Saturday, June 25, 2011

Hong Kong: fragrant harbor & odorous skyline

I didn’t smell any fragrant at the harbor but I believed it was Hong Kong when I see the skyline. As I read from Wikipedia the name "Hong Kong" is an approximate phonetic rendering of the pronunciation of the spoken Cantonese or Hakka name "香港" (Heung and Gong), meaning "fragrant harbour" . But then I wonder why they called it "fragrant  harbour" ?. Some historians suggest that Hong Kong's Chinese name was inspired by its export of fragrant incense as I also read from here.   Nowaday, I would rather to name Hong Kong as an odourous skyline if we see the fact that there is 7,650 skycrapers in here.  Thirty-six of the world's 100 tallest residential buildings are in Hong Kong. More people in Hong Kong live or work above the 14th floor than anywhere else on Earth, making it the world's most vertical city not a fragrant harbour anymore.

We arrived in Hong Kong - Macau Ferry Terminal at Shun Tak Centre, 200 Connaught Road Central, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, then we take MTR to Tsim Tsa Sui toward our hostel at Chung King Mansion near the Nathan Road. It was around 12 at midnight and the MTR is still operating. Just at the gate near the building called Chungking Mansion, an old lady is come to us and she bring her name plate written : Sukma Wahyuningsih. It was my friend name who books the room for us. The old lady said that she has been waiting us for hours and she is little bit worry since we didn’t show up until 12 midnight. She then take us to our hostel passing through the corridor of that building up into the 12 floor when we see that the room is too small as we also already now. It’s Hong Kong, one of the most expensive city in the world. We know that.

Lantau Island : To Ngong Village through Cable Car
The Next day we go to our first destination in Lantau Island. We go there using the MTR through one transit station and then we arrived at the Tung Chung station. From Tung Chung station we go to the cable car terminal toward the Ngong ping village to see the Tian Tan Buddha. 

How to get there:
Assuming that you're taking the Tsim Sha Tsui MTR station, take the MTR Tsuen Wan Line going towards Tsuen Wan and get off at Lai King station - interchange trains to the MTR Tung Chung Line towards Tung Chung and get off to that last station. Take the Exit B and look for signs going to the Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car Terminal.
Fare : Adult 13.8 (Octopus), 15.5 (Single Ticket)
MTR Station

Arrived in Tung Chung Station
Welcome in Ngong Ping

The Ngong  Ping Village

Wish you luck
It was foggy. We cannot see the panoramic view as promises at the We already book the cable car through the website, but we should exchange the booking print out with the ticket at the counter. There were no que.
The Cable Car
Inside the cable car
The Route
This ride is from Tung Chung Town Centre down to Ngong Ping, Lantau Island. Encompassing bird's eye views of the South China Sea and Tung Chung Bay, Scenic Mountains, the Hong Kong International Airport, and the whole North Lantau Country Park.

We arrived at final station in Ngong Ping Village after 20 minutes journey through the cable car. It was disappointing since we cannot see anything from the cable car window. Then we walk toward the Buddha statue. It was quite an effort to get to the Buddha statue since we should walk the thousand of stepladder ( I think it was thousand, more or less).

Having excited walking upward and downward the stairs then we have a meal at one of the Halal restorant at the Ngong Ping Village . It was a middle east restaurant so we feel more comfortable with the food.

We pass the monastery and we go directly back to the Tung Chung station via the cable car (again). But the view was quite good rather than the first ride. At the Tung Chung station we stop by to City gate factory Outlet which famous for it big discount for quality goods.

Citygate Factory Outlet
Ngon Ping Station

Hong Kong Island : Victoria Tram, Victoria Peak, Madame Tussaud
The next destination is the Victoria Peak at the Hong Kong island. From Tung Chung station we go back to the hostel first since we cannot find any mosque around the street (at the next day we found that there is a mosque near the Hostel). Then we go toward Victoria peak.

How to get there:

Take the MTR >> Central Station >>The Peak Lower Station, at Garden Road >> Victoria Peak. From Central ke The Peak Lower Terminus.

Fare :
Tram ticket price as follows: Adult = HK$ 28 - one way, HK$ 40 - round trip; Child (age 3 - 11) or Senior (age 65 or above) = HK$ 11 - one way, HK$ 18 - round trip
Madame Tussaud
When we arrived, it was around 09 pm and the Madame Tussaud is closed at 10 pm. So we only have less than an hour to get around the museum while also taking picture with the figures from Kung Fu star (Andy Lau, Jet Li to name a few) to the world leaders (Obama, Hu Jiantao & mahatma Gandhi ). They also have a scream room where they will try to scare us with all the tools they have while we walk through the corridor.



Then we go back by the same route to the hotels to take a nap and charging our energy for tomorrow adventure.


Kowloon : Harbor City, Avenue of Stars and Masjid Kowloon
The next day we start the journey to go to the Harbor city near the Star Ferry Terminal. The view is good with the foggy around.   Then we go straight back to Kowloon, near the hostel to visit the Avenue of Stars. Here are the photos :

Bruce Lee
Becoming a movie stars

One of my friends should go back to Jakarta and cannot continue to Macau for the reason of duty calling. So we take her to the Central station so she can continue to the airport by Airport Express from Central station.

After that we go to Mongkok station to look around the famous ladies market which actually sell all goods for all gender not only for ladies as It name. I have not taken any picture there, since I am busy bargaining with the seller.

In the afternoon, we stop by to the Kowloon Mosque near the Nathan road. It is said that although the current building dates from the eighties, the first mosque on the site was erected in 1896 as a place of worship for Muslims in the British Arm according to this site.

Kowloon Mosque

Hong Kong after 5 @Kowloon
We have count all the expense that we have made. If you interested to review our budget and itinerary please feel free to download the doc here.

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