Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Day Three in Hong Kong - Let's Go Shenzhen!

<<< Day Two

I love to walk when i am overseas although my regular travel mate is the kind who prefers not to use his legs much. Thankfully, i am always the one who plans the itinerary and my usual answer to his question on when we would reach our destination is "soon".

It's the same case in Hong Kong where a 15-30 minutes' walk isn't that far. Furthermore, it's better to take things a bit slow and see the local way of life. Sometimes, it's the shops' signboard that caught my attention; like the decent laundry shop above. 

Random photos taken; with a man trying to cover his face so that i don't capture him. For a region known for its direct brashness; i am actually quite surprised that people were not as rude as they were about 20 years ago.

Always interesting to go through the local markets even though it's quite similar to what i can see in Yishun; except for the appearance of raw meats being displayed without refrigeration. 

Durians for sale; i noted it's the Thai durian which isn't popular in Singapore as the texture is more hard without much of the delectable aroma. You may check out the differences here. Hm... the prices appeared really cheap at about HDK 14 per 500 grams which is only about S$2.50 (correspondingly, S$5.00 per kilo). 

Unlucky Alex got scratched by the sharp edge of a plastic bag! He was noticeably upset with the lady who squeezed past us without saying a word! I must say he kept his temper well as the usual him in Singapore would have scolded the person in colourful expletives. 

Breakfast at Gala Cafe where i occasionally think back about the toast with delicious omelette! Click here for more pictures and my review of the food. 

Crowd at the local area of Tsuen Wan. Shrugs, maybe because it's a Saturday. Try coming to Chong Pang on a weekend morning and you would know what i mean! 

The 319.8-meter tall Nina Tower. Does the name Nina ring a bell? I remember her well as her nickname is 小甜甜 (little sweetie) and she was always featured with her signature ponytails even when she was a senior citizen. 

Dark clouds congregating! Praying hard it will not rain! 

Tsuen Wan West MTR Station - the train system in Hong Kong is incredibly elaborate and feels very much like the MRT we have in Singapore. It's a pity it has been a target for the protests that don't seem to be stopping anytime soon. 

View from the nearby Tsuen Wan Ferry Pier; including the gorgeous Ting Kau Bridge (汀九橋). The bridge  is one of four connected to Tsing Yi Island which is like the gateway to Lantau Island where the international airport is.

Taking the train! 

From the West Rail Line, we had to change to East Rail Line at Hung Hom station as our eventual destination if Lo Wu MTR station! I can actually halve the journey time by taking the cab but i bet it would likely burn a hole in my pocket.

The common urban landscape of Hong Kong transformed into a countryside as the train got nearer to Lo Wu station. To think that we always have the impression that Hong Kong doesn't have enough land and that has resulted in many citizens living in cramped conditions! 

Disembarkation after more than hour taking the trains! 

Direct connection to Shenzhen but there's still a need to clear immigration; so do remember to bring along your passport. Unlike Singapore to Malaysia on a weekend, it wasn't that crowded at the Chinese immigration. I was asked a few questions although that has never happened before in my past few trips to China.

China, here i am again after my last visit in March to Guizhou

Having heard that Shenzhen is a manufacturing hub with tons of shopping, i was excited but didn't know where to go as i didn't do much research beforehand and there were just big buildings all over the place! 

We eventually stepped into Luo Hu Commercial City; a dead place in my opinion with nothing that caught my fancy. I was frantic as i didn't travel all the way to Shenzhen to get bored.

I checked online and noted a dongmen pedestrian street that's said to be popular. It's just two train stations away and the fare was just about S$0.40 per person.

Always check the map before exiting the subway station; i am not used to 2-D satellite maps which can be quite confusing with buildings that block the roads.

The place was definitely a lot more happening than the area near the immigration and you can feel the energetic, youthful vibe! 

Alex was half dead with all the travelling. It didn't help that the hot weather was making him somewhat grouchy. Knowing him; such weather infers lazing around in the hotel room.

First thing i did in Shenzhen; bought stinky tofu! 
p.s. not the kind i like. Click here

Gong Cha in China and they were having one for one! Although i am not a bubble tea fan, i find it irresistible to reject this great deal. Turned out the free drink was a designated one; i initially thought we can choose one from the menu. 

Mobike, which is now dead in Singapore, continued to be active in China. It's fascinating that the shared bike platforms, once so hot, are now facing an inevitable death. For them, the time taken to find a bike and unlock it could be better spent walking to my destination.

A t-shirt for just RMB 9.90? That's like just S$2 apiece and Alex knew he had to step in for a closer look! The style didn't suit him though and he stepped out without buying anything! 

One category in Shenzhen that's really cheap in comparison to Singapore would be their electronic products! Screen protectors are like about S$2 and the staff would help affix it to your mobile phone. You can even find AAA-grade air pod for less than S$50. I regretted not buying anything as gifts for the upcoming Christmas. 

Random photos again! 

Patronized the local supermarket on the basement of Sun Plaza and got two packs of Kai Zai Bing (鸡仔饼 / Chicken Biscuit)! Trust me, get a pack in China if you see one as it's different from the ones in Malaysia / Singapore. Visit here for more information. p.s. it's not halal! 

Grilled chicken wings stuffed with rice; the aroma was just too enticing and i figured one would not be too heavy for sharing between two persons. Frankly, we didn't even have a full meal after breakfast at Gala Cafe.

Puppies for sale, i think.

Fruit store where you can mix and match for RMB 10 (about S$2.00) for every 350 grams. Sadly, i am resistant to buying raw / uncooked stuff given my penchant for diarrhea.

东门町美食城 - recommended if you want to have a great selection of food! 

The above were just a few photos i took and there were many others i didn't manage to take as i was literally spoiled with so much food options! It's depressing that i only have one stomach! 

Rather tempted to buy a few sticks from the insect banquet but the sight of the deep fried snakes turned me off totally! Anyway, i am actually searching for fried honey bees and there weren't any. 

Takoyaki (新月船章鱼小丸子) shall have the honour of filling my tummy and they were good enough for us to order again! Check out the pictures here

Playground for adults; looked fun! Hm... i noticed a girl wearing skirt in the compound. Wouldn't she expose herself? Well, i think she would know best. 

Price list - RMB 98 per person for a two-hour play with discounts if you have more people; not cheap in my opinion even though we really didn't have the time to spend as our intention is to return to Hong Kong for dinner. 

Time was tight but we were pulled back by the price list of the leisure centre near the immigration. RMB 118 for Thai massage for 120 minutes is so affordable! But our dear Alex had to ask the staff whether tipping is a must! Embarrassed; i had to forgo the chance to relax my body.

Signage pointing the direction to Hong Kong. Navigation was a breeze in China and i think i should seriously consider a free and easy trip to the middle kingdom in the near future with my friends! 

Setting sun over Shenzhen.

Awaiting the train at Lo Wu MTR station. For those who are too young to remember, the MRT stations in the past used to be open concept with no barriers to the track. A few accidents (including one involving a Thai girl who had to amputate her legs) resulted in barriers being built.

Intervals were long at between 8-10 minutes. No matter what, it's still better than the KTM trains between Singapore Woodlands and Malaysia Johor Bahru. 

Switching to another line at Kowloon Tong MTR station. For someone who has watched Hong Kong movies and dramas, the names of many stations like Kowloon Tong, Mong Kok, Tsim Sha Tsui etc, were familiar to me! 

Dinner at One Dim Sum! Our official first dim sum meal after arrival in Hong Kong; the irony is that it's already day three of our trip. For review, click here

It was a long day and i shared the same sentiment as Alex; time to go back to Panda Hotel, take a nice shower and laze around for the rest of the night!


Detailed Postings for the Day

  1. Gala Cafe
  2. Stinky Tofu
  3. Kai Zai Bing (鸡仔饼 / Chicken Biscuit)
  4. Grilled Chicken Wings Stuffed with Rice
  5. Takoyaki (新月船章鱼小丸子)
  6. Insect Banquet
  7. One Dim Sum