I’m not only excited for September because it signifies the start of the month-long celebration of Christmas for Filipinos. This tenth month of the year marks two special events, both involving nothing but fun! It’s going to be our 2nd wedding anniversary and the 67th birthday of my mother-in-law who we call “Nanay”. Two important events call for a celebration! It got to be something extra special and not just an ordinary dinner. There’s no better way to do it but to satisfy our desire to travel. We have no idea of what to do or where to go. Until we read about Philippine Airlines’ Ultimate 75th Anniversary Seat Sale. We decided to book three round trip tickets going to Hong Kong. It was the perfect place for us after considering several factors such as the travel time and budget.
Hong Kong is more that just Disneyland and Ocean Park as what non-first-timers say. This is what we found out when we visited major attractions that we missed when we went to Hong Kong years back. I got a chance to visit Hong Kong in 2010 and 2012. It left me happy with memories of amusement parks, malls, and food courts. For our third time, I was still thankful and I guess this should always be the attitude. This year’s Hong Kong vacation was an opportunity to discover its real side through its cuisines, locals, and destinations.
Visiting must-see places in Hong Kong that offer free admission would be the only money saving tip that I could share. I must confess we spent quite a lot. Most of our budget was spent on guilt-free gastronomical adventures and how can I resist? Hong Kong has everything from affordable street foods, freshly baked egg tarts, to expensive breakfast in cafes. This was somewhat compensated by traveling with a senior. Nanay got a discounted Disneyland ticket which was only available in the theme park. While our regular adult tickets were bought in China Travel Service (CTS) in the airport. She also paid only a maximum of HK$2 by using her Elder Octopus Card for MTR and bus rides.
Hong Kong is known for its efficient and convenient public transportation system. The MTR, Ding Dings, and buses definitely deserve a spot in our itinerary. After all, one of our goals was to explore Hong Kong like a local. But we were worried that public transport plus the long walk might be exhausting for Nanay. We tried A11 bus going to our hotel in Wan Chai and train going to Disneyland. But most of the time we’re in a taxi facing communication challenges. The Chinese address that I kept kinda saved our lives. Have it printed, download an app, or ask your hotel staff to write it down for you and you’re ready to go. Aside from the language barrier, I did not expect to encounter any other struggles ‘coz taxis in Hong Kong are plentiful, clean, and metered. So, where exactly did it took us?
Day 0: September 11 (Sunday)
1.) Arrival at HKIA at 12:20PM
2.) Took bus A11 going to Wan Chai
3.) Check in at Ozo Wesley in Wan Chai
4.) Sunday Mass at St. Joseph’s Parish
5.) Exchanged money at Frankie Exchange in World Wide House
6.) Rooftop Garden in IFC
7.) Dinner at Tasty Congee and Noodle Wantun Shop in IFC
Day 1: September 12 (Monday)
1.) Breakfast at Coffee Academics in Johnston Road
2.) Hong Kong Park
3.) Disneyland (Lunch at Clopin’s Festival of Foods)
4.) Dinner at Food Republic in Citygate Outlet
Day 2: September 13 (Tuesday)
1.) Breakfast at Honolulu Cafe
2.) Man Mo Temple
3.) Nan Lian Garden
4.) Lunch at Toast Box in Jetco Plaza Hollywood
5.) Round Trip Cable Car Ride
6.) Ngong Ping Village
7.) Tian Tan Buddha
8.) Snack at Ebenezeer’s Kebabs and Pizzaria
9.) K11 Mall
10.) Dinner at Tsui Wah in Tsim Sha Tsui
Day 3: September 14 (Wednesday)
1.) Breakfast at Lan Fong Yeun
2.) Tai Cheong Bakery
3.) Artwork at Graham Street
4.) Golden Bauhenia Square
5.) Check out at Ozo Wesley in Wanchai
6.) Lunch at the Airport
7.) Departure at HKIA at 1:20PM
Other attractions which you may want to visit:
Kowloon Peninsula: Sky 100, Avenue of the Stars, Hong Kong Space Museum, Hong Kong Science Museum, Kowloon Park, Wong Tai Sin Temple, and Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery.
Hong Kong Island: Ocean Park, The Peak, Madame Tussauds, Stanley Village, Repulse Bay, Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens, and Happy Valley Racecourse.
Lantau Island: Disneyland Hotel, Disney’s Hollywood Hotel, Tai O, and Tsing Ma Bridge.
Outside Hong Kong: Shenzhen, Guangzhou, and Macau.