Travel Diaries

Go to Hong Kong | a Pinoy travel guide for those who want to travel but too lazy to explore

Hong Kong must be the primordial city a Filipino can think of when he wants to go abroad for a visit. It’s probably because it’s just approximately 2 hours away from Manila, it offers a different weather (they have 4 seasons) and they have Disneyland, yes that should count di ba? Kaya siguro many Pinoys both tourist and workers alike go to Hong Kong. I’ve been there back in 2012 and just like many tourist visiting for the first time, I walked and covered as much as I can just so I can say that “I’ve been to Hong Kong”, alam mo yun?
But this time, after 5 years, I came to visit again but like an old familiar friend I came to see it as it is, an old progressive city mixing perfectly the past with the present bringing all it’s dwellers something to be excited about. With no pressure to be as touristy as before, we enjoyed Hong Kong and it’s cool February breeze, slow-travel style.

The night backstreets of SoHo has a quiet feel like those streets where the Ninja Turtles will come out from.

We arrived in Hong Kong at 8pm and we managed to check in at Holiday Inn Express SoHo late. We found out that the SoHo area quiets down early at night. We had our midnight snacks at McDonald’s where I found a gem when I learned that they offer Red Bean Pie!

View from our room at Holiday Inn Express SoHo at 36th Floor

The next morning we decided to just walk around and see the city. We bought MTR Tickets from the nearest train station from the hotel. It is best to buy the Octopus Card para mas makatipid sa pamasahe plus you can use the remaining credits to buy from 7/11 Stores.

We stopped at Times Square Hong Kong and decided to walk from thereon. You can check out some stores for shopping inside the mall if you’re into that. A few blocks away from the station, we saw an H&M Store and bought a few items.

Ice cane juice are sold in the streets. They’re clean, delicious and the healthy kind of sweet.

We checked out Paradise Dynasty in Causeway Bay for a top rated lunch from the Foursquare Hongkong users and got a delicious meal for a pricey cost. They have Chinese lunch and the most recommended is the 8-flavoured Xiao Long Bau.

Paradise Dynasty’s 8-flavoured Xiao Long Bau (Flavors: Original, Garlic, Truffle, Foei Gras, Love, Honesty, Trust. Char)

After going around the Central area, I looked around for a park, the closest was Queen Victoria Park. We walked because it seemed near from where we were that time and relied on Google Maps to get to the park. We took our time pacing and keeping an eye for dessert. Until we saw I See I See Hong Kong Handcrafted Icy Pops and stopped by to get popsicles.

The store has a big open window where you can sit by and people-watch while you lick your Earl Grey Pistachio Ice Pops and listen to soft jazz.

Before we got to the park, we stopped by the National Library which was right accross. Free reading, free internet, quiet and cool, I can definitely live there.

Multiple floors filled with books and papers and all the literary greats are there. We got in for free too

Just accross the library using an overpass, we got to Queen Victoria Park but was too late for the garden exhibit. However one can relax and sit down by the park and read a good book.

What a great woman leader she must be to have a statue of her likeness be in this side of the world.

In the evening you can walk the artsy neighborhood of SoHo and you might want to check out PMQ which I haven’t seen the last time I was in Hong Kong. PMQ or Police Married Quarters is exactly as it sounds, a complex of houses for the police but it was converted to commercial now and it houses different artists and entrepreneurs selling their crafts and goods.

PMQ is along Aberdeen St in Central, Hong Kong

For dinner we went over Lan Kwai Fong and settled with the warm hospitality of Manny, a kabayan from Holy2Go which serves Korean meals. Extra serving pag nagtatagalog kasi hindi ko na naubos sa dami ng bigay niya.

Lan Kwai Fong has a variety of restaurants and bars to choose from so if you’re up to it, stay around and linger a bit.

What’s Hong Kong without going to Disneyland? February and March are probably good months to go as it’s cool to go around and there are not as many tourist so lines are bearable. We got discounted tickets from Klook less than (Php 200) din yun.

I had to leave my leather jacket in locker rental along Main Street because mainit naman pala pag nakaleather. Hindi naman ako kontrabida sa action movies.

There are a ton of new things I wasn’t able to do during my first visit in Disney HK. Iron Man Experience just opened and we were able to join Mr Tony Stark in saving Hong Kong thru a simulation ride which was fantastic in all ways.

Expo Expedition is your car towards saving Hong Kong from destructive aliens. Iron Man Experience in Disneyland Hong Kong

Another new attraction I saw is Fairytale Forest over at Fantasyland which features a garden showcasing our favorite fairytales movies  like Tangled, Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast and Little Mermaid to name a few. The last stop of the garden is a scheduled meet and greet with my favorite girl from Pixie Hollow, Tinkerbell!

The rose garden in Beast’s castle
Meet Tink in her home and ask for a bit of pixie dust for that extra Disney kick!

I remember that Toy Story is the last area in the Disney HK Map when I was there the last time but now there’s a rodeo town called Grizzly Gulch featuring a rollercoaster ride called Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars which took a portion of my life a bit (I’m terrible in theme heights) but totally fun, if you’re a daredevil like that.

bears bears bears. all roaring at me while they whoosh me backwards in a mine car. salamat ha?

Mystic Point is another area I don’t remember going to the first visit but it was closed too. Probably another reason to go back for one more visit. Paint the Night Parade probably was there before but this is my first time to have seen it and it was very magical! All floats parading were lit with colorful lights even the characters hair were glowing!

Ariel and her crew finally part of our world. Strolling around on the…what’s that word again? Street!
He made me believe in magic and happy ever afters.

Another easy thing to do in Hong Kong is to get on a Hop On Hop Off Bus which will take you around the city and let’s you listen to stories about the rich history of the once Brit-colony.

We took the Blue Route seeing Kowloon which was on the other side of Hong Kong Island. Trip takes about an hour but you can use the bus ticket for an entire 24 hours.

We stayed till night time to see the night lights of the skyscrapers of Hong Kong which is said to be half of what New York has. It truly is breath taking, made me feel small looking at the bright concrete jungle across the sea.

How amazing this view wasn’t captured in this photo. You have to come and see it personally.

Those are basically all the new experiences we had at our trip to Hong Kong. If you ever find yourself planning for a short vacation outside of Manila, why not #DiscoverHongKong and find your own version of it. Go and have an adventure!

For a short clip of our travel please view this link from my Youtube Channel

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