I was in Hong Kong last December 6-10 and it was my first time to visit HK. It was also my first time to travel alone. I’ve been to Singapore and Thailand before but with my classmates back in College, so my Hong Kong trip was really different and even more exciting.
Weeks before my flight, I started filling my itinerary with names of shops, museums, and some interesting places to go. I also got some tips from Mom and Dad, who travelled to Hong Kong a few times already, on where to stay and where to dine. Planning ahead really helped me not to miss some exciting places in Hong Kong. Plus, it also helped me maximized my stay.
At the Airport
When our plane landed in Hong Kong, the first thing I did was had my dollar exchanged to the local currency. I ended up having some regrets. I later realized that the conversion inside the airport was pretty low.
Tip 1: Don’t have your dollars exchanged inside the airport. If you really need some Hong Kong dollars, just bring out a small amount to be exchanged.
Tip 2: Grab yourself a Map. It’s for free!
I learned the map thing when I was in Thailand. The HK map was really helpful and easy to use. It even has some markings on where to find the shopping districts and tourist attractions.
After getting my map, I bought myself an Octopus Card. It’s a card that you can use for MTR, trains, and other things. Then I searched for the bus terminus and rode A21, bound for Tsim Sha Tsui.
Tip 3: The Airport Express and Taxis are pricey. I suggest you find your bus code online and take the bus. It even gave me a chance to see some beautiful places in HK.
Day 1: Where to Stay, Eat, and Go
I remember my Mom telling me not to book an expensive hotel because I won’t be staying inside most of the time. I can’t agree more; I only used my room to keep my things, take showers, and sleep.
Since I did not book any room at all, I ended up searching one place to another. I wasn’t looking for a hotel then; I was looking for a guest house.
I finally had a room at a certain guest house in Mirador Mansion. There were also guest houses in Chungking Mansion which is a block away, but I decided to stay in Mirador instead for HKD 300 a night. Mirador is situated right at the center of Tsim Sha Tsui, one of the busiest shopping district in HK.
The room was just simple, clean, air-conditioned, and it looks safe.
Tip 4: I’ve seen a lot of British, Japanese, and American staying in Mirador Mansion guest houses. Find HK guest houses online and book it. You don’t need an expensive hotel to enjoy Hong Kong.
Where to eat? I actually had a problem filling my empty stomach since I don’t eat fish and vegetable. I am not even a fan of Chinese cuisine. I’m glad to find some coffee shops, pastry shops, and fast foods in HK. I even ate at McDonalds and KFC for a few times. There are some products in KFC that can’t be found in the Philippines so I ended up ordering their Flava Crava Chicken (My favorite!) and Chocolate Egg Tart.
But if you are not as complicated as I am, you can try some Chinese Restaurants along the streets of Hong Kong. They serve authentic Chinese cuisines and they are a lot affordable compare to those huge restaurants that serves the same thing.
But if you are really into restaurants, try visiting “The One Mall” along Tsim Sha Tsui, Nathan Road. Aside from being a great shopping mall, the building houses lots of restaurants.
Most notable ones are: Harlan’s, Star of Canton, and Joyous One. And even Happy Lemon and MiO MiKO sweets.
After eating, I walked along Tsim Sha Tsui towards the Hong Kong Museum of Art. I was even lucky enough to find a new friend there. He’s a German guy, travelling along just like me.
Having a new friend with me, we decided to spend the evening at the Avenue of Stars while drinking our expensive cups of Starbucks Coffee.
Tip 5: Make sure to be at the Avenue of Stars before 8:00 PM so you can choose the best place to watch “A Symphony of Lights”. Also, try to find the hand prints of Jackie Chan and Jet Li.
(To be continued)