rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Getahead » IN PICS: Sandhya Mridul takes us on a tour of Hong Kong!

IN PICS: Sandhya Mridul takes us on a tour of Hong Kong!

Last updated on: June 18, 2012 09:12 IST

IN PICS: Sandhya Mridul takes us on a tour of Hong Kong!

     Next

Next
Sandhya Mridul

Sandhya Mridul visited Asia's World City and came back with these memories.

One fine day I receive a call from Hong Kong Tourism Board and that call immediately got me excited as I was heading to Hong Kong soon!

The avid traveller in me wanted to make sure that I make the most of this trip. I had every hour of my trip planned...shopping...sightseeing...yummy Chinese dining... theme parks and everything. During my visit to Hong Kong I was set experience major attractions like Hong Kong Disneyland, Ocean Park Hong Kong, Madame Tussauds Hong Kong, Victoria Peak, Sky 100 Hong Kong Observation Deck and Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car and the Big Buddha at the Po Lin Monastery at Lantau Island.

I had an early Monday morning Cathay Pacific flight from Mumbai. Asia's World City, Hong Kong was waiting for me!


Image: Sandhya Mridul in Hong Kong
Photographs: Courtesy Hong Kong tourism

     Next

IN PICS: TV hottie Sandhya Mridul in Hong Kong

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Day 1

After a satisfyingly delicious meal on my flight, I decided to catch up on my sleep as I had a rigorous journey planned ahead. The plane landed Hong Kong in six hours.

The immigration which I thought would take long surprisingly was quick and speedy due to their easy visa arrival policy. After a 35-minute drive from the Hong Kong International Airport along the magnificent 2.2 kilometres long Tsing Ma Bridge and highways, I checked into Marco Polo Hong Kong Hotel situated by the waterfront overlooking the Victoria Harbour.

My room faced the Victoria Harbour and my jaw dropped when I saw the beautiful panoramic water front view with sky scrapers far away. It was just the way I wanted.

My morning began with a buffet breakfast at the hotel which was as elaborate as a Kings breakfast just the way I like it. There were varieties of cheese, breads, fresh fruit juices, eggs, exotic fruits to choose from. For lunch there was an array of multiple cuisines to ranging from Indian, Indonesian, Chinese, and Continental etc.  The Chinese food was unbelievably scrumptious.

After getting refreshed at the hotel, I started my tour with a visit to the Sky 100 Hong Kong Observation Deck which is the highest indoor observation deck in Hong Kong – all the way up on the 100th floor of the International Commerce Centre (ICC), the tallest building in Hong Kong! It was a great experience with the breath taking 360-degree bird's-eye view along with great hospitality from the staff. Placed above the Sky 100 Hong Kong Observation Deck is the world's tallest hotel the Ritz Carlton where I enjoyed a South Italian meal at restaurant named Tosca on the 102nd floor of the ICC.

Next I went on the Big Bus Night Tour which showcased the vibrant night life of Kowloon, the neon spectacle of Nathan Road and the fantastic Symphony of Lights show over the Victoria Harbour. The tour provided a personal recorded commentary available in a choice of ten languages. The Big Bus Sightseeing Tour- a safe and relaxing way to experience this great city. It was a perfect introduction to Hong Kong and a fun night out. We then wrapped up for the day with dinner at Michelin Star Restaurant.


Image: Sandhya at the Big Buddha


Prev     Next

IN PICS: TV hottie Sandhya Mridul in Hong Kong

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Day 2

The next morning I spend my first half shopping, thanks to Marco Polo Hong Kong Hotel being centrally located; it was extremely easy for me to commute to other parts of Hong Kong like Harbour City.

The hotel is in the middle of a shopping paradise with top notch brands like Hermes, Chanel, Louis Vuitton etc at Canton Road. Hong Kong is a shopper's paradise! Designer shops and exclusive labels are a dime a dozen here.

I loved the Mall experience at Harbour City where I bought some make-up for myself and a watch for a friend from Prince Jewellery & Watch Company. They were never ending malls and they housed all my favourite brands around the world.


Image: Sandhya shopping in HK


Prev     Next

IN PICS: TV hottie Sandhya Mridul in Hong Kong

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Next I went to Repulse Bay located in the southern part of Hong Kong Island, it's the most spectacular beach in the region. Repulse Bay is a luxurious residential area for dining, relaxation, and aquatic activities.

I then strolled through the famous Stanley Market, Tin Hau Temple, Murray House. I was amazed to see the number of Indian visitors there.

I managed to interact with the fortune teller at a traditional Tin Hau temple in Stanley which added a hint of mystery to my trip. I was then headed for a Chinese Tea Appreciation session. Authentic Chinese tea has some amazing health benefits. More than an appreciation session, it taught me a lot about tea and its varieties along with its health benefits.


Image: Sandhya with a fortune-teller at a traditional Tin Hau temple


Prev     Next

IN PICS: TV hottie Sandhya Mridul in Hong Kong

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Next I went to Madame Tussauds Hong Kong which exhibits over 100 incredibly life-like wax figures. My favourite ones were Albert Einstein and Johnny Depp, since they looked like clones to the original. I also saw our Bollywood star collection of Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Hrithik Roshan, Shah Rukh Khan, Kareena Kapoor and Amitabh Bachchan.

It was a proud feeling to see Bollywood shine in other countries too. Dinner was at the Tim Ho Wan restaurant at Shum Shui Po where I relished a wide selection of dumplings and other finger licking good food items like spring rolls, pan fried radish cake, barbecued pork crispy bun.


Image: Sandya gets a dose of wax at Madame Tussauds


Prev     Next

IN PICS: TV hottie Sandhya Mridul in Hong Kong

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Day 3

On my third day I went to Harbour City and happened to meet a sweet Indian family who had settled in Hong Kong many years ago, it was great to hear their experiences as HK citizens. After which I headed to the Ocean Terminal which is a cruise terminal and shopping centre located on Canton Road in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong.

In the second half of the day I planned for Ocean Park Hong Kong which is a marine mammal park, oceanarium, animal theme park and amusement park, situated in the Southern District of Hong Kong.  I thoroughly enjoyed 'The Flash' a ride that spins you up to 22 metres into to air and 360 degrees around.

The Dancing fountain and the refreshing spray made The Lagoon picturesque in the dark. At night this display is transformed into a stage for the world's first 360-degree water screen show which was visual delight. The 'Amazing Asian Animals' exhibit has some of Asia's rarest and precious native animals like giant pandas, red pandas, Chinese giant salamanders and Chinese alligators. One can find cute baby panda show pieces and soft toys at the 'Panda Kingdom Shop' souvenirs shop.

We called it a night at the Intercontinental Hotel Grand Stanford Hotel called Hoi King Heen where I was taught how to make steamed shrimp dim sums and got to eat them too.


Image: Sandhya at The Ocean Park


Prev     Next

IN PICS: TV hottie Sandhya Mridul in Hong Kong

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Day 4

The highlight of my trip and my personal favourite place at Hong Kong was the Ngong Ping 360, a breathtaking 30 mins scenic cable car ride to the tallest outdoor seated bronze Buddha in bronze at Po Lin Monastery on Lantau Island.

I entered the crystal cabin cable car which had a transparent bottom. I was spell bound with the view I didn't know whether to look below or outside the window, it was all so perfect.

I could see the Giant Buddha from my cable car and I immediately related to it since I personally follow Buddhism. I read a lot about Buddhism and I had goose bumps when I reached at the foot of the idol. I bought miniature jade Buddhas, three Gods of prosperity, fortune and health and a few laughing Buddhas for my friends.


Image: Sandhya taking a cable car ride


Prev     Next

IN PICS: TV hottie Sandhya Mridul in Hong Kong

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Every kid loves Hong Kong Disneyland and I think there is still a little bit of the child in me that made me jump at the sight of this colourful place. 'Eeyore the donkey' used to be my favorite Disney character and I finally got the opportunity to meet him at the Flights of Fantasy Parade that happens every evening.

He looked cute and adorable in his pink bow as always. The Space Mountain Adventure Roller coaster was a thrilling experience. I really thought I was out of space.

Then I hopped on the Disneyland Railroad for a relaxing fun journey around the park. At night I saw spectacle view of 'Disney in the Stars Fireworks at night', there was fireworks and pyrotechnics which were co-ordinated to orchestrated classic Disney music such as "A Whole New World".


Image: Ta-Da! Sandya arrives at Disneyland


Prev     Next

IN PICS: TV hottie Sandhya Mridul in Hong Kong

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Day 5

On my fifth day I decided to spend some time at the hotel and then in a Rolls Royce went to visit Hong Kong's renowned Sam's Tailor boss Mr Melwani over English High Tea at The Peninsula Hong Kong hotel.  He is an Indian tailor who is known for his A-list cliente#8804 the shop was founded by Sam Melwani in 1957 and is still run by his sons, Manu and Sham Melwani, as well as his grandson Roshan Melwani.

I then went on the very famous Star Ferry ride to experience the Victoria Habour and enjoyed the cool breeze and the fantastic view of the skyscrapers that cover the bay.

In the afternoon I had a meeting set with Aarif Lee from Hong Kong, also known as Aarif Rahman, is an actor and popular Cantopop singer. He serenaded me with some beautiful melodious songs composed by him which were very romantic.


Image: Sandya with Aarif Lee


Prev     Next

IN PICS: TV hottie Sandhya Mridul in Hong Kong

Prev     More
Prev

More

It was now time to experience the night life of Hong Kong. To what I have heard about Hong Kong's night life, Lang Kwai Fong, HK's most happening hub is truly the most happening club I have ever been to- brilliant music and great ambience.

I visited to Hard Rock Cafe and Tazmania Ballroom. Tazmania Ballroom has gold-plated pool tables which are a major draw card.

They are also magically raised to the ceiling revealing a dance floor making room for one of Hong Kong's largest dance floors. I also met a Nepali waiter there who introduced me as Manisha Koirala to his colleague. I chuckled away at his humor. He insisted to buy me a shots and I obliged.

From WOW moments to magical surprises, my trip to Hong Kong was indeed an adventurous and a pampering experience. I feel great to have discovered Hong Kong.


Image: Sandhya soaks in the nightlife


Prev     More