Birthday Surprise for Hubby


appreciate some advice here....
coming 9 Sept will be my hubby's bdae and our 1st yr wedding anniversary... wanted to plan somethin really wonderful..

he did alot of touching stuff for me on my bdae this yr and i really want to do something back for him.

he loves travelling but due to monetary issues, we always go bangkok or genting only.
thus, i went to book 5 days 4 nights HK trip (which he always wanted to go) and hotel stay w/o his knowledge.

my initial plan was to enlist help of a fren to bring our luggage to airport and then i bluff him i want to go airport to eat and when we reach there, we'll just check in...

e prob is, e airticket i book, e only available time slot is 6am! which means we have to check in @ 4am... i dun wan to trouble any frenz at that kind of timing...

since its goin to be a 5 days hol, i also asked his colleague to help me book leave with his boss w/o my hubby's knowledge. his boss had agreed on e leave. then, came another issue.. my hubby just informed me he may have reservist call back in Sept... GOSH, anyway I can apply for him to be exempted on behalf of him w/o his knowledge??

and i dunno how to make it a surprise for him anymore... 4am check in, i cant possibly tell him i want to go airport eat at that kind of hr rite? he sure suspicious...

appreciate any suggestions.
was also thinking of designing a box, throw many slips of papers written " u won a hk trip! " inside and then tell him lucky draw, whateva he pick from the box will be his bdae gift and of cos, every single slip is e same =p
this will be done @ midnite, before our 6am flight...

or any other suggestions?
much appreciation in advance


New Member
you can tell him that you've planned a trip but keep the destination a secret until you get to the airport.

i did that when me and my husband went to cebu for vacation in 2008 .. i just told him to pack for a beach vacation and remember his snorkelling gear. it was only when we got to the airport that he knew where we were going.


dear cuclainne... i dun wan to let him noe we are goin on a trip cos i noe he will ask nonstop where we goin... i want it to be a total surprise element

dear duh!, pick up relative @ 4am sounds too farfetched... he'll rather tell me to ask them take cab....

i was checking e webbie if airport provides overnight luggage lookafter but no info, heard my fren say even if have, it's like $20 per hr.. not worth...

think i'll go along w e box thingie and tell him e night before we going travelling =)

now need to settle how to apply for exemption from reservist (if any) in sept


Well-Known Member
carlene, u can check in your luggage the night ahead. I missed the last night flight and changed to a morning one. They checked in for me in the evening and I can board directly the next morning.

So, I'm sure you can do so with Singapore Airlines. Not sure its the same for other airliners. Anyway, in the worst case, u guys can go there without luggages and buy them in HK.


New Member
Exemption from reservist is almost impossible unless u have a very good reason... Job assignment or wife giving birth. U need his boss write a letter & submission must be done in person...Even so it's not a guarantee...

Think this is a MAJOR show stopper if ur trip coincide with the researvist...


Well-Known Member
Exemption is best handled by the NSman directly with his commanding officer. Online application thr normal process will take longer and hard to approve unless very serious exceptional situations e.g. funeral of immediate family or wife give birth.


Well-Known Member
One option is to buy open tix allowing you to shift the dates should he be called back for NS. Although its more pricy, its more practical in your situation.


New Member
congrats!! so sweet of u..

just tell him suddenly u got the cravings to eat Popeye chicken at terminal 1..hehe..

but hv to make sure he dont plan a surprise 4 u also on tat day..


thx all for e advice...
tigre, i dunno if its called reservist anot, not familar w e term...he juz served 1 wk reservist in march and he told me he will have a call bk in Sept.. (u noe e one will announce on tv/radio which grp 1)....

i heard my other guy frenZ say just need to inform beforehand this period not available can it true?

milo : i bought e tix liaoz cos he march already 2 wks reservist so i did not expect any more this yr =(
go w/o luggage?? POWER! guys can but gals definitely no no LOL

chris: haha dat was my initial plan but 4 am?!?! he will say i crazy and cont sleep LOL...
nope dun think he'll plan anythin cos it's his bdae and i shud be e 1 planning haha

but 1 thing to seek guy's opinion... would there be a tiny chance dat he'll feel irritated for not informing him of e trip beforehand?
gals feel its romantic gesture but i not too sure abt guys.... cos he not e spontatenous type but i noe he realli wanted a trip to hk ...


Active Member
milo - Think she already went ahead to purchase the tkt.

Ermmm,, Popeyes got open that early meh??

I would suggest to change the date for celebration since you encounters such hiccups. A surprise is indeed lovely. But if frustration takes place before this and unable to accomodate to all, why not change it??

I duno how you see about the anniversary/surprise. To me, everyday are bound for surprise if we have each other. It's juz like Valentine's Day. Dun understand why most fantasize celebrating it.. It's juz another day for commercial gimmicks. Hehehehe


New Member
Aiyah... That's recall manning. Juz need to do an on-line overseas notification. Can even do it in airport after check in. That'll pretty much cover him.


Well-Known Member
yah. recall manning, u can do it via tel. 18003676767.

Following the voice recording for instructions.

Its something like this if I remember correctly.
- 1 for English
- Specify 1 two times for NS men (there are 2 sub categorizing. So, be sure you enter 1 twice - 1st one for something like NS Men, pre-entries and active personnel and 1 again for specifically NS Men).
- Specify 1 for Mindef notification centre
- Specify NRIC no. without the alphabets e.g. 8012345.
- 1 to confirm NRIC no
- 1 to notify new trip
- Specify departure date in DDMMYYYY format
- Specify return date in DDMMYYYY format
- Specify country code or say out the country name.
- 1 to confirm country, 2 to retry.
- specify overseas contact no.
- wait for confirmation code.

And ENJOY your vacation!


Well-Known Member
Gal also can do without check-in luggage lah. Just bring one set of spare clothes in your bag. The rest of the stuffs surely can shop in HK.

Its really a very nice surprise. Would be nice if my partner would be this adventurous!


thx milo and tigre for e info!
much appreciated!

iris : well... he did somethin touching for me for my bdae this yr that's y i wanted to do somethin back for him too... and somemore is our 1st wedding anniversary thus make it even more meaningful. haha this 1 no gimmicks lah... cos holiday mah... no matter ur bdae/anniversary, travelling still bound to be ex! LOL
but at least get to go overseas and relax so still ok la =)


New Member
So bo liao.....
he can just go like that???
maybe he got work commitment??
or he plan to celebrate with his mitress???

please lah....
just bring him to kopitiam and eat hokkien mee can already.

Then when go home, give him a boiled egg.


New Member
Tell him u need to go oversea for work trip and its 6am flight cause your company wants to save cost.

U will have the excuse to bring a luggage.


hey hyper.... i think ur idea's good!
but den he'll drive me... my idea's to take a taxi, if not park @ changi airport for so many days sure ex...

now, how do i trick him into taking a cab?
he sure will find it ridiculous if he can send me but i insist on taking cab wif him LOL

hey chilli, u can bring ur hubby to someplace he like depending on he sporty (beach resort) or shopping type (tw/hk/bkk)

my initial plan was to book a hotel @ e Sentosa Universal Studio 1... but e website cannot make it... keep showing error call hotline no1 eva ans... grr... but at least this 1 less hassle, anythin still in SG haha

this hk trip, i did alot of homework... i drew a map from our hotel to the various shopping places... i also planned each day's shopping area haha...

any1 been to HK? maybe can share where are some nice shopping places? i stay yau ma tee, just opp nu ren jie, den i heard prince edward got e flower garden market, tsim tsa tsui got alot of shopping... wat abt ocean park? any1 been there?

dear hunky, is that what ur wife does to you? hmm... u need some romance in ur life!
work commitment wise, already communicated w his boss and he gaf e go ahead sign.
mistress?? more likelyhood he spend w his mattress lah... he say he no time to find mistress cos he got his hands full w me liaoz LOL


New Member
Hi Ger

can plan to go Tsim Sha Tsui..then from there slowly walk to Ladies or Temple st..there got H&M boutique (Like Zara)..

famous Causeway Bay steamed milk pudding (Yee Shun)

if nt disneyland, The Peak or Mdm Tussaud..

if nt take ferry to Macau then to Zhuhai..



Well-Known Member

what hunky said has some valid concerns. How is his work commitments? Surprised on how u got his boss go ahead without his knowledge. You know his boss personally? Not everyone appreciate such surprises loh. But, I suppose u know your husband enough.

For HK research on food, check out

The last few HK trips, my wife did all the research from there. Save the trouble trying food that isn't good. Choose only those with sufficient reviews. Some reviews could be fake, but if its lousy, others will comment its not as good as claimed by the earlier review.


duh: haha erm... i guess so, since he loves to go BKK shopping...he's e type that as long go overseas, he's very happy...

chris : thanks! =)

milo: (everytime i see ur nick i feel thirsty LOL) his colleagues are his childhood bros and i told them abt it and they helped me to tell their boss and i was given e go ahead sign lor. his job scope is technician so i guess not much prob... ooohhh thanks! i haven tot abt food hahaha! i was busy researching shopping places *guilty* hehehe


New Member
He'll probably be wondering why his boss is rushing him to finish his task just before his BD...Maybe he would start to feel suspicious by then...

His co workers who know may also let the cat out of the bag...


Active Member
I will have a massive heart attack if this is done on me haha. Thought Cuclainne's idea is more a pleasant surprise. Carlene's idea would be such a shock lol


New Member
There is nothing really fascinating about HKG except for shopping since it is tax free.
The Peak - If not misty, you can spend a evening there. Dinner is about HKG 250-500 depending on the establishment. The you can head down to LKF or Soho for a night of drinking.... You can simply choose from the many ang moh infested pubs.
IFC Mall is good for shopping if your pocket is deep so is Central area where most of the upmarket boutique are located.
Kowloon - Elements also have plentiful of shops
Tsim Sha Tsui - Harbour City lots of boutique.. shopping. Spasso located on the fourth floor is also a nice place to spend evening since they have some outdoor dining
If you are heading for branded outlets, then you can travel to Tung Chung which is on Lantau Island. Citygate is a branded outlet shopping area, you will find, max mara, Burberry, Calvin Klein... etc....
I find HKG a shopping haven though I could not really associate that as a holiday. The air is bad, places are crowded.....
Try to speak mandarin and they treat you better thinking you are from China...


Well-Known Member
I like HK because things are opened for long hours. So, as a tourist, its really wonderful. Eat and shop till u drop. For more interesting places, u should ask the locals for recommendation then to go by the usual tourist spots only.


jere's wife : i actually lol @ ur remark & my colleague stared at me..haha oops
hide his car keys he sure ask me take cab myself and say goodbye at home can already whahahaa

kenturik: serious? u mean they cant differentiate sg chinese and mainland chinese? wah jialat i dunno how to spk canto

milo: as this is e 1st time to hk, i think we doin more like an explore a few areas den next trip will know better where to go. heard dimsum's good *droolz*

anyway, thx to all for e suggestions and advice!
i will go ahead with the box thingie and tell him to choose a "present" from inside e box @ midnight, 6hrs before the flight. of cos, every single slip of paper he choose will still be e HK trip LOL...

now juz waiting for sept and maybe watch more hk drama to learn canto.. haha!!


New Member
Speak Mandarin will get better reception. Mainland chinese have better spending power then HongKongers. Most shops, restaurant including taxi drivers can speak Chinese. Not all can differentiate mainland chinese or sg chinese.
Bacially, the 3 main islands are Hong Kong island, Kowloon & New Territories and Lantau Island. You just need to do some research and then visit places that both of you like, plan well so that you could save time and expect to walk a bit more.
You should also buy an octopus card as you will most probably using public transport. Octopus card is like an MRT card which you can also use it to make payment at 7-11 and other stores. given by Milo is a good site for makan which i am also using that quite extensively.
Planning a getaway like yours is really a great effort on your part. Hopes everything goes well and good luck.


Well-Known Member
carlene, unlike in the 90s pple in HK speak good mandarin now. And actually, our mandarin is quite similar to China. Just not the Southern chinese but more the Northern provinces where most Cantonese, Teo Chew and Hokkiens are from.

IF you guys have time, can take public transport down to Xi(West) Gong. The seafood is good. Atmosphere similar to East Coast where u have a long chain of many seafood restaruants. But, they display their fresh seafood in tanks just like Ah Yat restaruant in Sgp.

Also, there is a desert shop, Mun(full) ji. The dumplings is a must try. They just recently opened a branch in Vivo. But, I think the original main branch at Xi Gong is the best.

In terms of transport, I recommend you to get the 3 day (36 hrs) unlimited MTR pass + 2 way airport to town express train tix. Its a real value for money. If your hotel is in town, it gives u get convenience of dropping back in hotel anytime to rest or put your heavy shopping. As the tix is 36hrs for MTR, I suggest you not to use it for MTR on the 1st day of arrival if you are arriving later in the afternoon / evening. Keep it for the next morning to enjoy unlimited rides for 3 solid full days.

For shopping out of the town, u can go to ShaTin. There are several huge malls linked up with some older shopping centers.


New Member
actually the early chinese immigrants are mainly from the south like guangzhou, fuzhou, hainan & etc.... the northeners are the ones with the strong accent..


hey milo: yupz my colleague told me abt e 3 days MTR pass but she said it'll start from e minute u use it for airport transfer to kowloon (cos kowloon got free airport shuttle to hotel). anyway doesnt really matter ba, since i'm arriving @ hk 11am. heard their transport's really ex! taxi fare from airport-hotel = SGD60-80!!! OMG
Thanks for all e recommendations! will definitely look up in e internet..

btw, any1 of u been to ocean park/hk disneyland?
these 2 are not priority on my list but if reviews good, may want to explore abit =)

kenturik, thx for e info... haha not realli a great effort lah, only e planning part but i expect once reach there it's like explore on own le... dat time i brought him to BKK (bangkok), never once did any research, just explore walk here walk there... my colleagues told me HK is as easy as BKK cos their mtr is very convenient just like sg/bkk mrt.. so still ok

i'm staying at thecityview hotel... any1 stayed there before? juz opp nu ren jie
actually this trip is basically juz relax, eat, shop.. so shall not stress too much liao~ e moz impt is to kidnap my hubby into e plane can already haha~


Well-Known Member
hi Carlene,

your colleage is wrong. It doesn't start from the minute u use the airport transfer. It starts from your 1st MTR ride using the card. So, if you are arriving later in the day, its better to use single trip fare for day 1. But you can proceed to use the 2 way airport transfer.

Disneyland in anywhere is nono for me. I have motion sickness and roller coaster is out for me. Ocean park made me puke and sick for entire day. I would like to keep my dim sum breakfast intact.

I stayed in CitiViewHotel previously too. Very good location. 2 mins walk right into Mong Kok and near the MTR stations, having a small supermarket and 7 Eleven just opposite sides of the road. Also, no need to tip or ask for porter service. They will not pressure you to use their services. The beds are however quite hard.

Do you like Japanese food? Can try the Feng Sushi. The scallop and grilled eel are very good. But Salmon sashimi is so-so only. Good salmon can be found easily in sgp, so don't need to bother also.


Active Member
It depends on what you want to do in Hong Kong.. if it is the first time, most probably shopping and eating...

Oceanpark - if you really have too much time then maybe.. else nothing to lose much if you skip

Disneyland - Probably the worst disneyland in the world. Unless you have not been to one and is extremely keen, else skip it.


New Member
hmm..i stayed at cityview hotel also. i thought it's near the yau ma tei mtr? it's the ex-ymca house right? hmm...agree that the location is very good. usually at the end of the day when we are tired it's comforting to know that the hotel is just less than 5 mins walk away.

i think first time in HK you can do touristy stuff. like take cablecar to lantau island to see the big buddha statue (if you are interested). then also can go to the peak, visit mdm tussad's, take a ferry ride and watch the light show (i think that was quite mundane...but anyway it's tourist stuff!) also can go avenue of the stars to look at all the handprints of the stars.

oceanpark and disneyland - i didn't visit, so it's up to you. if you are fanatics of theme parks then it's worth going i guess.

hmmm...don't forget to visit the factory outlets at tong chong (it's near airport). they have esprit outlet, burberry outlet, crabtree & evelyn i's the same place as where you can take the cable car to lantau island so you can schedule 1 day there.

super love HK!! talking about HK makes me feel like going there again. haha.


New Member
Plan well ahead since it is a 5 day holiday which you maybe able to cover quite a fair bit. You have to see what you both like to do. I would usually recommend my friend to go one section at a time so that they could save time. Below is something I gotten from a website and send to a friend whom visiting HKG for the first time, you may wanna take it as a guide :

Hong Kong Island :
The Peak
Madame Tussauds
Lan Kwai Fong & SoHo
Hollywood Road, Cat Street / Man Mo Temple
Western Market
Golden Bauhinia Square & Special Flag Raising Ceremony
Happy Valley Racecourse
Jumbo Kingdom
Ocean Park Hong Kong
Repulse Bay
Stanley Market & Murray House

Kowloon :
1881 Heritage
Cheung Sha Wan Road Fashion Street and Apliu Street
Ladies Market
Temple Street Night Market
Jade Market & Jade Street
Yuen Po Street Bird Garden / Flower Market / Goldfish Market
Avenue of Stars
A Symphony of Lights
Clock Tower
Kowloon Walled City Park
Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple
Lei Yue Mun Seafood Bazaar

New Territories :
Ma Wan Park Noah's Ark
City Art Square
Sha Tin Racecourse
Ching Chung Koon
Kat Hing Wai
Mai Po Wetlands
Tai Fu Tai
Tsing Ma Bridge
Fung Ying Seen Koon
Lung Yeuk Tau Heritage Trail
Lam Tsuen Wishing Trees and Tin Hau Temple
Sai Kung Town
Hong Kong Wetland Park

Outlying Islands :
Hong Kong Disneyland
Giant Buddha / Po Lin Monastery / The Wisdom Path
Ngong Ping 360
Tai O Fishing Village and Stitle-house
Mui Wo

More than 1/2 of the places either I have not even heard of or gone to. You can google and then choose which and where you wanna go. Since this is the first and not the last, that's about sum up what a tourist will do.


New Member
And after that, please write a FR on the places you been to and wat's good and not... we can always use it as a guide.


wow wow wow thanks for all e info!!

yupz i've been to disneyland japan and i heard hk 1's really bad, no queues all anyhow jump queue 1... plus alot of spitting everywhere...

hey some1's mention madame tussauds!!
i wanna go!!! kenturik says @ HK island... pardon my suakuness but accesible through MTR?

i think i wanna try all e places milo & kenturik suggested! LOL

flyingstar, how many times u been to hk?
can i juz check w u guys how much normally for airtickets/hotel?? juz wan to have a rough idea...

i paid $650 for 2 air tix and $600+ for the hotel stay, is this rate ok for 5 weekday stay?

how much do u all normally chg for e currency?
most of my colleagues suggested SGD1k each.

i got no credit cards before and now i "furiously" applying from each bank ahahahaha cos i realli scare go there not enough...


i love this thread so much cos u guys are really helpful esp with suggestions and recommendations of hk places... have saved under my fav so i could refer again before my trip..

thanks peepz!!!


New Member
Hong Kong usually separated into 3 places. Kowloon & New Territories is a peninsula, Hong Kong Island is separated by a channel and Lantau Island is another island where the airport is. Getting from places to places are easy via the MTR, via taxi's would be expensive since you have to bear the tunnel charges which is HKD 20-40. Once you arrives, it is best to obtain a map from the information counter at the arrival hall whereby you could also buy your airport train tickets. Download a Hong Kong map and you will have a clearer picture.
Depending on how you spend, SGD 1K each should be enough unless there are a lot of shopping to be done. And usually you be tempted to buy since it is cheaper in HKG.
Once you have decided where to go maybe you could post online and then peeps here can probably chip in to tell u how best to go about it.


New Member
carlene, go research! haha..i think kenturik had given a really long list of places you can visit. i didn't even visit half of it. haha.

madam tussad's is at THE PEAK. you can take a tram up the hill. it's at one of the buildings at the peak. must-go if you like to take photos with "stars". in the evening, you can watch the symphony of lights show from there also. but beware, it's a huge crowd!!

i been to HK twice...1st time was touristy stuff, 2nd time was makan+shopping only. HK's really easy to get around, i bought the octopus card since we decided that we won't keep taking MTR so no point getting the tourist card. the octopus card can be used for payment at 7-11 so it's quite good too!

anyway if you intend to go theme parks then better bring more cash. i'm pretty sure that the entrance fee to disneyland should be quite ex (just like universal studios in sg)

i can't remember about the hotel charges - my bf paid for that but i remembered is around 500plus for 3 nights. cant advise about air tix coz i always go on full carrier.

hmm...i changed about 500 bucks when we went. but we used CC for our hotel payment. the rate in HK is generally better, you can change at the airport or moneychanger in town. We changed at HSBC bank and they charge "surcharge". but just show that you are HSBC customer (like credit card) and they will waive. i think it is a good idea to have credit card, to settle the hotel bill.

yup, and don't forget the map! after you clear the customs/collect your luggage at the airport there will be a big area just before you get to the arrival hall. there's a huge area with lots of brochures and an information counter. be sure to get your map from there.

have fun planning!! hmmm and i'm wondering, what if your hb decided to plan something to surprise you on your wedding anniversary also? better ask his buddies to check him out for you!


New Member
Hi Guys,

Just to check, if don't have credit card, can we pay the hotel charges in Hongkong using Debit Card (issued by DBS or OCBC)?

Thanks for the advise


New Member

U can pay your hotel charges by Debit Card. There are ATM at HK airport, u can withdraw cash using your debit card too.


hi ce, are u booking online first for e hotel? cos so far e ones i check, u must have a valid credit card for booking, debit card not accepted. when u rch there, u have option to use dat same credit card u use to book, to pay or by cash. but they need to see dat credit card u use to book, at e counter. n dat credit card muz belong to u or e travelling person w u...