June 23, 2008 (Monday)
I have been to Hong Kong before and went through the immigration and custom check point to enter Shenzhen so I was confident we could go in easily. Because of that we left the Hotel for Lowu quite late. It was a mistake to do so I found out later.
As I anticipated we did not have any problem at the border check point and passed through easy enough. We rushed to buy our tickets to Lim Shia Shiue and boarded our train that was already on the platform. Actually there were three trains waiting and all were going down the same line. I knew the train was clean and good so we enjoyed our journey down to Hong Kong. We left the hotel around 0630 and was on the train to Hong Kong around 0815. Around 0900 we walked out of the Tsim Sha Tsui underground station into Kowloon air. We headed straight to the ferry but before we crossed we stopped at the McD for breakfast.
While my family was having breakfast I walked out to the tourist center at the ferry terminal to gather some information and maps.
My plan was to take them across to Hong Kong island on the ferry and later back using the train. Once across we used the bridge footpath to walk around and my first destination was the Maybank Centre as I wanted to withdraw some money. While on the way there we stopped at whatever shops that we fancy to either shop or check out the items.
The first time I was in Kong Kong I did not have time to go to the Peak so I decided to take my family there. Looking at my option I could take them on the double decker or just walked to the hill station. I decided to walk and gave Baqir the map and instruction to lead because I knew I would have casualties at the back later. If they did not know it yet they knew then I loved to walk so they persevered. If not no more excursion with Abah, Pak Cu or Tok Cu ever again LOL. With sweat falling like Niagara Falls we reach the Peak Ground station and bought tickets to the very top. The ride to the top was fun and faster compare to Bukit Bendera. The view was also a bit better. Along the way we could see the multimillionaires of Hong Kong building their houses along he way. Once at the top we climbed up to the highest point in the observation deck. There were two types of prices for the Peak the cheaper one was for the Peak area and the slightly expensive one for the rooftop of the observation building. We paid for the rooftop for better viewing and photography. Since we paid that much we stayed as long as it worth the payment that we made. The kids enjoyed themselves there but not Sam as she is phobia with height. We did not go down straight away but lingered on at the Peak to enjoy the place. I would say it was worth paying that much to be there.
It was almost 2pm when we were back at the bottom and my instinct straight away told me to move fast as we do not have much time to do the rest of Hong Kong. I decided to walk again took them along the financial and eventually the shopping zones. All the branded items shopping complex were there that also means a very expensive stuff. But we were tourist and we had to do tourist things by walking along with Hongkies gawking at their malls. Eventually we reached Queen’s Place at Queen’s Road Central. To save time I decided not walked up the Place as well as going to the Escalator but instead decided to turn back and find a Metro station to cross to Kowloon. I however gave them times for them to explore a bit of Queen’s Place. When we turned back I also took them through the alley bazaar to check for things worth buying.
Of course the train crossing to Kowloon would be going through an undersea tunnel the fact that I mentioned to my family but somehow my children did not believe me. I indicated the route on the map to them and ask them a simple question of how then would the train cross the sea. We crossed and came out at a road just before the Kowloon Mosque. The plan was to pray, eat some rice and shopping till night time and we did all three in much gusto and bravado, especially the shopping part. But when we came out at Kowloon everyone were already complaining of being hungry so I had no choice but to find a place to eat rice. Yes, after three days without rice they almost strangled me for not taking them to where the rice was fast enough. Before they decided to picket there in front all the resident of Hong Kong I dragged them to the nice Indian Restaurant that I had eaten before. Unfortunately I made a mistake of thinking it was on Lock Road while the restaurant was actually on the Hankow Road the next road. We turned back and I entered Chungking Mansion to be accosted by touts working for various entities in the buildings. Most of them would be Indian, Pakistanis or even Afghan touting for establishments like restaurants and budget hotels in the upper floor of the building. I decided on one Pakistani Restaurant on the floor. To make life a bit more interesting one of the small lifts was out of order and we had to line up to use just one tiny lift going up.
Thinking the serving was like in Malaysia they ordered aggressively and they realized their mistake when the food arrived. Of course I knew this but I just kept quite. Hey, do you want to argue with hungry mob? They could kill you, you know. Now they had too much rice I just laugh at them. Going down I decided to use the stairs and once on the ground we walked straight to the mosque.
With just few more hours left for shopping I decided to just make do with what Nathan Road could offer and it offered us plenty. Suddenly everyone was in the mood for shopping and with their stomach full they were demanding at times :). As long as they were happy I was there to oblige. Lucky they did not go berserk shopping like mad cow searching for a drink. Dia orang dengan sopan santun shopping.
Eventually after I extended the shopping hour till 2000 hours we had to leave for Shenzhen. I knew the train service would not end before midnight still I did not want to risk the whole thing. As they say there is always another day for Hong Kong. So went down the subway and walked to Tsim Sha Tsui KDR station to take our train back to Shenzhen.
One minute to 2100 hours we walked out of the train at Lo Wu station and crossed the border without much problem. Few minutes after that we were already strolling Dongmen back to our hotel. Back at the hotel reality started to sink in that our holiday was about to end. I guess everyone went to sleep reluctantly that night hoping the time would stand still.