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Hong Kong Travelogue

By Edited Nov 30, 2015 0 0

My family has been to Hong Kong several times, but the city has never seems to lose its charm on us. My senior citizen parents love the city because it feels like a second home to them. We also love the cheery atmosphere and the cold weather it has during December. The malls are very colorful and the streets are filled with people day and night.

Hong Kong is less than two hours from Manila, the city we live in. We had already done a lot of shopping in the previous years, so this time, we wanted it to be different. In this page, I will share how we spent our one week in the city. If you're visiting Hong Kong, I hope this will help you decide which places to go to.

 

All the images are copyrighted by Rainy Kua.

Day 1

Arrival

Our arrival was around 2pm so we didn't have specific plans for the first day. The Hong Kong International Airport is in the Lantau Island, which is where the Hong Kong Disneyland is situated. We had to travel approximately 30 minutes to the Hong Kong Island where our hotel was located. We took the easiest (though not necessarily cheapest) route - through the Airport Express. Tickets can be bought right at the airport, or you can use your Octopus Card (smart card) if you already have one. You can save a bit of money by purchasing the tickets in set. I'm not sure how much each costs individually, but a set of four tickets cost HK$250.

The trains are very spacious and comfortable. It has a lot of designated areas for your luggage so there will be plenty of room for your feet! It was getting chilly so we took our jackets from our hand luggage when I realized that I left mine at home! I know the weather didn't compare to the snowy places, but for someone who had lived all her life in a tropical country, my long sleeved top and my scarf weren't enough to protect me from the cold. I had to buy a new jacket before I froze.

After we reached the Hong Kong Island (Central Station), we took the free shuttle bus to Park Lane Hotel. Getting a taxi would be a lot quicker, but we had to pay HK$5 for every luggage that we had, and if I'm not mistaken, there is also a maximum number of luggage you can put in a cab. The shuttle bus arrives in every 30 minutes.

It took us several minutes to check in at Park Lane Hotel because many guests were arriving all at once. Our dinner was nothing special - just some burgers and fries from Triple O's at Hysan Place.

Address: 500 Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay
How to get there: Causeway Bay MTR station, Exit F2
 

Day 2

IFC Mall

IFC Christmas Tree

this indoor Christmas tree is several feet taller than me
Photo: Rainy Kua

Central is one of the tourists' favorite shopping districts in Hong Kong. Though we lived only a few stations away, we didn't get to explore it that much. After several minutes of walking around, we ended up in IFC Mall. Since this shopping mall houses mostly high-end stores, none of the stores appealed to us and we didn't shop at all. The Christmas decors were pretty cool - Christmas trees, stationary bikes (you could ride on one!), and giant Christmas ornaments here and there. We didn't find a food court so we went to the least crowded (but still crowded) restaurant called Open Kitchen.

Address: 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong
How to get there: Hong Kong/Central MTR station, Exit A; Exit F if coming from the Airport Express

Pacific Place

We went to Admiralty to check out Pacific Place, another well-known mall in the city. It was directly connected to the MTR station so you won't miss it. Like the IFC Mall, most stores it houses are expensive. After stopping by the Metropolitan Cafe, we left the mall empty-handed and headed back to our hotel.

Address: 88 Queensway, Admiralty
How to get there: Admiralty MTR Station, Exit B
 

Day 3

Harbour City

Harbour City Disney

so many people wanted to take pictures
of the Disney decorations
Photo: Rainy Kua

One place that I would never miss in Hong Kong is Harbour City, a very huge shopping mall in Tsim Sha Tsui. Since I am following its fan page on Facebook, I was already aware of its upcoming theme for Christmas - Disney! The mall featured several movies from Disney, each was showcased in an egg-shaped podium in the open space leading to the Ocean Terminal entrance. There were Alice in Wonderland, Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Monster, among others. Inside the mall stood a huge Christmas tree decorated with Mickey and friends! It's always best to take photos in the morning while there are still less crowd. It was a mistake for us to take pictures in the afternoon and with the zealous crowd, it took us a long time to take nice photos without accidentally including someone's face in it.

Address: 3 - 27 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
How to get there: Tsim Sha Tsui MTR Station, Exit A1

 

1881 Heritage

1881 Heritage Night Time

1881 Heritage from across the street
Photo: Rainy Kua

After we were satisfied with our photos, we went to 1881 Heritage, which is just a few minutes walk from Harbour City. It's actually a shopping mall though with just a few watch and jewelry stores, no one really shops there. The main attraction in 1881 Heritage is the building itself, and of course, the grandiose decorations it has every December.

Address: 2A Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
How to get there: Tsim Sha Tsui MTR station, Exit E

Charlie Brown Cafe

Charlie Brown Cafe

there are lots of cute figurines like this!
Photo: Rainy Kua

While we were in Tsim Sha Tsui, we didn't miss this much talked about place - the Charlie Brown Cafe. As expected from a themed restaurant, the food items are very expensive. For a small place, it has a wide selection of beverages, pastries, burgers, and sandwiches. At around 2pm, the tables were already filled up. It took us a while to find a nice spot for four of us. I really loved the round tables with faces of different Peanuts characters. It has several figurines of Peanuts characters around the place that you can take photos with! We ordered Charlie Brown Mocha, Mango Frappa, and tiramisu and we weren't disappointed. The cafe sells some Snoopy souvenirs like mugs, cellphone charms, and stuffed toys.

Address: G/F-1/F., Kok Pah Mansion, No. 58-60 Cameron Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
How to get there: TST station, Exit B2

 

Day 4

Langham Place

Langham Place Hello Kitty

Hello Kitty in Russian costume
Photo: Rainy Kua

In the morning, we traveled to Mongkok to see the "Hello Kitty & Friends in Russia" exhibition in Langham Place shopping mall. Apart from seeing Hello Kitty in Russian outfits, we also get to see the other lovable Sanrio characters like Keroppi, Minna no Tabo, and Bad Badtz-Maru. There were queue areas at the better parts of the exhibition to keep things more organized. I had a great time taking pictures, and I find it much enjoyable than shopping. We had lunch at MOS Burger which turned out terrific! I loved the hotdog sandwich, the cheesecake, and the salad. There were some stores in the vicinity of the mall such as a two to three-storey Gap and Cotton On, so don't forget to check them out.

Address: 8 Argyle St, Mong Kok, Hong Kong
How to get there: Mongkok MTR station, Exit C3

 

Avenue of Stars

Avenue of Stars

Victoria Harbour view before dusk
Photo: Rainy Kua

We headed to East Tsim Sha Tsui to look for the place selling street foods near the foot bridges. We found it by accident many years ago, but now we couldn't remember its exact location. We spent several minutes walking around until my dad's legs hurt. We gave up and decided to relax at the Avenue of Stars. It was crowded that time and we were lucky to find an empty bench facing the harbour. We ate some snacks and fed some to the birds while enjoying the view.

Address: along Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade, Kowloon
How to get there: East Tsim Sha Tsui MTR Station, Exit J

 

Day 5

Our Second Hotel

We moved to Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel were we would be staying for the last couple of days in the city. We were not going to the Disney park since we had been there two years ago but I was still excited! After check out, we took the MTR which was the longest but cheapest route to Lantau Island. Thanks to the efficient subway system, it made our travel easier even while hauling our luggage. I wasn't able to keep track of time, but I think we got there in less than an hour. We headed to the bus terminal outside the Disney park and took the free shuttle bus to the hotel. When we arrived, we were so impressed with the interior of the hotel. The lobby kind of reminded me of the dance scene in Beauty and the Beast. Check-in was smooth and the staffs were nice and friendly. The check-in time was 3pm, and since it was a bit early, we left our luggage and headed to Citygate Outlets, a mall in Tung Chung just a station away from Sunny Bay.

Citygate Outlets

CityGate Outlets Mascot

CityGate Outlets' mascot hanging on a shopping bag
Photo: Rainy Kua

This is a nice place to shop for branded items which can be bought at a lot less price. There were a few changes at the mall that time. Most of the shoe stores were moved to the 10th floor which could only be accessed through the elevator. The mall has a food court and a supermarket in the basement. If you like stores that sell cheap random items like One Dollar Store, you can check out Japan Home Centre outside the mall. There is also a DeliFrance nearby. We had our lunch there since there were less people there.

Address: Address: 20 Tat Tung Road, Tung Chung, Lantau
How to get there: Tung Chung station, Exit C

 

Day 6

Disney Hotels

HK Disney Mickey and Minnie

Mickey and Minnie at
New Year's Countdown Party
Photo: Rainy Kua

The entire morning was spent on exploring the Disney hotels. There are two of them - the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel which is the one we were staying at, and the Hollywood Hotel. There were souvenir shops in both hotels and I have to admit that there's nothing much to see in these stores. The park has way lot more selections of Disney merchandize.

The Disney resort is just beside the sea. There is a pathway along the sea that can be accessed through the back gates. We walked along the seaside and saw some guests sitting there and enjoying view. There is also a ferry pier nearby which had been closed during our stay.

Address: Sunny Bay, Lantau Island
How to get there: Go to Sunny Bay MTR station.

 

Maritime Square

Maritime Square

a huge Paddington Bear at Maritime Square
Photo: Rainy Kua

Since we had nothing much left to do at the hotel, we decided to check out the nearby mall called Maritime Square in Tsing Yi. The district was not a popular place for tourists, but my sister insisted on going there because she wanted to see the exhibition of Paddington Bear, the famous talking bear in UK. We did not regret going there at all! There were several life-size Paddington Bear's wearing different outfits. I'll definitely look for him when I have the chance to visit London!

The mall is targeted towards the locals, so shopping there is very affordable. That time, most stores in Hong Kong were selling winter clothes, so I was so happy to find some inexpensive short-sleeved tops that I could wear in my country at the mall. We had lunch at our favorite local fastfood restaurant, Cafe de Coral. Before we went home, we bought some pastries, fruits, and ready-to-eat meals for dinner. It was New Year's Eve so the prices of food at the hotel would go up to a ridiculous amount. It would be out of our budget so we decided to just have dinner in our hotel room while watching TV.

When we got back to our hotel, we were delighted to find an invitation to New Year's Countdown Party that would take place at the lobby! I had never spent the New Year with Mickey and friends so that idea was pretty exciting! We went down at 10pm before the party started.

Address: 33 Tsing King Rd, Tsing Yi
How to get there: Tsing Yi MTR station, Exit G

 

Day 7

Departure

It was our last day in Hong Kong. Check out was so easy as we did not have to do it in the counter. We just left our keys in the room and that was it. We went to the airport through the MTR. We got off at Tsing Yi station and transferred to the Airport Express. We had our brunch at Tsui Wah which was outside the check-in area of the airport. The food there was fantastic! We did some last-minute shopping and bought some chocolates from Aji Ichiban.

Final Words

For someone who had been to Hong Kong several times, a week of stay is kind of long, so we did most things at slower pace. Our main purpose of visiting the city was not really for shopping, like what most tourists do in Hong Kong. It was more of relaxing, eating, walking, sightseeing, and just enjoying being some place other than home.

 
© Rainy Kua 2014. All Rights Reserved.
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