Day 1 – Hong Kong

Oh my god! It has been a very long time since I last sat down on my chair, touching the Matt black keys of my laptop. If you guys noticed, my Instagram is full of photos from Hong Kong!

I am finally back to this Sunny Island after my 8 day trip to +852 and I will be penning down my experiences here, with each post representing the different days of my journey there.

My friends and I bought the ticket to Hong Kong almost a year ago when SIA had some major discount for trips there and we decided to mark the last week of June this year to avoid possibly large crowds. Given a choice, I would have suggested otherwise. June is their summertime and the weather is a lot hotter than Singapore. There isn’t a time in HK where my sweat doesn’t break out profusely from my pores. Summer weather in HK is definitely a nuance notch higher than in Singapore. And there are hardly any clouds there, which exacerbated the sun’s effect on us.

Anyway, the tickets to and fro cost about $300+ after all the other charges have been taken into consideration.

Also, instead of staying in hotels, my friend booked an apartment located in Tsim Sha Tsui (near the central of where most of our visits are) on AirBnB and 7 nights cost us about $300 per person.

On top of that, I brought in SGD1300 (Exchange rate: 5.75) for my 7 days there, with $700 set aside for a day in Macau for my Bunjee jumping experience).

Overall, that SGD$1900 served me well, but I fell short of a bit of money (actually not really a bit, I owe my friend HKD500 :|) and had to borrow from my friends. You’ll eventually find out my spendings across the various days as the posts pops by.

Back to the topic, the duration of the flight was around 4 hours and by the time I touched down at Hong Kong’s International Airport, it was around 2pm already. Once we were there, we had to pop by their SIM card shop, 1010, to get our SIM cards!

They have this 8 days ad 5 days SIM card with 5GB worth of 3G as well as $45 credits for calling.

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The 8 days SIM card cost $118, while the 5 days cost $88. We decided to get the $118 and the shop offered to help us set up the cards. Tip: When the card has been installed, try dialling up each other’s phone to make sure the card works. One of my friends had to get her card fixed because we cannot dial through to her number.

Following which, we headed to our AirBnB apartment. Hong Kong has an extensive network of railroads called the MTR. We boarded the MTR from the airport to KowLoon, where plenty of shuttle buses resided. We took one of the buses straight to Luxe Manor and navigated to where our apartment was situated. If you guys are wondering the cost of the MTR trip, it was HKD$90! You can either buy an Octopus card (much like Singapore’s EzLink card, but has more functions such as using it to pay for stuff you buy at supermarket/ 7-11) from the Airport, or you can board the train to Kow Loon and pay for the trip before exiting.

My suggestion is for you to get the card – it is a lot more convenient.

Anyway, the rough cost of a single trip along MTR cost about HKD7-20 (With exception to Disney land and Airport, and a few other areas). Buses are slightly cheaper HKD 3-11 (11 is the more expensive one I have seen) and the way the buses charge the commuters is based on the distance between your current stop and the last stop (i.e. the closer you are to the terminus, the lesser you have to pay).

Cost aside, by the time we settled into the  apartment, it was already 4pm. And I was quite surprised when the host opened the door to the apartment! It was super tiny, with a living room and another room and a bathroom. In each room, besides the toilet, there was a large bed that can accommodate for 2. Bathroom facilities are quite good, they provided us with towels, shampoo, and even toilet paper!

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After which, we proceeded over to the Avenue of the Stars for our first tour for the day! Oh, before I proceed, I used Google maps throughout for navigating as well as to find buses or the shortest route to another destination. Honestly, Google Maps comes in super handy.

Here’s is a guide on how to read the Google Map, which I hope someone would tell me before the trip.

Below is a screenshot of Google Maps in my phone.

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Saw Tsim Sha Tsui with this red symbol beside it? That sign is a representation of all MTR stations in Hong Kong. If you spot this sign along the street, fret not, they are directions to the nearest MTR. Also, see the smaller symbols with alphanumeric characters beside it? These are the exits from that particular station. So, if you want to drop by USA Hostel Hong Kong, exit the station via D2 and you’ll reach there in no time!

And this is what I learnt from the army – always orientate yourself to the ground. Never keep walking to find out where your location or direction is. Always compare what is on the map to what is on the ground. Reception in Hong Kong for Google Maps might not be good and you will find that your current location will not update as quickly as you thought you would be. By the time the blue spot relocates, you would have taken one big round around the city.

Avenue of the stars is located down south of East Tsim Sha Tsui so we walked from our apartment down to the area of interest. But, the avenue of the stars was closed for maintenance.

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So, we decided to pop by Garden of Stars, which was nearby.

As well as the clock tower which was in the opposite direction from the Garden was.

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While we admire the scenic view of across the bay towards Hong Kong Island.

Bought some drinks from the famous mango shop 许留山 as well as the famous egg tart near the Harbor and it was damn awesome!

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And then we headed back to the bay to find some seats for the Symphony of Lights, which starts at 8pm.

Honestly, the Symphony of lights was boring (or maybe because I outgrew it). I don’t think it was worth the effort and the time to drop by there unless unless you really want to see it. I won’t discourage you to drop by there, neither will I encourage you to go there. This is a personal preference, so if it’s me, I would not want to drop by there ever again. Unless there’s like new features of course!

That sums up my first day there in Hong Kong!

Stay tuned for day 2!

 

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