Christmas in Bangkok is something that I do every year, so this time around, I figured I should go somewhere for New Year’s. So before the start of 2013, I packed my warm clothes as I braced myself for a winter week in Hong Kong.
It was 8 degrees low when I landed in the city of skyscrapers. Having grown up in hot and humid Manila, and traveled around Thailand, I have always been thrilled by the thought of walks in cold climates and wearing layers of clothing. This is a chance to wear clothes I have not worn for ages! As excited as I may sound, yes, it’s the simple things that count!
Before coming to Hong Kong, we took the time to plan our trip ahead of time. Beyond the arrival gates, we needed to take Bus Number E34 to our hotel, which is located a bit far away in Tin Shui Wai, New Territories. It was an easy and comfortable ride on the Airport Bus, and its terminus was in Ginza, Tin Shui Wai just next to our hotel. After check-in, my first evening was spent exploring the park and shopping mall around my hotel and finding good food was my object of the evening.
It was my first time in Hong Kong so I had to be “touristy”. And I also can’t help but compare prices in Bangkok. There are some Hong Kong restaurant chains like Cafe de Coral and Fairwood which is about the same price as in Bangkok’s Black Canyon or S&P Restaurant chains.
Some things in Hong Kong are cheaper than Bangkok, such as imported chocolates (my guilty pleasure). Oh, why did God make chocolates when all it does is make you feel twice as bad after eating it?
And everything else is more expensive in Hong Kong.
On the second day, we headed to Central and took the double-decker bus to The Peak. The uphill trip on a big bus along the narrow and winding Peak Road rivals any theme park ride. But the panoramic views from The Peak overlooking Victoria Harbour is truly worth it. After the cold walk on Lugard Road which circuits The Peak and enough spectacular shots of Hong Kong, we decided it was time to head down. We took The Peak Tram back to Central which is a quick 5-minute ride down hill.
From the tram’s lower terminus, we walked around Central and into the pier to catch the Star Ferry to Kowloon. As it was sunset, the views of the harbour and the Hong Kong skyline was amazing.
Perhaps, one of our time and energy wasters in Hong Kong was finding a good yet reasonably priced restaurant. It’s not like Bangkok where you easily find good eats. Well, I suppose it takes time to know all these places and suffice to say I know my way around Bangkok.
Day 1-2: Central, The Peak, New Year’s Countdown
Day 3: Big Buddha, Ngong Ping and Lantau Island
Day 4: Hong Kong Museum of Arts, Hong Kong Space Museum, Temple St. Night Market, Nan Lian Gardens
Day 5: Macau
Day 6: Stanley Market, Causeway Bay and Lan Kwai Fong
Day 7: Hotel Area (Tin Shui Wai) and the New Territories
At the end of Day 7, its time to face reality and go back to Thailand. The New Year’s celebration is over and the next New Year’s celebration I’ll definitely be looking forward to is the Thai New Year (Songkran).
As much as I love traveling in and around Thailand, I found equally lovable things in Hong Kong and if there was one thing I could bring home, it would undoubtedly be the cold winter weather!
How about you? How was your experience in these two cities? Please let me know by leaving a comment below.
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