22 September 2008

Have you been to Hong Kong?

By Gail

Well….I have! Not once, twice but 3 times!! After a 2-day stay in Kuala Lumpur to attend a course, I’m off to Hong Kong again. I took the morning flight so that I can maximize my time there. However even though I’ve been there thrice, I don’t consider myself an expert in navigating Hong Kong. Check out the places I’ve visited:

THEME PARKS

Disneyland
I’ll describe it in one word – MAGICAL. I’ve been here twice and each visit evoked different emotions. Seeing fireworks while listenin’ to those Disney songs we grew up with made me feel happy. It brings back the feelings you had when you’re still a kid…that life is beautiful. Truly, Disney lives up to its claim that it is The Happiest Place on Earth!

tip: based on experience, it’s better to book tickets online because you can view their calendar to see which dates are non-peak, peak and super-peak. So can plan your visit wisely. One more thing, don’t miss the Disney Parade and Disney Fireworks at night.

Ocean Park
There’s no point comparing Ocean Park to Disneyland because they are different. Thrill rides + dolphin shows + other under water adventure = Ocean Park.

SIGHTS

Symphony of Lights
It is a nightly 15-minute laser light show at Hong Kong Harbor which starts at 8pm. The sky and buildings on opposite ends of the harbor lit up in different colors.

The Peak
Go up The Peak via Peak Tram and be amaze by Hong Kong‘s skyscrapers. It gives a stunning view of Hong Kong both day and night.

tip: what we did was to go up around 530pm or 6pm to be able to see the view by day. But we didn’t go up yet at the viewing deck because you can only use the ticket once. We just roam around the mall first. By 7pm, we went up the viewing deck to find a perfect spot to view the city at night. We waited till 8pm to watch the Symphony of Lights.

Giant Buddha
It is the largest outdoor Buddha. It is located at Lantau Island, quite far from the city, about 45-minute mtr ride but it is easily accessible. From TungChung station, you can take a bus or ride the cable car. If you’re taking the cable car, you’ll get off at Ngong Ping Village, from there it’s just a few minutes walk to the Buddha. Be wary that you need to go up several flights of stairs (around 100 steps, i think, i lost count stopping for a quick breather.)

CULTURE
Tai-chi, at Kowloon Park you can catch Tai-Chi lessons daily. Be there early in the morning and you can join if you want to.

NIGHTLIFE
If you want a buzzling nightlife, LAN KWAI FONG is a must. There’s alot of clubs, bars and restos there and it is a very popular hang-out for foreigners.

SHOPPING
Who would miss out MongKok from their itinerary in Hong Kong? Go to Ladies’ Streets for a different accessories and clothes and be ready to bargain. Also check out Causeway Bay for numerous department stores selling different array of products.

General Tips:
1. Know the weather before leaving so that you’ll know what clothes to bring.
2. Wear comfortable footwear (moving around Hong Kong requires alot of walking).
3. Always have a map, the MTR is quite complex.
4. Haggle and ask for discounts, and then shop! shop! shop!
5. Lastly,learn something new. Explore, observe and absorb some bits and pieces of history, culture and people, that’s the way to enjoy your travel.

See yah ’round!

  • Princess

    So easy to visit HK now, since AirAsia fly there direct..

    Oo.. I love Donald Duck and Princess Jasmine..What is your favorite Disney character?

  • Levini

    Good info Gail, very thorough! I’ve been there twice.. really a nice place to visit.. I’m planning my third trip to HK again next year haha.. The night scenery at the Peak was unforgettable. wish to bring my wife there..

  • Gail

    hmmm…that’s a tough question Princess Shelby. Too many characters to chose from…here’s my top 3 favorite Disney characters; Mickey Mouse, Princess Belle and Tigger!

    hi, mr.levini! i agree you must bring your wife to The Peak, and see Hong Kong’s skycrapers at night. Its really romantic up there!

  • Chan

    Visit HongKong more , to enjoy Disneyland , Ocean park and NGONG PING 360 Cable Car. both are the top hit place you need to visit! the “woman” street in Mong Kok will be a good place for you to shop for a day !

  • Maria

    Can you advise me a bit on Disneyland .. is the entrance fee the only fee you need to pay or is there more. Plus, is there easy excess by train or bus to Disneyland from HongKong “town” ….Im thinking of going …. how’s the weather …

  • Gail

    Hi Maria! With regards to your question, the only fee you need to pay for Disneyland is the entrance fee. As an added info,you are not allowed to bring foods inside the park, and the food sold there are quite expensive. One more thing, schedule your visit on a weekday for cheaper rates and shorter queue for rides.

    Disneyland is accessible by MTR. There is an interchange station for Disneyland Resort Line at Sunny Bay Station.

    As for the weather, typhoon season is May to November. The first time I went there was Nov’07, and it was raining almost everyday. Then last Feb, winter time, the weather’s really cold; you need to bring sweater or jacket and it’s quite foggy but you can still enjoy Disneyland. Ngong Ping is not advisable because you won’t be able to see the Giant Buddha because of the fog. August, summer time, it really humid and hot. For me, i think the best time to go there is end of February till March. Here are the different seasons of Hong Kong to help you plan your travel.

    SPRING – March to Mid May
    SUMMER – May to September
    AUTUMN – Late September to Early December
    WINTER – Mid December to February

  • Chan

    if you have further enquiry , visit the disneyland website , they will have full pic on it

  • Maria

    Thanks very much! Your explanation and blog really help a lot!!

  • Gail

    You’re welcome, glad to be of help. If you have anymore questions, feel free to ask.

  • Mohd Hafiz

    What about the people there..??Are they kind or nice..??

  • Gail

    the people in Hong Kong are always in a hurry but if you ask them for directions. they would stop and certainly help you.

  • Princess

    Thanks for all the info. Thought of visiting in January, winter time plus Chinese New Year is just around the corner. I will post my adventure then!

  • Nghiem

    I will come to HongKong next Aug.. this site will be useful information to read. thanks