Beware: a very long post!
Woke up at 7am+ on day 4. After dilly-dally, we went out at 10am+ for brunch at a dai pai dong in Tai Hang, Hong Kong Island.
To get to Tai Hang, we need to cross Victoria Harbor either by MTR or ferry (of course you can cross by car, bus or taxi too). Taking the MTR will save time. However we prefer taking the Star Ferry because it’s always an exceptional experience. I’ve rode the ferry before in 2011 that was going to Central. This time, we’re going to Wan Chai area via the Wan Chai ferry route.
Walked to our
brunch lunch dai pai dong place called Bing Kee at Tai Hang. It became our lunch as we took 1.5 hours to reach there from our lodging. Hahaha. It started drizzling when we were near Bing Kee. After our yummy lunch, we walked under the drizzle to Causeway Bay area (around Island Beverly Shopping Mall) for clothes shopping. I spotted many Asian foreigners here, and some of them were manning food stalls.
Then we took the tram from Paterson Street to O’Brien Street stop. Near the tram stop, we discovered a market in Tai Yuen Street. Tai Yuen Street Market is actually a toy street buy I saw lots of clothing and shoe shops. I bought some really affordable socks and towels there. Then I visited a shop called Goodies about 8 mins walk away. This shop sells dried seafood products and sauces, etc, most are quite pricey. I actually went there thinking of getting Cheng Cheung Hing products (famous for shrimp paste and shrimp sauce) but then decided not to, because I don’t want to lug heavy items like yesterday. Hehe 😛
Then off to Happy Cake Shop to sample their egg tart. And wow it was VERY delicious. Click the link for more info. Then we dropped by the nearby Kee Wah bakery to get some local pastries. All these while it was drizzling on off. Because of tiredness and the rain, I didn’t take photos.
Because our next activity will only start in the evening, we decided to just hang out at Lee Tung Avenue because there are seats there (very tired liao). Time was around 3.40pm. Lee Tung Avenue is a beautiful pedestrian walkway lined with interesting shops and restaurants. They are quite high-end. Not long after, the rain starts to get heavy. So we seek shelter in their basement area, found a supermarket there called Gourmet, so we mostly spent our time there. But as we get even more tired, we decided to look for seats. Found some at the concierge (basement) area. I even did some yoga there because there’s no one. LOL Good thing is toilet is just a stone’s throw away.
About 5.15pm, we walked to O’Brien Street tram stop and took the tram to Happy Valley tram terminus. From Happy Valley tram terminus, it’s just a short walk to Happy Valley Racecourse. During my Cantonese drama watching days, I’ve seen and heard so much about horse racing in Hong Kong. Finally, I’m visiting the world famous Happy Valley Racecourse. Horse racing happens every Wednesday night at Happy Valley Racecourse and on Sunday (noon) at Sha Tin Racecourse (newer). And yes, tourist can visit and even bet at the horse racing. You don’t even have to do any pre-booking for admission. Just go there and pay for your admission ticket.
This is the public entrance (G) of Happy Valley Racecourse. We paid the HK$10 admission with Octopus card. It’s so affordable and more than enough. You will get to stand/sit at the track level, meet the horses, buy food and drinks, mingle with the crowds, place a bet or two and visit 2nd and 6th floor. There is tourist package available which is way pricier.
We were told we could visit the 2nd and 6th floor. As there was some time left before the race starts, we gave it a go.
Left view of the racecourse from the 6th floor. Just beside my watermark is the parade ring where horses are paraded around the ring so that the betters can analyze the horses’ conditions before placing their bet. For public entrance crowd, we can only watch from one side.
Didn’t stay long at the parade ring as more and more people came and blocked us.
Everything happened so quickly. Everyone shouted at the top of their lungs including me. Wow! I felt the rush of adrenaline and felt very high after that. Now I know why people are so into horse racing. It’s very thrilling.
You think this is all? Nope, race 2 will be starting soon and more to come. We didn’t stay as it’s getting late. So left around 7.40pm. And as we leave, more people are coming in.
I highly recommend visiting the Happy Valley Racecourse. It’s an eye-opener especially for those that has never step foot in one. I had a tremendous time at the racecourse. Won’t hesitate to come back again. Note: As of writing, the last race at Happy Valley was on 11th July 2018. They have about 2 months off before resuming in September for a new season.
We walked back to Happy Valley Terminus, took the tram to Admiralty. Then to MTR and headed back to Mong Kok. At Mong Kok, we decided to have fast food.
After dinner, we head back to our lodging and rest.
The next day (day 5) was our last day in Hong Kong. Woke up at 7am, went out at 8am, reached Sham Shui Po at around 8.30am for morning breakfast. Our chee cheong fun brekkie at Hop Yik Tai was really yummy and unique. Read about it by clicking the link.
I hope to spend some time in Sham Shui Po next time.
On our way back to lodging, we finally bought cakes from Maxim’s Cakes at the MTR. We’ve been eyeing them for a couple of days. LOL. What shocked me was the cakes were packed individually in plastic bags. I thought they’ll be in a cake box. Also bought more towels at the nearby market. Got back home and tried our cake.
We then spent our time packing our bags and just rest. Had enough of Hong Kong at this moment.
At nearly 12pm, we checked out from our Airbnb place and walked to the airport bus waiting point. Reached here at 12.07pm. We waited about 16 minutes for the bus. And from here to Kowloon Station it took about 7 minutes.
At Kowloon Station, we returned our Octopus card and got back our credit minus HK$9. Then we took the Airport Express train to the airport using our ticket voucher bought pre-trip. Check out day 1 for saving tips.
Since we have lots of time on hand, yay to arriving early (my rule always) we checked out almost every store at Terminal 1 and Terminal 2.
Our AirAsia plane departed at 6.15pm sharp. Was really disappointed with my AirAsia chicken rice. 🙁 Very yuck. We reached Malaysia at 10.30pm. Bought coupon metered taxi to bring us home. Both taxis that we rode to and from KLIA2 drove super fast. This one that drove us back home didn’t wear safety belt and kept playing with his phone. I was so concerned. Thankfully we arrived home safely.
That’s all for my 2018 Hong Kong trip. Hope you find some useful tips to help with your trip planning.
I felt out of love with Hong Kong quite a bit. It’s no longer my very favorite destination due to so many rude people I encountered on this trip. Yes, I know your life is tough, so is mine. If you want to read my unpleasant encounter, then you gotta visit my food blog, messywitchen. Most of the rude people I met are during dining. Oh yes, another thing is Hong Kong has become even more expensive, even street food are not spared. Sure, I’ll come back to Hong Kong again but it may not be so soon. Cheerios!