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Off to Hong Kong

Gate 14

I’m going to Hong Kong tonight. I last visited there six years ago. I’ll be back in Japan on Sunday 6th.

Action items in Hong Kong: to get SIM-lock-free iPad2 and, if possible, iPhone4S at Mong Kok; registration of new address and passport number for my account of HSBC; and sightseeing at Stanley, Aberdeen, and Lamma Island.

I arrived in Hong Kong at midnight. Thank god Airport Express was still in operation.

NTT Communications advertisement

The advertisement by NTT Communications, where I worked, was over the platform of Airport Station of Airport Express. It seemed to make the best efforts to try to show off for global presence.

Dorsett Regency Hotel Guestroom of Dorsett Regency Hotel

This is where I stayed during this trip. It’s Dorsett Regency Hotel in Kennedy Town, Hong Kong Island, a 30-minute trip by the Tram from Central. It was a cosy and clean room.

Next morning I was back to Central by Tram to go to HSBC.

Occupy Central Occupy Central

Tents and banners were under the HSBC building to “Occupy Central” like the “Occupy Wall Street” anti-capitalism campaign in New York City.
At HSBC, I had my address and passport number re-registered for my savings account because I had moved in the summer of 2008, four years later, from the opening of the account there. Plus, I had 10,000 HKD in that account, so I had the account switched into the SmartVantage account, a multi-currency account with no passbooks, because people who saved 10,000HKD or more were eligible to have it. Upon my request for switching accounts, the bank clerk passed me the risk profiling sheets and let me fill in, asking some questions related to my years of investment experience, investment products I owned, the available percentage of investment to my monthly household income, what percentage of my assets was held in investment products, what level of fluctuation or volatility I could be comfortable, and so on. Then he activated the voice recorder and asked the same questions as written in the risk profiling sheets in front of the recorder. I answered for the questions as I wrote in the sheets so that our voice was correctly recorded for future evidence. After these procedures, my account was successfully switched from normal HKD savings account to the SmartVantage. I also asked him for the application of opening an investment account of the SmartVantage. Still, he refused it because he told me I had an insufficient amount of money for the investment account at that time. I gave up and got out of the HSBC building.

HSBC headquarter building Buildings at Central

Then I took the Star Ferry to go to Tsim Sha Tsui.

1881 Heritage

It’s the “1881 Heritage”, a British-style gorgeous building with name-brand shops. At first, I thought it was Peninsula Hotel, but I found out later that Peninsula was a little east from this.

I took MRT to Monk Kok to get an iPad2 at the Sincere Podium, which was called the paradise for mobile phone nerds with various kinds of mobile phones and tablets imported from abroad. At last, I got a 3G-capable iPad2 with 64-gigabyte memory for 6,656HKD. I don’t know if it was too expensive or reasonable, but anyway I could get a SIM-unlocked iPad2 never to be sold in Japan.

Lunch at local restaurant

This is what I ate at Mong Kok for lunch after purchasing the iPad2. It was wanton noodles and lemon Coke, prevalent among local HK people. It was a middle-class local restaurant and so crowded at lunchtime that I was forced to share a table with a young girl who was talking on her mobile phone with someone all the time.

Kwai ling kou

This is kwai ling kou, a cup of herbal jelly made from shells of turtles. It’s said that this turtle jelly is perfect for your health and popular among local people in Hong Kong. You can choose either a hot or a cold one. You eat it together with syrup poured in the cup.

At night I went to Yung Kee Restaurant at Lan Kwai Fong. It’s famous for roast goose, and I was there in 2004.

Dinner at Yun Kee restaurant

After Yung Kee Restaurant I dropped in on some bars in Lan Kwai Fong, but I didn’t enjoy it very much because the Englishmen were very annoying.

The next day I visited Stanley Market at Stanley. This is famous for souvenir shops selling from local souvenirs to mobile phones and SD cards, so many people from various countries (including Japanese) came there by tour bus for shopping.

Stanley Market Stanley Market Stanley Stanley Murray House
Tin Hau Temple Tin Hau Deities in Tin Hau Temple Tin Hau

That’s Tin Hau Temple, enshrining a deity of Tin Hau, a young girl who saved local people from disasters.

Correctional Services Museum Correctional Services Museum

After about 10 minutes walk from Stanley Market, I found Hong Kong Correctional Museum next to Stanley Prison, displaying the history of Hong Kong’s prisons, rehabilitation centres, and other correctional facilities from the era when Hong Kong was one of the British colonies.

Mock gallows and mock cells

This is the most shocking and appealing display in the museum. Although Hong Kong has no longer death penalties today, it did until the 1980s. The death penalty was performed by hanging, as in the UK at that time.

Repulse Bay Repulse Bay Repulse Bay Repulse Bay

This is Repulse Bay from the bus on my way back to Central.

Dinner at Kennedy Town

I went back to the hotel at Kennedy Town and had dinner at a local restaurant near the hotel. It’s Hainan chicken rice, soup, and salad. Actually, I want to have goose rice, but it was sold out.

Hot lemon cola

It’s hot lemon cola. Of course, it was no longer carbonated because it was hot, but it was sweet and lemon flavoured, good for recovery from fatigue.
The next morning I had to get up early in the morning and check out of the hotel at latest 4 am because the returning flight to Japan would depart at 7 am. As there were no trains at that time, I asked a hotel clerk on checkout to catch a taxi to the airport. The taxi cab driver drove very safely. On the expressway speed-limited at 80km/h, he drove at just 80km/h on the left (slower) lane. In Japan, some drivers would’ve driven at 130km/h or faster because on a midnight highway with very few cars on the lanes even if it had been speed-limited. I found out Hong Kong drivers’ driving manners were excellent.

Last meal

It’s congee and grilled rice cakes, the last meal in Hong Kong, eaten at a food court of Hong Kong International Airport.

DL638 to Tokyo DL638 to Tokyo

It was a very nice trip for me. I did almost everything I wanted to do there. Hong Kong is a fascinating city, and people were so vigorous that I, a bit depressed in those days, felt like being cheered up by them. I want to visit there again someday.

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