A Travellerspoint blog

Hong Kong

Hong Kong - Shenzhen

Here You Leave Today And Enter The World Of Yesterday, Tomorrow And Fantasy

22 °C
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Monday (10/12/2007) It was a two and a half hours flight from Brunei to Hong Kong. We were expecting it to be cold since it is mild winter (22 degrees celcius) there but instead of feeling cool like in an air con room, I still felt hot and sweaty after walking a while and wearing a thin fleece jacket whereas most Hong Kong people were wearing a jacket and they still felt cold So, I only wore a thin long sleeve turtleneck shirt which I still had to roll up the sleeves to feel cool. So much for winter LOL!

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Anyway, we stayed at Metropark Hotel in Mongkok which is only a few minutes walk from the MTR station. The room's not too bad considering that space is very precious in Hong Kong because it's bigger than the one we stayed in Singapore. They even gave us complimentary fruits when we checked in but unfortunately, all of the fruits weren't ripe yet. Then we went upwards from our hotel to check out the Ladies Market. There were lots of boots, winter jackets, clothes, shoes and fruits on sell. After having dinner, we went downwards along Nathan Road towards Tsim Sha Tsui. It was a very, very long walk but we saw a lot of people, streets, shops and side lanes. We even managed to check out part of the Temple Street which was full of tourists.

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Tuesday (11/12/2007) Our plan for today was to go to Victoria Peak. In order to do so, we had to take the MTR from our hotel to Tsim Sha Tsui and walked quite a distance before we reached to the Star Ferry Pier. It was so windy and cool there. In front of Harbour City, there were lots of Christmas decorations. The Star Ferry was an interesting ride and took only a few minutes to reach from Kowloon to Hong Kong Island. The upper deck cost HK$2.20 per person whereas the lower deck cost cheaper. On reaching the central pier of Hong Kong Island, we had to find Bus #15C because it will drive all the way to the Peak Terminus for us to board the Peak Tram. The ride was interesting because we sat on the top so we were surrounded by skyscrapers. However, on the Peak terminus, the queue to buy the Peak Tram ticket was so long that it went around the fountain. Fortunately for us, we were getting the 3-in-1 ticket that includes the Madame Tussauds' ticket, Peak tram and the Skypass so we didn't have to follow the long queue at all since there was another counter selling this ticket. The gradient of the Peak Tram was so steep that it was sort of scary when the tram stop midway two times but it was also fun because we get to see Hong Kong Island at an angle.

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We went up to the very top floor first (skypass) where we were able to see the whole of Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. Not only was it hot because of the noon time sun but it was also windy at the same time. After that, we went to Madame Tussauds where we saw famous actors, actresses, singers, presidents and even sportsmen. We also went around some of the shops and I managed to find a doll representing Hong Kong which I did not see in China nor Singapore. By night time, we went back to Kowloon via ferry again and this time, we went to the Star Of Avenue where they have hand prints of famous Hong Kong actors, actresses like Michelle Yeoh, singers and John Woo, the director. Then exactly at 8pm every night, they have the symphony of lights show shown from the skyscrapers on the Hong Kong Island.

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Wednesday (12/12/2007) Today, we spent the whole day at Hong Kong's Disneyland. It cost HK$18 to reach there by MTR and fortunately, it wasn't crowded. However, it was a different story inside Disneyland itself. People were queuing up in Mainstreet USA to take photos with Disney characters like Mickey and Minnie mouse, Chip and Dale and Donald and Daidy duck. If you haven't been to a Disneyland or seen real life Disney character mascots, even an adult can act like a kid, happily lining up just to get a shot with the character. Mickey and Minnie mouse was a popular spot for kids and adults so we had to miss that out or else we would have to stand out under the sun for quite a while before it was our turn.

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We went around Adventureland first and managed to go for a jungle river cruise which was interesting and fun at the same time. Then we went to Fantasyland and there was where we managed to secure a spot to see the Let It Snow Christmas parade up front. Finally, we went to Tomorrowland and tried Orbitron, Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters and Space Mountain. It's like becoming kids once again when you're in Disneyland but the scariest one is the Space Mountain. My God! Even though I've ride on roller coasters before, it's very scary to sit on a very fast roller coaster in the dark, feeling the strong G force throwing you to one side and not knowing what will happen next.

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The light up on Sleeping Beauty's castle started at 6pm with Mickey Mouse directing which part of the castle to light up and that was much better than the Symphony Of Lights in Hong Kong Island. The finale of the show was the beautiful fireworks which started at 8pm and from the place where we were standing which was more than 20m away, we could actually feel the heat of the fire. It was worth the wait anyway. The most romantic moment however, was watching a marriage proposal of a young couple after they took photos with Winnie The Pooh while we were queuing up to take photos with Mickey Mouse.

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Thursday (13/12/2007) We had to check out of the hotel early today to catch a train to Shenzhen. From the Kowloon Tong MTR station to Lo Wu station, it cost us HK$33. It took more than 30 minutes to reach to Lo Wu Station. After passing the Hong Kong immigration, we had to walk a few minutes to reach the China immigration before we were officially in China. Fortunately because it was still a working day, there wasn't much queue in both immigrations. Finding the MTR station was a bit of a problem so we actually walked around the building where the immigrations was because we found out when going back to Hong Kong that we can just go across inside the building and the MTR station is just below it. Plus there are so many small stalls just connected to the immigration building which we missed out. Oh well, I'm not much of a shopper either and we just came back from China a few months ago so I didn't actually had anything to buy. Shenzhen however, is a heaven for people who are into branded imitation bags or clothes.

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Anyway, Oriental Regent Hotel is situated in the business district surrounded by banks and the Shenzhen Stock Market building was only a few blocks away. Even though there's not a lot of shops around our hotel compared to the commercial districts like Dongmen or Lo Huo, it was actually safer than the later because Shenzhen is actually famous for con-men and pickpockets. So, after checking in, we used the MTR to go to Splendid China and China Folk Culture Village. We checked out a few of the houses in the Folk Culture Village first but then realising that we don't have enough time to cover the Splendid China, we had to missed out a lot of the different nationality houses because Splendid China was actually our main target. Splendid China shows the replica of all the China's famous landmarks like for example the Forbidden City, Summer Palace, Potola Palace, Lamasery, Temple Of Heaven, Terracotta Warriors etc. Even that, we couldn't cover the whole place 'because Splendid China closes at 6pm and 6pm actually looked like it was already 8pm. Then night time, we decided to take the MTR to Dongmen District to have dinner. The menu in Pizza hut is totally different from the ones in Brunei or Singapore. We ordered the Christmas set which comes with party cocktail drinks and it's very cheap also! We also finally found the Dongmen shopping area after getting lost for a while searching for it and it was filled with people so we had to be extra careful of pickpockets but there wasn't much time to look around because we were afraid that the MTR station will close since it was late already.

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Friday (14/12/2007) Today, we went to Window of the World which is just directly about the last MTR station in Shenzhen. It's one of the most fascinating place that I've ever been and seen. It's actually incredible that the Chinese people can do an exact replica of the Eiffel Tower, Triumphal Arch, Piazza San Marco and Cologne Cathedral just to name a few. So, what else did we do for the whole day but just taking photos! I also managed to buy a Korean doll and a big Japanese doll which is twice the size of all the dolls that I've bought before. We also went up the Eiffel Tower but since it was already night time, we couldn't see Hong Kong except for the lights. If we were to go up during day, we could have seen all the buildings and houses in Hong Kong which is separated from Shenzhen by a river.

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Saturday (15/12/2007) Today, we had to rush back to Hong Kong because we had managed to get ourselves a free ride on the Duk Ling junk boat for 1 hour at 1pm. Since people don't work on Saturdays, boy, the queue were long long in both immigrations and people kept pushing to go forward to the immigration. MTRs were also packed with people. Since we arrived back to Hong Kong at 11am, we checked back into Metropark Hotel Mongkok again but since they were under critical condition of being fully booked, we only confirmed our reservations and fortunately, we were able to leave our bags at the hotel. We managed to reach to the Duk Ling pier a few minutes before 1pm but it was worth the rush! We did last minute shopping at the night market because we were leaving tomorrow. I bought 1 bag made of buffalo hide. It's quite expensive but hey, if it's real leather, I wouldn't mind paying more as long as it's lasting. There were also Tibetans selling Tibetan handicrafts so I bought 2 small praying wheels.

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Sunday (16/12/2007)Next day, we went to the airport at 1pm even though our flight was at 5pm. It was also a good thing that we were early because the queue to the immigration was quite long but after that, we just walked around and checked out all the shops. I bought a book called The World Of Suzie Wong which I've only started to read the first few pages today.

Overall, the trip to Hong Kong and Shenzhen was interesting even though it felt like I've done enough exercise for this month already since most of the places of attractions are very big. However, Hong Kong people are very unfriendly and you have to dress smart for them to respect you. How I wished Hong Kong has snow so that I didn't have to sweat!

Posted by Lingering 07:24 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (0)

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