Tag Archives: Hong Kong

Hong Kong: Ten Thousand Buddhas (and infinite embarrassment)

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June 29, 2012, Sha Tin

You know how easy it is to get around Hong Kong via the MTR? Well, it is. The problem was when we exit the stations and try to find our way to our destination by foot. Asking the locals was a task that was as frustrating as it was fruitless (sometimes “straight” really means “there’s a huge building blocking your way so you might have to go right then left then under then over a bridge then right and then do the hokey pokey”).

Our last destination as tourists was the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery, which was a grand Buddhist temple up a mountain peppered with statues of not ten, but thirteen thousand buddha statues.

We decided to walk down Pai Tau street from the Sha Tin station of the MTR, passing by an Ikea along the way (Sorry, this is the only landmark I remember!). And found this place… Continue reading

Hong Kong: Arsenal Asia Tour 2012

I only have a little over two weeks before I head of to Jakarta for the Arsenal Asia Tour 2013 and that is a glaring reminder of how remiss I’ve been about blogging. That is, I haven’t even posted about the Arsenal Asia Tour 2012. So here it is.

Fans Party, July 28, 2012

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Hong Kong: Ngong Ping Village and Disneyland

Early on our second day in Hong Kong, we made our way to from our hostel in Nathan Road to where we’re supposed to board the cable cars to Ngong Ping Village in Lantau Island. It was an easy enough trip from the TST station (near where we’re staying) to the Tung Chung Station, with only one transfer from the Tsuen Wan Line to the Tung Chung Line via Lai King Station.

http://www.mtr.com.hk/

Click to enlarge (image from http://www.mtr.com.hk/). There’s an MTR tourist app that might be helpful for planning journeys; we didn’t download that last year.

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Hong Kong: The First Day

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It’s really hard for me to act my age.

Since the morning of our arrival in Hong Kong was reserved for errands like checking into the hostel, exchanging money, and cursing ourselves for not packing an umbrella, we only had from lunch time onward for touring. Our first destination was the TST (Tsim Sha Tsui) harbour so we can take the Star Ferry from TST to Central. The terminal was about a ten-minute walk from our hostel, but it turned into around fifteen because of the rain and a couple of wrong turns. Continue reading

Hong Kong: A Prologue

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Thanks to Arsenal and Cebu Pacific’s seat sales, I was able to go to Hong Kong last July 2012. We were there for around 4 days and 4 nights — not enough to explore everything Hong Kong has to offer, but we didn’t do so badly in terms of sightseeing.

Before I start on the actual Hong Kong blog posts, I wanted to write this sort of intro in an effort to make my blog useful and not just ‘rah rah I went there, here are the pics’.

Itinerary

Here’s the general itinerary we had for the 4 days we were there:

HK IT

Click for larger pic.

Full disclosure: We didn’t get to do everything in the itinerary above, mostly because we spent a day stalking Arsenal players in their hotel (time flies when you’re a-creepin’). But since not everyone is as stalkery as us, the itinerary above is doable. If you take away all the football stuff, you could do so much more. I bet you can even insert a day trip to Macau in there.

Hostel

Our hostel was in the Tsim Sha Tsui, along Nathan Road, which was a very good location. As expected of a backpackers hotel, the room was small– the bed barely fit in it. I really don’t mind if I don’t stay in a fancy place when I’m traveling, as long as it’s clean. Yiu Fai Guesthouse is clean enough and the shared bathroom isn’t really a big deal because there are only a few rooms at the floor and it’s kept clean. There’s also free hot and cold water (for drinking), tea, and coffee. However, if I had a bone to pick with the hostel, it’s that we reserved a twin room but ended up getting a double. That was kind of annoying. But at least the hostel was located in a relatively quiet building. I have been warned repeatedly against booking a hostel in Chungking Mansions and I heeded the warning.

Octopus Card

Get one. It’s really convenient. You can use it for almost all modes of transportation within Hong Kong — MTR, buses, the Star Ferry, the Knight Bus etc. The customer service counter in the arrivals hall sells and tops up Octopus cards. I’ve read somewhere that the cards are refundable when you return them, but I didn’t return mine so I can’t tell you if this is true.

Getting to Nathan Road from the HK Airport

From the airport, we took the Airport Express train. It was 100 HKD one way to Tsim Sha Tsui station. That’s like PHP500++. Not the best use of our money and our newly topped-up Octopus card. Pros: It’s really fast and… yeah, it’s really fast. Next time though, I’m going to take the A21 bus, which is around 33 HKD to Nathan Rd. The bus only takes 45 minutes, if the ride from Nathan Rd to the airport is the same length as the reverse. Oh. The bus has free wifi. Just saying.

Budget

I wasn’t as meticulous with my budget here as I was in my Indochina trip, so I don’t have a detailed expense sheet of what I spent in Hong Kong. I do, however, remember that I brought around 400 USD but didn’t use it all up. The flight and the Arsenal game tickets have already been booked, of course, so I did spend quite a bit more than 400 USD for the entire trip.

It was sale season in Hong Kong (we went there July) so the shopping budget was smaller than originally planned.

Food is expensive in Hong Kong (compared to Manila or Kuala Lumpur or Saigon). I saved a lot by bringing breakfast stuff that I ate at the hostel before going off sightseeing. Go me!

Getting Around HK

The MTR system is very comprehensive and easy enough to navigate. The buses are numbered so it’s ostensibly easy to get from one point to another. Weeeell, I do recall walking (one time, even running) around aimlessly at times trying to look for bus stops for certain buses. Google maps are only useful up to a certain point and it is really hard to ask for directions from locals. Not that they aren’t friendly enough, but most of them say “Just go straight.” and lord, this isn’t useful all of the time.

But yeah, stick to the MTRs if you can. If you get lost, hail a cab. 😉

Okay, now on to the actual blog posts. Which should be up in three days a week two weeks soon.