Kristine and I went to UA Cinemas at Times Square so we could watch Black Panther. I was excited to watch this since the trailer looked very promising. I got more excited though because it was my first time to see a movie in Hong Kong. I wondered how much different their cinemas were from ours.
To go to Times Square, we rode a tram. It was my first time to try it and I had a great time! It was cheaper than taking a bus but still quick enough for my liking. Of course, the bus would have been more comfortable but I did not mind.
We saw a lot of pretty stuff being sold in the streets on our way to Times Square. One of them were beautifully and intricately made greeting cards that I wanted to buy but was thinking of the practicality of doing so.
Kristine, on the other hand, could not figure out why she was so drawn to the old man beside the card seller. He was selling what looked like king’s beard treats. Those were her favorite! Because I saw how much she wanted them, I told her to go ahead. The seller had a gentle smiling face so no wonder my sister was drawn to him. We bought two packs for HKD 20 each, with six pieces per pack.
To our surprise, granny said something in Korean and my sister’s face lit up to ask if he was Korean. He nodded then proceeded to say something in Chinese. Maybe he was one of those Koreans who grew up in Hong Kong already. My sister jokingly said maybe she could smell the Korean in him that’s why she was drawn to him. Must be because of her Korean boyfriend’s influence.
In Times Square, Kristine and I struggled with the self-service machine that was meant to scan the QR code from her online ticket purchase. Apparently, we were holding her phone too close to the scanner. A staff of the cinema was very kind and helped us with it, even though he had to wait a few minutes because my sister accidentally deleted the e-mail when he approached.
After securing our tickets, we bought popcorn and drinks, opting to go for the large popcorn and two mega drinks combo, plus a hotdog sandwich to share. I prayed that the hotdog sandwich did not come with lots and lots of onions like it looked in the picture.
The drinks were way too huge for the amount of popcorn. I also wondered why they only had sweet and salty flavors for the popcorn (I want white cheddar!) but we bought the sweet one. It was something like a caramel coated popcorn with a bit of salt to taste. It was also very yummy though I still prefer salty ones when watching movies.
While waiting to be allowed inside the movie house, my sister went to the wash room. As I waited for her to get out, I saw a lady struggling with the self-service machine like we did. To pay the staff’s kindness to us forward, I assisted the lady with getting her ticket. She was very appreciative and looked genuinely relieved that someone helped her.
The cinema itself was really good. We had to sit at the third row from the front but the way the chairs were positioned were still okay to not make our necks hurt from looking up too much. The seats were also better and would not fold up when no one is sitting on them unlike in the Philippines. Here, it’s a struggle to hold on to your bag and popcorn while pushing the seat down before you can sit on it without spilling anything.
What I did not like though was that we had to fall in line and enter only five minutes before the film. In the Philippines, we have around fifteen to twenty minutes to go in before the movie starts. That meant more movie trailers to enjoy too.
Black Panther was awesome! I loved how the sound volume in the cinema was balanced, without any part sounding too soft and another like it was going to blow your eardrums apart. Total experience from buying tickets to the end of the movie is 4.9/5 stars. I only did not like the long queue to go inside the movie house.
We were looking for a place to eat but almost all of the restaurants were closed due to the New Year celebrations. Some were open though and were trying to entice customers to visit their place like Yum Cha. Ooooh, it’s hard to earn money. At least a guy/gal looked cute in his/her costume of a custard bun.
Kristine and I walked and walked to find a place where we could eat. Our walking led us to Meokbang Korean Bbq & Bar in Kyoto Plaza, Lockhart Road, Causeway Bay. I was excited to see how much different their Korean barbecue was to that in the Philippines. Thankfully, we did not have any trouble finding seats.
The first thing I noticed was that the prices were way more expensive compared here in the Philippines. We spent more than HKD 200 for the two of us (around Php 1,200). While there were lots of delicious side dishes (I loved the corn with melting cheese and the salad!), we only got two plates of meat. One was thinly sliced, bacon-looking kind and one with really thick cut, sort of like a pork belly.
In the Philippines, we pay from Php 399 to around Php 699 (depending on the place), for unlimited meat. Yup! You read that right. UNLI-FREAKING-LIMITED! We also get side dishes too. Lots of them!
But since only my sister and I were going to eat, what we ordered and everything else they served along were already very satisfying. Plus, we still had leftover drinks from the massive paper cup (though I personally think it would not qualify for just a cup anymore) we bought at the cinema.
On our way back home, we were trying to see if the grandpa selling the king’s beard treat was still around since my sister and I loved it so much. We were sad that we did not see him where we found him that afternoon. We just thought that hopefully he had sold all of his goods by that time. A few more steps later though, we found him again! He just transferred locations.
We immediately approached him and when he saw me and Kristine, he smiled and recognized us. We bought two more and told him to keep the small change left from our payment. He seemed surprise and I think he asked us if we were sure so we made gestures to say it was for him already as our Chinese New Year gift. The way he smiled touched my heart. It was a genuine smile that seemed like while he was happy to keep the change, he was more happy that someone extended him the privilege to.
He seemed like a very nice grandpa. It kind of makes me wish I had more loving and sweet memories with my own grandfathers. From my dad’s side, Grandpa Jose died when I was around three to five years old. From my mom’s side, Abuelito Lorenzo passed away when I was eight. I don’t remember much of the rare visits we had with them growing up. I never got to meet my grandma from mom’s side either.
I wish I had a pic taken with the granny in Hong Kong.
We went home soon after but we rode the bus this time instead of the tram. We were so full from dinner and wanted to continue watching the Korean drama shows we had lined up.
A black tram passed by while we were waiting for the bus. It got me thinking that while we did not have so many activities for that Friday, I surely experienced a lot more than I expected to.
How did you celebrate Chinese New Year last February 16? Were you in Hong Kong too? I would love to hear from you in the comments section.
If you want to read my other experiences in Hong Kong for the Chinese New Year, click on the following: