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Saturday, March 29, 2014

My Third Time in Hong Kong: Going to The Peak and Hong Kong Museum of Art

When we headed out after eating breakfast in the hotel we were staying at, we were greeted by the cold--the temperature was 15 degrees Celsius. Oh my! I couldn't stand it. The wind blowing made it even colder. I was worried that I would have a migraine attack from the cold. Thank God I didn't.

Our first stop for the day was The Peak, and we were going to ride a tram. I was excited. A tram... how very charmingly old world! The tram used to be the main mode of transportation. Today, you can still go around Hong Kong riding a tram, as explained here

My dearest and I. He arrived in Hong Kong early in the evening the day before.
The entrance to The Peak Tram is on the left side.

It took us a while to queue and get in the tram. A lot of tourists were going to The Peak, too, but not as many as those who would have gone on a Saturday or Sunday (we went there on a Monday). And since it was taking a tram a while to get back after transporting an earlier batch of tourists, I decided to take some pictures of what was displayed on the platform: 

The old ticketing system

A tram personnel's uniform

 Just some pictures that tell you I was there. Haha! 

When it was our turn to ride the tram, all the seats already got taken when I hopped in. I didn't mind standing throughout the duration of the ride. What bothered me, though, was the slope we were traversing on. At first, I kept my balance and composure. I even got to take a video, with one hand holding on to a hand rail and one hand holding my cellphone. But when the slope got steeper, I had to stop and hold on to a hand rail with both hands. I thought I was going to roll over, and I didn't want a video of me doing that. 

We got to The Peak past 12 noon, but we weren't hungry yet because we had a heavy breakfast from the hotel's breakfast buffet. We decided to see the Sky Terrace first. Too bad it was cloudy and foggy. We didn't see the view of Hong Kong. But we still went up for the experience, and the guides gave us a handheld device that looks like a PS2. The device showed videos of what we were supposed to see at the Sky Terrace, explaining the history of the different landmarks and buildings in Hong Kong. 

After maybe 20 or 30 minutes, I wanted to leave the Sky Terrace and go back inside. It was so cold, and the wind was blowing really hard. I was scared of getting blown away! Haha! I was holding on to my beanie and kept myself low so the wind wouldn't knock me over. I knew it wouldn't happen, but I was still scared. 

My mom, my sister, my dearest, and me. My dad took the photo.

We went Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum next. It was amazing! We saw the wax replicas of almost every famous person in the world--from Hollywood stars, Asian actors and actresses, artists, historical figures, singers, athletes, and even cartoon and movie characters. 

Let's take a picture, Nicole Kidman! 

How I wish we have more people who are like you, 
Princess Diana!

Careful, Spiderman!

You'r so hot, Wolverine! 

Selfie with Lady Gaga. Tried to match her expression. Hehe

Playing the piano with Lang Lang. 
Not really. That piano is programmed to play automatically. Hehehe.

Lee Min Ho! Didn't get to catch you last week in Manila, but at least, 
we got a picture together a month ago. :P

With Madame Tussaud, after whom this museum was named. 

Who says we can never be royals? :D

Fooling around with Doraemon, 
one of my favorite anime characters. 

Was giving Shakespeare some comments. 
I could see he was irritated. Haha!

My dearest and I with Albert Einstein. So great to meet this great genius. :D

After the trip to The Peak and the wax museum, my dearest and I went to the Hong Kong Museum of Art. Last year, I visited the art museum too because I wanted to see the Andy Warhol exhibit. This time, I didn't know whose works were on special exhibit. What I knew was whoever the artist was, his or her works were bound to be interesting. I was right. 

Sculptor Ju Ming's "The Living World Series" was on special exhibit. The series shows his sculptures that capture everyday scenes that can be scene anywhere, like a woman on a park bench, children playing, etc. He didn't give a title to each piece because for him, the title limits the observer's interpretation. Here are some of the pieces in the series. 

We also visit the other areas of the museum. One of the artwork in the contemporary arts section struck me. It was this:

"Mini Ripped Rooms (Sub-divided Flats)" by Margaret Che Cheuk-Wai, 2012

It's a piece about living in small apartments in Hong Kong (where the metaphor of a rabbit's narrow intestines, heart, lungs, and other internal organs come in) in the face of high rents. I think it's meant to criticize this situation, because living in shoe-box homes is difficult, uncomfortable, and in a way, dehumanizing, especially if it's topped with ridiculously high rents. The same thing is also happening here in Manila. Condominiums have been sprouting like mushrooms all over the city in the last few years. Spaces get smaller and smaller and are sold at whopping, jaw-dropping prices. I think it's a phenomenon in a lot of cities in the world, and it's a price to pay to get close to opportunities. 

Anyway, enough of that serious stuff. Haha! 

I really enjoyed visiting the Hong Kong Museum of Art. I'm not gifted in the visual arts, but I do appreciate works of art, may they be paintings, sculptures, installation art, or even a well-crafted DIY project. I think they all have stories to tell and they reflect the experiences and personality of the artist. 

I love this art wall. :D

My dearest and I explored Langham Place and the Mong Kok night market after the museum visit. And then walked around some more before heading back to the hotel (although he was staying at a different hotel from where I and my family stayed, but it was just across ours). It was time to get some rest and sleep again, because the next day, my dearest and I would be headed to Macao. How exciting! I couldn't wait. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

My Third Time in Hong Kong: Walking Around Tsim Sha Tsui

In the first weekend of March, I headed to Hong Kong for the third time. It was my second time to go there with my family, but it was my third time as an individual. I first visited Hong Kong in 2010 for business purposes, and I posted about it here. My Hong Kong trip last year with my family and my cousins, well, I wasn't able to blog about it. I enjoyed relishing the memories in my mind that I got lazy to blog. Haha! Anyway, last year's itinerary included Disneyland and Ngong Ping 360. I and my dad also visited the Hong Kong Museum of Art to see the Andy Warhol Exhibit. And of course, we did some shopping. This time around, the Avenue of Stars, The Peak, and a trip to the IKEA store were in our list. And of course, shopping, too!

I won't bore with the details of our flight, etc. etc. We arrived in Hong Kong at lunch time. After checking in and having a quick lunch, my family and I headed to the Tsim Sha Tsui area to see visit the Avenue of Stars. The temperature was 19 degrees Celsius, and for a girl like me who is used to the heat and humidity of a tropical country, that is super cold! Little did I know that the next day would be colder. Haha! So there I was, walking along the streets of Hong Kong wearing a beanie, jacket, gloves, tights, and boots, while the locals and other tourists were just wearing a jacket on top of their regular clothes.

It was cloudy, foggy, and windy. It was a gray day.

The view of Victoria Harbor from Avenue of Stars

However, I did enjoy the walk around the district, despite the cold weather and tons of sniffing and sneezing In contrary to the song, the cold bothered me. Haha. 

The Clock Tower

I specifically enjoyed the "Love, Love, Love" exhibit outside the Hong Kong Cultural Centre. Different types of weddings were showcased there--from Chinese, Japanese, and Korean to the Western ones. 







After visiting the Avenue of Stars and the "Love, Love, Love" exhibit, we walked around some more and checked out the Heritage 1881. This play harks back to the Victorian era, while Hong Kong was still under British rule. According to, the area used to be the Marine Police Headquarters. Now, it's filled with high-end boutiques, a heritage hotel, and an exhibition hall.

After taking photos and sightseeing, we headed to a nearby mall to have dinner at Food Republic. I love Food Republic! I could choose from a variety of dishes--from Asian to Western. I could eat whatever I fancied at the moment. It's not that I don't want to try hole-in-the-wall restaurants; it's just that whenever hunger would strike, or whenever hunger would beckon, we were near a mall (we ate a lot at Food Republic at the Olympian City in our visit to HK last year). 

My mom and my sister walking to the mall

After eating, we did a bit of shopping at H&M, and then headed back to the hotel to rest. It would be another full day of walking and sightseeing, so we must recharge.