Sunday, November 11, 2012

Post-GCE 'O' Level Examination Holiday in Hong Kong November 2012 ~ Part 2

Welcome to the second section of my post-GCE 'O' Level examination vacation in Hong Kong in November 2012. The topics that will be covered in this section will mainly be one of my journeys on the Airport Express MTR Line, Victoria Peak and a day of shopping around Pioneer Centre near Mongkok.

Part 1 ~ Airport Express (MTR) Line & Victoria Peak


The next morning, which was a Saturday (10 November), I woke up quite early at around 7.30 a.m. after a good night's sleep. To start off the day, I had a hot shower and changed up. Feeling that I had nothing better to do later that day, I decided to take three train rounds on the Airport Express MTR Line.


Before leaving for the Club InterContinental for breakfast, I wrote down a note to my parents and left it on their study desk in their room. I then took the elevator from the tenth floor down to the Club InterContinental, which was located on the second floor.


Once I was in the Club InterContinental Hong Kong, a lounge attendant welcomed and showed me to an empty table. While looking through the breakfast a la carte menu, she brought me a pot of Earl Grey Tea. At the same time, I placed my main breakfast order for scrambled eggs with applewood bacon, a chicken sausage, roasted potatoes, and sautéed mushrooms. The attendant then understood my order and went back to work.


After waiting for approximately 15 minutes, my scrambled eggs with applewood bacon, a chicken sausage, roasted potatoes, and sautéed mushrooms finally arrived at my breakfast table. I then had a nice and hearty breakfast in the Club InterContinental. To summarise, I can say that the breakfast at the InterContinental Hotel Hong Kong is of good quality, but no hotel breakfast in Hong Kong beats the ones offered at the Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel.

The Club InterContinental at the InterContinental Hotel Hong Kong in the mid-morning hours

My pot of Earl Grey Tea on my breakfast table

Looking through the breakfast a la carte menu of the Club InterContinental

The buffet bar at the Club InterContinental during breakfast hours

My main breakfast course: Scrambled eggs with applewood bacon, chicken sausage, roasted potatoes, and sautéed mushrooms

After having a hearty breakfast at the Club InterContinental, I walked down a flight of stairs to the main lobby of the hotel. In the hotel lobby, I got an umbrella from the concierge and then made my way to Tsim Sha Tsui MTR Station via a nearby subway tunnel near the hotel. As I had familiarised myself with the subway passage the previous night, I knew that I would experience no problems in getting to Tsim Sha Tsui MTR Station.

With that, I walked along the underground passageway that led to Tsim Sha Tsui Station. I have known most of the MTR lines in Hong Kong very well since my first trip in December 2005. Since March 2011, the three core MTR lines I usually use are mainly the Airport Express, Tsuen Wan Line and Tung Chung Line. Once I was in East Tsim Sha Tsui Station, I walked along a relatively crowded passageway towards Tsim Sha Tsui Station. A lot of commuters were either heading for leisure or for work, as this would be the morning rush hour on the commuter MTR lines.

As soon as I reached the station concourse of Tsim Sha Tsui Station, I immediately headed to the Customer Service Centre to top up my Octopus Card. Previously, I had about HK$315.50 left from my previous trip in March 2012. However, I managed to add an extra value of HK$500, totaling it up to HK$815.50. I then made my way down to the Tsuen Wan platform towards Central Hong Kong after topping up my Octopus Card.

The Club InterContinental lounge in the late morning hours

A buffet restaurant downstairs in the one of the lower levels of the hotel

The view of Hong Kong Island on the way down to the main hotel lobby

A mid-morning view of the InterContinental Hotel Hong Kong

The entrance to East Tsim Sha Tsui MTR Station

The underground passageway between East Tsim Sha Tsui and Tsim Sha Tsui Stations

The station concourse of Tsim Sha Tsui Station

The ticketing gates at Tsim Sha Tsui Station

The signboard above the platform screen doors indicating the direction towards Central Hong Kong

The signboard above the platform screen doors indicating the Tsuen Wan Line route map towards Central Hong Kong

The name plate of Tsim Sha Tsui Station

The Tsuen Wan Line station platform of Tsim Sha Tsui Station

The MTR system map on the station platform of Tsim Sha Tsui Station

A train arriving at the Central-bound platform of Tsim Sha Tsui Station

The Tsuen Wan Line M-Stock I would later take to Central Hong Kong arriving at Tsim Sha Tsui Station

After a few moments of waiting, an M-Stock Tsuen Wan Line train that was slightly less crowded finally entered Tsim Sha Tsui Station at 9.02 a.m.. I immediately boarded the train for the short hop to Central Station. 
Within just a minute, the train left Tsim Sha Tsui Station for its remaining 5-minute journey towards Central Hong Kong. Since this was just a short ride, I didn't take any videos, other than a few pictures for the segment between Tsim Sha Tsui and Central Hong Kong.


The Airport Express (Traditional Chinese: 機場快綫; Simplified Chinese: 机场快线) is one of the Mass Transit Railway (MTR) lines serving Hong Kong. It mainly links the major urban districts of Hong Kong to Hong Kong International Airport, and the AsiaWorld-Expo exhibition and convention centre.

Although it is part of the MTR system, the Airport Express is NOT a traditional rapid transit line. Instead, it is dedicated express rail service to and from Hong Kong International Airport and AsiaWorld-Expo. Since the start of the revised Airport Express timetable on 15 January 2012, the service frequency is every 10 minutes during the morning, daylight, and evening hours, and 12 minutes during the late night hours.


The Airport Express line currently uses 11 8-car A-Stock train sets, manufactured by Adtranz and CAF in Spain. The first 7 cars have 2 doors on each side, and the Car No. 8 (K Car) functions as the baggage container car. They appear to be very similar to the A-Stock trains used on the more conventional and commuter Tung Chung Line. However, the only difference is that the trains look more like luxury express trains than normal commuter trains. A typical configuration would be E100-F100-G100-H200-F200-G200-J400-K400.


Passengers travelling on the Airport Express can use the in-town check-in service for flights for selected airlines and receive boarding passes for their flights at Hong Kong and Kowloon Stations, with no extra cost. Free Airport Express shuttle buses from Hong Kong and Kowloon Stations are available. They mainly travel to major hotels in Hong Kong Island, Yau Tsim Mong District, and to Hung Hom Station.


Because of the relatively high fares and small catchment areas on the Airport Express, some travellers may opt to take the cheaper, local Tung Chung Line, combined with a bus or taxi route to reach their desired destinations whenever possible. They may also use other methods of transport to reach their destinations. Passengers travelling on the Airport Express can also use their Octopus Cards.


If you are visiting Hong Kong for the first time and wish to use the Airport Express to access your hotel, you can purchase an Octopus Card from the MTR Customer Service Centre at the airport instead of purchasing a ticket. However, you should purchase your Octopus Card for a sufficient amount (i.e. HK$1000), if you are planning to use the MTR lines in during your stay in Hong Kong. However, if you have already purchased an Octopus Card, and wish to use the Airport Express to access your hotel, it is recommended that you top up your Octopus Card first if the remaining value is insufficient prior to boarding your train.


The Airport Express is also my most favourite MTR line in Hong Kong. It is very comfortable, quiet, and not so crowded (except during rush hours). Hanging out on this MTR line also helps to relieve my mind of certain things. I usually go for a maximum of three rounds each day I use it when on vacation in Hong Kong. For every second round, I would stop at the airport for a brief lunch, drink, bathroom, and commercial aviation model shopping break.

On the Airport Express, I usually like to film videos on the sectors mostly between Tsing Yi Station and Hong Kong International Airport. Of the 8-car configuration, I mainly find seats in Car No. 1 for the journey towards AsiaWorld-Expo end, and the car seating patterns vary on the return trip to Central Hong Kong
.

Part of the MTR system map in the Tsuen Wan Line M-Stock train bound for Central Hong Kong

The interior of the Tsuen Wan Line M-Stock train bound for Central Hong Kong

Leaving Tsim Sha Tsui Station

At Admiralty Station

After a short five-minute journey from Tsim Sha Tsui Station, I finally arrived at Central Station at 9.08 a.m.. In advance, I decided to catch my usual 10.20 a.m. Airport Express train bound for AsiaWorld-Expo. To ensure that I had a substantial amount of time, I decided to walk along the passageway between Central and Hong Kong Stations.


Hong Kong Station is one of the major railway stations of the MTR network in Hong Kong. It serves as the eastern terminus for the Airport Express and Tung Chung Lines, and is located between Man Cheung Street and Harbour View Street, Central, Hong Kong Island, and sits just underneath the International Finance Centre. 
The station is directly connected to Central Station via two passageways, with the walk taking approximately two to five minutes.

As soon as I reached the Tung Chung Line concourse of Hong Kong Station, I decided to have a peek at the Tung Chung Line platforms before taking the elevator up to the Airport Express concourse. By the time I was on the Airport Express concourse, it was still early before my 10.20 a.m. Airport Express train bound for AsiaWorld-Expo. I then decided to wait outside the ticketing gates and have a restroom while waiting for the 10.20 a.m. Airport Express train. I also went onto the platform just 20 minutes before my train arrived.

The Tsuen Wan Line Station platform of Central Station

The main concourse of Central Station

The direction sign in Central Station towards the Airport Express and Tung Chung Line trains at Hong Kong Station

The Central Station Island Line platform towards Chai Wan

The passageway to Hong Kong Station from Central Station

The Tung Chung Line concourse of Hong Kong Station

The Tung Chung Line platforms of Hong Kong Station

The Airport Express ticket gates in the Tung Chung Line concourse of Hong Kong Station

The Airport Express concourse of Hong Kong Station

The Airport Express name plate of Hong Kong Station

The Airport Express platform of Hong Kong Station

The 10.10 a.m. Airport Express train bound for Hong Kong International Airport and AsiaWorld-Expo at Hong Kong Station

香港MTR 空港快速 E102~K402編成 博覧館行き 香港駅から出発シーン

After spending long minutes of anticipated waiting on the platform, the 10.20 a.m. Airport Express train bound for AsiaWorld-Expo via Hong Kong International Airport finally arrived at Hong Kong Station at 10.12 a.m.. I took a video of the train's arrival and snapped a few images on board the train. I then found my usual seating spot in Car No. 1 (E110) for the 28-minute journey to AsiaWorld-Expo.


After most of the passengers were on board the train, the Airport Express train finally pulled out of Hong Kong Station at 10.20 a.m., as planned. I then began my first Airport Express MTR Line round of the day. A round trip from Hong Kong to Hong Kong International Airport & AsiaWorld-Expo vice-versa counts as one round. Here are some pictures and videos that will explain the first half of my first Airport Express MTR Line round of the day.

香港MTR 空港快速 E110~K410編成 博覧館行き 香港駅に入線と乗車 その1

The interior of Car No. 1 (E110) of the 10.20 a.m. Airport Express train bound for Hong Kong International Airport and AsiaWorld-Expo

The logo of the Airport Express on the baggage rack

The empty passenger baggage rack on the Airport Express while awaiting departure at 10.20 a.m. from Hong Kong

The information route map on the Airport Express while awaiting departure from Hong Kong Station

Awaiting departure from Hong Kong Station at 10.20 a.m.


香港MTR 空港快速 E110編成 博覧館行き 香港駅から香港国際空港駅間 (1/2)

At Tsing Yi Station while waiting for departure to the airport and AsiaWorld-Expo

香港MTR 空港快速 E110編成 博覧館行き 香港駅から香港国際空港駅間 (2/2)

Shortly after arriving at Hong Kong International Airport Station

The empty passenger baggage rack while at the airport

Awaiting departure from Hong Kong International Airport Station

Departing Hong Kong International Airport Station

The Regal Airport Hotel Hong Kong as seen from the Airport Express

The South China Sea from the Airport Express

Arriving at the AsiaWorld-Expo terminal station

After a 28-minute journey from Central Hong Kong, I finally arrived at the AsiaWorld-Expo terminal station at 10.48 a.m.. Immediately, I made my carriage changeover to Car No. 7 (J410) for the journey back towards Central Hong Kong for my second Airport Express round of the day. I then found a good seating spot near the baggage rack in the middle of the car, and settled for the journey back to Central Hong Kong.


After five minutes of waiting had passed, the Airport Express finally pulled out of AsiaWorld-Expo Station at 10.54 a.m. for its 28-minute return journey to Central Hong Kong. As part of the standard routine, I filmed the sectors between Hong Kong International Airport and Central Hong Kong. Here are some pictures and videos which will explain the second half of my first Airport Express round of the day.

The station name plate for AsiaWorld-Expo Station

The station platform of AsiaWorld-Expo Station

The information route map on the Airport Express while at AsiaWorld-Expo Station

The interior of the Airport Express Car No. 7 (J410) at AsiaWorld-Expo Station

The Airport Express airline information display showing on the advertisement screen on the Airport Express train

The disused Airport Express platform of AsiaWorld-Expo Station

The Airport Express about to depart AsiaWorld-Expo at 10.54 a.m.

The disused Airport Express platform of AsiaWorld-Expo Station just as the train is about to leave

The South China Sea as seen from the Airport Express train bound for Central Hong Kong

At Track No. 2 of Hong Kong International Airport

香港MTR 空港快速 J410編成 香港市内行き 香港国際空港駅から終点香港駅間 (1/2)

The Airport Express commercial screen indicating that the train is at Tsing Yi Station

The passenger baggage rack on the Airport Express bound for Central Hong Kong while at Tsing Yi Station

At Tsing Yi Station in the direction towards Central Hong Kong

香港MTR 空港快速 J410編成 香港市内行き 香港国際空港駅から終点香港駅間 (2/2)

After the 28-minute return journey from AsiaWorld-Expo, I finally arrived back at the Hong Kong terminal station at 11.22 a.m., completing my first Airport Express round of the day. Once the passengers alighted, I did my usual carriage changeover to Car No. 1 (E110) to begin my second Airport Express round of the day.

I knew that during my second round, I would be stopping at Hong Kong International Airport for a restroom, shopping and drink break. I then settled into the usual seating area in Car No. 1 (E110) and waited anxiously for the clock to strike 11.30 a.m. for departure from Hong Kong Station.

As soon as the passengers boarded the train, the Airport Express finally pulled out of Hong Kong Station at 11.30 a.m. for another 28-minute to Hong Kong International Airport and AsiaWorld-Expo. I then began my second Airport Express round of the day, and headed for a 24-minute journey to Hong Kong International Airport. I shall let these photographs and videos do the explanation of the first half of my second Airport Express round of the day.

The Airport Express platform of Hong Kong Station just after I alighted the train to change cars

Waiting to board the 11.30 a.m. Airport Express train bound for Hong Kong International Airport and AsiaWorld-Expo

The interior of Car No. 1 (E110) of the 11.30 a.m. Airport Express train bound for Hong Kong International Airport and AsiaWorld-Expo

The empty passenger baggage rack on the Airport Express while awaiting departure at 11.30 a.m. from Hong Kong

Awaiting departure from Hong Kong Station at 11.30 a.m.

The MTR system map on the Airport Express train bound for AsiaWorld-Expo

Pulling out of Hong Kong Station at 11.30 a.m.

The empty passenger baggage rack between Hong Kong and Kowloon

Arriving at Kowloon Station

Waiting for departure from Kowloon Station

香港MTR 空港快速 E110編成 博覧館行き 九龍駅から香港国際空港駅間 (1/2)

The empty passenger baggage rack while at Tsing Yi Station

Awaiting departure from Tsing Yi Station

香港MTR 空港快速 E110編成 博覧館行き 九龍駅から香港国際空港駅間 (2/2)

After 24 minutes of travelling on the Airport Express train from Central Hong Kong, I finally arrived at Hong Kong International Airport at 11.54 a.m.. The exit on the left side led to Terminal 1, whereas the exit on the right side led to Terminal 2. I then alighted the train via Terminal 1, and snapped a few more pictures before going into the terminal building.


After I exited Hong Kong International Airport Station, I walked on the automatic moving passageway into the Terminal 1 building of the airport. I then passed by the airline check-in areas and went to a restroom located just nearby the shops and towards a water cooler for a quick sip of water, since I was feeling rather thirsty.

Platform Track No. 1 of Hong Kong International Airport Station

The entrance to Track No. 1 of Hong Kong International Airport, with Track No. 2 below

On the moving passageway to the main terminal building

The Korean Air check-in counter in Terminal 1 of Hong Kong International Airport

The Toys & Games hobby shop

Some of the many airplane models displayed at Toys & Games hobby shop

After having a sip of water, I went to a well-known hobby shop called Toys & Games. Besides having items suitable for young children, there were lots of commercial aircraft models on sale for aviation enthusiasts. I then purchased three Herpa Wings Scale 1:500 commercial aircraft models, all of which were Airbus aircraft (1 Airbus A330 & 2 Airbus A340s). They were:


1) Cathay Pacific Airbus A340-642 Herpa Scale 1:500 (507882
)

Cathay Pacific Airbus A340-642 Herpa Scale 1:500 (507882)

2) Lufthansa Airbus A340-311 "Star Alliance - 15 Years" Herpa Scale 1:500 (523516
)

Lufthansa Airbus A340-311 "Star Alliance - 15 Years" Herpa Scale 1:500 (523516)

3) Vietnam Airlines Airbus A330-223 Herpa Scale 1:500 (523370)

Vietnam Airlines Airbus A330-223 Herpa Scale 1:500 (523370)

After purchasing my Herpa aircraft models, I decided not to eat anything at the airport as the hotel's in-room dining service had my favourite spaghetti alla carbonara. I then decided to go down to Delifrance cafeteria to have something warm to drink. With that, I took the escalator down to the arrival hall.

Once I was in Delifrance cafeteria, I ordered a large mug of hot chocolate for myself and sipped it down within 10 minutes. While in the cafe, I texted my dad to inform him that everything was going fine and that I would return to the hotel by four o' clock. He then replied me, saying that we were to go Victoria Peak to have dinner at Café Deco, with a table reservation made for eight o' clock later that night.

After I sipped down my mug of hot chocolate, I went to the restroom before heading to Hong Kong International Airport Station Track No. 2 to resume my second Airport Express round of the day. My next train would depart at 12.58 p.m. from Track No. 2.

The departures and check-in area of Hong Kong International Airport

The departures and check-in area while heading on the escalator downwards to the arrival hall


The interior of Delifrance Cafeteria Hong Kong International Airport

A large mug of hot chocolate for myself

A lineup of restaurants in the arrival hall of Hong Kong International Airport

The arrival hall of Hong Kong International Airport

The entrance to Track No. 2 of Hong Kong International Airport Station

Track No. 2 of Hong Kong International Airport Station

The 12.49 p.m. Airport Express train about to depart for Central Hong Kong from Track No. 2 of Hong Kong International Airport Station

Track No. 2 of Hong Kong International Airport Station before the 12.58 p.m. Airport Express train bound for Central Hong Kong arrived

After approximately 15 minutes of waiting, the 12.58 p.m. Airport Express train finally arrived at Hong Kong International Airport at 12.55 p.m. on Track No. 2. I shot a video of the train arriving at Track No. 2. I then boarded the train through Car No. 7 (J405) and found a usual seating spot by the baggage rack. I then settled into the 24-minute journey back to Central Hong Kong to complete my second round and at the same time, commence the third and final Airport Express round of the day
.

At exactly 12.58 p.m., the Airport Express train bound for Central Hong Kong finally pulled out of Hong Kong International Airport for the journey which would take 24 minutes. I was then on my way back to Central Hong Kong to begin my third and final Airport Express round of the day. I shall let these pictures and videos explain the second half of my second Airport Express round of the day.

香港MTR 空港快速 K405~E105編成 香港市内行き 香港国際空港駅に入線 その1

The Airport Express baggage rack while awaiting departure from the airport

香港MTR 空港快速 J405編成 香港市内行き 香港国際空港駅から九龍駅間 (1/2)

The empty passenger baggage rack while at Tsing Yi Station

The Hong Kong-bound Airport Express platform of Tsing Yi Station while awaiting departure

香港MTR 空港快速 J405編成 香港市内行き 香港国際空港駅から九龍駅間 (2/2)

The empty passenger baggage rack while at Kowloon Station

Waiting for departure from Kowloon Station

The Airport Express advertisement screen indicating that we are at Kowloon Station

The Airport Express route indication map between Kowloon and Hong Kong

The empty passenger baggage rack between Kowloon and Hong Kong Stations

Finally arriving back at the Hong Kong terminal station

After a 24-minute journey from Hong Kong International Airport, I finally arrived back at the Hong Kong terminal station at 1.22 p.m. (13 22), completing my second Airport Express round of the day at the same time. Once I alighted the Airport Express train, I did my usual carriage changeover in preparation for departure at 1.30 p.m. (13 30)
.

This time, I had a different seating plan. My plan was to be in Car No. 1 (E105) between Hong Kong and Tsing Yi, and to be in Car No. 2 (F105) for the sector between Tsing Yi and the AsiaWorld-Expo terminal station. I then went over to find my usual seating spot in Car No. 1
After eight minutes of anticipation, the Airport Express train finally pulled out of Hong Kong Station at 1.30 p.m. (13 30) for another 28-minute journey towards AsiaWorld-Expo via Hong Kong International Airport.

I then began my third and final Airport Express round of the day. As part of my seating plan, I was to be in Car No. 2 (F105) for the sector between Tsing Yi and the AsiaWorld-Expo terminal station. I shall let these pictures and videos explain the first half of my third and final Airport Express round of the day.

The Airport Express platform of Hong Kong Station shortly after I arrived to begin my third and final round of the day

Waiting to board the 1.30 p.m. Airport Express train bound for Hong Kong International Airport and AsiaWorld-Expo

The interior of Car No. 1 (E105) of the 1.30 p.m. Airport Express train bound for Hong Kong International Airport and AsiaWorld-Expo

Awaiting departure from Hong Kong Station at 1.30 p.m.

香港MTR 空港快速 E105編成 博覧館行き 香港駅から青衣駅間

Awaiting departure from Tsing Yi Station while in Car No. 2 (F105)

香港MTR 空港快速 F105編成 博覧館行き 青衣駅から香港国際空港駅間

The cabin view while at Hong Kong International Airport Station

Awaiting departure from Hong Kong International Airport Station to AsiaWorld-Expo

Departing Hong Kong International Airport Station

The Regal Airport Hotel Hong Kong - A hotel where most travellers who transit in Hong Kong spend the night

Arriving at the AsiaWorld-Expo terminal station, with the view of the disused platform

After another 28-minute journey from Central Hong Kong on the Airport Express, I finally arrived at the AsiaWorld-Expo terminal station at 1.58 p.m. (13 58). As Car No. 7 (J405) was a bit too far for me and I was getting tired, I did my usual carriage changeover to Car No. 4 (H205) for the journey back to Central Hong Kong.


After six minutes of waiting, the Airport Express train finally departed from AsiaWorld-Expo Station at 2.04 p.m. (14 04) for another 28-minute journey to Central Hong Kong. I then resumed my third and final Airport Express round of the day. Here are some pictures and videos which will explain the second half of my third and final Airport Express round of the day.

The cabin view of Car No. 4 (H205) as the train awaits departure from AsiaWorld-Expo at 2.04 p.m. (14 04)

The name plate of AsiaWorld-Expo Station on the disused platform

The disused Airport Express platform of AsiaWorld-Expo Station as we await departure

The cabin view of the Airport Express just before departure from AsiaWorld-Expo


The South China Sea from the Airport Express in the mid-afternoon hours

Pulling into Hong Kong International Airport Station

The cabin view of the Airport Express while at Hong Kong International Airport Station

香港MTR 空港快速 H205編成 香港市内行き 香港国際空港駅から青衣駅間

The cabin view of the Airport Express while at Tsing Yi Station

Awaiting departure from Tsing Yi Station at 2.22 p.m. (14 22)

香港MTR 空港快速 H205編成 香港市内行き 青衣駅から終点香港駅間

After 28 minutes of travelling on the Airport Express from AsiaWorld-Expo, I finally arrived back at the Hong Kong terminal station at 2.32 p.m. (14 32). With that, I had completed all of my three Airport Express rounds of the day and felt very pleased with myself. I started to feel rather hungry as I didn't eat anything at the airport.


Without wasting anymore time, I decided to head back to the InterContinental Hotel Hong Kong. I would head back via the Tsuen Wan Line to Tsim Sha Tsui from Central Station. I then took the elevator down to the Tung Chung Line concourse and walked along the passageway between Hong Kong and Central Stations.


After walking for about 10 minutes from Hong Kong Station, I was on the Tsuen Wan Line platform of Central Station by 2.45 p.m.. I decided to catch the nearest Tsuen Wan Line train towards Tsuen Wan which was less crowded. I then left Central Station at 2.50 p.m. on the Tsuen Wan Line train towards Tsim Sha Tsui for a journey of just five minutes.

A clear and good view of the Airport Express platform of Hong Kong Station

The left side view of the Airport Express platform of Hong Kong Station

The ticket gates for the Airport Express trains at Hong Kong Station

The Airport Express concourse of Hong Kong Station before I took the elevator down to the Tung Chung Line concourse of the station

The Tung Chung Line concourse of Hong Kong Station

On the passageway between Hong Kong and Central Stations

Passing by the Island Line platform towards Chai Wan

The Tsuen Wan Line concourse of Central Station

The Tsuen Wan Line station platforms of Central Station

The Tsuen Wan Line indicating the direction towards Tsuen Wan at Central Station

The Tsuen Wan Line route map above the platform screen doors of Central Station

The interior of the Tsuen Wan Line M-Stock train bound for Tsuen Wan while awaiting departure from Central Station

Part of the MTR system map in the Tsuen Wan Line M-Train towards Tsuen Wan

Pulling into Admiralty Station

Stopping briefly at Admiralty Station

Pulling out of Admiralty Station

The interior of the Tsuen Wan Line M-Stock train bound for Tsuen Wan packed with commuters

Arriving back at Tsim Sha Tsui Station

After travelling on the Tsuen Wan Line from Central Hong Kong for five minutes, I finally arrived back at Tsim Sha Tsui Station at 2.55 p.m.. I then alighted the train and began my walk back to the InterContinental Hotel Hong Kong via East Tsim Sha Tsui Station. I knew the route pretty well, as I had familiarised myself with it earlier that morning
.

As soon as I arrived back at the InterContinental Hotel Hong Kong at 3.05 p.m., I took the elevator back up to my tenth floor room (1006), only to find my brother enjoying himself in the room. I unpacked all my belongings and charged my camera batteries before lying back on my desk chair to do some of my personal video uploads onto YouTube.

Since I was feeling rather hungry from my Airport Express journeys, my brother felt the same. So we ordered in-room dining for lunch, with the same dishes which we had the previous day upon our arrival in Hong Kong. Our lunches were then brought up to us at 3.35 p.m., just half an hour after we placed our orders. As usual, my spaghetti alla carbonara was absolutely mouthwatering with the creamy cheese and shredded cheese.

The station platform of Tsim Sha Tsui Station during the afternoon rush hours

The crowded Tsuen Wan Line station concourse of Tsim Sha Tsui Station

The underground passageway between Tsim Sha Tsui and East Tsim Sha Tsui Stations

The sunny afternoon exterior view of the InterContinental Hotel Hong Kong

The main hotel lobby of the InterContinental Hotel Hong Kong in the afternoon


The afternoon view of Hong Kong Island from our hotel room

A plate of fish and chips for my brother

A platter of french fries and chicken nuggets

My usual mouthwatering plate of spaghetti alla carbonara

An overall view of our lunches

After my brother and I finished our lunches, I called the clean-up service to come to clear our meal table. They then came up to our rooms to clear up our used movable dining table at around 4.30 p.m.. At around five o' clock, our parents returned to the room from their shopping around downtown Tsim Sha Tsui.


My dad then informed us that as our reservation at Café Deco Victoria Peak would be at eight o' clock later that night, we had to leave for Victoria Peak by 6.45 p.m.. At around 6.30 p.m., we all went down to the main lobby to arrange for a taxi to transport us to Victoria Peak. We then left the hotel at 6.40 p.m. for a 35-minute journey to Victoria Peak.


Victoria Peak (Chinese: 太平山), most commonly known as The Peak, is one of the mountains in Hong Kong. It is quite popular among both foreigners and locals as it offers spectacular views over Central, Victoria Harbour, and the surrounding islands. This makes it one of our favourite landmarks in Hong Kong.

The Peak is easily accessible via The Peak Tram, which links between Garden Road Station at the base, and The Peak, located at the summit. Two shopping centers, which are The Peak Galleria and Peak Tower, are available to cater to the people's shopping needs. Usually, the best time to visit The Peak would be at night, as the night views of Hong Kong are extremely spectacular and breathtaking
.

The hotel lobby of the InterContinental Hotel Hong Kong

Outside the entrance to the hotel lobby at night

Several tall buildings and the hotel fountain at night

Passing by Wing On Plaza

Passing by my most favourite hotel in Hong Kong - The Kowloon Shangri-La

The crowded motorway jam towards the Cross-Harbour Tunnel

About to cross the Cross-Harbour Tunnel between Kowloon and Hong Kong Island

Passing by several luxury hotels in Hong Kong Island

Passing by several skyscrapers in Hong Kong

The base of the Bank of China Tower Hong Kong at night

Climbing the first phase of the mountain road towards Victoria Peak

In the middle of climbing up the mountain road towards Victoria Peak

About to arrive at The Peak Galleria

Arriving at the taxi stand under The Peak Galleria

After a 35-minute journey from the InterContinental Hotel Hong Kong, we finally arrived at The Peak Galleria at 7.15 p.m.. Knowing that we had 45 minutes before our reservation, it was still early, so we decided to browse around some shops before heading to Café Deco for dinner. 
At around 7.30 p.m., my dad and brother decided to go to the restaurant to grab our table earlier.

My mum was still busy with her shopping spree around The Peak Galleria. Once we were in the restaurant, we were directed to our table located on the lower level of the restaurant. Before we ordered our dinner items from the a la carte menu, I went outside to see the beautiful night scenery of Hong Kong Island.

The escalators from the taxi stands to The Peak Galleria

The main entrance to Café Deco

The interior of the Peak Galleria from the second floor

The upper entrance to Café Deco

The interior of the lower level of Café Deco just after we entered

The Peak Tower at night

The crowded Victoria Peak Tram station below The Peak Tower

The beautiful night view of Hong Kong Island from Victoria Peak

After observing the spectacular night view of Hong Kong Island, I went back to our dining table to look through the menus. My dad then asked me to go up to the upper level and identify the largest oysters they had today. With that, I went upstairs to get a good photo of the largest oysters, which were known as Cumbrae Rock Oysters from Scotland.

After I got back down to our dining table, I showed the picture of the oysters to my dad, who was most impressed. A waiter then came to our table to take our dinner orders. We ordered several sumptuous dishes and side orders, including six Cumbrae Rock Oysters and two clams. My mum joined us a little later. That night, we had a sumptuous dinner at Café Deco at Victoria Peak.

After having a sumptuous dinner feast at Café Deco, I was feeling rather stuffed, so I went to the restroom to wash my hands, and outside the balcony to enjoy the night scenery of Hong Kong Island once more. My parents also ordered a lobster for themselves to share, which I could not eat, as I was totally full from the feast and I usually don't eat lobsters.

The cover page for the food menu of Café Deco

Looking at the food menu of Café Deco

The lower level of Café Deco before I went up to the upper level to see the oysters

The Cumbrae Rock Oysters from Scotland at the oyster bar of Café Deco

A plate of pork chop for my brother

A plate of medium-cooked angus ribeye steak for myself

A side order of mashed potatoes

My medium-cooked angus ribeye steak cut into several pieces

A cold platter of clams and oysters

My first Cumbrae Rock Oyster

The shell of my first Cumbrae Rock Oyster

My second Cumbrae Rock Oyster

The shells of the first two Cumbrae Rock Oysters that I ate

My third and final Cumbrae Rock Oyster

The shells of the Cumbrae Rock Oysters that I ate

A plate of medium rare-cooked angus ribeye steak for my parents to share

A side order of sautéed mushrooms


The upper level of Café Deco at The Peak Galleria

Another beautiful night view of Hong Kong Island from Café Deco at The Peak Galleria

The Peak Tram station still packed with passengers

Another night view of the Peak Tower from Café Deco at The Peak Galleria

A large lobster platter for my parents

The spiral staircase leading to the upper level of Café Deco

The open kitchens in the lower level of Café Deco

At around nine o' clock, we were finally finished with our sumptuous dinner feast at Café Deco. My dad then paid up the bill, while I went to check the crowd of the Peak Tram station. 
To my disappointment, the Peak Tram was still as crowded as before, leaving us with no other choice but to get a taxi back to the InterContinental Hotel Hong Kong.

Without wasting anymore time, we decided to head back down to The Peak Galleria taxi stand to get a taxi back to the InterContinental Hotel Hong Kong. At 9.10 p.m., we managed to flag down a taxi to head back to the InterContinental Hotel Hong Kong. With that, we hopped onto the taxi for another journey of 35 minutes back to the InterContinental Hotel Hong Kong.

Inside The Peak Galleria on the first floor

The taxi stand below The Peak Galleria


Leaving Victoria Peak for the InterContinental Hotel Hong Kong

Climbing down a hilly road in Victoria Peak

The Bank of China Tower as seen from beneath the trees from Victoria Peak

About to pass by a condominium building on the way down from Victoria Peak

Heading towards the modern city of Hong Kong from Victoria Peak

Passing by several high-rise buildings in Hong Kong Island

Bypassing the Bank of China Tower again

About to cross under a footbridge in Hong Kong Island

More high-rise buildings in Hong Kong Island at night

About to cross the Cross-Harbour Tunnel towards Kowloon

Passing by Wing On Plaza again

Bypassing my most favourite Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel Hong Kong again

Finally arriving back at the InterContinental Hotel Hong Kong

After travelling on the taxi from Victoria Peak, we finally arrived back at the InterContinental Hotel Hong Kong at 9.45 p.m.. We paid our taxi fare and took the elevator back up to our rooms. As soon as we were in the rooms, I had a usual hot shower, before doing some video uploads onto YouTube.

As the clock struck around one o' clock in the morning, we all went to bed after a busy day in Hong Kong. It was indeed a busy day for me, due to all my myriad journeys I spent on the Airport Express MTR Line.



Part 2 ~ A Day of Shopping at Pioneer Centre

The next morning, which was a Sunday (11 November), we woke up at around 9.50 a.m. after a well-earned night's sleep. As my dad called us to proceed down to the Club InterContinental Lounge for breakfast, we irritably followed him as we were still tired when we woke up. While at the Club InterContinental, we had a buffet breakfast that morning, as to me, buffets are only good for breakfasts.


After having breakfast in the Club InterContinental, I went back up to my hotel room, along with my brother. We then had a relatively late shower to start the day off. After that, we spent part of the afternoon having the time of our lives in the hotel room. I also spotted some ships and cruises passing by our hotel and the creek. Meanwhile, my parents went out to do their shopping around the Tsim Sha Tsui area.

Inside the Club InterContinental for breakfast

A plate of scrambled eggs, streaky bacon, sausages and a hash brown for myself

A nice and warm mug of hot chocolate for myself

A plate of streaky bacon, sausages and hash browns for myself

The luxury Genting Star Cruise by our hotel window

A strange-looking small ship, which I believe to be a pirate ship

The many skyscrapers of Hong Kong from our hotel room

The luxury Genting Star Cruise ship and the skyline of Hong Kong

The skyline of Hong Kong Island from my hotel room

At around 1.30 p.m., my parents came back from their shopping spree around Tsim Sha Tsui. I then asked my dad to bring me to Pioneer Centre, a shopping mall in Nathan Road in the Yau Tsim Mong District.

Since March 2012, I have heard of the two notable hobby shops there, which were known as AeroShop Hong Kong and West Main Toys. With that, my dad and I, along with my brother, went down to the hotel lobby at two o' clock to get a taxi to Pioneer Centre. The journey took no more than 15 minutes.

The main hotel reception counter in the afternoon

One of the reception seating areas in the hotel lobby

The skyline of Tsim Sha Tsui from the hotel entrance

Passing by the busy streets of Nathan Road

As soon as we reached Pioneer Centre by 2.20 p.m., we paid the taxi driver and quickly headed into the shopping mall. We were happy to be free from the crowded streets outside Pioneer Centre. With that, we took the escalator up to the second floor, where AeroShop and West Main Toys were located.


As soon as we were on the second floor, I immediately headed to AeroShop while my dad and brother went for something to drink. The owner of AeroShop was very kind and recognised me instantly. He knew I had been to his shop before in March 2012.

Up the escalator in Pioneer Centre

A view of the upper floors of Pioneer Centre

On the second floor of Pioneer Centre

The many aircraft models drawing my attention outside AeroShop

After arriving at AeroShop, I took a very good look through t
he various commercial aircraft models the shop owner had on display that drew my attention instantly. Since I had always been wanting to expand my Herpa Wings aircraft model collection, I decided to choose some of the models.

Coincidentally, the owner of AeroShop was an aviation enthusiast as well. He also told me that he too had his very own blog relating to aviation and commercial aircraft models from different manufacturers. If you would like to order something from AeroShop, you can go AeroShop's blog. While at AeroShop, I purchased three newly released aircraft models. They were:

1) China Eastern Airlines Airbus A340-642 Herpa Scale 1:500 (518529
)

China Eastern Airlines Airbus A340-642 Herpa Scale 1:500 (518529)

2) Lufthansa Airbus A340-313X "Soccer Nose" Herpa Scale 1:500 (507509
)

Lufthansa Airbus A340-313X "Soccer Nose" Herpa Scale 1:500 (507509)

3) Swiss International Air Lines Airbus A330-343X Herpa Scale 1:500 (504775
)

Swiss International Air Lines Airbus A330-343X Herpa Scale 1:500 (504775)

The logo of West Main Toys just outside the entrance to the shop

The many commercial aircraft model displays outside West Main Toys

As soon as I finished my browsing at Aero Shop, I browsed through more of the models before heading over to West Main Toys. I thanked the owner of AeroShop for his kindness, and promised to come again whenever I came to Hong Kong in future. I immediately went over to West Main Toys, which was located just opposite Aero Shop. What I saw on display at West Main Toys drew my greatest attention.

I was extremely surprised by the many commercial aircraft models on display outside the shopEager to see what was on sale, I entered West Main Toys to take a closer look. The owner of West Main Toys recognised me instantly, as I had been to his shop for the first time back in March. He knew that I was a really avid fan of commercial aviation.

To my surprise, he told me that he had been to Singapore before somewhere in 2009. The owner even told me that some of his favourite aircraft in the world were the Airbus A380 and the Boeing 777-300/ER. While browsing through the many items at West Main Toys shop, I purchased five more new Herpa commercial aircraft models. They are:


1) Air China Boeing 777-39L/ER Herpa Scale 1:500 (518994-001
)*

Air China Boeing 777-39L/ER Herpa Scale 1:500 (518994-001)

*The Air China Herpa Code No. 518994-001 is a replica of the original version of the model, with the Code No. 518994, which I am currently searching for. The version I am currently looking for is the original version, which carries the Registration No. B-2085, and I currently have its replica, registered B-2031.


As for the Mainland Chinese carrier's fleet of newer and more fuel-efficient Boeing 777-300/ERs, these are expected to replace its fleet of older Boeing 747-400s in the long run. The first aircraft, B-2085, was delivered in July 2011.


2) Lufthansa Airbus A340-642 Herpa Scale 1:500 (507417
)

Lufthansa Airbus A340-642 Herpa Scale 1:500 (507417)

3) Qatar Airways Airbus A340-642 Herpa Scale 1:500 (519083
)

Qatar Airways Airbus A340-642 Herpa Scale 1:500 (519083)

4) Swiss International Air Lines Airbus A330-343X Herpa Scale 1:500 (523134
)

Swiss International Air Lines Airbus A330-343X Herpa Scale 1:500 (523134)

5) Transaero Airlines Boeing 777-222/ER Herpa Scale 1:500 (523561
)

Transaero Airlines Boeing 777-222/ER Herpa Scale 1:500 (523561)

After purchasing all of my new aircraft models, I rung up my dad to meet me at West Main Toys. My dad permitted me to look at a bit more models before we decided to leave for the InterContinental Hotel Hong Kong. At 3.30 p.m., I bade goodbye to the owner of West Main Toys and promised to come again in future.


With that, we all took the escalator down to the ground floor and went to the taxi stand to hail a cab back to the InterContinental Hotel Hong Kong. Once again, the journey back to the hotel took no longer than 15 minutes
.

Taking the escalator down to the ground floor

Arriving back at the InterContinental Hotel Hong Kong

As soon as we were back in the hotel room by four o' clock, my parents decided to go to Citygate Outlets Tung Chung for more shopping. My brother and I decided to stay in the room as we were tired. I had something, which was my usual spaghetti alla carbonara, to eat for a late lunch.


As always, my brother and I had the time of our lives in the hotel room. Before my parents left, they informed us that we had a dinner reservation for Little Sheep Hot Pot Restaurant in Kimberly Road at nine o' clock later that night.


At around 7.50 p.m., my parents came back from Citygate Outlets Tung Chung. They had purchased several footwear for us all. Knowing that it was already 8.35 p.m. after some time had gone by, we immediately went down to the hotel lobby to flag down a cab to Kimberly Road. The journey to Little Sheep Hot Pot Restaurant at Kimberly Road took no more than five minutes.

The beautiful view of Hong Kong Island from our bedroom at night

Our bedroom, 1006, at night at the InterContinental Hotel Hong Kong

The main InterContinental Hotel lobby at night

The night skyline of Tsim Sha Tsui from the hotel entrance

Travelling past the Hong Kong Space Museum along Salisbury Road

Bypassing the taxi station by the Tsim Sha Tsui Ferry Pier

The Salisbury Road crossings at night

Passing by the Salisbury Hotel Hong Kong

The busy Salisbury Road at night

Passing by The Peninsula Hotel Hong Kong at night

Driving along Mody Road

Finally arriving in Kimberly Road

After a short 10-minute taxi ride from the InterContinental Hotel Hong Kong, we finally arrived at Kimberly Road at 8.50 p.m.. First, we went to look at some shoe shops, and we went up to Little Sheep Hot Pot Restaurant to get a table for four people, which we successfully did
.

A few minutes later, a waiter came to take our dinner orders for the steamboat feast. As we could not have anything spicy, we ordered the normal soup, as well as the various noodles and meat dishes they had on the menu. Though the udon noodles tasted kind of weird, almost like plastic; this is the only weakness, but the other dishes were pretty good.

The entrance to Little Sheep Hot Pot Restaurant Kimberly Road

The interior of Little Sheep Hot Pot Restaurant Kimberly Road

A small plate of mixed nuts for us

Looking through the food menu of Little Sheep

Inside of Little Sheep again

The steamboat hot pot finally arrives at our dining table

Some of our ordered dishes in a food trolley by our table

A plate of shredded tofu ready to be put into the hot pot

A plate of udon noodles - this is the only weak part since it tasted a bit like plastic

Assorted mushrooms for the hot pot

Some of the many meat dishes we ordered waiting to be cooked in the hot pot

A platter of minced meat balls ready to be cooked in the hot pot

A platter of ham (luncheon meat) for my brother and I to share

A plate of sliced Australian beef rib cut for steamboats

A platter of pork liver ready to be cooked

Most of the vegetables put into the steamboat hot pot

Mixed vegetables for steamboat cooking

A mixed platter of thinly sliced lamb and Mongolian beef

The thinly sliced lamb and Mongolian beef ready to be cooked

The many sediments cooking in the hot pot

Another plate of sliced Australian beef rib cut for steamboats

More sediments including noodles and tofu in the hot pot cooking

Another plate of luncheon meat to share

The soup in the hot pot bubbling with sediments

More bubbling in the hot pot cooking

After a filling steamboat dinner feast at Little Sheep Hot Pot Restaurant, we were all finally stuffed. We then paid our bill and left the restaurant to look at slightly more shops around Kimberly Road. While at Kimberly Road, I went to a Ben & Jerry's ice cream parlour to enjoy some Chocolate Temptations ice cream.


After having a good ice cream dessert at the Ben & Jerry's ice cream parlour, we decided to head back to the InterContinental Hotel Hong Kong. Again, it was around 10.45 p.m. by the time we left Kimberly Road, and the journey back towards the InterContinental Hotel Hong Kong took no more than 10 minutes.

The inside of Little Sheep Hot Pot Restaurant just before we paid our bill

Outside the entrance to Little Sheep

A tall building as seen from Kimberly Road at night

The streets of Kimberly Road at night

The Ben & Jerry's ice cream parlour in Kimberly Road

A nice cup of Chocolate Temptations ice cream for myself


Driving along the night streets of Kimberly Road

The view of Hong Kong Island at night from the taxi

Travelling along Salisbury Road at night

Arriving back at the InterContinental Hotel Hong Kong

It was quite close to eleven o' clock by the time we arrived back at the InterContinental Hotel Hong Kong. Once we were back in our hotel rooms, we had a nice, hot shower, and I did some personal computer stuff again. 
As I decided to travel on the Airport Express MTR Line again the next day, I decided to catch the same train at the same timing as the previous day. With that, I set my alarm on my mobile phone to 8.15 a.m. for the next morning, and went to bed by 1.15 a.m..

This now brings the second section of my post-GCE 'O' Level examination in Hong Kong in November 2012 to a close. Again, questions and / or comments are always welcome. The remaining two sections of the report will be published once I have selected the best quality images and videos.

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