i ♥ Hongkong

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It is exactly 29 days since we arrived from our solo family trip abroad. The trip is so memorable for us not unlike the first one. I’m sure that Sam will remember this trip. Although my heart breaks when Jed is left for 5 days, (he’s too young to go with us) I know that the next time we’ll be there the family will be complete.

The trip costs us roughly HK$ 7,000 ++ and Php 20 k. Hardly earned money, spent for 5 days, in exchanged for priceless memories. 😀

I hope that in two to three years time, we’ll have a chance to go back and visit the places that we missed the last time. See you again HK :D!

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Hongkong Day 4

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Our Day 4 is scheduled for Macau. Rain shower welcomes us as we went out. Checking the HK map, we walked our way to China Ferry terminal. Its a long walk, the rain didn’t dampen our mood. Bought our ticket then immigration procedure then off we go to Macau. I asked Hubby and Sam to take Bonamine to avoid seasick since the water is a bit rough due to the weather. For more than an hour of travel, we reached Macau.

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Highlights of Day 4

– Long walked from Taisan to China Ferry Terminal

– Ferry Ride to Macau

– Emperor Hotel – with Gold Bars embedded on the hotel’s floor

– City of Dreams

– Bubble Show at City of Dreams – a very amazing show. Two thumbs up 😀

– The Venetian – saw how a Gondola ride works ,(Sam is asking where is Jun Pyo of Boys Over Flower, hehehe)

– Wynn Hotel

– Dragon Show at Wynn Hotel

Macau is a nice place with Casinos and Hotel everywhere. We regret not getting the service of a tour guide to maximize our trip. We did’t had the chance to visit the must-see-places like Ruins of St. Paul, Fisherman’s Wharf, Senado Square etc because of the rain and we have a kid in tow.  Bus rides are free (mostly) . BTW, we were stuck in a traffic going back to Macau Ferry terminal from Wynn Hotel for more than an hour, considering that it’s not that far. :(. Rain stopped us from making the most out of our visit. We’ll definitely go back there if permitted.

“Tips – Do get the service of a tour guide. They are our kababayan’s who will approached you as you go out from the terminal,rates varies from HK$ 150 – HK $250,depends on how many are you. Kids are not allowed inside the Casinos. Watch the Bubble show inside City of Dreams for free, kids and adults too will surely enjoy it.Macau is more amazing during nightfall because of the beautiful and sparkling lights from Hotels and Casinos.

Expenses for Day 4

Macau Tickets – HK$ 900 ( 300 ea no child rate applied)

Juice in Doy Pack – HK$ 10

Lunch – HK$ 75 (local resto with no english menu 😦 )

Snack – HK$ 85 ( Mcdonalds cheese burger meal for us and happy meal for sam)

Dinner – HK$ 160 ( Food Republic at Silvercord Mall)

Pasalubong – HK$ 87 ( Vaseline lotion buy 1 take 1)

Total of HK$ 1,317 –another big spent after two days of saving 😀

Hongkong Day 3

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Our supposed to be IT for this day is not completely followed. Like the previous day, we started our day late. I can’t bear waking up my Sam so early when she’s sleeping so soundly with a  smile on her face :D.

Our IT consist of Nan Lian Garden, Snoopy World, Hongkong Space Musuem, Hongkong Science Museum and a visit to a friend’s place (my elementary classmate). We missed going to Space and Science Museum. Sam enjoyed the slides at Snoopy World, so we decided to go straight to my friend’s place after Snoopy.

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Highlights of Day 3

– Rode MTR from TST to Prince Edward (Interchange to Kwun Tung Line – Green) Prince Edward to Diamond Hill Station (Exit C2 of the Diamond Hill MTR Station Address : 60 Fung Tak Road, Diamond Hill, Wong Tai Sin, Kowloon)

– Nan Lian Garden – the trees and landscapes are breath taking. The place is so relaxing.

– Chi Lin Nunnery – feels like your transported in the old dynasty 😀

– Rode MTR from Diamond Hill to Kowloon Tong (interchange to East Rail Line -Blue) Kowloon Tong to  Shatin (From the MTR Sha tin Station Exit A,walk to New town Plaza Address : Level 3 Podium,Phase One New Town Plaza Shatin New territories). This MTR  line is not underground, you can see the view of Hongkong.

– New Town Plaza

– Snoopy World

– Taikoo Hongkong – where my friend lives

– Wanchai Computer Center – a side trip to see the place. It’s late that’s why most of the shops are closing. Was not able to buy anything 😦

This is not a hectic day for us. Got a chance to meet with a friend whom I haven;t seen for more than a decade. Computer peripherals in HK are less expensive especially the hard drives. This day I felt that I tour HK for a day, riding the MTR, going through the interchange from Kowloon to New Territories  to Hongkong Island and back to Kowloon again. By chance, got a glimpse of  living in HK, typical flat, environment etc. My friend’s been living in HK for almost 3 years now, her husband is working there,she’s a plain housewife doing  freelance job at home. Making me think of wanting to live there also, hehehe.

*Tipsif possible stick to your plan to visit all the places listed in your IT to make the most out of your travel. In our case, we missed two. 😦

Expenses for Day 3

Ice tea in can – HK$ 6

Brunch at McDo – HK$  62 (chicken meal with fries, they don’t serve it with rice, it’s a bit spicy that’s why we order a cheeseburger for my kiddo.)

Total of HK$ 68 – spent less again. We were treated to dinner by my friend 😀

Hongkong Day 2

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Our day 2 is scheduled for Disneyland. 😀

Based on my IT, we must be there before 10 ( Disney is open at 10 AM), but since we had a kid in tow, the said time is adjusted to 12:00. My advice for those with kids, be prepared to be delay by an hour or more, you may never know when the kids are ready to open their eyes in the morning :D.

It’s our second time at Disneyland. The first time we were there, we didn’t have the chance to take pictures with the characters.This time it’s number 1 in our list of priorities :D. We are a little bit disappointed, because there is no parade (since it is the 2nd of November, and Halloween’s just finished,they postponed the parade in preparation of their Christmas theme) and some of the theme attractions are closed too for maintenance :(. Even without a parade, it didn’t stop us to enjoy this day.

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Disneyland brings out the kid in me and hubby too. We will never get tired of it. 😀 I hope if God’s will, we would go back here again, with Sam and Jed. Our little princess really enjoyed this day, I know that this time the memories will stay with her, not unlike the first time.

Highlights of Day 2

– Rode MTR from TST to Lai King (interchange to Tung Chung Line)  then to Sunny Bay (Interchange to Disney Resort Line) -> Disneyland Resort

– Welcome to Disneyland, yahoo!

– Meet and Greet with Disney Characters

– Rode Orbitron, Airoblaster,Tea Cup

– Watched Stitch Encounter, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Small World, Philharmagic and Golden Mickeys

*Tips: Be really early if you are only going there for one day. If you can afford, booked at Disneyland or Hollywood Hotel for a night to avail the 2 day pass ticket at Disneyland Park (this is privileged given only to those who booked in the said hotels. Maximize your time to see the whole park. If planning to go there on the month of November, schedule it by the second week, so that Sparkling Christmas is all set and the weather is cold even at noon. Their Halloween celebration ends on the 31st of October, avoid rainy seasons, sayang ang lakad. 😀

Expenses for Day 1

Brunch – HK$ 110 (Clopin’s Festival of Food. We ate late, hunger is out of our dictionary that time :D)

Octopus – HK$ 100 (Top up for me and hubby)

Souvenier – HK$ 300 ( Shirt for Jed and Sam)

Dinner – HK$ 60 (Rice meal at Yoshinoya)

Total of HK$  570 – we spent less today, as much as we want to roam around after Disney, our little girl is so tired that Daddy carried her all the way back to our guest house.

Hongkong Day 1

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We boarded in Cebu Pacific’s 5J-110 flight. Since our departure time is 7:55 A.M., we are already in the airport as early as 5 A.M. (if your on an international flight, be at the airport at least 3 hours prior to your departure time. I heard that Cebu Pacific is very strict with the boarding time, that even if your arrived exactly at the allotted  time, they might not allow you to board. My cousin experienced it :D)

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Highlights of Day 1

Hello Hongkong 😀

Met Sister-in-law at HKIA.

– Rode the A21 Bus from HKIA to TST. We sat on the 2nd floor.

– Checked in at the hostel, met Ate Yolly the caretaker at Taisan.

– Rode the MTR to Central. Went inside the World Wide House to buy Disney Tickets at Sally Travel.

– Got a little lost while finding the bus terminal going to the PEAK.

– Rode Bus 15 to the PEAK. We sat again on the second floor. The travel is very exciting and thrilling.Hubby’e eyes were closed,whenever the Bus turned at a curve (nakakalula talaga, hehehe! Glad that I asked them to take Bonamine :D)

– Saw the Hongkong skyline at one of the free terraces at the Peak Galleria. I’m still at awe even if it is my second time there.

– Rode the TRAM from the PEAK.

– Rode an open two-deck bus to the Pier

– Rode a ferry from Hongkong Island to Kowloon Island.

– Watched the Symphony of Lights at the Victoria Harbour.

– Walked a long way to Nathan Road from Victoria Harbour. We lost our way again, but that’s okay :D.

– Bought the famous eggetes ( a waffle like bread sold along Nathan Road).

– Dinner at Cafe de Coral.

Our first day is very tiring but exciting. We accomplished what was written in our Iterenary for Day 1. Happy to see my Sister In law. We have lost our way twice, but it’s ok, we have our map with us.

*Tips : Always bring map (HK and MTR) with you. Prepare yourself for long walks and wear comfortable shoes. When with a kid, be ready to carry them when they get tired,usually at night after the day’s activity or else bring a handy stroller with you.Bring a bag where you can put water, snacks, first-aid kit, towels, extra clothes for your kid, etc. Octopus cards are very handy since you can use it at MTR, some Buses, ferry, 7-11 and other food outlet like Cafe de Coral.

Expenses for Day 1

Octopus Card – HK$ 470 (150 ea top up for me and hubby,SIL lend us two Adult Octopus card, and 170 card and top up for Sam )

Disney Tickets – HK$ 860 ( 315 ea for us, 230 for Sam)

Eggetes – HK$ 13

Dinner – HK$ 77 (Dined-in at Cafe de Coral.At first we cannot locate it, thanks to their small signage.)

Total of HK$ 1,430quite small if you’ll look at it in a 1 HK = 1 Peso view, just don’t do the actual conversion Lol’ 😀

Planning the trip

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Hongkong is one of the travel destinations of Filipinos who are planning for a trip abroad. A travel time of approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes, it’s just like traveling from Manila to a nearby province like Batangas.

When the realization sinked in that we’ll be going to Hongkong, I felt a bit nervous because it would be our first time to travel on our own (BTW, this is our second time to go to Hongkong, the first one was year 2007, we’re group of 13 and we just go by the flow,where to go,eat,stay…).This one is different because its only the three of us ( a plus because my Sister-in-law is working in Hongkong, if something happened, we have somebody to turned to).

As early as our booking was made (that’s mid-August), I started searching on the net about travelling to HK. I’m very thankful for the Pinoy Exchange Forum, a forum where you can learned and ask anything about HK.

For our accommodation, I booked at Taisan Guesthouse, its one of the recommended guest houses by PEXER’s. They have different branches at Tsim Sha Tsui, HK. The owner Ken, is requiring a deposit of 500 $HK, I’m thankful to SIL for she paid the deposit for us. We stayed in a Taisan’s branch where the caretaker is a Filipina named Yolly. It’s definitely a thumb’s up, nice,clean place for a cheap price, our room is 350 HK$/ night ( I regret not taking pictures of our room for souvenier 😦 )

These are some of the useful/helpful  sites that you can check in case you plan on traveling to Hongkong.

7 Day Weather Forecast – Hongkong Observatory – check this site to plan for your HK booking. Weather changes from time to time, but at least you have an idea of the weather there.

Hongkong Tourism Board – for must places to see in HK.

Journey PlannerMTR is the major transportation in HK. This site is very helpful if you wan to predict/ budget money for your MTR transportation. It indicates the time travel and amount from one station to your destination.

Star Ferry – if you plan to go for a ferry ride

New World First Ferry – if you plan to go to Macau from HK

China Travel Service – Located at the airport, and various places where you can buy tickets for Disneyland,Ocean Park, Octopus Card, Macau Tower etc.

Hongkong Extras – another helpful site

Youtube videos – this is really a must see if your a first timer, after watching these videos, you will not feel first timer anymore 😀

Google Map Hongkong – here you can see the streets of HK as if you were there

Hongkong for Dummies – I will never know and compiled the sites I mentioned above if not for this thread. I’m really thankful to the Pexers who never get tired of answering queries. *Note : Read first the first page, before posting a question, all the essential informations are already there for you to see. Kudos to them! 😀

First family trip

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It’s been a month since our first travel as a family,me,hubby and Sam (minus Jed,he still doesn’t have a passport and he’s very young to travel far).

It’s not a plan trip. I never thought that it would be possible for us to travel and spent 5 days out of the country, with expenses from giving birth, Jed’s hospitalization, Sam’s schooling, everyday expenses etc,grabbing the opportunity of Cebu Pacific’s discounted airfare resulted our booking for Manila – Hongkong and vice versa last November 1 to 5,

The trip emptied our pockets but filled our hearts with memories  that will last for a lifetime. My Sam enjoyed it very much and us too :D.

Details of the trip to follow.

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