as a symbol of my appreciation and gratitude to this thread, commoner and fellow pexers.
it's time to give back, my two cents worth, of what we experienced during our trip. hope i might help.
our arrival on the first day is in Macau. our experiences there are on the macau thread of PEX.
DAY 1: Boarded the 5:00PM NWFF ferry trip to kowloon (TST).
TIP: If you want to save on taking the ferry, Sail before 6pm, and preferably not during weekends.
Prices are hiked at 6pm and during weekends to add as much as 37hkd. Sayang din yung 200 pesos per passenger.
In our case we had no choice our first day was a sunday.
We took First Ferry and malas namin, either magalaw yung boat or yung dagat. Buti na lang may baon kami bonamin.
TIP: Aside from bonamin, don't forget to take with you any medication, vitamins or other medical items you might need.
In our case we brought multivitamins, biogesic, loperamide, mefanamic acid, anti-allergy, band-aids, betadine and a mini first aid kit.
Years ago i had little deep nasty cut on my hand when we slipped on a park in ilocos.
Now my wife is prepared & even joked if we'll need Flanax, i said maybe not yet. Ponstan 250 is enough. Just be ready.
we arrived at the terminal at about 6:30 PM walked a little to a mall and had dinner at one of the many noodle fast food there.
one noodle/meal was at 22hkd. taste was a little more flavorsome that most chinese noodle shops in manila. or baka gutom lang kami...
then went to the lobby information to ask the way to Nathan Road. good thing he spoke english and gave me a tourist map of HK.
went outside and remembered we were on canton road. Hongkong really strived to learn english. During the 90's few people there spoke english. But now, you see more of english at the TV, radio, subway, etc. and it shows on their people at the frontlines.
so we walked briskly at canton road to nathan road. i planned to booked at either taisan, sanny or ridor, with others at mirador mansion as last resort.
but we got to mirador first and one indian named Pranab offered a place to stay and agreed on our offer to see it. it was AJIT guest house at the 13th floor. very clean and looked newly renovated. so we got it for 2 nights at 250 each night. ask for Pranab, the caretaker there, we got the discounted price from him. there was also London guesthouse at the other side at only 150 per night, but it was fully booked.
SEMI-TIP: It's my second time in macau & HK, and intentionaly never booked in advance or online on all my trips. (Travellers have their own reasons)
But for the first timers and less "adventurous" people, it's recommended that you book online or at least research online.
We had to alot more "real" time looking for a place to stay as a disadvantage of not booking in advance/online.
just left our luggage there then had to take a taxi to catch the 8:00 PM Symphony of Lights at the Avenue of the Stars.
the show itself was very above average for me but can be made better with additional resources. but you can't help to think that it must have been very difficult to synchronize and maybe took weeks or months to perfect it. we can't help but appreciate the HK government/organizers to make something of this magnitude for free as entertainment for tourists and locals alike.
after the SOL we walked briefly at the AOS. admiring the star of Jackie Chan & the statue of Bruce Lee.
then we took the star ferry ride to central. walked the central terminal to the Bus 15C station. got to the bus upper deck for the view. then drop at peak tram terminus.
bought tram and skypass tickets then boarded the tram.
this was past 9:00 PM the peak tram ride was really a new experience for us. the tram will at some points climb at about a 45 degree angle (or even more).
other modes of transportation can't achive this feat.
at the end was a mall. bought some pasalubongs there we didn't find anywhere in HK. then went up an endless long flight of escalators to victorias peak.
mga sa pang-apat na escalator medyo nalulula na kami. kasi you can already see thru the glass walls na mas mataas kana sa mga buildings.
these was definitely the peak of our first day. the night-time view was so breathtaking, na nanghihina tuhod namin (hehehe). we barely talked and there's no better way to rest our tired bodies.
SEMI-TIP: Sa mga nagtitipid, mas mura pabalik from the PEak yung bus ride. pero siguro mga 30 mins din to central. buti na lang sa lower deck, dahil kaskasero yung driver, kinuha lang ng 15 mins yung parang buong zig-zag pababa ng baguio. but we could see na experienced siya and stayed on his lane.
kung nasa top kami ng bus nun, baka nakapag-bonamin kami ulit.
pagbalik sa central, punta kami MTR to buy the Octopus Card. 150hkd load should be enough if for MTR use only.
then mtr to TST. walk around nathan, cameron, carnarvon, and side streets, looked for discounted disney/OP tickets, found CTS near mirador instead but closed na.
tasted the eggettes and famous Desert/Shake mentioned here sa thread. one of the best shakes ever.
then mga 1:00 AM headed to mirador to sleep.
9:00 AM breakfast at McDo nearby. went to CTS to buy tickets.
TIP: we opted to buy all discounted tickets at CTS, since all the Filipinos/MoneyChangers were out of stock (& this took time)
and gagastos pa kami transpo & effort to go to worldwide house at central. Best deal naman *** OP nila 180hkd (ganun din sa worldwide), yung Disney is 340hkd (335 sa ww).
then MTR to tungchung. cable car to Ngong Ping. cable car din pabalik since mas mabilis. walk, rest, and early lunch at citygate mall. then off to Disneyland via mtr.
We saw (in prioritize order): LionKing Show, It's a small world, Philharmagic 3D movie, Golden Mickeys, Jungle Boat Ride, and Pooh's Story.
TIP: Know the show times and line-up waiting times ASAP.
Since we were only two adults, we never bothered to do the kiddie rides and other rides. these also saves time. you have to line up for 10 to 30 mins, sometimes much more time than the attaction itself.
in average you'll save close to an hour (including walking) for every attraction skipped, moreso during peak times.
But if you have the whole day for Disney, from opening to closing, then go for all of it.
It was drizzling at the afternoon, buti na lang hindi malakas yung hangin. we were afraid the fireworks would be cancelled. pero natuloy siya ng 8pm. nag-rest and kumain na lang kami around before this.
if it had rained harder we had to go to our plan B, which was to shop along mongkok. The fireworks was worth the wait, comparable to grand setups here in manila, diff. is yung lighting & the castle in the foreground. So after that, MTR to mongkok, ladies market for her, electronics and computer stuff for me. there was like a tiangge there, it was a long road spanning almost 10 blocks, where we got most of our pasalubong for kids. 10-30hkd budget each. we found a chinese diner, and ate pecking duck among others.
TIP: On the two chinese places where we ate, a peking duck meal was priced the same as a chicken or pork meal. so we took the opportunity to eat duck when possible.
Maybe veteran hongkong'ers could verify if this is always the case.
At about 11:00 PM, we got to MTR again and went to causeway bay for a little something impprtant for me *secret*
sige na nga sabihin ko na. we walked to the ferrari showroom, my first to be so close to an F50 and FXX (parang GT car).
hehehe, ang babaw ko 'no...
walked at the expensive shops there. back at mtr 12:45 AM to TST mirador.
breakfast at 7:00 AM along nathan malapit sa cameron road, before pumasok sa iskinita. may kainan na chinese.
ordered 37hkd peking duck (same price as chicken/pork) and 25hkd noodles, malalaki ang serving.
MTR to central, look for the Ocean PArk bus 629, asked a security guard before exiting the station, sabi niya better to go back to admiralty station.
good thing maaga kami nagsimula and di pa kami nag exit sa central, kundi nagkadoble fare and lakad namin.
TIP: As mentioned here before, Admiralty Station then Bus 629 is the best way to go to ocean park.
got at OP during opening. lined up a little. Again, know the show times and line-up waiting times ASAP. Did this (in prioritize order):
cable car to the other side/mountain, Large Aquarium (line-up) & Dolphin Show (pwede pagpalit depends on the show schedule), Ocean Tower ride, rest, lunch, go back cable car, Panda conservatory, and Big air balloon ride. we deliberately skipped the other rides.
wala pang 2:00 PM exit na kami, same bus back to admiralty, walked a bit there, then mtr back to mirador to check out.
but before claiming our luggages, kumain kami nung Dessert & Shake mentioned earlier, then take-out ng peking duck.
pagka kuha ng baggage, MTR to central, dito nag-negative 2.80hkd na yung balance namin sa Octopus, di na kami makapasok.
punta sa customer service, refund na lang (minus the 7hkd as payment, sa kanila na yun). goodbye octopus, will miss you. bumili na lang kami sa vending machine ng ticket.
yes, marunong po manukli ng barya mga vendo dun, unlike sa other places i know.
pagdating sa central, wala ako makita bilihan ng ferry ticket to macau. then i remembered from what i read here na one station pa yun, sa last stop, sa Sheung Wan yung ferry.
hehehe ito po ang nagagawa ng iba-iba ng feeling na nararamdaman kapag matagal ka ng naglalakad sa isang foreign country with no guide.
nakakapagod pero nakaka-enjoy siya & it's all worth the effort
so andun na rin man lang kami. inikot namin yung mall and mga side streets niya. then one last mtr to the ferry. bili ticket for 5:45, ikot konti. nagpa-free-member kuno dun ng city of dreams. then board the ferry.
a) If you'll go to both HK & Macau. It will save you a lot of money and time if you arrive in Hk then depart at Macau, or Arrive in Macau then depart in HK. Depending on your itinerary.
HK flights were fully booked on our scheduled flights so we didn't have that option.
b) ALWAYS HAVE A PLAN B for times when unexpected things happen. This is life. And a Plan c won't hurt too.
c) browse thru www.onebag.com
for priceless pointers on packing when travelling.
d) although onebag.com don't recommend bringing wheeled luggages, we'd strongly suggest, as travellers, you bring one with a handle otherwise.
in my experience, the bigger the wheels = the sturdier they are. the only disadvantage is when going thru stairs. anyway kung dalawa kayo, pagtulungan niyo na lang.
best but hard to find are Backpacks with handles and wheels.
e) commoner helped me be reminded: especially on your 1st & Last day, plan on where to put or leave your bags/stuff when going around.