Yep, we are back from our first family holiday from Hong Kong. Did we have fun? Hmm…not quite sure. Frankly, it’s a very tiring project simply due to the tod and the infant. Hence, we did not quite have the break we wanted despite bringing the ‘village’ along. In fact, the ‘village’ i.e. the gong gong, popo and yiyi were so exhausted at the end of the whole trip. Nonetheless, there were fun moments as well as those not-so-fun ones. So, here’s my top 5 and worst 5 about HK, this time round.
Worst 5 of Hong Kong:
1. The weather. Went with the expectation of a hot hot HK, but it turned out to be otherwise. We arrived in Mongkok on a gloomy afternoon. Because we were pretty tired and quite clueless on where to go, we ended up with a horrid dinner (after a lovely lunch) and a bad shopping experience. Day 2 was the supposed visit to the Peak and Wong Tai Sin, but plans were thwarted by the full day of rain. Ended up in Tsim Sha Tsui but because of the rain, we were unable to comb the place down too. Evening was horrible as we were terrified by rude and foul mouthed cab drivers. And the torrential rain resulted in us missing the Symphony of Lights and we had to have our dinner at Sogo which was a very very boring place with terrible food. Cabs were also hiding from the rain and so we couldn’t get out of the place. Day 3 also started with rain and because we were dining at the Hotel, we did not venture anywhere else beyond Langham mall.
2. The cab drivers. Because of the girls and the weather, we took many cab rides instead of the MTR. Hb and I were busy recalling why we had so much fun in 2007 and I guess that was because we took 0 cab rides. Had wanted the girls to try the MTR and trams but somehow they were not fated to do so this time round. As a result, we met many rude and impatient F1 cab drivers who drove all of us, especially my sister, nuts.
3. The hotel. Langham Place is indeed a wonderful hotel. But somehow they as well as our booking agent totally screwed up my booking. To cut the long story short, service was good only because we forced it out of them. As a result of their wishy-washyness, our trip started on the wrong footing.
4. Food. Yes, we did try some nice foods. but once again, due to the rain and the girls, we couldn’t venture out much. Ended up dining at nice but expensive places and missed out the cheap and yummy ones. And we even had horrible food. Not to mention, somehow we even missed out the simplest 茶餐厅 located right at our hotel doorstep…I simply blamed it on luck.
5. Planning. So much for going without much planning because of the kids. Although I did some planning but I did not factor in the rain and as a result, our impression of Hong Kong was so discounted that we reckoned we will only be back many years later (although I have to return in Jan next year).
Top 5 BEST things of the trip
1. Disneyland. Went without much expectations because I know the one in Tokyo remained the firm favourite. But HK disneyland surprised us. The shows were so brilliant that little girl and meimei paid attention throughout. Little girl liked the place so much that when we returned to the hotel on the first night, she kept pulling us towards the door, asking us to ‘去’ — meaning bring her out. Not forgetting the lovely breakfasts with the characters. Forget the queueing at the park for Kodak moments with Mickey, at breakfast, he did table to table photo sessions! Disneyland certainly saved our trip from becoming a disaster.
2. The Food. Well, as mentioned we had good food as well as bad food. But the good foods were really good! The yummilicious 烧鹅 from 稻香 and the unforgettable 流沙包 and 点心 from Michelin 2-star 明阁 (super thanks to Mat for her recommendation). And not forgetting the best tau huay at 糖朝. I also had an overdose of 奶油包 and 菠萝包. And I am already missing the si mud milk tea.
3. Our super nice driver for private transfer. He probably saved the image of the entire Hong Kong.
4. The girls. They obviously would remember nothing from the trip but they were angels on the flights especially the flight back. Throughout the trip, they were just marveling at everything, especially the meimei who turned out to be the one basking in everything. The jiejie was simply excited at the new sights. The only issue was she only wanted to be carried most of the time, but thank goodness for Manduca. At night, they were the ones providing entertainment, obviously oblivious to how miserable the adults were feeling.
5. My family. They really helped a lot during the trip especially when it came to managing the jiejie. We were able to steal a few pockets of couple moments because of them. Hubby and I managed to return to Disneyland on the last evening to do our Space Mountain and jungle ride. Not forgetting the brilliant 3D show. And my sister…our official photographer for the whole trip, the very reason why I did not take many photos with my dummy camera.
So, was it a good trip. I guess it depends on which perspective we are talking about. The main objective of bringing the girls to Disneyland was definitely met, but the minor objective of having a break was obviously not met. But with the help, it certainly removed some fears of traveling with the girls. In fact, we have our destination 2012 in mind, Sapporo Club Med hahahah…provided the nuclear crisis is over in time to come.