My Hong Kong trip already feels like so long ago but it’s just turning 3 years right about now. In fact, we were in Hong Kong from February 20 – 23, 2016! It’s still one of my favorite trips. Then again, I loved all my trips so far, but this was my first international trip without family members. I believe that who you’re with in a trip influences how the whole thing would go. And travelling without family meant that my friends and I are responsible for each other during our 4D3N stay in Hong Kong – and that we could do things we usually won’t when parents are involved, like staying out past midnight.
I guess accidentally deleting my blog really had its advantages. Now I’m just reminiscing our Hong Kong trip and really wanting to go back. I especially missed the amusement parks. Ahhh. Disneyland soon again, hopefully. *fingers crossed*
Day 1: The Peak, Madame Tussauds, Sky Terrace 428
The thing I learned from only flying with budget airlines is that there’s a pretty big chance that it will be delayed. Our MNL-HKG flight was no exception. Our flight was delayed for two hours which meant that we had to remove an item off our day 1 itinerary already. Oh well, we didn’t let this bring us down.
After a little over two hours flight, we arrived at Hong Kong International Airport. Our first business was to change some peso to Hong Kong dollar so we could buy some local sim card and our own Octopus Card. Travel tip: don’t exchange all your money at the airport. The rates were so bad.
Octopus card is worth HKD150 where in you could use the HKD100 balance and have HKD50 refunded when you return the card. This can be used on the MTR, buses, and even some stores. Our sim card was worth HKD80. We got to have 1.5G of data for five days and have enough balance for calls and texts.
We stayed at Cosmic Guesthouse for this trip which is located around Tsim Sha Tsui area and is in Mirador Mansion – a very good starting point for a Hong Kong tour. We rode the A21 bus to get to our hostel and total travel time was an hour. Our hostel offered discounted attraction tickets so we bought a 3-in-1 The Peak package tickets (HKD260, originally HKD273). We also exchanged our money in a money exchange stall in Mirador Mansion which offers way better exchange rate than those in the airport.
It was already around 7PM when we were inline for the Peak tram and we haven’t eaten lunch yet (#hangry). The lines were long and it was crowded as heck. Pro tip: Don’t go up to The Peak on the weekends.
Another pro trip? Best to be seated on the right side of the tram while going up. In this position, you can clearly see Hong Kong’s skyline getting smaller as you get higher. We were awed with the view.
Peak tram is open from 7AM-10PM (10AM on weekdays). Tram arrives every 10 minutes or so.
After we finally got up The Peak and had dinner, we then went to Madame Tussauds first as it closes earlier than Sky Terrace 428. Madame Tussauds is a famous chain of wax museums and the Hong Kong branch houses nearly 100 wax figures. My friends and I had a lot of fun taking photos and posing with our favorite movie stars. My favorite star at the time? Robert Pattinson. Yes, I was one of those 13 years olds who was obsessed with Twilight.
Madame Tussauds is open from 10AM – 10 PM daily.
Sky Terrace 428
After the wax museum attraction, we then headed up to Sky Terrace 428. It is the highest 360° viewing platform in Hong Kong. Honestly, the cold didn’t even bother me when I was up here. I felt like I was on top of the world! You can see all of Hong Kong from up here.
Shortly after taking in the view with our eyes, we started taking pictures. It was hard at first since there’s no light and we were only using iPhones so we came up with this ‘brilliant’ idea to use one iPhone as our ‘main light’ so we can see our face and the other as the ‘main camera’. It worked, though. And a lot of Hong Kongers ended up copying our trick. You’re welcome, guys!
Sky Terrace 428 is open from 8AM – 11PM (10 AM for weekdays).
To end our day, we took a stop at a nearby 7-Eleven near our hostel. It was past midnight at this point and there were a couple of people in the convenience store. I like to always have a ready big bottle of water and what happened was that there was this big guy who trapped me and my friend where the water bottles was. He even put his hand on our shoulders and we started pretending that we don’t speak English. It’s still definitely one of the creepiest travel story I have and safe to say, we didn’t return to that 7-Eleven branch for the rest of our stay. Always stay safe on your travel, guys! And go out in groups during night if you can. 🙂
That’s it for Day 1.