Saturday, September 13, 2008
Come Fly with me. . .
Come Fly with Me.
Plane: Airbus A320
Date: 03 SEP 08
Depart:Singapore 1410; Arrive:Macao 1745.
Our family of eight members enjoyed the smooth take-off from Changi airport and landed safely at Macao airport.
15-year-old son excitingly snapping the aerial views of the sea, land, clouds and sunshine with his camera-phone.
73-year-old mother joked that the seat is just nice for slim people. her 45-year-old son-in-law added,"We can book two seats for an overweight passenger." Laughter broke out!
Brothers-in-law enjoyed in-flight wine and Tiger beer. Mama sipped the hot Milo drink, while taking in the sunny sky view. Sister-in-law enjoyed her tit-bits snacks.
Dear wife enjoyed reading and sharing JetAway magazine.
Evelynn shared her music-phone with boy friend, "Love is in the air," etc, until both dozed off.
Air-hostess Irene and Noelle were smiling and busy making profits for Jetstar through in-flight sales.
I will blog this vacation , at Healthy Wealth,
Happy September school holidays, family jet away to Macau and HongKong. Ours to keep. Thanks and kudos to flight 3K575 crew for another satisfactory journey.
We thank God for the fine weather today. "Joy kin."
P.S. 300 ml mineral water cost S$3.00, wow! really cut-throat price in the sky for me.
Wednesday,03,SEPT2008, 6:00 local time, airplane landed on Macao airport > took taxi to Macao Ferry Terminal,via Friendship Bridge,to Taipan) > paid taxi fare with HK$ because we did not exchange any currency into Macao Patacas, KIV HK$1.00= M$1.03 > beside the taxi fare, each luggage is also charged M$10.00 > took "New World First Ferry"(company) speedboat, 55 minutes to Kowloon(CFT= China Ferry Terminus)> Mama vomited along this boat ride.> took taxi to USA HOSTEL, C4, 13F Mirador Mansion 58, Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsu, Hong Kong.>
9:00pm, Mr Li was there to check us in (BIY = "Book It Yourself" before you come @ www.usahotel.com.hk ) Our itinerary for USA Hostel from Wednesday,3rd Sep'08 till Sunday,7th Sep'08/3 persons/Room Details:3 bed Room,Private Facilities means room with attach toilet and shower bathroom/ Price SGD $26.35/ Total SGD $79.06 (USD $55.50) TOTAL FOR THE GROUP SGD $395.32 (USD $277.50)/ plus Service Charge SGD $2.85 (USD 2.00)/Paid Deposit 10% online/ Amount due 90% on arrival at USA Hostel.> Ready for a culture shock for first timer who check in this type of hostel.> The outside is local setting, while the rooms are renovated just like 3-stars hotel. Real budget hostel for big family stay.
9:30pm Left the hostel and went for late dinner at a corner shop downstairs. I ate beef- soup Ho Fun.HK$31.00 one bowl. (S$1.00 to about HK$5.00).
7:00am, I woke up.> took a look outside the window and saw another tall building, 20 storeys just across the road (Mody Road), later I learn that it is the Holiday Inn Golden Mile Hotel,5-stars >
11:00am, we had our breakfast at Cafe de Coral, I ordered a plate of tomato-sauce-beef-chop with rice,HK$30.00. Air-cond environment, you order and pay at the cashier counter, get your receipt and collect your food at another counter, self-service.
BEST OF THE BEST,
HAVE A NICE DAY,
WHAT A BEAUTIFUL DAY!
MOMENTS IN TIME
WHAT A BEAUTIFUL DAY!
TIME OF YOUR LIFE
IT'S A WONDERFUL WORLD!
(these words written on the restaurant wall)
> Took the MTR train service, used the Octopus Card to enjoyed concession train-rides, to Disneyworld entrance only> Just snapped some pictures at the entrance then proceeded to Tung Chung Station > 2:46 pm, bought a pair of Nike shoes at Citygate Outlets, wife bought a purple sling bag at Puma outlet, son bought a pair of Nike shoes too. > 4:00 - 4:30 pm, at Food Republic food court, I bought one cup of carrot juice without ice HK$18.00. Son tried Chef's Speciality HoFun Beef from stall Macau Cruisine, HK$32.00. I tried the Indian food there, HK$45.00, with basmati-rice,naan,mutton curry, chicken drumstick, salad. Tasted fine for me.
>Night time , back to Tsim Sha Tsui area, had dinner at a noodle shop, 1.Fish maw beef balls noodle HK$32.00, 2.Four Speciality Noodle HK$26, Drink with meal HK$6.00(Honey with lemon,hot drink). If without meal, this drink cost HK$13.00.
Friday, 05 SEPT'08
7:30 am ,walked to the nearest MTR station > alight at Central Station > walked up slope and down slope to have our Tim Sum breakfast. After breakfast, walked to MTR Admiralty station, then took a double-decker bus to Ocean Park.
11:30am at the Ocean Park, Hong Kong.> The Great Escape (The Bamboo Raft)(Shang Dynasty) Over 3,000 years ago, Yin people might have sailed on such rafts across the Pacific Ocean.
It is thought that they settled in Central America around the time of the local Olmec culture, which greatly resembles the Chinese culture.
Were the Yin people the ancestors of today's American Indian?
When the Orient Ruled the Seas.
Once there was a Maritime Silk Road (route) on which goods were carried between China and Europe.
It all began during the Qin Dynasty (221-207 BC) and grew to exceed the volume of trade on the land route by the Tang Dynasty (618-907). The trade along the Maritime Silk Road provided ancient China with opportunities to exchange merchandise and culture with the West.
Ocean Park Tower is the tallest observation tower in Southeast Asia. Built on the peak of a hill. It takes guests up to 200 meters above sea level to offer them a spectacular view of the South China Sea.
Chinese Discovered California. Scholars have recently suggested that refugees of the Shang Dynasty (1523-1028 B.C.E) were the first arrivals to California, over 3,000 years ago. Through the centuries, Chinese ships continued to make the 11,00 km journey, pushed by the water currents and winds, north across the Pacific. By the mid-1700s, at least 40 junks were recorded making the journey, some of these staying to establish a new home.
Junks are still revered amongst sailors for their seaworthiness, speed, and ease of control. By the 1850s, Chinese fishermen were harvesting 1,000 tons of abalone each year; thirty(30) years later, this figure had double. They also captured fish, which were dried and shipped to the Orient from San Francisco. By the end of the 19th century, one-third of all California fishermen were of Chinese descent.
What brought these Chinese sailors with their sturdy ocean going vessels to the New World? As was the cases for so many visitors, they were drawn by the natural resources of the area. The Chinese came for abalone and the furs of otter and seal.
Harbours Seals. Body may be dark or light with spots.
Hunted for centuries. First for their fur and even now fishermen will eliminate them because they compete for that dwindling resources - fish!
Males up to 150 kg.
Females up to 100 kg.
Pups up to 9-40 kg. Pups swim within minutes after birth and follow their mothers into the sea. Mother will sometimes carry their pups on their backs between foraging dives.
Seals and sea lions are called pinnipeds -(pinni = winged, ped = foot) after their flippers. There are three(3) families of pinnipeds in the world.
1. Eared seals, or Otariids including sea lions and fur seals, have long, flexible necks and small ear flaps.
2.Walruses, or Odobenids are intermediate. Like seals, they don't have ear flaps but they are able to walk like sea lions.
3.Earless seals, or Phocids, like the harbour seals, are not really earless, they just lack ear flaps. Look for the openings behind their eyes.
They are agile divers. Pinnipeds were born for a life at sea. A streamlined body shape helps them to swim and dive with great speed and agility. They see in the dim underwater light with highly sensitive eyes, and grasp slippery prey with sharp, conical teeth.
A Rookery of Pinnipeds
A colony of pinnipeds gathers on beaches or rocky shores during the breeding and molting season.
A LOT LIKE US, HUMANS. Pinnipeds are mammals: they breathe air, have hair, and nurse their babies with milk. Pinnipeds are social animals. Many species gather to mate, give birth and raise their young.
Kids at Play: Seal and sea lion pups spend many hours each day playing in the ocean and on shore. Their 'toys' include drift wood,rocks, ice chunks and pieces of kelp.
California Sea Lions: Incredible climbers. Sea lions, unlike harbour seals, can climb hundreds of feet above the seas. This enables them to sleep safely far from the pounding waves. Their body temperature,36 degree Celsius is normal.
Harbour seals can dive to over 90 meters and are able to hold their breath underwater for over 20 minutes.
How long can you hold your breath?
>8:15pm, Dinner at Yung Kee Restaurant, 7 of us.
"Starting at the year of 1942, from a young and penniless restaurant apprentice to become the owner of Yung Kee Restaurant, Mr Kam Shui Fai, has been acclaimed as a legendary figure for his success by foreign and local press.
In 1968, we have been named by the American FORTUNE MAGAZINE to be one of the Top Fifteen Restaurant in the world the only Chinese restaurant on the list.
Our restaurant has been participating in the food competitions contest for many years. We have won a lot of awards from our unique and tasteful dishes. You may wish to taste the following award winning dishes, please contact our managers to make arrangement." Won 76 awards since 1968 to 2007.
Seven of us ordered rice with dishes:
#132 - Vegetable Mustard with Oyster Sauce HK$65.00
#1 - Roasted Goose,one whole bird, HK$420.00
#108 - Sauteed Sliced Beef and Vegetable, HK$96.00
#116 - Sweet and Sour Spare Ribs of Pork HK$98.00
#206 - Wan-ton Noodle (soup) HK$26.00
#206 - Wan-ton Noodle (dry) HK$26.00
Rice - 13 bowls.
Total Bill HK$1120.00 (plus 10% service charge)
Saturday, 06 SEPT 2008
9:00am,> bought a cup,300ml, of fresh carrot juice HK$12 from a corner shop > alone, walked to Kowloon Park > nice place to rest and relax in the midst of the "concrete jungle" of Kowloon > Aviary - Exotic Birds in cages, water fountain, duck lake. Aviary opening hours 6:30am to 5:45pm,daily. >
1.Red-sided Parrot (male);
3.Blue & Yellow Macaw;
8.Yellow-crowned Amazon Parrot;
9.Green-winged King Parrot;
14.Blue-fronted Amazon Parrot;
> 10:30am ,walked to Kowloon Park Sports Centre > met Venus and Willis, they are with their friends (from Prudential Insurance Health Club)after their morning jog >
I hope they share this Healthy Wealth blog, about water-cure protocol with their contacts > (keep in touch)
> 11:00am, Exotic-Duck Lake, beautiful and landscaped lake, populated with exotic living ducks, greater flamingoes, mandarin ducks, etc.
ECLIPSE PLUMAGE IN DUCKS: When ducks moult they lose all their flight feathers at the same time and for a period of 2 to 4 weeks are unable to fly. This occurs shortly after the breeding season. The advantage is that the moult period is shortened but during this time they are more vulnerable than usual to predators. The males which are normally brightly coloured compensated for this by assuming an eclipse plumage very similar to that of the dull coloured females. This crytic colouration is a protective camouflage and is the reason why during the summer you will not enjoy the ornamental plumage of the drakes.
Eclipse plumage occurs in virtually all ducks that breed in the northern hemisphere but not those breeding in the southern hemisphere.
Various Ducks: Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata) ;
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula);
Red-Crested Pochard (Netta rufina);
Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber roseus)
All of the world's five(5) species of flamingo are highly social in behaviour, both in the breeding season and at all other times of the year. Flocks often number tens of thousands. They obtain their food by use of highly specialised bills which thye hold upside down in the water and move from side to side to sieve out small particles of food.
The single egg is incubated by both sexes on a mud nest-mound which is built by the parent birds. Nesting colonies often consist of huge numbers of birds with nests built-in close proximity. The chicks leave the nest-mound when about ten(10) days old and join a "creche" containing as many as several thousand chicks minded by a few adults. Both parents continue to feed only their own chicks. Individual recognition between adults and chicks is made by voice 'sound'. "My chick heard my voice."
Greater Flamingo subspecies is found in southern Europe, Central Asia, North West India and east and southern Africa. And I am impressed with the Kowloon Park hosting so many of them in this lake. Pintail, Pochard, Teal, Ducks, Geese, Swans, etc.
Kudos to the Kowloon Park Management Office, Zoo & Horticulture Education Unit, Green Education and Resource Centre , and Yau Tsim Mong District Leisure Services Office.
Tree Walk (35 types of trees): Coral tree; Paper-Bark tree; Hainan Elaeocarpus; Flame of the Forest; Spider tree; Sunshine tree; Camel's Foot tree; White Bauhinia tree; Tree Cotton; Stiff Bottle-bud tree; Lebbeck tree (old and valuable Tree No: LCSD YTM1611). Hong Kong Orchid (pink) tree; Wood-oil tree; etc.
>11:35am, Hong Kong Heritage Discovery Centre (Beside Kowloon Park)
DISCOVER THE PAST, UNDERSTANDING THE PRESENT, SHAPING THE FUTURE./ just infront of this air-cond building entrance, a Golden-shower tree (Cassia fistula)
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday 1000-1800 hours;
Sunday and Public Holidays 1000 - 1900 hours.
Closed at 5pm on Christmas Eve and Chinese New Year Eve.
Closed on Thursday (except public holiday) and the first two days of Chinese New Year.
Kowloon Park main entrance is along Haiphong Road, enter via Nathan Road.
>2:00pm, Lunch at (basement) Chan Shing Kee Restaurant. Address: G/F, Flat 4B-6H, Friends' House, 6 Carnarvon Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon. Chow Yuen Fatt was here.
I ordered dish #G25(P.08) - Beef in Tomatoes Sauce with Scramble Eggs on bed of white Rice, HK$26.00.
>3:45pm, walked to Hong Kong Space Museum(*); Hong Kong Cultural Centre; Hong Kong Museum of Art, Star ferry Pier , via subway, > Hong Kong Sogo business hours 10:00am-10:00pm.
(* Chinese Ancient Star Map, by Joseph H.C.Liu. The study of the movement of the seven luminaries (i.e., the Sun, the Moon and the five planets) and hence to determine the beginning and end of the four seasons. "Bound and wound is the firewood and the Three Stars begin to appear in the sky," In the seventh month westward the Fire star inclines. In the ninth month orders are dispatched to make winter clothes" and " Faintly glimmering are the small stars; Bright are only Orion and the Pleiades." - (The Book of Songs) .Aroused curiosity, drive me to learn stargazing. Ancient Chinese astronomy.)
((One way weight can be conserved during space launch is to remove water from food items. During the flight, water generated by the shuttle fuel cells is added back to the food just before it is eaten. That's the astronaut/cosmosnaut food.))
>5:10pm, crossing the Victoria Harbour - ferry ride, used Octopus Card welcome, HK$2.70 > to Central Pier (5:16pm) > Man Kwong Street, took double-decker bus #15 (fare HK$9.80) to The Peak via Wan Chai Gap Park & Police Museum. ( Take bus #15C will bring you to The Peak tram Station (Lower), bus-fare HK$4.20, then transfer to tram ride HK$12.00 per person to reach The Peak.
>Winding journey upward to The Peak , nice scenery along the uphill road, choose the left seat on the upper deck for better view. > Reached The Peak.
>7:45pm - The Peak, snack at Burger King Restaurant,HK$27.00 Whooper Burger.
HONG KONG PUBLIC LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVE ELECTION DAY, 7:30am to 10:30pm.
>"Take away" from fresh fruit-juice shop along Haiphong Road: mango-sago(1 cup,HK$6.00);carrot(1 cup, HK$12.00); orange(1 cup,HK$12.00); carrot with orange,(2 cups, HK$24.00)
>1:00pm, Group of 5 had congee/porridge at Aberdeen Fishball Noodles shop at Humphrey's Road,> group of 3 had western meal, mixed-meat-chop with rice at Chan Shing Kee Restaurant, second time. HK$43.00 per plate.