Tuesday, 12 October 2010

An Apple A Day

One strong reason for coming here was to seek out an iPhone 4. Damn, even the name of the hostel was a dead giveaway!

From what I read, it looks like Hong Kong is the cheapest place to get the phone outright and unlocked. I could get it through Softbank, but it will cost about the same, they'll lock me in for another two years, and lock the phone itself forever. Sure I could go through all the unlocking, jailbreaking, finger-snapping to have it my way, but I've had enough!

I had a chance already to get one, but at the time I made a wrong, wrong decision, and I'm still wandering the streets muttering, "the one that got away".

We started off in the morning at Maccas for a sausage McMuffin breakfast. I know, I know, I'm in another country. I should be sampling the local food, but there is a lot of reassuring comfort in ordering what I know, quickly and easily, and getting it.

After breakfast we thought it would be interesting to catch the Star Ferry across to Causeway Bay. It's reasonably nice to cross the harbour instead of going by subway, but it was all over all too quickly.

I intended to continue my "search". The stores weren't open until 10 am, most even later at 11 am. I saw a Tom Lee Music store which looks to be the major music instrument chain in Hong Kong. It wasn't open yet, so we kept a move on, passing a live fish market, and looking around Times Square.

Times Square, Causeway Bay.

This place is absolutely great if you're a shopaholic. Hong Kong does a LOT of malls. Great to blow your money. The customer service though is sadly lacking. One thing I noticed is that staff are often rude. I got told HK$6,000-6,400 with straight faces for iPhone 4's that were in stock. No surprise they were available. Probably because of these ***holes, it's so hard to get one from the legitimate sources. How about a smile, f******? It's easy to take for granted the best shopping "experiences" in Tokyo.
The Landmark, Central.

Not ALL bad though. We had a great sampling demonstration of Fook Ming Tong tea at Exquisivites in Central, which to me is kind of like Ginza, It feels very upmarket, and swanky 'round here.

From there we went up the "endless" hill-side escalator through SoHo. Lots of cool and funky cafes here. We came across a nice Italian deli, ilBelPaese, and shared a big, and very delicious grilled Focaccia sandwich (HK$56). Yum!

Next we rolled back down the hill and went to Admiralty. I wanted to take a picture of what I think is Hong Kong's most recognisable skyscraper, the Bank of China Tower. Some say it looks like a praying mantis. It definitely stands out among the other less "out there" buildings.

As it was getting late we caught the subway to Central again, to catch the tram to Victoria Peak. Coming out of the station, I face-palmed myself when I got just a good a view of the Bank of China building from this side. The HSBC building looks interesting around here too.

Victoria Peak is definitely a must-see place to come to here. We stayed from afternoon to dark where I did panorama photos of the day and night transition. Simply wonderful.
By Day.

At Night.

We started walking to the International Finance Centre near the harbour side, but u-turned shortly after as it was getting late, and I was hungry!

We saw the previous night that Delaney's, near our hostel has a two for one pizza night (HK$105-110). We missed happy hour by twenty minutes but a Guiness pint wasn't too expensive at HK$63. It's been ages since I had one, and it went down nicely.


The travel adapter I bought in Japan was the wrong one, which caused quite a bit of stress. We bought what I thought would work in the Japan Home Center today. Arriving back to my power-starved accessories, I first plugged in my expendable Nano to watch it go to charge mode happily.

Stupidly I then plugged in my laptop adapter to have the fuse blow immediately. You could hear my silent "NOOOooo!" scream on the inside, by the instant look of disappointment in my face. I was considering options such as unscrewing the fuse out of the useless adapter I had with a paper clip. Hey, I was getting desperate!

Finally, a light bulb lit up, and I tried my luck with asking reception if they had an adapter. They did! A savior of the Chungking Mansions. I am humbled.