Whampoa and the Avenue of Stars

After a great morning at Lantau Island, we took the MTR to Hong Kong Station, then a mini bus (bit scary) to Whampoa, where my boyfriend used to live. We took this opportunity to buy phone cards just in case we lost each other. They are around 50 HKD each and have 50 HKD credit on them so they’re definitely worth buying if you visit in case of emergencies. We checked out some of the shops and had lunch; my lunch was from McDonald’s (I haven’t had a McDonald’s since Hong Kong and I don’t think I want to have another, really made me hate them) and my boyfriend had some meat and rice from Maxim’s, a Chinese fast food place. The only plus side of McDonald’s was the cute toys you get with the Happy Meals! We then went to Hong Kong Toys R Us and Wonderland, where I bought some things including a Totoro toy and a really cute rabbit money box for just 9 HKD (Around 75p)

P1150084Whampoa

We then went to see where my boyfriend used to live. It was a flat close to all the shops and really cramped in with other flats. A lot of Hong Kong is very cramped but I never realised the extent. The windows of one set of flats were just metres from the window of the flats next door – if I lived there, i’d never want to open the curtains or the people across would be able to see in! It made me realise just how small and populated Hong Kong really is. He pointed out his exact flat, which was very high up. I’m not sure there are many flats in the UK that would go up that high.

P1150089The block of flats where my boyfriend used to live

Once we were finished in Whampoa, we took the ferry to North Point. I didn’t have my travel sickness pills with me so I felt a bit unwell, but luckily it was just a short journey and I managed to take some nice photos of the HK skyline. We dumped our things at the hotel before taking the MTR to Causeway Bay.

P1150105The view from the ferry

Causeway bay was very busy. For some reason it was filled with big Lego statues. The reason we had headed to Causeway Bay was because my boyfriend knew there was a shop here called “I love rabbits”…and I really do love rabbits! Sadly we couldn’t find it and think it may have closed down or moved, so we headed back onto the MTR to Tsim Sha Tsui (which I learnt how to pronounce correctly…but have now forgot)

Tsim Sha Tsui is the home of the Avenue of Stars, an Asian version of the Hollywood Walk of Fame, located on the Victoria Harbour waterfront. We knew that at 8pm, they would have a Symphony of Lights show that we really wanted to see. The buildings on the other side of the water lit up or had lasers coming out from the roof, all in time with the music. Sadly, I think all the Christmas lights didn’t help the show, it made it a bit hard to see in places, but it was still fun to watch.

P1150126Watching the Symphony of Lights show

We then walked up the Avenue of Stars and found Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan’s stars, the only two people I had heard of! Sadly I hadn’t realised just how awesome Jackie Chan was at this point (I have realised it now!). I definitely need to watch more Hong Kong films so that I will recognise more of the names next time I visit.

P1150142Bruce Lee’s Star at the Avenue of Stars

We finished the day with a trip to Harbour City shopping centre, browsing the shops and eating a pretty amazing brownie and cream crepe. We also found more gashapons! We then headed back to the hotel as we were pretty tired…and I was starting to feel a bit unwell…

More posts on my adventures in Hong Kong here:

Day One: My first trip to Hong Kong

Day Two: Lantau Island

Day Two: Whampoa and the Avenue of Stars

Day Three: Hong Kong Disneyland

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My first trip to Hong Kong

I’m going to write about my trip to Hong Kong. My boyfriend and I booked this trip just 2 months after we’d started going out. It was my first trip out of Europe so it was slightly scary (mostly because I wasn’t sure how well I’d cope on a 14 hour plane trip), but having someone from Hong Kong who could speak Cantonese certainly made me feel better.

P1140814Our journey on the plane

We went in December 2012, just before Christmas, because I’m not good with heat. I get sunburnt in the UK, so I would have no chance in Hong Kong in the summer. We took the plane from Manchester Airport for my first ever long haul trip and I was pretty excited! My boyfriend found it hilarious that the air hostess spoke English to him, but German to me as she hadn’t realised we were together. He now likes to tell me i’m German all the time… (We flew on Lufthansa via Frankfurt so it was understandable – I could have been German!)

We’d left Frankfurt at 10.15pm so we slept on the plane at a normal bed time for us. We hadn’t managed to sleep too much on the plane so we were a bit tired, therefore the time difference wasn’t too much of an issue for us. We arrived in Hong Kong at 4.10pm so we could just have a short first day.

P1140836View of Hong Kong from the plane

The heat was too much for me straight away. We took a bus to our hotel, an Ibis right next to the North Point MTR station, which took about 1 hr 10 minutes, giving me a chance to see Hong Kong for the first time. It was interesting to see that the hotel missed out a lot of floor numbers, which my boyfriend explained to me was due to Chinese superstitions. For example, in Cantonese, the number “4” sounds a lot like “death”.

P1140855Lots of British food in the supermarkets!

After checking in, we went to the Hong Kong supermarket “Park N Shop” which my boyfriend loved – all that Hong Kong food he can’t get back in the UK! It had a lot British food too so I was happy, even though it was a bit more expensive than normal. We had to stock up on lots of bottled water because the water in Hong Kong isn’t really drinkable. We also went to a very cool shop called “Wonderland” which is full of anime/manga things. One issue we had was that my boyfriend’s Hong Kong debit card kept being rejected because he completely forgot that the pin numbers are 6 digits, not 4 like in the UK! That caused us a lot of hassle, with him having to go to the bank to sort it out. We went back to our hotel for a snack before heading to the MTR.

P1140869My first real view of the streets of Hong Kong at mid-levels

My boyfriend gave me an Octopus card, a lot like London’s Oyster card, which made travel very easy. I was amazed at how cheap the transport was! We headed to Central where we went on the world’s longest escalator called Mid-Levels. It’s over 135 metres from top to bottom. I was expecting one massive escalator, which on reflection was a bit stupid of me, because it has lots of gaps so that people can get off. On the way, we found a pub called “Yorkshire Pudding” which made me laugh. (My boyfriend is from Yorkshire!)

P1140880The streets in Lan Kwai Fong

We then went to Lan Kwai Fong, a square of streets in Central which is very popular with tourists as it’s full of pubs, restaurants and clubs. We weren’t that hungry so we didn’t stop for any proper food, but we did get some Hagen Daz ice cream from their own shop – expensive but tasty! We headed back down the escalators and towards the International Finance Centre for a quick look. As we came to Hong Kong just 2 weeks before Christmas, there were lots of Christmas lights up on the massive buildings, which was very impressive to see. We then went back to our hotel for sleep. My first day of being in Hong Kong was over, and I was loving it already!

P1140894Christmas lights near our hotel

More posts on my adventures in Hong Kong here:

Day One: My first trip to Hong Kong

Day Two: Lantau Island

Day Two: Whampoa and the Avenue of Stars

Day Three: Hong Kong Disneyland