Bits and pieces, thoughts, rants, fancies and learnings of a wallflower, a food aficionado, and a chef wannabe. welcome to my planet!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A trip to HK and Asia'a Gambling Destination

Hongkong these days had become a popular destination to those who prefer an easy and quick, yet exciting escapade. It was definitely our first time to travel off shore and the mere sight of Hongkong's gleaming skyscrapers and all the lights from the aircraft's window made my heart really jump.

We made the trip there last February, and the weather was really chilling. The absence of scorching heat of the sun did not make us look haggard and feel too stressed at the end of the day. I was quite amazed with how busy and humongous HK International Airport was. Now I wonder how the JFK, Beijing Airport or the London Heathrow look like.

On the first night, we headed to the Ladies Market and temple street night market. The goods sold there were not much different from the ones you would see in the chinatown markets here in the islands of Philippines, from bags to accessories, except that they have Hongkong souvenir shirts which you can buy as pasalubong. Souvenir Shirts range from 20-25 HKD / per shirt or 5 shirts for 100HKD.

Of course, one cannot miss the Ocean Park - home of cute pandas, and the Philippine's most accessible Disneyland. HK's Disneyland may be the smallest, but still, one day is not enough to experience all the fun and magic it offers. Falling in line just to take photos with Mickey and Minnie will definitely kill your time.

A ride at the HK's famous century-old peak tram was also a breathtaking and unforgettable experience, you could see a fantastic view of the city. I was definitely in awe while seeing the view from the tram. The steep journey up to the Peak Tower took only less than 10 minutes. There, you can further enjoy the view and the strong winds at the deck, visit the Madame Tassauds Museum at the Peak Galleria, have some coffee, dine or shop. A roundtrip ticket is worth 32HKD/pax I think. For me, this is a must experience for everyone visiting Hongkong. Other sights that are also worth seeing are the symphony of lights at night and the avenue of stars.

Order: 1)The Peak Tram 2)View from the tram 3)inside the tram 4)above -The Peak Tower

While in HK, one can make a trip to what was once a Portuguese colony - Macau. The journey from HK to Macau took about an hour via the ultrafast ferry. The short trip made us feel a bit nauseated as the waves were just too strong, but thanks to Bonamine, I survived! Macau is a small place with lots of European architecture, temples, and of course, casinos of all shapes and sizes. HK dollars are generally accepted in Macau, so you don't really have to worry about changing your HKD into MOP. We hired a van for a daytour in Macau, which already includes a visit at the Macau Venetian Resort as our final stop. For some sweet treats and pasalubong, head to Senado Square (near the famous ruins of st. paul). I would recommend the egg rolls and almond cookies for pasalubong and their must-try egg tarts for light snacks.

A taste of Italy - The Macau Venetian Resort and the gondola ride.

The famed Macau Tower at the back, one of the tallest. Not for anyone who has a fear of heights.

For first time travelers like moi, here are a few tips to make your trip less of a hassle:

1. Purchase an Octopus Card (the heart of public transpo in HK) the moment you arrive in Hongkong. Octopus cards are sold at the airport and MTR stations at 150HKD (the deposit fee of 50HKD will be given back to you upon returning the card). Reloading your octopus card is necessary and the minimum amount is 50HKD.

2.For travelers who don't have map with them, worry not as guide maps are made available at the airport.

3. Bring lots of sweatshirts and jackets when traveling during the cold season (January to March).

4. For those who are tight on budget, pack some foods before you head out and travel. You can bring along noodles, bottled spreads, coffee, and bread for your breakfast and snacks if you want, to help you save on your meal expenses.

Hongkong is indeed a vibrant place that has so much to offer. We did not really have the luxury of time to visit all the places we wanted, but the memories from the trip will definitely make us want to go back for more.


jayclops said...

kataw-anan ka sa imong picture ba. now lng ko ka-check sa mga blogs.

cHi said...

asa na pic? well, na inactive na akong blog...