Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Macau to Hong Kong with 30 hour itinerary for Markets and Foodie Stops

I was really glad that I came up with the brilliant idea to go to HK for a day, thanks for my Nespresso limited edition obsession, when Ady and I had plans to go to Macau at the start of the month, thanks to another Cebu Pacific Sale. We were only on Macau for a day and we pretty much did everything we wanted to do and then some, you can read about our 1 day itinerary here, so HK was really something we looked forward to. 

Had we planned better, we probably should have planned to exit through HK, but in our defense, when we were booking our tickets way back in November 2013, there were rumors that a visa might be required to enter HK and we really didn't want to get stuck with that hassle.

Going from HK to Macau and vice versa is so easy to do via ferry. There are so many trips, you don't really need to book a ticket in advance. We just asked the taxi to take us to the ferry terminal, then we lined up to buy the tickets for the next ferry.

You don't even have to wait long. I think we arrived at the terminal a little
past 10. 10:15am economy tickets were sold out so we got seats for 10:45am.
Ticket Prices
I told Ady it would be smarter to buy return tickets since we had a specific
schedule we wanted to catch to make it back in time for our flight.
If we planned better, I think it would have been a better option to get our return tickets from Hong Kong to the Cotai Terminal (closer to the airport) but it wasn't really an obvious option, and I didn't think to ask if it was possible.

Since Ady and I had a huge luggage (for HK shopping),
we opted to pay 25MOP for luggage handling.
You pay more for luggage heavier than 20kg.
You also have an option to lug your own luggage on and off the boat, which we didn't want to take! Seems like both times we were the only passengers that paid for check-in luggage! They get quite stressed to see both of us at the claiming section when only 1 luggage was checked in for the whole ferry!
Hello Turbo Jet!
Ady and I were so pleased by how organized everything was.
Goodbye Macau! Hahahaha.
Given the frequency of trips, we passed quite a lot of other ferries.
The weather was quite bad, so the sea was rough and it was quite a
bumpy ride. I also noticed that water closer to Macau was brown.
The water turns more blue green towards the Hong Kong side.
happy @ hongkong... literally!!!

Now, this is the sign of a true Nespresso-holic.
We arrived around lunch time, and for the first stop on our itinerary, I dragged Ady all the way to IFC on foot (around a 10-15minute walk connected by overpass), so I could go to Nespresso first. My rational was to secure my limited edition coffee (and free lungo cups!), and pack it in my luggage before cabbing home, so I wouldn't need to make a special trip and carry everything (because clearly I was buying the whole store!) all around Hong Kong.

Note: The proposed 30 hour itinerary is from 12:00nn to 6:00pm the following day

First Stop: Nespresso IFC
Yes, that's my luggage that I dragged all the way from the ferry terminal,
so to catch my breath I had a Hazelnut Dessert Latte before I started hoarding.
Nespresso - Check!

Our next stop was Auntie Stell's flat to drop our bags (mine including my Nespresso hoard). It's a good thing the Schaperos let us stay with them overnight, I was able to justify the cost of our round trip ferry transfers (353MOP or US$44) by saving on 1 night hotel in Macau. The HK to Macau ferry is more expensive so it's better to arrive in Macau and depart from HK if you want to visit both places. After we dropped our bags, we were already super starving so next stop was lunch.

Second Stop: Ebeneezer's in WanChai
Ebeneezer's Biryani is so yummy, it's always on our HK to eat list. The great thing about them is they have so many branches, so you can just choose which one is more convenient. Clearly, we had an ulterior motive for choosing the Wan Chai branch.
Since I couldn't resist a bargain, I changed my normal
Lamb Biryani order to Chicken Biryani so I could
avail of the Lunch Set promo and get a free drink.
Chicken Biryani Lunch Set with extra Green Sauce (HK$55)
So yummy! I ate everything. Seriously. But we were really starving by then.
Breakfast was one country ago, and even then, it was only Egg Tarts from Margaret's (but what good egg tarts they were!) which you can read about here.

Third Stop: Tai Yuen Toy Street in Wan Chai
After our lunch at Ebeneezer's Ady and I just walked to Tai Yuen Street (Toy Street), also in Wan Chai. However, it started raining and we were too cheap to buy umbrellas since it wasn't raining strong, and we didn't realize that just before Christmas half the merchandise is all Christmas decorations and wrapping paraphernalia so I didn't really buy anything except for a Christmas ornament filled with erasers for Sofia (and HK$10 tights for me so I could wear my sundress since the weather was freezing!).
Stock Photo from June 2013.

Fourth Stop: Fuk Wing Toy Street in Sham Shui Po
Since we came out empty handed from the Wan Chai Toy Street Market, we decided to go all the way to Sham Shui Po. Sofia asked me to buy her a Squinkies Gumball dispenser and I didn't see any in Wan Chai so we tried to look for it from the store that I saw selling it before. I didn't see it in the store originally selling it, so I ended up buying so much crap for Sofia to make up for not buying what she wanted, but fortunately or unfortunately, we saw another branch of the shop selling it across the street just as we were leaving so Sofia did get her Squinkies that got away after all.

I just realized though that with such an efficient itinerary, I didn't really bother taking much photos of the places I've already visited before, but for reference, just like in Wan Chai, when it's close to Christmas, half the inventory is Christmas stuff again so there wasn't a lot of new toys to choose from.
Stock Photo from June 2014

Fifth Stop: The Original Tim Ho Wan (the only one with 1 Michelin Star)
This wasn't really in the plan, but as Ady reminded me, how can we NOT eat at THE Original Tim Ho Wan, when 1. When we're already in the area. 2. There's no line to get a table at 4:00pm on a weekday. 3. The food is just so much better here, even in comparison to the Tim Ho Wan in IFC.
Hooray for no line!
Yes, we're eating again at 4:30. Around 2 hours after I ate ALL the Biryani.
I felt even more sorry that I finished all the Biryani as we were ordering. 
Ady and I decided that BBQ Pork Buns + 1 dimsum order each was
This is why they have a Michelin Star. Very thin crisp crust, and REAL BBQ
 Pork Chunks. More meat than sauce. Totally worth stuffing ourselves for. 
Sham Shui Po Toy Store Haul. Not included in the picture is Ady's real cool
Christmas gift for Sofia.
Ady got Sof the coolest mini Capsule Toy Machine to go
with her mini Grip a Prize Toy.
After all the toy shopping Ady and I were happy enough to rest at the flat and look at all our shopping. Hahaha. Dinner was low maintenance though because we decided to just go down to our favorite Cheap and Cheerful Dimsum place once we got hungry.

Look at all that DimSum
After Tim Ho Wan, I didn't think we'd ever be hungry again,
but I guess I was wrong. We even managed to have space for Mango Crepe
for dessert.

Seventh Stop: Butao Ramen for Brunch at Causeway Bay
Umbrella City welcomed us at Causeway Bay
No more protesters, but all the tents were still up.
Butao Ramen now has a branch in Causeway Bay
It was just a bit hard to find Tang Lung Street
We arrived just a bit after they opened at 11:00am.
(I already wore the HK$10 tights I bought from Wan Chai the day before). 
Finally got to try the Black King (Squid Ink) and Green King (Pesto Cheese)
We arrived early for the chance to our the limited edition ramen,
but when we say that it was ginger, we weren't really interested in trying it.
Share a Coke with #Selfie 

Eighth Stop: Shopping at Stanley Market
We had quite a hard time looking for the street of Butao Ramen in Causeway Bay, but once we found it, Auntie Stell recognized it as the street where you hop on the mini bus (number 40) to Stanley Market.
A bus leaves every few minutes, so it's no big deal
if you get left behind by the last one.
Surprisingly, getting there was quite fast. I think we made it in 45 minutes or so, but we got stuck in traffic on our way back so that took around an hour, which I was expecting. The ride to Stanley Market is quite nice, because you'll pass through the waterfront, but plan for the long travel time, which we did since we needed to get back in time to catch our ferry to Macau, then our flight back to Manila. 

There are a lot of Export Overrun Shops at Stanley Market. A lot of the stores were closing so there were also a lot of close-out sales, but I forgot to take pictures. Here are some of the waterfront pictures instead.

Ninth Stop: Delicious Kitchen
We were originally planning to get takeaway from Delicious Kitchen because we thought we wouldn't be hungry yet, but we were surprisingly ready to eat again when we got back to Causeway Bay (taking the same Number 40 minibus).
Double Pork Rib with Pechay Rice. Can't come to HK without eating this.
I also ordered Fried Shrimp Wanton which I don't order when we do take away.
Yummy fried wanton with fresh chunky shrimp!
We also went to Wellcome the nearby Supermarket after eating but the fruit I like bringing home (lychees and cherries) are no longer in season so I didn't really buy much of anything. 

After that, we just barely had enough time to go home, pack, get organized and catch a cab to the Ferry Terminal. Traffic was quite stressful so cutting it close is not a good idea, especially if you still need to do several legs in the amazing race before you get to your final destination, but the 30 hours in Hong Kong was definitely worth the trip. just saying. 

Details for the recommended places to visit:

1. Nespresso
Shop 1058, Podium1 
IFC Mall

2. Ebeneezer's Wan Chai
G/F, 52 Lockhart Road,
Wan Chai, Hong Kong

3. Wan Chai Toy Street
Tai Yuen St, 
Wanchai, Hong Kong

4. Sham Shui Po Toy Street
Fuk Wing St, 
Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong

5. Original Tim Ho Wan
G/F, 9-11 Fuk Wing Street 
Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong

6. 24 Hours Cheap and Cheerful Dimsum (not it's real name)
Ngan Mok Street corner Yacht Street, 
Tin Hau

7. Butao Ramen Causeway Bay
40 Tang Lung Street 
Hong Kong

8. Stanley Market
Stanley New Street and Stanley Market Road 
Stanley, Hong Kong

9. Delicious Kitchen
Shop B, G/F, 9-11 Cleveland Street 
Fashion Walk Causeway Bay

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