Category: Hong Kong

Trasnportation in Hong Kong

 

Hong Kong probably has one of the most efficient public transportation systems in the world. I mean they have to because there are tons of people to move. It’s very tourist friendly as well. You don’t have to speak the language in order to navigate it.

 

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Tim Ho Wan in Mong Kok

 

I’ve always wanted to go to Tim Ho Wan because it’s got a Michelin star and I could afford it. Haha.

 

 

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Revisiting Hong Kong

 

Every year, I find myself buying a ticket to go to Hong Kong during promo events with budget airlines. I just love this place. I don’t know why I keep coming back but I do.

 

 

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Bad experience at Oi Suen Guesthouse in Mongkok

 

This is my fourth time visiting Hong Kong and I’ve stayed at the Sincere House in Mongkok before so I prefer guesthouses in this location.

I booked through them weeks ahead specifying a room with a window which we agreed to reserve and pay for more. They quoted their Twin room with no windows at HK$400 a night and HK$480 a night for a twin room with windows. The day we arrived, we were told the room is not ready yet so we leave our things and set out to get some food. We were told to come back at 1pm and so we did. Then they were giving us this cramped “triple room” with no windows like we should be thankful that they were giving us three beds when we clearly don’t need an extra bed, we need a window which we paid for. Of course we refused. The lady in charge was getting mad at me for their mistake which was so wrong. She was telling me check in time was 2pm when the email they sent specifically states that check in time is 1pm, even the guy manning the booth told us to come back at 1pm. I was even trying to show her and she was getting mad at me.

 

 

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Dragon Hostel Review

 

I had to go with budget accommodation on this trip so I went with Dragon Hostel based on the number of good reviews and the cost. I lost my camera in Macau so I couldn’t post pictures.

Location: Great. It’s a block away from the MTR Mongkok Exit. Directly across the Ladies Market. It was a little hard to find at first since there are no visible sign of the name of the Hostel but you can ask around. There are two access doors on either side of the building with 2 elevators on each side. 7-11 across the building and a Circle K close by. Lots of restaurants around.

 

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My Hong Kong Loot

 

Well, and one piece from Macau – a souvenir item from a casino since it’s Chinese New Year. They were giving out calendar cards. I can’t really get anything from Macau except for food that’s why I get most of my stuff in Hong Kong.

I bought a couple of souvenirs but not much. I’ve learned over a few trips not to buy so much. First, it costs a lot (when accumulated) even on small things. Second, most people I’ve given things to don’t really appreciate it so I’ve learned to only give to close friends and for example, the person who was house sitting for us. I would have given the driver something if he didn’t try to overcharge us. Anyways..

This was my favorite, I would have frozen to death if not for this knitted sweater I got at this little store. I got it for HKD70. I found a similar one in avocado green at this cute store and they were selling it for HKD150 but I couldn’t bring myself to buy it since it’s so expensive but I was really tempted. I’m just glad I didn’t get that one and instead got this one.. ^^

 

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Final Accommodations for Hongkong and Macau

 

We settled for budget accommodations so that we would have more money to spend on food and experiences.

 

THE WINNERHongkong Category

The Dragon Hostel
Why: good location – close to MTR and Ladies Market, good rates (HKD370 for triple room ensuite), communication was prompt, convenient transaction as I was able to make a deposit on their bank account here (China bank or HSBC) – I don’t like giving out my credit card details, it has good reviews.

 

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Looking for Accommodation in Hong Kong and Macau

 

It will be my third trip to Hong Kong in the past two years since I’ve come home. I really love the place. My aunt asked me to take my cousins out of the country. The place that I would suggest for first-timers is definitely Hong Kong. So this is going to be a family trip. There will be 6 of us travelling. Thanks to the Cebu Pacific sale, I got cheap tickets for Hong Kong and Macau.

I’m currently looking for accommodations. Well, I’ve booked one actually but I’m still kind of in the fence about it since my aunt has limited budget for my cousins. I would rather splurge on “experiences” rather than accommodation but at the same time, I wanted them to experience a hotel like stay since we really don’t do it often. My previous stays were with: The Cityview Hotel which I really loved, so close to the MTR and bigger rooms than the average and the Dorsett Seaview Hotel which was nice  and really close to the Temple Street market but it’s a block or two away from the nearest MTR exit. I booked 3 rooms at the Casa Hotel at a really good rate. It’s really close to the MTR exit. I’ve actually passed by this hotel several times. It had good reviews on Tripadvisor and It didn’t require a deposit at Booking.com. So that’s that..

 

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Hong Kong Trip Part Une

Hong Kong
Hong Kong

Off we go to Hong Kong aboard Cebu Pacific from the Diosdado Macapagal Airport at Clark. While booking my tickets online, I checked the Lite Fare option which was a mistake since I wouldn’t be able to check in bags. It wouldn’t be an issue flying to Hong Kong since we decided to bring smaller sized bags. But we plan on shopping, we need to check in extra luggage on our return. I will tell you more about that later.

After arriving in Hong Kong and going through immigration, we took the Airport Express which was just right outside the exit. They had a customer service counter where you can buy the tickets from. There is a group discount promotion which I found at their website. It costs about HK$40 less than the regular price for 2. It will be less if you had more people in your group. We also got our Octopus cards from here which I highly recommend if you plan on going around Hong Kong. The Airport Express ride was fast and convenient. I considered taking the bus but I had no clue where the stop is although my hotel sent me information about it. I’m just glad we didn’t take the bus or we would have been so lost. After arriving at the Kowloon Station, we took the free shuttle to the hotel. This is a great service. Check if your hotel is included on the list.

We stayed at the City View Hotel at Yau Ma Tei. We arrived early at around 11am and they didn’t have any available rooms yet so we were asked to come back at noon. We left our bags at the concierge desk and we decided to get lunch and check out where the Ladies Market was. I knew it was just a couple of blocks away from our hotel from what I read. We passed by outlet shops and we actually bought a few pieces before returning to the hotel.

Check in was fast and easy. I read a few reviews on the hotel saying that it was too small. I thought it was sufficient for Hong Kong. We had a lot of extra room for our luggage. Our room was kept clean and supplies were refilled. I even asked for an adaptor for my cellphone charger through Housekeeping and they sent it to the room in just a few minutes. I booked the hotel because of the price and the good reviews on it. I would definitely return and recommend it. I knew it had facilities like a gym and a swimming pool but I didn’t get to explore the hotel since we only had 4 days in Hong Kong and we only used the hotel to change, rest, shower and sleep in so we were hardly in it.

Hotel Room
Our Beds were comfy.

After a couple minutes of rest, we went off to shop at the Ladies Market.

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The Ladies Market

There are a lot of things you could get here from clothes, souveneirs, bags, etc. Bargaining is a must. Do it for experience or to simply get a better deal. Compare prices. Don’t buy the first thing you see. We got shirts that were 5 for HK$100 (about US$15) compared to others who sell it for 4 for HK$100. There are also plenty of stores and restaurants on the sidestreets.

After dropping off our loot at our hotel room and resting a little, we took the MRT at Yau Ma Tei station which is just around the corner from our hotel using our Octoups cards which is so convenient, you won’t have to buy your tickets everytime. Just slide your card on the scanner. We stopped at Tsim Sha Tsui station and decided to drop by Granville Road on our way to the Avenue of the Stars. It had an array of shops. I found this adorable skirt at one of the shops. It was a HK$100. We also passed by this store that sold toilletries but mostly perfumes. There were a lot of locals buying. I bought a Kenzo Flower perfume for about HK$100. It’s a tester but who cares?! It’s the same scent. It usually retails for US$60. It’s a bargain. I know. There are a few things I regret not buying. A good excuse to come back eh?

We couldn’t find our way so we hailed a taxi to go to the Avenue of the Stars which I even showed the name in Chinese on my Lonely Planet guidebook. He didn’t know where it was, he phoned the dispatcher who spoke a little english. After a while, we finally agreed on Star Ferry which is next to it. So, if you take a taxi to the Avenue of the Stars, tell the driver you’re going to Star Ferry instead. It’s the perfect stop since you will pass by the Clock Tower on your way to the Avenue of the Stars. We were there to watch the symphony of lights which starts at 8pm. We had plenty of time to walk around and take pictures and get dinner from McDonald’s. 🙂

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The view of Hong Kong from the Kowloon side
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The Legendary Bruce Lee's Star
The Symphone of Lights show
The Symphony of Lights show

After the show, we went back to Yau Ma Tei, had dinner and that was our first day in Hong Kong.

Hainan Chicken which wasn't so good..
Hainan Chicken which wasn't so good..