Skip to main content

Happy Valley Racecourse

Flying Jet Airways is always a pleasant experience, be it within the country or abroad. I said it last year when I flew to US and I will say it again...over a period of time, Jet Airways will emerge as a world-class competition. Though I feel they have some more precious miles to go. Overall their service was nice, food was great as always but they could still build up on that and as I were to observe during the course of the next five-odd hours, they have certain areas to work upon.

I landed in Hong Kong on a wet Wednesday morning at the beautiful Hong Kong International airport. Immigration was a breeze, but we could see that the Swine flu has scared the shit of everyone there with almost everyone wearing a mask over their mouths and noses. And I thought only the Americans were paranoid!!! But no, I can understand why they won't like any chances. Infact it's a good thing. This is one of the many things that differentiates proactive nations like Hong Kong and US to the rest of the world; they just don't take unnecessary chances. Anyways, taking the airport express train, we were quickly zipping past Hong Kong's scenic suburbs and within 20 minutes covering a distance of 35 kms, disappeared underground and through the harbour, into Hong Kong's Central area. You can tell you are in a developed country when after landing into what seems like a city within a city of an airport, you take a superfast bullet train to get transported into the mainland within minutes.

We checked into the LKF hotel. After about an hour or so of bath and freshening up, we decided to start our HK exploration. So a quick but very elaborate lunch at Jimmy's kitchen was followed by a trip to the Stanley Market. Taxis are expensive in HK and it took us HK$105 to reach the place. Stanley Market residential area is one of the poshest places to live in HK and homes are vert costly here. The area is scenic and has the ocean for a view on one side and green mountains and water bodies on the other side. We took a quick stroll through the market, very Chinese with items like clothes, bags, toys, home furnishings on sale in a long and narrow row of small to very small shops. It's a great place if you want to buy gift items to give away to your loved ones once you return back home or souvenirs or even house-hold items like, say, bed-sheets, table-cloths, etc.

The official activities kick-started in the evening with a visit to the Happy Valley Race Cource; Hong Kong Horse Racing Jockey club followed by a dinner there. Now, just so that you know, this is an elite club and they have a very strict dress code. We were forewarned about it, so we knew just exactly what to wear and what not to wear. Denims and round tees are a strict no-no. Smart casuals or formals are allowed. I am told that if one does not follow the dress code, one will not be allowed to enter the club. I was dying to see how the person at the entrance would observe us to check our dress-code sounds comical as I think of it. Anyways,nobody was in a mood to experiment; its always better to be safe than sorry.

Once in, the festivities started. Drinks were served and the Indian group mixed with the Taiwanese group, at the same time engaging in talk with our lovely hosts. Few guys also indulged in betting; the rock star won a few dollars, so did a few others, rest lost. Dinner was elaborate and it was an evening well-spent, though at the end of the day, we were all very, very tired. The hosts were very gracious and as it would turn out over the next two or three days, we could all learn from them how arrangements are to be made and what it takes to become a magnificent host than being just a good host.


Popular posts from this blog


As the country oldest mutual fund scheme, now US-64 Bonds, are set be redeemed, it’s tough to find an equally alternative investment. There are some that come closeThe oldest mutual fund scheme in India, Unit Trust of India (UTI)’ Unit Scheme – 64 (US-64), will soon be no more. After more than 40 years of existence, curtains will fall on the US-64 bonds that mature on 31 May 2008. UTI has already sent out letters to all bond-holders about the redemption; investors are told to submit their original certificates, take their money back and leave.

For investors like Kolkata-based, Kumaresh Mukherjee, 72 it’s the end of an era. Soon after he retired from Philips India, he invested his provident fund corpus in fixed – return instruments like company fixed deposits. An electrical engineer by profession, in 1995 he also invested Rs 12 lakh or around one-third of his retirement corpus in the erstwhile US-64. After years of above-average returns, then trapped doors and turmoil that shook the Ind…

Pay Credit Card Bills Through ATMs

Tired of being ignored by ICICI Bank credit cards by being left out of their premium services despite being a loyal customer, I got myself a new credit card by HDFC Bank. It's another thing that HDFC Bank promised me a gold card with a higher spending limit, but then threatened to give me a silver card. When I strongly protested to their ways, they issued me a gold card, but with a much-lower-than-promised spending limit. I think the credit card companies ought to be made more accountable through stricter laws that are widely publicised (I recently read an RBI advertisement in the paper that if a credit card company rejects your application for a credit card, it has to give the reasons in writing; I never knew that!!!) and ought to made to pay for promising one thing, but delivering something totally different. SBI Cards too chased me for a month last year and promised to give me a platinum card with a high spending limit. What I finally got was a much-watered down Gold Card with …

My first ever Rajdhani experiance

As a kid, the Mumbai-New Delhi Rajdhani Express used to be this legend that I dreamt often. Although train travel was an integral part of my childhood, Rajdhani remained a distant dream. A dream that only zipped past me at 120 km/hr overtime I saw it. A dream that announced it arrival from a great, great distance by the sounds of twin diesel locomotives and its generator cars at either sides of the rake. A sound that was as intimidating to rail enthusiasts like me as a Bullet motorcycle is to a biker. In those days, it used to be hauled by two diesel locomotives so that it wouldn't need to spend much time at Vadodra station changing its locomotives. One of the two diesel locos would detach itself from the train and the other one who simply haul it al the way to Delhi. When I used to go to Valsad during some of my summer holidays at my cousin's house, it was a ritual. Take a picnic basket, leave the house at sharp 6, go to the yard just before the station, position ourselves on…