Time to leave our luxury hotel and everything nice in Discovery Bay, did we mention about the tranquility and lack of pollution this area boasts of? Farewell for now! We took our hotel shuttle towards Sunny Bay MTR station, bought the all-purpose Octopus transit card, and off we went! towards one of the smallest district in Hong Kong with the highest population density of the country → Mong Kok (旺角). To really experience Hong Kong, Mong Kok is a must-see! And taking the MTR is a must-do!
We took the MTR from Sunny Bay to Nam Cheong (3 stops) via the Tung Chung Line (orange line), where we switched to the West Rail Line (magenta line) and travelled to Hung Hom (3 stops), and finally switched to the East Rail Line (blue line) to reach Mong Kok East station (1 stop) where our hotel is located. Thank God the Royal Plaza Hotel is conveniently accessible from the station and is well connected within the 7-storey Moko shopping mall.
The hotel is also connected to an overhead pedestrian walkway that leads to the Mong Kok station (Note that Mong Kok station and Mong Kok East station are two different stations). Both sides of the overhead bridge were occupied by women who look like Filipinos, Thai or Indonesian domestic helpers who camped out there enjoying their own picnics. The atmosphere was buzzing with clamorous conversations and activities as they lay relaxed on the footbridge on a warm Sunday afternoon.
We returned back to our hotel for a dim sum lunch while we waited for our room to be ready. We were blessed to receive a free upgrade to the 32 m² Plaza Grand King Room (#19-58) located on the hotel’s highest floor, thanks to Little E! After a much-needed afternoon nap because of all the travelling and exploring, we set off towards Central (中环) by walking towards the Mong Kok station and boarding the Tsuen Wan Line (red line) towards Central station (5 stops).
We had wanted to ride the Peak Tram to arrive at The Peak, but the tightly-knitted assemblage of people seen queuing at the Peak Tram Terminus astounded us. We left disappointed, knowing that it is impossible to join the queue with Little E in tow. Even if we tried, we wouldn’t have been able to catch the sunset en route or at the top.
So we walked about 1.5 km towards the Central Star Ferry Pier in Hong Kong Island, boarded the 10 min ferry to reach Tsim Sha Tsui Star Ferry Pier in Mainland Hong Kong. We managed to hop on board the ferry in time, and enjoyed the brief and smooth voyage while appreciating the beautiful sunset on our way back to Mainland Hong Kong.
We reached Tsim Sha Tsui and as we looked back towards Hong Kong Island, our gazes were naturally drawn to the dramatic topographical and architectural spectacle created by the Hong Kong Island skyline towering over the busy waters of Victoria Harbour. The panoramic view was nothing short of a captivating and dazzling display of skyscrapers that are neatly packed before the backdrop of green hills.
Looking at one of the world’s most iconic skylines and the stunning harbour, I am really impressed with the size of the harbour and the urban jungle that Hong Kong offers. It truly is the Pearl of the Orient (东方之珠).
From the ferry terminal, we followed the promenade past the clock tower and along the harbourside in front of Hong Kong Cultural Centre and Museum of Art, and arrived at the famous Avenue of Stars, a 400-metre long stretch of waterside promenade along the northern side of Victoria Harbour, in front of the New World Centre at Tsim Sha Tsui.
The Avenue of Stars was created as a tribute to the stars of the Hong Kong film industry who helped make Hong Kong the “Hollywood of the East”. Set into the promenade’s coloured paving blocks are commemorative plaques graced with celebrity handprints. The scenic walk along the Avenue of Stars also allowed us to witness descriptive milestones, movie memorabilia, a life-size statue of kung fu action hero Bruce Lee, etc. which fittingly sets the glamour of Hong Kong’s film industry against the captivating dazzle of Victoria Harbour.
As the sun sets, the skylines on both sides of the harbour came to life in their glittery best. Little E was very happy walking and running along the floor lights, stopping and stepping on them, while we awaited to witness the Symphony of Lights, a 13-min nightly multimedia show showcasing coloured lights, laser beams and searchlights performed in an all-round spectacle synchronised to music and narration that celebrates the energy, spirit and diversity of Hong Kong.
After the show, we found a couple of Buddy Bears (hand-painted bears that are a symbol of peace, solidarity and understanding among the 120 United Nations member states), and Little E was more than glad to ride on one of them! We hope that Little E will grow up to be a woman who promotes love, peace and unity.
We walked towards East Tsim Sha Tsui MTR station to take the train back towards Mong Kok East station (2 stops) and to return to our hotel. We also had a bowl of beef tripe from the night market in Mong Kok as supper before we turned in for our last night in Hong Kong. Yums!