(FYI, this is going to be a long lengthy post about my Hong Kong travels, and you can totally skip it if you aren’t ready to read. The vlog are parts and pieces of the entire holiday that I had which probably a good summary of my Hong Kong memories. There will be a video at the end of this post on my shopping haul.)
Just right after the week where I turned 21st, I packed my bag and took a budget flight on Tigerair in the afternoon and flew straight to Hong Kong for my birthday holiday. It was an impulsive decision that I made, partly due to the reason where I could not find anyone to travel with me while I wanted to travel badly. I managed to get the 2 way flight tickets at $165/nett which included of a 15kg return luggage check in. Also, one of the trouble with travelling alone was that I had to bear the whole cost of accommodations since I wasn’t doing any twin sharing, thus searching for hotels became one of my major problems that I had to face, particularly in Hong Kong where hotel room prices are on the pricier end and the confined room size that you get. However, I managed to get my hotels booked in late April just in time for my travel and with the hotel cost all kept under $300 for 4 nights. I don’t know how I managed to do it but I managed to keep the cost of this solo travel low, all within a $1000 budget ( I still had quite an amount of HKD and RMB left actually…).
Upon landing in Hong Kong, it was already late night as the flight was badly delayed due to the heavily shrouded clouds in the sky causing the slow traffic flow in the airport. The expected arrival time was supposed to be 6.20pm and the actual time that we arrived in Hong Kong was around nearly 8pm. Everyone in the plane was extremely displeased and angry but there was nothing the pilots could do in such uncontrollable conditions like weather problems. Oh well, I shouldn’t complain much, since I safely landed in the Land of Dimsum! After clearly my immigration, I quickly turned on my wifi to connect with my Hong Kong uncle to inform him about my arrival and he might be worried since the flight is delayed for hours. I met up with him and then we proceeded to take the airport bus to Causeway Bay area to check in and then headed out for dinner at Ichiran (the ramen that everyone was raving about) which ended with a brief tour of Hong Kong.
(Ended the long day with a nice bubble bath, using Sephora’s Stawberry fizzing cube…Goodnight!)
Day 2 was pretty much simple, waking up and packing my bagpack to head to Shenzhen while waiting for Uncle Ken to pick me up to head for dimsum breakfast at some local restaurant. After breakfast, we headed to his place to drop off my trolley luggage before heading off to Lowu. Clearing the immigration at Shenzhen and Lowu Checkpoint was pretty easy, which is very similar to crossing the borders between Malaysia and Singapore. Foreigners are required to fill up that China arrival slips and Hong Kong departure slips. Pretty fuss-free and quick, we managed to reach Shenzhen in no time. After arriving, we headed to the ZTL Hotel in Dongmen area to proceed with the check in and unloading our bagpacks, took a quick rest before heading out on a shopping trip! The area of Dongmen was huge with various malls selling different items. Like a building of 4 storeys selling plainly shoes, another building selling accessories and several buildings selling ladies apparels. It was insane shopping but we managed to cover all the malls in two days. I bought a big bag of clothes which ranged around SGD5-9 bucks each and some other miscellaneous items like nail polish and fake perfumes. The food in Shenzhen weren’t as pleasant nor up to my likings as local Shenzhen people have a high salt and oil diet and the only thing that was awesome in Shenzhen was the beers. They were light and refreshing and yet CHEAP!!! I’m not a fan of beers especially if they had a very bitter or heavy taste but China beers, I simply fell in love with them!
(Overwhelming order of dimsums that Uncle Ken ordered for breakfast…)
(Like a typical tourist putting the bag in front, in case of getting robbed and my mandatory shot for conquering Dongmen!)
(Shenzhen’s local “xiao-chao” dishes…)
(This is still the BEST…haha)
(Ended my Shenzhen night with a beer and some refreshing chips from China’s 7-eleven!)
(Shenzhen’s Mcdonalds breakfast, Soya Milk, Chinese onion pancake with bacon and egg omelette and odd-tasting hashbrown)
On the 3rd day afternoon, Uncle Ken and I headed back to Hong Kong and he brought me to a local char chan teng for a simple meal. Uncle Ken always brought his son to the char chan teng after his school and this time he brought me. The simple sandwich and milk tea tasted awesome as compared to Shenzhen’s heavy food. I gobbled the food in no time. Haha! After the plain and yet tasty meal, we headed to Sai Ying Pun area to check in to my hotel. It was quite a distance from Uncle Ken’s living area, Tin Hau. Sai Ying Pun is a beautiful area as compared to Causeway, as the area was an old neighboring estate with its old Hong Kong vintage charms and also a mixed of modernity, with newly built condominiums for foreign expats which were staying there. There are several cafes in that area and plenty of food options to choose from. However, there are many shops that sell dried goods which might be a little stinky and unfavorable for those urban people. I love the place anyway…except for that wooden hard bed… That night, Uncle Ken and I went to Lan Kwai Fong, Hong Kong’s clubbing street and popular nightlife spot and we went into a random bar for a drink. I ordered for him a mojito and for myself a passion punch. The mojito came in a tall big glass and was strong in taste while my passion punch was serve in a martini glass, it taste sweet with fragrant aroma from the passion fruit and strong kick of alcohol which were to my standards. The cocktails costs only SGD9 per glass during happy hour and it was really CHEAP and affordable as compared to Singapore’s happy hour drinks…
(Durian soya pudding in Tin Hau, a treat from Uncle Ken that cost around SGD6 for a meagre bowl, but each spoon of it taste heavenly!)
(My meal cost around SGD 1.8o and the beef noodles meal cost around SGD2.50, in this local neighbouring char chan teng in Tin Hau)
(Lan Kwai Fong! I wasn’t dress to visit the place as it was a total impromptu trip, so pardon for absolute shitty dressing ever!)
(This is my UNCLE! 🙂 )
(Ended the night with supper at Tsui Wah)
Oh! I forgot to mention that we went to Central area to catch a ferries wheel ride during the evening and I witnessed the most beautiful sunset in Hong Kong with its gorgeous cityscape! ANDDD… I saw LEE KWANG SOO! I was ecstatic and surprise to have the luck to actually bump into him in a foreign land! He was there for some drama filming with the tall model-like actress, Lin Dai Yu. He was so much more handsome in real life than he is on the screen! I was THRILLED~
(I was literally the happiest little girl on earth at that moment! Pure plain happiness!)
Day 4 was just pretty much a day for myself as I visited several places and did some Sasa shopping, grocery shopping, buying souvenirs for friends and stuffs for myself. Nothing much interesting happened and I end that night with ciders that I bought in the 7-eleven on the opposite of the hotel and they cost me like SGD1.50 for a big 500ml bottle. I WISH I HAD A BIG TUMMY TO FILL UP THE CIDERS… but I couldn’t, sadly.
(Attempted a timer shot trying to do my ootd but turns out a sudden gush of wind made my dress flew, making me look like a preggy! #failmax)
(Shopping alone in Causeway Bay, Wanchai and Kwai Fong without anyone taking photos for me)
(I had a random sushi craving during shopping so I stopped at Sushi Express and apparently, their sushi express were way cheaper than SG’s at SGD 1.48 a plate after GST & S.C while SG’s version was at $1.78 per plate similarly.)
(A random cute little blonde boy in the train back to Sai Ying Pun.)
(This was a quick snack that I picked up from a random neighbouring bakery near the hotel, it cost me around SGD0.20! The egg tart was crispy, fragrant and filling was delicious!)
(My mega huge prawn XO sauce tossed noodles with a cup of ice milk tea, which cost me around SGD12, burnt a big hole in my pocket…)
(I ended the night with cider and tidbits while shaking leg and watching some random show.)
On the very last day of Hong Kong was a day I was dreading the most to arrive, departing and heading back to Singapore was something hard for me, all the good memories that I had with Hong Kong, Shenzhen and with my uncle, experiencing family love for the first time and my uncle was like a fatherly figure, humorous, yet caring and doted me well like his daughter. I felt really loved and was treated like a princess throughout my entire stay in Hong Kong and Shenzhen. That very morning, he brought me to this high-class dimsum restaurant near Central and met with my auntie and his little son, Billy for yum-cha (tea, in Cantonese). The food was like the best meal ever in Hong Kong, everything taste just DELICIOUS.
(Zou-San! (Cantonese~Morning) Yumcha with cute Billy and my Uncle and Aunt!)
(My virgin ride on a ding ding!)
(My very last meal before boarding, the MOST HEAVENLY AND SINFUL FRENCH TOAST!!! I have MEGA CRAVINGS FOR THIS! ❤ )
I totally lost track of time on my flight when I was at the airport and reached my boarding gate, exactly 3 mins before my flight taking off time. YES 3 mins! I thought I was going to be stranded in Hong Kong…until I realize the crew were calling for the flight passengers, as they had changed their boarding gate last minute, they delayed their departure and were having their FINAL CALL. It was an absolutely huge relief for me. I was literally the last passenger to board the plane before the door shuts. There was also problems with Hong Kong over cloudy skies which delayed my flight departing time from Hong Kong.
(Landed safely in SIN, but with a broken and wet luggage from Tigerair, thanks for giving me an excuse to get a new luggage and luggage tag!)
To sum it up, this so-called “solo” trip to Hong Kong was just a very fulfilling birthday trip that I had for myself, probably the best birthday present that I gave myself. Learning to travel to a foreign land, learning to take care of myself in a foreign land, learning to be more friendly towards strangers and tourists, it was a good learning experience for me. Having the courage to travel is not easy with people who constantly discourage you because they fear that the outside world is just simply dangerous, but if you don’t step out of your shell, you will never discover something new or learn some useful life skills. I know I’m bold but I think I was ready to travel alone. Even if I’m a girl which might be considered the weaker sex, but this won’t be a barrier to satisfy my wanderlust desires. I can’t wait for the next solo adventure again.
I wonder where shall I go next…HMMMM
Here’s my haul!
My combined, HKG and SZX loots.
Souvenirs that Uncle Ken got for me! ❤