Travel

2016 Hong Kong Day 1: Arrival | Mini Hotel Causeway Bay | Cafe Matchbox | 池記

September 30, 2016

Hi, everyone! I’m back again to share about my (not-so-recent) trip to Hong Kong, which took place in early June 2016.

Please bear with me as I still had quite a number of backlogs to clear. Once I completed my Hong Kong posts, I will then move on to blog about Santorini / Rome (July 2016) and Bali (late July to early August 2016).

This year is really full of adventures, hence it appears like I’ve been blogging non-stop about my overseas trip. But the end is near (I’m looking at maybe one last trip for this year in October). Looking forward to clearing all my backlogs so that I can start blogging about other things that I’m interested in.

Back to the Hong Kong trip…

The reason behind this trip was mainly due to work commitment. The Boyfriend first brought up the idea of going to Hong Kong for RISE Conference, and subsequently, suggest that we could take this opportunity to make it as a half-leisure-half-business trip. Because I’ve only been to Hong Kong once and I misses the food and Disneyland terribly, I decided to jump on this opportunity and went with him.

He told me he only needs about 5 days for business, hence we decided to make it a 10 days trip so that we will have ample time to cover the places that we want to go.

Fast forward to the day of our trip…

I believe it was our first time flying with Scoot airline. Our flight was at around 2am. The journey took about 4 hours and we eventually touched down at Hong Kong at about 6am.

After clearing immigration and collected our luggage, we proceed to purchase our data SIM cards. Got them from the below counter:

You should spot it right before you exit to the arrival hall.

Airport Express Ticket (Not applicable to us since we intend to take the bus)

This is the data SIM card that we got.

Unlimited 3G for 10 days at HKD80 (SGD14.30).

If you’re travelling to Hong Kong, you can perhaps consider getting this. I think the price is fairly reasonable and most importantly you can get it right at the airport. So much more convenient than getting from the convenience store. Plus they even offer to set up the SIM card for you after you purchased.

After getting our SIM card and being connected to the world, we continued our way to the bus terminal.

Saw McDonald’s and almost wanted to have our breakfast here. However, the queue was really long and it seems difficult to get a table, so we decided to give it a miss.

But not before I snapped a picture. Here’s the menu if anyone is interested.

Purchase your train tickets here if you’re planning to take the train to town.

Saw the exit there? That’s where you have to go if you plan to take the bus. They have signages around so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find your way.

You can check out the bus services from here. It states the major places that each bus will be going.

Continue to walk outside until you saw these counters on the left. We got our bus tickets from here and each ticket cost us HKD40 (SGD7.15).

Bus service A11 to Causeway Bay.

They’ve railing like these in the bus for you to put your luggage. We chose to sit below (it’s a double decker bus) so that we can keep an eye out for our luggage.

Here’s how the bus looks like.

Unfortunately, I didn’t take note of the travelling time. It was a pleasant journey as we got to see the sceneries and streets of Hong Kong from the airport till we reached Causeway Bay. Upon alighting from the bus, we’ve to walk quite a distance before we finally reached our hotel. Relied heavily on Google Map to show us the direction.

Mini Hotel . Causeway Bay

 

Reminds me of Alice in the Wonderland…

Taking the lift down to process our check-in.

And lo and behold, they have one of the nicest and coolest lobby I’ve ever seen!

Every single spot was Instagram-worthy.

There’s a small counter right there where we did our check-in.

Vending machine selling drinks, snacks and other bits and bobs.

Going out from this exit will bring you back to the street. So basically there are two entrances to the lobby area.

The problem with taking an early morning flight is that we were left with a block of time before we can check-in to our room.

It was 8am when we reached the hotel and the stated check-in time was at 2pm. So, we decided to leave our luggage at the hotel and went out to look for breakfast.

We didn’t have to go far to have our breakfast because there was a pretty cool cafe right next to our hotel.

Cafe Matchbox

 

Love the old school vibe.

Menu can be found in the brochure on the bicycle.

The place was pretty empty when we arrived, with only a handful of patrons.

After browsing through their menu, we both decided to go for their breakfast set.

Each set comes with a slice of toast, eggs (scrambled or sunny side up), and a bowl of macaroni soup.

We then separately ordered two glasses of iced lemon tea to go with our meal.

The food was okay. Not as nice as Australia Dairy Co in my opinion, but still passable.

Our bill came up to HKD74, which work out to approximately SGD13. Probably one of the more affordable meals we had in Hong Kong.

A similar meal at Australia Dairy Co (for two) will set us back at HKD70. So between the two, I will definitely go for Australia Dairy Co. I thought I will mention this because I googled and Cafe Matchbox came up to be one of the recommended dining places in Causeway Bay.

After breakfast, we decided to venture out to the streets to see what we can find.

Found some branded boutiques right behind the streets.

My intention was to go to the nearby Watsons, but it was too early and most of the shops (including Watsons) were not yet opened. We ended up returning back to our hotel. Thankfully, there were plenty of seats available at the lobby area.

Our initial plan was either to get some work done in the hotel lobby or go catch a movie but we were too tired at that point of time since we didn’t sleep well on the flight. The only thing we wanted was to have a place to sleep.

We eventually found a place on the sofa and were dozing off on and off. It was honestly quite miserable because the aircon was rather cold. After an hour or so, the Boyfriend decided to check with the hotel staff to see if we can do an early check-in.

The funny thing is he was told by the staff that the hotel was fully booked, hence they couldn’t let us have an early check-in. However, after the Boyfriend mentioned that we’re willing to pay extra, they magically have a room available for us. So we paid an extra HKD200 and got our room immediately.

As the name (Mini Hotel) suggest, the room was really tiny. we hardly had enough space to walk and hardly had space to fully open up our luggage.

A small table for us to leave our spectacles and handphones at night.

Just look at how small the sink is.

By far the smallest we’ve ever seen.

Aside from the incredibly small space, I’ve no complaints about our room. It’s bright (when you draw the curtains behind the bed), clean and simple. We stayed there for a total of nine nights and it proves that we really don’t need a lot of space to live in. After staying there, it makes me realized how big my bedroom was once we’re back in Singapore.

After all the picture-taking, we took a nap. Can’t even be bothered to change or shower because I was that tired. By the time I woke up, the Boyfriend was all dressed and ready to head out for his conference. I continued to roll around in bed for a little longer and a few hours later, he was back.

We were starving by then and decided to head outside for dinner. Remembered there is an outlet for 池記 in Causeway Bay and decided to head there for our dinner.

The place we were staying at was actually quite near to the main shopping area. Times Square Hong Kong, Hysan Place, SOGO are all within walking distance.

Quite a good place to stay if you’re looking for a hotel in the vicinity of Causeway Bay. The reason why we chose to stay here (in Causeway Bay) instead of other places is because most of our meetings were held around this area so it’s much more convenient for us to stay here.

Anyway, as I was saying, we were going for dinner…

Managed to find our way to 池記. We discovered 池記 the previous time we came to Hong Kong and both of us really like their congee. The congee here is a lot smoother than the one we had in Singapore.

Aside from congee, they also sell wanton noodle. I tried it once before and didn’t like it. So since then I had been having their congee whenever we come here.

A set consists of congee + 糖水 (dessert),油菜 (vegi) or 小食 (small plate). Under each one, there are a few choices. For example, under 小食 (small plate), there are 炸云吞 (fried wanton), 鲮鱼球 (dace balls), 炸鸡翼 (fried chicken wings), etc.

I ended up choosing 肉丸粥 (meatball congee) with 南乳香炸鸡翼 (fried chicken wings) for HKD82. Add an additional HKD5 for a 冻薏米水 (chilled barley drink).

Soya and barley drink.

The Boyfriend didn’t like the barley drink because there is ginger in it.

The congee was really good, just like what I remembered! Despite being a rather small bowl, I think there were at least 6 meatballs in it? The fried chicken wings, on the other hand, was too salty, though.

After having our dinner, we then went to walk around Causeway Bay.

Randomly stumbled across a shop that sells all kinds of ceramic kitchenware.

The small plates were selling at 3 for HKD10, which I thought was really cheap? That’s like less than SGD2 for 3.

However, I decided to give them a miss since I have no use for them.

Log-on at Times Square, basement floor. They sell lots of quirky things.

From Times Square, we then walked over to SOGO

for Bake Cheese Tart!

I already tried them in Singapore but decided to check out the outlet at Hong Kong’s SOGO because I heard there’s no need to queue over there.

And it’s true.

Since there’s no queue, we decided to get 6 of them back for tomorrow’s breakfast.

Each customer is limited to 12 pieces. But it’s kind of pointless to state that since there’s no one in the queue. Or were we just lucky to be there at the right time hence we didn’t meet with any queue?

Aside from cheese tarts, we also got two of this Croissant Taiyaki (likewise from the basement at SOGO) and they were equally yummy. Best eaten on the spot when they’re still slightly warm.

After SOGO, we continue to shop around the vicinity and eventually ended up at a nearby supermarket where we went a little crazy with the potato chips. They have so many different ones that are not found in Singapore.

Nissin potato chips in sesame oil flavour.

Sweet honey butter potato chips.

And on the left in pink packaging is sour plum flavour potato chips.

Pizza and tomato ones from Calbee.

Okonomiyaki flavour potato chips from Calbee.

A big packet of honey wings flavour potato chips from Jack n Jill.

After looking through the shelves, we ended up with 6 packets of potato chips in different flavours.

Before we made our way back to the hotel, we walked past a stall that sells 鱼蛋 (fishball) and decided to get some. Mixed it with 烧卖 (siew mai) and a bowl like this cost HKD30 (Approximately SGD5.30).

Though 鱼蛋 is usually the more popular choice, the Boyfriend and I both think that the 烧卖 was nicer.

Back at the hotel…

We continued with the Croissant Teriyaki,

and Milk Pudding (not as nice as I hoped).

Saved the Bake cheese tarts for the following day.

The next day saw us heading to Hong Kong Disneyland! I was so excited to be back at Hong Kong Disneyland with the complimentary 2-day pass that we managed to get due to our previous incident.

Do check back again if you’re keen to see what we were up to in Disneyland.

Be warned because I actually took quite a lot of pictures there.

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