Warning: This article consists more than an average amount of “wefie” (group selfie) ;-p
Note: All photos were taken using mobile phone, for some strange reason, I brought my Nikon D90 but was not able to use it, even once so apologies for the picture quality ;-p
This is the first time that my family will be traveling outside South East Asia and Hong Kong is the most viable choice because of the lack of visa requirements. Me and my sister will be traveling from Singapore while the “bulk” of my family (Parents and Dad’s Sister, my sister in law and 3 nieces and a nephew while fly the same day from Manila. Will a family of 10 survive the expensive city of Hong Kong?
Day 1 / 31-Oct-2015: Singapore/Manila to Hongkong, Victoria Harbour at night
We left Changi Airport at at 01:55 early morning of Saturday with a direct flight by Singapore’s budget airline Scoot.
After a little over 4 hours, we arrive at Hong Kong International Airport at 5:25 in the morning. The rest of the family from Manila will be arriving in 2 hours so we decided to stay at the airport.
There was a convenient store at the airport and a friend who stayed in Hong Kong for quite a while told me that I could simply buy the sim card from there. The price is 100 HKD, and you have options to enroll the pre-paid card for fixed number of days of data connections, all are explained in the user guide that is included in the packaging.
We bought the Airport Express train ticket via Klook, an online travel booking app, we exchanged the voucher for the physical tickets at a counter near the Airport Express platform.
The Airport Express platform is just a minute away by foot once you exited the arrival area.
So the whole gang arrived and together we took the airport express to Kowloon Stations. From AsiaWorld-Expo, Airport Express stops at Hong Kong International Airport then proceeds to Tsing Yi, Kowloon and Hong Kong Station.
At Kowloon Station, there are complimentary airport express shuttle bus exclusively for Airport Express passengers traveling between Hong Kong or Kowloon stations and major hotels and railways interchages. We chose the route with stops that are walking distance from the the AirBnB house that we rented.
We arrived at the AirBnB house that we booked (we decided it’s cheaper to book an AirBnB house for our group than booking at least 3 hotel rooms for the size of our family). We refreshed for a while and then headed outside already to enjoy Hong Kong on our first day. Our first official group selfie on our way to Austin Station, we will take the MTR to Tsim Sha Tsu Stationi to check Victoria Harbour.
We arrived at Victoria Harbour quite dark already, the weather was windy and cloudy, we were able to watch the whole Symphony of Light show, it’s not a bad show but not extra ordinary either, maybe we got used to watching the Light and Water Show at Marina Bay Sands and the Crane Dance show in Sentosa Island.
Though the sky is dark because of the clouds, the neon lights from the building has become more enhance giving a different beauty when view from a distance.
The Harbour Cruise which gives tourist an opportunity to view the two side of Victoria Harbour
The Clock Tower, situated at the southern part of Tsim Sha Tsui right next to Victoria Harbour is one of a few reminders of colonial times of Hong Kong. The clock tower is the only remaining part of former Kowloon-Canton railway station.
Day 2 / 01-Nov-2015: Hong Kong to Macau
Today the whole gang will take a short trip to Macau, this “independent” island (just like Hong Kong) is popular for its numerous casino-hotels and a very popular day-trip destination from Hong Kong
We will be riding a turbo jet from China Ferry Terminal near Tsim Sha Tsui Station, since we are staying at the Kowloon side, this is the nearest ferry terminal. If your are staying at Hong Kong side you can take the ferry at Hong Kong-Macau Ferry Terminal
The view of the Hong Kong island side from Kowloon side
Someone is waiting for someone ;-p
Though we arrived a little pass 9, the earliest ticket we got was 12 noon, it was a Sunday so I guess a lot of people are traveling to Macau. Good thing when we checked the gate, they say we can take the 130 schedule so we hurriedly run inside to catch the ferry. The seat number are not printed at the ticket, they will only stick it once you “check-in” at the counter.
Group-selfie Alert! It was a comfortable 1 hour ferry ride. Once we arrived at Macau terminal, we took the free hotel shuttle bus then walk our way to our destination.
After walking for almost 30 minutes, we arrived at Largo do Senado or Senado Square
Senado Square has been Macau’s urban centre for centuries, and still is the most popular venue for public events and celebrations until today. The square is surrounded by pastel-coloured neo-classical buildings, creating a consistent and harmonious Mediterranean atmosphere.
Another 15 minutes walk from Senado Square was Ruinas de S. Paulo or Ruints of St. Paul’s, now refers to the facade of what was originally the Church of Mater Dei built i 1602-1640, destroyed by fire in 1853 and the ruins of St. Paul’s College which stood adjacent to the church .
Nowadays, the facade of the Ruins of St. Paul’s functions symbolically as an altar to the city, Facade of the Church of Mater Dei.
Due to time constraints, we are not able to check the other parts of the island because we want to be back at Hong Kong before it gets dark so we decided to walk back again to the hotel where we alighted earlier to take the free shuttle bus back to Macau Terminal 😉
We are back at Kowloon an hours, everyone was dead tired from all the walking so everyone was sound as sleep as soon as we got back to our AirBnb house.
Day 3 / 02-Nov-2015: Disneyland
A visit to Hong Kong is incomplete if your are not visiting Disneyland, so today everyone woke up super early so we can be inside the park the moment the gate opens. We decided to wear the same shirt, in case anyone of us got lost in the crowd, it will be easier to spot with the red coloured shirt we are wearing.
A special MRT train that will bring you to Disneyland
So we were able to find a nice guy to take our “Family Disney Portrait”
A photo with Minnie Mouse
And with Mickey Mouse
All of us enjoyed the Lion King show
So everyone was satisfied (and tired) from walking around the park and ride, so we took a “Farewell Groufie” before we leave Disneyland.
Everyone was tired but happy 😉
Day 4 / 03-Nov-2015: The Peak, Flight back to Singapore
Today we will visit Victoria Peak in the morning before I fly back to Singapore at night, the rest of the gang will fly back the day after tomorrow so this will be my last day as a tourist guide for them.
The most common and popular way to get to Victoria Peak is the Peak Tram of course, but if you want a cheaper but still awesome “trip” take CityBus Bus route 15 which takes you all the way to The Peak itself. The bus stop above is outside Admiralty Station.
The Peak Tower s a leisure and shopping complex located at Victoria Gap, near the summit of Victoria Peak on Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong. It also houses the upper terminal of the Peak Tram.
The view of the Hong Kong and Kowloon Island from here is just awesome.
And of course, another group-selfie. Please also note that it’s my first time to use a selfie stick. I was never a selfie stick fan because I’m not the type of traveler who do tons of selfie when I travel but since its the first time for the whole family to visit this place, they want it “well documented” ;-p
Inside the The Peak has shops selling souvenirs, the kids bought some stuffs to pass to their classmates in Manila.
After bringing the whole gang back to our AirBnB house, I packed and went straight to Hong Kong International Airport. My flight is leaving at 8:25 pm via Jetstar. It was a short but memorable trip for the whole family.
Arrived back at Changi Airport at half past 12 midnight.
Hong Kong Travel Tips
1. Pre-Paid SIM Cards: You can buy it at any convenient stores at the Airport, they have also counters selling the SIM Card and even have vending machines. Data connections are relatively good.
2. Airport Express: If you are traveling in a group, you will get bigger discounts if you will buy directly from MTR website, this is one of our “mistakes” in this trip.
3. Traveling to Macau: If you are staying at Kowloon side go to China Ferry Terminal (33 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon) or Hong Kong Side go to l(Hong Kong Macau Ferry Terminal (3/F Shun Tak Centre, 200 Connaught Road Central, Sheung Wan) as early as you can to get the earliest ferry schedule. There are numerous free shuttle bus (provided by different hotels) waiting outside Macau terminal that will bring you the center f the island.
4. Taking Bus to The Peak: If you choose to take Bus 15 to go to The Peak it will take at least 40 minutes, possibly an hour if there are road works or traffic jams, so it is quite a slow way to go. On the other hand it is an interesting route with lots to see and of course being a simple public bus it is extremely cheap, just HK$9.80 per person and half price for children.