Winter in Hong Kong 2014: Shopping, eating, shopping, eating.

You must be thinking to yourself, not Hong Kong again? My thoughts exactly when my family said they wanted to head to HK for my brother’s post-exams celebratory trip. The last time I visited Hong Kong was exactly two years ago, in Winter 2012, which wasn’t too long ago, and to be honest, Hong Kong is quite like Singapore. But then again, I did really want to visit my HK friend Trent and I also somehow managed to persuade one of our common friends, PS, to head to HK around the same time. So that made me look forward to the trip there a lot more.

Before I started planning for this trip, I had in mind two places I went to previously – Australia Dairy Company and Tsui Wah. But as I researched for the trip, I realised that there were just SO many food places that I wanted to go to, but hardly enough time. (By the way, I actually cobbled out an itinerary for the trip the evening before I flew, in an hour, while I was stuck at Costa Coffee waiting for my friends to be done with work.)
Like the previous time, we flew on Singapore Airlines to HK. My mom and I weren’t able to get the same flight as the rest of our family so we flew in about an hour later. She also had some vouchers for complimentary access to the SATS Premier Lounge. I had high expectations, alas the place turned out pretty average, the tables messy and the seats dirty. The only consolation was the complimentary beverages and breakfast, though the variety was minimal.

I seem to have a strange, and terrible, affinity for having very interesting people sitting near me on flights. This time, it was a little girl who was about 6 or 7, who would NOT stop singing “Let it Go” from Frozen. I swear she probably only stopped to eat, but apart from that, it was the Frozen soundtrack on loop for the whole flight. At one point in time she must have gotten excited about the prospect of visiting her Frozen princesses at HK Disneyland, that she threw her apple juice up in the air. Needless to say, I received an apple juice shower. That aside, the flight from Singapore to HK was pretty good. I caught Lucy, which I had missed when it was in Singapore. The movie was so gripping I didn’t manage to catch any sleep at all.

When we got to HK Airport, we decided to get tickets for the Airport Express to Hong Kong station. You can get them at the ticket counter right outside the arrival hall. Since it was just me and my mom, we purchased the Group of 2 tickets which cost us 160HKD or 80HKD each. It gets cheaper as your group is bigger.

We reached Hong Kong station within 20 minutes or so and then took a cab to our hotel, The Mercer Hong Kong, at Jervois Street in Sheung Wan. It was somewhat walking distance (about 1km away) but we decided to grab a cab since it was so convenient. Make sure you have a map though. Locating Jervois Street was pretty tricky and my dad and siblings who flew in before us, got majorly lost, and ended up having to pay more than 60HKD (almost 10 bucks) for a very short journey.

Once we had checked-in, like all predictable Singaporeans on a holiday, we headed to a tried-and-tested location. First up, Lan Fong Yuen at Gage Street. This place was incredibly tricky to find and it took me about 15 minutes, even with Google maps. Lan Fong Yuen is your typical Hong Kong cha chaan teng – small, cramped and a little aged. Cha chaan tengs never fail to remind me of the older coffee shops we had in Singapore.

The recommended specialities there were the Stocking Milk Tea and the Pork Chop Burger. Unfortunately, no one in my family felt like having Pork, so we opted for the Chicken Chop noodles instead. While it filled our tummies, there was too little seasoning on the noodles and tasted pretty run-of-the mill. The chicken chop was tender, and tasted pretty decent, but it wasn’t one of the best I’ve had. The Milk Tea however, did live up to its reputation. I loved it!

We spent the rest of the afternoon and evening walking around Mongkok. The common shopping areas which I frequent include Argyle Centre and Langham Place (H&M and Monki!). This time, however, I decided to check out Fa Yuen Street at my friend’s recommendation. Most HK itineraries will tell you, go visit Women’s Street, but I heard it’s extremely touristy and Chinatown-esque. So off to Fa Yuen Street it was. The shops on the side reminded me of those at Argyle!
Busy Mongkok intersection
Fa Yuen Street
By the time we were done, I think I had about 5 outfits, 2 pairs of shoes and 2 bags. I have such poor self-control! Similar to the previous time I was here, we opted for a Tsui Wah dinner, for some quintessential HK food. You can never go wrong with Tsui Wah – good, affordable and quick!
Our dinner of Tsui Wah’s signature Fishball Soup, XO Prawn Noodles, Chicken Rice, and Abalone Kale Fried Rice.
Tired but happy faces.

Lan Fong Yuen
2 Gage Street Central, Hong Kong
Nearest MTR: Central or Sheung Wan Station

Tsui Wah (Central Branch)
G/F, 84-86 Des Voeux Road Central, Central, Hong Kong
Nearest MTR: Central Station

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