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Travel blog

Autumn at Hong Kong

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Most people have been to Hong Kong but not for me. Finally, I can be part of the majority. 😀

Day 1 – Flight & Mongkok

Had a comfortable flight to Hong Kong via Singapore airline. Check-in was quick. We had a walk around Changi Airport terminal 3 before heading for the gate. I particularly like the snooze lounge which offers a free and conducive nest for travellers waiting for their flights.

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The flight to Hong Kong from Singapore was just nice to catch a movie. There is also a learning module on the inflight system where travellers can pick up new languages. I enjoyed the flight. The only slightly unfortunate part is that I chose the wrong seats. Shouldn’t have sat next to the wings. Forgot SQ’s wings are huge. Could barely have a good view of the scenery outside.

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There was really long queue at the immigration counter at Hong Kong International Airport. Fortunately, queue moved fast. We had a rest at Plaza Premium Lounge at terminal 2. First impression is that the place is dark and quiet. Quite a good environment to sleep at. We had a quick bite and use of the internet before moving on.

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Tempted to join the long queue at MTR customer service counters at the airport, but realise it is more efficient to use the customer service counter just next to the airport express gate. Ticket is not necessary to board the airport express. Hence, even if you do not get it at the airport, you can get it at the station you alight at. Thus, some passengers who are at the counter are advised and prefer to take the train first instead of waiting. Hence, queue at the customer service counter next to the airport express gate is usually shorter. Otherwise, just board the train and go straight to the city first. We bought single journey ticket to Tsing Yi station and transferred to MTR. Well, cheaper this way.

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Accommodation at Hong Kong is indeed pricey. Having stayed at cheap and satisfying hotel/guesthouse at Taiwan last year, it was hard for me to settle down with a decent family room in Hong Kong for a good price.

Our first stay was at  Sunny day hotel at Mongkok. Had to walk across 2 to 3 streets from the MTR station but it was relatively quite near. ‘Friendly’ and ‘professional’ are attributes that are lacking from this hotel, from my first impression coming from the interaction with the receptionist. Nonetheless, this hotel is a reasonably cheap option for a family room. Compared to the third hotel we stayed at, this room is considerably spacious.

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Location is good as it is only a few minutes walk from the happening streets of Mongkok. We stayed on the twelveth floor and our window faced Langham Place.

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I like the shower facility.

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Argyle centre was a recommendation from several of my friends. It is a bustling centre and known to sell clothes etc cheaper than those sold at Ladies Street. Quite comparable to Bugis street in Singapore.

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Ladies street is where you should horne your bargaining skill.

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Was surprised to see so much basking on the streets. Some of the performers could sing surprisingly well. Very good effort in livening up the atmosphere.

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We bought roast pigeon at a stall nearby our hotel to try. Tasted like chicken.

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Day 2 – Ocean Park

Took the Tsuen Wan line towards Central and alighted at Admiralty station. Even though it was only 9.25am on Sunday, train was packed. Google map directed us to Exit C to take bus 70 or 97. However, we followed the direction in the MTR station and took Bus 629 from the bus terminal at Exit B to Ocean Park.

I bought our tickets from Klook. Two advantages. First is I got the tickets at a slightly cheaper price. Second is that we didn’t have to queue to purchase tickets at Ocean Park. Went straight to the entrance where the QR codes on our printed vouchers were scanned.

The Halloween atmosphere was pervasive throughout the park. Even in the aquariums, there were pumpkins, skeletons and other ornaments everywhere. By the way, it is a bonus to visit overseas theme parks in October and/or September. There was Halloween celebration when I was at Universal Studio Japan last month and ta-duh, Halloween at Ocean Park Hong Kong this time.

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I didn’t do much research about Ocean park itself beforehand. (Should be this way though, if not, why bother coming here to experience?) Hence, it came out as a surprise to me that there are 2 sites – waterfront and summit. I have never thought that the theme park itself would provide cable car experience as well. The cable car ride was indeed a pleasant experience. I probably enjoyed this better than Ngong Ping 360 because the cable car in Ocean Park is smaller and hence,visitors probably do not have to share the same cabin with strangers. The summit was really high up and I could feel the excitement when the cable car went high up.

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I guess the more thrilling attractions are at the summit. There are also some mild ones for those who prefer to relax.

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Dance performance

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I can boldly say that Ocean Park is the best theme park I have been to. Right, the rides in US theme parks are really top-notch in that they are really high up and look freaking scary from the ground. But, I feel that Ocean Park HK really put in their maximum effort which have produced really amazing results.

I read online that Ocean Park HK commits time and effort in planning for its annual Halloween party. I was particularly awed at one of its Halloween attraction ideas – H15. I had not tried it myself (probably glad I didn’t after reading how it really was like.. I probably am a timid person afterall.) But the idea simply blew me off. I was a bit doubtful when the staff told us we had to go in one by one. (We didn’t try in the end because the staff warned us that the waiting time was uncertain. Need to make reservations afterall.) Now I understand why. So basically, yes, you are alone by yourself (ok probably not really alone because you are accompanied by ghosts). It is a solo journey to the underworld, where a corpse bearer escorts you to your own funeral. You will see your own portrait. Sound spooky enough.

For us, we stepped into the Walking Dead attraction. This haunted house mimics the scene in the show. It is a collaboration with the American TV, Fox International Channels. Zombies were everywhere and there were numerous corners where the zombies would jump at you. My dad was trying to scare them before they could scare us so half of the time, I was laughing till my stomach hurt. Half amused, half fearful.

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Very clever way to take interesting picture.

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Mascots everywhere to take fun pictures with!

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Of course, Halloween isn’t just about horror. There’s the light-hearted part, trick or treat. It is an outdoor trail where you have to complete mission with the pumpkin elves at different spots and receive candies, biscuits, other small tokens of gifts as rewards. You have to be really sporting though. The second elf told us to scare her, which I obeyed and did but in my mind, it was probably “…”, with imaginary crows flying above me.

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Hi, Da Xiong!

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These Chinese zombies are so cute!

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Hellympics. Thought it was going to be lame with teams of zombies, devils and ghosts competing with each other. Turned out not. Performance was captivating and jaw-dropping. Entertaining skit (not that I could understand but judging from the audience’s laughter), cool dance moves, splendid voices and accompanying animation on the screens combined to produce a very fantastic stage performance. Beside, it was my first time seeing male pole dancer. I could also sense the strong influence of Kpop. Feel like picking up dance again myself. Overall, it was honestly a thoughtful and splendid blend of stage effect and performance. Not to mention, LED performance has always been my favourite.

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The finale

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The Symbio was simply spectacular. It was a 360 degree water video screen show. It concluded my day at Ocean Park and affirmed that our visit to Ocean Park was totally worth it.

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Dinner at Cham Tseng Chan Kee restaurant – rice with chicken, char siew and roast goose. Food portion in Hong Kong is big.

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Day 3 – Macau

Made our way to China Ferry Terminal from Tsim Sha Tsui station by cutting through Kowloon Park. It was an 1 hour journey to Macau via ferry.

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It was a blessing in disguise to book a good hotel in Macau. I was troubled as to how to make our way from the ferry terminal to the Cotai strip as I had forgotten to register for data roaming in Macau. But fret not, there are bus shuttle services provided by major hotel/resort groups e.g. Sands, Galaxy, City of Dreams, Venetian.

We stayed at Sheraton Hotel for a night. We had a good view of Venetian from our room.

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I initially wanted to book a room at Venetian but there was Starwood sales where I could spend lesser for a room and accumulate points under SPG.

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Club lounge at Sheraton which provides a less crowded alternative for chilling out with friends

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As recommended by Sheraton staff, we took the hotel bus from City of Dreams to Hotel Sintra. Free and convenient method to go to Taipa area. Guided by GPS, we walked to Senado Square.

Anyway, it is a food-tasting heaven. :p You will know what I mean when you are there.

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Lunch at Wong Chi Kei

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Ruins of St Paul

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Venetian
One of the gondoliers was too sweet-tongued. -.-

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Casino
Nowadays, games are becoming more and more automated. Or maybe it has always been like that, just that I only have Las Vegas and Genting Casinos to compare to. There is no need for a dealer for games like Roulette.

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Day 4 – The Peak

The place to board the shuttle bus at Sheraton Hotel to Macau ferry terminal is different from Taipa ferry terminal. We walked one big round around Sheraton only to find out that the waiting area is so near to Sky tower.

Weather condition was unfavourable on that day. Waves were rough and quite a number of passengers puked in the ferry.

We stayed at Inn Hotel Hong Kong this time. Our triple room was small and there was barely space to lay our cabin-sized baggages. Just a room to sleep at.

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So narrow.

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We then made our way to Admiralty Station and walked through Hong Kong Park to get to the Garden Road Peak Tram Lower Terminus . It is advisable to sit on the right side of the Tram as the view is better. Despite a relatively short ride, I enjoyed this unique experience as this is my first time sitting in a tram in a reclining body position. Supposed to experience the illusion of the buildings slanting towards the peak, but okay, I missed it.

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The Sky Terrace 428 offers panoramic views of Hong Kong. There was complimentary audio tour but I did not manage to listen as I spent most of my time writing a message for my loved one at the “Say I Love You at The Peak” Wishing Corner. Couldn’t catch a nice view of the sunset also. The sun was already almost hiding behind the clouds when I had the time to pick up my camera.

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After the tram ride, we alighted at Jordan station and walked for about 400m to Temple Street night market. Trust me, things here are cheaper but don’t ever buy the flash drives sold at HK night markets. I was gullible enough to buy with a glimpse of hope for honesty but all ten of my ‘flash drives’ are not working.

Again, you should bargain to get good price.

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Day 5 – Ngong Ping 360

We had our breakfast at Yee Shun Milk Company. I like the soup of the noodle.

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The steam milk was smooth and sweet.

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After breakfast, we took the Tsuen Wan line towards Tsuen Wan, transferred at Lai King station to the Tung Chung line and alighted at Tung Chung station. Queue was generally long on a Wednesday morning. On the positive side, I have already purchased the tickets via Klook and the queue that I joined to show my voucher in exchange for the tickets was shorter. Somehow, most people had also opted for the regular cabin and fortunately, we waited for only a short while before taking the crystal cabin.

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View from the cable car was breathtaking.

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The cable car brought us to Ngong Ping Village which is lined with restaurants and shops. If I am not wrong, the shops nearer to the Tian Tan Buddha Statue sell items at a cheaper price, as my parents bought something which they found out later on that it was sold cheaper further down the street. We climbed the 268 steps to have a closer look of the Buddha. It took 12 years to complete this Buddha statute which faces north to look after the Chinese people. The ash of Anita Mui, a popular and respected HK pop singer, is placed in the hall inside the statute.

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I think right… to take a good photo of the Buddha, you have to reach before noon, so that the sun is not facing the top or back of the Buddha.

What is a Hong Kong trip without Dim Sum? We especially alighted at Prince Edward station to have a meal at One Dim Sum.

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Day 6 – Flying back

Good times always pass quickly. It is time to say goodbye to Hong Kong.

I visited the Disney store at Hong Kong airport and bought a Tsum Tsum back to add on to my family. (:

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~10 Oct 15 to 15 Oct 15~

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Author: Adalyn

This is for me to know, for you to find out.

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