Tag Archives: Hong Kong

Royal View Hotel Hong Kong: A Laid Back Hotel in a Laid Back environment

For my first time in Hong Kong, my mom and I stayed in this hotel. It is a beautiful,comfy and quiet hotel. Far from the busy and bustling streets of Hong Kong.

Bedroom of Royal view Hotel

Here is my review from my Tripadvisor account:

Well, we stayed here on August 21-23, 2009, it was booked by our travel agent.

The room were we stayed in was amazing, the bathroom is nice and clean and its pretty. As a matter of fact, It’s like a studio type apartment except for the dining area. There is a sink and a lot of cabinet; i really loved the design and it was really cozy.

If you want to stay in a cozy hotel then this one is for you however you will take a lot of time going to the city (but it’s also a good thing to try stuff like riding their MTR and going to the outskirts of Hong Kong). Moreover, the view here is good, it’s serene and it is far from the loud noises from the city. When you stay here, you can really feel that you’re on a vacation.

The staff is not that good, some of them doesn’t speak English, the concierge staff (the old man there) is so much discriminating especially for Filipinos. The front desk staff is good but will make you wait (especially for check-in)  but it’s okay since they’re friendly.

Room View 2

Well, for those who intend to get a set breakfast from the hotel (if you registered in a travel agency and sees that you will have a ‘breakfast outside’ or set breakfast, especially from a Philippine travel agency), beware since your menu will be just be bread, beans and sausages, however for the buffet, its just like buffet breakfast in any other hotel– But with limited choices. Corridors in this hotel is not airconditioned; so dont get irritated if it’s hot in there.

If you went to the city center (Kowloon or HK Island), dont forget to buy water as well as food, since there’s no convenience store nearby and these goods are expensive if you’ll buy it in their mini bar. Food in the restaurant (ala carte) is also expensive, so just hop on the complimentary shuttle bus that goes (I think) every 15 minutes, going to the nearest MTR station, where you can dine without getting your wallet cry.

I haven’t tried calling the front desk for any problems (like lack of towel or supplies inside the room) and I haven’t tried their room service so I cannot really comment about that. But overall our stay here is amazing; since I really loved the room.

Well, I recommend this hotel if you’re “okay” traveling to and from the main city and if you want some serene place out of the noisy streets of Hong Kong…the rooms are nicely decorated and clean

BUT

if you are a tourist with a very limited time and you are planning to go a lot of tourist sights then this in not a good place to stay since traveling to and fro this place is really time consuming.

Nevertheless, this hotel has a nice view of the longest suspension bridge in the world (Tsing Ma Bridge).

To see there rates and more photos visit their website.

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Hong Kong L’Hotel Nina: A Luxurious Experience

I’ve been to Hong Kong three times, and for my second visit, my family and I opted to stay in L’Hotel Nina Hong Kong. This hotel is a 5-star hotel located in Tsuen Wan. It is quite far from Hong Kong Island but the surrounding establishments rivals that of Kowloon, so we had no problems in buying food or even shopping.

Facade of L'Hotel Nina

Well, I can say, it’s definitely a 5-star hotel. The rooms are very nicely decorated, well-lighted, very clean, and has bigger rooms than other hotels in HK and the service is good. Though I noticed that there’s no bell-hop who will help you with your luggage but that wasn’t a big deal for us.

Room 1 where my mom, my father and I stayed: this room has 2 double beds
Room2: where my brother and his family stayed... We had a connected room at our disposal 🙂

Did I say that they have nice decorated bathrooms? And very clean too…

Clean Bathroom!

Tsuen Wan is quite far from the city center (HK island and Kowloon) but Tsuen Wan itself is a thriving city, you can find a lot of shops and eateries nearby (just a 5 minute walk) and the hotel itself is linked to a shopping mall.. so coming there and around is easy but be careful, you can easily get lost in this big hotel 🙂

My Mom outside the hotel

The MTR is also 5-10minutes away, so going to HK island is easy. Moreover, it has its own tourist sights nearby which is not very popular among the tourists but quite a good place. Like the imitation of the Temple of Heaven in China, which is only 15 minutes away from the hotel.

We used the free wifi, which is quite good, and used the computer station in the lobby but just used it just for a few minutes, so I really can’t tell if the internet is fast or not (I had a hard time figuring it out since the website is in Chinese) There is a few computers in the lobby which any guest can use.

The lobby is well decorated but there are a lot of tourists who were in a group tour or such. The lobby always has a lot of people even during the night. But once you get to your room, you have the place on your own– quiet and relaxing.

We dine in for breakfast at the hotel, there is an ‘okay’ variety of food— not that much but not that few– the food is quite good.

Tip: email them if you what type of room you would like to have. I emailed them and requested a connecting room which they gave us, and a smoking room too. Always insist in your email, that you want this kind of room. This hotel gave us what we wanted.

this is a good hotel if you don’t mind if it is out to the usual tourist sights in HK. But it is definitely a must if you want luxury in an affordable price. Moreover, it is near Disneyland!

To check the rates of this hotel Visit their website: click here: .lhotelhk.

Hong Kong: 3 days 2 nights Itinerary which gives you almost EVERYTHING HK has to offer!

HONG KONG ITINERARY (3 days 2 nights)

Best Itinerary for you if you want to visit MOST of the TOURIST AREAS in HK. These are arranged in a way that attractions are near each other, so that you can save in transportation costs.

Click the links to see my blog posts/reviews about it. 🙂 

1st Day — Arrival in Hong Kong 7:05 am (Cebu Pacific Air)

  • 7:05- 8:30 —->   transport going to your hotel
  • 8:30- 9:30—–>  drop things off your hotel and take a little rest.
  • 9:30 – 10:00 —> Go to Ocean Park using 629 bus from Admiralty Station
  • 10:00- 5:00pm –> Stay and enjoy Ocean Park! Closing time is 4 or 3.
  •  5:00pm- 6:00pm –> Go to Victoria Peak by taxi (only 20 minutes with leeway costs $10USD or use the tram)
  • 6:00pm – 8:00pm –>Visit Madamme Tussauds Museum (Level 3, Victoria Peak Mall)
  • 8:00pm – 9:00pm ––> Sky Terrace (uppermost level of Victoria Peak) or do some   shopping in the mall
  • 10:00 pm —> go back to the hotel (I know you will be very tired by then!) or you can visit a bar in Sheung Wan, HK.

*All the attractions here are in HK Island and very near each other.

2nd day —> Disneyland Day

  •  7:00————->wake up
  •  7:00 – 9:00 —-> getting ready (breakfast, taking a bath.. etc.)
  •  9:00 – 10:00 –> transporting time going to Disneyland. Ride the subway going to Disneyland
  •  10:00 – 10:00pm –>Enjoy Disneyland and the Fireworks

3rd day –>NGONGPIN 360 and shopping Check out Hotel (bring your bags with you) Best if your travel going back to Manila or your destination is by 7pm

  • 8:00 am –>Check out Hotel
  • 8:00 – 9:00 –-> travel time going to Ngongpin (use subway and get off Tung Chung Station
  • 9:00- 9:30 –> there is a baggage deposit counters or lockers (for rent) in the parking area of the mall right after you went out the Tung Chung Line) Ask the customer service to know where the lockers are exactly located
  • 10:00- 11:00--> eat your lunch in this mall
  • 11:00 – 2:00 pm –> go to Ngongpin 360 and visit the Giant Buddha Just walk towards the escalators leading to Ngongpin 360 cable car. The mall is just adjacent to it.
  •  2:00 -4:00 —> Shop till you drop. I forgot to say that the Mall is a factory outlet of your favorite brands, so it is cheaper to buy there! (to name a few: Mango, Coach, Guess, Esprit, and some high ends one)
  • 4:00 – 5:00 –> Go to the airport using the S1 bus which has a stop near the mall, just ask the guards where it is (travel time approx 15 minutes) and then check-in the airline counters and ready to depart
  • 7:00 —> Go to your own destination! Hope you enjoyed HK! Bye bye!

If you have any questions, feel free to comment below and I will answer it as best and as fast as I could 🙂

To see tips on how to save money in HK–> click here.

———————————————————————————————————- Continue reading Hong Kong: 3 days 2 nights Itinerary which gives you almost EVERYTHING HK has to offer!

Hong Kong: Victoria Peak: Gives you a wonderful peek into the city of lights

Victoria peak is the highest point in Hong Kong. It is located in Hong Kong Island. It is a good place to visit, not only because you can get a good view of the city but you can see there the Madamme Tussaud’s attraction and you can also do some “wild” shopping up there.

Here comes the Tram! 🙂

You can go here using the Tram (which literally goes in a 90 degree slope) Tip: Find a good seat, standing will give you no justice! It is not like the usual subway!!! (I tried, so heed my advice, it is tiring keeping your balance). The line is really long and some pesky travelers with tour guides have their priority in the entrance, so they can get in first, so people who went there independently will always be pushed back and lining for it will take you a great deal of your time.

You can also get here by BUS. Which I don’t suggest!!! No way!! I won’t advise you to go here using the bus if you are traveling in 4s or 5s. It will take you 1-2 hours to get into the peak. The travel time is too long since there are a lot of bus stops and a lot of people riding it too. Take note that Victoria Peak is also a residential place, so some of the people are dropping off every 5 minutes. The route is also winding… so if you end up standing upright instead of sitting comfortably… you will just experience a roller coaster ride (If you want then you can go!) and you might just puke after.

If you are traveling by 3s or 5s, better to take the taxi, it will only cost you $10 USD per way. The ride will take less than 20 minutes.

The Shopping Mall inside The Peak

The goods sold there are cheap, so if you plan to buy souvenirs, then it is a good place to buy. It is also safe since actually it is a mall with high security and such. The mall structure is shaped like a bird…. a hawk maybe?? anyway.. I’ve also been here 3 times already in 3 different season.. the most unforgettable was during my 2nd visit.. when it was winter and it was very very cold! I got chills and I stayed frozen for sometime there! So, if you wanna visit the Sky Terrace (the balcony on the uppermost level of The Peak), I suggest that you go there not during winter, you might just froze to death (especially if you are not used to this kind of weather).

You can buy ticket in the airport, since it is much more cheaper. You can buy in china travel service hong kong booth in the airport and they offer discounts and packages –> I mentioned this in my previous post (How to save money in HK)

Inside Madamme Tussaud’s is one hell of an experience! It was really beautiful out there! The wax figures are really look-alikes of the real deal. It is really copied to perfection. It is somehow scary since the eyes of the wax figures looks really real —as if it is looking directly at you.. Anyway, a visit here, somehow makes your dream come true since it is hard to have your pictures taken with your favorite Hollywood actors or actresses… or it is really impossible to do so for world-known geniuses (Einstein) and well-known politicians (Hitler).

Me…with Chairman Mao??? This is a rare chance to post my pic here, so remember my face okay? hahaha!
My Sister in Law and Pres. Obama 🙂

The wax museum has a lot to offer! And you will go crazy taking pictures with your favorite ones. Anyway, don’t go there during the night since a lot of tour groups go there during the period. Maybe a visit in the afternoon is better.

If you want to know what they have to offer…they have Hollywood actors/actresses, to name a few, they have Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, Nicole Kidman etc. Singers like Madonna and Lady Gaga(this is part of their new collection) and the Beatles (even Michael Jackson!), and they also have Chinese pop singers there. Chinese actors like Jackie Chan, Donnie Yen, Andy Lau. Political Figures such as President Obama, President Bush, etc., and world known people such as Einstein…. And they also have athletes…. There’s a lot more… this is only to name a few…. there’s a lot more! Just come and visit!

I’ve been here 2 times, and it never did it disappoint me. The time and the money is worth it! This is one good place to visit in HK!!!

The Sky Terrace is so-so. Although it gives you a nice top-down view of HK, strolling in Avenue of stars during the night is better than paying a view which is readily available for you.

Well, a visit in the Victoria Peak is well-worth it!

CLICK HERE TO SEE MY OTHER POSTS FOR HONG KONG LIKE ITINERARY, TIPS, BUDGETS, OTHER PLACES TO VISIT

Hong Kong: Tips on how to save money in HK, Expenses and Budgets for your Hong Kong Escapade (Based from my observation and experience)

The 1st time I visited Hong Kong was on August 2009. I’m only with my Mother that time. However, in this trip, we used a travel agency. Since I’m still a beginner in the world of travel. My Mom usually is our travel organizer but now, I’m the one whose planning it all..The travel agency we used was T&J Travel and Tours. Our entire trip costs P17,000.00 each or ($400 USD) including airfare. We used Cebu Pacific for this particular trip. The package consists of breakfast, hotel accommodation and seat-in-coach tours. This is a 4 days 3 nights package with overnight stay in Macau. We stayed in a 4 star hotel, the Royal View Hotel in Hong Kong and Best Western Taipa Hotel (3 stars) in Macau.

The 2nd time I visited Hong Kong was December 2010. This time I’m with my whole family. (My Dad, Mom, brother, sister-in-law and my nephew) and we also booked our trip using a travel agent. We used 99 Gem Travel and Tours. They charged us P33,000.oo each, ($768 USD) since almost of our tours are private (it is expensive due the fact that December is a peak season). We also got a 4 days 3 nights package with overnight in Macau. We stayed in a 5 star hotel which is the L’Hotel Nina in HK and Casa Real Hotel in Macau.

For my third time in Hong Kong, I only spent a total of P10,000.00 or $232 USD including airfare and shopping! This is the cheapest travel I made in Hong Kong (so far!). For this trip, I traveled with my friends, so cheap accommodation is okay. Instead of staying in a hotel, we stayed in an apartment (located in Hong Kong Island) which I booked through Airbnb. We stayed there for 3 days and 2 nights then went back to Manila.

NECESSITIES IN HK: How much are those?

Food is a little bit expensive in Hong Kong compared to Manila. The food there ranges from P250.00 to P500.00 ($6 to $12). Even Mcdonalds costs P250.00 up ($6). In the Philippines, Mcdonalds only costs P50.00 to P150.00 (1$ to 3$) for each variant.

If you travel with kids, beware since the chicken served in Mcdonalds is spicy, so Filipino children (who doesn’t like spicy food) will not be able to eat there. Don’t even look for Spaghetti or even rice since you cannot find it there. You can find  a lot of burgers instead of the usual Filipino food. If you want to eat rice, you can try other places instead. You can eat in KFC since they serve rice. However, take note that when you order fried chicken, there is no rice included, instead, you should order the rice-toppings (it tastes like a mushroom soup mixed with rice).

Water is also a bit more expensive compared to prices in Manila, but the prices is tolerable (unlike Singapore, where water costs $2 USD for a 500 mL of bottled water). Moreover, in theme parks, the food and water they sell are really expensive. In Ocean park, for example, the water there costs around $1.50 USD or P75.00 for 800mL which you can buy outside (any convenience store in HK) for only P25.00 or 0.50 USD. So, if you are going to theme parks, bring some water with you.

COMMUTING IN HK: THINGS TO MAKE YOU SAVE A LOT OF MONEY:

If you are going to commute all the time in Hong Kong, I suggest that you buy the Octopus Card. To get one, you will need to pay a deposit P700.00 (as far as I remember) and load it. Don’t worry your deposit will be given back to you once you return your card. If you purchase one, you will get discounts for fares and it is very convenient. To add, there is a big difference in the fares when using a regular ticket and the octopus card (the latter has a lot more discounts than the former) And it is also convenient since you will only need to touch the card to the reader and VOILA! you are set to go! This is better than lining up and buying individual tickets in the subway station, or making sure that you pay the exact amount when you ride the bus!

One more tip… If you don’t have an octopus card and opt to pay the traditional  way then make sure that when you get into the bus, you have the exact amount of fare with you, since bus drivers will NEVER..EVER.. give change to you.

To buy an octopus card, you can get one by buying in their website prior to your trip or buying it to the counters in the airport. You can purchase it in the first counter you see when you go out the doors of the customs. You will notice that there is a money exchange counter and in front of which is where you can buy the octopus card. Take note that they only accept HKD! So exchange your money first before trying to buy one!

If you don’t have a pre-booked airport transfer vehicle, worry-no-more, since you will save a lot of money by commuting by yourself! I’m not saying to commute using the airport train (which is luxurious and very expensive) or hail a cab, but to use this two simple steps:

1. When you already passed by the immigration and baggage claim counter, you can go to the lobby of the airport, you can ask where the elevator leading to the exits. When we went there the elevator is beside a coffeeshop. The farthest elevator (when you are coming from the customs) is the one you should ride.

2. Wait for the S1 bus, this will take you to a mall which is linked to a subway station (Tung Chung station). Just walk and pass by the fountain or the park (you don’t need to go inside the mall). Then, use the subway going to your desired station (where your hotel is).

More tips is to use the subway (it will save you a lot of time and money). But if you are going to the Victoria Peak, I suggest to ride a taxi, since the bus ride is long (will take you 1 hour to get to the peak, while the tram ride (although a good experience, the line to ride such is really long). The taxi ride is expensive if you are going solo, but if you travel by 3s or 5s the price is reasonable.

Take note that taxis in HK can accommodate 5 passengers. Which means it is bigger than the one here in Manila.

HOW TO SAVE MONEY ON TICKETS

While researching for discounted tickets in Hong Kong, I found CTS Hong Kong which stands for China Travel Service. They offer discounted tickets on any attractions in Hong Kong and Macau. They offer package tickets which will make you save a lot of money. My favorite is the package ticket going to Victoria Peak.

They have tickets for Ocean Park, Disneyland (they also offer this package —> admission ticket + transfer or train ticket + food voucher) and Victoria Peak (Madamme Tussauds, Tram (one way), Sky Terrace.

You can see the prices here

You can opt to buy tickets using their website (you need to pay using your credit card or through bank deposit) and they will deliver your tickets in your designated address (whether in HK –hotels or residences— or abroad). or the easiest way is to go to their counters in the airport. Their counter is the nearest one to the elevator (which leads to the exit). Just ask the guards and they will tell you where it is. Don’t worry they speak english!

CLICK HERE TO SEE MY OTHER POSTS FOR HONG KONG, CHINA SAR
HAPPY WANDERING!

May 2011: My Hong Kong Escapade: An Introduction

Hong Kong is a place where most Filipinos would dream to go because it is near, and not only that, it is also the most publicized place to visit in Asia. Moreover, families flock the place because of their children who are “Mickey Mouse” fans. and there is no VISA required. Filipinos are granted 14 days to stay in HK for free!

Moreover, If you will notice the travel agencies that are offering international tours, You will see that Hong Kong is the most cheapest and had the most promos whole year round. That is why, a lot of Filipinos would like to go to Hong Kong. It is the jump-off point for would-be travelers. This is where wanderers like me (who were touched with the wander fairy) will start to love the art of traveling!

Anyway, for me, this was the 1st country I visited abroad. And from my August 2009 Hong Kong escapade I opened my eyes to traveling. So as a tribute to this loving place, I want to make some posts about it.

In this series that I’m about to start, I’m going to include my previous experiences during my last 2 trips in Hong Kong and Macau.

INTRODUCTION FOR MY 3RD TRIP IN HONG KONG:

Well, I’ve been to Hong Kong thrice already, and the recent one was last May 2011. I was always with my family during my previous trips but now, instead of my family, I’m with my Law school friends.

The date of my recent trip to HK was May 8-10, 2011, so we are planning to stay in Hong Kong for three days. Our flight schedule is 6:00 in the morning going to Hong Kong and 9:00 pm going back to Manila. But take note, that I just arrived in Manila from Seoul (May 8, 2011, by 1 am), so I was already dead tired from my Seoul trip that I almost decided not to pursue this Hong Kong trip.

Anyway, I’m the promoter of this Hong Kong escapade since I was the one who saw another Big Sale in Cebu Pacific. So, when I saw this sale, I called my law school friends and told them about this, and unusually, they said  “GO!” I was so excited that I didn’t think that I might be too tired from my Seoul adventure. Anyway, The roundtrip ticket that we bought costs only P2800.00 or $65 USD only.

We stayed in one of the apartments in Hong Kong, it is located in Sheung Wan, Hong Kong Island. I found this place in Airbnb (this is a website for home or apartment owners to rent out their places when there is no one to use it). We rented out the place of Ms. Jennifer Wong, we paid using Airbnb.

Honestly, I really don’t want to pursue this trip anymore since I was really tired, but I have no choice but to continue, since my friends already had set their mind that I will be their tour guide.

We went to see the laser lights in Avenue of Stars.

We enjoyed ourselves in Ocean Park

We crossed mountains to visit the Giant Buddha

We shopped our hearts out in a Factory Mall Outlet near the airport

After this trip, I was really tired and only had a day to rest before my most awaited China Escapade! I will write more details of each of the things we did during this trip and my other experiences from my previous trips to HK.