Travelogue: Hong Kong Day 1 (Mongkok/Causeway Bay Shopping & Food!)

Earlier this year, Kim texted me most randomly and excitedly about cheap Scoot tickets to Hong Kong and we very spontaneously in less than half an hour, booked tickets for our first BFF overseas trip in 13 years. Inclusive of baggage, the return tickets only cost about $180/pax! Tania got her tickets just slightly more expensive a few weeks later.


Gonna split up the HK travelogue by days, and mainly introduce the glorious food we had. Hong Kong tourism board's advertising really sticks huh. I think we can effectively summarize our agenda with their tagline - 买东西吃东西 and hmm..The Peak.

Flight to Hong Kong

Only not-so-good thing about the cheap Scoot tickets is the unearthly flight timings. We got to Changi Airport around midnight, and reached Hong Kong at about 7a.m, which is probably too early for check-in at most accommodations. Furthermore, if you are not one of those who fall asleep easily on flights, you'll probably be exhausted by the time you touchdown. The leg back to Singapore, we had to leave for the airport at 4am so barely had any sleep that night.

Lucky us got the yellow "stretch" seats on the way there, so the flight was more comfortable with extra leg room! I think you usually have to top-up for these seats. 




Hong Kong Transport

We bought the Octopus Cards for travelling around Hong Kong. You can use this same card to get out of the airport to the city via the Airport Express. 


Price of Octopus Card (HK$):

  • Adult: Deposit $50 + Stored Value $100 = Price HK$150
  • Child: Deposit $50 + Stored Value $20 = Price HK$70
  • Senior: Deposit $50 + Stored Value $20 = Price HK$70

The Airport Express costs HK$100 for a trip to Hong Kong station, so would advise topping up the card before leaving the airport, or you can just do it at any MTR station as well.

Water retented post-flight :/





Accommodation 

Somehow, it was quite difficult to source for affordable accommodation for 3 in Hong Kong. Most places are really small, and best suited for 2 pax. We ended up going for Air Bnb, where we had a great host with a clean, lovely place in a very convenient location. We were just a couple of minutes' walk away from Admiralty MTR and near some nice bars and restaurants. If anyone wants the contact, do drop me a mail! Oh and at least with Air Bnb, if you're lucky you can "check-in" early. 





Ichiran in Hong Kong

We dropped off our luggage, but didn't have time to wash up because the host was still getting ready the place for us, so we decided to head to Japan's famous ramen chain, Ichiran, for breakfast. The rich, tasty, hot broth after a tiring night flight was SO satisfying. The popular ramens in Singapore albeit tasty, get a little too rich/thick for me after half a bowl. Ichiran's one was just perfect and I actually finished almost the whole bowl of soup. 

I hear Ichiran gets quite crowded during peak hours, so it was great that we were there at 8am. Many empty seats!








The staff serves you in authentic Japanese Ichiran style. They pass you your ramen through a small opening of your booth. You don't get to see their faces behind the blinds and they work very systematically so the whole ordering process is very efficient.  They even draw the blinds after they serve you so you can eat in privacy!





ICHIRAN
Shop H & I, Ground Floor, 
Lockhart House, Block A, 
440 Jaffe Road, Causeway Bay 
銅鑼灣謝斐道440號駱克大廈A座地下H及I舖


Cha Chan Teng - Capital Cafe 華星冰室

We didn't really know what to do around the Causeway Bay area this early in the morning, so we took a train to Mong Kok and walked around. We also wanted to look for a 1010 store to get a sim card with data plan for our phones. 1010 opens at about 11am, so we had time to kill and what did we do...Yup. Be a Singaporean and eat at the first place we saw a queue. 

This trip we didn't get a chance to visit the much-raved Australia Dairy Company. Capital Cafe is a similar Cha Chan Teng, and apparently is not too bad as well though Tania wasn't impressed and thinks Australia Dairy is much better. I've nothing to compare to since I've never tried ADC, but I thought it is worth a visit if you pass by. I'm not a big fan of macaroni soup for breakfast anyway, and Capital's was nothing to rave about. The scrambled eggs were creamy, fluffy and tasty, and I think Kim quite enjoyed her peanut butter condensed milk toast. 




Pictures of celebrities - seems quite popular!






Capital Cafe 華星冰室 
G/F, 107 Sai Yeung Choi Street South, 
Mong Kok


Sim Card with Data Plan

After Breakfast Part 2, we went to the 1010 store at Mongkok to get the 7 days unlimited data plan sim card. That costs HK$100 (~SGD16), with limited call time and SMS. If you get the card from the store, they can do the configuration and set-up for you, so it's fuss-free! I think there are quite a few 1010 outlets in Hong Kong, so before leaving for your trip, just google for the nearest one to your hotel. Data came especially in handy when we were trying to navigate through the confusing Hong Kong streets, and when we wanted to split up to do our own shopping!

Shopping at Fa Yuen Street

Since we had a couple more hours to kill before our apartment was ready, we wanted to take a walk to the Flower Market which we all haven't visited before. Along the way, we passed by Fa Yuen Street with rows of stalls and shops selling more interesting things and naturally, we got distracted from our original plan. Only got to see the Flower Market from across the road, and told ourselves, "Okay we've seen it," and dove straight into Fa Yuen street. Don't have many pictures because we became too engrossed with shopping quickly. Case in point: the girls spent what seemed like at least half an hour at this make-shift stall and went away with bags and bags of...bag sorters.

You can probably do some bargaining at the stalls along the road, but I think not so much with the shops. Prices for apparels, shoes and bags are quite reasonable here, but I would advise going to Mongkok's Argyle Centre first before hitting this street because things are cheaper there.





Chee Kee 池記 - Best Congee in Hong Kong

After an intensive few hours of shopping, we headed back to the apartment to freshen up. And at this point, I was hit by food poisoning! I think likely from the curry puff that I brought from Singapore which I only ate before landing in Hong Kong. Anyway, that didn't stop me from continuing our feasting though...

Next stop, we went to Chee Kee Noodles and Congee, which is said to serve the best congee in Hong Kong! Kim had the Beef Brisket and Tendon noodles. I thought the noodles were quite hard, nothing fantastic. Tania and I shared the famous Crab Meat Congee - a whole small crab in a bowl of sweet, smooth congee! You'll have to use your hands to eat the crab, and though it's small, the meat was surprisingly tasty and sweet. 














Chee Kee Noodles and Congee
84 Percival Street, Causeway Bay 
銅鑼灣波斯富街84號地下


Causeway Bay Shopping & Tsui Wah

Highlight of Causeway Bay for us, was the mega Forever21 where we spent more than 2 hours combing the 5 or 6 levels. It is slightly cheaper there than Singapore, and carries a wider variety of designs, so definitely worth a visit.











After much shopping, we went to the famous Yung Kee roast meat restaurant for dinner, but only found out after sitting down that they were out of roast goose. It was a blessing in disguise, because the next day we went to Xin Dau Ji instead AND IT WAS SO WORTH IT! 

Back to topic..At 9plus, there really wasn't much else we wanted to eat, so we settled for Tsui Wah, which was just opposite. Tsui Wah is a cha chan teng with a huge variety of food, but slightly pricey compared to the usual. They are open 24 hours, so we actually came back here two nights later after partying for supper.

I had the Prawn noodles with XO sauce. The prawns were fresh, firm and super crunchy and noodles were quite springy and tasty. Tsui Wah is also known for their crispy bun with condensed and hot milk tea. YES, you definitely have to try those too! The thin coat of butter atop the bun sweetened with comforting condensed milk goes really well with their tea. 




Prawns with stirring noodles in XO sauce


Pork Baked Rice

Condensed Milk Bun

Tsui Wah Restaurant 翠華餐廳
15 Wellington Street
Central, Hong Kong (Near Central MTR, Exit D2)
Tel: (852) 2525 6338

So that sums up our first day in Hong Kong. Because we started the day at 7am in Hong Kong, it felt like an extremely loooong day, punctuated with many food stops. I'm still going through my photos for the next 3 days and will try to post them soon! 

2 comments:

  1. Hi, can you let me know the place you stayed in hong kong? perhaps a link to the airbnb page? thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  2. HI Jacquelyn, so sorry for the late reply! Missed your comment. Here's the link to my airbnb host: https://www.airbnb.com.sg/rooms/1773901 :)

    ReplyDelete

 

Serene Alexa Chow

You're reading bits and pieces of a part-time dreamer and full-time slave owner of online store, Momoteapots. Sometimes, you'll also find her quite the hobbyist, writing about and dabbling in a little bit of fashion, food, literature, lifestyle and even some freelance PR work.

Say hi at serene@momoteapots.com!

"If neurotic is wanting two mutually exclusive things at one and the same time, then I'm neurotic as hell. I'll be flying back and forth between one mutually exclusive thing and another for the rest of my days."
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