Saturday, July 17, 2010

Hong Kong Series: The Peak Tower, Madame Tussauds and Sky Terrace

Whenever I go on trips abroad, I don't like packing my itinerary full with so many places to visit in one day. Having to rush from one place to another is rather stressful and stressing yourself out while on vacation is just plain sadistic. So for our first day in Hong Kong, we only had The Peak in mind (unless you count in airport transfers, money changers, discount deals and gastronomic delights, of course!).

Noah's Ark on a pedestal. 

The Peak Tower is situated 396 meters above sea level and is one of the architectural icons of Hong Kong. Its avant-garde design is a sight to behold and its wide array of shops and restaurants gives a dose of Hong Kong's fusion culture.

We went to The Peak on a weekend so it was pretty crowded. It's kind of difficult to take pictures when everyone is walking in front of your camera while you smile. Good thing a solo traveler asked us to take a photo of her and volunteered to take ours as well.

Yeey, a couple shot! He does not know how to smile in photos, I know.

We got there pretty early so we had plenty of time to look and play around before we head up to the Sky Terrace come sunset.

100 years!

I have been to two wax museums before. I think wax sculputres made to look like real people are works of genius, but you couldn't take pictures with the figures anyway so we decided to give Madame Tussaud's a pass. We were able to take pictures with Bruce Lee at the entrance, though. He had huge underwear problems, I tell you.

Yellow lighting is the shiznit!

I had to convince the boyfriend to go to the Sky Terrace with me that night because he is afraid of heights. There is no point in visiting The Peak if you won't go to the Sky Terrace, a viewing platform that allows you see a panoramic view of Hong Kong.

The view during the day.

Tip: Do visit the Sky Terrace at night. The view is quite awesome and the ambiance rather romantic as the Hong Kong skyscrapers shine brightly in different hues against the dark night sky.

The awesome view at night.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Hong Kong Series: Tips for Travelers

I am not a fan of package tours. As much as I can, I like to arrange things for myself whenever I travel. Researching, making my own itinerary and staying well within my budget are some of the things that make traveling the awesome adventure that it is!

We left for Hong Kong in the morning of July 4 via Cebu Pacific. We did not have much sleep because we had to wake up at around 3:30 AM to get to the airport in time for our flight.

Looking like a seasoned traveler at NAIA.
No time to put on make up! Pale, but definitely happy.

Tip: For international flights, be at the airport 2-3 hours prior to your time of departure. If you booked a flight online, make sure to pay your travel tax first (Php 1620 or around $36) before lining up to have your baggage checked in. Do check TSA's website for the list of prohibited items and for rules regarding liquids in your carry-on bags. Also prepare the amount of Php 750 or ($ 16) for your terminal fee.

Our flight was smooth and we got to the Hong Kong International Airport earlier than our expected time of arrival. It is easy to navigate your way around the airport. All signs are bilingual and the system is very efficient. There are maps and brochures everywhere that you can get for free. From the airport, you can either take a taxi, ride the airport express or climb on a bus to the city.

Photo courtesy of google images

Tip:  You have to give the exact amount when paying fares. For your convenience, buy an octopus card for a minimum initial amount of HKD 150. The HKD 100 is consumable and the remaining value (minus HKD 7) will be refunded once you return the card prior to your departure from Hong Kong. The octopus card can also be used in some stores and food establishments such as McDonald's and KFC. It can be reloaded at MTR stations and 7-11 convenience stores. If you are not in a hurry, the cheapest way to get to the city from the airport is through the Cityflyer bus. The bus is also a nice way to see Hong Kong on your way to your hotel, hostel or guest house. You will be fine as long as you know your stop.
While in the Philippines, I did some research and found out that you would have greater value for money if you have your pesos exchanged for US dollars then have your US dollars exchanged for HKD when you get to Hong Kong. This, unfortunately, is not much of a good advice. If you go to a good money changer in Kowloon, exchanging your pesos directly for HKD offers greater value for money. I cannot give you assurance on this though as exchange rates vary in money changers daily. This was at least the case during our stay in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong dollars increase in size as they increase in value.

Tip:  Do not have your money changed in the airport unless you really have to. They have the worst rates ever. A good money changer in Kowloon is Wing Hoi.

WING HOI Money changer
9B, Ground Floor Mirador Arcade,
58 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon

Friday, July 2, 2010

Hey Big Spenders!

In preparation for our upcoming HK-Macau trip, the boyfriend and I went mall hopping to shop for some travel "essentials." I wonder if what we got were really essentials though. The wallet damage is severe, I tell you.

To start off everything, we filled ourselves silly with food at Cajun Red Rock, Megamall.

Look, free buttered popcorn as you wait!

Not so tender Chicken Tenders.
Bountiful Platter Feast. It's all Pork! 
Breaded Porkchop with bland Alfredo sauce,
 nice and creamy Pork Steak and
 sweet Bourbon chops. Filling, but forgettable.

Yummy hashbrowns with herbs and spices!

Total wallet damage for pre-shopping food: Php 800.00 (approximately $17)

We hardly finished the food and had no room for dessert anymore so we proceeeded to buy the things that we would be needing for the trip.

I know that I would be doing a lot of walking in HK and in Macau so I looked for a comfy pair of shoes as he looked for some camera equipment. I wasn't planning on spending much on shoes, but I couldn't resist the comfort of Italian made leather shoes so I got this very comfortable pair from Pab Der uomo.

Basic, but comfy shoes for everyday wear.

Total wallet damage for comfy Pab Der uomo shoes: Php 2780 (Approximately $60)
Related Posts with Thumbnails