First Time in Hong Kong
Street Markets, City Views, the Star Ferry, Victoria Peak are some of the thing to look forward when you go Hong Kong.
We booked our trip through STA Travel and flew from Johannesburg on a twelve-hour flight on Cathay Pacific. Zimbabwean Citizens do not need to apply for Visas in advance, for some reason though we were singled out of many travelers and asked several questions before they let us in. So my tip on this is that have your documents ready, ie proof of funds onward ticket out of Hong Kong and hotel accommodation bookings.
Essential things you need.
- Octopus Card which you can buy at the MTR (Mass Transit Railway) Counter at the Airport for HK$150. It has a deposit of HK$50 which you can get back when you return the card, plus whatever else remaining on the card. The Octopus can be used on buses, the MTR, and the Star Ferry, plus you also use it in convenience stores like 7 Eleven.
- Internet Connection – The Hotel provided a “Handy” phone which has unliimted data and we could use to make calls, send messages also tether to our mobile phones
- Download off line Maps on Google
Places we visited
- Garden of Stars
- Tin Hau Temple
- Ladies Market
- Temple Street Market
- Man Mo Temple
- Chin Lin Nunnery
- Nan Lian Garden
- Tian Tan Buddha
- Po Lin Monastery
- Ngong Ping Village
- Macau – The Venetian , The Parisian, City of Dreams, The Wynn Hotel, Macao Museum, Senado Square and Ruins of St Paul’s
- The Peak
- Peak Galleria Mall
- Hong Kong Museum of Space
Modes of Transport we used
- Buses around Kowloon
- Star Ferry to Hong Kong Island and back to Kowloon
- Cotai Water Jet to Macau
- Tram – Joy rides around Hong Island
- Plus a lot of Walking around Kowloon
Taking the Star Ferry was one of the highlights of our trip around Hong Kong. Its an easy and cheap way to travel across to Hong Kong Island from Kowloon and vice versa. #starferry #hk #hongkong #oldmeetsnew #history #hongkong🇭🇰 #travel #travel_captures #travelphotography #travelpics #travelstoke #travelblog #dreamtrips #instapassport #instatraveling
We stayed at the City View Hotel, which is conveniently located on Waterloo Road, just off Nathan Road, and the Yau Ma Tei MTR Station.
Foods we tried
- Dim Sum
- Vegetarian Food at Ngong Ping Villag
- Pork Rib
- Fried Chicken
- Macau egg tart
- Starbucks Coffe
- 7 Eleven meals
After the immigration process and getting our Octopus Cards, we took the bus, to Kowloon, we opted for the bus as this was the cheapest option available. We headed straight to our hotel, which was easy to find as it is located just of Nathan Road. We knew exactly where to drop off, because there is an announcement for each bus stop. As it was still early in the morning we were not able to get to our room as yet, but we completed the necessary paperwork and we left our luggage with the concierge.
We took a walk along Nathan Road and headed towards Tsim Sha Tsui, we were quite anxious to find the Garden of Stars a commemorative place for the Hong Films industry Stars. This is a temporary site, the regular site is the Avenue of Stars which is currently under renovations until possibly the end of 2018. We headed back to our hotel via Macdonald’s in Yau Ma Tei. We ended the day by checking out Ladies Market and Temple Street Market.
My Bruce Lee Pose
We took a bus to the Star Ferry Terminal in Tsim Sha Tsui and rode the Star Ferry to Hong Kong Island , We walked to the Hong Kong Convention Centre, and Victoria Harbour, We hopped on the first Tram we saw, we had no idea where it was going ( it was all very adventurous) At some point we at Man Mo Temple. Later in the day we took the Star Ferry back to Kowloon, and took the bus to Chin Lin Nunnery and Nan Lian Garden.
Day 3 – Day Trip to Lantau Island
One of the Main attractions on Lantau Island is The Big Buddha and Po Lin Monastery . To get get there you can take the MTR to Tung Chung Station, then you can opt to Take the Ngong Ping Cable Car or a Bus from station. We opted for the bus, it takes a little longer than the Cable Car, but you get to save a few bucks. The Big Buddha or Tian Tan Buddha is a 34 metre high Statue, it takes 260 steps to get to the top where the Buddha sits.
After the Climb to the top and back we had a vegetarian lunch at the Po Lin Monastery. We ended the day by hanging around Tsim Sha Tsui and waiting for the Symphony of Lights. Every night at 8.00 you can watch the Symphony of Lights which is best watched from the Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade.
Day 4 – Day Trip to Macau
Although we wanted to take the Turbo Jet to Macau, we somehow ended up with Cotai Water Jet tickets, (I have heard the only difference is the colour , It seems most people like to Red Turbo Jet compared to the Blue Cotai Water Jet.) . Since you are technically entering another country, you may need a visa to enter Macau. Zimbabwean Citizens need a visa to enter Macau, and you can get a Visa on Arrival which costs MOP$100 or HK$100. At the Ferry Terminal you can get a complimentary Shuttle buses to The Venetian Macao, City of Dreams, Grand Lisboa Casinos and hotels. We got to Macau late in the afternoon, so visited just a few places, The Venetian was on top of our list so we didn’t miss this, other places we visited were The Ruins of St Paul’s and the City of Dreams and Wynn Hotel.
The Peak – the highest point in Hong Kong and on to the best places to visit in the city. Of all the days on our trip, we chose to go The Peak on day that was overcast and rainy, we had not choice as this was our last day in the City. Still we were confident that we would have a great time. This time we felt more confident to use the MTR, to Hong Kong Island. There are two options you can use to get to the Peak, The Peak Tram or a Bus. Obviously you pay more of the Peak Tram, taking the bus was option we were used to. even then the views as you go up to the peak are amazing. When we got to the top, even though it was overcast the views of Hong Kong;s many skyscrapers was still very amazing. By the time we got back to Central, it was raining heavily, so we were unable to go up to the IFC Observation deck as we had planned, we took the Star Ferry back to Kowloon and visited the Hong Space Museum instead.
Our Flight out of Hong Kong was early in the morning, so checked out early and took the bus to the Airport. We returned our Octopus Cards and got our refunded the remaining balance plus the deposit.
I truly enjoyed the trip to Hong Kong, its a place I would love to visit again. Some tips that I have for anyone wanting to visit is to be prepared to walk – a lot and also it is always best to get to attractions as early as possible.