Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Our First Day Exploit - Hong Kong / Shenzhen / Macau Family Trip

What more a Dad can ask for if his eldest son was included on top 10 of recently held Marketing Professional certification exam while passing his Business Administration course with flying colors.

Due to this, as a reward to his effort, we decided to return back to Hong Kong and this time with side trips to Shenzhen and Macau. Disneyland and Ocean Park were not included anymore in our itinerary so as to maximize our sight-seeing in Hong Kong. The trip would last for 6D/5N and would cost me my last year's entire performance bonus and a dip in our savings, lol.

We left for Hong Kong on 21st of April from Clark Airport. Sad to say, we can't bring our beloved family car with us so we left her for 5 nights at Clark's Park N Fly.

Our flight from Clark was around 7 AM thus we left our home at exactly 3 AM. Due to excitement, our kids didn't sleep and simply waited until the time we need to leave our home. The travel to Clark was a breeze; we grabbed a quick breakfast at a 24 hour Jollibee outlet outside the Main Gate of Clark Freeport Zone.

We arrived in Hong Kong Airport at past 9 AM and as planned we did the following:

* Proceeded to CTS counter at A04 (take the leftmost exit upon retrieving your luggage). We bought 5 vouchers for Ngong Ping at 135 HKD per person standard cabin round-trip. Don't forget this step in case you plan to visit Ngong Ping. The voucher would allow you to bypass the long queue at Ngong Ping ticket counter. However, you still need to exchange the voucher into ticket in a separate window or counter. Better yet, ask immediately any roaming NP staff where to exchange your NP voucher so you won't waste your time in a wrong queue.
* Bought 5 Octopus cards at 150 HKD each from the MTR counter.
* Bought a local SIM card at 7-11 for 60 HKD

Since our hotel was in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong Island, we took the Urban Taxi (red color) from the airport. The actual fare was 242 HKD plus 80 HKD for toll fee and 20 HKD for our 2 big luggages. Considering that we were 5 in our group, the 342 HKD fare was reasonable since the taxi brought us directly in front of our hotel. Be aware though that you need to show beforehand to both airport taxi dispatcher and taxi driver the hotel address in Chinese characters.

Iron Man at Hysan Place

We arrived at Minihotel, Causeway Bay at lunch time. Since our room wasn't available yet, we left our luggage and strolled at nearby Times Square Plaza and had our lunch at McDonald's. We visited Victoria Park as well. We noticed that most domestic helpers spending their day-offs at VP were from Indonesia; this place used to be crowded with our "kabayans" during Sunday many years back. It is likely that they have a new place to spend their weekly day-offs.

We checked in at 2 PM; after settling down we raced to World Wide Plaza at Central by Ding Ding Tram from Causeway Bay; we plan to visit Shenzhen, China thus we need to arrange our trip with a local tour agency since we were not able to apply for China visa in Philippines. Moreover, travelling by Tram while at the upper deck was a thrilling experience for the entire family. It was like watching a movie about the daily lives of Hong Kong residents. We alighted at Peddler Street and paid 2.30 HKD each using Octopus card.

"Kabayans" at World Wide Plaza

"kabayans" lining up the hallways
Pinoy foods on sale inside WWP

We saw World Wide Plaza at the other corner of the intersection. Being Sunday, it came as no surprise when we saw ant-like numbers of our "kabayans" in and around WWP. So this is where our "kabayans" are spending their day-offs. You can see them occupying even the side street of WWP. Entering the building was an arduous task for us due to crowded hallways. It was pretty difficult as well to reach the 3rd floor where the travel and tour agencies are located.

We searched for a tour agency that can arrange for a trip to Shenzhen, China. Our itinerary was actually flexible; we can either go to Shenzhen or Macau on the following day depending on the release of our Shenzhen visa. Fortunately, we found one small tour agency being managed by Filipinas that was able to arrange our Shenzhen trip the following day. The price of our Shenzhen tour was 350 HKD each inclusive of lunch, transportation (Shenzhen only) and guided tour. More details of our Shenzhen tour on our Second Day Exploit.

After closing the deal for our Shenzhen tour we took our snack at nearby Chee Kei. Initially, my kids wanted to eat at Jollibee. They were caught by "homesickness frenzy" by our "kabayans" lining up the small Jollibee outlet at the back of WWP. Wife raised her voice and the kids returned back to their senses, lol. Family ordered Wanton Noodles while I enjoyed Mushroom Noodles. They found the noodles quite firm compared with our own "pinoy" style noodles. Nevertheless, they enjoyed the experience especially when they noticed that the menu was "para sa mga pinoy" during Sunday and Holidays. Indeed, we noticed plenty of our "kabayans" dining at Chee Kei.

On our way to Star Ferry Pier

After a filling snack, we followed the Star Ferry street sign. After around 30 minutes of walking on elevated footbridge we arrived at the pier. Trust me, you won't get lost when searching for Star Ferry pier while in Central, Hong Kong.

We selected the upper deck and paid 3.40 HKD by Octopus card.

The entire trip was unforgettable for all of us since it was our first time to ride Star Ferry.

We disembarked at Harbour City, Kowloon and after spending 30 minutes inside we opted to visit the nearby Old Clock Tower. The view from here was stunning. In addition, the sea breeze would surely enliven and reinvigorate your tired body. Fortunately it was a cloudy afternoon thus it was bearable to stay outside and exposed to Hong Kong's summer temperature.

Elevated view deck at the Old Clock Tower

We stayed here for an hour before we called it a day. We paid a visit at nearby Cafe De Coral for our dinner before returning back to our hotel by MTR. We need to take rest and do some preparations since we would be travelling to Shenzhen the following day.

Though that was our first day, we had several first time activities in Hong Kong making this family trip another memorable event for all of us.

For our Shenzhen exploit: Our Second Day Exploit - Shenzhen


  1. Hi there! I saw your post while searching on the best way to use tram as our mode of transpo in hk. I would like to ask if you still have the name of the travel agent and if they are located at WWP. thank you.

    1. The name of the tour agent is Destiny Tours..please check my second day exploit post to know more....just click the link below this post...