Sunday, April 19, 2020

Day Five in Hong Kong - Tim Ho Wan, The Peak, Central Mid Levels Escalators, Jenny Cookies, Ding Ding Tram,Lei Yue Mun, Ladies Market


  1. Breakfast at Tim Ho Wan (Sham Shui Po)
  2. Victoria Peak (The Peak)
  3. Madness 3D Adventure @ Peak Tower
  4. Ding Ding - The Hong Kong Tramways
  5. Central Mid Levels Escalators
  6. Teatime at Tsui Wah Restaurant (翠華餐廳)
  7. PMQ (former Police Married Quarters) 元創方
  8. Underground Public Latrine
  9. Hitting the Villain (打小人) Ritual
  10. Lei Yue Mun (鲤鱼门) Seafood District
  11. Beyond Lei Yue Mun Seafood District - Viewing Point, Light House
  12. Kai Zai Bing (雞仔餅) from 瑞香園餅家
  13. Ladies Market
  14. Herbal Tortoise Jelly (Gui Ling Gao / 龟苓膏) at 恭和堂


After a terrific sleep at Dorsett Mongkok Hotel, it's time to venture out into the neighbourhood for a much desired local, dim sum breakfast and the best way to explore the neighbourhood would be to use our good, old legs to walk!

The local, mini buses on the left; i wonder what's the return on investment (ROI) for that as it's much more economical to get a bigger vehicle to accommodate more passengers. In Singapore, buses of such a size would be used for shuttle services; mainly to and fro condominiums, obscure shopping centres etc.

I know for a fact that Dorsett Mongkok Hotel is pretty near a funeral parlour and i didn't tell Alex as he might get jittery over it. Thankfully, the hotel ambiance wasn't the dim type and with the full length window in our room; there's not a single hint of eeriness throughout our stay.

Metal works.

Relying on Google Maps for navigation;  i think it's a must nowadays to get data for directions and checking of information. There are two problems though; one, you can't use the app in China as the grid was off by a few hundred meters and two, you run the risk of someone grabbing your phone and running away with it.

Sycamore Street - i was intrigued with the Chinese translation as it refers to a street filled with poems, songs and dances; pretty cultural isn't it?

Wall mural backdrops that were made with mosaic tiles. Practical me would have made do with painting as it's much faster to put up and given the weather elements; easier to repair too.

One of the many back alleys in Hong Kong; this one had four Chinese characters written on the wall. 捉拿小偷 which means to catch the thief!

Large intersection!

There wasn't a lot people on the street and the vehicles number was decent; maybe because it's a workday and 10.00 am should already spell the end of the morning peak.

Adorable felines in a shop!

I think we were in a fabric wholesale market as there were quite a number of shops offering many types of fabric. Those who are interested in fabrics can check out Wong Chuk Street.

Arrived at the Michelin-starred Tim Ho Wan at Sham Shui Po! I was expecting a long queue as i heard it was the norm at other Tim Ho Wan branches and this particular branch stands out for being awarded the star.

A most wonderful dim sum breakfast; for my review, the location and what i had, please click here. In my seven days in Hong Kong, i tried a few dim sum restaurants and no doubt, this is the best. In terms of pricing and taste, both were better than their Singapore branches.

Tim Ho Wan at (Sham Shui Po) is smacked in the middle of Sham Shui Po and Prince Edward MTR stations! Do you remember what else is near Prince Edward MTR stations? Another good dim sum restaurant; One Dim Sum!

Fast forward to a train ride and we arrived at Admiralty MTR station! The night before, in Day 4, we were actually at the same station and i promised then i will be back.

Because i needed to check out The Peak when it's all bright and clear! There were way too much mist / clouds at night and it's frustrating when it was said to command one of Hong Kong's best cityscape views! For more photos, click here!

Peak Tower - there's a chargeable observatory platform on top which is higher than what we can see via the complimentary, no charge route. Inside the tower, you can also find Madame Tussauds (Hong Kong), food and beverage, retail outlets.

You can also have fun at the free entry Madness 3D Adventure! Enjoy taking photographs with the 3D artwork; there's a catch though and you can read more about it here.

Taking Bus No X15 down The Peak as the tram service was undergoing maintenance and chanced upon this vintage Rolls Royce (i think), GG186. GG means good game right?

On the bus, you could also get a pretty good view of the cityscape.

Bank of China Tower - as explained before, it was one of the iconic buildings comprising the Hong Kong Island skyline that many would take photos with when i was last in Hong Kong in 1997.

Actually, i can't remember exactly where i alighted. I was following the navigation via Google Map and intention was to drop near our next destination.

Skyscrapers everywhere.

Affectionately known as Ding Ding, the Hong Kong Tramway is a cheap, convenient way to traverse the busy streets on Hong Kong Island as pricing was a flat rate of only about S$0.50 and the tramway has tracks dedicated for their use only.

Shoe-shiners?! Didn't know they still exist!

So many people at Queen's Road Central. Maybe due to the fact that it's lunch hours and we were smacked in the middle of Hong Kong central business district.

Random photo!

Attempting the Central Mid Levels Escalators; the longest escalator system in the world that stretches for about 800 meters and cuts through about 16 streets! Click here for more photos! 

Officially known as Pottinger Street, this pedestrian street is better known as Stone Slab Street due to the placement of granite stone steps. Quite a unique sight as it gives an "ancient, historical" atmosphere.

There's an issue if you are bringing your elderly parents on a self-tour to Hong Kong Island; there were just too many slopes and even i found it torturing at times.

Two incredibly famous restaurants along Wellington Street; can you spot them?

One is said to serve the best roast goose; Yung Kee (鏞記) which has been around for over 75 years! Reviews were mixed though and i did try the food in Day 6; for which i would publish a review in due course.

Another notable eatery is Tsui Wah Restaurant (翠華餐廳); well known for its crispy bun with condensed milk and the milk tea, the thought of a glass of ice cold milk tea was tempting enough for us to step in for a short break.

Back on the street!

This fortune cat with a scowl on her face and pointing a middle finger caught my attention and i strolled into the shop to check out the interesting wares the shop had for sale. Prices were not cheap; the cats were priced at HKD $328 for a 15-cm and HKD $888 for a 30-cm porcelain one.

More products available on second floor.

Shop name is GOD, short for Goods of Desire. Was this the same shop that operated from Clarke Quay Central? I recall there's one shop with similar products and most are Hong Kong, rather Singapore-related memorabilia.

The side wall of GOD is actually a well-known instagram spot! Graham Street is a working road for goodness sake but it didn't stop people from standing on the road to capture a perfect photograph.

Even though it was completed in 2013 by Mr Alex Croft, the popularity spiked after "Korean actor Ji Chang-wook did a photoshoot in front of the mural". You may read more about the Instagram Wall of Hong Kong over here.

More wall murals around that area but popularity was a lot more muted.

Don't be too quick to judge PMQ (former Police Married Quarters) and think it's just a historical museum. Step in and browse through the interesting, creative products sold in the standalone retail stores converted from the living quarters! Click here to check out more.

This isn't a store. To my surprise, it was an underground public toilet that was built in 1918! Sadly, it's no longer in service and from the photo i took, all fixtures and furnishings were already stripped off.

Random photos again!

At one period of time, my colleague would always bring back Jenny cookies when she embarked on her annual trip to Hong Kong. Demand was so hot that  purchases were limited and imitation products went rampant! It's funny to see this shop putting out notice that they have authentic Jenny Bakery cookies for sale.

Funny because the legit shop was just a few doors away!

Anyway, there wasn't any queue and i guess the popularity has waned, especially when you can also buy Jenny Cookies in Singapore and other countries like China, South Korea and Japan; albeit in the case of Singapore, prices were about 50% more expensive.

Price list for your reference; note that expiry is about 45 days later. I seriously like their butter cookies which smelt heavenly and literally melt in your mouth; a lot of friends prefer their coffee cookies though.

Declaration against counterfeit cookies! As mentioned above, do buy your cookies only from legitimate shops like the two branches of Jenny Bakery that's listed. For more information on its overseas distribution, please visit the official website here.

As it's Alex's first trip to Hong Kong, i must bring him to do the touristy things like taking the Ding Ding! Furthermore, it's along our way and would stop less than a hundred meters from our next destination. Only bad thing; it's non-air-conditioned!

The culture of hitting the villain (打小人) ritual is spellbinding and knowing there's a spot where people would ask for help to 'hit the villain' for better luck, i knew i had to check it out. As interested as i am in the ritual? Check out my dedicated post here.

Air-con!!!

Took the train at Causeway Bay MTR station, transfer at Northpoint MTR station and then stop at Yau Tong MTR station. Each station has their own signature; no wonder so many visitors to Hong Kong would take tons of pictures at their MTR stations.

Alex didn't want to accompany me as there was just too much walking for him and he needed to rest and relax with the intention to do so by having a haircut! As there's no hair salon in the mall connected to Yau Tong MTR station, he decided to meet me at Mong Kok later.

It started pouring and like these statues above, it's a matter of waiting for the rain to stop as there's no sheltered walkway bringing me to where i wanted to go.

And the walk is like over 500 meters!

Let me introduce to you Lei Yue Mun (鲤鱼门); a seafood district at Kowloon! It's like walking into an underwater world but in this case, you can buy the seafood and eat them!

There are other things beyond the Lei Yue Mun seafood district; a view point where you can capture the both sides of Victoria Harbour! There's also a lighthouse and if you have plenty of time, you can also visit the Lei Yue Mun Tin Hau Temple at Ma Wan Village, which is over 200 years old.

My objective to drop by Lei Yue Mun (鲤鱼门) is not for the seafood. Instead, my objective was to purchase deliciously crispy kai zai bing (雞仔餅) from 瑞香園餅家!

Back at Yau Tong MTR station.

I was exhausted and can imagine how bad it must have been for Alex. To think that my itineraries have always been quite punishing unless it's a beach vacation. Anyway, i needed to take a rest and decided to have a herbal drink at Wong Lo Kat (王老吉).

Reached Mong Kok and met up with Alex!

Just some more random photographs. Remember how i was saying that the roads were quite empty in the morning. I should augment that Hongkongers are likely night owls as you see more people after the sun sets!

The neon signboards were a lot lesser than in the past. A pity as it gave so much character to Hong Kong then although it has to eventually give way to practicality; LED lights are longer lasting and cheaper. 

Stinky tofu but Alex didn't want to share with me and i didn't want to increase my food load for the day. Thinking back, i should have just gone ahead to buy a serving. Unbeknownst to some of you, i fell in love with stinky tofu the first time i had in Hong Kong, back in 1997.

Ladies Market - frankly, it didn't excite me as i have been pampered with the night markets in Bangkok. To put it in comparison, this would be similar to the touristy Patpong night market


Last stop - Hong Kong Sneaker Street! I don't really think the pricing was that cheap but to be fair, i never believe in spending a lot on shoes, especially when i am not that brand conscious and would not actively seek unique, limited editions sneakers. 

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