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Hong Kong Summer Spectacular with HKTB – Day 2 of 6

Hong Kong Summer Spectacular with HKTB – Day 2 of 6
This greeted me in the morning - priceless view of Kowloon Park from my hotel room

This greeted me in the morning – priceless view of Kowloon Park from my hotel room

On my second day, I woke up early to have breakfast together with the bloggers at the hotel in-house restaurant.

It was not easy to drag myself out of bed and out of my hotel room. I had only stayed at Mira Hotel for one night, but the beauty of the interior decor and the attention to details really wowed me over. I particularly enjoyed the little piece of gourmet chocolate left in a little dimsum box everyday on my room table in the morning. Each piece is of a different flavour and comes with a small introductory note.

Black Truffles Chocolate

Black Truffles Chocolate

My hotel breakfast

My hotel breakfast

Hotel breakfast buffet selection

Hotel breakfast buffet selection

Nice right? The entrance to The Mira Hotel.

Nice right? The entrance to The Mira Hotel.

A quirky vintage car belonging to The Mira Hotel, constantly parked out front

A quirky vintage car belonging to The Mira Hotel, constantly parked out front

Rachel applying lipstick while waiting for train

Rachel applying lipstick while waiting for train

Nonetheless, Rachel and I planned to visit three markets in the morning, hence we need to force ourselves to set off early as I need to get back before noon to assemble with the bloggers.

After consulting the travel material provided by the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB), we took the train from Tsim Sha Tsui to Prince Edward station. Rachel and I love the Hong Kong trains which arrive in interval of less than 2 minutes each. The two Singapore public transports operators have no excuse for their tardiness if this is achievable in Hong Kong, a country much like Singapore.

Our aim was to cover the Yuen Po Street Bird Garden, the Flower Market and the Goldfish Market by noon. We only had around two hours to do so and amazingly, we achieved it although we do wish we have more time to cover each market leisurely.

We first visited the Flower Market which was a short walk from the train station and was along the way to the Bird Garden. The Flower Market is an urban jungle of exotic blossoms mixed with good-luck; good-fortune; fengshui-type plants. It is open from 7am to 7pm daily. The crowd was still thin when we visited in the morning and we were pleasantly woken from our sleepy state by the aroma of fresh blossoms.

Stalks and leaves

Stalks and leaves

Rachel inside a flower shop

Rachel inside a flower shop

Potted plants

Potted plants

Fresh orchids

Fresh orchids

Nice flower shop

Nice flower shop

Ready flower bouquets

Ready flower bouquets

Patches of greens

Patches of greens

Potted orchids

Potted orchids

Florist laying out her stocks

Florist laying out her stocks

Rooted plants

Rooted plants

Rachel was tempted to buy a plant back

Rachel was tempted to buy a plant back

Hanging plants

Hanging plants

"Buddha Hand Lotus"

“Buddha Hand Lotus”

There are stalls selling vegetable and fruits too

There are stalls selling vegetable and fruits too

Rachel looking a little lost as we navigated our way around

Rachel looking a little lost as we navigated our way around

Chanced upon a school uniform shop

Chanced upon a school uniform shop

Next, we arrived at the Yuen Po Street Bird Garden. A lot of elderly folks are gathered here, playing with their birds to pass time. It’s open from 7am to 8pm. Rachel and I felt sorry for the birds in captivity, even though we did enjoy walking through the garden, listening to the deafening chirping of a thousand birds.

Rachel at the entrance of the garden

Rachel at the entrance of the garden

The arch marking the garden's entrance

The arch marking the garden’s entrance

Me at Yuen Po Street

Me at Yuen Po Street

Uncles with their birds

Uncles with their birds

A chirpy song bird

A chirpy song bird

Most stalls are manned by sleepy looking old men

Most stalls are manned by sleepy looking old men

Another sleepy old man

Another sleepy old man

Stall selling crickets to feed the birds

Stall selling crickets to feed the birds

Close-up of the crickets

Close-up of the crickets

Rachel checking out the bird cages

Rachel checking out the bird cages

Rachel in Yuen Po Street Garden

Rachel in Yuen Po Street Garden

An old man with his song bird

An old man with his song bird

Caged birds for sale

Caged birds for sale

More caged birds

More caged birds

Uncle deliberating on which bird to buy

Uncle deliberating on which bird to buy

Bunch of sleep lories

Bunch of sleep lories

Chinese arch

Chinese arch

Vendor grabbing a bird out for her customer to inspect

Vendor grabbing a bird out for her customer to inspect

Uncle inspecting a bird he is about to buy

Uncle inspecting a bird he is about to buy

The bird is sold and placed into a new cage

The bird is sold and placed into a new cage

After appreciating flowers and birds, it was time to check out the fishes. At the Goldfish Market, fishes are packed into clear pastic bags and hung on the wall like assorted candies. The reflection on the bags and the wide range of colours of the various fishes were a beautiful sight to watch. It is open from 10:30am to 10pm. Other than fishes, other pets like puppies, reptiles and hamsters are available too.

Multi-coloured bags of fishes

Multi-coloured bags of fishes

Large fishes are packed the same way too

Large fishes are packed the same way too

More fishes

More fishes

One of the many fish shops around

One of the many fish shops around

Packing the fishes

Packing the fishes

Terrapins and fishes

Terrapins and fishes

Uncle buying goldfish early in the morning

Uncle buying goldfish early in the morning

Saw these two cute little dogs while we were crossing the road

Saw these two cute little dogs while we were crossing the road

Cats never fail to attract Rachel's attention

Cats never fail to attract Rachel’s attention

Kittens for sale

Kittens for sale

Rachel's breakfast on-the-go - egg tart and soya bean milk

Rachel’s breakfast on-the-go – egg tart and soya bean milk

Mongkok Station, on our way back to Tsim Sha Tsui

Mongkok Station, on our way back to Tsim Sha Tsui

Back at Tsim Sha Tsui

Back at Tsim Sha Tsui

How To Get There:

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Yuen Po Street Bird Garden
1. MTR Prince Edward Station Exit B1 and walk east along Prince Edward Road West.
2. MTR Mong Kok East Station Exit C. Walk to Sai Yee Street via footbridge and follow the signs.

Flower Market
1. MTR Prince Edward Station Exit B1 and walk east along Prince Edward Road West.
2. MTR Mong Kok East Station Exit C. Walk to Sai Yee Street via footbridge and follow the signs.

Sai Yee Street (literally translated as "washing cloth street")

Sai Yee Street (literally translated as “washing cloth street”)

GoldFish Market
1. MTR Prince Edward Station Exit B2 and walk east along Prince Edward Road West.
2. MTR Mong Kok East Station Exit C. Walk to Sai Yee Street via footbridge and follow the signs.

Next up, I met the bloggers back at the hotel lobby and we traveled by coach to Gingko House where we had lunch. Rachel dined at the same place too, but with her two Hong Kong friends at a separate table.

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Located on 44 Gough Street (tel: +852 2545 1200), Gingko House is a little social enterprise restaurant, ran with lots of heart.

Gough Street

Gough Street

There are lots of cool designer shops like this one here at Gough Street

There are lots of cool designer shops like this one here at Gough Street

There are also many famous food stalls along the street which attract long queues

There are also many famous food stalls along the street which attract long queues

Gingko House shopfront

Gingko House shopfront

The bubbly old man who served us

The bubbly old man who served us

Group picture before we all tuck in

Group picture before we all tuck in

Via Social Entrepreneurship Forum:

Gingko House’s Specialty:

Fine French and Italian fare with elaborate dishes such as Roasted Beef Rib in Strawberry & Papaya Sauce served with baked sweet potato and grilled white eggplant, zucchini and cherry tomato, and La vie en Rose, a warm chocolate lava cake with dragonfruit and strawberry served on the side.

Innovation:

Gingko House is a restaurant that exists with the mission to offer employment opportunities for the elderly, whom with their rich life experience and patience, have the potential to offer an unique dining experience – one that encourages slow dining and relationships between the server and the customers.

Many senior citizens, especially upon retirement, face the issue of boredom and a sudden lack of a sense of purpose in their lives. A significant number of them are professionals who have held mid-level management jobs and who are uncomfortable with living off welfare or simply being idle, especially in their golden years. Others may be financially strapped and in need of a less physically burdensome job. Hence, Gingko House – a win-win solution – is set up specifically to address these issues by employing the senior citizens and at the same time, provide an unique dining experience for the diners.

Related Post:  Hong Kong Summer Spectacular with HKTB - Day 5 of 6

You can read the review on Gingko House via Catherine’s blog entry, the expert food blogger who traveled with us. I had a steak which was a tad too raw, but the polite and attentive elderly service staff was quick to rectify that by sending it back to the kitchen for reheating. The elderly staff were a delight to chat to and they make the restaurant all the more interesting and cosy.

My mushroom soup

My mushroom soup

My steak main course

My steak main course

Someone else's fish main course

Someone else’s fish main course

Jelly desert

Jelly desert

Rachel and her friends, seated on the second floor

Rachel and her friends, seated on the second floor

After our filling lunch, some of the bloggers headed off to do exploring of their own while I followed four of the female bloggers, Geck Geck, Violet, Elaine and Gin to meet famous stylist Celia Wong who has worked with the like of celebrities like Kelly Chan and S.H.E.. Celia will be guiding the four ladies through a make-over session. You can click on their respective names to read more about their individual make-over experience.

We went to this chic boutique store to get cloths for the bloggers' make over

We went to this chic boutique store to get cloths for the bloggers’ make over

Store interior

Shop interior

The bloggers enter the shop

The bloggers enter the shop

The bloggers meet Celia Wong

The bloggers meet Celia Wong

Filming begins as the omy.sg crew get busy

Filming begins as the omy.sg crew get busy

Celia picking something violet in colour for Violet

Celia picking something violet in colour for Violet

Celia picking out a loud, shiny dress for Tomboy Elaine

Celia picking out a loud, shiny dress for Tomboy Elaine

Celia picking out a cowboy outfit for Geck Geck

Celia picking out a cowboy outfit for Geck Geck

Celia chatting with Gin to find out her dressing preference

Celia chatting with Gin to find out her dressing preference

Geck Geck looking happy

Geck Geck looking happy

The final chosen outfit for the bloggers

The final chosen outfit for the bloggers

Heading for the make up studio in their new outfits

Heading for the make up studio in their new outfits

Arrived at the Make Up For Ever Academy make up studio

Arrived at the Make Up For Ever Academy make up studio

Applying foundation

Applying foundation

The make up artists from Make Up For Ever at work

The make up artists from Make Up For Ever at work

My colleague, Siew Kian, interviewing Celia Wong while waiting

My colleague, Siew Kian, interviewing Celia Wong while waiting

Inside the make up studio

Inside the make up studio

The four bloggers before their make over

The four bloggers before their make over

The four bloggers after their make over

The four bloggers after their make over

Bloggers interviewed on how they feel after the make-over

Bloggers interviewed on how they feel after the make-over

The four bloggers with the makeup artists from Make Up For Ever Academy

The four bloggers with the makeup artists from Make Up For Ever Academy

The bloggers with the make up artists and Celia Wong

The bloggers with the make up artists and Celia Wong

Celia Wong with the four bloggers

Celia Wong with the four bloggers

Another picture

Another picture

Farewell hugs

Farewell hugs

Our videographer, Ming Choy taking his smoke break

Our videographer, Ming Choy taking his smoke break

Me chatting with Ming Choy

Me chatting with Ming Choy

On our way to board the Bounty - can you see a familiar Singapore brand, Bee Cheng Hiang?

On our way to board the Bounty – can you see a familiar Singapore brand, Bee Cheng Hiang?

Random Hong Kong street view

Random Hong Kong street view

Hong Kong's unique "Ding Ding" tram - I love this, each ride cost like around 20 cents in Singapore currency

Hong Kong’s unique “Ding Ding” tram – I love this, each ride cost like around 20 cents in Singapore currency

Happy Geck Geck on the street of Hong Kong

Happy Geck Geck on the street of Hong Kong

Following the make-over, we made our way to assemble with the rest of the bloggers to board the Bounty 《济民号》 (a 42m long replica tall ship) for dinner as well as to catch Hong Kong’s famous “A Symphony of Lights”.

Rejoining the other bloggers

Rejoining the other bloggers

Funny photo 1 before we board the Bounty

Funny photo 1 before we board the Bounty

Funny photo 2

Funny photo 2

Funny photo 3

Funny photo 3

Funny photo 4

Funny photo 4

Funny photo 5

Funny photo 5

Funny photo 6

Funny photo 6

Waiting for the tall ship to dock for boarding

Waiting for the tall ship to dock for boarding

Me at the pier

Me at the pier

The Bounty

The Bounty

The ship from different angles

The ship from different angles

Spotted a Chinese junk ship

Spotted a Chinese junk ship

Me with Vivien from HKTB

Me with Vivien from HKTB

Me, before boarding the ship

Me, before boarding the ship

The tall ship

The tall ship

Catherine boarding the ship

Catherine boarding the ship

This spectacular multimedia display was named the “World’s Largest Permanent Light and Sound Show” by Guinness World Records. More information is available on the HKTB website.

To find out more about our experience on board The Bounty, you can check out fellow bloggers, Jerome Lim (English) and Sze Ping (Chinese)‘s posts.

Dinner was served, buffet style on board the tall ship. There was also free flow alcohol which got some of the bloggers really high. 🙂

Me on board the Bounty, prior to sailing off

Me on board the Bounty, prior to sailing off

More pictures on board the Bounty

More pictures on board the Bounty

On board the Bounty

On board the Bounty

Happy Alvin

Happy Alvin

On board the Bounty:

[youtube url=”http://www.youtube.com/v/ctAP1fweW9E?fs=1&hl=en_US”]
Happy bloggers on board the Bounty

Happy bloggers on board the Bounty

Another fun picture

Another fun picture

Sailing off

Sailing off

Another picture

Another picture

The bar counter

The bar counter

The salad bar

The salad bar

Getting our food

Getting our food

The buffet serving

The buffet serving

Dinner with a bunch of happy fellow bloggers

Dinner with a bunch of happy fellow bloggers

My dinner on board the Bounty

My dinner on board the Bounty

Me with my colleague, Ming Choy

Me with my colleague, Ming Choy

The working crew - (L to R), Vivien, Siew Kian, Ming Choy and me

The working crew – (L to R), Vivien, Siew Kian, Ming Choy and me

The steering wheel

The steering wheel

The Symphony of Lights show - pictures don't do justice as it's hard to capture them on photo

The Symphony of Lights show – pictures don’t do justice as it’s hard to capture them on photo

Ming Choy and his new girlfriend

Ming Choy and his new girlfriend

It was a full moon night

It was a full moon night

Hong Kong night view

Hong Kong night view

Me looking happy

Me looking happy

Geck Geck looking even happier

Geck Geck looking even happier

View from on board the Bounty Part 1:

[youtube url=”http://www.youtube.com/v/s4kNXyj9TeQ?fs=1&hl=en_US”]

View from on board the Bounty Part 2:

[youtube url=”http://www.youtube.com/v/yVlEQs000g4?fs=1&hl=en_US”]

The Bounty opens its sails:

[youtube url=”http://www.youtube.com/v/c-wQAWpGhM4?fs=1&hl=en_US”]
The Bounty crew opening the sails at the request of some Indian journalists on board

The Bounty crew opening the sails at the request of some Indian journalists on board

The ship crew at work

The ship crew at work

Heave Ho!

Heave Ho!

The opened sails

The opened sails

A few more tucks and pulls

A few more tucks and pulls

Me looking emo

Me looking emo

Nearing shore, preparing to dock

Nearing shore, preparing to dock

The magnificent Hong Kong Cultural Centre, the counterpart of the Esplanade in Singapore

The magnificent Hong Kong Cultural Centre, the counterpart of the Esplanade in Singapore

Although my figure today tells a different story, I was a competitive swimmer in my youth and had always loved water sports and the sea. I also served in the Navy during my two and a half years of national service. The slow flapping waves of seawater against the ship’s stern calms me.

After getting off the Bounty, we headed back to the hotel.

When we got back, Ming Choy and Peter were still hungry. We decided to head out for supper together. Rachel joined us too, having just parted with her Hong Kong friends.

Prowling the Tsim Sha Tsui street for a supper place

Prowling the Tsim Sha Tsui street for a supper place

Funny signboard - No One Foot Massage

Funny signboard – No One Foot Massage

We chanced upon a Charlie Brown Cafe

We chanced upon a Charlie Brown Cafe

Cakes in the shape of Charlie Brown cartoon characters

Cakes in the shape of Charlie Brown cartoon characters

The four of us shared some skewer stick food by the roadside. Rachel and I were pretty impressed with Pete’s gamed spirit to try all kind of Chinese food, including organ parts. We then had some fantastic congee, beef brisket noodle and Chinese desserts at a restaurant called Chee Kei (池记). The food was really good and at a reasonable price too. Definitely worth a visit.

Rachel and I bought fruit juice

Rachel and I bought fruit juice

Stall selling skewer sticks

Stall selling skewer stick food

Ming Choy, Peter and I sharing skewer sticks on the street

Ming Choy, Peter and I sharing our skewer stick food on the street

Rachel's desert soup made of longan and other sweet stuff - delicious

Rachel’s desert soup made of longan and other sweet stuff – delicious

My desert has an egg in it - equally yummy

My desert has an egg in it – equally yummy

Beef brisket noodle - I love this

Beef brisket noodle – I love this

Enjoying my noodle :)

Enjoying my noodle 🙂

That ended day two. Stay tuned for day three whereby we attended the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Carnival.

Read my previous Hong Kong trip blog entries:

Hong Kong Summer Spectacular with HKTB – Day 1: Dragon Boat Carnival Opening, Robatayaki at Busy Suzie

Hong Kong Summer Spectacular with HKTB – A Prelude

Flying Off to Hong Kong in a Few Hours

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About The Author

alvinology

Alvin is a marketer by day and blogger by night. He is a 100% geek who spends too much time surfing the web.

1 Comment

  1. Rachel Chan

    So this is what you have been doing with your girlfriend at night when you were supposed to spend time with your loving wife.

    Reply

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Hong Kong Summer Spectacular with HKTB – Day 3 of 6 | A L V I N O L O G Y - [...] Day 2: Yuen Po Street Bird Garden, Flower Market and Goldfish Market; Gingko House at Gough Street; ... [...]
  2. Hong Kong Summer Spectacular with HKTB – Day 4 of 6 | A L V I N O L O G Y - [...] Kau Kee beef brisket noodles 九記牛腩 (21 Gough Street, tel: +852 2850-5967) which we missed on our second day…

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