Backpacking Hong Kong and Macau
November 26, 2012
Before we started our final full day in Hong Kong, we reheat the chicken from KFC and ate them with the bread we brought from 7-eleven. It was still drizzling that day but we were determined to visit our final list of destinations – Ngong Ping, Avenue of the Stars and Mongkok.
Since we already used HKD100.4 in our Octopus card (Stored value is HKD100 but you can have negative only for the excess of the last transaction), we reloaded our cards by using the machines they have at the train stations. The smallest amount that you can reload is HKD50. If the machine won’t work, you can also go to their service counters.
After reloading our cards, we rode the train going to Tsuen wan (red line) and alighted at Lai King. Then we transferred to the Tung Chung (orange) line and alighted at the Tung Chung station (HKD14.9).
We arrived very early and it was still drizzling so we went to the Citygate Outlets first. It was also one of the places Mel was very excited to visit. We wanted to buy clothes so we went to the mall. It was indeed full of outlet shops but I noticed that the prices were still expensive. The only store that I liked was the Taste Supermarket. Aside from local products from Chinese countries like HK, Mainland China, Macau and Taiwan, there were items from other countries like Japan, South Korea, US and Australia.
We found a lot of chocolates, beef jerky, biscuits, and candies. I really wanted to buy the jelly beans with dispenser but it was bulky. In the end, we were able to buy big Cadbury bars for HKD27 each.
After visiting most of the shops, we ate our early lunch at McDonald’s. I liked McDonald’s in HK because the servings were bigger than here in the Philippines. The smallest size was actually the medium size here but the prices were the same and even cheaper for some. I bought Big Mac meal for HKD21 . The only downside of the store – they do not sell rice meals and spaghetti. (But I think they have recently introduced rice in their meals. Yehey!)
Before leaving the mall, I decided to withdraw money using my BDO mastercard ATM card. I really wanted to try if my international card will work. And it worked! I withdrew HKD200. I also tried my BPI card but it did not work. I later read that I still need to activate it in the Philippines. But anyway, my first international ATM withdrawal worked. Success!
Then we proceeded to Starbucks to buy HK tumbler for my friend. The tumbler costed HKD103 and it came with free tall hot coffee(Original price: HKD29); very good for the cold weather.
Then we went to the Ngong Ping Cable Car Station. It was just at the back of the mall. There were many people already so we waited for almost an hour. One of the picture worthy spots there was the stairs going to the station since it was painted with the word “Welcome” in different languages. Of course we found the Filipino translation which is “Maligayang Pagdating”.
There were many people from different countries that day. There were 2 ladies that even talked to us to take their photo. We thought they also wanted to befriend us because they kept on looking at us. However, our turn came and we were called at the ticket counter already.
We presented the tickets for we bought at Yiu fai for HKD100 each. Then the staff asked for our passports. Ngong Ping village is located in Lantau Island so I think it was necessary for us to show our passports.
The flight was roughly an hour. I was hoping to enjoy the view of the islands and mountains but it was very foggy. So we ended up chatting our way to Lantau Island.
When we arrived at the island, it was also very foggy there and still drizzling. We almost bought raincoats but then decided to pass. It was a bit pricey and some people were actually touring without rain gears.
Then we went directly to the decorations and shops. There were many souvenir stores and restaurants. There were also a lot of decorations depicting the Lantau island culture like boating, agriculture and traditional wedding. There was also a “Walking with Buddha” show but we decided not to watch. It has an additional fee.
There was also a village directory so you will be guided on what you will see in the island especially in Ngong Ping Village.
It was crazy foggy in the village. We had to continue walking to see what were out there. We saw different statues and passed by the Ngong Ping Piazza.
Then we went to the Tian Tan Buddha – one of the must-see places in HK. We had to climb 268 steps before we reached the top. We barely even saw the statue while climbing because of the fog. At the top, we were able to see a good view of the island and the South China Sea. There were also galleries and souvenir shops inside.
We also went to the Po Lin Monastery and visited more shops before we decided to leave the island and went back to Tung Chung. There were actually more places to visit in Lantau Island. You could try the Ngong Ping 360 for additional tours like visiting fishing villages and other cultural heritage spots.
After arriving at Tung Chung, we rode the train back to TST. While riding the train, we saw some students offering their seats to the elderly. One of the good things I saw in HK (and also in Macau). They showed respect to old people.
We also passed by the Okashi Land shore which was selling sweets like candies and chocolates. I bought Meltykiss chocolates, assorted nuts and small little bread with custard filling for HKD145. Since it was getting late already, we went back to our guesthouse to rest for a while before watching the Lights and Sounds show at the Avenue of the Stars.
While waiting for the show, we saw a small store selling grilled squid for HKD10. It was one of the tastiest food I have tasted in HK. We also walked the whole avenue to see other attractions and figures. There were also a lot of people waiting for the show.
After watching the Lights and Sounds show, we decided to walk along Salisbury road and saw the Clock tower. We also went to Canton Road where we found more high-end stores like LV, Prada and H&M. We decided to get inside H&M and look for clothes. In the end, I was able to buy one shirt for HKD49.90.
I also bought 3 mini perfume bottles at Bonjour. Price range: HKD35-60.
After visiting the more expensive shops, we rode the train to Mongkok (HKD4.9) and headed to Ladies Market and Sneakers street. It was the most horrible experience I had in Hong Kong. The salesladies were not nice. I had to haggle for a long time before I got a good bargain. Luckily I was able to read other blogs about souvenir shopping in Mongkok so I had an idea of people’s behavior and the prices of “pasalubongs”. I bought 6 tshirts for HKD100, a magnet for HKD35 and a keychain for HKD15.
We were very disappointed with the experience so we ended our shopping early. We went to McDonald’s to buy our dinner (McSpicy Chicken fillet meal – HKD31.80) then headed back to our room.
My Hong Kong experience was one of the best trips I had. Although HK was already flocked by tourists and many people can already speak English, there were still a lot of culture differences. I really enjoyed the weather, the unending shops, and the ambiance. I will surely come back to HK!
HKD50 Octopus card Reload (Less HKD14.9 train from TST to Tung Chung; HKD14.9 from Tung Chung to TST; HKD4.9 TST to Mongkok; HKD4.9 Mongkok to TST)
HKD100 Ngong Ping cable car
HKD21 Lunch at McDonald’s
HKD10 Grilled squid
HKD 49.90 H&M Tshirt
HKD136 3 perfumes from Bonjour
HKD150 Tshirts, keychain and magnet
HKD31.80 Dinner at McDonald’s