I started writing this while in Wan Chai on Hong Kong island, while passing time until we have to check out. We’re not flying out yet; we’re just moving to another hotel — Disneyland Hotel.
Along with Ferdz and Oggie, we’ll be meeting the other Nuffnangers from Malaysia and Singapore to discover, explore and experience the magic of Hong Kong Disneyland.
We’re lucky enough to get one and a half days to explore Hong Kong on our own. Since Friday afternoon, we’ve been familiarizing ourselves with Hong Kong’s neighborhoods, trying out the transport system and eating great Cantonese meals.
Autumn in Hong Kong is wonderful. The sun is out and shining against a brilliant blue sky, yet the temperature remains in the 20’s with an occasional chilly breeze. Perfect weather for boots and other wintery outfits Filipinos seems all too fond of, but can’t wear without looking like a complete idiot in the Philippines.
Going around the city was also easier than I initially thought. Last time I was here, I was reliant on my host and just followed him. By nature, I’m dependent on trains to get around, but so far, I’ve only ridden the MTR once. Armed with a city map (free from the airport and hotels) an Octopus card, and advise from guidebooks, we were able to go around Hong Kong island and cross to the shopping areas in Mongkok.
Hong Kong is by no means a cheap destination, but traveling on a budget is still possible. As with all trips, you have to manage your expectations. Land is very expensive in Hong Kong, so expect rooms to be miniscule compared to rooms you’d get for the same price in Southeast Asia. However, if it’s good food you’re after, you can get your money’s worth in Hong Kong, and you don’t even have to spend too much. One of our cheapest, best value meals are from this roast place near our hotel. For HK$16, you can get a heaping serving of rice and two kinds of roasts, served with a side of chopped greens. We were even able to eat at two Michellin restaurants for an average of HK$50 per person.
Sightseeing can also be cheap. The Symphony of Lights, a light show featuring Hong Kong’s iconic skyscrapers “performing” to music is free. Visit to temples are likewise free, while museums are also free admission every Wednesday. The only trouble you’ll probably come across would be the shopping. Hong Kong is all about shopping and it’s hard to find a street wherein nothing was being sold. There are great deals to made made though; electronics and lenses can sometimes be half the price from Manila’s.
Hong Kong may seem small, but it’s actually bigger than you’d think. One and a half days (on a very leisurely pace) is not enough to see everything this small country has to offer.
This post was posted while on the Airport Bus. Yay for free wi-fi!