Thursday, June 16, 2011

Late Night Mini Adventure

Ladies Market.

Khadra and I had set this as our destination of the night. Right after we left the younger Khas in their pajamas with their daddy at the hotel, that is. :)I was told that the operating hours were until 11.30pm so when we headed out of the hotel at 10.45pm (walking, mind you) we would had just enough time for some girly shopping of oh you know, the usuals - tops, dresses, pants, vest etc. Wee-hee!

The receptionist told us to head "Thataway" down Nathan Road.
"Very near. Only 5 to 10 minutes walk", she said.
Adventure pun bermula. Just me and my firstborn child. Let's go.

Walk, walk. Turn right at Portland Road into Nathan Road.

Turn left and walk, walk, walk somemore.

Walk, walk, walk...

We started the walk very near to Yau Ma Tei MTR, down Nathan Road. Then, we passed Mong Kok MTR. That sounded about right. Dah dekat lah ni. :)

Walk, walk, walk.

Walk, walk, walk somemore.

Walk, walk, walk...

Then, another MTR station appeared. The Prince Edward MTR stop. Hmm... Ada sedikit musykil di situ.

Walk, walk, walk.

Walk, walk, walk...

We walked right to the end of the road, coming up to a cross-junction. By now, it was already 20 minutes of walking and I felt like I have just lost my legs. And it doesn't look anywhere near the Ladies Market. Ayyoo... :( (Sila refer to Leg 1 of the journey in the map below)

So, decided to be smart and turned back to Prince Edward MTR to take us back to Yau Ma Tei MTR. That turned out to be a good decision. At the end of Leg 2 of the adventure, we noted a map distinctly showing where Ladies Market were. Sebenarnya, dekat aje from the hotel, okeh! Just take the second turn to the right and then you could see the buzz already! Ayyoyo.. Awatla tak tengok map, makcik oi!!!! Gungho bebenor... Leg 3 of the journey, barulah kami tiba di destinasi. :)

It reminded me of Petaling Street, really. With hawkers setting up their booth in the alley. There were a variety of stuff on sale. Tops, shirts, pants, dresses, socks, jade, watches, etc. I was only interested to get some outfits for Khadra and/or me. We checked out a stall which tried to sell us almost everything on display at "Cheap! Cheap!' price. Tapi, rasanya macam kena ketuk je... Memula tu memang dia bukak price mahal. I started to haggle, macam nak dapaaat je.

Pastu, dia tambah lagi
"Take this one nice."
"This one also nice."
"This dress look very nice on you."
"All , 6 pieces, HKDXXX"
Aku macam kena pukau, ambik je semua. Dah habih bayar, kira-kira macam, "Wei! Kena ketuk la! " Doink!

We were walking back to the hotel, when I noticed a shop (like a proper shop) in one of the alleys. Macam menarik je baju-baju dia. And best of all, the price was sooo blardy much cheaper. And very very nice too! So, demi economies of scale, I had to buy a few pieces to lower the average, right? And we did! Khadra had a fabulous time choosing, as well. Here are some of our catch!

Tu je lah cerita nya. Macam ya-ya je suruh tunggu. hihihihihihihihi

Next on the Hong Kong Travel-log would be our days in Disneyland. :)

-dillz blogging out-

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Day 2 in Hong Kong : The Day of Transport!

Mari sambung ceritera
Hong Kong. (You can read the Day 1 post here)

Couldn't exactly wake up early on the second day of our mini holiday, but what the hey... We were on vacation, man... Our mantra was, "Have a plan, but be ready to just wing it" ;) Kids were decked in purple today. Saje je, kasi theme colour sikit... :)

"We are ready, Dad! Let's go!"

Annnnnyways.... According to the second day plan, we will be going to The Peak to visit Madame Tussaud's. So, even early on, we knew it would involve a whole lot of transportation. MTR, taxi, double decker bus, ferry, tram.. You just name it. :)

Seeing that we were already running late, we had our breakfast at McD in Nathan Road (ya, kami jalan kaki) with Khadra enjoying her hotcakes as usual and Khaleeq discovering that he actually likes Filet-o-Fish. Since we were there during the breakfast to normal menu transition time, Khaleeda was able to have her fries. as well Apa-apa je lah labu, asalkan makan.

Breakfast at McD

We had a very loooong day ahead of us. We took the taxi (couldn't bother to figure out the public transportation, I guess) straight to the Star Ferry Jetty.

At the jetty, we were approached by a Big Bus Tour representative. We figured that hop on - hop off bus was a good way to know the city, right? We immediately bought their package inclusive of:
  1. ferry tickets to Hong Kong island
  2. the Red tour route (this route goes thru the city and stops over at Lower Tram Terminal to go to The Peak)
  3. return tram tickets to The Peak
  4. the Green tour routes (this route goes over to the Ocean Park dan kawasan sewaktu dengannya)
  5. sampan boat ride at Aberdeen
  6. the Night Tour (for Kowloon area that ends at the Avenue of Stars)
On hindsight, we didn't actually have enough time to go through the Green route, so if you wanna complete both routes, it's probably wise to start earlier on in the day. There's also the option of the 48hour validity if you wanna spread the tour out a little bit.

Anyhoots, sebelum naik ferry to Central, masih sempat lagi kami buat nama anak- anak in Chinese calligraphy. Me and Azrul got ourselves a stamping block of our name in Chinese. Pretty cool... Since it took a while to complete, we decided to come back later on that night to collect the items. No pictures taken at the store as the sales lady strictly showed me the signs - "No Photography" Hmm, O.K! *but I could upload a picture of the finished product later*

The ferry trip was very short indeed. Probably around 5-10 minutes. Tak sempat pun nak mabuk laut. I terasa ala-ala naik ferry kat Penang je, but much briefer.

Mengembara naik feri. Mak bapak pun jakun sekali. Sila abaikan ilusi gemuk saya ittew.

We got down at the Central ferry jetty and looked for the Big Bus Tour stand. We had just missed the Red tour bus and had to wait for the next one. Good thing about it though, we found a Halal kebab store at the terminal. Yeay! (Tak beli pun coz we were still very full then. But we bought it before the Night Tour started and it was oh so sedap!)

Moral of the story here: Please check the timing for the tour as the bus leaves at an interval of 30 minutes for the Red route and 45 minutes for the Green route. Jangan dok sibuk nak beli souvenir aje. *Sheesh*

The hop-on, hop-off Bus Tour was pretty awesome. They had a narration going on about the places we visited with the option of getting off the bus at the pre-determined stops. There were many anecdotes told, one even pointed out that we could buy some kind of misfortune spells. Once you are done exploring the area of attraction, just hop on to the next bus according to the schedule given. We were pretty happy at the roof-less top, even though it was so darn hot! Adoii... Touristy betul lah!
Touristy mode. Biarlah panas pun tak apa..

As planned, we came down at the Lower Tram Terminal to catch the tram up to The Peak. there was a photobooth set up near the ticketing counter where you are able to snap a picture of you and/or your family/group with a backdrop of the tram and the view. They will print out the pictures in an A8 size and also make it into keychains or snowglobes. Being the suckers that we were, we bought them, at about HKD130 per picture and 3keychains for HKD165. (I think) On hindsight, I think that photo op was totally unnecessary as you are able to take nice pictures in the tram, up on the Peak etc. So, tak payah pun tak pe sebenarnya. Tahan ajelah naluri tourist tu..

Posing - posing sikit...

By the time we got up there, we were rather famished. So we went for a little loo break and attacked Bubba Gump. All things seafood. Yumms. Cuma a little pricey, which is to be expected lah since we were up in the hilltops! :) Did a little bit of reflecting and looking at the time we had left, we decided to skip the rest of the Red route as well as the Green route in the Big Bus Tour. So, we had a little time to spend in Madame Tussaud's before catching the shuttle for the Night tour later in the evening.

Madame Tussaud's was next. Each adult tickets cost HKD160 and kids HKD90. (I think la, tak berapa ingat) Tapi kami amat jakun dan teruja sekali. Main activity was camwhoring lah , apa lagi.. There were soo many famous (and not too known by us) faces in such unique settings. Celebrities, dignitaries, accomplished sportsmen, artists.. Eh, tapinya kitorang tak jumpa Justin Bieber pun. Tak cukup glamer kot.

Of course, there were opportunities for the museum to make some quick bucks too. There were photographers stationed in various strategic exhibits all around. They will give you a little photo chit that you shall need to preview your pictures near the check out. We bought a few photos (but of course) and even took one with a Madame Tussaud's photo frame.

Some of the exhibits had additional costumes, wigs and props that one could use for a great pose. For example, the crown and robe near the Queen of England, the fat suit near the supposedly famous sumo wrestler, robes at the exhibit for Rembrant. It was rather fun trying to create funny poses. Well, we certainly did. I especially liked @azrulx's Marilyn Monroe pose. hahahahaha

My regal pose nect to the Royal family, cheeky Khaleeda with Janice, Albert Einstein and also the potrait by Rembrant. Check out Khaleeq smiling away sebelah perempuan sexy ittew.

Mahatma Gandhi, Spiderman, Obama, Captain Jack Sparrow and of course, @azrulx Monroe -only thing missing is the white dress!

Me in the sumo fat suit and chilling with Gaga. @azrulx with Tiger woods and The Beatles. Kids balik kampung jumpak atok Jepun.

Once done, we went up to the Sky View for some more picture opportunities. There's a minimal charge going up as well, but the view is breathtaking. Even when it was a little misty (hazy?), one is able to see a 360degree view of Hong Kong island and it's amazing skyline.

At the 360 Sky View, taking in the sights of Hong Kong from the Peak.

We quickly took the tram down and caught a taxi back to the Central jetty to catch the shuttle for the Night tour.
Sudah mahu pulang...

The route for the Night Tour explores the main attraction in the Kowloon area. Famous for their neon signages, we got to experience the Kowloon night life up close and personal. They also pointed out the Ladies' Market , Kowloon's famous street market where almost absolutely everything is for sale. We ended the tour at the Avenue of Stars to catch the Symphony of Lights at 8.30pm. Make sure you stand near the Intercontinental Hotel to catch the neon and laser lights from the Hong Kong island buildings dancing to the tune of the selected music. Pretty, so very pretty.

Kowloon Night Tour

We took a walk along Avenue of Stars (again) to the Star ferry Jetty to collect our souvenirs. Then, we decided to embark in a little "Jalan-jalan cari makan" to find halal food. Budak-budak dah kemaruk nak makan ayam, so upon some consultation through blog reviews and stuff, we decided to check out Islam Food at No 1, Lung Kong Road, Kowloon City. It is one of those places where the locals get their food, so don't expect anything fancy, yeah. A lot of pointing at the menu afterwards, we got our food and it was yummeh! Kids had the fried rice with shredded chicken. Worthy mentions are the Curry mutton with Pot-pan with scallions and the beef with spring onion. I really wanted to try the veal goulash but there wasn't enough room in my tummy.

Jalan-jalan cari makan

Hari sudah malam, perut sudah kenyang..
So, balik hotel la... Just that me and Khadra had a little mini adventure later that night. Ceritanya? Tungguuuuuu..... ;)

-dillz blogging out-

Monday, June 06, 2011

Meet Our Mini Snow White!

We are already back from our short vacation in Hong Kong and boy am I glad that we ended it all in Disneyland. Kids were on high and great positive vibes were all around. :)

One of the activities that we signed up for at the hotel was the "My Little Princess" program - a makeover session for your little princess into Cinderella, Aurora, Tinker Bell, Giselle or Snow White. Seeing that we will be checking out of the hotel at 11am on Saturday, 6th June 2011, I had already booked a slot for Khaleeda on Saturday 9am right from our check-in day. Booking and reservations can be done via the phone or at the souvenir shop in the hotel lobby.

When the day came, we marched to King Triton room at Level 3 (i.e. Ground floor).
There were three packages - Value (HKD 350), Deluxe (HKD630) and Premium (HKD830) Khaleeda chose to be Snow White which is a Premium package, but she gets to keep the costume, tiara, wand and wig at the end of the day and given one free photo (8" x 10") to bring home. Here she is trying out the costume for size in the changing room. :)

Make over in progress - Face, Eyes, Lips, Hair and even a wig and tiara! During this time, the sales assistant will offer you the accessories (wand and glove and trendy bag) for another HKD190 and princess shoes for HKD200. Since Khaleeda already got a wand included with the package, we said no to the additional accessories but she really liked the silver shoes, so we got a pair for her.

Next was the photoshoot. The photographer had an assistant who helped coach the child to do different princess poses. Put your wand up, hold your skirt, play with the curtains, face on hand, princess pose, etc. Wah! So professional... Looks like they'll have quite a collection of good pictures to choose from. It'll be difficult to just choose one, (or so) I thought.

I was trying to get some of the shots myself with our oun trusted camera. But it was rather difficult with the assistant being so close to her and I didn't get any of the tight shots.

True enough, they did offer another package for photography. A complete photo album of 10 additional photos and single use instant camera and Disney princess pouch for an additional of HKD1,600 (or so). Adoiii... Tapi, memang gegar iman la bila tengok the shots. So beautiful.... So professional... Can't believe it's my daughter. So, yeah. We succumbed to it and got them too.

But I truly believe the experience was well worth it la. Just to make all that investment lebih worth it, we took many more pictures of Khaleeda in her costume around the hotel. Nampak macam tengah nak pergi ball, kan? She put those coaching to good use. She knows a few princessy pose already. hihihihihihi

She also kept it on all the way back to Malaysia. Yes, the plane ride included.

She was lapping up the attention too. Many strangers stopped to take pictures of her, say Hi to her and pointing at her. "Princess, Princess" , "Hi Snow White" and there she was, replying to her subjects "Hi!!!!" siap dengan wave lagi. :) After touching down on Malaysian soil, we dropped by my parents' place coz she wanted to show off to her Tok Ki and Nenek. After about 10 hours in that dress and complete makeup, baru bukak. Barulah worth it...

That's all for now. Will get back to my Hong Kong travel-logue in the next entries. Tarra!

-dillz blogging out-

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Hai Hai Hai dari Hong Kong!

We have arrived. Alhamdulillah... @azrulx's first impression was "It had an air of efficiency to it". Sungguh lah, courteous and informative officers placed everywhere at the airport, no nonsense taxi cab driver (though he did not speak a word of English), highwaynya besar, tak bumpy, sekejaaap je dah sampai Kowloon from the airport. (sila ambil red coloured taxi - Urban taxi kalau nak ke HK island and Kowloon area) The pakcik taksi didn't quite know the way to our hotel, but he got us to Yau Ma Tei MTR station fairly quickly and it was just a matter of time that we found our temporary abode.

We were told that the rooms in Hong Kong hotels were rather small and the maximum occupancy is 3 pax per room. Anak dah ada 3, so secara berhemahnya, kenalah ambik 2 bilik, ya dak? Hmm... Bajet ada lari sikit nih... Anyways, we chose to stay in MHotel that is in the Kowloon area (28 Portland Street,Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon 85227106666) - had a good deal when we checked!

Mujurlah ambil dua bilik, tuan-tuan dan puan-puan sebab MasyaAllah... Memang kecillah..

Siap see thru to the bathroom lagi, jangan marah. Nasib baik we specified to be put in the same floor during the booking. Bilik kami sebelah-sebelah lagi. Kellasss gitu... :) The girls were in one room and the boys in the next.

After checking in and figuring out what to do for the night, we decided that we'll go check out the Avenue of Stars. It's kind of a cool thing to do if you are based in the Kowloon area. One gets to see the Hong Kong island skyline and there's even stars on the pavement to celebrate renowned Hong Kong actors. Definitely worth checking out lah! So we kinda headed towards Tsim Sha Tsui MRT station , all the while following the directions towards Avenue of the Stars.

Now, herein lies the challenge. We haven't had our dinner yet and kids and parents alike are getting rather testy. Lapar wei... Nasib baik jumpa bakery and bought some Cheese Sticks and Chocolate Croissant, before we had some speghetti's at Italian Tomatos in the Food Paradise a.k.a food court at Sogo TST. Lepas dah dapat carbo, barulah semangat nak ambik gambar yang berikutnya...

The directions to get there is very clear. Just follow the signs. Kalau tak silap tadi, exit J at TST MRT station. There were many statues built at the walkway. So, apa lagi? Camwhoring time. Yang paling excited adalah sikenit K3. Macam-macam pose dah keluar. Hilarious. Anyhoots, we were really trying to find the more famous HongKie actors. At least yang kenal lah. Ni tah sapa-sapa entah - Fong Yim Fun la, Tang Kei Chen la, Tang Bik Wan la.... Ng See Yuen pun ada.. Akak tak kenal, you alls.... Rupa-rupanya yang femes-femes semua dah dikumpul dekat dengan Kiosk 2, kat tengah- tengah tu. Jumpa lah Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Michelle Yeoh, Andy Lau, Anita Mui.. Macam-macam ada.... :)

At the end of the walk, we crossed over the road via an elevated foot bridge, of which we chanced upon the Middle Road Children's Playground. So damn cool. The place was very well lit, with huge area for play. They even had seats surrounding the park for parents to wait on their children. Kids were super duper psyched, though dah banyak jalan malam ni. Heran ya, how they maintain their facilities so well. Security was in abundance. Makcik tukang sapu and angkat sampah tu pun ada lagi. And this is like 10pm at night, babe. Suffice to say that kids were stoked and getting their asses back to the hotel wasn't easy. Hihihihihihi...

Kami tak jumpa cari TST East MRT staion, so we just took the taxi back to the hotel. Lepas mandi-mandi bersihkan diri... Nilah agenda utama:

(K1 with invited guest dari sebelah, siK2)

Sila makan......

-dillz blogging out-
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