to get confirmation on the time and destination of the ferry from and to Macau (I’m sure, it was polite) but she seemed irritated and instead of 10am she forced us to buy 11am ticket. One of my friend was about to burst, good that other friends helped to calm her down. One of the men who touted in front of the counter earlier talked to her in Cantonese and then she sold the 10am ticket with open ticket for return. Fortunately the rudeness ended there. The staff on the Turbojet ferry were polite and helpful. The seat was comfortable and spacious.

Once arrived, my family and I waited for others to disembark first. The moment we entered the terminal, my friends already got a tour guide. The man seemed joyous and can be trusted and we also need transportation to cover the major attractions within a day so I considered it was a good deal. By a van, the places we went were Macau Fisherman’s Wharf, Macau Tower, A-ma Temple, Senado Square, Ruins of St. Paul Cathedral and finally we were dropped at Venetian Macau Hotel. At the Venetian two of my friends, my family and I tried the gondola. The gondolier sang several songs in Italy and he was good.  After strolling at Venetian, we followed my friends to Hard Rock Hotel to buy some souvenirs. As expected, there was no prayer room in Macau so we just prayed at the lobby of the hotel. We glad we went to Hard Rock Hotel since their free shuttle bus to ferry terminal was less crowded than Venetian shuttle bus. My friends and I agreed that it was fun visiting Macau and for them, they might come again and stay at the Hard Rock Hotel.

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Macau Fisherman’s Wharf.

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At Senado Square. We bought seafood sandwiches at Starbucks there.

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St. Paul’s Ruin – having takeaway lunch there.

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At the Venetian Macau Hotel.

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Among area inside the Venetian.

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We exited the Venetian from here and walked to Hard Rock Hotel.

As we arrived at Hong Kong that night, my friends went to the Peak since their flight to Saigon will be the next morning. My family and I went for unplanned shopping at the terminal before going to Istanbul Express at Tsim Sha Tsui. There was no empty table so we had a takeaway. Good thing about Istanbul Express, they clearly put halal signage and no alcohol drink is allowed/sold.

Sleep, that was we need after that day.

Hong Kong, Hari Pertama

In January 2013, we went to Hong Kong. We went together with my friends. We flew at Friday night from Saigon to Hong Kong by Cathay Pacific Airways. From airport my friends and us went to separate ways to our hotels. The taxi was old but spacious and comfortable. It was Crown Comfort, the same type I usually used to go to my secondary school since there was no other public transportation that time. We had the hotel address in Cantonese, so it was handy since our driver can’t speak English much.

We stayed at Butterfly on Prat and the room was deluxe double bedroom. Our friends stayed at nearby hotel within walking distance. I selected this boutique hotel because of the location. Nearby, there are halal eateries, MTR, shopping places and attractions. The room came with free WIFI and microwave. I requested for high floor since that area could be noisy with several clubs not far away. We were given room at level 16.

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Our room at Butterfly on Prat.

The next day, after good sleep, we met my friends and went to Wan Chai mosque canteen to have breakfast. We got to the mosque by MTR to Admiral Station and took taxi from there. The food was very nice. It was the best dim sum I’ve ever had so far. No wonder the canteen was featured in CNN travel.

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Our first set, we ate until full.

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Address and details of the Canteen.

Happily with our full tummy, we head to a place to burn some calories. We took taxi to Hong Kong station and took MTR to Disneyland. Initially, I was discouraged to go to Disneyland because of the reviews at TripAdvisor but I glad I went. To collect our ticket was very easy; we used the Automagic Ticket Dispensing Machine for our online purchase – simply by inserting the credit card.

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Inside MTR to Disneyland.

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Jumbo ride.

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Morning performance.

The rides at Disneyland suit my son. Personally I like Mickey’s PhilhaMagic, Buzz Lightyear Astro Blaster and Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars. My wife and I shared the joy shopping at Main Street, USA. My son had for himself Mickey stuffed toys and Lightning McQueen. Apart of the joy, there were few annoying moment when there were people tried to cut the queue, their trick was one person go ahead first and that person will call the rest of the gang to join him as if he was queuing from the beginning.

For lunch, we went to Tahitian Terrace and there were several selection of halal food. For praying, we asked the staff there and they gave this room at city hall, which was very pleasant.

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Wife performing prayer inside a room at City Hall.

We were there from morning to night. My son was amazed by the Flight Fantasy Parade. The end of the night was indeed magical. Superb fireworks and good sound system made us felt overwhelming, I felt so happy and I couldn’t hold myself to kiss my wife.

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The fireworks at Disneyland.

From Disneyland we went back to hotel by MTR. It was not crowded; probably many chose to stay at Disneyland Hotels. Before going to Hong Kong, I tried to book there too, but no room available. By the end of the day, we could not contact my friends, probably the small Disneyland was not too small, but we managed to plan the next day through facebook.