Monday, April 8, 2013

:: family vacation 2013 part 2 ::

So let me continue my story on our recent trip to Hong Kong while it is still fresh in my mind. For those who have missed the beginning, this is a continuation to this previous post.

On the third day, 27th March 2013 our family went for the Hong Kong city tour as arranged by the travel agent. A bus fetched us from Disneyland Hollywood Hotel and brought us back to the city for breakfast at a halal kebab stall. City tour started with a visit to Hong Kong's famous landmark; the Bauhinia Square. It was located next to Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre by the riverside of Victoria Harbour and there lies a huge golden statue of the blooming bauhinia flower which is a gift from the central government in commemorating Hong Kong's handover by the British to China. There was nothing much to see actually but a visit to Hong Kong is incomplete without visiting the landmark so after taking a number of photos we then continued our journey to see the other part of the city at the Repulse Bay area.

Victoria Harbour is a famous landmark but it looks ordinary during day time. The view is a lot nicer during night time because the buildings are colourful with lights.

The Repulse Bay is beachside area where luxury properties are located and to accentuate the fact, the tour guide showed us Jackie Chan's house, which is located on top of the hill. In Hong Kong cost of living is very high and properties are very expensive. The tour guide told us that average income is around HKD15,000 but monthly rental fee for a small size apartment is around HKD8,000 and above excluding utility bills. Even their 600ml mineral water was sold at HKD5 the lowest and maybe because of that we hardly see people loitering around the city doing nothing.

Can you see Jackie Chan's house? Emil, the tourist guide said he does not own the entire building though, only an area of the building because the property is very expensive (but Jackie Chan is already super rich isn't he???)

We spent 20 minutes at the Repulse Bay because again, nothing much to see except taking photos. The next stop was much better though as we were brought to see the old version of Hong Kong at the Aberdeen Fishing Village. Back in the days hundred of years ago there were a lot of fishing villages in Hong Kong where people lived on fishing boats but due to modernisation majority of them were transferred to land by the government except those in Aberdeen Fishing Village who insisted to spend their entire life there. We went for a boat ride to see the actual fishing village because Emil said the entire fishing village will be gone someday when the pioneers passed away so better see it before it becomes history. It cost HKD50 per person and it was not included in the tour package because fee has to be paid directly to villager who ran the boat. In our case an auntie ran the boat but too bad, she was unfriendly and sulking most of the time. On the way to the small fishing village we passed by this huge floating restaurant named Jumbo which is famous for its location and decoration; and also a marina where tycoons parked their luxury yachts. Meeting beauty then the beast. How ironic.

Journey on the boat. Wanted to share pics of the floating village but no nice view of it.

Visit to the fishing village did not end our city tour session as we were then brought to visit a diamond factory shop and also a souvenir shop. Well you just can't escape visits to such stores where tour guides get commissions so layankan ajelah and after that we were then brought to an Indian restaurant for lunch before they sent us to train station for Shenzhen, China. It was only a 45 minutes ride on a commuter train to the last station in Shenzhen and we had to pass both immigrations before meeting Julie, the tour guide there. It was a bit of a nightmare especially for lil sisters-in-law because we had to drag our heavy luggage for hundred metres and down the stairs to the van but alhamdulillah we went through it :-) The first place we went to was a Chinese Muslim restaurant where they served a seven-course dinner. The food was good because some of them were spicy, just like what we normally had in Malaysia so we really enjoyed the dinner. 

Shenzhen is a big city with 17 millions population. It is a huge and a modern city because most manufacturers are located in Shenzhen so the street was busy even until midnight. Similar to Hong Kong, their cost of living is very high too and it was sad to hear from Julie that she would not be able to have a child some time after she got married next year because they would not be able to raise one due to high living cost. Even to get married, her fiance has to prepare a house and a car, give a set of jewellery to the wife and the mother and also Yuan80,000 which is equivalent to RM40,000. Haiyo so expensive! You would not be grateful until you hear such story, so thank God for such wonderful life we have in Malaysia. 

In Shenzhen we were staying at this place called Green Tree Inn which I sincerely would not recommend others to stay if you are looking for 'travelling in style thing' but thankfully it was located near the Dong Men shopping area - only a mere 10 minutes walk to what I can describe as a shopping haven. In Dong Men, the lingo is China brands or unbranded goods. Full stop. But that is the place where you could find pretty shoes at Yuan40 (RM20), handphone cables at Yuan10 (RM5), powerbank at Yuan65 (RM32.50), decent tops at Yuan25 (RM12.50), chic necklaces at Yuan40 (RM20) and many, many more at very low prices. Crazeyhhhh!!! I was so crazy until I did not know where to start and until today I still regret for not buying some of the stuffs. Gahhh... 

We did not snap a lot of photos in Shenzhen because we were too busy shopping. Above is the shopping area in Dong Men district and group photo was taken in front of our hotel.

On the next day we went for compulsory visits to a jade store and a ginseng store but we managed to skip visiting Splendid China because we wanted to go shopping. Splendid China is similar to Mini Malaysia where we could see the entire China and its cultures. I have been there before and I know my family would not regret it. After lunch we were back at the same street we went the night earlier, hunting for more goods and bargains. Later in the day it was a bit challenging for both of us because Ady was already tired and bored. Just for info we did not bring any stroller because we knew it will be wasted so we took turns carrying Ady through out the 6 days vacation. We ended our shopping spree, returned to hotel before 6 pm and later had our dinner delivered by Julie. I already surrendered to shop but mother-in-law was kind enough to babysit Ady that night so guess what, we returned to the street again for a last minute shopping. Ha-Ha-Ha.

Ok enough is enough. That laugh marks the end of our visit to Shenzhen and on the next morning we were sent back to Hong Kong to enjoy our last memorable day in the city again.


p/s: next post will be the last of the trilogy and also comes with a giveaway ;-)


Mimy Hamid said...

owh really make me adore ur sedondon attire...sapa arrange ni..nice

phatgurl said...

Thanks Mimy. I laa yang set...hehe. Sekali sekala pakai sedondon mmg best :-)

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