If you don’t celebrate Christmas, I hope you’re enjoying whatever it is you celebrate.
If you don’t celebrate at all, I wish you a safe and peaceful day.
I just wanted to share a piece of art that my friend Jennifer did for me to celebrate Christmas.
I hope whatever you’re eating today is as tasty as I reckon this barbeque pig would taste after slowing turning and cooking for a few hours.
Looking back over 2016
This year (2016) has been pretty good for me. It started with a holiday in Hong Kong with my daughters. It was the best holiday ever. I really loved spending nine nights there and spending time with my girls. We did a lot of things including a lot of shopping. For me, the highlight was the food. OMG! I ate so much.
Work has been very fulfilling and very rewarding. I tend not to write much about work, but I am fortunate to have excellent and very supportive bosses right up to the secretary of the department. I’ve also loved being able to continue practising medicine in ACT Pathology at The Canberra Hospital. I have the perfect balance work wise.
I’m also experiencing a great balance in life too. As well as blogging here at Yummy Lummy, I’ve started a YouTube channel with some videos on the food I eat. If you have watched them I hope you enjoy them. I’d love it if you would leave comments, like the videos and subscribe.
Podcasting is fun
The other thing I’ve started this year is a podcast named Medical Fun Facts. It’s a great outlet for my sense of humour coupled with my professional interest as opposed to my food interests.
Work has been great
Work has seen me visit Manila and Helsinki this year for various aspects of the work I do.
I love reading other blogs
I’ve also been enjoying reading blogs from quite a lot of bloggers.
I’d like to shout out to my friends who I share comments with and who regularly comment on Yummy Lummy.
PS. One thing I do mourn now at Christmas is that my favourite Christmas song, viz., Six White Boomers, is now dead to me because of the criminal behaviour of Rolf Harris toward women (the link opens an NSFW photograph).
The last eight posts on Yummy Lummy have been about my recent Hong Kong holiday.
I have links to each post below.
I thought I’d write a summary post with some tips and ideas on travelling for an Hong Kong holiday. This holiday was a family affair with my three daughters, viz., Miss14, Ms18 and Ms20. The planning was undertaken by Ms18 and Ms20 and my job was to pay for the flights, accommodation, ground transport, and tickets to Hong Kong Disneyland, Ocean Park and the Hong Kong 3D Museum. In addition I looked after most of the meals. The girls brought with them spending money for shopping.
Here are some things (in no particular order) to consider when travelling for an Hong Kong holiday. I’m grateful to Miss14 for her input.
Walking shoes: Good quality shoes that will stand up to >33,000 steps a day are a must. The weather can be inclement so pools of water to step over need to be considered as well.
Band aids for blisters: If you don’t have worn in shoes or if you don’t have decent shoes make sure you start the trip with plenty of band aids. Of course new band aids can be purchased from dispensaries or pharmacies.
Google maps and transit routes especially station and bus times: It’s often said Google maps can be inaccurate and we experienced this too, however, the benefits for use outweighed the occasional GPS inaccuracy which was probably because of the tall buildings. A simple turning off and on of the app often fixes the problem. The Hong Kong public transport system is simply fabulous. The best I’ve experienced anywhere. Even better, Google maps lists all the options for trains, trams, buses including times, distances and walking requirements. Having a smartphone with Google maps made our holiday orders of magnitude easier and harmonious. We had no bickering or arguing because we’d gone in the wrong direction. Google was there to help. The added benefit we had was that the Cosmopolitan Hotel supplied for our use an Alcatel smartphone with a 4G sim card so we could use it as a wi-fi hot spot and also use the MTR and Google apps on it for navigation and assistance.
Power packs: You can now buy cheap power packs for smartphones, tablets and even small cameras. With an overnight charge these handy little devices can keep your smartphone juiced up all day. It wasn’t uncommon at about 10.30 am for one of the girls to say they were at <50% battery power for their iPhone. With wi-fi everywhere and so many selfies being taken and so much Facebook and Snapchat being used it was little wonder each of them needed to have a charger (except Ms18 who with the aid of low battery mode and an iPhone 6 managed most days on one overnight charge). The best thing is you can buy short (10 cm) and long (2 m) cords to connect the power pack and smartphone to suit your situation. I wore a jacket most places and could keep the power pack and iPhone on me and continue to use the device while it was charging. BTW for those interested my Snapchat user names are garydlum and yummy_lummy Follow me if you like.
Octopus card: The public transport system in Hong Kong is fantastic. You can buy an Octopus card at the airport when you land for HKD$200. This gives you straight up HKD$100 credit to get you to your hotel plus probably a day or so around Hong Kong. Not only can it be used on trains, trams and buses but it can be used as a debit card in many shops including shops at the airport.
Travel with someone good with directions: People who know me know I have no inbuilt compass. I am hopeless. Completely, utterly without any sense of direction nor an ability to read a map confidently. Fortunately Ms20 has an excellent sense of direction and could remember over each day the direction of where we were meant to go. In addition she can remember where every shop is she has entered in case a return visit is necessary.
Smartphone for maps and camera: This carries on from the Google maps piece of advice. If you don’t have a smartphone, try to get one and get used to it about a month before hand. You won’t regret it. In this day and age, being au fait with a smartphone can help you enormously. Shooting photographs with your smartphone isn’t just for sharing on social media and for blogging and for holiday memories, the photographs with the geotag GPS information can help you find somewhere you’ve been and need to return to. The photographs can also be used as evidence in case of mishaps. I highly recommend having a smartphone on your person at all times.
Smartphone for apps like swarm, snapchat, Facebook and Twitter: I’m not sure how many people use social media. I know a lot do. I was in awe watching my girls use their iPhones for all sorts of communication with friends. I thought I had a good handle on social media, I’m a novice by comparison. You can checkout where I’ve been by my swarm/foursquare history. You can see what I’ve posted on Facebook and Twitter too. By using hashtags like #HongKong and #holiday as well as specific location hashtags I could ask for assistance and advice as well as receive unsolicited comments and advice. Even if you aren’t a regular social media user, for a holiday, it can be a real help. I use an if this then that recipe that sends my swarm check ins to my Google calendar so when I write a blog post I know where I’ve been each day. The possibilities are endless.
Camera bag: Camera bags are a very personal choice. My advice is use one you’re used to. I have a Lowepro sling bag which was just perfect for my camera body and lenses as well as my power pack, hat, sunglasses, lens cleaning cloths, Platypod, close up filters and cords and cables. I prefer a sling bag to a backpack because it’s easier to get my camera out. I use a wrist strap on my camera which makes it easy to pull out of my sling bag.
Coat with pockets: If it’s cool weather this means you can distribute stuff on your body rather than a bag. If it’s summer, wear shorts and shirts with pockets. Yeah, I know not fashionable. You need to decide for yourself what will suit you and what level of dagginess you will tolerate. Those that know me know I’m a total bogan/dag so I don’t care what I wear so long as it is practical. Miss14 felt pockets were essential especially for easy access to things like her iPhone and Octopus card.
T-shirts: In temperate weather like Hong Kong, it never got too cold or too hot. Wearing a coat was helpful in the air conditioned areas and on New Year’s Eve when it got chilly. Wearing a T-shirt underneath meant I could regulate my body temperature more easily. I used a combination of short and long sleeve T-shirts depending on the weather conditions.
Power cube: I love my power cube. While it has four AC outlets and 2 high power USB ports, you can really only use three outlets at any one time if you rest the cube on a bedside table. Each night I could charge my devices and camera batteries as well as my power pack without any problems.
Book a small room: You don’t need a large room. We aimed not to be in the room unless we were sleeping. Make the most of every minute of every day you’re on holiday. We had two double beds in the room. The bathroom was pretty good with a combination shower/bathtub. You just need room for beds and bags really.
Book in advance: Some trips are cheaper and easier, e.g., Ngong Ping cable car
Grab free Wi-Fi wherever you can: This is a no brainer. I am fortunate. I have a Vodafone roaming account so for AUD$5/day I get all the calls and data I need like I’m at home. I also regularly use HolidayPhone to purchase SIM cards before a trip if there is no Vodafone coverage and also for a small portable 3G/4G wi-fi router. I’ve been particularly grateful to the support (Scott) from HolidayPhone when there have been hiccoughs, so I’m happy to recommend them. That said, there’s nothing like exploiting wi-fi whenever you can. Do it safely though and be careful. Be alert to on-line security.
Foreign money cash cards: I use QANTAS cash which lets me have a MasterCard in common currencies. This worked brilliantly in Hong Kong. I could withdraw cash when I needed it and use the Qantas cash MasterCard credit card to make purchases. I always alert my credit card company of overseas travel just to be safe.
Don’t bring anything unnecessary: Pack light and travel happy. Like I said, I’m not fashionable and so I stayed as clean as possible and wore some clothes again. I didn’t bring my regular everyday leather RM Williams boots. Even though I knew we’d eat in some nice places, I was confident my casual shoes would be fine. The added benefit was that I didn’t have to remove my shoes for airport security.
Hand sanitiser. Toilets look clean and generally are clean but when you see how people behave in toilets and how they’re cleaned you’ll think twice. I didn’t go into the detail I’m known for when describing my squat toilet experience on New Year’s Eve, sufficie to say I’m glad I had hand sanitiser. Hand sanitiser can also be used to clean toilet seats.
Medication: Bring your supply of medication. I now need to take some regular medication, it’s important to ensure you have a supply and keep it safe. If there is any doubt about whether you can travel with it, speak with your medical practitioner and if necessary get a letter to cover you. I also found with all the walking and carrying a sling bag, my back got sore every day so having some analgesics in my bag was always helpful.
Spare set of spectacles: If you need spectacles for reading, you MUST bring a spare pair. Even though I had three girls with me who at times read things for me when my glasses were in my bag, you need to be able to read.
Sunglasses and a hat: Eye and skin protection are always important.
Poncho or rain coat: Hong Kong can have wet weather. On the Sunday we went to see Tian Tan ‘Big’ Buddha, it was wet. We also got wet on one of the rides at Ocean park too. A poncho or rain coat would be helpful.
Planning: This is from Miss14 and you can tell she’s the daughter of an emergency manager. Having a plan is good. Being flexible about the plan as situations change is also important. Having an idea at the end of each day for what the next day held was really helpful. We usually discussed the next day’s plan on the way back to the hotel the night before. We’d talk about it again at breakfast. The good thing is as the situation changed, having travelling companions who are flexible is also great. Travelling with my daughters was an absolute pleasure.
Make the most of each day: Again this comes from Miss14. She was a great example of doing as much as possible with every minute we had.
I’ll update this as I get more ideas from Ms18 and Ms20.
Here’s a list of all the posts so far from our Hong Kong Holiday.
It’s Monday morning and we fly back to Brisbane later in the evening. Today we had our last and best meal in Hong Kong before the flight home.
No it wasn’t breakfast. This is the last breakfast I had at the Cosmopolitan Hotel. It was certainly not our best meal in Hong Kong.
After breakfast we set about packing our bags. Our check out time was 12 noon and Miss14 and Ms18 had done most of their packing the night before. As for Ms20 and me, we needed to sort out our suitcases and things. We’d agreed that we would try to check out at about 11.30 so we could have one final meal somewhere close.
I was very impressed with my daughters. They had planned for a long time for this holiday. They came with plenty of room in their suitcases and they bought enough to fill the gaps without any extra bags necessary. Ms18 in particular had packing down to a tee. She was like a travelling expert. Her suitcase was immaculate in the way everything went together. She is so neat.
Me on the other hand, I travel a lot but for this trip I just threw everything into my bag. My focus for this holiday had been keeping my daughters happy and shooting some photographs for Yummy Lummy. I brought along a bag for my camera body, lenses and power supplies.
We were ready by 11.30 and set off for Times Square. My plan was to get a table at Lei Garden which I had heard was a very fine Chinese restaurant. When we arrived we secured a table on the understanding we would be finished by 1.30 pm. That wouldn’t be a problem.
The yum cha menu looked pretty good and we set about discussing and agreeing on what we’d like to eat.
You can see what we asked for in this photograph of our request sheet.
The steamed dim sum came out first and occupied most of the table.
Everything was delicious.
The deep fried dim sum came out next.
I love turnip cake. My grandmother used to make it for me. I could eat it all day.
Then things got a little out of order. We were served egg custard tarts but there was one more fried dish to come.
This was simply the best meal in Hong Kong of our holiday. That’s not to say we didn’t also enjoy the hospitality and ambience of cheap and cheerful local establishments like Toby Inn and Eat Together.
After lunch Miss14 was determined to spend her last Hong Kong dollars on her Octopus card so we explored some little shops.
As we walked back to the hotel to wait for our bus to the airport we stopped at McDonald’s for a soft drink.
The bus ride to the airport was uneventful. I wrote a couple of quick TripAdvisor reviews for the Cosmopolitan Hotel and Buffalo Tours.
When we got to the airport we were allowed into a lounge and had an afternoon snack.
Of course the girls wanted to do more last minute shopping. They found another Victoria’s Secret shop!
We boarded QF98 HKG to BNE without delay or problem and were on our way back to Brisbane after a fantastic holiday.
Yes, we shared an overnight flight with two babies!
The food on the flight home was pretty good.
I had a nice duck salad and caramel mousse for dinner and eggs for breakfast.
When I got to my parent’s place I said goodbye for my daughters. It had been such a great holiday and their absence left a hole in my heart. It had been my best ever holiday. We made the most of everyday and every waking hour. I’d do it all again in a heartbeat.
To satisfy my craving for Atlantic salmon I had salmon for lunch and tea in Brisbane.
The following day I flew back to Canberra. I managed to get an upgrade seat (thank you Qantas) and enjoyed a toasted sandwich for breakfast.
So this isn’t the last post for this Hong Kong holiday. I’ll post a summary with tips on travelling soon.
If you’ve been to Hong Kong what was your best meal in Hong Kong?
On our last full day we decided to visit the Big Buddha Hong Kong. I didn’t know much about the Tian Tan Buddha, I just knew it was a must see in Hong Kong.
We woke up to a cloudy day with drizzle. It didn’t look good but we weren’t going to waste the day.
First up breakfast!
Getting to the Big Buddha would take a couple of hours so we made an early start. It was good that we did because the fog and mist were getting thicker.
On the way to Causeway Bay MTR station we stopped at a McDonald’s because Miss14 wanted a hash brown.
We’d become so familiar with the walk to Causeway Bay MTR station and catching the trains it didn’t feel like a long journey at all. From Tung Chung MTR station it was a short walk to the Ngong Ping Cable car terminal. We bought return tickets for the crystal cars so we could see through the bottom of the car.
The cable car ride would be spectacular on a fine day or even a cloudy day, on this Sunday we were enveloped by foggy mist and at times couldn’t see the next car in front of us let alone anything around above or below us. When we got to the Ngong Ping station high up on Lantau Island we couldn’t even see the ground at sea level.
There was a whole “Hello Kitty” thing going on up at Ngong Ping with the Ngong Ping 360 company. I don’t understand the Hello Kitty phenomenon. It’s beyond me. That said, I know people who are into it so here is one photograph.
I felt a touch cold up there
There are 268 steps to the Tian Tan “Big” Buddha. Fortunately it’s not a continuous climb, while steep there are flat sections every dozen or so steps. The cool misty morning was a good time to do a stair climb.
At the top the foggy mist was such at seeing the Buddha’s visage was impossible. I had to do a lot of post process editing to get this amount of detail.
At the top there are signs asking visitors to refrain from photography. Inside the buddha is a lot of information material on the construction and history of the statue itself. Nearby is the Po Lin monastery and a temple of gold buddhas which is beautiful.
After visiting the Big Buddha and monastery we spent some time in the Ngong Ping village looking around the shops.
Feeling hungry we decided rather than eating the monks’ vegetarian delights we’d head into Tung Chung and try some more food at the Food Republic.
Miss20 and I had a Japanese inspired rice omelet with pork chop and scallops.
Ms18 had mentioned a few days earlier that she would like to visit the Dragon Garden in Sham Tseng which was a bus ride away from Tung Chung.
When we arrived at the front gate we discovered it was closed. On further inquiry the garden is only open one day a month. Ms18 was quite annoyed.
So what to do when there are no gardens with dragons to walk around? More shopping of course!
We went to Mong Kok and spent some time in Langham Place.
We also had afternoon tea.
For dinner we went to a cheap and cheerful place called Eat Together. Like Toby Inn on our first day this place had character. The owner sat at one of the tables when we entered and offered us her table. She sat with another customer. After we received our menus she was at our table again expecting us to have decided what we wanted to eat. This place was where locals ate. We had some of the best fried dumplings there we’d had on the whole holiday.
After our meal at Eat Together we went back to langham Place so Ms20 could have some green tea ice cream.
Our plan had been to return to McDonald’s near Times Square but when we arrived the ice cream machines were broken. We were disappointed.
While the weather had been less than ideal the day turned out to be quite enjoyable. As a last full day in Hong Kong we were pretty happy.
Ocean Park Hong Kong is a place I’m in two minds about. I loved the rides and I loved learning about the fauna there but that fauna is held captive.
Before we get to Ocean Park Hong Kong we need to show a photograph of my breakfast from the Cosmopolitan Hotel.
Prior to leaving for Hong Kong, Ms20 had arranged ground transport with Buffalo Tours from our hotel to Ocean Park Hong Kong. After breakfast we waited for our shuttle bus. It was delayed but not too delayed. The guide on the shuttle bus was very good at explaining what we should see and do when we got to Ocean Park. He was also very careful to explain our pick up point and pick up time.
The Hair Raiser was the best ride we experienced in Hong Kong.
I found this YouTube video which shows just how much fun it is.
Best ride in Hong Kong.
There are four giant pandas held captive in Ocean Park Hong Kong. Two are kept in the open and the other two in a closed in enclosure.
After the cable car ride and visiting the Giant panda and panda exhibit we went back to the area of the rides. We went on two roller coasters which were great. As good as any roller coaster ride I’ve had in Australia and as good as Space Mountain at Hong Kong Disneyland.
After the rides we went for lunch. We thought we’d try the Terrace cafe. It looked nice but the maître d’ was incompetent beyond imagination. we walked away after 20 minutes of waiting and being ignored while others (who could speak Cantonese) pushed through and got tables.
We ended up in the cheap and cheerful eatery. I had roast duck and pork with rice.
After lunch we went to the arctic and antarctic exhibitions.
In the arctic exhibit there were seals and a couple of walruses. The walruses were huge.
After the arctic and antarctic exhibits we went to the dolphin show. I shot about a hundred photographs but when I looked through them all I saw were dolphins held in captivity. Ocean Park Hong Kong makes a strong point about conservation, animal welfare, protecting marine ecological systems and zöological research. I still feel uneasy about these animals being trained for entertainment.
In the south American rain forest area there were some Capybara. These rodents are huge.
It was an enjoyable day at Ocean Park save for the lunch episode at the Terrace Cafe.
After we left we went to Times Square in Causeway Bay and enjoyed dinner, albeit an expensive dinner at Greenhouse.
I had Singapore noodles with lobster and bacon.
After such an expensive main course we went to McDonalds for dessert
And so ended Saturday in Hong Kong. It was a good one.
After a late evening out watching the new year’s eve festivities we slept in a little on new years day. We didn’t get back to the Cosmopolitan Hotel until about 1.30 am and we weren’t ready for bed and sleep until about 2 am. Of course I was awake at 6 am because I don’t really sleep in but the girls were out until about 8 am.
We took our time about getting breakfast. When I got there I was hungry so I went with the abominable breakfast, i.e., scrambled eggs and baked beans on toast covered in condensed milk and served with a croissant, jam and butter along with dim sum. Have you ever had such a combination? I say fusion cuisine and my daughters said, “That’s disgusting Dad!”
This is my new years day breakfast
After breakfast we went on a bus to a local temple to take a look. The Man Ho Temple is an historic building and monument in Hong Kong.
Unfortunately the museum was closed on New Year’s Day.
We discussed our options and the girls want to travel to Lantau Island to visit the Citygate Outlets shops. These are discount outlet shops near the airport and apparently travellers will check in to the flight and then catch a bus there for last minute bargains.
The girls found this place to be ideal for their needs.
I found the black sesame and vanilla soft serve ice cream at the local McDonalds to be delicious. A lovely new years day treat.
After phase one of shopping we went to Food Republic for lunch and had yum cha.
After lunch we found a grocery store called Taste. This place was awesome.
After an afternoon of shopping we went to Causeway Bay MTR and walked to Time Square and found a place for dinner, viz., Chungs Kitchen.
Apparently when it was Chungs Cuisine it was a pretty good place. We had mixed feelings. The food was good but the service was not so good. The food was served one dish at a time rather than all together and it took nearly 45 minutes from the first to the last dish. That said, this was my first goose and the beans were the best I’ve ever eaten. I also love wood fungus. This wasn’t as good as Mum’s but it took me back.
When we got back to the hotel the girls put all the purchases to date on a bed. It was a huge haul. I remain surprised they fit everything in their bags to bring back to Brisbane.
It’s new year’s eve 2015 and what better way to start the day than visit a wet market. I had explained to Miss14, Ms18 and Ms20 before we embarked on this holiday that while I was happy to spend hours in shopping centres, there would be times when I would need to indulge my own interests.
After a breakfast of toast with scrambled eggs and baked beans combined with dim sum and pickles we were off.
We caught the Number 10 bus from outside the Cosmopolitan Hotel and went to Chun Yeung Street where there is a wet market.
Wet markets are my idea of the best part of an overseas holiday. I was very conscious I was with my daughters who do not necessarily share my interest in seeing raw flesh, raw vegetables and live animals being dispatched and butchered fresh for the consumer. One of the things I think we really miss out on with our ‘modern’ approach to food technology and processing is freshness. Sure our modern approach is safe and I’m the first to stand up for food safety and food security, however, there is something to be said for watching a fish monger pull a live fish out of a tank, club it on the head and immediately remove it’s head, bleed it and then fillet it. If I was alone I would have tried to video record the process. I was conscious my daughters wanted to keep on the move.
I’m also fascinated by seeing how produce is presented. I love seeing a pig’s chest pluck hanging up as well as a whole pluck in some cases. Being able to identify organs and see how clean and smell how fresh they are is amazing.
When it comes to vegetables, being able to see how fresh the vegetables are is really good. That’s not to say there wasn’t a good supply of preserved and dried foods. My father would have loved some dried sea scallops. I didn’t want to appear on an episode of Border Security so I refrained, after all I’m also a human quarantine officer.
I should also mention I had ample opportunity on this holiday to eat shark fin soup. I refrained. My grandmother used to cook me shark fin soup when I was a little boy. I loved it. I will no longer eat it because of the cruelty to sharks being finned alive and then dumped to die in the ocean depths.
I’m so proud that none of my daughters gagged or objected to what they saw, smelt or heard. The wet market is really a place a food lover should visit. I would have loved to have visited more wet markets but time wasn’t available. Have you ever visited a wet market?
After the wet market we caught a bus back to Causeway Bay MTR station and looked to have lunch at Times Square in Causeway Bay.
As we’ve experienced the people have no sense of personal space nor spatial or situational awareness. People crowded in on us and really had no idea how offensive it was to have such close contact and to ‘trespass’ onto staked out territory. When I say ‘staked out territory’ I mean about 30 cm around each of us. It got to the point closer to the countdown to midnight and I had almost full body contact with strangers.
Close to midnight I started experiencing colicky abdominal pain. As someone with irritable bowel syndrome a sense of urgency developed and I started to look for a rest room. The closest one was quite a walk away. When I got there the only toilet was a squat. My last bowel motion for 2015 will long be remembered for the duration of the event, the discomfort and the quadriceps burn I felt. I’m just grateful the flushing mechanism worked and that I had brought ample hand sanitiser.
Here is a gallery of the fireworks. These photographs are not processed. I’ve run out of time.
The number of people watching the fireworks was huge. I have no idea how many of thousands of people who were there. It was amazing to see so many thousands of people move to trains and then disperse so quickly at the end.
The best thing was there were very few drunk revellers. The most drunk were English and very few Australians. The local Hong Kong people and other Asians were all sober. As far as I know there were no coward punches and no one punch deaths unlike the situation in Australia and other non-Asian centres.
How did you celebrate new year’s eve? Have you ever been to a wet market? What did you think?
One of the reasons for holidaying in Hong Kong was because of Hong Kong Disneyland. I explained in the first holiday post that our planned holiday in Florida fell through and because that included a Disney World visit, considered other Disney options.
To start the day I went with plain congee and dim sum. Not quite a breakfast of champions.
We elected to purchase in advance two-day tickets. We’d heard that Disneyland is bigger than places like Dreamworld and Movieworld on the Gold Coast so we figured a two-day pass would help us see everything we wanted to see and not be disappointed.. We caught a series of trains from Hong Kong Island to Disneyland.
The final train is a special Disneyland train fitted out with Mickey Mouse shaped windows and hand holds. I have no idea who the bloke in this photograph is.
At the entrance before the ticketing area is a big whale fountain. Atop the fountain is a surfing Mickey. The column of water moves up and down.
The second best ride is the Grizzly Gulch Mine Car Ride. I found a YouTube point of view video which is better than any photograph I could have shot.
Ms20 really likes Toy Story and so does her BF apparently.
We went on the parachute ride.
It was okay. Nothing like the Big Drop at Dreamworld or Batman at Movieworld.
We also rode Slinky Dog.
We walked back to Adventureland and got on the Safari Jungle River Cruise.
Daniel was pretty funny in his own way.
Okay, Yummy Lummy is a food blog so I need to add a little more about food. The most appalling and disappointing thing about Hong Kong Disneyland is the quality of the food. I expected the prices to be high. That’s the norm for theme parks unfortunately. But in most places I’ve accepted the meal as at least mediocre.
I should have gone with my gut and stuck with Asian food. After all we were in Hong Kong and there were Asian options. Even Chinese options. I was hungry and we were in Fantasyland and Ms18 was keen on a Mickey Mouse shaped pizza. Rather than waste time looking for another outlet I asked for what I thought might be reasonable. I knew the Chinese should never have shared any food with Marco Polo. The European versions of Chinese food don’t rate. I went with what was described as a creamy mushroom pasta.
The photographs tell the story. The pasta was stuck together. It was tepid. It was too salty. The mushrooms were chewy. It was disgusting. My advice is do not ask for this from Fantasyland’s Royal Banquet Room.
Okay, rant over until next time
So here is a gallery of some random photographs from the afternoon.
Here comes another food rant.
For afternoon tea. Yes, on holidays we enjoy afternoon tea. I ignored tried to forget my body mass and my expanding waistline.
We went to Main Street and noticed a cafe selling High Tea. Now I’ve had high tea at Raffles in Singapore, the Hyatt in Canberra and a few other places. That said, my expectations were suitably set for Disneyland.
It all looked nice and there was appropriate Mickey Mouse branding on some of the products. The chocolate drink which I had assumed to be cold was hot and limp is how I would describe it. The plates had mixes of sweet and savoury on a plate which got a little confusing. I don’t mind a sweet and savoury high tea, but keep them separated on different plates. There was a scone which was just awful. It was tough and chewy. There was also a layered pastry which looked like it should be sweet but it was salty. The mouthfeel from the macaron suggested it was a few days old.
Here’s a gallery of high tea photographs.
After high tea we settled into a spot for the parade and fireworks. It was during this five hour period that my patience was sorely tested. I’ve already mentioned in a previous post about our encounters with people who do not have a similar understanding of personal space and both situational and spatial awareness. The girls were really keen to get a good view for the evening parade so we staked out a place on a street curb which impeded no one else and we sat/stood there waiting. From time to time one of us would break off to visit the rest rooms or go looking at something. As night fell the crowd grew. Officials roped off an area near us so the frail and infirm could get a good view. Behind me I felt people poking and prodding. People were coming off the street in front of us and just pushing Miss14 aside to get through. I man spread to protect her and stood my ground buffeting shoulders of passers by. One bloke behind me then started poking me in the shoulder and told me he expected me to sit on the ground when the parade started. I’d already planned to do that but being told by someone just annoyed me. Then he started pulling at my camera bag. I nearly took a swing.
After the parade we turned around getting ready for a wait for the fireworks. Again, people just streamed in front of us. Two women came and stood right in front of Ms20 while she was photographing the fireworks. No consideration whatsoever. It was just unbelievable how rude people could be.
Here is a gallery of some images from the parade and fireworks. I haven’t processed any of these images. I was too annoyed to focus on the photography at the time.
The fireworks finish at 9 pm and then there is the crush to the exit, boarding the Disneyland train and the making connections with two more trains before the 10 minute work from the Causeway Bay MTR station to the Cosmopolitan Hotel.
It’s true what they say, Hong Kong is for people who like to wake up late and stay awake late.
We came back the next morning after breakfast.
I’d say our favourite rides were Space Mountain and Grizzly Gulch Mine Carts. Both were reasonably fast with good twists and turns. The Grizzly Gulch has a long backward stretch making it exciting. The Space Mountain ride is mainly in the dark with projections on the ceilings and walls. It made me wish we had a Star Trek theme park with rides on the NX-01, NCC 1701 A, B, C, D and E, as well as shuttle craft and the Defiant. Most of all it would be great to have battles with Klingon and Romulan Birds of Prey.
Anyway back to Disneyland. One ride we waited over 60 minutes to do was the Autopia car ride. Miss14 was my driver and I took a time-lapse video of the track work.
The next ride was “It’s a small world” which was very colourful.
For lunch I couldn’t go past the Star Wars Darth Vader cheeseburger. As much as I prefer Star Trek, my favourite character is Darth Vader. I love the dark side of the force.
We wended the second day with an egg custard tart
For dinner we agreed we’d stop at the Kowloon MTR station and look around. We came up the Tasty Congee and Noodle Wantun Shop where we stopped and enjoyed a nice meal. We craved vegetables so we asked for some Chinese vegetables along with our noodles.
So ended another day. We were pretty tired and happy for a relatively early evening.
Day two of our holiday adventure started with a big surprise. Ms20 had called me a few weeks ago and mentioned she had found a great place to visit but I needed to purchase the tickets in advance. When I took a look at the website for the Hong Kong 3D Museum I found is confusing and didn’t quite understand why Ms20 thought this place would be cool to visit. Most Hong Kong websites are very good with Chinese and English. I found this one very confusing. Thankfully Google translate works well.
Anyway after a breakfast of soggy waffle with watermelon and lychee covered in condensed milk we were off.
I really like the funny billboard advertising in Hong Kong
The HK3DMUSEUM is a series of diorama type rooms filled with painted mural type art. Various parts have painted structures that come out from the background surface and blend in with the rest of the painting. The purpose is to have your friends and family stand in the art so you can shoot photographs. The floors have spots that recommend the best shooting position. It is way cool. I shot about a hundred photographs of my daughters in the largely anime scenes. We are a fantastic time and didn’t expect this to be so good. I don’t normally share photographs of my daughters on-line so I shot a few photographs with just the scenes. That said, I spoke with all three of my daughters and in a non-leading way asked how they would feel if their faces appeared in my blog and each one said they didn’t mind. So you will see some images here of Miss14, Ms18 and Ms20.
You get the idea. I shot quite a few photographs there.
Along the way we got a good view of Hong Kong Island across the water.
The worlds of Whampoa consist of different shopping centres. As you may imagine we went to Fashion World!
There’s also a boat in Whampoa but not in the water.
One criticism of Hong Kong shopping is there are not enough Dad seats so I can sit outside a store while the girls are inside. Don’t get me wrong I usually walk in to start with and then once I know they’re going to spend more than 10 minutes (sometimes up to 30 minutes) in a shop I will stand outside and stare at my iPhone!
When I posted this image on Facebook a friend commented on my excellent man spreading
After looking around Fashion World we walked over to Whampoa garden and found a place to eat, viz., Chào Chào restaurant.
I saw pickled pig trotter and thought of gee gyok. A favourite dish Mum used to make. It uses vinegar and lots of sugar and involves slowly cooking a pigs trotter to extract the calcium. It’s a dish traditionally served to postpartum women 40 days after confinement. I love it. This version wasn’t very good. The meat was tender and had some taste but not as I remember it.
After lunch we went and visited the goldfish market, a flea market, the flower market and the bird market.
After an afternoon looking at all sorts of odds and ends, we went back to Central Station and looked around for a place to eat. We walked around a few back streets and found the Honolulu Coffee Shop. This was an odd looking place but the waiter we had was very funny. I had roast pork with noodles.
After dinner we walked to the lower terminus for the Victoria Peak Tram. Victoria Peak is one of those must do tourist attractions. It’s great at night especially f the air is clear. The haze and smog in Hong Kong is pretty bad at the moment so when we went up it was hard to see everything clearly. Getting up and down is a nightmare in terms of human crowding and the crushed feeling you have being sandwiched between hundreds of people. Most people in Hong Kong seem to have no situation nor spatial awareness and do not respect personal space as we might in Australia. I found it very confronting to come across such rude behaviour (well rude in my opinion but normal for most people in Hong Kong).
It took a couple of hours of waiting to get to the Peak and then another couple of hours to descend by tram. If you visit Hong Kong, it’s a must do but be prepared for queueing and for contact with other humans, occasionally intimate. Some woman fondled my backside.
It was a really long day. It was close to midnight when we got back to the hotel.
Have you visited Victoria Peak? What was your experience?