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Monday, December 29, 2008

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

Once a year, we try to go to Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve. Most time, all we took away was mosquitoes bites although we did saw the otter 1 time and a tame(?) wild boar another time. But this year - blessed with good weather we scored big! We saw:
MammalsWeird looking PlantsSmall reptiles
Big reptiles
the mother of them all:
An Estuarine Crocodile!
All pictures taken by Alicia. More photos here

Thursday, December 25, 2008

3 Days of Holiday

Went for a short break in the land of the fragrance harbour. It has been many years since we last when there. Last time, the airport was still at the old place and we could see all the shanty houses along the sea as the plane fly into the airport. Now the airport has been relocated to a much safer location.

The first stop for the day after check in was a trip up the Peak. First to Mdm Tussauds which turned out to be a big disappointment! It was so small with so few wax exhibits. The night view from the Peak was supposed to be fantastic but there was a perpetual layer of fog or is is haze that prevented a clear view.
The next day, we got conned into accepting the free 1 day city tour offered by the tour agency we booked with and ended up following them for a lousy breakfast and lunch and the obligatory visit to a jewelery and a herbal store wasting half the time. Still we got to go to Repulse Bay,
Aberdeen Harbour
and a ride on one of the longest cable car in the world (I think).
And at the top, got to see a giant of a Buddha (shown here half size)After that, pop by Citigate where there are over 60 factory outlets including the Nike, Adidas, Puma and New Balance factory outlets!

Night time was at the Mongkok area and we went gaga over the numerous sports shop there. The range of Adidas and Nike shoes were amazing. See until blur and didn't know what to get!

The next day was spent at Ocean Park
and in the night was back at Mongkok checking out the rest of the shops and Ladies Market.

Too short a trip. M did not get her full day shopping and I did not get to go to Macau. Much has changed in HK since we last went. The people now are so friendly and polite. Everybody now can speak Mandarin making it easier for us to communicate. The MTR is so convenient and afforable. Streets are clean, food is delicious and the things are so reasonably priced. So we were be back to spend more time on shopping!

More photos here

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Food Glorious Food

Our first meal of the trip was at a little shop along the street. We ordered noodles and rice and the meal plus drinks cost $190.00.

We thought the price was cheap but we were so wrong. In fact, over the course of the trip, we found better and cheaper food.

Along the street, there were many outlets selling fried foodstuff on a stick. 
These were always crowded and curiosity drove us to try some of the items and in particular the so smelly toufu. Yes we tried it. M didn't like it and refused to take more than 1 bite. Me I gamely ate the whole thing. It is crispy on the outside, soft and smooth on the inside. Real yummy.

Dinner was at another road side stall along Temple Street. This time we had 3 small bowl of claypot rice, large prawns fried with chilli, vegetables and 1 soup. The whole thing plus drinks - $175 only. And the rice although plain looking was very fragrant and shiok.

What is Hongkong without eating dessert. So we dutifully tried the dessert. First stop was a popular chain store and I had black glutionous rice soup with tangyuan. M wanted the mango pudding but they were out of stock so we vowed to return the next day.

The next day we got conned by the tour guide to join in the breakfast and lunch. He charged us $130 per person for it. For breakfast, we were only given 8 type of dim sum limited to 1 piece each. That was barely enough to fill a small corner of my stomach. Lunch was slightly better - there was more food but it was bland and consist of the usual food like lemon chicken, vegetables, pork ribs. There was no typical Hong Kong food like roast duck, wontan etc. And the soup - only soup and no ingredient! It was a total rip off!

Dinner on our own was a slightly better affair. We were at Citigate and so went to Food Republic foodcourt for our dinner. Yes the Food Republic as in Singapore. Most of the stuff were what we could find back home. Nothing great but not really so expensive so it wasn't too bad. This was followed by supper. We went back to the same outlet as yesterday as M was determined to have her mango pudding. We ended up with 4 mango dessert! 

Breakfast was an enjoyable affair at a small shop along Nathan Road. We had century egg porridge, fried noodle, some weird siew mai (I think it was fish siew mai) and "butterfly". The butterfly was hugh unlike those we have over here and fried to perfection. 

Lunch was fast food at Ocean Park so nothing to shout about. Dinner we opted for Hainese chicken, wanton mee, dumpling mee and instant noodle with pork chop. Total cost: $175. 

As standard practice, we went hunting for supper next and ended up at this crowded place. where we ordered 3 different dessert for the 2 of us

The kids and gone back to the hotel earlier. And so we had durian sticky rice roll, mango pudding and a cheng teng lookalike which was absolutely fabulous. The durian wasn't that good but the other 2 were superb. No wonder the place was so packed.

So that was our last proper meal in Hong Kong as the next morning we had to go to the airport early in the morning to catch our plane back. 

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Baby Sitting

Somebody went on holidays so we got to be babysitter for their pets.

These 2 so cute guinea pigs which dwarf Alicia's hamster.

Wonder what will happen if I put the hamster and the guinea pig together. Will the guinea pigs eat the little hamster or worse............

And these 2 forbidden tortoises. Apparently a heritage from the days long ago when such animals were still available freely from pet shops.

Friday, December 12, 2008

I Spy Yucks

Was at the toilet at Funan Centre and was going into one of the cubicle when this guy rushed in and beat me to it. What the hell! I was about to make some noise when I happened to glance at him and what I saw left me speechless.

He was wearing bermuda and there was streaks of shit running down his legs. Oh goodness gracious me, My anger changed to pity. Poor guy. How's he going to go home after this?

And I had no more appetite for dinner later.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Pay More Get Less

In the day of yore, u go to the hawker centre, go up to the stall, order your food, sit down and the hawker assistant will bring the food to you. Then along came the food court. Prices increases. Ha nevermind, got air cond you say but but...... u find out instead of somebody serving you, now u pay more to serve yourself! But at least the finger that is dipped in your bowl of noodle is not some hawker assistant's finger but your own.

2 months ago, the MRT announced price increase for travelling on the MRT. With the increase was the promise of more passenger load. Today I walked into a carriage and wahlau er.. where is the seat? So now I pay more for the privilege of standing on the train!

Seems like nowaday price increase doesn't mean just that. Now it means increase price and reduce. Like food at hawker centre and food court. Prices have generally gone up but the portion has shrinked. So now we pay more, get less!