Our ferry to Hong Kong island was scheduled to leave at 5 pm from Taipa Ferry Terminal, Macau. When purchasing the tickets, the lady at the counter asked us in which part of Hong Kong our hotel was located. We forgot and our notes was kept too deep in our bags, so we – and she – just assumed that it’s in Hong Kong island. That’s why we bought the tickets to ferry that leaves from Taipa to Shun Tak Centre in Central, Hong Kong island. (If you’re going to Kowloon area, which is Hong Kong’s part that’s located in the continent, you’re supposed to get on the ferry that will take you to China Ferry Terminal in Tsim Tsa Shui).
Alright. Tickets in our pockets, a Venetian Macau shuttle bus took us to the terminal, everything was set… until I got to the immigration desk at the ferry port. I took out my passport and ferry ticket, put it on the desk. The officer was saying something in Chinese and gesturing something that meant he needed something else from me. I didn’t get him, and he took a sample of departure card. Oh, that! Yeah I remember I had that.. but.. where is it now..? Oh, fudge, I couldn’t find it. It wasn’t in my pockets, wasn’t in any of my bag pockets, wasn’t in between my passport pages, it was nowhere to be found!!
The officer looked annoyed and told me to get out of the way, gave me time to look for the darn card while he took care of other travelers behind me. I kneeled down near the desk and took out almost all of my stuff from my bag to look for the card, and still I couldn’t find it until everyone else was checked. Oh no, I’m screwed! Renny was waiting for me behind the immigration row, but then she was told to go in the port area ‘cos it was a no-waiting area. Dammet, it was 10 minutes to 5 already! Oh well, I thought that if I wasn’t allowed to go and had to sort things out at the immigration office or whatever, I’d just let Renny to go ahead on the ferry so that we didn’t have to waste two tickets, but just mine and I’ll buy one again for the next departure. But even so, I wouldn’t have a way to tell Renny because she was already out of sight! Oh why was I so careless..??!!
Then.. the officer asked for my passport and all again. He flipped through the pages and.. HE FOUND THE DARN DEPARTURE CARD!!!! Aaarrgghhh, it was there all along..!! Or.. was he a magician of some kind..? Dammet! If only I was a bit more thorough, I wouldn’t have to make myself worried and… I dunno, I probably kinda pissed Renny there for being so inefficient, as she later said about all the carelessness I made in the whole trip. I’m sorry :(
Got lost in Hong Kong... to find our hotel
The ferry was nice and comfy. On the one hour ride, I carefully looked at the Hong Kong map that I brought from home, and found that our hotel is actually located in Kowloon!! * sigh * That’s just great. But, well, the MTR (subway train) system in the whole Hong Kong is bliss. We can get to almost any part of the country by MTR. Well, in this case, we’d have to take MTR from the Sheung Wan station, then change lines at Central, change again at East Tsim Sha Tshui, get off at Hung Hom. Phew!
But that’s not all. After Hung Hom, we had to take a bus to get to the hotel, the Bridal tea House hotel, on Winslow street. We had a map of the hotel, printed from their website, but when we asked people what bus to take to get there, they either didn’t have any idea, or didn’t understand English one bit. And the funny (and actually sad for us) thing is, some people seemed like they were so pissed that we asked in English. Geez…! Or is it just the way they normally talk...?? * trying to think positively *
Finally, the 103rd person that we asked finally happily told us to take the 8A bus at the terminal Hung Hom, which is like 5 minutes walk from the exit of Hung Hom MTR staion, and get off 2 stops from there, at the Whampoa Garden. It took probably 15 minutes for the bus to finally come.
So we told the driver where we were going, but he said that Whampoa Garden is not at the 2nd stop. Okay, fine, we just went with what he said. After all, bus drivers know the streets best, right? Not.
Long story short, believe me it was so long, we finally found the hotel after being “detoured” for about an hour by bus and on foot. Gosh, were our feet and shoulders killing us..! Lucky for us, the hotel was, although so tiny, very clean, tidy, and had all the amenities that we needed, including a hairdryer, but not wi fi in the room.
Did we feel stupid or what..!
We got out as early as we could the next day, which was probably at 9ish AM. After munching on fruits (for Renny) and cupcake (for me) from a mini mart just around the corner, we took the bus to the Avenue of Stars. Passing by the Hung Hom bus terminal, we found out that our hotel is actually only a couple of minutes away by walking to the station!! Okay, no more bus or whatever ride between the station and hotel for next time! It’s our feet that’d take us walk the distance.
Avenue of Stars
Um.. I forgot what bus we took to the Avenue of Stars, but I remember that we stopped at the Bus Terminus, by the Kowloon Public Pier. On maps, you’d probably see the icon of Clock Tower indicating the area.
Just like any tourist would do, we strolled down the paved avenue by the sea bordering Kowloon and Hong Kong island. On it, you’ll find any of your favorite Hong Kong’s movie stars – if they’re important enough actors or directors.
We concluded, that if the person is still alive, it has their hand prints on the cement, but the dead stars only have a star on it. And what about the ones that don’t have hand prints nor star? Maybe they couldn’t come to the hand printing ceremony, too busy making movies.
--> Octopus Card
There’s a vending machine near the pier, where Renny bought a HK$ 7 snack with her Octopus Card. We each bought an Octopus Card when we just arrived at the Sheung Wan MTR station, on the previous day. The minimum rate was HK$ 150 including the card price and credit, and that’s what we bought. Later on we found that that amount is perfect for our 3 days stay, and the cool thing is that this card can be used for other transportations like the bus, tram, and for shopping at mini marts, and vending machines! Very handy!
Junk Boat? Ferry to Hong Kong
One of our intentions at the Kowloon Pier was to have a ride on the Junk Boat. You know, that old type of boat with sails, like this one . Unfortunately, we couldn’t even get the right direction on where to sign up for the ride. Of course we asked around and went wherever was appointed by the information givers, but unfortunately.. no info lead us to no junk boat. And we didn’t even see any junk boat sailing like what I saw years ago at the very same location. So, we decided to forget about that and went crossing the water by ferry, which was only about 15 minutes crossing, to get to Hong Kong island.
Madam Tussaud and Victoria Peak by tram
--> Arriving at the Central Pier, again, we asked an officer how to get to the Victoria Peak. He advised us a bus route, which, again, I forgot the number. It took quite long until the exact bus came, we and other tourists were just standing at the nearest bus stop from the pier.
The bus took us exactly to the Victoria Peak tram ticket booths. It’s a very very old tram, I think it was built in the 19th century. It goes up and down a – somewhat - 45° slope railway. The ticket for both up and back, was, I think, HK$ 60.
And up there in the Peak Tower, we entered the Madame Tussauds for HD $150 each. That was our first time visiting any Madame Tussauds. Too bad the master, Bruce Lee, was away for a while to the Hollywood’s Madame Tussauds, so we couldn’t take a picture with the kung fu legend. But we did have lotsa fun and laughs posing with the figures… :D