Tai Yuen Street

Tai Yuen Street

Looks like any other ordinary street in Hong Kong from the outside, the Tai Yuen Street is definitely a place for all ages. Listed in the discoverhongkong.com and many other travel websites, I decided to make a trip down and share with my readers in my blog about this tourist attraction. So, what is Tai Yuen Street all about? Toys.

Shopping for toys in Tai Yuen Street is a totally different experience compared to many popular toy stores in Singapore. With all the shops internally cramped up with toys, shopping in these shops is like a “one-way one-lane” traffic, which the U-turn is only at the inner end of the shops. As the size of the shops are small, not all the toys are able to be placed on the racking shelves. There are toys which are hung onto hooks attached to the ceilings, while others are placed in large opened carton boxes.

 

Tai Yuen Street

Tai Yuen Street

Tai Yuen Street

 

Despite the messed up toy stores inside, many of the toys displayed could be gems to toy collectors around the world. There are many classic toys which could have kept for ages, limited edition toys, collectors’ edition toys as well as toys sold in today’s major toy stores. During my visit, I happened to see my favorite Japanese Tomica toy car series, which most of the models are not found in Singapore. Talking about Lego series, be amazed that some series which are sold out in Singapore could be found here in Tai Yuen Street.

 

Tai Yuen Street

Tai Yuen Street

Tai Yuen Street

 

Although many toys are made in China today, you should check out the toys which are made in Japan. Excellent quality I would say.

 

Tai Yuen Street

Tai Yuen Street

Tai Yuen Street

 

If you are going to look for some toys for yourself and loved ones, do add this toy street in your travel itinerary. Take the MTR to Wan Chai and exit on A3. In an overview, there are less than eight shops in this attraction. Have fun exploring the toys as you might end up spending three to four hours there.

 

Address of my visit
Tai Yuen Street 灣仔太原街
Hong Kong
Hong Kong Island, Wan Chai

Website: http://www.discoverhongkong.com

 

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Evening Coffee At Elephant Grounds

Evening Coffee At Elephant Grounds

Need a nice place to chill down during the evening in Hong Kong to have a cup of coffee? Then, you can visit the Elephant Grounds’ cafe located inside a fashion store called Woaw. With indoor and outdoor bar top table seatings, this small cafe fits well for twelve people. It’s nearest MTR station is Sheung Wan and walking to Elephant Grounds took me about fifteen minutes. Do keep a lookout on the unit numbers and signages to reach this “not-so-prominent” cafe.

The orange lights brightened up the interior ambience of Elephant Grounds, warming up the cold season in Hong Kong. Serving up to nine different brewed coffee, the selections of coffee is good enough for casual coffee drinkers. They also served drip coffee ($60 HKD = $10.50 SGD) and their popular ice-cream sandwiches. Also selling their own Elephant Grounds’ merchandises, you can buy them as souvenirs for your family and friends when you are traveling in Hong Kong.

 

Evening Coffee At Elephant Grounds

Evening Coffee At Elephant Grounds

Evening Coffee At Elephant Grounds

 

Dark and smooth was the beautifully crafted Flat White ($40 HKD = $7 SGD). The latte art was nicely done and I love the iconic elephant legs printed on the Elephant Grounds’ cup.

 

Evening Coffee At Elephant Grounds

 

Tasted directly the opposite of the Flat White, the Elephant Grounds Ice Coffee ($36 HKD = $6.30 SGD) has a much lighter and sour aftertaste.

 

Evening Coffee At Elephant Grounds

 

Sitting outdoor with a cool temperature of 18 degrees Celsius and watching the quiet district, it was a peaceful and slow coffee drinking experience. Despite the Elephant Grounds Ice Coffee was not up to my liking, I sure love their Flat White.

 

Address of my visit
Elephant Grounds
(Inside Woaw Store), 11 Gough Street, Sheung Wan
上環歌賦街11號 (Woaw Store內)

Opening Hours
Monday to Saturday: 11:30am to 9:00pm

Saturday & Public Holiday: 12:00pm to 7:00pm
Telephone: 2253 1313
Website: https://www.facebook.com/elephantgrounds

 

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Capital Café 華星冰室 at Wan Chai

Capital Café 華星冰室 at Wan Chai

Before flying to Hong Kong, I have planned my way to try out the food and beverages such as milk tea and macaroni soup in the cha chaan ting or bing sutt of Hong Kong. With that, I decided to have my breakfast in Capital Café 華星冰室 at Wan Chai. Open at 7:00am, this dining spot is one of the Hong Kong’s favorite breakfast place.

From Wan Chai MTR station, walking to the Capital Café took about 15 minutes and be ready to queue outside especially during the busy morning. Stepping in, pictures of Alan Tam, Leslie Cheung and Eason Chen portrays their love and support of local music industry.

 

Capital Café 華星冰室 at Wan Chai

Capital Café 華星冰室 at Wan Chai

 

In Hong Kong’s food culture, it is very common to share tables with other people. By doing this, they can packed more people and speed up the waiting time. The food menu are overlaid by a layer of glass on the table and the atmosphere is buzzed with people. To keep my food decision making simple, I have decided to order their breakfast set ($28 HKD = $4.90 SGD) which comes with macaroni soup with ham, bread toast, scrambled eggs and coffee or tea.

 

Capital Café 華星冰室 at Wan Chai

 

Served first was my hot cup of milk tea. The ceramic cup kept my milk tea warm. Smooth, creamy and tasted a lot like my usual teh-c kosong but a lot more richer in the taste of tea leaves. The macaroni soup with slices of ham was really tasty. The broth was nicely done.

 

Capital Café 華星冰室 at Wan Chai

 

Really soft and chewy on every bite, the bread toast has a unique mouthfeel of it’s own. With a little spread of butter on the bread, it is nice to eat the bread on it’s own.

 

Capital Café 華星冰室 at Wan Chai

Capital Café 華星冰室 at Wan Chai

 

The scrambled eggs topped with bits of black truffles, also known as 黑松露炒蛋多士, was a simple and delightful breakfast side ($35 HKD = $6 SGD). Mix them up well to enjoy the truffle scrambled eggs.

 

Capital Café 華星冰室 at Wan Chai

Capital Café 華星冰室 at Wan Chai

 

The breakfast gave me an exceptional Hong Kong experience. Love the food, the lively atmosphere and the food served was pretty fast. A must try bing sutt to enjoy breakfast the Hong Kong’s way.

 

Address of my visit
Capital Café 華星冰室
Shop B1, G/F, Kwong Sang Hong Building, 6 Heard Street, Wan Chai
灣仔克街6號廣生行大廈地下B1號舖

Opening Hours
Monday to Sunday: 7:00am to 11:00pm

Telephone: 2666 7766

 

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Visit to Tai O Fishing Town in Hong Kong

Visit to Tai O Fishing Town in Hong Kong

Woke up early in the morning at 7:00am, I set off to Tai O Fishing Town which is located at the western side of Lantau Island in Hong Kong. In my travel itinerary, travelling to Tai O is rather easy. Take the MTR to Tung Chang Station, followed by taking a cable car ride to Ngong Ping and finally take a bus number 21 to Tai O terminus. Else, you can take the MTR to Tung Chang Station and buy a One Day Pass for HK$245 ($43 SGD) per person where by you can have priority queue from the crowd and a tour bus to bring you to Tai O Fishing Town or Fishing Village.

No doubt Hong Kong has all the high fashion streets, beautiful skyscrapers and tasty good local and international cuisine; I want to feel the other side of Hong Kong, which is a rural village with a slow pace of living.

 

Visit to Tai O Fishing Town in Hong Kong

Visit to Tai O Fishing Town in Hong Kong

 

Upon reaching this “Venice Of Hong Kong”, the air was sea fresh and all I could see were green mountains, boats and sea. Walking in the streets of Tai O Fishing Town, there were abundance of dried sea food like scallops, prawns and abalone. Some of them call these dried delicacies the “Chinese crackers”.

 

Visit to Tai O Fishing Town in Hong Kong

Visit to Tai O Fishing Town in Hong Kong

Visit to Tai O Fishing Town in Hong Kong

Visit to Tai O Fishing Town in Hong Kong

 

In an overview of this village, most of the houses were dilapidated which somehow make sense that Tai O is known as the first settlement of Hong Kong. Despite old, I could sensed the “kampong spirit” is strong and many of the dried seafood products were hand made by the people of Tai O. I am not sure if these food products were cheap but if you were with the tour guide, you could get a special discount rate.

 

Visit to Tai O Fishing Town in Hong Kong

Visit to Tai O Fishing Town in Hong Kong

 

Taking a boat further down to the sea, I hope to see the pink dolphins. During my sea expedition, I came across many beautiful decades old stilt houses built on the seabed. These stilt houses could be restaurants or schools. After about ten minutes of journey, the boat stopped moving and I waited patiently for the pink dolphins. Soon, the dolphins appeared and disappeared in a wink of an eye. They were really fast!

 

Visit to Tai O Fishing Town in Hong Kong

Visit to Tai O Fishing Town in Hong Kong

Visit to Tai O Fishing Town in Hong Kong

Visit to Tai O Fishing Town in Hong Kong

 

Due to the current land reclamation and construction of the bridges to Macau and Mainland China, the waters are now polluted. Many of these pink dolphins have migrated to elsewhere and it is tough for fishermen to earn a living due to the poor quality of water. Despite all these, Tai O is still a very popular tourist spot in Hong Kong and further more, this fishing town is now under the protection of Hong Kong government for heritage purposes. Hence, this helps to create jobs for the people in Tai O to earn a living.

 

Visit to Tai O Fishing Town in Hong Kong

 

Visiting Tai O allows myself to better understand the cultural heritage of Hong Kong. This place is a good place for landscape photographers and dried seafood delicacy lovers. It was a good experience to visit and set my foot on this village.

 

Visit to Tai O Fishing Town in Hong Kong

 

Visit to Tai O Fishing Town in Hong Kong

 

Address of my visit
Tai O
Lantau Island, Outlying Islands

Website: http://www.discoverhongkong.com

 

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Afternoon Tea In The Peninsula Hong Kong

Afternoon Tea In The Peninsula Hong Kong

Take a ride on the Hong Kong’s MTR to Tsim Sha Tsui station and walk about five minutes through Exit E, you will reach a grand hotel with a touch of European design and luxurious fashion brands at the ground level.

Stepping into The Peninsula Hong Kong hotel, the grand hall has the ambience of elegance and heritage. With the nickname “Grande Dame of the Far East”, this hotel is built in the golden year of 1920 and till today, this timeless hotel is nearly 80 years old and is well-known of it’s Eastern and Western hospitality. Now, let me introduce to you my high tea experience with The Peninsula Hong Kong.

 

High Tea With The Peninsula Hong Kong

 

The afternoon tea, or high tea, begins at 2:00pm to 6:00pm in The Lobby restaurant, but being punctual will not pay you well. I will recommend my readers to reach the restaurant at least 15 minutes early, else you will be ended up queuing during your holiday trip in Hong Kong.

 

High Tea With The Peninsula Hong Kong

 

The grand hall is simply gorgeous. With a live symphony band playing on the second floor’s balcony in the grand hall, the interior structure brightens up the live music extremely well. Sitting back on the cosy arm chair and listening to the music while waiting for the high tea pastries was a very comforting and relax experience.

This afternoon high tea in The Peninsula Hong Kong cost $358 HKD, which is about $61 SGD per person. The menu comes with a pot of hot tea of your choice and a three tier high tea stand with raisin scones, finger sandwiches, sweet cakes and other savory pastries.

 

High Tea With The Peninsula Hong Kong

High Tea With The Peninsula Hong Kong

High Tea With The Peninsula Hong Kong

 

My verdict? The pastries and tea were average, but what you will be experiencing dining in this hotel will be the ambience that is totally unmatched for. There is no rush for time as you will be glad to see every diners are enjoying their afternoon tea very slowly and chatting away with their friends and families. This is what I called a relaxed dining holiday.

 

High Tea With The Peninsula Hong Kong

 

Address of my visit
The Peninsula Hong Kong
Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
Hong Kong, SAR

Telephone: (852) 2920 2888
Website: http://hongkong.peninsula.com

 

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Hotel Madera Hong Kong Review

Hotel Madera Hong Kong Review

Hong Kong can be split into four main areas, namely the Lantau Island, the New Territories, Kowloon and Hong Kong island. When comes to looking for a hotel stay, my preference will be anywhere between the Kowloon and Hong Kong island as these areas are central to almost any favourite destinations in Hong Kong. The Tsuen Wan line on the Hong Kong MTR map (red coloured) will be a good path to source for hotels.

With about fives minutes walk from the Jordan MTR station, Hotel Madera Hong Kong was where I stayed during this trip. There is a JD Mall nearby this hotel where you can find a supermarket and our Singapore’s Breadtalk in this small shopping mall. A pretty good location for family travelers like us.

This 89 floor hotel build along the Nathan Road is about two years old and has many positive ratings from Booking.com and Tripadvisor. With so many top notch and luxurious big hotels in Hong Kong, it is definitely not an easy task for Madera Hotel to keep up with the tourism industry.

 

Hotel Madera Hong Kong

 

Staying in the Madera Studio with an area of 38 to 46 square meters located at the 27th floor, the wide windows allow us to have a good view panoramic view of the West Kowloon Corridor highway and Yau Ma Tei district. The Madera Studio is divided into two parts; the living room with a 55″ Sony Bravia 3D LED television and a bedroom with a Sealy King sized-bed. The bathroom is very spacious and is equipped with two rain showers. I love rain showers!

 

Hotel Madera Hong Kong

Hotel Madera Hong Kong

Hotel Madera Hong Kong

Hotel Madera Hong Kong

Hotel Madera Hong Kong

 

Talking about technology, there is a JBL speaker that allows the 30-pin iPod dock or AirPlay streaming of your favorite tracks into this sound system. There is also an Alcatel Android smartphone which has 3G data capabilities, which we used it for free hotspot for our mobile phones during our travel in Hong Kong since the phone has unlimited data plan.

 

Hotel Madera Hong Kong

 

With such a cosy hotel, it is definitely a good experience to sit down on the chairs during the evening to catch the lightings of Hong Kong at night. For even better service, the food and drinks are free for the first round in the mini bar corner.

With the hotel room introduction done, let’s talk about the facilities in Madera Hotel Hong Kong. At the ground floor, there is a reminisce gallery that showcase items and lifestyle of the early years of Hong Kong. There is also a gym and a gaming room for their guests to work out and play hard during their stay in Madera. The highest floor is the bar lounge, where you can sit either indoor or outdoor. Outdoor will be a good spot to have a cocktail drink during this 16 degrees Celsius season and view the 270 degree view of Hong Kong.

 

Hotel Madera Hong Kong

Hotel Madera Hong Kong

Hotel Madera Hong Kong

 

Staying in Madera Hotel Hong Kong is definitely a good experience with the lobby service staffs were helpful and efficient. Per night stay in the Madera Studio is about $450 SGD, which I felt is tagged at a reasonable price based on hotel location, comfort of the room and customer service.

 

Hotel Madera Hong Kong

 

Address of my visit
Hotel Madera Hong Kong
1 Cheong Lok Street, Hong Kong

Telephone: (852) 2121 9888
Website: http://www.hotelmadera.com.hk

 

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