1 US dollar = 7.8 HKG dollar
Asia’s world city “Hong Kong” is famous for its stunning harbor and expansive skyline, is a dynamic and enigmatic city of heavenly food, ancient traditions and lofty skyscrapers. Did you know that Hong Kong has the most skyscrapers (classified as building with more than 14 floors) in the world; double that of its nearest rival: New York City?
Hong Kong has beautiful and unique mix of culture and food because IT was taken over by the British forces after the defeat of China in the Opium War of 1842. On July 1st, 1997, Hong Kong became a Special Administrative Region of China.
Our trip should be a little more relaxing than Bangkok because we have 5 nights in Hong Kong ( lot of ideas and tips taken from another blog iamaileen, thank you Aileen. I have created following itinerary:
July 1 2017, Saturday
Arrive at HKG airport at 630 PM, wait for Tanmay’s flight from Shanghai which arrives at 7 pm. After immigration ( no visa required for HKG for Indian or US citizens J ) buy octopus card and Disneyland tickets. Finally taxi to our Hotel Ovolo Southside, HongKong.
July 2 2017, Sunday
Go through Victoria Harbour via Star Ferry towards Kowloon Island (Tsim Sha Tsui area)
HKD $2.20 – From Hong Kong Island, you can ride the Star Ferry from either Wan Chai pier or Central pier and it only takes about 10 minutes to reach Tsim Sha Tsui pier. Tickets can be bought on the spot and the ferries leave every 10 minutes.
Head to Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade The promenade is a charming place to stroll in. Around this area you can find the Hong Kong Cultural Center, the Hong Kong Space Museum, the Clock Tower, and the Avenue of Stars.
Lunch -Eat at One Dim Sum Chinese Restaurant – many vegetarian options available
Walk around Kowloon Park
This is a large public park smacked in the middle of the bustling area of Tsim Sha Tsui but it offers tranquility for its guests what with its Chinese garden, lotus ponds, aviaries, and more. Luckily we are here on a Sunday and around 2PM to 5PM, we can witness a kung fu and lion dance performance. (Nearest MTR: Tsim Sha Tsui Station)
Watch the Symphony This is a free nightly multimedia show involving (what else but) lights, lasers, and buildings. The best spot to watch it would be by the Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade waterfront so that you can see the picturesque Hong Kong Island and Victoria Peak on the other side. Live narration in English is available on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays (the rest of the days are in Mandarin and Cantonese) — it starts at 8PM daily and lasts for about 13 minutes.
TRIVIA: The Guinness World Records named this as the world’s largest permanent light and sound show.
Shop till you drop at Mong Kok (Nearest MRT: Mong Kok Station)
Temple Street Night Market – this is basically a flea market bazaar where you can find tons of affordable trinkets, souvenirs, electronics, jade, antiques, etc. Officially, it is open from 2PM until midnight each day between Jordan Road and Kansu street; but most stalls usually open at 4PM and its lively atmosphere starts at about 9PM.
Ladies Market – as the name goes, this is a haven for the ladies what with all the cheap clothing and accessories that adorn this place. There are also branded stores speckled across the area that are relatively inexpensive. (MTR: board the train going to Tsuen Wan and get off at Mongkok Station, exiting at Bank Centre signed E ad then E2.)
Mongkok Computer Centre – for all the techies, this is where you must head off for all your computer-related needs — it houses more than 70 computer shops!
July 3 2017, Monday
This is a very important morning, since I have US visa interview at 830 am.
Hong Kong Disneyland – we have been lucky enough to see Disney world, Florida and Disneyland, California and now we can pass an opportunity to visit the Disney Land Park in Hong Kong. The prices are Adult: HK$589 and Child: (3-11) HK$419
July 4 2017, Tuesday
Ride 360 Ngong Ping –HKD $325 for Crystal Cabin roundtrip (glass bottom so that you can see everything around and below you in clear view) – This 25-minute cable car ride is the best way to explore Lantau island. We have to be here early because lines get crazy.
Po Lin Monastery and the Tian Tan Buddha (Big Buddha) –Po Lin Monastery is one of Hong Kong’s most important Buddhist places and has been called as the ‘Buddhist World in the South’. Opposite to this is the famous brnze Big Buddha statue that sits at 34 metres high and facing north to look towards Mainland China (it is open from 10AM to 5:30PM).
Half day – Still need to plan (may be Ngong Ping village)
July 5 2017, Wednesday
(8AM) Take the TurboJET ferry to get to Macau (Outer Harbour) ferry terminal
HKD $165 – Ride the TurboJet ferry from Hong Kong Macau Ferry Terminal which is located at Shun Tak Centre in Sheung Wan (MTR Sheung Wan Station). Make sure that you buy a roundtrip ticket that lands in Macau Outer Harbour and NOT Macau Taipa.
Get on the FREE shuttle bus at the terminal that leads to Grand Lisboa, and then explore the nearby attractions in the historic center…
Senado Square – this is a paved town center of Macau and part of the UNESCO Historic Centre of the Macau World Heritage Site. As per history, this used to be a meeting place for the Chinese and Portuguese people. Many large events were also hosted here and it still continues up to today.
St. Dominic’s Church – located near Leal Senado Building, this Baroque-style church is noted for its mixture of European and Macanese design features.
Ruins of St. Paul’s – this was originally St. Paul’s College and the Church of St. Paul; today however, what remains of it after a fire back in 1835 is only that of the southern stone facade and some other parts of the ruins that are now turned into a museum.
Monte Forte (Fortaleza do Monte) – this is the historical military centre of Macau, located just beside the Ruins of St. Paul’s. Originally, this was built to protect the properties of Jesuits from pirates, but later on seized by the governor for defending the city.
Visit Macau Tower
HKD $2.5 – From Senado Square, walk over to Praca Jorge Alvares and take Bus 32. At 338 meters, this tower is inspired out of Auckland’s Sky Tower.
Have a look at the famous casinos of Macau in Taipa island
A FREE shuttle bus that stops at City of Dreams can be taken at the lobby of Macau Tower. Once you get off, you’re pretty much at the center of Taipa, and every casino nearby can be easily reached by walking or by riding the free shuttle buses.
Now of course, unless you’re here for gambling, I suggest that you simply visit a select few of the casinos (like the ones I’m listing below); besides, you can see ALL the casinos later on at night with an activity that I’ll be suggesting at the latter part of this section.
City of Dreams – Bring your kids here to Kids’ City, or party at Club Cubic — better yet, come witness the world’s largest breathtaking water show: the House of Dancing Water! (Ticket starts at HKD $580 for adults).
Galaxy Macau – smacked right in the main lobby of Galaxy Macau is the Fortune Diamond which is a huge 3-meter gem that serves as a backdrop for a waterfall. You can also watch a movie here in their big 10-screen 3D cineplex or just shop at The Promenade.
Venetian – Apart from the luxury shopping experience, a sight to be seen here is their Venice-inspired interiors. You will see here an actual network of canals and you can rent a gondala too in order to be serenaded by a gondolier. One of Lord Stow’s Bakery’s food stalls can also be found here, so make sure you buy yourself some of those famous egg tarts!
Walk over to Taipa Village
Old Taipa Houses – this complex contains 5 houses that depict the old colonial residences that used to be owned by well-off Portuguese families in Macau.
Rua do Cunha – this is a narrow but well-lit street in Vila di Taipa that’s known for its restaurants and shops. Some of the well-known stores here where you can buy great Chinese fares to take back home and give away as gifts (or eat for yourself, of course) are Choi Heong Yuen and Koi Kei.
Night time Ride a shuttle bus and ogle at the casinos’ colorful facades
Macau becomes even more of a beauty at night and if you’re pressed on time but still want to see the rest of the casinos in Taipa that you can’t easily reach by foot, just ride any of the free shuttle buses that passes by the casinos that you want to see, and then stay there until it reaches its starting point again.
Catch a ferry of TurboJet back to Hong Kong
HKD $190 – The free shuttle buses go directly back to Macau ferry terminal (I took the shuttle bus at the Venetian that was marked ‘Macau Ferry’). Again, just make sure that you pick a bus that goes to the Macau ferry terminal at the Outer Harbour or in the Macau Peninsula (not the one in Taipa).
***TIP: When booking this roundtrip ticket with TurboJet, it’s best to pick the last boat that leaves for Hong Kong (typically before midnight). Even if you don’t intend to leave that late, you wouldn’t want to feel rushed to catch an 8PM ferry, for example, if in case you ended up spending too much time at a certain place. Rest assured, you can use your ticket at any time as long as it’s before the intended departure time.
July 6 2017, Thursday
Che Kung Temple – this honors Che Kung, a military commander of the Southern Song dynasty. Naturally, you will find a giant statue of Che Kung at the main worship hall’s altar. (Nearest MTR: Tai Wai Station)
Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery – there are actually no resident monks in this Buddhist temple as it is now managed by laypersons. However, the beauty of this place’s temples, pavilions and pagodas are not to be missed; plus, the journey up to this monastery is an attraction itself due to the golden Buddhas that line up the path. (Nearest MTR: Sha Tin Station)
Flight to Bangkok