Monday, July 23, 2007

HK - China Trip (Part 1)

As you all who read my blog know, I managed to be a participant for the 8th China Synergy Programme for Outstanding Youth (CSP8), which I think is a platform for overseas Chinese to learn more about their roots and about China today (although, there are also participants from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan).

This will be my first blog entry from a series of blog entries. The original version of my "notes" are more detailed as I have been writing the events of everyday into my computer at the end of each day. But I'll try to keep it simpler here... So… here it starts:

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Day -1

My plane to Hong Kong, at Changi Airport

After lunch at Jurong Point I took a cab to Changi Airport. I was nervous and scared and excited at the same moment, because this is the first time I was traveling overseas on my own (Singapore not included lah…). Moreover, it was to a place where they speak a language I’m not proficient in (my Canto sux… big time).

Arrived at the airport, saw a 麦兜 (McDull) advert at the luggage collection area. Got my luggage and eventually found the Ground Transportation Terminal. A guy asked me (in Canto of course), where to take bus E21. Shucks. Told him ngo1 ge1 gwong2 dong4 wa2 m3 hai3 gei2 hou2 yet he still talked to me in Canto. Oh well. My first taste of what I will encounter daily here.

My room in CityU

Took a bus to City University of Hong Kong. After “settling down”, wanted to go up to the 8th floor to meet Ping Gee but at the same moment I saw a lift coming down from the 8th floor so I decided to wait. Sure enough it was Ping Gee. Anyway, went to her room and chatted awhile and discussed plans for tomorrow. Anyway, Ping Gee had these sweet biscuits from 奇趣饼家 (Ki Tsui Cake Shop) and she gave them to me for my dinner. Thank you so much!

Day 0

I bought my Octopus card (八达通). Took the Tung Chung line to Tung Chung station on Lantau Island (大屿山) where tourists usually take the "skytrain" cable car to go to the Great Buddha statue. Unfortunately, recently an incident occurred (a cable car fell down!) and it was closed for maintenance and checks until further notification. We ended up taking bus 23 (I think).

The bus ride (HK$30 return ticket) from (Ngong Ping) itself was interesting. It went up steep slopes and down into valleys, passed by some villages and even a prison before reaching the final destination. Lots of upgrading works were being done along the way.

Vegetarian lunch!! Not bad =)

Ngong Ping village was very misty when we arrived. We decided to eat some vegetarian fried noodles and desserts for lunch (mango stuff, beancurd). Apparently the beancurd up there is a must-try. It tasted rather normal, except that I could sense something different which my taste buds eventually discovered to be—ginger. Walked around and prayed around the temple. Handphone giving me problems coz the indoor pictures were all rather dark and I couldn’t do anything. Eventually learnt how to set it =P haha… I’m (techno-illiterate 科技白痴). Gave some donation and also read that 千手观音 is the protector for those 肖鼠 (born in the Year of the Rat) one. Eventually the mist started to clear up and we walked up the many stairs to the Great Buddha.

Some murals outside a temple

Outside a temple, 大雄宝殿

The flight(s) of stairs up to the Great Buddha statue

It was difficult to get this photo... had to wait for the mist to disperse...

On the way back to the city we took a detour to Hong Kong Disneyland. We walked around and took some photos outside of Disneyland. From what I heard (from KV, HK friends etc.) it isn't very worth it to go in there.

On the train from Sunny Bay station to Disneyland station

Gateway into Hong Kong Disneyland

Disneyland station

Went to Central (Zhong Wan 中环) and travelled on this elevator-connector-walk thingy to Soho. Now I kinda finally went into the bustling cramped city area. The tourist guide says that this place is a blend of old and new but what I think of it is that it is… messy. And it is damn hilly… also, the general feel… grey and gloomy. Lots of gweilo here though. Then went to Lam Kwai Fong – more gweilo). Walk walk see see only. But we went to eat some toast etc. at a local "fast food" chain (forgot the name le... sorry)

奶浆土司 lai zheong toast (peanut butter and condensed milk on a thick toast)

Was supposed to meet Ping Gee’s HK friend at (Tong Loh Wan) at 6.45pm but it was still too early. So instead we purposely took the MTR to 天后 (Tin Hau) so that I could hear the announcement (Ha3 Yat4 Zam3 Tin4 Hao3- which is also a Twins song). Lol. Tried to record it but it was too noisy.

Anyway, met up with Ping Gee’s friend Natalie and her bf Ah Hang/Heng 阿恒. We had dinner somewhere near Times Square. It was OK but my appetite problem is affecting me. Took a ferry afterwards from Wan Chai to Tsim Sha Tsui. Then took a city tram, which is the cheapest public transport around. Saw black people and gweilo who speak Canto with no problem. Walked to 星光大道 after that. Only knew most of the actors nearer to the centre of the walk (which is very long).

Dinner... lai cha 奶茶 is very popular here

Hong Kong is really brightly lit and beautiful. Too bad Malaysia doesn’t really have a big metropolis beside the sea. Singapore is beside the sea but they don’t allow flamboyant neon lights to flood the city so it looks rather boring at night. After that we went back by KCR to Kowloon Tong and came back to the residence.

view of Hong Kong island from 星光大道

Stay tuned for Part 2!


At 12:49 AM, Blogger Victaa said...

Wow nice!! You have pictures to accompany your narrative.

Nei D gwong dong wa dou ok la... dou suen gei hou ge la. (I'm not even going to bother putting the numbers in, thank God there are only 4 for Mandarin and not like... 9. Easier for me to learn I hope lol).

I did not like CityU's rez haha. Aigh, suen la.

Looking forward to part 2!

Fai D post la :) haha jkz.


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