Travel: Our Macau/Hong Kong Getaway (6D/6N)!

Follow our 6 day, 6 night adventure in these lands of amazing food, awesome culture and astounding sights. See how we ate, shopped and laughed our way through Macau and Hong Kong! :)

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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Travel: HK Day #2 - The Peak Tram, The Peak, Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum, spaghetti 360° & Marion Crepes @ The Peak Galleria

Nice calligraphy of the station name on the wall next to the platform.
We spent a lot of time in and out of this station =)

After a short pit stop at Joy Hing Roasted Meat for lunch, we continued our journey to The Peak

Taking the train to Central, we then walked to the entrance of The Peak. Word of caution: the walk from Central to The Peak may not be far in distance and there are loads of signs leading you, but it's uphill all the way! So if you're an unfit person or don't like to walk in general, consider catching a cab. It might be the best investment of your trip =D

Although the walk was extremely stressful, there was a lot to see on the way! Central (Chung Waan) is one of the major corporate hubs in Hong Kong, so the area is dotted with skyscraper buildings everywhere. We do have tall buildings in Malaysia, but seeing the height and density of those in Hong Kong makes us feel like 'kampung' people all over again. =D

Reaching The Peak Tram entrance brought us face to face with the ticket counter. There visitors can buy tickets at various prices, depending on how many attractions a person wants to see. We opted for the 3-in-1 package, which consists of a return ticket on the Peak Tram, admission into Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum, and admission to the Sky Terrace. For that we paid HKD210 each, which is a reasonable price if it's your first time to The Peak. =)

There are other ways to reach The Peak; cars and vans can also make the journey up. But I think the tram is worth trying at least once since it's something different and unique. The path up is very steep, making the whole trip feel like one long beginning of a very scary rollercoaster..haha. The view on the right side is the best when going up, because that's the side facing the harbour, so try to sit on that side of the tram. =)

When we reached the top, we decided to visit the Sky Terrace first before going to Madame Tussauds. When we finally reached the Terrace, our view was like this:-

Anyone who dares say going up to the Sky Terrace isn't worth the money needs to have his head examined! I had been to The Peak before with family, but always to the observation deck. The view from there really isn't as good and unobstructed as from the terrace, so please don't try and save the little bit of money and not go up there! The view is really breathtaking, and visitors can spend as long as they want up there, so it's well worth the money spent. =)

Obviously we were blessed with the bluest of skies on the day we visited, so our view was exceptionally stunning (and hence our pictures too!). Unfortunately if weather is bad with fog or rain, then the view won't be as good anymore.

It would be particularly spoilt with low-hanging clouds, since that would obscure much of the view in the distance. So plan your trip to The Peak and seriously consider going another day if the weather doesn't look welcoming!

On our way down after the Sky Terrace we were thirsty, but there was scarce choice of drink so we opted for Pacific Coffee Company, which is also slowly springing up here. It deserves a short mention here because Pacific Coffee is in Hong Kong like what 'teh ais' is in Malaysia - it's everywhere! The verdict was that it isn't as good as Starbucks or Coffee Bean though. In the picture is a Vanilla Snowflake, at a princely sum of HKD 36, definitely not the most value-for-money drink we've had.

After a longer than expected coffee break, it was off to Madame Tussaud's! (The above picture is actually the exit..not the entrance. =P). The Madame Tussaud's in Hong Kong isn't that big, but if you haven't been to one before then it's well worth a go! It helps to know a few of the Chinese stars too though because nearly half the wax figures are of Chinese singers or actors. Shown below are some (not all) of the figures on display. =)

Wendy looks like she's got a hand on his backside!
There actually are quite a number of politicians on display, but our agenda was... the pop culture stars!

Standing next to Nicole Kidman puts us all to shame. =(
A stare-down for me and an awe-struck smile from Wendy -_-
More Western stars. Angelina Jolie looks hot even as a wax figure!
Yao Ming is SO TALL, we only reach his armpits!
There's also a few sporting stars, but even more musicians! What's interesting is that along the staircases, they also depict the wax figure-making process from the painting to the measuring of the actual diameter of the celebrity's eyes.

I was hugging the wall at bottom right because I was copying Spider-man
Bottom Right is vs Donnie Yen aka Ip Man.
It so happened the day we were there was the anniversary of the death of Leslie Cheung (top right). Our noses were alerting us of strong smells of flowers from around the corner, and later we saw all the notes and condolences from fans. It was quite amazing especially seeing some of the tributes and flowers coming all the way from Japan and Thailand!

When we were done at Tussaud's, it was nearly dinner time. We debated whether to have dinner on The Peak or to head back down first. We finally decided on staying at The Peak for dinner, but that started a new issue of finding an affordable place to eat for 5 of us.

spaghetti 360° is located on the 2nd floor of The Peak Galleria. Something like a mini shopping mall on The Peak. Prices looked okay compared to everything else we saw, so we settled on this.

The place seemed rather popular, especially amongst young couples. Unfortunately, the food & service left loads to be desired...

First we tried some Mushroom Soup, which tasted like a near-replica (if not direct replica) of Campbell's soup with a few extra mushrooms thrown. That little bowl must have held just a quarter of a can of soup I think!

Wendy and I shared this Spaghetti with Mushroom & Grilled Chicken in Pesto Sauce (HKD 68) because we were still full from our lunch at Joy Hing. Bland and uninspiring, at least there were juicy mushrooms to soften the blow.

Zhen Han had the Spaghetti with Seafood & Crab Roe (HKD 69). Again, nothing special here.

Bryan tried the Spaghetti with Tomato Puree & Cheese (HKD 62). This had no meat, only plain tomato puree and scarce piece of cheese to go with all that pasta.

The view from our table was gorgeous, making it a shame that the food was subpar or it could have been a great dining experience. That building pictured above is The Peak Tower opposite Peak Galleria, which was where we were in the afternoon - The Sky Terrace and Madame Tussaud's is in there.

Service at spaghetti 360° was also iffy; we ordered and reminded them about a salad that we ordered but it never came, the staff were rude, and the bill came without us even asking.

Nobody was satisfied with dinner at all, that we went a-hunting for some sugar relief after that. Crepes it was!

Marion Crepes is actually a dessert snack shop hailing from Harajuku, Japan.

There wasn't many people when we were there, so we picked our crepes and the friendly staff got quick to work. Choices are plentiful, you can opt from a wide range of fruit, syrups and even cakes in your crepe. And of course, if you don't have a sweet tooth, they do savoury ones as well.

Combination #1 which we tried was Vanilla Ice Cream with Fresh Cream, Sliced Strawberries & Chocolate Sauce (HKD 32) and below was the other; Vanilla Ice Cream with Fresh Cream & Sliced Peaches (HKD 28)

I thought the crepes were delicious. The crepe was warm and soft and went perfectly with the extra milky vanilla ice cream. So good, that it nearly made me forget about our dinner at spaghetti 360°. ;)

Bryan also tried their Black Sesame Ice Cream which came in a cup (HKD 28). This was also good; the ice cream managed to retain the milkiness like the vanilla, but with the nutty fragrance of black sesame still intact.

The view from The Peak is as gorgeous at night as it is in the day :)
After a whole afternoon at The Peak till the sky turned dark, we finally joined the long queue to take the Peak Tram back to Central. Definitely a great day filled with new sights and experiences, and a great start to our adventures in Hong Kong, if you discount spaghetti 360°. :p


The Peak Tram
Lower Peak Tram Terminus,
St. John's Building Peak Tram Station
Opening Hours: Daily, 7am-12am (departs every 15 mins)

Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum | Site
Shop P101, The Peak Tower
No. 128 Peak Road
The Peak, Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 2849-6966
Opening Hours: Daily, 10am – 10pm (Last admission, 9:45pm)

spaghetti 360° 意粉 | Site
Shop No. 20 - 21,
Level 2, The Peak Galleria
Tel: 2849 7901
Opening Hours: 11am-10pm

Marion Crepes 可麗茶房 | Site
Shop No. 10A,
Level 2, The Peak Galleria
Tel: 2849 6983
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri, 11am-9pm, Sat & Sun, 10am-9pm

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