Hong Kong, the Land of Dim Sum (PART 2)


Hey everyone!

Thanks for following my Hong Kong travelogue! This is part 2 of my experience as promised and would only cover day 3 of my Hong Kong trip.

* * Day 3 * *

(Victoria Peak, Madame Tussauds Hong Kong & Temple Street Night Market)

We set off from our hotel a tad later that day because Disneyland really worn us out. No alarm was able to wake us up that morning, regardless of the volume. But somehow we were only woken up by the persistent door knocks by the housekeepers, who politely asked if we were ready to have our room made at 10.00am 😮 Okay, I really appreciate them checking up on us but isn’t that too early for housekeeping? I would always greet them with a half-woken face and unkempt hair (for which they realised and became really apologetic) but by the fourth morning, they kinda took the hint and stopped asking us. Haha maybe late risers are uncommon in Hong Kong. Of course, you can always tell them to come back again at a certain time.

While planning the itinerary for this trip, I tried to include scenic excursions and alternate them with my shopping days. Hong Kong has quite a number of tourist scenic spots but the most popular one is definitely Victoria Peak (or The Peak), where travellers would flock to to get a good view of the city. With an altitude of 552 m, it is easily the highest mountain on the island and accessible by the Peak Tram. The Peak Tram Lower Terminus is a 15 to 20-minute walk from Central MTR, or even longer if you have a camera in tow because you’d be able to see a few famous Hong Kong landmarks along the route.

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Here is a Vitasoy vending machine. We particularly loved the packet lemon tea. Vitasoy is everywhere in Hong Kong. Even our complimentary bottled water in our hotel is under this brand.

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Maxim’s Cakes is like our Breadtalk, a very common bakery and can be found in almost every MTR station. It’s endorsed by actor Julian Cheung as his face can be seen plastered everywhere in the shop.

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Got this long FLOSSS-inspired bun from Maxim’s Cakes for breakfast. It’s not bad!

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Bank of China Tower, snapped on our way back to the MTR station because it’s a lot nicer at night

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If you need to recharge after the long walk from the MTR station, take a break here! (omg how lame can I get)

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We are here at the terminus!

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Got our Peak Tram tickets at HK$40 each!

At the counter, we were offered a Peak Tram Sky Pass package (The Peak Tram + Sky Terrace 428) for HK$80 (U.P. HK$85) and a 3-in-1 combo ticket for Madame Tussauds Hong Kong and Peak Tram Sky Pass return for HK$310 (U.P. HK$325, online price at HK$290). We considered taking up the Peak Tram Sky Pass package but declined eventually due to a miscalculation 😐 It’s only HK$5 more anyway.

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With the wax figure of Sir Li Ka-Shing, a Hong Kong business magnate, investor, and philanthropist, at the Peak Lower Terminus

As for the second package, we dismissed it without giving it a second though because Tigerair had given us a few perks for flying with them – one of which was a discount of HK$40 for each regular adult admission ticket (U.P. HK$240) to Madame Tussauds Hong Kong which came up to be a lot cheaper than the price of the combo ticket.

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Almost couldn't make it for this train!

Almost couldn’t make it for this train! It’s pretty packed as you can see.

The tram was constantly moving uphill and the gravitational pull was so strong, I could feel my entire body reclining backwards. As a Singaporean who frequently experience train breakdowns in my country, I really wonder what would happen if the tram malfunctions amidst the journey. It’d be a terrible feeling trying to keep your balance.

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Was gonna simulate alighting from the tram but got off because the door was gonna close on me! LOL

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At the Peak Market where you can find lots of Hong Kong souvenirs for your family, friends and colleagues back home

Spotted "my" shop! Bf pointing to the shop and back at himself. It's actually a shop selling baby stuff

Spotted “my” shop! Who’s my prince? *Bf pointing to the shop and back at himself* It’s actually a shop selling baby stuff 😀

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A shop (Candy Haus, just a level below the Sky Terrace) selling all the Pez collectibles! I’d totally buy it if they had a Pokemon collection 😦

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More individual ones! Bf tried to find a Pooh Pez but to no avail

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More uncommon ones you don’t see it in most candy stores (not even Candy Empire). By the way, photography is forbidden in this shop. I didn’t know it until they stopped a Japanese tourist from taking pictures (after I was done with mine heehee). Even so, these photos are just too adorable not to share!

Now, let’s head up to the Sky Terrace 428 for a splendid view of Hong Kong! It is called Sky Terrace “428” because it’s 428 metres above sea level! 🙂

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Hong Kong’s skyline

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More view

Upon entering, you would be handed an audio guide (in the form of an iPod Touch) with lanyard attached. Earpieces are available but we didn’t loan any due to hygiene concerns, so we used ours instead.

The Sky Terrace offers a stunning 360-degree panoramic view across the Hong Kong. There are even fixed coin-operated binoculars around for use but you don’t quite need it if you have a powerful long-range camera lens! There were also professional photographers touting their services and you could engage them if you want a nice group shot against the breathtaking backdrop.

Our only mistake was going to the Sky Terrace when the sky was still bright. All we could see were buildings engulfed in mist so there was nothing really spectacular to see. It would be a lot better at night when all the lights are lit up! And also worth noting is that the ticket is per entrance basis, meaning to say that you won’t be able to enter using the same ticket again once you exit from the terrace.

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They had this campaign going on to promote love expression and sending of messages to the future

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Here’s our message! Hahaha doubt we will be back to see this though

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At the basement of the Peak Tower, you will see tables with this placed in the middle

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And these are postcards written for the future, separated by dates of postage (i.e. these will be mailed out to the specified address at the stipulated date)

There’s really nothing much to do at The Peak Tower so naturally, people would just pay to visit Madame Tussauds museum after the Sky Terrace. For us, going to Madame Tussauds Hong Kong was already part of our (or rather, my) plan and I was really looking forward to it 😀 I’m obsessed with wax figures!

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After the Tigerair discount, we only paid HK$200 for each ticket 🙂

Bruce Lee as their mascot

Bruce Lee as their mascot

There was a private event at the museum when we were there, so we were directed to the lowest level where the Historical and National Heroes and the Royal Family can be found! Most of the leaders are from the People’s Republic of China, though, much to the pleasure of the their people who crowded the museum.

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Oh hello, Pablo Picasso! Why are you not in Singapore?

William Shakespeare

Poem and playwright William Shakespeare

Dutch painter Rembrandt  van Rijn

Dutch painter Rembrandt van Rijn

Theoretical physicist and philosopher of science, Albert Einstein

Theoretical physicist and philosopher of science, Albert Einstein

Leader of the Nazi party, Adolf Hitler

Leader of the Nazi party, Adolf Hitler

Fifth President of Iraq, Saddam Hussein

Fifth President of Iraq, Saddam Hussein

Japan's post-war Prime Minister Shigeru Yoshida

Japan’s post-war Prime Minister Shigeru Yoshida

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Our stern-looking Ministor Mentor Lee Kuan Yew (a huge contrast with the one in Madame Tussauds Singapore where he looks so much happier beside his late wife)! Felt a sense of pride to see a Singapore representative in an overseas museum. It shows something about his role as a leader because not everyone makes the cut to have a wax figure in Madame Tussauds!

Father of Modern China, Dr Sun Yat-sen

Father of Modern China, Dr Sun Yat-sen

Former President of China, Hu Jintao

Former President of China, Hu Jintao

First Premier of the People's Republic of China, Zhou Enlai

First Premier of the People’s Republic of China, Zhou Enlai

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Current President of People’s Republic of China, Xi JinPing. Photography with him is chargeable and many PRCs were queuing up to have a picture with him lol

Elected President of the People's Republic of China in 1993, Jiang Zemin

Elected President of the People’s Republic of China in 1993, Jiang Zemin

Deng Xiaoping, leader of China from 1978 until his retirement in 1992

Deng Xiaoping, leader of China from 1978 until his retirement in 1992

Former President of China, Hu Jintao

Sixth Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, Wen Jiabao

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Yang Liwei, the first man to be sent into space by China’s space programme

Diana, Princess of Wales and the mother of Wills and Harry

Diana, Princess of Wales and the mother of Wills and Harry

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip.. and the first in line to the throne right in the middle 😉 😉

The late Leslie Cheung, considered as one of the founding fathers of Cantopop. I remember how the news of his death shocked the world in 2003 than it got very extensive media coverage

The late Leslie Cheung, considered as one of the founding fathers of Cantopop. I remember how the news of his death shocked the world in 2003. It was such an unexpected event that it got so much media coverage. Stories of his death ran on the newspapers for days and TV channels were playing his movies for the entire week. Such a prominent figure. We’ll miss you, Leslie.

Beats me why Leslie Cheung is in this section too. Maybe there isn’t enough space in where he is supposed to be :\

I intentionally left out some leaders who are also featured in Madame Tussaud Singapore with the exact same pose and attire (e.g. President Obama, Soekarno, etc.). What puzzled me was the absence of Hong Kong and Taiwan leaders CY Leung and Ma Ying-jeou. Perhaps they didn’t agree to having a wax figure of themselves?

Moving on to the TV Studio! In Singapore, we only have Oprah Winfrey (why no Ellen huh?). But Hong Kong pretty much has their own pool of talented variety and talk show hosts very well-known in Asia so finding figures to fill this area shouldn’t be much of a problem.

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Sandra Ng, one of my favourite HK comedians!

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Comedian and host of variety show Super Trio, Eric Tsang!

Following the TV Studio was the World Premiere which features successful artistes from all over the world so many of them can also be seen in Singapore.

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There’s also a Marilyn Monroe wax figure in Singapore but with a different pose (kneeling with both palms on the ground to reveal her cleavage). This is supposedly her in her signature white dress, standing above a subway grating blowing the dress up. It would be better if there was really a wind source from below!

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One of Hollywood’s most watched actors during the 20th century, this is Humphrey Bogart

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Leon Lai, one of the Four Heavenly Kings of Cantopop (the other three are Andy Lau, Jackie Cheung and Aaron Kwok). But he looks weirdly feminine here lol

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The very helpful Sir Alfred Hitchcock holding my information booklet for me. Possibly the best-known British-born filmmaker, he was a master of the “suspense” movie genre

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Donnie Yen as Ip Man! I don’t like his nose here. It looks too pinched and his nostrils are too large :\

Other figures not featured here are Audrey Hepburn in her iconic “Little Black Dress”, Johnny Depp and Indian movie star Amitabh Bachchan.

The World Premiere also houses SCREAM, described as “the deadly scare zone set against a chilling backdrop of an abandoned asylum, promises to stir up guests’ deepest and darkest fears using a mix of live performers and wax monsters”. As a fan of gore and horror movies, I was exhilarated to know that there’s a section dedicated to gutsy people like me! 😛 Bf was reluctant to enter because he’s a scaredy-cat so I went in all by myself while he waited for me at the entrance.

Truth be told, I was a little nervous. I waited for more people to join the line before I decided to partake in this spine-chilling adventure. For awhile, I waited at the entrance because nobody else was interested in this and I was afraid to enter the chamber alone hahaha! Fortunately, a large group (family of 5) entered and gradually, more people joined the queue. I guess these people who suddenly appeared out of nowhere were also waiting somewhere for a queue to form 😆

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Bf was frightened just by the thought of zombies doing jump scares in the chamber

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Moi! The first batch of people moved forward and stopped at the person in front of me, so I became the first person for the second batch 😥

While waiting to explore the asylum, we heard screams and faint laughter from the batch of people who went in before us. Kinda made us even more anxious 😕 When it was finally our turn, everyone had to put their hands on the shoulders in front of them and we went in in a line, like a choo-choo train. Photography is not allowed inside so yeah, no pictures to show, sorry!

The job of the first person in line is to navigate. I have very poor sense of direction, coupled with terrible vision, but thankfully, the lady behind me knew the place well (she had gone through this before a few years back) so she advised me on where to go. There were many doors in the asylum leading to different chambers but I only opened one of them. Jump scares were very minimal (like 1 or 2?) and the performers would only attack people in the middle of the line. So I was perfectly safe! 😀 *victory sign* SCREAM is really not as scary as it’s painted to be. It’s all in your head! At the end of the tour, everyone even went, “Huh like that only? CHEY” 🙄

Our next stop was The Champions where it honours some of the top sportsmen and sportswomen of all time.

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Lee Lai Shan, the former world champion and Olympic gold medal-winning professional windsurfer from Hong Kong and the only athlete to win an Olympic medal representing Hong Kong, not as part of China (Wikipedia)

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Maria Sharapova is ranked world No. 2 by the Women’s Tennis Association and is the top Russian player

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David Beckham in his younger days

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Chiyonofuji Mitsugu, former champion sumo wrestler and the 58th yokozuna of the sport. However his face looks it’s wearing out here. The hair, for once, isn’t real hair.

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Liu Xiang, one of China’s best athletes

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Tiger Woods taking a dump.. I mean, squatting down

Other sports heroes not mentioned here are Yao Ming and Muhammad Ali.

Right after that, we had to climb the stairs to access Hong Kong Glamour where the Hollywood A-listers mingle with the hottest Asian celebrities.

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The sparkly Robert Pattinson though I feel that there are other Hollywood celebs that are more worthy of his spot in the museum (Edward fans please don’t kill me)

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Another favourite female Chinese actress of mine (after Michelle Yeoh), Li Bingbing!

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Cantopop singer and actress, Kelly Chen

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Michelle Yeoh

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Lang Lang, a renowned Chinese concert pianist

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Angelina Jolie and Brat Pitt look like they’ve undergone a divorce here. Why so glum and why are their faces so greasy 😐

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Cantopop singer Aaron Kwok doesn’t look like him here

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Heartthrob Louis Koo *_*

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Cecilia Cheung, actress and Cantopop singer who has called Singapore her home now

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It’s Johnny Depp again!

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Taiwanese model and actress Lin Chi-ling who will be lead actress in the “Triumph in the Skies 2” movie

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South Korean actor and “auntie killer” Bae Yong-joon

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Nicole Kidman enjoying the attention of the pap

Of course, Andy Lau is there too but his wax figure is the exact replica of the one in Singapore (or vice versa). Huang Xiao Ming was probably removed because I couldn’t find him.

Next, we went to the Authentic History section to catch a glimpse of wax figure making process where they used Donnie Yen as an example. Of course, everything was pre-recorded and the artifacts were already displayed neatly for viewing.

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Left: the fabric used for the clothing and right: the different types of eyeballs. Right down to the specifics

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The different kinds of hair. You’re able to touch and feel them!

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Madame Tussauds herself when she in her late twenties! Unbelievable right?!

We’re coming closer to the end! *sniffs* We took the stairs again this time to see the Music Icons!

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Actress and Cantopop singer Miriam Yeung who would occasionally burst into laughter. Eerie 😐

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Elvis Presley, one of the staples in Madame Tussauds

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Jay Chou obviously needs a different pose for his wax figure, and probably also lesser powder on his face

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Singer-songwriter, dancer, musician, and actress, G.E.M.

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Cantopop and Mandopop singer, actor, TV host, model, cartoonist, MV director, and producer and designer, a major figure in popular music culture (Wikipedia) – Leo Ku. Wow, what an impressive portfolio

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Of course, how could we forget the mother of Little Monsters, Lady Gaga?

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Cantopop, Hong Kong English pop, Jazz, and R&B singer Janice M. Vidal who looks nothing like the real person. She is set inside an oversized music box that plays her signature tune, “Do you know?” upon turning the huge winder key beside it

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Lead vocalist and lyricist of the rock band Queen, Freddie Mercury

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Couldn’t help it

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The Beatles! Can you name them all?

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The late Anita Mui (Madonna of Asia) who succumbed to cervical cancer a few months after her close friend Leslie Cheung passed away

Last but not least, there is the Fantasy Kingdom that showcases different superheroes and characters from movies, mostly. An expanded new area, it was officially opened in September last year. I think this section is created for kids.. or people who are young at heart 😀

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Hey Spidey!

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Bf’s excited to see Ironman

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Will the real Wolverine please stand up? HAHA btw Bf came up with the fake claws which amused people who walked past. So creative hor?! (And if you’re wondering how he got so many pens, that’s because he had his pencil case in his bag. Lazy person was too lazy to pack his stuff, he even brought along his school pencil case to Hong Kong. Major #facepalm)

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Awkward pose with Hulk because I don’t like any Marvel superheroes

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Astroboy.. I thought he’s usually top-naked?

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I’m not a Hello Kitty fan but I’m attracted to it because it’s PINK!

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Doraemon, the blue robotic cat! (I didn’t know he was a cat, did you?)

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Hong Kong’s very own cartoon pig characters that has gained a huge following in the city – McDull and his mother Madame Mak at a Hong Kong-style cafeteria!

I’m sad.. because there’s no Pikachu. Why?!? 😦

To mark the opening of Fantasy Kingdom, wax figures of five protagonists from the much anticipated movie, “The Monkey King” (2013) were also unveiled on the day of opening. This is the first time Madame Tussauds Hong Kong has created wax figures based on fictional characters from the same movie. (Source)

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Donnie Yen as Monkey King

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Xia Zi Tong as Silver Fox

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Zhang Zilin as Nu Wa

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SADAKO. The good thing about having real hair on a wax figure is that you could meddle around with it. Teehee (we arranged it back after that la)

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There’s even a specially designed 3-D snake tail installation for fun photos! I’m obviously too fat to be Nu Wa.. had difficulty squeezing into the tail 😥

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Aaron Kwok as Buffalo Demon King

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And Joe Chen as Princess Iron Fan

They’re probably going to change the theme once every few years. What a great way to get visitors to return to the museum! Will Singapore do something similar too? 🙂

We were at the souvenir shop when we spotted a conspicuous and familiar wax figure. We couldn’t figure out who that was so we asked the guy at the cashier.

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大 S

Really 一点都不像咯! I think it’s the eyes. They’re too far apart. And her arms (especially the hand on the hips) look too fake.

And that’s the end of our tour around Madame Tussauds Hong Kong! No doubt it has more variety of wax figures so even though the entrance tickets were expensive, I felt it was worth the money.

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We managed to take this somewhere near the Peak Tram Upper Terminus. So yup, please only go to the Peak Terrace at night

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Bye Victoria Peak!

It was close to 9pm by the time we were at the lower terminus and we hadn’t had our dinner, so we took the MTR train to Yau Ma Tei, hoping to find some great eats at Temple Street Night Market!

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(Poor picture quality coz I used my phone) We had this huge hot dog! Forgot how much this was but I think it’s around S$2

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Guy gave me a death stare as he caught me photographing him #guaguagua

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Flash drives

Cartoon-theme flash drives and luggage tags are aplenty at the night market. Luggage tags were typically going for HK$100 for five pieces (or HK$20 each) and they make perfect souvenirs for anybody. Bf and I bought a few for our tutees. The flash drives were selling for about HK$25 each but I didn’t buy any because I doubted that it would work on the computer. It also had an unbelievable amount of storage space (can’t remember how much, probably 32GB) which is just too good to be true. I don’t want to save vital information on the flash disk and then it ends up getting corrupted or something. However, having said so, if you don’t use it as a storage device, it’s actually a pretty cute key chain.

The night market didn’t have a single food cart so we were kinda disappointed as we expected it to be like those in Taiwan where you’d find food sold everywhere. As we explored the area, we chanced upon an eatery that seemed to sell affordable (a huge concern because our funds were running low) yet authentic Hong Kong food.

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Eat Together!

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Milk Tea (HK$12)

The taste of Milk Tea in Hong Kong seemed to be consistent no matter which eatery I went to. They were generally fragrant and thick, even after the ice in it had melted. It was my staple drink in Hong Kong.

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Radish Beef Brisket (HK$28)

This is definitely incomparable to the beef brisket we had at Mak’s Noodles in terms of flavour and portion but it is still a decent dish. I enjoyed the soft radish but the beef brisket, although tender, was a little gristly.

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Tomato, Beef & Egg with Rice (HK$30)

This was boyfriend’s main dish. The gravy was tomato-flavoured and topped with sliced tomatoes that are soft to the core. The diced beef was also moist and reasonably tender.

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Fried Rice (HK$38)

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Close up!

I was craving for a rice dish so I ordered this! It smells as good as the fried rice in Singapore but the taste is distinctively different. The rice in Singapore is drier but the one I had in Hong Kong is a little oilier and stickier. Also, the latter tasted a bit more chewy, which I feel is what sets it apart from our fried rice. I don’t dislike any of them because I truly enjoy both. They just have their own unique characteristics! 🙂

大家食 Eat Together (Yau Ma Tei Branch)
Yau Ma Tei Wing Sing Lane No. 16
油麻地永星里1b號
Tel:  6386 0000 (Main), 2395 7138 (YMT Branch)
Website: eattogether.hk
Nearest MTR: Yau Ma Tei

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Roadside fruit stall

Bf and I bought Banana Milkshake and Papaya Milk juice from a fruit stall beside the eatery after dinner. The Banana Milkshake was not bad but the Papaya Milk was horrid and tasteless. We couldn’t drink beyond three quarter of the cup so we threw it away in the end. Even though Hong Kong is in close geographic proximity to Taiwan, they are not necessarily good in the same areas. 😕

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And we took a taxi back to our hotel because we had already missed our last train!

That’s all for day 3 but there’s still more to come! So be sure to stay tuned for the next part 🙂

Thanks for reading!

Read also
Hong Kong, the Land of Dim Sum (PART 1)
Hong Kong, the Land of Dim Sum (PART 3)

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4 thoughts on “Hong Kong, the Land of Dim Sum (PART 2)

  1. Housekeeping staff have a room-cleaning schedule to follow. They normally do the rooms floor by floor. To avoid unwanted knocks on your hotel door just dangle or light up the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign.

    S$700 per pax for airfare and 5 nights’ accommodation is extravagant. There are better deals to HK, even if the travel bug bites late. All said, it seemed a cool jaunt for you both – Funtastic!

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  2. Thanks Pat! We were puzzled about the housekeeping reminders because we never had this experience elsewhere. Usually the housekeepers would leave us alone until we dangle the sign at our door so we don’t have the habit of putting up the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign. But I really appreciate their effort in asking us!

    Ah, $700 was the cheapest deal we could find 😦 Do you have better deals to share? Perhaps we could get a tip or two from you in preparation for out next trip! 🙂

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  3. If you are able to take flight at short notice, there are deals that offer one-way free fares, 1 for 1 promos.

    Hotels at near 50% discount.

    The catch? You must grab ‘n go coz the online deals fade faster than they appear.

    Like

  4. Thanks for the recommendations, Pat! Do you have any websites in mind for such deals? Unfortunately we don’t usually have the luxury of going on impromptu trips because of other commitments. So I guess we’re stuck at $700 😕

    Like

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