After a painful breakaway from someone I’ve gotten way too attached to, I packed my bag, got on a plane and found myself in HongKong crashing at a friend’s place. This is a story of how I found myself laughing, crying, and living all over again.
The first Saturday of September 2016
was an exciting day.
Celia and I touched down at this Land Of Dim Sum with
But we definitely had
zero reception on our phones,
needless to say, nor do we have
an Octopus card.
(for non-hk goers, Octopus card is just a really useful transport card that every tourist must own. I cannot stress this fact enough because it pays for literally everything—bus, tram, MTR, ferry, boat, etc—very convenient.)
With literally no apartment to stay for the first night,
we did all youngsters would do.
On our 2nd night, we moved again
from the AIRBNB apartment to crashing at Flo’s apartment,
and as we lived like a gypsy,
we began to notice things about the food, the people, the culture.
1. Freedom of Speech
I decided to put this first because I’m not even kidding about this one.
On our way to Ngong Ping on a fine day,
we caught sight of posters dissing members of the parliament using
really vulgar and offensive remarks,
which, I would say,
quite well crafted from a copywriter’s point of judgement.
“Remove evil cult Falun Gong who
creates lies and jeopardise lives”
Look at it. It even rhymes!
We’ll probably be caught and jailed for voicing any inappropriate remarks in Singapore,
let alone parading obscene imagery like drawing the devil’s horns on a person’s face
…look what happened to Amos Yee.
Considering it was the HKG election period a few weeks back,
propaganda like this—expected.
There was also a lot of LGBT couples in Hong Kong;
more than Singapore,
we spotted 5-10 couples almost everyday.
Lesbians openly holding hands on the street,
afraid of nothing, no discrimination, no hate,
everyone seemed pretty cool about it.
The street photographer that helped us with our pictures—
we saw some of his previous pictures.
He took cute photos of lots of LGBT couples,
and openly displayed them beside his roadside stall.
2. Transport and Directions
On the first day here,
we got lost.
We took 3 hours to finally arrive at our dingy Airbnb apartment at Nathan Street.
From 6pm, to 9pm.
What a marathon…
The transport in Hong Kong is literally soon confusing,
but once you’ve mastered it,
it’s pretty easy to navigate!
The Horrendous MTR lines is actually a fitness package;
some stations are really HUGE,
with lots of exits….
A, B, C….R
and for each alphabet there is H1, H2, H3…H6.
..yeah I’m not kidding. (Tsim Sha Tsui station)
And because there’s no escalator from the subway underground onto the main street,
we had to climb a huge flight of stairs up,
There’s a lot of walking.
approx. 10-15mins walk in order to get to your desired exit,
then walk even more to get to your desired location.
Dim Dim Sum restaurant? Walk. Walk, girl!
Near any MTR station? You wish.
PMQ? Up the hill.
And if you’ve been here you’ll know,
how hardcore the travelling course is.
Walk until our calf muscles start to hurt. #RIPlegs
(That’s bestie right there)
On a side note,
I absolutely love how ferries and boats are so readily available in Hong Kong;
its such a convenient and day-to-day transport thing for them!
Half an hour’s ride is ideal to island hopping;
or even take a ferry across from Tsim Sha Tsui to Central,
catching a stunning night view of the city skyline along the way.
Taken from Victoria Peak!
Not to mention how the fares are
2.3 HKD for a trip across
that’s 43cents in SGD.
You’ll never get this in Singapore, people.
(How much does River Explorer across Clarke Quay cost?!)
On a boat in Tai-O the other day.
Almost all the ferries we took have an upper deck.
Having taken almost all the modes of transportation over here,
boats at Tai-O,
cable car to Lantau Peak;
Celia and I are really taking pride in
not touching the Taxi ever since we landed.
Shows how independent and self-sufficient we are!
This non-air conditioned, tram, really cool.
It goes on the main road, but is fixated on a “railway track”.
It works similar to a bus but you can feel the breeze and see the city on the upper deck.
This is life.
3. The Hilariously-Top Notch of Good Looking people
…with great fashion sense.
I don’t know why HK youth have such good fashion sense.
They love to wear street wear a lot…I see so many guys wearing caps and street apparel labels.
“Even if they’re ugly, they dress well!”
Now I know why.
They get their loots from Prince Edward, Tsim Sha Tsui, Mongkok;
there’re so many cheap and nice clothes!!!
It’s like Bugis Street, but much more assessable, with more choices.
Bought these ripped jeans,
for HKD 110.
That’s around SGD 19 for good quality, ripped jeans. (see the irony here)
In Topshop you’ll have to fish out at least SGD 70 for jeans.
Anyways, the guys are handsome, girls are pretty;
“Seriously have you seen any fat person around?”
“I have never seen an obese person so far.”
It’s most likely thanks to
how far apart the MTR stations are from each other and
HK people really walk a lot on a daily basis.
Well, that’s the youth and adults for you.
The elderly there, well,
they’re really strong and healthy in my opinion…
MTR? You see them standing.
*not always, but definitely more than Singapore*
They don’t feel entitled for a reserve seat, nor do they demand it.
There could be a seat readily available in the train cabin and no one will flock to it.
Except 2 Singaporeans.😅
4. Meeting new people along the way
We met this super nice old lady on the train,
whom thought we were Japanese.
“We’re from Singapore!”
“It’s our first day here, we’re planning to go to Ocean park.”
“Ocean park…10am open…11pm, close!”
We did make it there!
And because we’re not that fluent in Cantonese,
She tried her best to converse with us in English.
(She’s not too bad!)
omg she’s so helpful and friendly I love her.
At Australia dairy factory,
we’re arranged to sit beside 2 singaporean tourists because of the lack of seats.
How coincidental is that!
We had a lovely chat over breakfast.
Then, at Yat Lok Roast Goose restaurant,
we met this solo traveller from London,
we chatted countries, culture, places to visit in Hong Kong…
…he appeared in my Vlog!
Gosh, I love meeting new people.❤️
5. Houses in Hong Kong
Flo says most HK condos are really nice and people here would really pay for good facilities.
It doesn’t matter if they get a small house;
as long as the environment is conducive check,
superb facilities check,
Our apartment is really small, but very pretty.
The lobby looked like a hotel and they even had guys to open the door for us,
greet us, and wish us a nice day.
There’s an amazing indoor pool, with really nice lights and interior design…
I like it hehehe.
Here’s a great view of the city from the balcony(48th storey)!
Everything just lights up at night;
I’ll lie on the couch (yes I sleep on the couch, but life is great anyhow)
and I look at the lights till I fall asleep..
6. Education System
Flo, Celia and I were at breakfast one morning,
and we started discussing about the Hong Kong education system.
(what a current-affairs-way to start a day)
Flo said the tuition business is booming here in Hong Kong,
totally crazy yet a very common thing to attend indeed.
The business here is so exaggerated because of the high demand,
so much so that tuition centre ads we spotted along the MTR stations
could be easily mistaken for the next pop-concert poster.
They make their teachers look and pose like celebrities and supermodels!
much experience, kids.
The demand and competition for this education business is so high,
their selling point is not just good grades anymore;
having good looks as a tuition teacher puts you a notch above others.
Went to Hong Kong University that day.
Took a look at some of their courses…
I realised I seriously have to plan my future study course very soon.
With the increasing amount of PRCs and foreigners in HK,
everyone is fighting to get into HK University—said and known to be the best.
The locals are so threatened—
their end goal is set on HK U since elementary school.
Whoever said Singapore’s education system is stressful,
Before we went to Hong Kong, Florence sent me a whole weather report because we wanted to hike:
JENG JENG JENG~
When I heard that it was summer and that it would be very hot,
blood drained from our faces.
Weather the first few days since we landed was such a bitch,
The rain was on-off-on-off,
and the wind was no chill.
Celia and I rode roller coasters in the rain;
and was drenched from head to toe.
Lotsa rain water got into my contact lenses,
with the wind blowing our hair in all directions,
we pretty much looked like 2 mad women.
After we finished our brunch the next day,
it started raining so heavily AGAIN;
and it’s the last thing we need on top of getting lost.
Carrying an umbrella, a bag, holding your phone for GPS while taking pictures at the same time?
Um. Not very sightly.
The day we went to Ngong Ping,
the weather was great though.
The rain stopped, y’know the kind of cooling weather you get after a rain?
Ah, it was so refreshing.
There was fog too, because we’re high up in the hill.
We took a cable car up to the peak,
the view, scenery, weather—was awesome.
8. What we all love—the Food
Famous for the roast goose, yummy Dim Sum and fresh egg tarts,
Flo recommended we try the roast goose since it’s nowhere to be seen back in Singapore.
Classic breakfast in Hong Kong—Beef satay noodle soup (沙爹牛肉面).
We tried some egg tarts on Cheung Chau island.
Really creamy on the inside and crispy on the outside!
On a rainy morning we arrived outside Yat Lok Roast Goose,
one of the popular roast goose restaurants in town.
There was such a long queue outside,
it’s always crowded, or so I heard.
We ordered a quarter goose,
it tasted heavenly!!
Even though it’s really oily,
we felt kinda guilty cos we haven’t been eating fruits/vegetables
EVER since we touched down in HKG. (until recently..)
We keep eating lots of oily food.
Told Flo about it.
“Ooh, you come here, it’s like that one la”
was her reply.
Tai-O fishing village has the best egglets (eggy pancakes),
they were cooked over charcoal.
By this very swag uncle who wears sunglasses and kept a poker face throughout.
It tasted very fluffy and sweet… 🙂
we went to the most famous cha-chan-teng(茶餐厅) in Hong Kong.
Australia Dairy company.
Lots of people spoke of it, I’ve read reviews, Flo recommended it…
ok we get it.
And off we went.
They sell the best scrambled eggs in Hong Kong!
Macaroni, teh-bing, toast with eggs (2 sets), milk pudding…all for HKD 116.
Even came back to 打包 more milk from the Kowloon Dairy factory,
now I have even more milk in Flo’s fridge. YAY.
we didn’t have smelly tofu….(yet).
One day. One day.
Flo said it’s harder to find it here because people are generally getting more health-conscious,
I guess that’s where we should start including veg and fruits in our menu.
Damnnit how do vegans survive here!??!
Celia and I also tried street food:
Really good considered we were starving. 😋
9. Atmosphere and Night Life
Even though there’s traffic lights everywhere and even a road junction,
no one cares.
Everyone just crosses and walks.
And i guess somehow that made drivers in HK more alert.
The streets and signs are literally the Asian version of NYC.
Huge billboards, advertising posters, bright neon lights, skyscrapers.
Very messily arranged,
we’re instantly bombarded by the endless amount of glaring signs;
I wonder all the locals take in all these messages:
But it started to get oddly satisfying,
I found beauty and order in the heap of mess.
The atmosphere was the greatest at night,
the bubbly people, waft of delicious street food in the air, the cramped residential buildings—
it’s what gives the town its soul.
Ahh…TVB drama feels 🙂
Feels comforting to finally be in the land where my favourite TVB dramas are filmed.