ruthdelacruz

September 14, 2010

Day 1: Hong Kong Vacation: The Peak Tram, Madame Tussauds Wax Museum and Sky Tower

Yet again, this blog post is a little too late. Forgive me dear readers. I have only gotten the time to blog and write just now - I was checking my analytics and it shows that many visitors are landing on my site in search of information for a 5-day vacation in Hong Kong. So just to give value and information to my readers - here's my first post for the Day 1 Vacation in Hong Kong (expect 5 posts for this series!).

I would have to thank the Cebu Pacific for bringing promo fares and thinking that It's Time That Every Juan Flies! I was dreaming of seeing other countries and I just never realized it would be this soon. You see, I am no big earner and my salary is just enough to cover my daily expenses and some indulgences. Anyway, so my friend chanced upon the promo in Cebu Pacific. It might help that you subscribe to Cebu Pacific to get free alerts on upcoming promos, because I have to tell you seats sell like pancakes!

We have booked our flights for May in February. I just received a call from my friend that morning and I was just thankful that I have gotten the promo fare (and that I always bring my credit card with me) - so off we flew to Hong Kong.

The flight is a good 3 hours and 30 minutes. I hate riding planes. I generally hate commuting. It was such a boring flight, although I was able to catch some zzz's and played PSP. I would advise that you bring a book or magazine. Our flight is early morning (around 5:15AM so we had the whole afternoon to explore the city).

When we landed to Hong Kong, I was impressed! The airport is sooo huge that you need to take escalators, and more escalators and a train to go to Immigration!




I don't know if it is just me, but there is always something respectful and decent about the Immigration officers and security personnel in other countries. You won't see them talking, or laughing - they look so serious about their jobs which makes you, as a tourist worry about being denied entry.

We even saw a young TV actress in the Immigration line and she was stopped by the security when she had attempted to have her pic taken in the Immigration. Thank God, it was not my first time! I am not saying it was her first. I have just learned my lesson in Singapore when I have attempted to have my pic taken after landing - the security guard just stopped me, and I said a little prayer (I got worried they would sentence me a death penalty for that!)

So here are some pics at the Airport.

Check out the Duty Free is Free Duty.



The washroom is clean with fully stocked tissue paper and paper towels. Yes paper towels! They are more generous that my office!




Here is the taxi line outside the airport.


We just went at the parking space (I can't even remember if it was a parking - but that was where we smoked!). There aren't much people riding taxi cabs here unlike in Manila. Taxi cabs here charged differently. There is a specific amount for the first kilometers and additional for the succeeding kilometers. PLUS! A big plus, they also charge additional for each baggage that you load!



FOREX

We had our US Dollars exchanged at the airport. I have read somewhere that it is better to have your dollars exchanged at the airport. I have also read that exchanging US dollars instead of Peso is better. So we thought we got a good deal in FOREX.


TRANSPORTATION

We have spent 3 hours in the airport figuring out how to get to the hotel. So we had brunch at Burger King and stayed for a while. My friend was trying to access Wi-Fi to access the hotel's site and get the number and location but it was a failure (arrghh.. he was the one who booked this, had I known, I should have copied and printed the hotel's info). Until there's epiphany and he realized he could use the phone directory.

So I checked out the Chinese store which sells Meji chocolates and Panda Bear biscuits. I was tempted to buy Godiva chocolates, but I know there were much more to see and experience and buy. We had coffee at Starbucks until we have decided to finally go.

We brought the Octopus Card which can be used in MTR, buses and even stores like 7-Eleven and McDonalds. I would recommend getting this and just have it reloaded. You can give it back on your way back to Manila and get a refund for the remaining balance.

We took a bus on our way to the hotel. The streets of Hong Kong so much reminds me of Avenida and Recto.


I was praying to all the gods and goddesses, hoping that our hotel is still far from this crowded place. Until my friend announced that we are already in front of the hotel. I would be writing a separate review on the hotel.


What to do on your first day?

After checking in, we strolled around the area and check the nearest cafeteria where we can eat. We decided to take away some food from an authentic Chinese restaurant. They do not speak English so we just had to point at the food in the pictures.

I told my friend a week before the vacation that we should make an itinerary. He just told me that all we need is a good map to explore the place. Right. I hate wasting my time and money to get to places like museums and temples. I would like to think that I am an organized person so I made my own itinerary and I was just glad that it was followed.

After lunch, we just took shower and changed clothes and we went to the Peak Tram. This is past 12:00 so we had the whole afternoon to explore the city.

Sorry, we had coffee first at Pacific Coffee which is right behind the Peak Tram entrance. If you want to access your mail or Facebook, you may buy coffee from Pacific Coffee and you get free minutes to surf the web.

So we took the package for the Peak Tram Ride, Madame Tussauds Wax Museum and Sky Tower. If I remember it right, it's at HK$290. Before we got to the entrance, we had our pic taken at the tarp - so we got the picture package with 2 free key chains - a good $HK150.

The Peak Tram is just breath-taking (okay, that might be an exagerrated adjective, but this was a totally different experience). You felt that the buildings and the sites are sliding down and somehow I thought maybe there is something wrong with Hong Kong's landscaping.. Hehe.



The wax museum was my favorite part! I had my pic taken with almost all the personalities. You may take a picture with all the figures except Jackie chan - up close, you can touch them, hug them, worship them, do whatever you want! My friend and I did the most ridiculous poses and the other tourists were just laughing at us. I cannot blame them, they just stood next to the figures and had their pic taken. How about some creativity?


Until we got tired and we just had our pic taken with those personalities who we know. This is an endless showcase of figures.

As for Jacky Chan, they will take your pic with him and you have to pay for the pic set - expensive! We didn't take it. :p

The Sky Tower was the coldest place in Hong Kong. I think. That was the coldest when we went to Hong Kong. So please bring jackets and sweaters with you when going here. The place was freezing cold that you can actually see and feel the fog. It was sad that my camera died on me when we were on Sky Tower.

We had dinner at the restaurant at the 3rd level. Completely forgot the name! We will post the pricing once I have digged the receipts (yes, I still have the receipts!).

When we got back to the hotel, my whole body is aching and my legs are complaining. I fell asleep at 1AM, and I woke up 6AM to prepare for Disneyland.


Oh, before going home, we went to Central and checked out the H&M store. A 4-storey building. There weren't much good stuff, and I was able to buy a few pieces.