Thursday, January 29, 2009

Hong Kong: Thrills and Fun

     Last September 7-9, 2008, we used all our energy for everyday whole day of fun, thrills, and adventure in Hong Kong.  So many attractions to see, to dine and shop.

     First stop is Hong Kong Ocean Park.  The land area is so big that we were not able to check some other rides.
     To my surprise I bumped with my cousins and nephews.  I had no idea that they will be in Hong Kong too!  I also saw my officemate and celebrities Alex Crisano and Ethel Booba.  We left the Ocean Park at around 6PM and proceeded to our next trip at The Peak.

     The following day we shopped at Citygate.  In the evening, at Temple Market and Jade Market.  We became a shopaholic in two days because of Hong Kong Summer Sale great discounts.

     On our last day, we went to Disneyland Resort for a fun and magical experience.  Then, we headed to Macau via ferry boat that night.

     Here are the details of the places we have been to.

Ocean Park

     Visitors can take the Citybus route 629 at the Admiralty MTR Station or Central Pier No. 7 in Central directly to the Park entrance.  Bus fare can be paid by cash (prepare an exact amount because they don’t give a change) or by octopus.

     Admission for adult is HKD 208 and for children (aged 3-11) is HKD 103.  Free entry for children below 3 and for aged 65 or above with Hong Kong ID card.

     Ocean Park is one of the world’s acclaimed marine mammal and sea life theme park providing entertainment with emphasis on education and conservation.  Located at the southern side of Hong Kong Island, it provides fun and joy to millions of guests a year.

     Be awed by spectacular panoramic seascapes from their famous colorful cable cars, savour bird’s eye view of the park from 100 meters up of their SkyFair giant helium balloon, or ride up the Oceans Tower to see the whole park from above.

     Ocean Park rides offer breathtaking thrills and spills at every twist and turn!  Descend 60 meters in a split second on The Abyss turbo drop.  The awesome Dragon roller coaster will hurl you at a highest speed.  The runaway Mine Train and Raging River are the other rides you’ll want to experience again and again.

     See the cute sea lions and harbour seals at Pacific Pier.  Experience up close and personal the fiersome sharks, manta rays, turtles, jack fishes, and some other marine species at the Chinese Sturgeon.

     At the Sea Jelly Spectacular, discover over 1000 different kinds of jellyfish swimming, growing and glowing.

     Ocean theater is the place where the lovely dolphins and sea lions show off their amazing talents.

     Meet Lele and Ying Ying, the two adorable young giant pandas.

     Overall a splashing mix of thrilling action and fun.

The Peak

     The Peak Tram, inaugurated in 1888, is one of the most enduring emblems of Hong Kong’s unique history.  During the 7 minutes ride to the top, buildings outside are on a 27-degree angle.

     The Tramway was officially opened by the Governor, Sir William Des Voeux in May 1888.  The wooden trams haulage system was powered by coal fired steam boilers.

     From electric powered tram that can carry 52 passengers in 1926, 62 seats in 1948 and 72 seats in 1959, a significant modernization of the system was undertaken, introducing microprocessor control technology and brand new tramcars can now carry 120 passengers.

     At the Peak, you can find The Peak Tower, with its iconic wok-like top, offers a dazzling array of restaurants, shops, and as well as spectacular views over the city from The Peak Terrace, best viewed in the evening.

     And be sure to drop by Madame Tussauds, open from 10AM-10PM daily for an engrossing interactive entertainment experience.

Getting there: MTR Central Station Exit J2, take the Peak Tram from the Lower Peak Tram Terminus on Garden Road.

Shopping Madness


     Since the opening of HK International Airport at Chek Lap Kok in 1998, Tung Chung has been transformed from a traditional fishing village to a new town featuring attractions like Citygate Outlets and direct access to Ngong Ping 360 cable car leading up to the Giant Buddha and other mountain top attractions.  So sad, we don’t have much time, we were not able to visit Nong Ping 360.

     Citygate Outlets is the first outlet mall in Hong Kong that shoppers should not miss.  Here you will find over 40 international labels such as Esprit, Adidas, Armani, Giordano, and many more offering a year-round 30% to 70% discounts.

Getting there: MTR Tung Chung Station Exit C

Temple Market

     Temple Street is also called Men’s Street.  Every evening, visitors swarm into this night market where cheap merchandise is laid out on street stalls.  Fortune tellers can also be found near the Tin Hau Temple.  You can also try the local delicacies at the eateries and open-air stalls.

Jade Market

     Jade of all types, shapes, sizes and prices can be found in Jade Street, not that far from Temple Street.  This is a fun place to browse and buy a cheap memento, but think twice about buying anything costly unless you are a jade expert.  Jade and gemstones testing is available at Jade Plaza.

Getting there: MTR Jordan Station Exit A.  Turn right into Jordan Road and walk three blocks to Temple Street

Disneyland Hong Kong

      At Hong Kong Disneyland the excitement never stops with a series of shows and entertainment to fill your calendar for a whole year!  All the stars come out to play for Disney On Parade while all the stars in the sky are the backdrop for “Disney in the Stars” fireworks display.

     From the sheer exhilaration that comes from riding Space Mountain, or the fun and games of Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, there’s not a moment to be missed.

     With a journey that begins with a ride on the HK Disneyland Railroad at Main Street, U.S.A., you step into a sequence of whirlwind adventures that don’t slow down from the start to finish.

     Of course your Disneyland experience will not be completed without meeting the much beloved Disney friends in person.  Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, Chip ‘n Dale, Winnie the Pooh, Buzz Lightyear.  Just to name a few.  You can catch them on stage during performances at Disney on Parade and at their favorite hang-out the worlds only Fantasy Gardens.

     Experience all-new interactive fun at the park with ultra high energy show High School Musical: Live!  The dazzling boat ride will take you an imaginative journey through splendid landmarks from numerous countries.

     Now during the fun filled extravaganza day, be sure to make some time to shop into the Emporium in Main Street, U.S.A.  This is a souvenir shopping trip, with unique selection of Disneyland gifts and souvenirs that are specifically designed only for HK Disneyland.

     So gather your family and friends and immerse in an exciting vacation experience.  Tickets can be purchased at HK Disneyland Main Entrance Ticket Booth or at HK Disneyland Ticket Express at MTR Station Tung Chung concourse.

Getting there: MTR Sunny Bay Station, interchange station to Disneyland Resort Station

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