We all cannot contain our excitement! We were all excited to explore the shopping capital of Asia, Hong Kong! Though we were not planning to do shopping right there, we were eyeing for the attractions that it offers. Our flight was early morning at 6:15 via Cebu Pacific but we headed to the airport at around 3 AM, 3 hours early for immigration and security stuff. We departed from Cebu and arrived in Hong Kong on time (8:55 AM), and it was beautiful weather right there at 25°C, really perfect for strolling!
The first thing in our itinerary prepared by Iris M. was Ngong Ping via cable car since it’s the closest from the airport. We left our pack at the Airport Left Luggage Center for HKD12 per hour and went ahead to the cable car terminal but unfortunately, the cable car was under maintenance and taking a bus going there would take 48mins. So we decided to go back to the airport to check out our bags and headed to our Hotel in Kowloon.
It’s our first time in Hong Kong, so we rely much on their MTR map. After we check out our baggage in the Airport Left Luggage Center, we took the Airport Express Train for HKD60 (this is the most expensive ride ever we had hahahaha) and transferred to Lai King station.
Tip: A cheaper alternative than taking an Airport Express Train is by bus from the airport to Kowloon.
After then we moved to another train that will go to Tsim Sha Tsui station. Tip: Before taking any travel via train or bus it is very important to purchase first your Octopus card available at the airport, or if you have a friend that went to Hong Kong and did not surrender his Octopus card then you can borrow it so you don’t have to buy one and directly use it after topping it up aka load. The Octopus card is very useful here in Hong Kong as this prepaid card is accepted in almost any business establishments and not just by train and bus. The Octopus card can be used as payment in Seven Eleven stores, Fastfood chains like McDonald’s, KFC’s and other restaurants.
So we arrived at our hotel at Kowloon TST Guesthouse, this is within Chungking Mansion. The Chungking Mansion is a building with so many guesthouses within it as well as stores. On the ground floor, you will find money exchange shops, cell phone and electronic stores, Indian food stalls and many others; it’s like a market of different goods right there. Your first impression maybe bad since you’ll find them like a sketchy business, but they’re actually not they’re just similar here in the Philippines “night market” or bazaar though they are renting theirs for good. The mansion has 4 narrow elevators that can accommodate about 7 persons with an average weight of 60 to 70 kgs each. Kowloon TST Guesthouse is okay, the main caretaker and receptionist Rajul is friendly, the place is clean and safe inside as they have CCTV’s and electronic door lock. The guesthouse provides towels, generic toothbrush, and toothpaste for each of their guests, as well as rolls of toilet papers and bathroom, it has a water heater for shower. I would say that Guesthouse business is booming in Hong Kong as a lot of travelers of different nationalities are checking in, Chungking Mansion is a busy building with many tourists, locals, and vendors bustling around. Warning: The guest houses here offer cheap accommodation and it’s expected that you’ll get what you paid for; If you are a backpacker or someone that would not mind losing a little comfort then they’re fine.
On our first day in Hong Kong, the only highlight we had was the famous symphony of lights and we viewed it at Kowloon Public Pier, Victoria Harbour. The symphony of lights starts at 8:00 PM, it was a fine weather, and there were a lot of foreigners as well as locals swarming and waiting for the free event at Victoria Harbour. After the show, we strolled for a little while and appreciate the city harbor as there were performers and tattoo artists around Star Ferry terminal and cute Christmas decors at the promenade of Marco Polo Hong Kong Hotel then we ate our dinner at KFC Harbour City.
Second day and it’s Disneyland Day! For me this is the highlight of our Hong Kong vacation, you know I’m still a kid inside (actually all of us hahahaha). We woke up early so we can start great and maximize our 1-day Disneyland experience. From TST, we took a train going to Sunny Bay; the travel was around 30 minutes and 11 stations. Read more and check the tips and trivia about Disneyland here: My HK Disneyland experience.
Ocean Park was on our 3rd day; we were overwhelmed by our Disneyland experience that we want to come back again, but I guess that would be for the next HK visit. Similar to Disneyland this attraction has been flocked by foreign and local visitors too, but unlike Disneyland, Ocean Park features more thrilling rides, wildlife education, and tour. We were amazed by the different water species, pandas, dolphin, and sea lion shows. We might not be able to experience the Ngong Ping cable car transit, but we were still able to experience cable car ride here when we head over to the portion of the theme park called “The Summit.” Read more about Oceanpark on my separate blog.
We were all exhausted and woke up a little late this time, our itinerary for this day was museum hopping, and the highlights were the wax and trick eye museum at The Peak. We purchased a discount voucher for the “The Peak” tour and the scheduled meet-up with the organizer was 2 PM, so we have a few hours in the morning to stroll other sightings nearby Kowloon. We went to Hong Kong Avenue of Comic Stars, Hong Kong Science Museum, and Hong Kong Museum of History. Learn more of what we did this day, and the discount voucher I’m talking about on separate blog post soon to publish.
Macau, Aqui Vamos nós!
Yes, it’s our last hurrah in our vacation, and the itinerary was Macao! Macao is not part of Hong Kong; it is actually another country and it is located in the west part and going there is just about an hour via ferry aka fast craft. We went to Ruins of St. Paul, tried the famous egg tart and meat jerkies, the luxurious Venetian Hotel, Parisian Hotel, and Grand Lisboa. Learn more of what we did this day, separate blog post soon to publish.
It was fun and we feel so accomplished on this trip, we visited and enjoyed the famous attractions in Hong Kong, been to its peak and watch the beautiful skyscrapers of the city, explore the neighboring country Macau and check the beauty and luxury of their famous hotels and all of those were packed in 5 days. I will definitely come back soon in Hong Kong and Macau, I’m excited to try their street food and other authentic Chinese food while if I’m in Macau I want to watch the performance of The House of Dancing Water. By the way, here’s the very helpful itinerary that Iris M. created for this trip, thanks Iris for this! ^_^ Iris M’s Itinerary