Joy Meets World:3 Days/2 Nights Hong Kong Travelogue

10:25:00 PM



My partner and I have been overloaded with tremendous amount of stress and needed a breather, a re-fresher. It seems that our Singapore trip was not enough to give ourselves a cool down. We made a pact that we at least travel once a year, internationally, but upon seeing a seat sale at one of the most cheapest airlines in the country, boom, pact broken. Travel date, check. In just a few clicks, booking is complete. There's no turning back now. This time, we were not alone, we traveled with my partner's family.



Day 1.
(Arrival)



We arrived on time thanks to Cebu Pacific. First agenda, exchange currency (Philippine Peso to Hong Kong Dollar) and purchase octopus card, a reusable contactless stored value smart card for making electronic payments in online or offline systems in Hong Kong. Octopus card costs $150 HKD each with $100 HKD value card (deposit for the card is $50HKD to be refunded after you return the card). It is re-loadable with reloading stations almost anywhere (minimum amount $50 HKD/card).





After purchasing the octopus card, we rushed to our hotel to check in but since we are too early for the check in time, we ad our brunch in the nearest Mcdonald's. Hong Kong's breakfast menu is not different from the Philippines. We had Sausage Mcmuffin with Egg (combination of sausage and Fabulous fresh farm egg, served in a lightly toasted muffin + dark coffee, $45 HKD each) and Deluxe Breakfast (Fluffy scrambled eggs, juicy sausage, and extra-soft hotcakes with toasted muffins + dark coffee, $110 HKD each).




After our brunch, we checked in at Cosmo Hotel located at 375-377 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai, Hong Kong. We booked a 28 square meter Studio Quad with 1 double and 2 single beds (2 Bathrooms) plus free breakfast thru Expedia. It costs PHP 7,782 per night.



The room is clean and the hotel staff were all nice so we did not regret staying at Cosmo Hotel. It's location is very accessible and quiet too.



We freshened up a bit then head to the streets of Hong Kong. Just randomly walking and looking for "pasalubong" stores.






We saw a Starbucks store near Cosmo Hotel and since I collect Starbucks tumblers, I bought three (Hong Kong, Macau and China, $120 HKD each).



Before the sun set, we went to Victoria Harbor near Avenue of Stars in Tsim Sha Tsui.



We had some picture taking first and enjoyed the majestic view of the harbor.




We watched the Symphony of Light Shows that lasted 13 minutes, too bad we weren't able to take a photo or video since we were savoring the moment.



After the Lights show, we had our late dinner at KFC near Cosmo Hotel. We ordered Bucket Meal for 3 (6 pcs Original recipe Chicken, 3 Mushroom Rice, 1 Regular CrissCut Fries, 1 box Hot Shots, 3 Egg Tarts, 3 Regular Pepsi) for $126 HKD. I love the egg tarts and CrissCut Fries!




 We headed back to the hotel and rest for the next big thing next day.

Day 2.



After our sumptuous buffet breakfast, we headed to Tian Tan Buddha, also known as Big Buddha, located at Ngong Ping, Lantau Island, in Hong Kong. To reach Big Buddha, it would be best to use the MTR and alight at Tung Chung station. 



There are two (2) options in order to reach Lantau Island. First is thru the cable car and second is via a bus ride. The cable car is quite expensive and the queue could be almost a kilometer long. Since we are budget travelers, we opted the bus ride instead. The bus station is just a few meters away from the Ngong Ping 360 cable car. Take note that you can use your Octopus card in which we purchased upon arrival at the airport.







How to get there:

Via Ngong Ping Cable Car 
Take Exit B at Tung Chung MTR station, take the Ngong Ping Cable Car. 

Via Bus Ride 
Take Exit B at Tung Chung MTR station, walk pass the Ngong Ping Cable Car and you'll see a bus station.

Take the New Lantao Bus 23 from Tung Chung Town Center 





Upon alighting the bus, you'll be greeted by this spectacular view of the entrance




A dog guarding one of the Divine Generals who is guarding Big Buddha.


The Twelve Divine Generals guards Big Buddha and each of them symbolizes a different animal from the Chinese Zodiac. Each is also armed with a particular weapon that represents two distinct hours of the day.


Sometimes, I just wish that I could wake up every morning seeing this kind of view.





Before you reach Buddha, you have to climb 268 steps. It was such a view looking at Big Buddha since we went there with the sky clear of fog that could block this beautiful view.


268 steps? No big deal!


Oh gawd! Are there any escalator or elevator that we could use?


Almost there!


Every step is worth it as you'll feel relaxed at the end upon reaching Big Buddha.



Surrounding Big Buddha are Bodhisattvas. Three Bodhisattvas can be seen on each side. Each statue weighs about two tons and are made of stone.


This 34 meter tall Buddha is made of bronze that weighs 250 metric tons. Just imagine how large and heavy it is. Big Buddha can be seen seating on a wreath of Lotus Leaves. The Lotus has special significance in Buddhism which means a symbol of Purity.

A view of the town. One of the things that I'll miss here.


A few steps pass Big Buddha, you'll be able to reach Ngong Ping Village.




The place looks empty since there's not much people the time we got there because it was pretty early. But when noon strikes, expect a lot of people here which could get crowded.






If you took the Ngong Ping Cable Car, then you'll be riding one of these.


My partner and I as we took a memory lane viewing what we will miss on our Lantau Island visit

Travel Tip:

If you are on a tight budget, we recommend the bus route to Big Buddha instead. Do not worry about the view as you'll be seeing a lot of sceneries during the bus trip. But be sure you are able to endure the ups and downs, and those tight turns the entire trip.

After our early morning Tian Tan Buddha adventure, we headed after lunch to one of the highlights of our Hong Kong adventure. Any guess? But before that, we had our lunch at Tung Chung Town Center's food republic. We had pork Katsu and Fish Fillet Curry. The serving is big and each costs $42HKD.


If you live around Asia and wanted to feel young again, head on to Disneyland Resort Hong Kong - a magical place for adults who are young at heart. So that's what we did.

"Hong Kong Disneyland is located on reclaimed land in Penny's Bay, Lantau Island. It is the first theme park located inside the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort and is owned and managed by the Hong Kong International Theme Parks." - Wikipedia

Another Disneyland will soon open this 2016 and I can't wait to visit it. Location? Disneyland Shanghai. And that will be a different story.



It makes it a little weird as my partner works for one of the most prestigious companies in the world but never got the chance to visit them. So we made sure that we add them now on our bucket list. It's better to purchase your tickets online as the queue could get really long. We got our ticket from Asia Travel. We purchased the 2-in-1 Combo : Ocean Park Hong Kong Admission E-Ticket + Hong Kong Disneyland 1-Day Ticket for only $783 HKD each.


Mickey seen surfing on top of a whale.

It was a breezy, sunny afternoon when we visited Disneyland. The sun may be set up high but you won't feel the warmth that much due to the cold weather in Hong Kong. November is one of the best months to visit Hong Kong as you'll be able to experience the sunny yet cold weather. Be sure to bring warmers as the weather could get really cold at night.




You'll be seeing a lot of Disneyland 10th year anniversary merchandise since Disneyland Hong Kong is celebrating their anniversary the time we visited.


Street parades are on a timely basis so you better check out the time table on the map in which you could get near the entrance.


Upon reaching the entrance, you'll be greeted by this huge Christmas tree since we visited Disneyland on a Christmas season.


Checking out cute merchandise from different stores.



A lot of photo booths open for everyone.







We went on a weekday so there is not much people.





Good thing we eat our meal before heading to Disneyland as foods are a little pricey here.








We spent the whole afternoon up until the night show as we wanted to catch the much awaited fireworks display. I didn't find time to grab my camera and take a snap or a video of it as I was enjoying the scene and a lot of people held their hands up high with their iPads which is not a good view when taking photos and or video. So yeah, I just enjoyed the scene instead.

We headed back to our hotel and had our late dinner at Mcdonald's. Long day tomorrow.

Day 3.
Today is Ocean Park day. Ocean Park is a marine mammal park, oceanarium, animal theme park and amusement park, situated in Wong Chuk Hang and Nam Long Shan in the Southern District of Hong Kong. We went there early since it closes at 6PM.


Ocean Park now comprises two main attraction areas: the Waterfront (subdivided into three atractions: Amazing Asian Animals, Aqua City, Whiskers Harbour) and the Summit (subdivided into five attraction zones: Marine World, Polar Adventure, Adventure Land, Thrill Mountain and the Rainforest).



Here's the map of Ocean Adventure for your reference (Credits to Ocean Adventure)


The Water Front

Aqua City


 Old Hong Kong



Amazing Asian Animals

Great Panda Adventures


Sea Life Carousel



Goldfish Treasures



The Summit

Marine World


 Pacific Pier


The Dragon


The Ferris Wheel


Polar Adventure

Arctic Blast



South Pole Spectacular



Arctic Fox Den




The Rainforest

The River Rapids



Rainforest Why Zone



Thrill Mountain

Hair Raiser


We also catch a show at the Ocean Theater called "Sea Dreams" featuring the Park's marine animal stars in a story about the importance of marine conservation.


There are  free means of transportation at Ocean Park so you may go to one attraction to another, Cable Car and the Summit Express.



There are also merchandise stores in every attraction.




We bought our lunch in a McDonald's food stall inside the park. The price costs $10HKD more than the regular price.


After our Ocean Park Adventure, we went to the Ladies Market in Tung Choi Street. Ladies Market is just the same as Divisoria and Baclaran's market. Unfortunately, I haven't buy anything here since the price is the same as the products we have in the Philippines.



before heading back to the Hotel, we saw a street food stall with lots of people lined up so we got curious.We decided to buy something even if we don't have any idea what it is.


I believe this is Hong Kong's version of Fish Ball called Fish Ball Curry. It's spicy and tastes like squid balls. It costs $16 per bowl (more or less 10 pcs)


As usual, we had our dinner at McDonald's near the Hotel then we head back to the Hotel and rest. We are back to reality tomorrow.

Day 4.
(Departure)

We would like to thank Cosmo Hotel for adopting us during our stay in Hong kong. We highly recommend it here if you're staying with your family. Before we head back to Changi Airport, we feast in our last breakfast in Hong Kong. Thank you Cosmo Hotel for the sumptuous buffet breakfast.


Back to reality again. We surely enjoyed our Hong Kong adventure and will surely be back for more.

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