To maximize our overseas trip every time, we make sure that it’s thoroughly planned from the hour of arrival to the minute we bid a pleasant goodbye to the land. And this was how we lived through our very tight Hong Kong tour itinerary in the last week of July 2014. The result? Swollen and very tired feet; nonetheless, happy faces. 😀 This was a trip we booked a year ago, with my family and friends, and was arranged by Happy Sun Travel and Tours, Inc.
5 Tourist Spots We Have Visited in Hong Kong
1. Avenue of the Stars
Two whole days were all we had to cover the prime tourist spots in Hong Kong. Our adventure kicked off at about 8AM last Monday with the first stop: Avenue of the Stars, where the view of the Hong Kong skyline can be immensely seen and appreciated. It’s a great vantage point for those who know several celebrities of Hong Kong. For others like us who are not really familiar with the country’s film industry, seeing the life-size statue of Bruce Lee and the hand prints of Jackie Chan and Jet Li was enough.
Avenue of the Stars in Hong Kong has a wonderful backdrop (even in broad daylight). Our tour guide just suggested that we go back there, if time allows, to take a quick stroll at night as it’s when all the lights of the skyscrapers are turned on. I’ve seen some pictures of it before and I think it’s similar to the view of tall buildings you see when you’re standing from Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay in Singapore.
We had lots of photo-ops and the experience might had been better if there were not so many other tourists around (because we had to wait until there’s minimal “extras” in the frame).
2. Hong Kong Jewellery Shop
Not far away from Avenue of the Stars, our tour bus driver took us to the Hong Kong Jewellery Shop next. It’s the oldest jewelry store and the most popular one for selling good-quality diamonds and all sorts of jewelry (including rings, bracelets, necklaces, watches, bangles, anklets, etc.) at reasonable prices.
Before heading on to the store area, we attended a short briefing where we learned about the origins of the products they have—ruby, diamonds, jade, gold, pearls and other colorful rhinestones. The staff showed us famous personalities like Manny Pacquiao and Isko Moreno who have bought the latest of their award-winning feng shui designs that are blessed by the temple and believed to transform luck and produce harmony in life.
The staff also taught us how to choose which one to buy. When faced with several designs, clap your hand to each piece and bring it to your ear to listen to the sound of the rotating fan in the pendant. The one with the loudest sound, by virtue of feng shui masters’ advice, would be most suitable/best for you.
Because I’m not as superstitious as most Chinese in my circle, I nonchalantly disregarded the meaning and looked at the “fan” feng shui designs merely as designs of the jewelry pieces, and I did not like them at all. Thus, no matter how hard the staff tried in convincing us to buy (lifetime guarantee and exchangeable), they were not successful.
In other case, I got a crystal apple pendant with silver chain necklace for myself and my sister. It’s a classic design also featured by the Hong Kong Jewellery Store. It’s an absolutely gorgeous apple-shaped crystal adorned with a dazzling silver leaf. My childhood friend also bought one so we’ll look like trios when we wear the same necklace at the same time. 😛
3. Aberdeen Fishing Village
The Aberdeen Fishing Village is said to be one of the earliest settlements of Chinese people and now it represents the old Hong Kong. With boats abound, we toured this “over-hyped attraction” via a round-trip boat ride called sampan (junk fisherman boat) that cost us HKD 60 per person in less than half an hour.
I thought we were going somewhere or hopping off and on the boat but after a while, we realized that we were only going around and taking pictures of the old boats and ones under maintenance was the only activity we could do. Too boring. 🙁
It’s a waste of time to see the rubbish-filled harbor because we’re already used to seeing a similar sight back home (we live close to the Pasig River). Also, it’s a waste of money to ride the sampan because the boats are viewable even from the outside. The tourist guide reminded us to “try to enjoy anyway.”
There’s a floating restaurant in Aberdeen named Jumbo, which offers food with CRAZY jumbo prices. Our tourist guide told us that three pieces of har gow (shrimp dumplings) cost HKD 50. That’s thrice the price of har gow sold in regular restaurants in downtown Hong Kong!
4. Hong Kong Ocean Park
I’ve heard rumors that the Manila Ocean Park is way better now with its modernized and improvised facilities than Hong Kong Ocean Park. With that in my bubble thought, I looked forward to visiting HK to see if it was true. Lo and behold, Manila Ocean Park is nothing compared to the size and attraction centers in Hong Kong Ocean Park! 😆
This world-class theme park is so large that we have not had the chance to get to every part, watch all shows and try all rides. At least, we had completed the activities we desired to accomplish. We rode the cable car to The Summit, rode the Ocean Express (speedy train) back to The Waterfront, watched the dolphin show, tried one ride (The Rapids), ate at the Old Hong Kong Street food stalls, take pictures everywhere, shopped for souvenir items and spent our remaining time queuing for our turn then actually enjoying the darkest depths of the ocean floor in the Grand Aquarium.
Our Day 1 packaged tour itinerary ended at 6:30PM. We reached Tsim Sha Tsui after an hour and had dinner at Yuen Kee Restaurant before shopping. Tsim Sha Tsui (or TST) is a shopping haven like the Orchard Road of Singapore or Ginza in Japan.
5. Hong Kong Disneyland
Disneyland was the main reason for my excitement, anticipation and eagerness to fly to Hong Kong. It’s a wonderful and magical place with activities for all ages: Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, Adventureland, Mainstreet, Toy Story Land, and Grizzly Gulch. Lines for the rides were on average 45-60 minute wait, so we had only tried two rides: Toy Story Land’s Slinky Dog and Grizzly Gulch’s Grizzly mountain mine cars.
Chinese mainlanders were just about everywhere, estimating to 90% of the crowd. It almost seemed that the place is catered for them. We braved the hot summer sun, stayed patient with poking nuisance of umbrellas and experienced being kids again. My advice is to try and go there in the cooler months and definitely out of holiday time.
The highlights for me were the Disney characters parade at 3:30PM and the spectacular fireworks show at the end just before the park closed at 9PM. I was so happy that I almost cried seeing my Disney friends. All in all, it was a whole day of fun and pleasure. Indeed, Disneyland brings everyday magic, magic every day! 😛
(Read about our lunch at Crystal Lotus Restaurant inside Disneyland Hotel here.)
This is the end of my trip report. Two days was nowhere near enough time to see everything that we wanted to in Hong Kong. But as someone else had said, two days is better than nothing. Anyway, we have survived rushing through exploring its main attractions without wasting any of our precious time. We worked out the most efficient ways of getting from one place to another. Hong Kong is a small city yet we barely scratched a large part of its surface. We have to be back someday soon! 🙂
Have you been to Hong Kong? If yes, which places to eat and tour do you recommend? Feel free to comment down below! 😀