Hong Kong Day 3 | Hong Kong City Tour and Mong Kok Shopping
It was quite difficult to wake up and rise at 5:30 am on Day 3. My body could feel the accumulated tiredness from Day 1 and Day 2. I had to drag myself to the shower room as our tour guide will be picking us up early at 8 am. Our morning schedule was a Hong Kong City Tour while it would be a free time for us in the afternoon. We intended to check on the shops in Kowloon during our free time.
After the usual morning ritual, we headed again downstairs to Cafe de Coral for our breakfast.
Cafe de Coral
We had our breakfast again at Cafe de Coral. I liked the set meal of scrambled eggs with sausage, buttered toast and freshly brewed coffee that I ordered the previous morning so I ordered it again. B tried Steamed Rice Noodle Rolls with Mushroom and Minced Pork and freshly brewed coffee meal at 21 HKD (~Php 136.50). Our total breakfast spend was 46 HKD (~ Php 299), 6 HKD (~ Php 39) in excess of the travel package’s breakfast budget.
We immediately went to the hotel lobby after our breakfast. Our tour guide would be arriving anytime soon as it was approaching 8 am.
Off to Hong Kong City Tour
A seasoned lady tour guide named Mary picked us up at the hotel lobby at around 8:10 am. Our travel going to the city was never boring as Mary shared to us trivia and stories about Hong Kong and herself during our trip. She was the best tour guide we had during our 4 day stay in Hong Kong.
Our first stop was the Harbour Front in Tsim Sha Tsui. Overlooking from the Harbour Front is the Hong Kong Island.
All the tourists including us got excited when Mary announced that a professional photographer will be taking our photos at the best picture spot of the Harbour Front. We all thought that this was included in the package. We were all surprised that our pictures were later on made to a personalized plate souvenir and we were being charged 180 HKD (~Php 1,170) for it. The plate souvenir was not worthy of the price and we felt that we were somehow cheated for not letting us know beforehand that we needed to pay for a personalized plate souvenir later on.
Garden of Stars
Adjacent to the Harbour Front is the Garden of Stars. We had a good view of the streets and buildings of Tsim Sha Tsui as we walked our way on the footbridge of the Garden of Stars.
The Garden of Stars is just a temporary attraction while the main attraction Avenue of Stars is undergoing a three-year repair. Statues and hand prints of famous Hong Kong movie stars are the attractions in Garden of Stars.
Our next stop was a tour inside the TSL Jewellery (Tse Sui Luen Jewellery) manufacturing line and showroom in Kowloon. TSL Jewellery is renowned for its expertise in jewelry designs and retailing. Mary told us that TSL is known for the windmill design pendant which brings luck to those who wear it. Mary herself owns one and wears it.
A Filipina working at TSL Jewellery showed us the different processes on how jewelry are crafted and manufactured. She was also the one who accommodated us to the jewelry showroom wherein we were offered a 20% discount on selected jewelry including the windmill pendants. We are not fond of jewelry so we were not persuaded to buy one.
Real Outlet Store
I was excited when we were told that we were going to the Real Outlet Store. What I had in mind is a store of branded items sold at a discounted price. I was a bit perplexed when we were led inside an old building and got inside a rustic elevator going up the 6th floor of the building.
The Real Outlet Store is a secluded store inside an old building in Kowloon selling Hong Kong items such as toys, shirts, souvenirs and snacks. Mary encouraged us to buy since according to her, the items were being sold at a low price. I hesitated to buy since I observed that the items were not authentic and of relatively low quality.
There was a buffet of free snacks which serves as taste samplers of the snacks that the store is selling. The snacks were sold at any combination of 4 packs for 100 HKD or 25 HKD for each snack pack (~4 for Php 650 / Php 162.50 per pack). We bought 3 packs of almond cookies and 1 pack of shrimp pie at 25 HKD each only to find out later on that these are being sold at 16 HKD by the stores along the streets of Kowloon.
The store offered to deliver our purchase to our hotel at a fee of 10 HKD (~Php 65). We availed the offer since we didn’t want to bring lots of stuff for the rest of the day while touring around Hong Kong.
From Kowloon to Hong Kong Island
Our next destination after our tour in Kowloon are the Jumbo Floating Restaurant and Aberdeen Fishing Village in Hong Kong Island. From Kowloon, we went to Hong Kong Island by crossing the Cross-Harbour Tunnel.
Sampan Ride and Jumbo Floating Restaurant
It was almost 12 noon when we reached the Aberdeen Harbour for a sampan ride going to Jumbo Floating Restaurant. Sampan is a small flat-bottomed Chinese wooden boat. We were charged 20 HKD (~ Php 130) per head for a round trip sampan ride. Mary and a few of other Filipino tourists didn’t join us in our sampan. We all assumed then that they would be riding in the next batch of sampan.
Jumbo Floating Restaurant is a famous tourist attraction in Hong Kong owned by Mary’s uncle (yes, Mary our tour guide). It is a premier tourism and fine dining establishment. We looked around and took photos around the area upon reaching the Jumbo Floating Restaurant while waiting for Mary and the rest to arrive.
Aberdeen Fishing Village
It has been more than 30 minutes but Mary and the other Filipino tourists haven’t arrived yet. Our sampan steersman was trying to tell us something but we couldn’t understand him because he was talking in Chinese. We tried to interpret what he was saying and it seemed like he already wanted us to get back in the sampan. And so we went back in the sampan even if Mary and the others haven’t arrived yet. Our sampan steersman then took us to the Aberdeen Fishing Village.
The Aberdeen Fishing Village is a community of boat dwellers living a traditional fishing life. It’s a striking contrast of the nearby high-rise buildings along the harbour.
After a glimpse of the fishermen and their families living in their floating homes, our sampan steered back to the Aberdeen Harbour where Mary was waiting for us. She was there all along. Well, she should’ve told us that she wouldn’t be coming with us so we didn’t have to wait in vain.
Lunch at Charlie Brown Cafe
We went back to Kowloon after our Aberdeen experience in Hong Kong Island. Mary dropped us in Tsim Sha Tsui concluding our half day city tour while the rest of our batch are going either in Ocean Park or Disneyland.
It was already past 2:00 pm and we were already hungry. We followed the crowd in search of a restaurant where we could have our late lunch. The crowd led us to Cameron Road where we saw the Charlie Brown Cafe. Our eyes instantly twinkled when we saw the cafe. There’s no Charlie Brown Cafe in the Philippines so we were excited for the Charlie Brown Cafe dining experience.
As the name suggests, Charlie Brown Cafe is a Charlie Brown themed cafe/restaurant. The interior is decorated with displays and life-sized figures of Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the rest of the Peanuts gang.
I ordered Smoked Salmon Cream Sauce Spaghetti for 88 HKD (~Php 572) while B had Portobello Mushroom Burger platter for 98 HKD (~Php 637). We also got Ministrone Soup and Soup of the Day at 25 HKD (~Php 162.50) each. Our Charlie Brown Cafe experience had a total cost of 236 HKD (~ Php 1,534).
After filling our tummies, B wanted to go to Nathan Road to search for an Adidas shop for a pair of Stan Smith. She read somewhere that the shop is along Nathan Road.We didn’t have an idea which way to go so we just followed the crowd and the street signs.
We found high-end brand shops along Nathan Road but we weren’t able to find the Adidas shop B was looking for. After more than an hour of walking to and fro, we decided to drop looking for the Adidas shop. We then agreed to head on the MTR and head back to our hotel instead.
While in MTR Jordan Station, we saw a map of different attractions in Kowloon. The attraction Sneakers Street caught my attention for the possibility that we might find there the Adidas shop we were looking for. B requested to give the search for the Adidas shop another try. We then got off Mong Kok Station and looked for Fa Yuen Street where Sneakers Street is located according to the map.
We found Fa Yuen Street but there was no single Adidas neither any shoe shop on that street. Instead, we found a long line up of pet shops which we later on found out to be the Goldfish Market. I was confused, the street signage says Fa Yuen Street but why were we in Goldfish Market? I still couldn’t figure out up to now, haha!
It was a never-ending walk in search of the Adidas shop until it was dark in Mong Kok. We were on the verge of giving up again until I saw someone carrying an Adidas paper bag. We should be close, we couldn’t give up!
On an unexpected turn in one of the streets, we were suddenly in Sneakers Street! It was filled with sneakers and athletic footwear shops! And there were several Adidas shops too!
We checked on each Adidas shop we could in search of a rare and appealing Stan Smith design for B. Price of course was also one of the considerations.
B chose the Adidas Originals Stan Smith CF with velcro and in a crocodile embossed design. It was sold at 590 HKD (~Php 3,835) and was around 40% cheaper than the selling price in the Philippines.
It’s a Wrap for Day 3
We could finally call it a day, Stan Smith mission accomplished! We were very tired but were still able to commute from Mong Kok to our hotel in Tsing Yi.
We had a day left in Hong Kong. Though already exhausted, we were still excited on how we would be spending our last day in Hong Kong.
Check out my Day 4 blog post here!