Sunday, September 7, 2008

HongKong Trip - October 2007

I went to Hong Kong last October 2007 for a 5-day vacation and accompanied my bestfriend, Suzette, who took her NCLEX exam. Her cousin, Jing and my sister, Aileen tagged along. It was on a budget trip without tour guide to control our time. I planned it all myself from airline to accommodation up to the tours. I watched out for the promo fare from Cebupacific and got a roundtrip ticket for only Php 4100.00 (USD92). I reserved for our hostel online at Wangfat Hostel located at Paterson St at Causeway Bay in Hongkong Island for KD160/night/person. So it was about Php 4,ooo for a 5D/4N stay per person. From the airport, we took the double-decker airport city bus to enjoy HongKong sights.
From our window, the arrays of buildings with shops and boutiques on the ground floor and residential/hostels at the upper floors
The movier theatre and restaurant in front of Paterson Bldg where we stayed
Our room, one of the three rooms, just comfortable and affortable with private bathroom and common kitchen and refrigerator outside.
Day 1: Arrival & The Peak

We arrived at HongKong International Airport at 10AM and took the Citybus to Causeway Bay in Hongkong Island. We got off at #14 Stop Yee Woo St. and walked toward Paterson St. and found the Paterson Building where Wang Fat Hostel was located. The place is at the centre of Causeway busy shopping district. The building is actually a residential pad but converted by the local businessmen as hostel for the tourists. It is surrounded with lots and lots of fashion shops, 24-hour-convenience stores like 7-11 and supermarkets and food chain like McDonalds, boutiques, electronic shops, restaurants and movie theatres. MTR station is a 5-minute walk and shopping malls like Sogo, Time Square, Toys R us and many more are just walking distance.

After a short nap, @ 3PM we went to The Peak. Unfortunately, we were not able to take the Peak Tram but only thru bus. We could not walk that long to the Lower Peak Tram because of Suzette who was 6-weeks pregnant that time. To know more about The Peak
The skycraper of HongKong taken from the The Peak Sky Terrace
With my sister Aileen in front of The Peak Galleria (we just ate at Mcdo)
With the legendary Jet Li at Wax Musuem
Day 2 Wan Chai & Central District & Disneyland

The next day, we accompanied Suzette to her exam venue in Central District. The exam was about 5 hours so we went first to Wan Chai Promenade to check the Forever Blooming Bauhinia Flower sculpture and the Reunification Monument located on Golden Bauhinia Square outside the HongKong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC). This place is very significant in HK's history because this is where the Chinese locals of HK commemorate the return of HK to the People's Republic of China and the establishment of the HK Special Administrative Region on July 1, 1997.
Wan Chai Promenade facing Victoria Harbour and HK New Territories where Kowloon is located. This is also a good place for the Symphony of the Lights.
At the Forever Blooming Bauhinia Flower
At my backdrop is the Wan Chai pier for ferries going to Kowloon
Then, after her exam we headed to Disneyland Resort. I had my regrets why we went there after lunch. We should have sticked to our original schedule of going there on the next day. It was so much fun that one whole day is not enough to explore Mickey's world.
The Disney Parade during the day (many of the dancers and entertainers are Filipinos) 
 The crowd while waiting for the Fireworks Display
The Disney movie film during the parade
At the entrance of Disneyland Resort 
 With famous Mickey Mouse and his ladies from left: Suzette, Jing, me and Aileen
Disneyland Castle

We went back to the hostel too tired but with smile on our faces. It was fun feeling like a kid again running to catch my favorite cartoon characters like Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Duffy and the rest. It was awesome watching the Disney movies thru 4D Golden Mickey Story. It was so great sitting on the ground while waiting for the fireworks display as the closing event with the crowd of different nationalities but all chanting in wonderment with only one word "WOW"!

Day 3: Kowloon Island

The next day was sort of rest day for us. We woke up late and just slept half of the day and went to Kowloon side in the afternoon for shopping at Ladies Market, Kimberly St and Temple Street Night Market. Then, we waited for the 8 o'clock Symphony of the Lights along the Avenue of Stars in the Tsim Sha Tsui promenade.
TST Promenade before the Symphony of the Lights 
At the Ladies Market (just like a Divisoria in Manila
Avenue of Star with Jacky Chan's star (my idol)
Day 4: Ocean Park

The next day, after having been re-energized from the shopping spree, we went to Ocean Park and visit Panda and experienced riding the cable car. I met three Chinese kids of about 10 or 11 years old who were not allowed to enter the park without an adult accompanying them. After explaining to me while struggling with their English, I was able to decipher what they needed from me. So I took their money and bought their tickets. They were jumping in excitement after they got their tickets. But when they were about to enter the main gate, they were stopped by the ushers because they were on their own. So they went back to me again asking for my help. I told them to wait for my sister who got our tickets. While waiting, we posed for a photo souvenir and went inside together. They were cheering, jumping and thanked me in a hurry while running towards the air balloon. Those kids, too adventurous! We also loved the Ocean Park. We immediately headed to Panda and took photos then proceeded to the Cable Car station which brought us to the high land where thrilling rides, dolphin show, shark aquarium and jelly were located and took the escalator down to the other entrance of the park. It was fun riding the cable for the third time (my first was in Tagaytay Highlands and then in Singapore's Sentosa).
With the Chinese kids, unfortunately, I forgot their names..too difficult to memorize
at the entrance from the low lands 
With Suzette at Panda's habitat
with the crazy rides at my backdrop
with pirate (it was Halloween special of OP
with Suzette as we going down the escalator to the other entrance of OP

Day 5: Departure

Then, it was time to go home. But we first went back to Kowloon to take pictures at the Clock Tower, and other sights of Kowloon and met my cousins Edgie and Mai-mai. We had our lunch at Shakey's and took some pictures at HardRock Cafe.
At the Clock Tower
Star Ferry Terminal
At Hard Rock Cafe
It was such a wonderful vacation. I will go back to Hong Kong and visit other places like
Giant Buddha, Repulse Bay and will go to The Peak again but thru the Peak Tram and maybe side trip to Schenzhen to see the Windows of the World.

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