It was 2017 when I started traveling overseas. I thought to have a great break every year to a place that is totally not seen in any parts near me. If possible outside the country. It can be quite tedious to prepare but I find it all worth it. I love places that are bright and lively. I am certainly a city girl that is why I choose places where I will find it convenient to walk around anywhere like the city. There are a lot of places that can be visited but I guess due to the fact I like the city more, I tend to choose urban places.
For the year 2018, I chose to be in Hong Kong. I heard a lot of stories about this especially when regards to shopping branded items like shoes and clothes. Upon arriving at Hong Kong, it seems highly noticeable that one of their main industry revolves around dock services. No wonder imported goods are quite abundant here. We stayed at an inn at Chung King Mansion. We were booked at Dhillon Hotel. This place is just alright and nothing special to be honest. Everything you would expect from a budget hotel. From this location, it was just a 5-10min walk to the famous Harbour Front at Tsim Sha Tsui where the Avenue of Stars is located.
Since this the central area, this place seems so busy but yet so different from the hustle of Metro Manila. Sadly, by the time I went there, I was just recovering from the flu and my stamina isn’t at its best all the time. So without further ado here’s a summary of my experience in the City of Lights, Hong Kong.
We went to this city during the cold season. Everyone in the city wears coats and jackets. It felt more of the normal temperature of Baguio in my opinion. Probably because I was still recovering from my flu and my body temperature heats up than normal due to the medicine I take. So yes, I rarely wore my jacket which I bought from Uniqlo. Oh, by the way, this jacket is great for very cold weathers. I think I am more than ready to go on snowy areas now (hehe.. — nervous laugh*). During our visit, the temperature was playing from 17-19 degrees Celsius. Well, I expected a lot colder based on friends and colleagues who went there before. Also, based on my research it was supposed to be colder, around 13-15 degrees Celsius. But hey, global warming can be very mischievous at times, right?
One of my favourite food is dumplings and this is dumpling heaven for me. I am not really a fan of Chinese cuisines in general, but hell the food here is totally delicious. From street foods, low-cost eateries and even those 711 meals. Oh yes, 711 sells dumplings and noodle stuff native to their country.
The serving as well is quite big and good to fill up the tummy on the go. One thing I just noticed though is their low-cost food is still considered expensive. Especially if you convert them to Philippine Peso. One example is their typical coned street ice cream. They are sold for $10 HKD which is equivalent to 60-70 PHP. However, let’s consider the fact that Hong Kong does have a high cost of living in comparison to the Philippines. Also, I find their food more costly than buying clothes and shoes. Well hey, isn’t Hong Kong one of the Shopping Capital of Asia?
Having said above, the cost of clothes here are quite cheaper compared to the food. In some cases even 20-30% lower than the cost here in the Philippines. Especially, with branded shoes such as Adidas and Nike. Another thing I noticed are most of the designs are quite unique. Some of them are limited editions or those designs that you can’t see normally in the Philippines. The best location for this is in Mong Kok. I have never seen so many branded sneaker shops in such a big alley. I am familiar with Greenhills but this one was a totally different level in my opinion. The branded clothes can also be quite cheap, especially if you buy in a buddle. I also saw a lot of electronic shops that are also selling cheaper than those priced here in the Philippines. In this area, you could also see the Ladies Market where you can buy souvenirs.
However, they aren’t that cheap if you ask me. The quality of these souvenirs is quite good though compared to that usual stuff you would buy elsewhere. Mongkok isn’t the only area you can shop in. If you have a lot of time, you can roam around the Central area of Hong Kong and you can actually see shops that sell stuff cheaper than those you will see in Mong Kok. You may need to have a lot of patience and stamina for this though. Hong Kong may be small in comparison with other places but since you can practically shop anywhere especially in the central area, you will walk a lot. AND I MEAN A LOT. So it is best to wear your most comfortable walking shoes because you will surely need it.
Of course, why would you do a tour if you won’t even take a visit at it’s Premier Tourists spots? My four-night stay I guess was not enough to visit every single thing but I would say I visited those that I have been curious of. Below are the most famous in Hong Kong:
- Victoria Peak
Although we only get to visit during day time and in the midlevel area, the view looks amazing. As for a photographer, it would have been better if we reached the highest peak. Sadly our tour package with the trip was only up to the midlevel.
- Ocean Park
I am not much of a fan of theme parks but this place certainly exceeded my expectations. One day was not enough to enjoy every single feature of this park. I loved the sea lion and dolphin shows. There were a lot more places and sea creatures to see. Also, there were Pandas there and it was the first time I saw them in person. All I can say is — they look so lazy. All they did is sleep. Add up to this is the cable carts which can be the quickest way to go up and down the other attractions. This place is massive so again, one day will certainly not be enough.
- Disneyland Hong Kong
Well, unfortunately, due to an unexpected turn of events during the trip, we only got to visit this place in a very short time. However, it already gave me a lasting impression. Which is its a place perfect for kids and kids at heart. I did not find it as amusing as Ocean Park, to be honest. It was nice seeing the Disney characters up close but for some reason, it felt that this place was certainly isn’t for me.
- Avenue of Stars
And this is why I say that Hong Kong is the city of lights. The Symphony of Lights that was featured here and the buildings surrounding the harbour front are amazing. I loved it a lot. Every 8:00PM Hong Kong Time, the show begins. There were a lot of visitors during this time and it was quite crowded. However, since the performance can be seen wide, you just need to sit and relax.
There were a few more places that we passed by during our trip. Which includes:
- Jewellery Factories
- Aberdeen Fishing Village
- Hong Kong Space Museum
Well, I must say that Hong Kong is quite an interesting place to visit. It feels like everything you need for an urban tour is there. There are a few times where the language barrier was an issue but the majority of the locals can speak and understand English. It isn’t that difficult to navigate as well. Their public transport is quite reliable and easier to follow in comparison to Singapore’s MRT. It may not be the cheapest place to visit but it is certainly one awesome adventure.
I wonder where to go next? Summer is coming here in the Philippines and I can smell the air of beaches coming. I will be catching up with a few more blogs soon.
So what do you think? Is Hong Kong a must for the bucket list? For me for experience, it absolutely is. How about you? Let me know your thoughts on the comment section. Don’t forget to like, share and follow me on Instagram and Facebook. Till next adventure!