Like what I said in the preceding post, I treated myself for four days vacation trip to Hong Kong and Macau. I left Singapore in the afternoon of Saturday and supposed to arrived Hong Kong at around 8 in the evening but because of the airline re-timing, I arrived way past 10 in the evening at the Y-Loft Hotel where I was billeted for the duration of my trip. Because of that I decided to stay in the hotel for the night instead of the initial plan of a night tour at the Central district that include the famous Temple Street night market.
It was my first time for Tiger Airways as I always book Jetstar for my budget flights whenever I go out of Singapore and turned out not a good experience, so I resolved not to have a repeat the next time unless it would be the only option I would be having.
Arriving at the HKIA, the plane docked at the farthest end of the terminal and have to take an automated people mover , in short a train to the immigration counters located at the main terminal. Clearing the immigration is smooth but a bit of bottleneck since only few counters were open. Coming out from the baggage claim counters area, is the Airport Express train station that links HKIA to the Hong Kong's Central MTR station. The fare to the city center via Airport Express is HKD 90.
The hotel I booked is in the Hong Kong island Chai Wan district. It is located at the end of the line station of the MTR's island line but conveniently located just outside of the station. Room is cozy and has comfortable bed, with a balcony but there is no bath tub. Too bad for me because I always book a room with a bath tub, since it help me relax after a day of touring.
The first day of sightseeing tour started at the central district searching for a moneychanger shop. The building just above the Central mtr station is named Worldwide Plaza, where everything inside the building, from remittance shops to grocery store and resto caters to Filipinos in Hong Kong. There is one money changer shop in the building on the second floor just beside the main entrance, but opens only after 9 in the morning. Worldwide Plaza is the Lucky Plaza here in Singapore. The building has opens early in the morning maybe because it was a Sunday. Just outside of the building in a small alley I spotted a Jollibee store, the authentic one. I was tempted to have breakfast there but even that early it is already full. I continued searching for a money changer but to no avail. And while traversing the streets of Hong Kong I got awed seeing the trams on the street, it was my first to see one and for a while I was captivated and made a mental note to try one while in Hong Kong, but it slipped my mind so I never got the chance. After a short foray at the downtown area, I off to the main agenda of the day, exploring the Ngong Ping plateau where the world's tallest Giant Buddha is seated. The best way to reach the place is by riding the cable car, the longest line I have tried so far, and has a fascinating view of the Lantau Island. A must place to visit in Hong Kong for a tourist. It was drizzling a bit the time I arrived so the entire area was covered by fog and cooler that made a pleasant stroll, but it frustrates me since I was looking forward for a good landscape shoots. I left the Ngong Ping after lunch time, and proceeded to Disneyland since it is just on the next train station. So instead of the Ocean Park I decided to explore Disneyland. Disneyland Hong Kong has the similar concept as the Universal Studios Singapore I would say. The entrance fee is HKD 350, but has fewer shows compared to Universal Studios but still equally good. The Festival of the Lion King and The Golden Mickeys musical are not to be missed in Disneyland and also the fireworks display that happens at 8:30 in the evening. The theme park attractions stopped at 8:30pm and the entire park closes right after the fireworks.
|Downtown Hong Kong, the Louis Vuitton corner store reminds me of the same in Ho Chi Minh|
|View from the inside of Cable car|
|The Ngong Ping Village|
|Po Lin Monastery|
|The Giant Buddha, I lost count the numbers of steps it has|
|The fireworks happens at 8:30pm everyday|
The next day itinerary was at The Peak, where the main attraction is the 360 view of the entire city. And to experience riding a tram that runs through an 45 degree inclined railway track. Another attraction not to be miss is the Madame Tussauds Wax Museum. It was because of the Museum that I did not got the chance to reach the Peak platform and enjoy the view because when I come out from the museum the rain fell heavily. Lucky I used my Octupos card so I did not bought the package ticket of tram ride, wax museum entrance, and the the peak entrance that cost HKD275. The rain continues until the evening. So I left the Peak by bus instead of the tram, and dropped off in one of the busy streets in the city. It was a good chance to experience being local. I traversed the city streets and end up to the Hong Kong Museum of Arts. Entrance to the museum is HKD10. The museum has 3 levels of Exhibitions Galleries. Some areas were undergoing renovation so it was closed to visitors. The museum does not allow photo taking and the lady guards were very nosey and quite annoying. I find the place boring and not visitor friendly, no wonder only a few of us visitors that day. But the good thing is wi fi is available inside the building. The Science Museum is just on the opposite street but decided not to explore after the experience, instead just admired the building from the stair of the Art Museum. They say a visit to Hong Kong will not be complete without seeing the Symphony of Lights show at the Victoria Harbour. So while waiting for the 8pm show, it is best to explore first the Avenue of Stars along the Waterfront Promenade just behind the Museum grounds. It was still raining but stop once in a while so still managed to do photoshoots. But to have a vibrant shot of the skyscrapers along the Victoria Harbor is next to impossible. Night shots is equally frustrating since I did not bring a tripod. How about the light show? I was disappointed, not because of the rain but the show itself.
The disappointment continued at the Temple Night Market. There was nothing interesting to buy. Perhaps it was weeknight, and was raining that makes the place less lively. The crowd wasn't there also. So the night exploration ended up by scouring the vicinity hoping to find familiar streetscenes as seen from those old kungfu chinese movies. Was able to gone back to hotel past midnight.
|Inside the tram on the way to Victoria Peak|
|Inside the Wax Museum, can you spot which one?|
|View from the inside of the building, unable to get a good view from the viewdeck due to heavy rain|
|The Avenue of the Stars at the Waterfront Prominade|
|The Symphony of Lights happens every night at 8:00pm|
|The Temple Street|
|Nightscene at downtown Hong Kong|
The tiredness of the two days of nonstop walking was evident the next day. I woke up late and was able to left the hotel past 9 in the morning. The third day itinerary is Macau. The visit to Macau was an eye opening experience, especially exploring the city center since all the heritage sites were just walking distance with each other. Of all the heritage sites that I have been to, it is Macau that I think offers an authentic glance back history and the scenery is just breathtaking. The spot at the Macau Museum grounds offered an aerial view of the city. The Museum has a very rich exhibition galleries of the history of the country. Evening was spent at the Cotai strip specifically at the Venetian Macau Resort Hotel. The place is splendid not only for its casino and its Grand Canal Shoppes but its overall design concept. It is best to appreciate the grandness of this place at night time.
Leaving Macau past 10 in the evening resulted a very late wake up time the next day. It's good thing the flight back to Singapore was at 6 in the evening, so got an ample time to really rest until check out. The room and the bed is very cozy and comfortable, how I'd wished that I was given a queen rather than two single bed.
Overall I enjoyed the trip, but wished I could have squeezed Shenzhen and the Ocean Park. But then again by not doing so, it gave me reason to come back, next time.
|View from the Macau Museum grounds|
|The Ruins of St Paul's|
|The grandness of Venetian|
|Venetian's Grand Canal Shoppes|
|Y-Loft Hotel room|