We were in high spirit as we started exploring the North Batan, the prelude in our Batanes tour. Prior this trip, I just could not contain my excitement that I had several sleepless nights imagining our close encounter with the rolling hills, the well-manicured grasses, the vast expansive view of the sea and the lighthouses. I prayed that our three-day stay in the island province will promise a very memorable escapade considering our month of visit is January, a month where rain frequents Batanes.
When you are on a trip with high-spirited travel buddies, you feel like time runs so fast. So what you will do is to soak up the remaining vacation vibes and savor every morsel of time. For our last day in Hong Kong, me and my office mates (Team Finance) will visit a traditional village in Ngong Ping area in Lantau Island. We will immerse ourselves in a relaxing tour where the natural environment, custom and culture of the island are still richly preserved. We will start our exciting trip in riding the crystal cable car. And so here we go!
This is our second day in Hong Kong and the top two tourist attractions that highlighted our trip are the The Peak and Hong Kong Disneyland. I was so elated to get back. But as much as I want to frolic on rides and attractions in Disneyland again, I will only bring my office mates here for I will explore other notable places in the city which I did not visit yet. I will spend another worthy escapade with my two friends, Dayleen and Amie who are both working in the city.
Since I was the one who organized this trip, I was hoping that my Finance team will get the same satisfaction and happiness I gained during my recent trip here.
We woke up as early as 4:30 am to take a shower so we can beat the 6:30 am call time. Dressed in comfortable clothes and with happy faces, we were fetched by Amie at Tsim Sha Tsui MTR station. Dayleen was waiting for us at Central Station. It’s good to see these cheerful ladies whom I shared happy memories in my first visit in Hong Kong. But before the anticipated getaway, we will be eating our breakfast at Cafe de Coral in Admiralty Station.
Café de Coral
Established in 1968, Café de Coral is the largest Chinese fast-food store in Hong Kong. It has a selection of food varieties from Western cuisines to Chinese dishes. When we got there, the queue to the counter was already long. But we did not wait for years because they have a pretty quick service. And I was impressed. Hong Kong is really used to fast-paced life. We ate fast and were glad that our bodies were fueled up for a much needed energy we will be needing for the day’s getaway.
The Public Transport
As I promised to my office mates, we will be riding all known public transport in Hong Kong (except the usual taxis). We already tried the A21 bus from the airport and the MTR (Mass Transit Railway) which is the major public transport network serving Hong Kong. Now, we will be riding the Tram.
And because this is the first day that we will be exploring Hong Kong, we were like a pre-preschoolers so excited for a field trip.
Our happy touring in Hong Kong officially started.
The Hong Kong Tramways (Ding ding in local)
Though this is my second visit here, surprisingly, my heart was still filled with anticipation and excitement when we boarded the colorful double-decker bus, the Hong Kong Tram or simply “Ding Ding” in local. This is one of the oldest public transportation in Hong Kong and the cheapest at HK$2.30 only.
For me, one of the best ways that I really feel Hong Kong and its culture is riding the Tram. Its been running along the Northern Coast of Hong Kong Island since 1904. Meaning, it witnessed how the old city transformed to what it is now.
We tapped our Octopus Cards and savored the 3-minute ride. Though it was fast for we hopped out to the next station, (the Cotton Tree Drive station), I felt my Hong Kong trip was already complete. Now, we will be heading to The Peak.
We took a leisure walk passing tall buildings and nice walkways in getting to Victoria Peak or simply The Peak. This is a “must visit” destination and one of the major tourist attractions in Hong Kong. There are two exciting things to do at The Peak. First is to take the thrill ride at the Peak Tram in getting there. Second, feast your eyes with the panoramic view of a magnificent skyline and the waterfront that will surely take your breath away.
The Peak is the highest point in Hongkong towering in an elevation of 552 meters (1,811 feet). Visitors will surely enjoy a bird’s-eye view of Hong Kong.
* The ride at the Peak Tram *
I did not book our tickets through Klook since its earliest schedule for the day is 11:00 am. It was too late for our next getaway. We paid for a package rate of HK$99 which includes Peak Tram Sky Pass (Return), Peak Tram (Return) and Sky Terrace 428. It was past 7:00 am and there were only few visitors were queuing at the counter.
For me, the best and most unique ride in getting to The Peak is through the Peak Tram. As we embarked on a steep incline, it looks like the buildings were leaning. I realized, riding again in one of the oldest and most famous funicular railways still gave me a thrill. Our trip ended in upper terminus inside the Peak Tower. It is a large shopping complex located in Victoria Gap where it offers dining, shopping and entertainment events.
* The Sky Terrace *
The major attraction of the Peak Tower is the Sky Terrace 428, the highest viewing platform in Hong Kong which is located at the top level of the building. Its captivating wok-shaped roof is designed by British Architect Terry Farrell. It has a 360 open-air viewing deck where visitors can enjoy the panoramic vista of a stunning skyline, the surroundings islands and the harbor.
Aside from shopping and fine-dining, other attraction to visit at the Peak Tower are MadameTussauds Hong Kong and Madness 3D Adventure. We did not get inside here as we opted to take a refreshing walk at Fool Pavilion where we enjoyed watching beautiful landscape.
The Peak Tram Lower Terminus7:00 am to 12:00 midnight / Monday to Sunday & Public Holidays
Peak Tram Historical Gallery7:00 am to 12:00 midnight / Monday to Sunday & Public Holidays/(852) 2522 0922
The Peak Tower10:00 am to 11:00 pm / Monday to Friday
8:00 am to 11:00 pm / Saturday, Sunday & Public Holidays / (852) 2849 0668
Sky Terrace 42810:00 am to 11:00 pm / Monday to Friday
8:00 am to 11:00 pm / Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays / (852) 2849 0668
Madame Tussauds Hong Kong10:00 am to 10:00 pm / Monday to Sunday & Public Holidays/(852) 2849 6966
Madness 3D Adventure10:00 am to 11:00 pm / Monday to Sunday & Public Holidays
The Peak: 33 Garden Road, Central, Hong Kong
Hong Kong Disneyland
I was so happy to set foot again in Disneyland which is dubbed as the Happiest Place on Earth”. It is owned and managed by Hong Kong International Theme Parks, the largest theme Park in Hong Kong followed by Ocean Park. It has seven theme parks namely: Main Street, Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, U.S.A., Mystic Point, Toy Story Land and Grizzly Gulch.
I can’t help but smile reminiscing my solo adventure in this theme park. Though I was alone that time, I enjoyed frolicking on rides and attractions. But there were moments I felt sad because I was wishing my family was with me. Anyway, I promised myself I will not get inside Disneyland again without them.
Dayleen, Amie and I set out to our separate getaway for the day. And we started it at Hong Kong Disneyland Resort.
Location: Penny’s Bay, Lantau Island, Hong Kong
Next destination: Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, Ten Thousand Buddhas, Choi Hung Estate, Nan Lian Garden, Chi Lin Nunnery and Wong Tai Sin Temple
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While my office mates will take delight in a fantastic adventure in Hong Kong Disneyland, me, Dayleen and Amie (my friends based in Hong Kong) will bring me to other famous places in the city which I did not visit yet. I felt somewhat guilty because my team will miss this opportunity. But as what has been said, Hong Kong is not complete without Disneyland so I want them to fully enjoy the rides and attractions in this theme park. Anyway, we will be visiting Macau on our third day and Lantau Island on our last day.