A Welcome Travellers Guide to Hong Kong
January 1, 1970
WELCOME TO HONG KONG!
Have you ever been to Hong Kong? Well I had just been there, and I would like to share few simple guides after my experiences of 5 days in Hong Kong. Its not much, but as a new traveller to this place, its good enough for me, and I hope it will benefit others too. So here it goes!
THE HANDY OCTOPUS
Yeah, once you got to Hong kong, you definitely need an octopus. Not the living, eight arms slimy buddy. But the Octopus card. Trust me, it is definitely handy. You can use the card to ride the airport bus, mrt trains, trams or even buy fries at Mcdonalds. Just get it at the airport express train counter on the arrival floor once you arrived at the airport. You can either buy or rent the card. I chose to rent, or on-loan card, so there will be a HKD50 deposit. Dont worry they will refund the deposit plus any extra in the card once we return it safely.
If you are finding a place to stay, try finding them along the street of Jordan street, Nathan street, or on the area of Mongkok, Wan Chai and Tsim Sha Tsui. These areas are which located tourist hotspots and attractions such as the night markets of Temple street and the Ladies Market near Mongkok (Best place to find souvenirs). Ample public transport will allow easy access to the Promenade and Avenue of Stars. Also make sure that your lodging is not far from the mtr station or bus stop if you choose to use public transport as mode of transportation during your stay.
ARE YOU A SHOPPER OR A SIGHTSEER?
Well, I am definitely a sightseer type of traveller. I prefer to breathe in the sight, and enjoy the ride. Tsim Sha Tsui promenade offers quite a sight during the night. Victoria Peak is the best, but I will tell you about that next. If you are a shopper type, they say Mongkok are the most happening shopping area in town other than the Causeway bay. There are the street markets and high end shops that you can shop till you drop.
PREPARE FOR THE STREET MARKET TYCOON
If you are only sightseeing in the night market and dont intend to buy, dont even try to ask the price. You dont want get choked by their scary ‘i dare you’ stare. However, if you do, get ready with the price that you really want, because if you are a really good haggler, you might just get it. In fact sellers often put a starting price as high as they could, sometimes unreasonable, but you can actually get even 80% off from the original price. Also, you can even learn to speak simple cantonese to communicate. That will help soften the deal. Here’s a tip, try find something rare or unique instead of the cliche’ souvenirs such as fridge magnet or keychains. Or find stuff that can be collectibles, for instances collecting snow globes for each country you had visit. But again, just an advice, trust your instinct
MEET MICKEY MOUSE & FRIENDS
Disneyland is not the place only for kids, we adults love all the disney characters too. Who does’nt really? The excitement started once we stepped into the mickey mouse’s interior mtr train, continues right until the fireworks celebration just before closing. Its really magical you know. To avoid long lines buying admission ticket plus saving precious time, you can always buy online and use the available kiosks to print your tickets. Dont forget to check their timetables of shows and parade, because they are the one you dont want to be missed. You will find Mickey and his friends speaking cantonese on some of the shows, but its ok since there will be screens that shows english subtitles for the audiences. ‘Festival of the Lion King’and ‘Mickey Mouse Wondrous Book’ are definitely my favourites. However, they will change to new show from time to time, so you might want to check their web first for better preparation
WANT TO TOUCH THE SKY?
If you want to see the best view of the city of Hong Kong, buy your tickets to the Sky terrace at Victoria Peak. They named it that way because you literally high enough to touch the sky and to be with the clouds. No kidding! Nightime are usually preferable, since the city will be presenting a musical light show they called Symphony of lights every night starting from 8pm. According to the Guinness World Record, it is the largest sound and light show in the world! Bring a windbreaker or a scarf bcoz it can get chilly up there even during summer. Get team up with a tour group, so that you can fasttracked and cut the long queue line to ride the tram.
CHECK THEIR CALENDAR
Unfortunately, we kind of picked the wrong time to visit Hong kong. Not until a day before arrival that we knew 1st oct to 7th oct is the Golden Week or China National Day! Places of interests are unbelievably crowded with citizen from the mainland having their holiday trips here in Hong kong. So next time, better check for their public holidays if you plan to visit. Unless you dont mind squeezing in into their tuna train 😉
BE NICE AS A GUEST AND AS A HOST
As a mom travelling with young child, I am grateful that most Hong Kong commuters are courteous and kind. There are always an offer for us to have a seat on the train. These experiences taught us to do the same on our own country when it is our turn to be the host. No matter what we do, and where we are, be nice to others. Practise this, and lets hope others to practise the same.
TRUST YOUR INSTINCT
There are more places that you can visit other than mentioned above. Such as the famous Ocean park for their marine life experiences. Or you can get a high hanging ride on the cable car at Ngong Ping. There are even places that probably undiscovered that can only be discover by a real traveller. Then that would be an adventure
Till then, see you on my next travel tales.