Thursday, January 29, 2009

First Day in Hong Kong

     New adventures, new world to explore.  I thought traveling for the first time outside my country would be a great experience but I encountered a bad experience like any other travelers.

     Upon our arrival in Hong Kong International Airport, we lined up to the immigration for visitors.  But one officer ordered us to line up at the last cubicle.  Since we don’t understand her English accent, we just followed her only to find out that the last cubicle was for overseas workers.  We returned at the visitor’s line and we were stopped again by that officer.  That was the time I complained that how come we could not line there since we are all visitors.  Anyway, she apologized for her mistake.

     After the four of us passed the immigration, one of our companions was held.  We waited for her for almost 2 hours.  According to her, they interviewed first the Chinese and Caucasian people even if she came first.  So much hassle, we got really tired and disappointed with their service.

     Before leaving the airport, we bought MTR Tourist Tickets – Airport Express Travel Pass for HKD 220 (includes HKD 50 refundable deposit) for a one way journey.  This is to enjoy unlimited travel on the Island, Tsuen Wan, Kwun Tong, Tseung Kwan O, Tung Chung and Disneyland Resort Lines for 3 days.

     We checked in at Holy Carpenter Guest House located at Dyer Ave., Hung Hom, Kowloon for HKD 450 per night.  You can pay either by cash or credit card.  The guest house is clean, with aircon, with hot and cold shower, with personal ref and with TV.  Staffs are accommodating and can speak English.

     Not to waste our time, we had our lunch at KFC and proceeded to start our adventure.  We went first to Victoria Harbour and stroll around the Wham Poa.  Just with a map on hand (provided free in the airport), we walked our way to Salisbury Road to East Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade to reach the Avenue of the Stars.  At the TST Promenade to the Avenue of the Stars you will be amazed with the HK skyscrapers neon lights.

     A Symphony of Lights takes place nightly at exactly 8PM around Victoria Harbour wherein more than 40 buildings stage a display of flashing lasers, search lights and neon lights choreographed to music and commentary tracing HK’s dynamic history.  The show has been named as the world’s “Largest Permanent Light and Sound Show” by Guinness World Records.

     At the Avenue of the Stars, along Victoria Harbour water front in TST features a HK Film Award statue and over a hundred plaques that honor outstanding film professionals of the HK movie industry like Jackie Chan, Jet Li, Bruce Lee and the like.  You can also see the bronze statue of the legendary kung-fu star Bruce Lee as you stroll along.

     Not far from Avenue of the Stars is the Clock Tower that was once a part of the former Kowloon Canton Railway terminus completed in 1915 and came into operation in 1921 and now a declared monument.  In the mid-1970’s the terminus was resited and the old station demolished, leaving only the Clock Tower.

     Hong Kong Cultural Centre sits next to Victoria Harbour and also a landmark in TST.  Since its opening in 1989, it has been the city’s premier cultural venue offering a wide range of quality performing arts program to the public.

     Just a tip, don’t go there before and after the Symphony of Lights because the place are crowded with tourists.  Though, watching it can be a great experience and even good in photos.

     After seeing the TST highlights, we headed to the nearest MTR station to return in our hotel and have a good night sleep for our next day adventure.

More pictures at the following links below:
Hong Kong Album
HK Disneyland Album
HK Ocean Park Album


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