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.
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.
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.
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.
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! 🙂
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 😆
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.
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.
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.
We’re coming closer to the end! *sniffs* We took the stairs again this time to see the Music Icons!
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 😀
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)
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Tel: 6386 0000 (Main), 2395 7138 (YMT Branch)
Nearest MTR: Yau Ma Tei
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. 😕
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!