The Trip : Day 1 – Introduce Hong Kong and The Ladies Market

Oh this is such a bless that I finally got an “appreciation” from by beloved office in a form of 5 days 4 nights trip to Hong Kong & Shenzhen. Free air fare, free accommodation, and some free meals too. For whatever it is, I’m grateful for the 5 days vacations that I was so looking forward. This trip actually a replacement trip because I couldn’t make it to the official corporate outing trip to Beijing last May, due to work and my sister’s wedding. My boss is generous enough to let me and 4 others to have a replacement trip and he suggested that we go abroad too instead go to Bali. I also feel glad that the other 4 are people that I know very well and likely comfortable to be with on a trip.

KFC before we're leaving, that's mandatory!

So, here we go. We flew with Garuda this morning, a direct flight Jakarta – Hong Kong. The plane is comfortable, a Boeing with nice facilities, but as usual, the food is awful. Compare to SQ and Lion (the international flights I’ve ever been on board), I think Garuda has the worst taste of food. But I got nothing to complain, I’m just saying. I was nibbled the food halfheartedly anyway. I don’t really keen in long flight, 4 hours 10 minutes enough to make me neck deep bored and feeling like a baby on a stroller, can’t go anywhere stuck with a toy and keep being feed.

Our Plane! Thanks Garuda for no delay...

We were landing safely with no significant delay, on a friendly weather on Hongkong International Airport. Everything was easy and smooth, including the check-in, immigration and collecting our luggage. The Airport is extremely grand. It’s almost the same size with Changi, only Changi way more comfortable from the building design (simpler gate system), let’s not mention Soekarno Hatta. And the airport connected to train station and mall, so it feels way bigger. We were picking up by our tour guide name Pak Raymond. I think he’s in his late 50 and he gladly treat like this is our first time going abroad. “Keep your passport safe!” he said it over and over again. I believe it’s the experience talking.

Pose The A-Team at Hong Kong International Airport

The airport located in another island named Lantau, around 40 kilometers from Hong Kong city center Kowloon which located at Hong Kong Island. It took 50 minutes for us to reach our hotel right at the heart of Hong Kong, passing by a very big Harbor with thousands hundreds containers, a grand bridge and an under mountain tunnel. Hong Kong on a first sight is amazing!

(1) The Bridge; (2) The Containers Jungle; (3) The Mountain Tunnel

Neat! The hotel named Kimberly Hotel located on Kimberly Road (surprising!), near by Nathan Road (one of the main street on the area). In the brochure that the tour and travel gave me said it’s a 4 stars hotel, but looking at the hotel I believe it’s almost reach its 3 stars, but again I got nothing to complain, I was too excited. The room is clean and decent and tiny, fits exactly the 3 of us – the girls – in it.

The next schedule on the tour is free time, so we determined to try the TRL (subway train) and go to the famous Mongkok Ladies Market, a night market and see what we can get there. One of the most exciting topic we discussed on the way to this country was how cheap all the branded stuff here. So we can wait to see that place. After a very long dragging check-in process that took an hour from our free-time, we finally put out luggage in our room and excitedly asked Pak Raymond on how we can get to Mongkok. He’s so generous with time and detail explanation, and gave us another 30 minutes session using the map at the lobby hotel on how to get to Mongkok, then he walked us to the nearby TRL station, which a bit redundant from my point of view, you know… well… adding to the 30 minutes… Anyhow, I started to feel the city heat, the big town vibe, the ignorant residences, the walk on the pavement, and people bumping at you without saying sorry, and a happy heart still. Seriously, I’m sensitive with small stuff like that, but it didn’t bother me at all, just a point of observation.

The train system is neat, is easy to reckon that we already arrived at Mongkok Station, but the hardest part is to figure which gate is the closest to the night market. One station has gates from A to H. Errr… For a half an hour we were wandering around the area, Nathan Road, Tung Choi Street, Argyle street and finally! We found it. But we’re starving already (remember the ugly food we had on the plane? That was the last meal we had.) So we entered one of the tiny restaurant name Eat Together (catchy eh?) and having what we see right (no pork for my muslim buddies of course). The noodle I ordered taste really good but it was like a lot. I supposed to share with a friend. I feel really stuffed after ate it all. The funny thing is we bumped to 2 Indonesian girls who work in Hong Kong at the restaurant, Ellie and Ika. They have been working here for years and speaking Cantonese very fluently. They are really nice and generous, ended up accompanying us shopping for the rest of the night. Seriously, Ellie did her best to bargain quarter price from whatever price the seller said first.

Happy Shopper at Mongkok Ladies Market

And true, thou the stuff not branded, it’s way more cheaper than in Jakarta. Several items I saw before on Mangga Dua, and here at Mongkok Ladies Market, those items have half price. Fabulous isn’t it? Me and my friends shopped like nuts, well I didn’t bring too much cash so I need to really hold myself down. We went shopping until 12 pm, knowing that the TRL operate until 00.30 am and planning to catch that. That means we walked for almost 4 hours around the market, no wonder my feet feels flat already.

We were sitting at Mc Donalds for around half an hour enjoying their 20 minutes free wifi to update our Facebook and Twitter hahaha… but that’s all we can get and we’re back to the hotel. Nothing beats hot shower after a long trip, soothing my sore legs at least.

Today is wonderful and I thank God!

so here another pictures just so we remember 🙂

See? I mean it when I said it FLAT!

Happy Faces going to Hong Kong

Still at Mongkok... spending hours and hours

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