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HK & MACAU Day 4 - Lantau Island (Big Buddha + Tai O), Mong Kok

Day 4: Airbnb apartment -> Ngong Ping Cable Car -> Ngong Ping Village -> Po Lin Monastery -> Lantau Big Buddha -> Tai O -> tung Chung City Gate outlets -> Mong Kok MTR -> Argyle Centre

Yau Ma Tei @ 5.30am, Wednesday
Woke up at 5.30am and caught a glimpse of the city just before sunrise. 5.30am in other countries always seem brighter than in Singapore.

As it is still early, went back to sleep and rise again for breakfast @ 7am! Highlights for the day will be conquering Lantau Island - specifically the Big buddha and Tai O.

It is my family's tradition to have vegetarian meal before visiting religious place, thus we have our own breakfast of bread and tea in the apartment before setting off.

We bought the bread from Macau (don't worry it has yet to expire) and we had some leftover jam/butter from our past hotel stays (Disney, Holiday Inn and on the flight).

Tea bags courtesy of the host
We had breakfast alongside with TV entertainment. Morning TV is sort of boring with news only. As we switch channels, we happen to find 1 which shows the security cameras footage in the building.

someone's watching you ~
That's very safe but yet creepy? Haha! From our own experience and from watching the LIVE security camera footage, we find that they seldom interact with their neighbours or even the security guard. Lacking of the kampung spirit? People enter the lift at different floors, but there's no interaction between them like a simple good morning or so. When the exit at level 1, there's no good morning to the security guard or so. Of course, there's nothing wrong with not gesturing but it just have the feeling that everyone seems to mind their own business only. Little lacking of the warm feeling which we really missed in Taiwan. Guess Singapore is following Hong Kong footstep soon :(

Left the house at 8.45am
We left the house at 8.45am and made our way towards Yau Ma Tei MTR. It was a leisurely 10 minutes walk.

Yau Ma Tei MTR
Our first destination of the day is Tung Chung MTR to hop on to the Ngong Ping 360 cable car to Lantau Island where the famous big buddha sits on..

To get to Tung Chung from Yau Ma Tei MTR, we take the following route:
Yau Ma Tei (Tsuen Wan Line) ->  Lai King (Tung Chung Line) -> Tung Chung 

Tsuen Wan Line
We didn't have to wait for long for the train to come. We find that Hong Kong MTRs are as frequent as Singapore's MRT but there's lesser people on board as compared to Singapore.

MTR seats
There are lesser seats on their MTR too as it seems shorter in terms of length.

In 30 minutes time (9.30am), we reached Tung Chung MTR!
Tung Chung MTR
Head towards Exit B. Once you step out of the MTR building, the first sight that greets you will be the Citygate outlets.

Citygate factory outlet stores
It seems to be very popular with tourists to get cheaper branded sports wear or clothes here. Furthermore there's also a cinema here where you can catch a movie before you head off to catch your flight. Tung Chung is of close proximity to the Hong Kong International airport!

Head towards the opposite left, and you will see this the sign that says to Ngong Ping 360.

Towards Ngong Ping 360
If you see this, then you are in the right direction!From then on, just follow straight and heed the directions.  You will need to take the escalator up to the ticketing booth.

Old bus terminal viewed from the escalator
Level 2 of the cable car terminal
Though we reached at 9.35am and it only opens at 10am. We see a long queue forming at the ticketing counter already! So be there early!!! Especially on a weekend. But do take note, that they open at 9am on weekends.

If you have tickets with you already, do let the staff know. Don't think you will need to join in the ticketing queue, but rather, you can join the cable car queue straight.

view of a swimming pool/sports complex while queuing
At 10am, we finally see the ticketing counters. Yes, we are not too sure why even though they only open at 10, but the queue is moving even before that. But oh well, we don't mind ;)

Ticketing counters @ Tung Chung Cable car terminal
Though there are many counters, however not all are open.

More queues
We finally got our tickets at 10.05am. That's a half hour long queue?

Ngong Ping 360 1 way cable car ticket
There are a few reasons why we did not buy the Cable car ticket online given that in our Day 3 post we offered many benefits of buying online for our Disneyland tickets.

1. We are buying only 1 way cable car ticket, as we will be taking bus later on to Tai O from Ngong Ping. There's not many agents who sell 1 way tickets. 

2. Yes we can reserve our tickets online in advance on Ngong Ping website for 10% off (Newsletter promotion), however as we have to prefixed the date of visit, and we are unsure if it will rain that day, so we prefer to decide right on the morning of the day whether to visit Ngong Ping.

3. For HSBC cardholders (need not be issued in Hong Kong), will be entitled to 10% off for the tickets he/she purchase.

Thus, as you can see in total, there's still some cost savings. Per ticket, we paid HKD 103.50 (SGD $18.20). As you can see, there's still savings of HKD 12.50 (SGD $2) per person.

In general, if you intend to take cable car there and back (skipping Tai O), do buy the 2 way ticket as it much worth it. Original price of a 1 way ticket is HKD 115, by adding just HKD 50, you get 2 way tickets.

Pricing above is for Standard Cable car cabin. Of course, Crystal cable car cabin (where you are able to see the bottom of the cable car) is more expensive.

If you intend to visit Tai O (a fishing village) on Lantau Island like us, PLEASE DO NOT BUY THE 360-sky-land-sea Day Pass, if you are looking for COST SAVINGS. Trust us, buying them separately will be more cost effective.

An adult 360-Sky-Land-Sea day pass will costs HKD 245 (SGD $43). It includes:
- Round trip cable car ride
- unlimited NLB bus ride
- Tai O boat excursion
- complimentary Ngong Ping HKD $20 souvenir shop voucher

We took 2 NLB bus ride, 1 way cable car ride, 1 Tai O boat excursion and it costs us per person just HKD 140.80 (SGD $24.70) which is almost HKD 100 (SGD 17.50) cheaper per person. Of course you can say that it's different in a sense, we did not get the $20 souvenir shop voucher and unlimited bus ride and the return cable car. However bus rides on lantau island are affordable! They are not expensive and you can just pay with your octopus card, so its convenient too! While for the return cable car, it is just not time effective if you wish to head back to ngong ping to take the cable car to Tung Chung after visiting Tai O.

queue for the cable car
So after you get your tickets, move on for the next queue - cable car ~

boarding the cable car very very soon!!!
As there's plenty of visitors so they will pack you with other groups of people in a cable car to make up 7 people. Coincidentally all 7 of us in the cable car were from Singapore! Glad to meet fellow Singaporeans when abroad!

And... off we go in the cable car @ 10.15am!

wee ~
We pass by this cable car terminal 2 mins into our ride.
non functioning cable car terminal
The weather seems good but then we see dark clouds following us :(
some scenary seen along the first 5 mins of the ride 
The cable car journey is estimated to be a 25 minutes ride. As we edge towards more hills, and leaving behind the buildings, we can sense that its getting more and more windy and fog starting to form ahead of us.

fog forming in the background
And soon.. We can't see anything. Covered in fog. It was so so cold. Never expected the weather to be this cold given that it's summer and we were still sweating awhile back.

Oh no can't see anything!
It was a slow ride. So basically we just relaxed in the nice weather. Soon when the fog starts to clear we see some buildings ahead of us!

spot the building!
As it gets clearer and clearer and we can even catch a glimpse of the big buddha! We are reaching Ngong Ping Village!
Big buddha and the buildings
Not too sure if you are able to spot the big buddha as it's head is covered in the fog :(
Reaching the terminal of Ngong Ping
We set foot on Lantau Island - Ngong Ping village at 10.40am. It is indeed an approx 25 mins cable car ride.

Ngong Ping village
There were plenty of traditional looking buildings that serves to imitate the old villages.

From the map of Ngong Ping village below, you can see that it is basically a straight road from the cable car terminal to the end - Po Lin Monastery and the big buddha. Along the way, there are shop houses selling souvenirs and it house the 3D movie - Walking with Buddha documentary and Stage 360. Additional ticket admission required.

Ngong Ping 360 map
Overall we find this place quite commercialise. So we just made a beeline for the Po Lin Monastery and Big Buddha. Having watched the Buddha documentary in Taiwan's Kaohsiung Fo Guang Shan, we doubt that this documentary will beat it. Furthermore, it costs HKD 40 (SGD 7) per person, but it was free in Taiwan :/ Haha. But if you have time to spare (Show duration approx 20 mins), then by all means go ahead and get to know about the journey of buddha gaining enlightenment.
streets of Ngong Ping Village @ 10.45am

Walking with Buddha documentary
Inching closer to the big buddha!
Sights along the way

A gate 'divider' between the commercialised Ngong Ping village and Polin Monastery, Big buddha
On the way to big buddha
As we inch closer to the religious area - Big buddha and po lin monastery, it gets calmer and peaceful with lesser stores around. The air was especially cooling, it totally didn't feel like it's summer. It was a totally enjoyable time there.
268 Steps to The Big Buddha (天坛大佛)
We decide to head towards the left to the Po Lin Monastery first.

Entrance to Po Lin Monastery - 寶蓮禪寺
It was a short walk up a slope to reach the incense offering area and thereafter you will see the Main Hall of Po Lin Monastery.
Incense offering area @ Po Lin Monastery
Main Hall (大雄宝殿) of Po Lin Monastery
We gave our prayers in the main hall and proceeded to visit the other temple halls around it. There is also a newly built 'Grand Hall of Ten Thousand Buddhas' where you have to climb some steps up (dont worry it is not a lot of steps). It seems like not a lot of people know of its location as we did not see anyone there when we visit as compared to the main hall.

Other halls in Po Lin Monastery
The construction of the Grand Hall of Ten Thousand Buddhas was completed in 2014. It follows the architecture of the Song Dynasty. The Shrine hall at level 1 was very grand - basically everything in gold and there's many statues of Buddha.

Level 1 of the Grand Hall of Ten Thousand Buddhas
"The whole building constitute a shrine hall, exhibition hall, meditation hall, Abbot chamber, scripture library and other multi-functional facility." 
                                                 - Po Lin Monastery (

We aren't too sure if public is allowed to visit the other areas in the Grand Hall of Ten Thousand Buddhas, but it is still worth visiting the hall, may it be to offer your prayers or to admire the architecture.

There was a heavy downpour at around 11.20am when we are just about to be done with Po Lin Monastery. As our last stop was at the Grand Hall of Ten Thousand Buddhas and it is quite separated from the nearest shelter, we waited awhile there to seek shelter from the heavy rain. 

Luckily it was just a shower rain and it stop to a drizzle at around 11.30am. We went down and saw the dining area. We heard of the delicious vegetarian dishes that we can get here, from online. Hence since we are here, we decide to settle our lunch first before proceeding to conquer the 268 steps to Big Buddha. We also didn't want to crash with the tour groups lunch time as it will be crowded.

Dining Area
The dining area outside (see the round marble tables) are for individuals/groups who wish to purchase simple vegetarian dishes like bee hoon from the store in front (in the background of the image above). They sell desserts/puffs too!

Otherwise, if you are looking for something good you may consider purchasing the deluxe or general meal set from the meal ticket office. Each purchase entitles you to a 6 course meal set and an admission to see the Buddha relic and museum at the Big Buddha.
Meal Ticket Office
We saw 3 meal ticket offices - outside the dining area of Po Lin Monastery, Incense offering area of Po Lin Monastery and at the foot of the steps to Big Buddha. Deluxe meal set is pricier than General meal set due to the ingredients - Deluxe meal uses more expensive ingredients?

Deluxe and General Meal choices for 2/3/4 pax
We opted for the Deluxe Meal for 4 pax which cost HKD 138 ( SGD$24.20) per pax. The General Meal cost HKD 98 (SGD $17.20) per pax. All proceeds will be towards maintaining the Monastery, temple building fund, etc. ie, it is for a good cause.

Receipt for lunch
Do keep the receipt well since it will grant you entry to see the Buddha relic and museum. Do note that it DOES NOT mean without this purchase you cant climb the steps to admire the big buddha. You still can, but you are just unable to view the relic and museum which house within the Big Buddha statue. General Meal receipt grant you the same access too.

Inside the restaurant
If you order Deluxe or General meal, you will be ushered to sit inside this 'restaurant' and the different course of the meal will be served to you.
Wet Tissue
We didn't need to wait for long for the food to be served.

First up, we have Mix Mushroom soup (八宝素翅羹).

Mix Mushroom soup (八宝素翅羹)
From left to right: Deep fried beancurd sheet with lemon sauce, Fresh lotus with potato paste
From left to right: Black Mushrooms w/vegetables, Deep fried Spring rolls, Asparagus with mix mushroom & Cashew Nuts
We were served with steamed rice too to go along with the 6 dishes. We love all the 6 dishes, nothing to complain about. However if we were to compare the dishes at Chilin Nunnery and here, we would still prefer Chilin Nunnery. Since you are here at Lantau Island to visit the Big Buddha, we recommend visitors to pay a visit to the dining hall and enjoy a vegetarian meal there before leaving.

We left the dining hall at 12.30pm and 'hiked' to Big Buddha, with a full stomach.

leaving po Lin monastery
Meal Ticket office @ the foot of the steps to Big Buddha
The weather after the shower downpour was extremely good in the sense that it is very cooling and the air was very refreshing. However there's plenty of fog :( At the bottom of the steps, we can't even see the Buddha face clearly :(
Here we go ~
It took us around 5 minutes to conquer the 268 steps to reach the foot of the Buddha. Of course, in between there are some short pauses to catch our breath. As it was an extremely cooling day, climbing was not that strenuous. However if it's a sunny hot day, we believe we would take more time!
And we finally reach the foot of the 34m tall buddha!
YAY! By the time we reach the top, we were able to see the face of the buddha! It was so windy at the top! Brrr~ Extremely windy - we saw caps/hats that flew off in the wind and we were so afraid our cameras/phone would drop if we didnt grasp it tight!

Our glimpse of the Tian Tan Buddha was short lived as the fog sets in soon :(

Scenary from the top
Flowers ~
We went to visit the 'museum' as well as the Buddha relic with the receipt from our lunch. It is quite a small museum which showcase the history of the Big Buddha, like how the construction came about. We spent around 10 minutes or less.

We enjoyed a little more of the cooling breeze then we left the place. 
Walking down
Walking down the steps is a much easier feat than climbing up. The steps were not very steep and there's 'platform' for you to take a break every few steps as you can see from the photo above.
Bye Big Buddha! We will be back to visit you again
By the time we were at the foot of the steps, it was around 1.10pm. Our next destination is to catch the hourly bus to Tai O which will arrives at 1.20pm. If we missed this, we will have to catch the 2.20pm one. As such we did not visit the other attraction in Ngong Ping village - Wisdom Path.

Though we have not been there, but if the weather is encouraging, we recommend visitors with strong interest in Buddhism to visit there.
Image courtesy of Tripadvisor (
"Wisdom Path features an arrangement of 38 giant wood columns measuring 8-10 metres tall and 1 metre wide to showcase calligraphic works by master of Chinese studies Professor Jao Tsung-I. These wood columns are arranged in a "∞" pattern. The words are from a famous Buddhist classic called the Heart Sutra whose full name in Sanskrit is Sāhasrikā-prajñā-pāramitā."
               - Ngong Ping 360 (

We deduce that we wouldn't spend 1 hour or so at Wisdom Path, thus we set off to the Ngong Ping bus terminal thereafter.As you may notice(from the photo below), Ngong Ping village is much crowded now. So do visit early (in the morning) if you do not wish to clash with the tour group crowds!
Ngong Ping Village in the afternoon
There is only a Public bus transport interchange in Ngong Ping Village which is situated near 'Ngong Ping Nature Centre'.

Ngong Ping Nature centre
On your way down from Big Budhha, as you walk back along the route where you came from the cable car terminal, you will pass by Ngong Ping Nature Centre which is on your left. Make a left turn and walk through the alley between the 2 shop houses. and you will see the bus terminal!

Bus stop to Tai O - NLB 21
There are buses to and fro Mui Wo, Tung Chung Town Centre and Ngong Ping. Our original plan was if it rained, and we decide not to go to Tai O, we will catch bus 23 back to Tung Chung Town Centre since we only purchased a one-way cable car ticket.

You may visit the New Lantau Bus Line website to find out more details about their routes and timings. The website is especially useful in helping us plan our time and buses to board.

Directions from the bus terminal to Ngong Ping village
Bus 21
The bus came at around 1.19pm and it departed at around 1.20pm - right after everyone board the bus. There was already a queue when we went there. So you must be PUNCTUALif you want to board the bus, otherwise you will have to wait for the next bus which is 1 hour later to Tai O.

The bus fare is HKD 6.60 (SGD $1.16) per pax. You just have to tap your card when boarding. No one tap their card when boarding, so we didnt too. It didn't matter since we are paying the max fare too (as we are taking from the start till the end). Do note that if you take this route on a Sunday or public holiday, the bus fare is much expensive @ HKD 14 (SGD $2.50) per pax.

Mountain scenary
The ride to Tai O is pretty bumpy since it is a 'mountainous terrain', but definitely still comfortable as the coach is quite new and the seats and aircon are well functioning.

On the NLB (New Lantau Bus) Website, they estimated a 20 minutes bus journey. In the end, it took only 15 minutes to reach Tai O bus terminal (Last stop). There were several stops in between prior to reaching Tai O, however there were not a lot of people who board or alighted, hence the ride was pretty smooth and fast. No traffic jams too!
Tai O Bus Terminal
Welcome to Tai O
When we reached Tai O at 1.35pm, it poured. Heavy rain :( We wanted it to go away so badly as heavy rain might means unsafe to head out to the sea on boat. The heavy rain did eventually turn into a drizzle but an umbrella is still necessary. This makes walking around more troublesome.

We headed to the Tai O market which is towards the left when you alight from the bus. There is a sign saying to 'Tai O Market' or 'Tai O Heritage Hotel'. Just follow the sign.
Fish/seafood market
The first 'store' that we come across is the Tai O rural committee Historic and Cultural Showroom where it showcases antiques from Tai O.

Faded 'Welcome to Tai O' sign in the downpour
As we walk down further we come across the 'Welcome to Tai O' sign that has faded perhaps due to weather conditions. There were 2 Tai O boat operators with the main one for those who purchased the Ngong Ping 360-Sky-Land-Sea pass. For visitors who hold the Ngong Ping 360 sky-land-sea pass, this is where you can board the boat to head out to the sea to see dolphins. Hence there were quite a lot of people queuing there. If you do not have the ticket, fret not, you will also be able to board it at a price of HKD 25 (SGD$4.40).

Ngong Ping boat
Each boat ride is around 15-20 mins. We almost wanted to board that but we saw another boat operator beside it that sells its ticket for just HKD 20 (SGD $3.50). The boat is the same just that the canvas on top is of a different advertisement. Thus we decide to go for that, partly because we were persuaded by the good talking skills from the promoter. Oh man, it was such a perfect right choice that we made! More details on the boat trip later, as we intend to continue walking to visit the Tai O Heritage hotel before coming back and end our Tai O trip with the boat ride. Afterall, it was still drizzling at that time, and we wanted to wait for the weather to turn better, so there might be a higher chance of catching sight of the dolphins.

So we continued to walk - crossing the blue bridge in the rain. 

It is a mistake to continue walking as we were so confident that we will reach Tai O Heritage Hotel by foot, however after walking for almost another 15 mins and there is still no sight of the Tai O Heritage Hotel, we gave up. We were in the correct direction as along the way we saw the signs pointing towards the Heritage Hotel. Later on, during the boat ride, we then realise that it is pretty far. Though we carried on walking for something that is difficult to reach by foot, but it was quite nice to catch sight of the rural living in Tai O.

view of the Ngong Ping boats after crossing the bridge
dried food stores
After crossing the bridge, we spotted more dried food stores. There are seemingly lesser people here but more locals. We came across a wet market too and a public school was beside it.
wet market
As we venture even further, we see these houses made of metal plates.
Metal Houses
More metal houses
A quick read on the internet shows that the reason why metal houses are a common sight in Tai O traces back to a huge fire in 2013 which was not extinguished in time due to improperly maintained fire extinguishers. It is because of the huge fire, therefore, they reconstructed the houses that were damaged previously with metal instead as its less likely to be flammable, in a sense, less likely to caught fire. Not too sure of the credibility, but metal houses in Tai O are definitely a different scene, which we won't see commonly.

Living conditions
I pity their living condition in the metal houses because if its a hot and sunny day, metal being a good conductor of heat, will heat up the house and it will be definitely unbearably hot to live in. When it is cold, perhaps during the winter season in Hong Kong, it will be unbearably cold. Hopefully, there will be better houses constructed in the future for them.

Along the way, we also spotted plenty of trees with fruits going to be ready/ ready for harvesting.
As we pass by Tai O post office and fire station, we decide to make a u-turn back as we are not too sure how long more we have to walk before we reach Tai O Heritage Hotel. Hence, we gave up and head back to take the boat as it has ceased to rain!

Boat operators
We took the one by - Tak Hung ferry operator (extreme right poster). However, it seem like they combined business? Both offer the same prices and its the same ferry too.
Vitasoy Boat canvas
The boat with the Vitasoy canvas is the boat which we took. One boat can ferry approx 15-20 people at one go.

Tai O Tak Hung Boat ticket
We paid HKD 20 (SGD$3.50) per pax. We thought it was quite affordable and after the boat ride, we really didn't regret taking it. The boat ride is a must take for all unless you have sea -sickeness!

If you are planning to visit Tai O within this year, you may go to Tak Hung Travel website and download their promo coupon. The difference is that with the same HKD 20 (SGD$3.50) you can get an additional dolphin key chain. Once again, do note that this ferry operator is cheaper than Ngong Ping's ferry operator!
Courtesy of Tai O Tak Hung Travel:
Initially we have our own reservations about this boat ride since it's cheaper and the price that they charged is ridiculously low, until we have no idea if they can even break even. But we were really glad that we board!

When we first board it was around 2.20pm. It rained at that time and we did not depart, possibly due to the weather and also there was not a lot of people on board the boat at that time - perhaps they are trying to fill up the boat as much as possible (max the capacity).

We finally departed at 2.30pm.
off we go ~
Stilt houses and an old bridge
More stilt houses
From what we saw, almost every stilt house has a boat attached to them, most likely because in Tai O their primary  way of earning money is to do fishing and hence they need motor boats to head out the sea to catch fish and sell in the market or for zi char business for tourists.
Blue bridge
In 6 mins time, we find ourselves back to the pier where we board. We thought that it is the end of the boat ride and we got so disappointed. But surprisingly no one left the boat. Instead, there's 2 more people who joined the boat.

We saw the Ngong Ping boat operator again
Soon, the boat left again! I guess it's part 2? This time round it went the opposite way, no longer past the stilt houses, instead we seem to be heading to the open sea!

Is that the sea ~
And we see Tai O Heritage Hotel on our right!
Tai O Heritage hotel
So it appears that 2 of the customers that board the boat just now is heading for Heritage hotel, so they got a 'water taxi' lift. haha.

After they alighted we continued with our journey venturing further out to the sea and this time round the boat accelerated. It become like a speedboat! Yes, I am not exaggerating, never would I expect that boat to go so fast!
Sea and waves ~
And soon all you can see is the sea with endless boundaries.
waves after waves
There seem to be plenty of islands around, not too sure about their names. I believe the purpose of venturing out to the sea now is to spot the White Chinese dolphins. Sadly we didn't spot any, perhaps due to the weather and time of the day. According to internet sourced, tourists spotted the dolphins in the morning and not afternoon.

It's alright that we didn't see dolphins, as we spotted PLENTY of small fishes swimming/flying!

spot the little fishes!
There were plenty of them, we wonder if it is because of the waves that prompted them to fly up above the sea water.

There after awhile later after the speeding, it slowed down and we made a u -turn as we start to proceed back to the original boarding pier.
In the end, our whole boat ride took about 25 minutes (for the part 1 - to the stilt houses , and part 2 - to the sea + Heritage Hotel). It was an exciting 25 minutes! We never expected it to be this long and the boat ride was exciting given that there's some parts where it will speed/accelerate and you can feel the sea breeze. The amount we paid for, is so so so so worth it! We don't mind paying even more for this experience! We STRONGLY RECOMMEND visitors to take the boat @ Tai O if you are not prone to sea sickness.Of course, take it when the weather is clear, if not you won't be able to see anything too.

By then it was around 3pm and we make our way back to the Bus Interchange.

Tai O Bus bay
This time round we will be taking bus 11 back to Tung Chung Town Centre. We choose Tung Chung as it's the nearest MTR station from Lantau. Once again you can pay with your Octopus Card. The fare is HKD 11.80 (SGD $2.07) per person on a weekday and HKD 19.20 (SGD $3.40) per person on Sunday or Public Holiday. As you can see, the bus fare is not that costly until you need to buy the 360-Sky-Land-Sea package and take advantage of the unlimited bus ride on the New Lantau Bus line.

Bus stop ( left lane for Tung Chung and right lane for Mui Wo)
This time round the bus comes very frequently like almost every 10-15 minutes. You can check the New Lantau Bus 11 guide for the schedule.

The estimated time is 50 minutes to reach Tung Chung Bus Terminal. We board the bus at 3.15pm and we reach the bus terminal at 4pm. It was a 45 minutes journey. Feel free to catch up on your sleep too. There's ample seats on the bus.

You will have to walk a distance before you will reach Tung Chung MTR station. Don't worry there will be signs along the way to guide you, otherwise just follow the majority of the people. You can't go wrong with that. Along the way to the MTR, you will pass by the Ngong Ping Cable car terminal.

Ngong Ping cable car terminal
Soon, you will reach back to the familiar ground where you came from - Tung Chung MTR
Tung Chung MTR station
Right beside it are tall, thin, high rise buildings.
Residential building?
Just opposite the MTR station is the Citygate outlets.
Tung Chung Citygate outlets
We took a quick walk around the shopping mall since it was quite popular among tourists. We wanted to know if there were really great deals. It turn out that yes, there's quite a lot of great discounts ongoing for the big sports brands like Adidas, Nike, Timberland... Our overall verdict is that if you are looking for branded stuff, then yup it might be cheap here since the goods are discounted. However we believe that in Singapore there's factory outlet stores too such as @ Changi City point / Anchorpoint mall. So maybe in the end, the only discount you can benefit from is exchange rate difference. We recommend shopping with care. 

There is also a food republic foodcourt which most Singaporeans might be familiar with. We did not went inside but from the outside it has a atas looking feel.

We left the place at around 4.45pm and hop on the MTR to Mong Kok.

Basically our MTR journey was:

Tung Chung (Tung Chung Line) -> Lai King (Tsuen Wan Line) -> Mong Kok

It was not much difference from how we arrived at Tung Chung from Yau Ma Tei. It took around 40 minutes to reach Mong Kok. 
Classic red brick wall of Mong Kok
Mong Kok MTR
It was around 5.30pm when we reach Mong Kok MTR. Time for dinner!

There's loads/plenty/crowds of people around in Mong Kok! Perhaps its the time of the day where everyone knock off and head to Mong Kok to shop or maybe Mong Kok is just always crowded. We had no plan in mind except to shop in Argyle Centre. However before shopping we need to refuel energy with food. We didn't shortlist any special food to taste at Mong Kok, hence we just walk around finding suitable food and we realised it was so difficult.
Lesson learnt: To have proper planning, have a list of what are the popular must try eateries/restaurants in the area so that we will not get this lost.

Ultimately, we happen to stumble upon this Cha Chaan Teng - Man Wah Restaurant. It is an approx 4 mins walk from Exit B3, Mong Kok MTR and decided to have our dinner there.

Courtesy of Open Rice & Man Wah Restaurant -
Man Wah Restaurant
G/F, 153-159 Tung Choi Street, Mong Kok 
Telephone: 2392 4880

Perhaps we order the wrong dishes, but we will never want to dine there anymore. It was the worst food we tried in Hong Kong.

Tender Pork ribs in special sauce with rice HKD 45 (SGD $7.90)
The tender pork ribs is okay. Not too bad. The best out of everything else that we ordered.
Left to right: Pork and shrimp dumpling HKD 16 (SGD $2.80), Bean curd roll in Oyster sauce HKD 18 (SGD $3.16)
We thought Hong Kong is a dim sum paradise and any shops can also produce good dim sum. This restaurant totally prove us wrong. The Siew Mai (Pork and shrimp dumpling) is horrible. It tastes hard and bland. The beancurd roll in oyster sauce is still okay though, nice but not something that you die die must order.
Steamed rice with minced pork and salted fish HKD 28 (SGD $4.90)
The salted fish is too salty! Yes we understand that it's salted fish but we have definitely tried less saltier 'salted fish'. This just cannot make it! :(

Fish balls with rice noodles in fish soup HKD 33 (SGD $5.80)
There is a strong fishy taste for this rice noodles soup. As compared to the one which we tried at Tsui Wah Restaurant yesterday for HKD 32 (SGD $5.60), Tsui Wah's has a richer and more fragrant taste! Though both the price are similar but Tsui Wah's beat Man Wah's rice noodle soup hands down.

Our meal @ Man Wah Restaurant, Mong Kok
They have a special set meal that comes with milk tea. We ordered the meal + milk tea set for all of us:
1. Fish balls with rice noodles in fish soup + Milk Tea = HKD 41 (SGD $7.20)
2. Steamed rice with minced pork and salted fish + Milk Tea = HKD 36 (SGD $6.30)
3. Tender Pork ribs in special sauce with rice + Milk Tea = HKD 53 (SGD $9.30)

In another words, by adding HKD 8 (SGD $1.40) more you get a simple beverage. We thought that perhaps the milk tea will be a redeeming one since it is a cha chaan teng. But oh man, the milk tea is almost the worst that we tried. It is super bitter and we don't even taste the fragrance of tea. Not too sure if that's what Hong Kongers like or it's just our luck to try it this way.

After our second 'Cha Chaan Teng' experience in Hong Kong, we deduce that actually food in Hong Kong is quite pricey. It is more expensive than what you can get in Singapore. For our Man Wah's Restaurant experience, though it definitely didn't leave us a good impression, but we noted that most of the patrons ordered their breakfast set (Macaroni/toasts). Perhaps we did order the wrong type of food and should have tried those!

It was very packed, squeezy and everything was very fast pace. We quickly finish our meal and left at around 6,15pm. Thereafter we proceeded to Argyle Centre. 

Entrance of Argyle Centre - Courtesy of:
Argyle Centre is famous for affordable, trendy fashionable clothes. We decided to check it out. If you are heading straight to Argyle Centre from Mong Kok MTR, make sure to exit from Exit D2.

Argyle Centre is linked to New Town Mall (新の城). Both malls mainly retail trendy female clothes.There are around 2 or 3 levels if I am not mistaken. We found really affordable clothes of around HKD 50-60 (SGD $8.80-10.50) per piece. In general, they are like Singapore's Far East Plaza and Bangkok's Platinum mall as what many online travellers have noticed. We were really glad to have found this place as after a few days in Hong Kong, we thought that everything here is expensive and we won't be able to find affordable stuff. Clothes sold in Argyle Centre most seem to be from China or Korea. You will have to take note of their labels to find out which is which. However one thing to note is that, clothes in Argyle Centre seems to be repetitive in the sense after going through 1 level of clothes, you will realise that the subsequent levels/stores generally sell the same pattern of clothes at either the same price or differing prices. So if you spot a design that you really like, do not buy instantly, but shop around more and compare the prices. 

We were surprised that shoes in Hong Kong is very expensive. On average the cheapest flats (no brand) that we can see is ranging from HKD 200 (SGD $35.10). That's really expensive! In Singapore, a normal flats we can still get for SGD $10 or if not just slightly above $10 only!

We left the place empty handed as we really couldn't find any pieces that is 'die die must get'. But don't get me wrong, it is still worth shopping at Argyle Centre @ Mong Kok. However if you have more time, we recommend that you head over to Kwai Chung Plaza @ Kwai Fong MTR which we head over on Day 6. They sell trendy fashionable clothes just like Argyle Centre but there's more variations in pattern and in terms of price, we spotted more HKD 50 (SGD $8.80) clothes there! However sadly, the shoes are still as expensive. But one thing to note, Kwai Chung Plaza is definitely not as centrally located as Argyle Centre. So if time is a limiting factor, Argyle Centre is good enough!

Free Wifi @ Argyle Centre
There's free wifi in Argyle Centre too! That makes it easy for communication via whatsapp/online messaging tools if you decide to shop separately with your friends within Argyle Centre!

The parents left at around 7pm, while the youngsters continued with shopping.
Streets of Mong Kok @ 7pm, weekday
Mong Kok is always bustling with people. It gets a little overly crowded with not just human traffic but mechanical traffic (Cars/buses..).

It is just a 2-3 minutes walk over to the famous high class Langham Place. The lower levels are department stores such as H&M while the higher level floors are the office building. It is linked to Mongkok MTR too!
Langham Place
Overhere you can get your branded goods otherwise malls at Causeway Bay should suffice too!

In Langham place, there's a very long escalator that our host introduced to us.

Long escalator @ Langham place
Looking down from the top of the escalator
As a conclusion, we agree that Mong Kok is a shopping heaven. You must definitely not miss out Mongkok if you are a shopping lover. There are plenty of cosmetics shops - Bonjour in Mongkok too. They are similar to Watsons. It is quite ironic that though Watsons seem to be from Hong Kong, but we seldom see Watsons stores in Hong Kong, mostly are Bonjour and Mannings. Mannings is like Singapore's Guardian Personal care store.

If you love crowds, then by all means stay at Mong Kok since it is very convenient with eateries, shopping areas right at your doorstep. But if you prefer somewhere quieter yet not too far away from the town area, Yau Ma Tei (where we stay) would be a suitable choice.

That night, we walked back from Mong Kok to our apartment in Yau Ma Tei, and along the way we see that the streets get less crowded and more peaceful.


Along the way, we spotted their car park parking rates.
car park parking rates
We also came across this Roasted meat delights store. For non-chinese speaking friends, the meaning of the store name is like saying it is an eatery for the rich. Names aside, we thought that the roasted meat delight looks good! But we are full from dinner, so I guess we have to leave it to next time!



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