Monday, February 20, 2017

Adventure in Hong Kong Day 2 (Hong Kong City Tour)

On the previous post, we climbed the chilly hills of the Sky Terrace 428 and roamed the fun-filled carnival at Victoria Harbor. Today, let’s explore the streets of the city of Hong Kong and its neighbor, Shenzhen on Guangdong province, China.

Before I get into detail of the places we went to, let me give you a tip on where to book a hassle-free package. Head to for loads of affordable tour packages. For our trip, I booked the 3D2N Hong Kong + Shenzhen package.

This package includes:
-        Three day, two night stay at Rambler Oasis Hotel in Tsing Yi
-        Free airport transfers
-        Complimentary daily breakfasts at Café de Coral
-        Compulsory Hong Kong city tour (morning)
-        Compulsory Shenzhen city tour (afternoon)
-        One way ticket to Shenzhen (return ticket at guest’s own arrangement)
-        Free group visa processing for Philippine passport holders

You can have all these for only 2,500php per head. Not bad, right? I strongly recommend calling their Customer Service Hotline and make the reservation over the phone so they can check the hotel’s room availability right away. Travelmall’s staffs are very friendly and accommodating. They even respond to e-mail queries promptly.

Although this is a 3D2N package and our stay was good for 4 days and 3 nights, I booked an additional room for our fourth day on Agoda. The rooms at Rambler Oasis only costs around 2,500php per night. If you prefer spacious rooms, then I would not recommend this hotel. The room’s floor area is only about 6 square meters. But hey, why look for a big and fancy room when you’re out almost the entire day, right? Besides, Rambler Oasis is located in a safe environment at the Rambler Crest. Just a few steps outside the hotel is the Rambler Plaza where Café de Coral and other affordable restaurants are located. There is also a 7-Eleven convenience store for your other needs. Also at the Rambler Crest is a swimming pool which is said to be the longest pool in the entire Southeast Asia. However, we did not bother to take a dip and enjoy the water and white sands because of the freezing weather.

We had our breakfast at Café de Coral. The breakfast set comes with toasted bread and eggs and you can choose between ham, spam or sausage to go with it. You can also choose between hot chocolate, orange juice or coffee to complete your meal. While we were about to start eating, we took our plates out of the trays and piled the trays on top of each other and placed it on the side. One of Café de Coral's attendant approached us and spoke to us in chinese. Obviously, we didn't understand what she was saying and we began looking at each other. Her gestures suggested to put our plates back on our respective trays. We then looked around and the diners had their plates on top of their trays while eating. Here in the Philippines, we are used to putting our trays aside every time we eat at fast foods. In Hong Kong, however, it is customary to observe etiquette in chinese dining.

After having our breakfast, we waited for the tour bus to pick us up to begin our city tour. The bus came at around 8:00 am and so we picked up other guests in other hotels who will be joining us on the trip. Traveling from one place to another doesn’t really take long since traffic is not bad at all in Hong Kong.

Our first stop was at Garden of Stars. Here you can find sculptures and handprints of Hong Kong’s most acclaimed actors and actresses like Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan.

After taking a couple of photos and admiring the view of the harbor, we then went to a jewelry factory. Before you begin the tour inside the shop, there will be a quick orientation with the manager. Make sure you listen well as she will be asking questions afterwards and give gift certificates for every correct answer. 

Picture taking is strictly prohibited inside the shop. Since it is part of the tour package, it is compulsory that you get inside. Of course, the sales personnel will really try to convince you to purchase their product and can get a little persuasive. However, just politely decline if you don’t wish to take the offer. 

Jewelry in Hong Kong is cheap but in very good quality. Manny Pacquiao, a Philippine senator and the Philippines’ pride when it comes to boxing, is a customer of this shop. As per the manager, the jewelry brings good luck and fortune.

Our next stop was at the Aberdeen Fishing Village. We took the opportunity to aboard the sampan and circled around the fishing village. The sampan ride is optional. It costs $60HKD for adults and $30HKD for children 12 years and below. 

In this tour is where you can see different kinds of sampans, luxurious yachts as well as the famous Jumbo Floating Restaurant, one of the most famous and sought after restaurants in Hong Kong. Unfortunately, we did not get the chance to dine here since our time was already limited. As per our tour guide though, this restaurant is pricey. Maybe next time?

After our tour around the fishing village, we went back to the bus and drove around the mid levels of Victoria Peak. We also passed by the houses of Hong Kong’s wealthiest. Since the people in Hong Kong are firm believers of Feng Shui, they would prefer their houses to be situated with between mountains and seas. According to Feng Shui, it gives great luck if there is mountain at the back (for support) and water in front (to symbolize money).

Driving around the mid-levels of Victoria Peak concludes our city tour. We then gave a total of $150HKD mandatory tip ($50HKD/head) to our tour guide and bus driver before they dropped us off at Kwai Fong Station to aboard our train to Shenzhen, China. The tour guide and driver will also be selling keychains for souvenirs. It only costs $80-$100HKD for a pack of 6 to 8 key chains in nice boxes. They’re really cute and would be a great gift to friends and family. 

Inside Kwai Fong Station, one of the guides showed us where to eat. He was also kind enough to wait for us to finish having our lunch so he can direct us to the correct train.

The food selection here, however, is limited. But it was already noon time and we were hungry so we chose to eat at the first booth who sold food. Price range is $55-$90HKD for a set meal and $11HKD each for a can of soda. Read about our experience in Shenzhen here:

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