We started our first day in Hong Kong pretty early, ecstatic to explore asia’s world city! These are some of the photos we took at their pretty airport. So as you can see, Katwinvasion travel blog was realized in Hong Kong’s airport (see the photo with the airport’s beautiful interiors and also my default picture of the blog). ❤
Upon arrival, we went straight to buy an Octupus card at the airport’s customer service counter. An octupus card is used in Hong Kong to pay bills. Think debit card here in the Philippines. It’s as good as cash and mostly all common establishments in Hong Kong (including theme parks and fast-food chains!), especially transportation, use/accept the card as mode of payment. Just swipe it out and don’t lose it!
Tip: Don’t forget to pick up tourist brochures at the airport (its free!) for added information on where to go and rides or stations to take.
From the airport, we went straight to where we stayed at Beverly Guest House (you may click here for info on rates and booking), Chungking Mansions. It’s a walking distance from Tsim Sha Tsui MTR subway station (Exit E). Let me just say that the people at Beverly Guest House were very kind to accommodate us earlier than our scheduled check-in. It’s also very clean for a lodging house, each time we come back after a whole day out, a well-arranged and clean room always greeted us. My group occupied two rooms (one twin, one triple) since there were five of us.
Here in the busy streets of iSquare on a lookout for a food chain to satisfy our hungry bellies! We went there around the first week of February, just in time for Chinese new year. Thus, explains the giant cat in the middle of iSquare. It is popularly known as Maneki-neko in Chinese and Japanese culture, the waving cat that attracts good fortune. Also noticed how Hong Kong is a well-balanced city of modern skyscrapers with an amazing landscape of nature, incorporating beautiful blooms along their busy sidewalks, and a whole lot more on well-preserved forests.
Finally decided to eat at Pizza Hut. When in Hong Kong, you may notice that it’s a norm to have establishments underground (very smart in utilizing and conserving space). So here we are, going for an all american cuisine in asia (#fail there’s always a first time and we are still learning to travel wisely, okay?).
Tip: when traveling, look up ahead for famous eating spots in the area. This will save you a lot of time & money, and by trying their local cuisine is somehow a taste of their culture. Nothing beats a firsthand experience, right?
After eating, we took the nearest MTR from Tsim Sha Tsui to Central and then walk (and walk you shall!) along Garden Road leading to Peak Tram Terminus. You won’t get lost in Hong Kong with their transit system, it’s organized. Just be keen enough with the signs because they had everything posted already. For MTR’s guide as of 2015, click here. From Central station to the terminus, along Garden rd., you can pass through high-end brands and St. John’s Cathedral.
No wonder Hong Kong is the place where a lot of people go for shopping! My snaps show only a small part of the Central area and there are more shopping destinations in the island. What a shopping haven! But as for me and my group, we’re a bunch of crazies since college and prefer to go on theme parks than go shopping. Don’t get me wrong, I love shopping! That’s a fact! Another thing to consider is that shopping also takes a lot of money and time (unless of course you know where to go: Mong Kok bargain finds. Yaaas! But that’s another story).
Victoria Peak or locally known as The Peak
So what to do at The Peak? There’s a lot! You can visit their wax museum namely Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum, dine at various food chains at The Peak Galleria or dine with a view at their various restaurants, shop for souvenirs at The Peak Market, and don’t forget to gaze at Hong Kong’s panoramic skyline view at The Sky Terrace 428.
Tip: If this is just your first day in Hong Kong, don’t go crazy over souvenirs and go on buying spree. If you’re planning to go to Mong Kok then wait for that day and buy there! Common souvenir merchandise are the same (like magnets, key chains, t-shirts, etc.) in Mong Kok stalls at a lesser price and you can haggle (but haggle kindly and know your price beforehand).
I don’t know if it was just me or we were just really hungry by dinner time that I find Maks Noodles Beef Brisket very delicious! I wanted to go back everyday just for their beef brisket! Teehee 😉 The weather that time was freezing (at least for me), so a steaming hot cup of tea and spicy noodles were the perfect combo!
Upon going back to Chungking Mansions, we took the Peak Tram and then walked past Garden Rd to embark the Star Ferry. We had our stop at Kowloon Pier 7. It was such a romantic sight with all the city lights lit up at night. We strolled around Victoria Harbour for a couple of minutes, arrived late to watch the symphony of lights. Nevertheless, we had enough adrenaline for the day and by strolling and a little eating here and there, I wouldn’t have it any other way to end the day. 🙂