Part I, also known as The nothing-for-the-kids post
Finally... after months of planning and anticipating, our week-long Hong Kong trip was upon us. Together with our friends, the entire village of 6 adults and 6 children were high in spirits as we trooped down to Changi Airport T3.
The huge Angry Birds display only served to energise the kids even more, as they served up antic after antic in an effort to emulate those colouful feathered friends.
Touchdown in Hong Kong, and it was already evening. So there was really only one option for us.
Not exactly the word that the kids wanted to hear but to their credit, they were cooperative and duly followed. Not that they had a choice anyway.
We stayed at the Cityview Hotel for 5 nights, which had pretty clean and decent rooms. But the plus point has got to be its location - it is a one-minute walk away from Yau Ma Tei MTR Station - with the wonderful night markets like Ladies' Market and Temple Street Night Market within walking distance.
So it was really quite convenient, where the kids could just rest in the hotel with one of the adults keeping company while the rest were out furiously burning cash.
For the first 3 days when we were there, the weather was abnormally cold. In fact, the night time temperature dipped to as low as 9 degree Celsius! No wonder we were all decked out like we were in some snowy country. Heh.
Well, as the post's headline indicated, this post doesn't have anything to do with any kids-related activities in Hong Kong. In fact, it's really all about shopping, eating, shopping, eating and more shopping & eating.
But that's not to say we didn't plan anything for the kids.
We didn't dare NOT to, lest they turn all nasty and ferocious.
And a mutiny erupts.
It helped that we actually told the kids what our travel itinerary would be like, and that their kids-friendly destinations like Ocean Park would be alternated between our shopping days. Yippee!
Oh, and of course putting Disneyland right at the end of our itinerary wasn't a bad idea too.
At least it made them behave. Haha.
Oh, and it helped that we tried as much as possible to bring the kids back to our hotel for a quick afternoon nap. Even a short 45 minutes nap could do wonders, and we would be spared of the whines and groans come night time as we thronged the night markets.
Ahh... the night markets! The delicious street food, the vibrant roadside stalls, the uber cheap knick knacks on sale... and of course the challenge of lugging the entire village with you!
Yes it was a challenge, especially with the narrow walkways and bursting crowds. But we managed somehow, and scored some pretty good deals along the way too!
Of course, the mummies in the group deserved an enormous amount of credit... and perhaps the occasional Tonkatsu too, which popped out to entertain the kids.
Shopping always brings out the food monster in us, and sometimes we let the kids decide what they wanted to eat... just to keep them involved and prevent them from getting too restless from all the walking.
So it wasn't any surprise that the monkies wanted to have steamboat during one of our dinners there.
Not that we adults minded of course. Steamboat is always nice in cold weather!
And speaking of food, we made this cosy cafe near our hotel our regular breakfast joint. Yup, we had breakfast there for 5 mornings in a row, and also one dinner too! In fact, the lady boss specially reserved seats for us every morning. Heh.
They had everything that an authentic Hong Kong breakfast must have: dou jiang (soyabean), youtiao (fried fritters), instant noodles with luncheon meat & egg, peanut porridge, chee cheong fun, wonton noodles, glutinous rice, curry noodles. Gosh, I'm terribly missing it already.
And Ash's fave was the chee cheong fun. He had the same dish for 4 consecutive breakfasts!
Ayd's fave was his usual fare - noodles, although he did love the porridge too.
As for Ale, the glutton loved everything... as long as it's not spicy. Haha.
A good breakfast is an extremely important start to the day, and more so if that particular day is designated to be a shopping day!
One of the shopping districts we went was Causeway Bay... and of course we had to pay Sogo a visit.
If you are looking to buy Transformers Kre-O, a Lego-like building system, buy loads of it there. It is so much cheaper than in Singapore - the largest Optimus Prime building set costs S$149.90 here, while we got it only for about S$100 there!
Needless to say, erm... I got a little carried away. Heh.
BUT those brown bags weren't my works of art! Though I guess you should know who they belonged to. Heh.
Oh, and we got the boys' school bags from there as well. The SPI School Bags are notoriously much cheaper than in Singapore so not only did we settle Ash's school bag for his Primary One enrollment next year, we settled Ayd's one too as well.
I would have bought Ale's bag for Primary School as well... but I needed an excuse to go back there again.
And when our shopping time was up, our feelings probably mirrored that of Ale when she was denied more chee cheong fun.
We did not shop as much we wanted to, probably because the kids were with us. But I would say we made a pretty good haul overall, though I wouldn't complain if we had an extra day of shopping (and breakfast at our usual joint!). :P
Next up - where the kids had their share of fun!