12 December 2014

Hong Kong Trip: Strolling Around The City

(Late Post: This trip happened last 2012)

A walk around around the city center is not complete in any trip. That's where you, sort of, immerse yourself in your host country's culture and experience their daily lives around the metro. 

So, a good breakfast is needed to start the day. Our package included the complimentary breakfast already at the Cafe de Coral, this is like their Jollibee in Hong Kong, its a big Chinese fast food joint there. A lot of their branches are scattered everywhere and their food is good. 

After a quick breakfast, we boarded our tour bus and went on to the city. Our hotel was located over at the New Territories so it was quite a long drive, but it was a comfortable ride and we get to sightsee. The MTR would have been faster but not much sights.
On the way to the city.
Our first stop, the Avenue of the Stars. Hong Kong's take on Hollywood's famous attraction that pays tribute to their famous individuals such as Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan and a lot more! It attracts a lot of tourists and is located at the Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade that is easily accessible by walking or with transportation. 
It was so foggy that we could barely see the opposite harbor. And it was a chilly morning. Very nice though that limited us in seeing the sights.
The second stop was the mid-level of Victoria Peak. But alas, no view! So foggy!

Ladie's? Hehe.
Third stop was a visit to Hong Kong Jewellery. We were oriented with the history of jewelry-making and of the business before we got to see the goods. Taking of photos inside the shop is not allowed so that was a minus because they have a lot beautiful pieces set in different stones and a lot in Jade because the Chinese consider this to have a lot of mystical qualities that is why possessing one is important. 

I bought a small necklace and if I remember correctly, I paid for HK $100 for it. I wore it for a short time but since the chain was not real gold or silver, it tarnished over time, I'm acidic, that's why. The pendant was still good though, it maintained its quality.
Then there's shopping! But I did not buy anything, I was keen on spending more on food and other stuff. Last on my priorities was shopping.
Sniffing around but no actual purchase. Stingy!
The scenery outside our hotel..mountains. We were very far from Kowloon and other tourist attractions but with the fast MTR, traveling was a breeze. And from our location, Tsing Yi, Disneyland is near, just a couple of train stations away. The airport is near too.
Pleasant scene. With the mini bus on the side, before we boarded going to the MTR station.
The sight from our hotel floor. 
By the way, HK have the Octopus Card that can make your travel more easy and convenient. It can be used in paying for most public transporations ( Bus, Minibus, Ferry, Peak Tram, Tram & MTR Trains) as well as settling payment for fast food restos, convenience stores, vending machines and many more. This is a very convenient tool to have when going around and it comes in reasonable denominations.
The amazing Octopus Card reader. Just touch your Octopus Card here and you're set! 
Yay! Jollibee! A photo op that we can't miss. Love your own, right! We stayed inside while waiting and we just observed the customers, mostly kababayans, but with other nationalities too. 
A visit to the heart of Hong Kong is also a must. Here, life is more fast-paced and dynamic. It's like our Makati, Ortigas and Global City.
The IFC Tower at night
Lunch at the Can-Teen! 
Their food looked and tastes amazing! And very filling too!
The tourist-y shots!

Explore more!
Shopping time! For souvenirs and other stuff. So many things, so little budget. Haha!
Just explore where your feet will take you. But make sure to stay safe.
Many restos, stalls and eateries are scattered in the city so you will not have any trouble if you have gotten hungry from all the sightseeing. It's just a matter of choosing where your eyes and tummy will take you.
Dinner time! Walking has made us very hungry.

On our way to see the Symphony of Lights at the harbor. We had to be a bit early so we can find a good spot before all the others flocked in. It gets very crowded there.
There it is! Done now. It was a foggy night so that lights on the show were not that prominent. But it was still a good show. 
I know there were still lots of places that we have not visited but this was still a great experience for me, After all, this was my first out-of-the-country trip.

An important travel tip that I would like to impart is to know the address and telephone numbers of our embassy in the country that you are visiting because you just never know, better be prepared. Also store a copy of your passport, credit card and other relevant docs or identification in a USB or online so just in case you lose them while traveling, you still have proof of your identity. 

Should I be able to visit here again, I will not get a package that includes a city tour because they basically bring you to places that is kind of limiting to other possibilities. I mean, with careful itinerary research and planning, you can get whole lot more experiences than you paid for. More attractions and shopping places and most importantly, you are in control of your time. 


Check out my previous posts:

Hong Kong Disneyland 

02 December 2014

Hong Kong Trip: HK Disneyland

(Late Post: This trip happened last 2012)

It was my first time to go out of the country. It was fun and very memorable. Of course, a lot of us, our first time out is usually in Hong Kong. Why? Because it's very near the Philippines, there is no visa and... they have Disneyland! Haha!

The weather that time was cold and I basked in that glorious weather. A  definite sweater weather. I loved it!

While waiting for our tour guide, we decided to grab some breakfast at the airport. Our first taste of Hong Kong!
Our hotel, Rambler Oasis,  was located over at the New Territories which is far from the busy hustle and bustle of known Hong Kong but is near the HKG International Airport (19kms.) and Disneyland (short train ride if coming from Tsing Yi station). From the hotel, we ride a mini bus going to the MTR station. From these vantage point, we got to observe how the locals are in their daily routine. It was our short time of calm before we experience the rest that Hong Kong has to offer.

Now, one of the highlights of the trip was to go to Disneyland. It's a childhood, and oh well, adulthood wish to come to the US to experience that but thank goodness there are some in Asia already and the most affordable is the one here. So, park that US Disneyland wish for now.
Love that their Disney Train has details that is so obviously..Disney. Such as the windows in the shape of Mickey Mouse's head.
 And we have arrived!
Hong Kong Disneyland is located on reclaimed land in Penny's Bay, Lantau Island. It is the first theme park located inside the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort and is owned and managed by the Hong Kong International Theme Parks (Wikipedia). 

Ticket is priced now at HK $499, or roughly Php2,994. A bit steep but worth it especially if you grew up watching and being a fan of Disney movies and characters. 
Love the scenery, the vibe and the weather! 
Taking in the sights at the Main Street.
And look, we met some kababayans who are part of Disney. The marching band! All Pinoys! Super proud of them. They chatted with us shortly and they proceeded with what they do best, to entertain the visitors with their lively music.
For lunch, we tried out these. A bit expensive also but good thing was that the serving sizes were big. And tasted good too.

Was not able to ride a real elephant, but this would do for now. Dumbo!
Some more of the sights! We were not able to explore the whole park because we were a bit tired already but we were happy with what we saw.
The finale for us..the parade where I heard the song "It's A Small World After All" and it made me tear up a bit. Flashes of childhood memories welled up and it made me nostalgic, that's why. But then, I see all the beautiful floats and the Disney princesses and other famous characters and it made me giddy as a child once again. Crazy, I know.
Happy smiles for us! 

So happy to have been here! 
Practicing his train ticket-vending knowledge.
Tired travellers on a very cold night. This is the life for me! 

Lovely day, it really was. Very special. Time spent exploring famous or unknown places is the best feeling for any traveler.

Next time I go here, I have to really wait for the fireworks show. That's a promise I made to myself.


Check out my previous posts:

Hong Kong City Tour
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