Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Hong Kong - roaming around Causeway Bay

Causeway Bay is famous for one thing. Shopping.

I spent a few days at Wang Fat (Hong Kong) Hostel at Paterson Building A last month. I celebrated Christmas eve in that place. Unbeknownst to me, though it was my second time in Hong Kong, that my hostel was in the center of Causeway Bay.

Due to chilly weather, high rise buildings and people wearing trendy winter clothes one can easily notice that Hong Kong is really a complete contrast of other typical South East Asian cities.

Since Hong Kong has a small land area, it is normal to see smaller malls, hotels, restaurants, shops, etc. I am not exaggerating if I say that even our medium size mall in Manila will dwarf most of these Hong Kong malls. Anyhow, an upscale mall, SOGO, always welcome me whenever I go out from my hostel. It is located at the corner of Great George and Yee Woo Streets where the main action in Causeway Bay can be observed.

To add, this part of Causeway Bay is locally known as "little Japan" due to 10 storey SOGO shopping center and several Japanese chain store around. But don't bother to search for any Japanese, people here look the same, lol.


YEE WOO STREET



The pedestrians crossing in front of SOGO mall are quite fascinating to watch especially during week ends and rush hours. They are like ants in number. It is quite fascinating to watch them walking hurriedly all the times; perhaps because of the weather.

HONG KONG TRAMS



When crossing this wide road you need to be alert since there are tram stations in the middle. I was initially confused while crossing this road due to my unfamiliarity with these Tram stations. The first time I saw them I was taken aback and let my eyes and camera feasted on these colorful and ancient Trams. I wrote ancient because I have seen and rode on new Trams in Grenoble, France and they were very modern in design compared with Hong Kong trams.

My hostel lacks dining facilities. It was simply a place to sleep and take shower though I saw a soda and beer fridge at the reception. Because of this, I need to go out whenever I am famish. I am getting my daily morning cafeine shot from McCafe opposite of SOGO building.

At the back of this building is Jardine Bazaar Street where several local restaurants are located. I have read in other blogs that dining is not a problem in Hong Kong due to countless food shops and restaurants. I agree with them as long as you know Chinese and you can eat using chopstick. I have tried to dine at several restaurants but eventually walked out due to unavailability of seats and English menu; I can manage with chopstick. If you have been staying in Hong Kong for quite some time, it won't be a problem but for newbies like most of us, unless you are willing to dine accidentally on pig organs, frogs, crocs and other exotic foods then sign language is enough to get your stomach full. Likewise, eating on the road is a common practice here, I did that in Mongkok due to less space available for diners unless you would visit the everywhere all-time favorite McDonald's.

Due to these reasons, I need to do some scouting before my family arrive. They would celebrate Christmas with me in Hong Kong. I need to know where I can bring them so they would also enjoy Hong Kong cuisine comfortably.

In short, I found one chinese chain restaurant having an English menu and provide spoon and fork utensils at the back of McCafe building.

I have eaten here in Ngan Lung restaurant several times. It is posted outside that English menu is available; upon entering you simply need to ask the food server or waiter for it plus spoon and fork. The server would attach the receipt immediately on your table and you'd be the one to pay directly to the cashier before leaving the place. It is worth mentioning also that the iced tea here is very much different from our iced tea in Manila. If you are picky about your drinks then order cola or soda drinks. As for me, I can go for their hot green tea or tea with lemon. Again don't expect any tea bag, LOL.

English Menu
MY ORDER

Chicken and pineapple fried rice - 42 HKD
Sizzling assorted sea foods fried udon - 50 HKD


CAUSEWAY BAY MARKET

Near this restaurant or Jardine Bazaar Street is Causeway Bay market. You'd find here fresh sea foods, meat shops, food vendors or kiosks and clothing. Fitting is not allowed. The price here is definitely cheaper hence it is advisable that any shopper should thoroughly check the quality of the merchandise. Nevertheless, I believe you'll not visit Causeway Bay to look for knickknacks items. Ladies market at Mongkok area can easily satisfy any budget conscious tourists.

DAY TIME SHOTS



NIGHT TIME SHOTS



Within Causeway Bay area you will find these malls and shops:

Hang Lung Center at Paterson Street


Great George Street
Fashion Walk

Causeway Bay Plaza 1

Christmas Feather Theme at World Trade Center

THE VICTORIA PARK


On my last day in Wang Fat hostel I searched for Victoria Park. I followed Yee Woo Street until I reached Gloucester Road. The park is located at the other side of Gloucester Road. Prior to that, I passed this footbridge.



Due to chilly weather, people were warming themselves under the sun

Wan Chai area
It is very convenient to go to Causeway Bay by MTR. I usually choose Fashion Walk exit which is part of our hostel building blocks.

Causeway Bay abounds with countless small shopping centers and malls. Farther or few blocks away, you would find Times Square Plaza where they normally hold the New Year countdown. Along Hennessy Road and Yee Woo Street are several designer boutiques or shops as well.

Due to chilly weather, I found it difficult to stroll up to Central. Upon reaching Wan Chai I decided to return back to Causeway Bay. Having done that, I noticed several shops selling branded shoes at lower cost. It was quite an experience exploring this maze of densely populated high -rise buildings.

Given a chance, I would prefer to come back here when the temperature is a bit warmer.

Coming from airport, just proceed to city bus station. The station is located at the right side of airport exit. Check airport map. Look for bus A11.  There is an electronic sign board inside the bus, alight at stop no 13 (near SOGO). Fare is 40 HKD.

If you are in a hurry, take airport express to Central MTR station.  Fare is 100 HKD.

April 2013

Family returned back to Hong Kong as treat to my eldest college graduation.


This time we explored other parts of Causeway Bay such as Times Square area.


I wasn't able to stop my wife and daughter when they see this place. 


I even spotted Iron Man in Causeway Bay

The weather during this month is a bit warmer thus my wife and kids enjoy strolling around this area. Forever 21 I think has recently opened in Causeway Bay since it wasn't there when I explored the place a year ago. It is located at the back of Mc Donald's building.