Off we go to Hong Kong aboard Cebu Pacific from the Diosdado Macapagal Airport at Clark. While booking my tickets online, I checked the Lite Fare option which was a mistake since I wouldn’t be able to check in bags. It wouldn’t be an issue flying to Hong Kong since we decided to bring smaller sized bags. But we plan on shopping, we need to check in extra luggage on our return. I will tell you more about that later.
After arriving in Hong Kong and going through immigration, we took the Airport Express which was just right outside the exit. They had a customer service counter where you can buy the tickets from. There is a group discount promotion which I found at their website. It costs about HK$40 less than the regular price for 2. It will be less if you had more people in your group. We also got our Octopus cards from here which I highly recommend if you plan on going around Hong Kong. The Airport Express ride was fast and convenient. I considered taking the bus but I had no clue where the stop is although my hotel sent me information about it. I’m just glad we didn’t take the bus or we would have been so lost. After arriving at the Kowloon Station, we took the free shuttle to the hotel. This is a great service. Check if your hotel is included on the list.
We stayed at the City View Hotel at Yau Ma Tei. We arrived early at around 11am and they didn’t have any available rooms yet so we were asked to come back at noon. We left our bags at the concierge desk and we decided to get lunch and check out where the Ladies Market was. I knew it was just a couple of blocks away from our hotel from what I read. We passed by outlet shops and we actually bought a few pieces before returning to the hotel.
Check in was fast and easy. I read a few reviews on the hotel saying that it was too small. I thought it was sufficient for Hong Kong. We had a lot of extra room for our luggage. Our room was kept clean and supplies were refilled. I even asked for an adaptor for my cellphone charger through Housekeeping and they sent it to the room in just a few minutes. I booked the hotel because of the price and the good reviews on it. I would definitely return and recommend it. I knew it had facilities like a gym and a swimming pool but I didn’t get to explore the hotel since we only had 4 days in Hong Kong and we only used the hotel to change, rest, shower and sleep in so we were hardly in it.
After a couple minutes of rest, we went off to shop at the Ladies Market.
There are a lot of things you could get here from clothes, souveneirs, bags, etc. Bargaining is a must. Do it for experience or to simply get a better deal. Compare prices. Don’t buy the first thing you see. We got shirts that were 5 for HK$100 (about US$15) compared to others who sell it for 4 for HK$100. There are also plenty of stores and restaurants on the sidestreets.
After dropping off our loot at our hotel room and resting a little, we took the MRT at Yau Ma Tei station which is just around the corner from our hotel using our Octoups cards which is so convenient, you won’t have to buy your tickets everytime. Just slide your card on the scanner. We stopped at Tsim Sha Tsui station and decided to drop by Granville Road on our way to the Avenue of the Stars. It had an array of shops. I found this adorable skirt at one of the shops. It was a HK$100. We also passed by this store that sold toilletries but mostly perfumes. There were a lot of locals buying. I bought a Kenzo Flower perfume for about HK$100. It’s a tester but who cares?! It’s the same scent. It usually retails for US$60. It’s a bargain. I know. There are a few things I regret not buying. A good excuse to come back eh?
We couldn’t find our way so we hailed a taxi to go to the Avenue of the Stars which I even showed the name in Chinese on my Lonely Planet guidebook. He didn’t know where it was, he phoned the dispatcher who spoke a little english. After a while, we finally agreed on Star Ferry which is next to it. So, if you take a taxi to the Avenue of the Stars, tell the driver you’re going to Star Ferry instead. It’s the perfect stop since you will pass by the Clock Tower on your way to the Avenue of the Stars. We were there to watch the symphony of lights which starts at 8pm. We had plenty of time to walk around and take pictures and get dinner from McDonald’s. :)
After the show, we went back to Yau Ma Tei, had dinner and that was our first day in Hong Kong.