Saturday, August 17, 2013

Our family Hong Kong trip: the culture, and eat-shop-eat-shop..

Day 1:  Dinner after a tiring day at Disney and Lantau. We went back to hotel to get our much needed baths, changed into fresh clothes and headed out to dinner.
In HK, we did all the touristy things with my in-laws and tried to make full use of our time by walking / shopping/ eating the whole day. By night fall, we were famished with all the activity.
Time to eat again! We wanna eat roast goose!!

At a cosy little Cha chan teng in Mongkok which served superb roast goose.
The service is above average, being a rather small cha chan teng. The waiting time to get a table for 6 was not very long, and food arrived at the table fast.

Chan Kee Roast Goose.
427-427A Reclamation Street, Mong Kok, Kowloon, Hong Kong.
+852 2381 6161

The roast goose was excellent. Oily and juicy and sinful with every bite. Roast goose is not available in Singapore, so if you're in HK, definitely must try this famous eatery recommended by fellow Singaporeans!

Day 2: Argyle Centre and more shopping at Tsim Sha Tsui.

We booked a day tour for my in-laws to visit Victoria Peak and all the other touristy activities with Ashton, while we brought Adam shopping with us. Poor kid walked for long distances and so many rounds of shopping with Mummy!

Argyle Centre, Mongkok! It's like a mega version of Bugis Village so expect many cheap fashion buys but don't expect a lot for the quality.
I bought a midi dress there for $8 and various T-shirts for a song. Most of the shops open after 12:30PM so don't waste your time by going too early (like we did).

Getting ready my re-useable shopping bag for bargain-battle.

After shopping, we headed for dessert.

Prince Dessert.
11-13, Prince Ritz, 448 Prince Edward Road West, Kowloon City.
Tel: +852 3486 3194

Try their egg custard with bird's nest. Comes in a tray of 6.

Hubby had their hot dessert: Coconut with bean curd and tapioca balls. Also very nice!

Everything also nice to eat..... Fat die us.

Shop not enough at Mongkok, headed to TST for more shopping. By this time, Adam already KO into Andy's arms.

The shopping in TST is mostly for designer goods, but the outlets at Harbour City is always full of PRCs Q-ing outside. If you want to avoid these queues, and get better service without all those crowd squeezing with you as you browse, then go to Peninsula Arcade, opposite SOGO.

But frankly, it used to be that buying designer goods in HK was about 10-20% cheaper than buying in Singapore due to HK being tax-free, but the last I checked, their prices have gone up considerably and are now parallel with, or slightly more expensive than Singapore prices :(

Day 3: walking around the streets hunting for street hawker food.
 Since we did all the shopping in Day 2, we spent the rest of our trip simply exploring the streets and stopping for food whenever and wherever.
Like these grilled squid. So juicy!

and smelly toufu. I like! Tapao for my in-laws too :)

Hubby had this coconut milk drink which so many people were queuing for.

Yuen lai this is the reason lah. Don't know what's her name this HK actress helped to sell drinks here before.

Oh yah, this dim sum restaurant was recommended to us by my HK aunt.
She says the food here is cheap and good.
She didn't lie!! We ate so much and the bill came up to about SGD$100 only, for 6 pax. Ok what!

Shamrock Seafood Restaurant
223 Nathan Road, ground floor of Shamrock Hotel, Jordon.
+852 2735 6722 / 2730 3519
MTR station: Jordon.

Is yummy! Especially their braised pork with steam rice.
Makes me hungry just typing this post -__-

Day 4: Taking ferry at Victoria Harbour.
But first, gotta go to SOGO to buy lao po bing.

Bought the Lao po bing for our relatives, my colleagues and our own consumption.
What to do... Old people like us love to eat such tidbits.

At Victoria Harbour

Love my family photo at Victoria Harbour before boarding ferry. Ashton also wanna follow Adam & I make hand signal but don't know how to. Hehe..

My lovely boys in same outfits. Finally able to dress them alike because so hard to find the size difference.

The ferry trip ended with us at Harbour City. Decided to go walk around.

All the cosmetics so pretty! I can't bear to buy them because I know I won't bear to open and use...
 Thanks for dropping by.
We also went to two Michelin-star restaurants during this trip, they are posted here!

Our family Hong Kong trip: getting there, (almost there) Disneyland, and Lantau island.

Hi friends! We just went to Hong Kong and back, with our two ninjas in tow. Ashton's first time taking a plane. Can you believe we made it unscathed!
With the SGD-HKD exchange rate still at an attractive 1: 6.05, and with HK's summer sale still on-going, it's little wonder why so many of our friends are in HK around the same time as us.
Instead of categorising our trip according to days, I decided to group the truckload of photos according to our activities. Warning: all the photos could hurt your eyes!
The boys waiting at the airport before boarding Cathay Pacific.

The playground at Terminal 1 is awesome! Parents can have their meals in peace while the kids get busy.

Landed safely in HK. Reached our hotel. If you're wondering where to stay in HK Kowloon, my colleague recommended to me, and we highly recommend Langham Place hotel. It is conveniently situated at Mongkok, a stone's throwaway from MTR station and lots of street shopping like Argyle Centre and H&M.

Being frequent travellers to HK because my relatives stay there, we have stayed in many different hotels before. Among all the hotels we have stayed at, I would say the staff at Langham Place are very accommodating and service was excellent.
We were provided complimentary breakfast which is uncommon in HK hotels, and were granted late checkout on our last day due to our late flight timing.
Even the bellboys were very knowledgeable about directions and have suggestions for us on where to go / visit.

Even my in-laws, first-timers to HK who barely speak any Cantonese, had no problems communicating with the good people at Langham Place. Definitely thumbs up!!

Thank you Langham Place for making our stay nothing but pleasant.

Getting dressed and ready to head out to Disneyland as our first stop on our Day 1.

Took the MTR as all of us could not fit into 1 taxi. So convenient.

At the Disney line MTR.

Reached Disneyland. The weather was SUPER SCORTCHING hot can!! Until we all were starting to see stars. Reminded me of St Kildas beach in Melbourne during the hottest days of Summer.
Holy cow.
The kids couldn't endure the blazing heat especially Adam who was looking super irritated the whole time so we made a U-turn and headed to Disney Hotel for some drinks to cool down.

Super disappointed because this trip was 50% for the kids to visit Disneyland!!! Arghhhhh :(
Adam kept asking to meet Mickey Mouse and gang (as I showed him photos from his 1st HK trip).
Bummer max max max.

"No fish, prawn also can" pleasssee. At the lobby of Disney Hotel. At least we escaped the heat and managed a family shot.
Since we had time to kill, next stop: going to Lantau Island.

At the 360 Cable Car station.

Not the China Golden Week, but can you see the snaking queue behind Adam?
We ended up queuing for 2 bloody hours just to get onto one cable car.

The Crystal Cabin had better make all the waiting worth it. If you have plans on taking a cable car ride to Lantau Island, the Crystal Cabin carriage is about SGD$10 more expensive than normal cabin, but the queue for it is slightly longer than for the latter.

Ok, that's all for this post.
Will share about our experiences shopping and eating in my next post, especially about trying Michelin-star restaurants. Stay tuned :)  

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

My 4 year-old is going to be the death of me.

Took the day off today to send Adam to school and do a little bit of luggage packing.
We had a minor scare yesterday. Adam's teacher called me to inform that they saw 2 ulcers in his mouth and we were told to fetch him home.
Good Lord, not on the eve of the eve of our holiday, surely?!
I brought him to the doctor's, and because he wasn't running a fever and there were no rashes on his body or limbs, we were given the clear to return to school today.
Here he is at the back of my car. He's very happy when I told him "no need to take school bus today, Mummy will send you" :)

Waiting around for temperature-taking and daily checks by the teachers.

Queuing in line for assembly at 8:30AM.

He's next class neighbours with my niece Noelle.

Well, it's not the ulcer-scare that's making me on the verge of crying.
I received disturbing news from Adam's form teacher this morning. She gave feedback that there are times when Adam misbehaves and is disruptive to the class, for example, there were occasions where he played by himself and laughed loudly during lessons and did not comply with Teacher's instructions.
His teacher was worried that I would get angry and assured me that so far he has not been to a Naughty Corner yet.
I reassured her that it was perfectly Ok for him to be punished or disciplined if he misbehaves again, and told her to go ahead and be more firm with him.
At swimming lessons, I too, observe him sometimes not paying attention to what Desmond is telling the kids to do and I have to repeatedly march over and give him a stern warning.
I told Andy about these incidents and Hubby's response? "If there's such a thing as a Naughty Chair or Naughty corner, then Adam must have slept in the Naughty Cot since Day 1 of life".
Good gosh. If he's like this as a 4 year-old, I don't know how to deal with him when he's a teenager.
I swear, this child is going to be the death of me.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Baby Ashleigh's 1st Birthday

Today it rained a little so swimming was out. We left Ashton with my in-laws and headed to Downtown East, where we bunked Adam at Explorer Kids for an hour.
That gave us a golden hour of peaceful, uninterrupted breakfast at Coffee Bean.
After that, we had a party to attend.
Our neighbours Iris and Garren's baby girl, Ashleigh, turned ONE so we went along to join in the fun :)
Ashleigh is born 2 weeks earlier than Ashton, and both babies share the same first 3 letters of their names.
my pretty neighbour Iris and the birthday girl Ashleigh

Mummies and our A-babies.

Ashton and Adam. Just brought Adam for a haircut yesterday just in time for our HK trip next week.

Why do you look so fierce, baby?

My next-door neighbours Peifen and her brood.

A hit with the kids - everybody say BOUNCY! Best $200 spent at a kid's party, ever.

HAPPY 1st BIRTHDAY Ashleigh!
Hugs & kisses from Adam and Ashton :)
p.s. Adam will be having his National Day celebration and Sports Day in school next Wednesday and we'll be flying off to Hong Kong that very evening. Yes, we're bringing both kids. *sweat*
Thankfully, my in-laws are going with us. Phew~
I'm still packing their stuff sporadically and I've bought more clothes for them than I ever would throughout the entire time spent overseas.
So many "in case" stuff to pack!! So hardcore. zzzZzzz