Tag Archives: What to do in Hong Kong

Hong Kong: Ocean Park, a thrilling experience

OCEAN PARK HONG KONG

I’ve been here 3 times already and I’ve never tried all of their rides–sorry, but I’m scared!– the rides are good for adults but they also have attractions for kids–especially the aquarium and the dolphin show. So it is really worth visiting.

The rides goes extreme like revolving 360 degrees, etc. and also there are a lot of roller coasters. I think there are 2 rollercoaters and another 1 is currently being finished the last time I came to HK.

Ocean Park has 2 entrances. One is the main and the other is what they call the “back door”. The latter has the longest escalators I’ve ever seen! The escalators traverses the mountain slope. It’s long and steep. It is better not to look down when you are riding this. since you might get dizzy (like me… ūüė¶

Longest escalator I’ve seen (so far..)

The 1st rollercoaster I saw was the one near the side of the mountain. You will get a nice view of the ocean, and also if unfortunately your cart is derailed, you will land directly in the sea (kidding! but if it really does, then at least you will be found in the ocean! there are more chances of surviving!)

Although this rollercoaster doesn’t have loops unlike the other one, it has steep slopes where you will be falling effortlessly down to the ground. I rode this one three times! It was really interesting! I shouted a lot! The 1st time I rode this was when I’m with my brother and sister-in-law. I thought that there are only 2 slopes since that is the only thing you can see.. the thing we didn’t know is that right after you ride the cart, there is already a big steep slope waiting for you. The very first slope was the steepest and I was really not expecting it! I thought my Soul had left my body the moment the train slammed straight to the ground. I just shouted the whole time… that is why when I went down, I can barely walk! anyway, that was a cool 1st experience! The 2nd and 3rd is just fine.. I just want to know what my friends would look like (hoping that they will be totally scared as me!) after that rebellious stunt!

Rollercoaster 1
Ocean Park’s ocean.. this will also be the one to meet you once there is malfunction on the roller coaster above!

The 2nd rollercoaster is near the food stalls, for my first ride here, was during my visit with friends, which is my 3rd time in Ocean Park. They told me to go, which I abide since I’m quite adventurous in spirit (remember the word quite). You can see that there is only 1 loop… but when you are already there…when you are doing the action.. you will realize that you will be able to loop 3 times… one after the other. The other 2 loops are hidden somewhere! and believe me… I had a hell of an experience (I almost puked!)

My friends and I also rode the log ride, where you will ride a log and there is a steep slope where you will be dumped furiously by gravity. At first, you will be climbing up the mountain slope and then you will be sliding down the steep slope that they prepared for your fun and exciting day! Anyway, I got wet when we rode this thing. Nonetheless, it was fun!

One you should not miss is the cable car ride! Of course, you will not be able to get to the other side of the attraction if you aren’t going to ride this. My first experience in riding a cable car was also here. It was fun, but honestly, I’m quite scared when I’m riding it, especially when the cable cars hit the tower/posts, it makes the cable car move a lot, nonetheless I enjoyed the beautiful view!’

Cable Car to get to the other side (actually, there is a train which you can ride) but taking the cable car is way better!

Moreover, there are also things for kids, such as Panda and Bird Sanctuary. This was the 1st time I saw a Panda… and it was eating his favorite bamboo! It’s so fluffy I’m gonna die!!!

So huge yet adorable panda!

And they also have fish aquariums which is really huge (bigger and better than the one in Sentosa). The aquarium is near the theater (dolphin and sea lion show).

The dolphin show is cute… though watching it a couple of times, you will know that it is scripted! anyway, it was fun!

The dolphins while doing their stunt! So adorable!!!

Anyway, if you will ask if Ocean Park or Disneyland, I’ll say first–> BOTH, since they both have their own charm. but if you don’t have the budget and the time, Go for Ocean Park.. It is bigger, more exciting (as there are a lot of extreme rides) and that it is a jack of all trades since it is both for adults and for children.However, it is only until 5pm so there are no fireworks like disneyland–> but who cares about fireworks if you want excitement

Going here is easy, you can ride the 629 bus from Admiralty station –> it will go directly to ocean park.

Food are not allowed inside, they are checking it but I don’t know why they did not check my bag full of chips and water! And I saw some families carrying a picnic bag with them and eating in one of the comfy tables provided by Ocean Park. In terms of food, Ocean Park is much more cheaper than Disneyland, as it has a lot of food stalls everywhere (not only hotdog stalls). they even have McDonalds inside.

And… don’t go here when it is summer in HK, IT IS REALLY HOT, unless you love the sun. go for it. One of my visits in May, I ended up going under a tree near to the eating area and stayed there for awhile. I suggest going here in winter so you will enjoy it better since there is no sweaty, tiring feeling when you are under the sun

CLICK HERE TO SEE MY OTHER POSTS FOR HONG KONG, LIKE TIPS, ITINERARY ETC.

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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.