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  • MyBabyBay

    • Hong Kong Trip Plan

      November 24, 2008

      I am back with my family from a week vacation in Hong Kong. Happiness is so short-lived when you are having a good time. I would say my family had a great time in Hong Kong, to be precise Hong Kong Disneyland. I will share some tips with you if you are planning to go there. More pictures when I get it sorted.

      My planning started way back in July when I discovered that SIA is offering a promotion for flights to Hong Kong. Actually, I was planning to bring my family to Bali because I had SIA frequent flyer miles to consume. I ended up finding a better deal to Hong Kong.

      Next, the hotel bookings. Hotels are very expensive in Hong Kong especially for a family of four. Most hotel will required you to have 2 rooms because at most they can accommodate 3 in a room, 2 adult and a child. Fortunately for me my company had corporate rates for Hong Kong hotels. I had a great deal with Park Lane hotel and I stayed in the most happening place too that is Causeway Bay. Their service is superb. They even gave me an extra bed without any charges in a Deluxe Room. By the way, Ikea is just next to the hotel.

      My children wanted to stay in Disneyland too. I booked Disney Hollywood Hotel for 2 nights. Now they are having a promotion, if you stayed any of the 2 hotels in Disneyland, you get 2 for 1. You pay 1 day park tickets for 2 days in the park. Trust me, if you want to enjoy yourself in Disneyland without the rush, you need to spend 2 days in the park. You need to walk, queue, walk, queue and walk. Talk more about Disneyland in the next post.

      Taxi is pretty expensive especially when you have to cross over from one island to another. It is about HKD$350-400 to go from airport to the hotel.

      I chose to travel by train. I got the Airport Express tickets which allow us to travel from airport to Central. From Central, it cost HKD$50 for taxi to the hotel. Airport Express return tickets cost HKD$300 (with $50 refundable deposit). It also includes 3 days of free MTR rides. I can use it to travel from hotel to Disneyland free and other MTR rides. MTR is a great way to travel around. It is fully connected to most places of interest. It has a good display on every train unit on the current and next destination to minimize confusion.

      Money Changing
      I was very fortunate to get a good rate for Hong Kong dollars. The day after I changed, the Hong Kong dollars went up. Phew. You can start to monitor the Hong Kong dollar exchange rates before you go and start changing when it is a good rate. Do not wait else you will regret. In July, I got 2.3 and in Nov, I got 2.15.

      I heard from my mom that the money exchange from Mid Valley gives a very good rate. Always ask the agent to give you a good rate and sometimes they give a better rate than what it is publish on the board.

      Interesting Places To Visit
      Disneyland – A place when your dream comes true and your pockets go dry.

      The Peak – A place when you get a good view of Hong Kong. At this time, it is pretty cold and windy up there, be sure you wear thicker clothing. Bring your gloves, tripod, good camera and patience. There was a long queue when we went up but the train came pretty fast. There is also a wax museum which we didn’t go because my children were not interested. After you come down the peak, take the double-decker open top bus to travel back to Central Station.

      Ocean Park – We didn’t go there but another good spot for children. You can see dolphin show, panda, rides and cable car. Most rides are for teenager and above.

      Mong Kok Ladies Street – A street full of bargain-able stuff, just like Petaling Street. The trick to get a good price is always survey what price you can get by asking a few stores. Do not start bargaining at the first few shops because somewhere down the street, the price will go down. Do not act desperate to buy but stay cool. Try to ask the price of other items too. When they cannot give you the price you want, don’t say anything but walk away. If they can go lower, they will call you back. If not, that is the price you can get. Try to use that price for other stores.

      There was one item when I ask the first store, the seller told me the price was HKD150. I didn’t say anything and was looking at other things. She offered HKD120. I asked her for the best offer, she said HKD100. As I walked away, she shouted HKD90. I went to another store and I got it for HKD85.

      Mong Kok also has a street full of food. You must try out the beef tripe noodles, steam Hong Kong Kai Lan, the stinky fried bean curd, fish/meat balls and other good stuff.

      A Symphony of Lights – You can watch lights and sound show at either sides of the Victoria Harbour. The best view would be along the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront at Avenue of Stars.

      Ferry Ride – We took a ferry ride from Central Pier to Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront. My children adore the ferry ride.

      Sai Kung – Good place for seafood especially lobster. Yummy :)~~~

      Causeway Bay – A good place to shop! It has Sogo, Times Square, Sasa, Causeway Bay Plaza and others.

      Windsor House has toys r us on 7F. I got 2 huge transformers optimus prime and megatron that make sound for HKD299.00. It is 2 for the price of 1. One cost RM200 in Malaysia.

      Dim Sum Places – You must try the dim sum in Hong Kong, superb! Again food is expensive but it is worth it. :P~~

      Apliu Street in Sham Shui Po – Electronic stuff.


      1. Do not be over ambitious when traveling with young children. A lot of places required them to walk and they can only walk so much.
      2. Do not go to MTR station during peak hours, it has lots of people.
      3. Hold on to your children because all day long on the street, there is a crowd.
      4. Remember to bring extra memory card for your camera and backup batteries. We used up 8G of memory for video taking in Disneyland.
      5. Pack light so that you can carry more stuff home.
      6. Purchase the Octopus card. You can pay anything with it and get discounted MTR rides. This way, you do not need to dig money out and end of with a lot of coins. The airport express card can be used as an octopus card too.
      7. Get a good Hong Kong map from the airport. It is free! If you want more maps, email me.
      8. Bring plenty of cash because food & drinks are not cheap. If you are going to shop in the flea or street markets, cash is preferable.
      9. Get rid of your remaining HKD by paying the hotel bill. You do not need to carry any HKD back to Malaysia. Remember to keep some for taxi fare if you are taking the taxi to airport.
      10. Have Fun!

      More post about the trip later. Now I need to clear 120 emails, work never go on vacation!

    • I don’t have to buy any coloring books anymore. If you have a printer and a computer with Internet connection, you can print out any pictures your child wants. All you have to do is go to Google -> Images and search for “Coloring” and the choice of pictures. If you want pooh, type coloring pooh, mickey mouse type coloring mickey mouse and etc.. Click the Picture and click the thumbnail on the top to bring the picture onto the browser and print.

      Timothy has been asking me to print him airplane, ultraman, cruise ship, bus, disneyland, train and others. He has not stopped asking since. Emily will follow his request. You can find most of the pictures the child wants. Try it.

      I have yet to find a nice picture of London Bridge (aka London Tower Bridge), let me know if you can find it.

    • PayPal Glitches

      May 14, 2007

      Most Malaysian is having trouble accepting payment from PPP because paypal upgraded their system. Somewhere along the process of accept payment, you need to enter a US account. Paypal is going to fix it but we do not know exactly when and we have a 30 days expiry to meet. Tonight, I was trying to think out of the box and manage to successfully accept all my PPP payment, legally.

      How? All this while, I have a US trading account because my hubby and I invest in US shares. It is pretty simple to do an investment in US shares online, maybe I share about it in my next post, if I have the time.

      Anyway, I keyed in my US trading account, because that account can be use as a checking account too. Guess what, it successfully went through. Amazingly, all my payment was auto accepted. :dance: :dance: :dance:

      I have another method but it is risky.

    • Salad Stacker

      April 10, 2007

      Today my colleague treats the department to Pizza Hut. As you know the salad bowl they provide is very small and shallow. I was always designated as the salad stacker. I am not a pro but I can stack up to feed 10 hungry souls. This comes with a lot of practice and also the way the Pizza Hut staff cuts the salad.

      First you have to put a thin layer of lettuce at the bottom. Start a small corner with some coleslaw. Align the cucumber in a straight line, closely with the coleslaw supporting it. You can put other stuff to support the cucumber. When the cucumbers are closely aligned in a circle, you can stack widely. Before stacking the food, leave some space for the sauce, so that it will not split. Later, you can close the sauce with some shredded carrots or cucumbers. You can begin the stack the honey dews and the water melon. If the water melon is cut in cubes, it will be easier to stack like blocks.

      Wah lah….

      By the way, I only do this when I am eating with a crowd. For my family, I probably will just take what I like because only 2 of us who like salad. I am not going to waste the food.

      Happy Trying!!

    • Spelling Lessons

      January 28, 2007

      Yet another challenge I am facing as a parent. Tim’s school started to teach spelling. Tim is given 2 words for spelling each week for English, BM and Chinese. I am not sure whether is it a suitable age to learn spelling. He is 4 going to 5, considered 5 years old this year. I know my son is not a fast learner. It didn’t work well with him, he has been getting lots of eggs each week. Some of the ways to teach a child spelling:

      School way:
      Write the word 15-20 times, hoping it will sink into his memory at the end of the day. My son writes it diligently and forgets about it. It didn’t registered at all.

      My first attempt:
      I asked him to repeat the letters 10-15 times, example c-a-t, cat. He repeats it together with me. After he finished, I asked him to spell cat, he looks at me blank. He could say c ? ?

      My second attempt:
      I was scratching my head, surfing in the net and bookstores to find creative ways of teaching him spelling. Finally my light bulb turns on. I decided to cut square of alphabets and play spelling game with him.

      I gave him all the letters that makes up the word “cat” and ask him to arrange it. Sometimes give him a mixture of 2 words and ask him to form it. Visual helps him to register the letters in his memory.

      In school, one of the test, the word b-a-p-a, he wrote b-a-p. I know it is still wrong but it is some progress shown. I was hoping for the teacher to encourage him by giving him a ½ marks but that didn’t happen.

      If you have better idea, do share with me.

    • As you know, school started last week. All the anxious mothers are sending their little toddler to school. A few mothers are in a dilemma on when to start. So I thought I might share some of my experiences.

      For me, I started my children with nursery cum preschool at age of 2. I had no choice because I didn’t have any reliable babysitter. If I did, I probably let them go to school at age of 5. I am not so keen on pressurizing my children with their academic results at this stage or age. Which is why I hate teachers who tell me that my son has not done his homework? Hey he is only 4, give him a break. So what if he doesn’t complete his homework, it is probably no value because the homework is a vicious cycle of writing alphabets or numbers.

      If you have decided to start your child with school, prepare your child for it. You can bring your child to check out the place. Brain wash Tell him/her what he will do in school, introduce the teachers to him/her. Make it informal as possible so that there is no build up of anxiety or fear. I believed once the child get acquainted with the teacher, your child have no problem going to school. Bottom line is find school with friendly teachers. Emily has a favorite teacher which is why she has no problem waking up for school.

      Before the first day, you can take your child to shop for his/her school bag or water tumbler. Let them pick one that they like. Make them feel excited. You can also let them have 1 small toy that he/she carry to school, able to keep in the bag during class time. It acts as a security blanket to him/her.

      Lastly on the day of school, do not be anxious or keep telling the child about school. Act casual like any other normal day. As stated, we do not want to build anxiety and fear. Your child is smart to sense your anxiety. It will be good on the first day to be with them in school, so that you can also experience what activities the school have. Second day, you can quietly sneak out.

      After the above said if your child still cries, you just have to play mean and walk away quickly. Otherwise, the more you pacify, the more he cries and the harder for you to leave. The teachers are experience enough to handle situation like this. If they are not then it really tells you something about the school. You may have to live with the crying for a week or so. If it goes more than 1-2 months, it shows that your child is not ready or the school is questionable.

      Tim didn’t cry for the first week or second week. However, the nursery had a very high turn over of teachers which he didn’t like. He is not so good with fierce teacher because he is a timid boy. When he tells us he doesn’t want to go to school, we know that his class has change teacher. As for Emily, she cried for a month or so every morning to school but during school time, she enjoyed it. Eventually she stopped the morning cry when she got acquainted with her favorite teacher.

    • Photoshop Tip

      October 28, 2005

      Everyone is into Photoshop, let me share a very useful tip that my hubby used, to do the picture above. This is the easiest way to select a person or an item in the picture. You can throw away the magnetic lasso after learning this.

      Instruction here: Photoshop Cropping Object