Let's Go to HONG KONG: 4 Day Highlights
July 17, 2019
by Gene Oliver
Hong Kong is one of the common answers when people were asked, “What country do you want to travel first?”
Modern and futuristic, these are the first words that come in my mind when I think of this country. From the airport to transportation, from the skyscrapers to the city lights, from the hotels to the amusement parks, Hong Kong really excites me. That’s why when I saw a cheap flight (Cebu Pacific) to Hong Kong I immediately grabbed the opportunity to get into this city with my colleagues.
Day1: Hong Kong International Airport
Touchdown Hong Kong!
I was easily mesmerized by their airport and streets. From Hong Kong International Airport, we rode a double-decker bus going to our hotel located in Tsim Sha Tsui. We sat on the 2nd floor for a better view. I read every billboard, noticed every street signs, watched every person while crossing the streets, and noticing glanced at every shopping mall and outlet store (Nike, Adidas, Esprit, etc.) scattered along the way. Locals are very courteous and organized with regards to the street signs and warnings. The loading and unloading zone of busses are obeyed properly, that’s why traffic is not much common in this country. It took almost an hour before reaching TST. We immediately looked for a nearby restaurant and tried out their noodles and milk tea.
Tsim Sha Tsui (TST)
Upon arriving and settling down in our hotel, we decided to stroll around TST. This is one of the busiest and tourist-packed districts in Hong Kong. Many attractions are located in this district. Avenue of Stars, Hong Kong Cultural Center, waterfront promenade, Victoria Harbour, and many more. These spots are just 15-20 minute walk from the TST Station. Also, for those who are into shopping, this is your place to be! Along Nathan Road, shopping malls and outlet stores are overly populated. So, make sure that you brought your budget for an expected and unexpected shopping spree!
Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade
Nightlife and city lights are one of the things that TST can be proud of because of the high rise and iconic buildings are very common (typical) in this district. Thousands of people are gathering in the TST Promenade, getting their perfect seat to have a dazzling view of the city lying on the side of Victoria Harbour and to witness the most awaited light show every 8 o’clock in the evening, A Symphony of Lights. The show lasted for about 15-20 minutes. You can also have a harbor cruise for a more savoring moment. Indeed, the show was spectacular and very relaxing. You should not miss this!
Day2: Hong Kong Disneyland
For our second day, I woke up with lots of excitement because this day was for Hong Kong Disneyland! Of course, this themed amusement park should always be in your itinerary. Tourists often make this theme park at the top of their list when they go to Hong Kong, so expect lots of people at any time and any day. Using our Octopus card, from TST, we took the Tsuen Wan MTR train towards Tsuen Wan and we alighted at Lai King. We transferred to the Tung Chung line and alighted at Sunny Bay Station. Then, we rode the dedicated train line towards Disneyland Resort. And then… Welcome to the happiest place on earth! The iconic HK Disneyland Arc will welcome you as you exit from the station. People are doing their best pose and shot to this arc, so there will always be a photobomber on every picture you take.
Before starting the tour, you should secure first your Disneyland map so you can decide which attraction you will go first. Here are some attractions that you shouldn’t miss.
Mickey and the Wondrous Book. This is our first stop to set ourselves into a magical mood. This is a musical stage show which brings seven beloved Disney stories in an exhilarating stage production like no other.
Festival of the Lion King. A musical show filled with acrobats and fire dancers to set the stage on fire. You can witness how the story of Simba, Timon, Pumba, and other gigantic animals come to life.
Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars. Thriller ride on a speeding mine train dashing in and out, twisting left and right, maneuvering forward and backward with a view of the mountain with lovely bears.
Space Mountain. Imagine yourself riding on a spaceship while in the middle of a Star Wars battle. This ride will give you an intergalactic experience on a battlefield.
Mystic Manor. Expect the unexpected. This haunted mansion will give you lots of surprises inside that will make your heart pumps faster. It is a 3D trackless ride that will tour you in every room and corner of the mansion. Be surprised by how the visual and sound effects add a thrilling experience on your journey.
Paint the Night Parade. To all extreme Disney fans out there, this is your chance to load up your cameras with pictures of every Disney characters. Every character has their own LED floats while shimmying to their theme songs.
Day 3: Ngong Ping in Lantau Island
There are several ways to get from TST to Ngong Ping Village, via subway, cable car, bus, taxi, or car. Since one of my bucket list in Hong Kong is to ride a cable car, we availed the Round Trip Cable Car Standard Cabin Ticket. There’s also an option for a crystal cabin, the only difference is that the crystal cabin has a glass floor just below your feet which will give you a better view and thrilling experience during the 25-minute ride. Advantage of taking a cable car is that you can enjoy a spectacular view over Lantau Island, airport, seascape, and the Ngong Ping Village. After a 5.7km ride in the cable car, you can now enter the village which is themed with Chinese cultural elements.
One of the attractions here is the Pai Lau, an ornamental archway which is located at the entrance of the piazza. Tourists are taking their photo on Pai Lau with the glimpse of the big Buddha in the
background (you should also get yours).
Another interesting attraction is the Tian Tan Buddha, also known as the Big Buddha who is 34m tall. The Buddha is seated in a gigantic lotus flower which is surrounded by another six big statues also known as “The Offering of the Six Devas”. They are posed offering flowers, incense, lamp, ointment, fruit, and music to the Buddha to symbolize the Six Perfections of generosity, morality, patience, zeal, meditation, and wisdom, all of which are necessary for enlightenment. Before you get into the Big Buddha, you need to climb a 240-step staircase. At the top, you can have a closer look at the six statues and the Buddha. You will also enjoy a scenic experience of a 360-degree view of the Ngong Ping Plateau.
Day 4: The Peak
Your visit to Hong Kong will not be complete without stopping at one of the city’s highest point, Victoria Peak. This is one of the most iconic experiences in Hong Kong. Combination of history and modern city, shopping, and dining to perfect cap off the journey. Here are some of the vantage points.
The Peak Tram
Riding the Peak Tram is the quickest and most unique way to reach The Peak. It is a funicular railway that provides a direct route and offers stunning views while having an inclined ascent.
This is a place where you can meet and have a selfie with your favorite celebrities and political leaders. Over 100 lifelike wax figures will give you a star-studded experience in Madam Tussauds.
Sky Terrace 428
Standing at 428 meters above sea level offers you a 360 degrees panoramic view of Hong Kong. Either morning or evening, you will surely enjoy this majestic experience with the cold breeze.
Tip to go: Always bring water wherever you go. Bottled waters sold outside, especially on themed parks, are a bit expensive.