Day 1 – Hotel
The Royal Plaza Hotel is simply fabulous. Situated on a rise, it didn’t look very accessible at first when the K5 bus took us up the steep incline up to the hotel driveway. My sisters were grumbling (good-naturedly of course) about how inconvenient it would be for us to get out and about town and asked whose idea it was to stay there. Well, somebody had to do the planning! Besides, the deal was a steal at about $265 per pax per night for a Room (2 double beds).
Since my name was on the computer booking system, I had to do the check-in for all of us. Guess what? The receptionist apparently thought I was one of them and started rattling off in Cantonese! I just stood there and nod my head as if really understood what she said. Well, I did get the gist of it, like how they had given us a Plaza Family room which is bigger than the Plaza Grand which I’d booked, and how there would be no hot water the next day from 10am to evening time and if we needed hot water for bathing we could call reception for it to be turned on. The hotel has been undergoing some renovation in phases since last year and it’s still work in progress even when we left.
We couldn’t check into our room yet since we were early so we decided to go look for lunch instead. The hotel is connected to the Grand Century Place (a shopping mall) which is above the Mong Kok East MTR Station. We took a walk outside the shopping mall and entered the first eatery we came upon which was a big mistake!
The owner (a chatty lady) immediately ushered us in and sat us at the back of the packed eatery and proceeded to recommend dishes to us. Naturally we took her recommendation since we knew Hong Kong is famous for its food. It wasn’t that the food tasted bad or that the staff were rude that put us off. It was the price! It seemed that what we saw on the menu didn’t add up to what we paid for. We surmised that it was because they knew we were tourists (they guessed correctly that we were from Singapore) and proceeded to overcharge us. It didn’t help either that as soon as we were done eating, the lady boss quickly directed us to make payment. We had to quickly make way for new customers.
– This is the wan tun (shrimp dumpling). Funny how some of the dumplings had 4 or 5 small shrimps and how some only had 1 or 2. But at least their wan tuns are much bigger than what we get here in Singapore, which are basically just tiny bits of minced meat wrapped in an over-sized dumpling skin!
We took a walk after lunch and realised that there were many shops selling pets and fish. But we did come upon a bookstore where I was able to get the 2 Fengsui books that my colleague wanted me to help buy. Not too bad for the first day 🙂
By the time we got back to the hotel, we were already laden with some purchases: books, shoes, clothes, toys and fruits.
– the corridor
– Irene checking out the bathroom which is glass-panelled
– Double double beds
– very comfy bathroom with Crabtree & Evelyn toiletries
– May Ling and JuliURS staking a claim on the beds