My trip to Hong Kong for a week !!

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Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! 1/4 by TravelTales

To get a break from our busy lives, myself & my husband started to hunt for a destination where we can go & explore the country for a week or so. After going through several options of amazing places that we could go to, we finally chose to visit Hong Kong in September 2018. This is the place with a mixture of Chinese & British culture, a perfect blend of urbanization, vibrant and this is how I can describe this city. Hong Kong has lot to offer from sparkling skyline to tranquil gardens, bustling streets to serene shrines, glittering harbor to beautiful hiking trails. You can never get bored being here.

There were many factors that we ended up choosing this city and few important ones are listed below.

1. Hong Kong has a visa-free entry policy for a period of 14 days for Indian Nationals & many other countries too. All you have to do is fill in a pre-arrival registration, submit it online, which should have the details exactly as your passport and carry the printout of it while travelling to Hong Kong.

2. Hong Kong is small enough to be covered in a week. Given the cost of travel involved and only 14 day visa-free access, one week sounded perfect. Also language is not a problem. The main language is Cantonese, the residents can understand and talk in English too.

3. India has good connectivity to Hong Kong in terms of air travel. I chose to fly with Singapore Airlines where round trip costed me less than 60k for 2 people.

After deciding upon the destination for seven days, I had another major task – Planning. It was more important than ever that I plan my itinerary given the short time I would have in the place. So after researching about the place, I made a basic plan that would allow us to get a glimpse into the life of all three islands of Hong Kong, with a day in Macau in between too.

Before I start sharing my itinerary, I would like to share few important tips to note before you visit Hong Kong, they are mentioned below.

1. Download mobile apps like -

MTR Mobile : This app has all the information about MTR, metro transportation in Hong Kong. This has information on each exits of the all stations, suggested routes to catch trains and many more.

Open Rice : This app can be used to find out the nearby restaurants for the cuisine of your choice. A most used app in HK I can say !!

2. Carry as much as cash you can and also some credit cards too. The conversion of Hong Kong Dollar (HKD) is - 1HKD = 8INR. This looks like a small value. But trust me, nothing is cheap in HK. This is gonna be an expensive city. So, its better to carry some extra cash or credit card always with you.

3. Time and discipline are very much observed in this place.

Let's jump in to my story of this trip.

As always, I was excited for this destination too and the preparations were on full swing and we hear the news - A super Typhoon Mangkhut hitting Hong Kong on Sept 16th. This was just a week before my travel and this typhoon made lot of noise in Hong Kong. Luckily, people were well prepared for this & nothing major devastation happened there. This made me to check weather updates every now & then to confirm whether I could travel or not. Things were back to normal within 2-3 days.

Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! 2/4 by TravelTales

We started our journey from Pune to Mumbai first by cab on a Friday afternoon. Due to traffic in Mumbai we took almost 4.5 hours to reach Mumbai International airport. Within no time, the check in counters were open for Singapore Airlines and we were among few members who did early checkin. But the checkin process was not a cake walk for us due to a mistake in my Pre-Arrival Registration (PAR) form. Place of birth had only city name in the form whereas in passport it displays with state name and that was missing in my form. Seeing this, checkin counter guy told I cannot board. That was really shocking for myself & my husband too. We asked him to consult his seniors and nobody couldn't help us on this. There was only one option that I had to apply for a fresh PAR form on the spot & try my luck. With the help of my smart phone, I opened the website to fill out the form, this time I did it with double care just not to miss anything. Once that is submitted online, a PDF should be downloaded and I did not get any PDF even after trying multiple times. Ahh, we were at the peak of helplessness, time is ticking and we were still at checkin counters. Then one guy from airport staff came to help us. He again applied from his mobile and the PDF was generated successfully. He also helped us to get a print out of the letter from their back office and yes, we checked in finally & I was allowed to board the flight too. This is how my crazy journey started.

By then we had lost almost an hour and above and we rushed to immigration hall. Luckily it was not much crowded & we could clear within 20 mins. Now I had a relief in my breath. We were left with 1 hour for our flight to start. We had some light snacks there and reached near boarding gate seeing our aircraft. It was Singapore Airlines A330 aircraft to Singapore first & then to Hong Kong with a layover of 1hr 50mins. This was our first time with this airlines and I was very excited about this.

Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! 3/4 by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! 4/4 by TravelTales

Major attractions are just big hotels and their casinos. That's it!!

Do not ever forget to carry Pre Arrival Registration Form whenever you go out of Hong Kong.

It took off at the scheduled time 22:45 and all the passengers were given a menu card. I was surprised to see the menu in Hindi too in an international airline and that was really impressive.

Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales

Food was delicious, we had a good sleep for some time and the landing in Singapore was in the early morning. The views were just beautiful to start your day.

Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales

As we had checked in earlier, we had to directly just walk to boarding gate for our next flight. It was A350, a latest aircraft owned by SIA. Again it was 4 hours journey from Singapore. We boarded on time and it took off as per scheduled time 08:40.

Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales

The flight was smooth, crew were very friendly and helped me to get a vegetarian meal even though it was not there in the menu. In-flight entertainment was extremely good and I must appreciate that they have world class entertainment programs to make everyone's journey memorable. I could even find movies in our regional languages and I was glad to see them all. The spectacular views of Hong Kong from top made us fall in love with that place instantly. Check out those pics below.

Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Day 1

We touched down in Hong Kong at 12.40pm local time. Immigration was smooth. They checked only boarding pass, PAR, immigration forms and they did not stamp on our passports. We got our baggage also on time. Very first thing we did was currency exchange, then got a local sim card valid for 7 days for 80HKD which had unlimited data pack. Then we bought Octopus cards for each of us which costed us 150 HKD each. This would be useful in all types of transport and in some specific stores too.

We had pre-booked a cab to pick us up from airport to our booked hotel and the driver had already arrived at airport to pick and dropped us at hotel. Distance was around 35-40km which we did not feel at all because of broad roads, timely signals, lane discipline of vehicles. everything impressed us a lot.

We arrived at our booked hotel - B P International in Austin road at 3pm and we could checkin immediately to our room in 25th room. Quite top floor, right ? Yes, we took it intentionally to enjoy the top views. Room was compact with all the basic amenities provided and the view from window made our day.

Photo of B. P. International House, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong by TravelTales
Photo of B. P. International House, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong by TravelTales

We had carried some snacks & light food, we had it, freshened up and we were all set to explore the city in our own way. In the mean time I checked in the app for nearby Indian restaurants to have good dinner once we return. I got so many and there was a big smile on my face looking at them. One restaurant was just 150m away from our hotel and we decided to have our dinner & try that restaurant. There were 2 MTR stations near to our hotel - Jordan in Red Line & Austin in Purple Line. Both of these were just 5min walk from our hotel.

This evening we chose to cruise on Victoria Harbor in a luxury yacht. To reach this place, we had to go to Tsim Sha Shui which was 2 stations away from ours and it was hardly 5-6mins, we reached the required place. MTR was in full speed that it can cover a kilometer in a minute. From the Tsim Sha Shui station, we walked for 5 mins and we reached the cruise starting point. Since we still had time to board our yacht, we strolled around and we could see clock tower, amazing skyline, sunset too.

Photo of Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong by TravelTales
Photo of Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong by TravelTales
Photo of Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong by TravelTales
Photo of Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong by TravelTales
Photo of Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong by TravelTales

We had bought cruise tickets from Klook.com app. This app provides entry tickets to all major attractions of top cities of the world. Its also mentioned where to meet & redeem the ticket & at what time to report at the venue. We followed the same instructions and we boarded the yacht on time & ticket redemption couldn't be easier than this. It was a 45min cruise and only limited number of people will be on board. They provide unlimited drinks & Chinese snacks. It was cool evening with good amount of breeze and the yacht started sailing on the Victoria harbor. The whole skyline was glittering and everyday at 8pm, there will be symphony of lights show which lasts for 8 minutes. Unfortunately we could not witness it for that day and I have no idea about why the show was not there. Overall, we had the best moments on our first day in HK.

How to reach - MTR station Tsim Sha Shui and follow exit & sign boards.

Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales

We came back near to our hotel & had dinner in Indian restaurant. That's actually run by Nepalese. They also serve western & Italian cuisine too. For the first time when we visited, it was too crowded and somehow we managed to grab a corner table and that's when we realized Hong Kong has space issue and all residential buildings looked so tall but homes were small in size. This restaurant was also not so big but they have made it so nice in such a tiny space that you feel like a perfect bistro and its name is - Pizza Max Bistro. We were happy to see Roti, sabji, rice, dal & many more Indian dishes. Due to long travel and no proper food, we just felt like grabbing them all. We felt glad when our stomach got filled with the tasty Indian food.

Day 2

After a continental breakfast, we headed to Nan Lian Garden & Chi Lin Nunnery. This garden adorned with antique timber structures and beautifully landscaped with trees, rocks and water features that offers a rich variety of photo opportunities to photo lovers. Nan Lian Garden is only 3-minute walk away from Diamond Hill MTR station exit C2, making it a perfect place to spend the day. The architectures inside Nan Lian Garden are uniquely styled in detail. There are a lot of greenery here with beautiful skyscrapers and mountains in the backdrop. The temple complex also doubles as a museum showcasing rock formations.

How to reach - MTR station Diamond Hill & follow the sign boards.

Photo of Nan Lian Garden, Fung Tak Road, Ha Yuen Leng, Hong Kong by TravelTales
Photo of Nan Lian Garden, Fung Tak Road, Ha Yuen Leng, Hong Kong by TravelTales
Photo of Nan Lian Garden, Fung Tak Road, Ha Yuen Leng, Hong Kong by TravelTales
Photo of Nan Lian Garden, Fung Tak Road, Ha Yuen Leng, Hong Kong by TravelTales
Photo of Nan Lian Garden, Fung Tak Road, Ha Yuen Leng, Hong Kong by TravelTales
Photo of Nan Lian Garden, Fung Tak Road, Ha Yuen Leng, Hong Kong by TravelTales
Photo of Nan Lian Garden, Fung Tak Road, Ha Yuen Leng, Hong Kong by TravelTales
Photo of Nan Lian Garden, Fung Tak Road, Ha Yuen Leng, Hong Kong by TravelTales
Photo of Nan Lian Garden, Fung Tak Road, Ha Yuen Leng, Hong Kong by TravelTales
Photo of Nan Lian Garden, Fung Tak Road, Ha Yuen Leng, Hong Kong by TravelTales
Photo of Nan Lian Garden, Fung Tak Road, Ha Yuen Leng, Hong Kong by TravelTales

You may need atleast 1.5-2hour to visit this beautiful place. It is very well maintained, so peaceful, calm and the chanting in low voice makes you feel blessed. Photography not allowed inside temple & main hall of nunnery. Buddha itself looks so peaceful and there are so many huge Buddhas inside. A positive vibe comes into your mind which helps you keep yourself cool. Since it was a bright sunny day, we got drained soon and got tired too. Hence, we returned to hotel & had lunch in the same Indian restaurant nearby.

Evening was dedicated to Victoria Peak, the most touristy place in HK. It is the highest point on Hong Kong island where you can get breathtaking views of HK skyline and its harbor. There is unique structure of Peak Tower on top which itself an architecture marvel. We had bought tickets for this from Klook, so we reached MTR station - Central, walked down to peak tram station, stood in long queues for more than an hour and a half and took a tram to reach the top. Alternatively, there are buses and cabs that can take you to the top. But peak tram is iconic which has its own old charm. Our ticket included one way fast pass to peak tram and return in normal way. Then also we had to wait for long time to get our turn. Once we boarded, the tram started in its steep way going up & above giving us the amazing views.

Photo of Victoria Peak, The Peak, Hong Kong by TravelTales
Photo of Victoria Peak, The Peak, Hong Kong by TravelTales

The Peak Tower hosts an array of attractions : Sky Terrace, Madame Tussaud's, Trick Eye Museum, souvenir shops, restaurants, coffee shops, Peak Galleria. There was so much crowd and for few minutes we didn't get to see anything and later on somehow we managed to get space and enjoyed the spectacular skyline.

Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales

After visiting, we came out to take return tram and saw a huge queue lined up there. By then we were physically tired & mentally tired of seeing crowd & long queues, hence we decided to take a bus & get back to nearest MTR station. There again a hell lot of crowd and finally we saw a smaller queue for taxis, so we ended up taking taxi till Central station & took a train back to our hotel.

How to get there : Central MTR station, take 15C bus or peak tram or taxi.

Tips :

Its recommended to take tram ride up the peak which gives you excellent views of skyscrapers. Indeed its an unique experience !!

Try going on a clear day for better views and avoid late evening as it may get too crowded. Make sure you reach there before sunset and spend time in the evening too so that you can have view of sparkling skyline once they are lit.

Please book your tickets in advance for this. I bought tickets from Klook and there are plenty of ticket types available with combo options too.

Day 3

This day was dedicated to Disneyland. It was our second time to Disneyland, previously we had visited one in Paris. The thought of going to Disneyland was itself so exciting. Unfortunately, we saw heavy rains that day since morning. Since we had already bought tickets, we did not take a step back because of rains. We reached there by 10am and that was the exact time of Park being open. We saw so many visitors like us holding umbrellas were ready to have fun in rain itself.

Photo of Hong Kong Disneyland, Lantau Island, Hong Kong by TravelTales

We waited in metro station hoping for rain to be stopped. But it didn't seem so. We just went in and took a guide map of the park and planned from where to start. Main Street USA, Fantasy land, Adventure land and Tomorrow Land are the four major themed lands in the park. We started from Main street USA and entered a store as it was raining heavily. I was feeling bit disappointed thinking that rides may shut down if it was raining heavily. Since Haloween time was approaching shortly, whole park was decorated in Haloween theme too.

Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales

We strolled around in the store for sometime, got to see so many disney characters as soft toys, on bags, on clothes & so on, later we were happy to see that rain was reduced to some extent and we entered Tomorrow Land. They had a new attraction of Iron Man being added in that time. That was a 4D show of 5-6 mins of Iron Man rescuing us. It was excellent & we enjoyed a lot.

Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales

Even though it was a rainy day, we could see so much of crowd and all major rides had 20-30 minutes of waiting. Later we entered Fantasy land and watched a show called 'The story book of Mickey'. Undoubtedly beautifully done. Though it was a Chinese show, they had translation displayed on screens. We loved every bit of the show.

Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales

We proceeded to small world, may be it was for small kids but it was fantastic to see small world. It was a boat ride and it would take us through the different cultures of the world showcased by small toys.

Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales

Later on we had some kiddo rides like Tea cups, Carousel, visited Haloween Time Gardens and directly to Adventure Land.

Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales

Adventure land is the biggest in Disney Park which includes Tarzan’s tree house and many other features like Rivers of America. It is famous for the show "The Festival of the Lion King". The show was more than 30 minutes and it was just mesmerizing and a feast to our eyes showcasing the story of a Lion king.

Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales

Really we had a great time watching these shows with so much of creativity and technology. Then we entered Mystic Land and managed to get an Indian lunch in Explorer's Club restaurant. One meal was sufficient for 2 people & it looked like this.

Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales

We visited a garden in Mystic Land and entered Toy Story Land. We also sat in couple of rides there. Thrilling one was Parachute Drop. We ended our day watching Disney parade and it was just spectacular where all the disney characters are dancing lively with big groups. This happens in Main Street USA and I must say that you shouldn't miss it !!

Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales

The gracious presence of Disney characters makes it a complete paradise for kids. Guide maps are printed in simplified and traditional Chinese as well as Japanese and English for the better convenience of the visitors. For kids, it is an enthralling experience to see their favorite Disney family performing impeccable acts magic wonders and even dancing on foot tapping music. It is the right place to visit with family and friends. The fun never stops at Disney land. It’s a perfect life time experience and one should go and have a complete time out to enjoy this place to the fullest. A visit to Disneyland must be in everyone's bucket list. Besides the kiddo rides, there are some thrilling rides for adults too!

Tips :

Try going on a weekday to avoid crowd & long queues.

Reaching early to the park certainly help you to enjoy all rides with ease.

There is also an option of Fast Pass ticket in which you can come back to that attraction at a designated time with a shorter queue.

Never miss the Disney Parade. A visit to Disneyland is never complete without it.

All types of disney related souvenirs available in the shops inside Park.

Wear comfortable shoes as there is lot of walking inside the park.

How to reach - MTR station Sunny Bay and take Disney Line which directly goes inside the Park.

We returned taking Disney line train to a later station - Tung Chung, where we visited Citygate Outlets, a mall with branded retail shops. We strolled around for sometime and went back to hotel. Still we had full evening in hand, hence we decided to visit Ladies Market. As the name says, its mainly for Ladies! But men need not worry, there are so many other things to keep yourselves busy while the pretty ladies shop till they drop. It is one of the popular markets of HK and has more than 100 stalls on the street having varieties of bags, clothes, accessories, luggage, souvenirs, electronic stuff, attractive & peculiar Chinese items too.

Tip : Bargaining is the secret here. The more you bargain & the better deal you get. If you are a good bargainer & this is the place for you!

Photo of Ladies Market, Tung Choi Street, Mong Kok, Hong Kong by TravelTales
Day 4

Getting away from ever bustling Hong Kong's center and experiencing a serene journey is as easy as making Lantau island your destination for the day. A 25 minute long cable car ride with the green sea below and majestic mountains to give you company will lead you to Ngong Ping Village, which has Tian Tan Buddha, Po Lin Monastery, Wisdom Path.

Photo of Ngong Ping 360, Lantau Island, Hong Kong by TravelTales
Photo of Ngong Ping 360, Lantau Island, Hong Kong by TravelTales
Photo of Ngong Ping 360, Lantau Island, Hong Kong by TravelTales
Photo of Ngong Ping 360, Lantau Island, Hong Kong by TravelTales
Photo of Ngong Ping 360, Lantau Island, Hong Kong by TravelTales
Photo of Ngong Ping 360, Lantau Island, Hong Kong by TravelTales
Photo of Ngong Ping 360, Lantau Island, Hong Kong by TravelTales
Photo of Ngong Ping 360, Lantau Island, Hong Kong by TravelTales

The Tian Tan Buddha is also called as Big Buddha, which is the main attraction of this village. Enroute you can find so many restaurants, eateries, souvenir shops and many more. But I would suggest you to first visit Buddha and while you are back, you can get in to any restaurant as there are hundreds of steps to climb and reach the top of Buddha and there are chances that you may get drained out soon. So hydrate yourself periodically. We saw pretty good amount of crowd, climbed up slowly and reached the top. I was stunned to see such a giant Buddha in front of me. The calmness in the face of Buddha placed on a lotus flower was a blissful moment for me. They have made walking path around Buddha to have 360 degree view of Buddha and we totally enjoyed being there.

Photo of Tian Tan Buddha Statue, Ngong Ping Road, Lantau Island, Hong Kong by TravelTales
Photo of Tian Tan Buddha Statue, Ngong Ping Road, Lantau Island, Hong Kong by TravelTales
Photo of Tian Tan Buddha Statue, Ngong Ping Road, Lantau Island, Hong Kong by TravelTales
Photo of Tian Tan Buddha Statue, Ngong Ping Road, Lantau Island, Hong Kong by TravelTales

Right opposite to Big Buddha, there is Po Lin Monastery, Hong Kong's sacred shrine. There is always a good smell of incense sticks in the air. It's a beautiful place with so much peace and calmness. Appreciate the way they have maintained it.

Photo of Po Lin Monastery, Ngong Ping, Hong Kong by TravelTales
Photo of Po Lin Monastery, Ngong Ping, Hong Kong by TravelTales
Photo of Po Lin Monastery, Ngong Ping, Hong Kong by TravelTales
Photo of Po Lin Monastery, Ngong Ping, Hong Kong by TravelTales

There is also an Indian cuisine restaurant in the village and a bunch of shops for shopaholics !! Quite a good time spent half a day here and we returned to hotel by the same way we came here.

Tips :

There are 2 types of cable car here - Standard & Crystal Cabin. The latter one gives you an unique experience of crystal clear glass and you can enjoy the views below your feet. But this is available for some extra bucks.

Try going on a clear day to get stunning views.

Book tickets in advance as you can expect long queues anytime of the day & year.

The village is pedestrian friendly and wear a comfortable shoes to walk, hike or climb to the top.

Lantau island is where Hong Kong's international airport is located, and this makes it very convenient for one to visit without changing more than a couple of modes of transport. Even if you are only transiting through HK, you can do a neat little vacation without the hassle of a visa on the Indian passport.

How to reach - Tung Chung MTR station and walk down to Ngong Ping Cable Car station, follow the signboards.

We had a ticket for Sky100 observation deck this evening. It is located on 100th floor of Hong Kong's tallest building - International Commerce Center (ICC). We left earlier than our entry time to the deck. This is also accessible through Elements Mall. We roamed around the mall which had all world class top brands. Atlast we entered the deck by 6.15pm and discovered that East side of the deck was closed for the day due to a private event. Nevertheless they compensated us with a snack, isn't it a sweet gesture ?

Photo of Sky 100 Hong Kong Observation Deck, Austin Road West, West Kowloon, Hong Kong by TravelTales
Photo of Sky 100 Hong Kong Observation Deck, Austin Road West, West Kowloon, Hong Kong by TravelTales
Photo of Sky 100 Hong Kong Observation Deck, Austin Road West, West Kowloon, Hong Kong by TravelTales

Its a fast lift that took us to 100th floor in less than a minute. Quite impressing !! There were not much crowd on the deck. This is an indoor observation deck offering 360 degree views of the city. We walked around the deck to enjoy the fabulous views. There is also a Cafe in which you can have coffee with the best views of Hong Kong.

Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales

We spent some time there till we could get a glimpse of glittery skyline. Overall it was a great evening that we could spend together.

How to get there : Kowloon MTR station, follow the sign boards to Elements Mall & then to Sky 100.

Soon after coming down from Sky100, we took a MTR & reached Causeway Bay station to visit Times Square. This is a kind of replica of the Times Square in New York. Here, you have a chance to shop in one of Hong Kong's most vibrant & crowded places. Its a multi storey building & may have more than 200 retail stores in it. Outside Times Square there are some boutique stores too. It has become a major landmark of Hong Kong. We roamed around Times Square and went ahead to explore what was there and we saw a big road crossing scene. We literally got a feel of mini Shibuya crossing of Japan. Hence we experienced it too by crossing the same road 2-3 times. Indeed it was fun !!

Photo of Times Square, Matheson Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong by TravelTales
Photo of Times Square, Matheson Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong by TravelTales
Photo of Times Square, Matheson Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong by TravelTales
Photo of Times Square, Matheson Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong by TravelTales
Photo of Times Square, Matheson Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong by TravelTales
Photo of Times Square, Matheson Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong by TravelTales
Photo of Times Square, Matheson Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong by TravelTales

Every lane had lot of variety of stores, some local & some branded too. You will never feel bored. The bright lights all over the streets and from the adjacent buildings makes every lane so lively. With the help of Openrice app, we could search for an Indian restaurant in the main road itself. It was - Mirch Masala Indian Restaurant. A proper Indian resto with all Indian guests. We ordered for North Indian food and they took a lot of time to serve it to us. Ambiance was good and so as food. Then we returned to our hotel.

Day 5

Macau !! Well known as 'Las Vegas of Asia'. The name itself gives a sensational feeling and this day we were going to witness the beauty of Macau. The only way to go to Macau from HK is by Ferry. We had bought TurboJet Ferry tickets from Klook in advance. We had our Ferry from China Ferry Terminal which was about half a kilometer of distance from our hotel. Macau is a Special Administrative Region of China and allows visa-free entry to the citizens of most countries. This includes passport control & immigration process too. So its always better to be in the terminal an hour before to complete all the process on time. We had our ferry at 8.30am & we reached terminal at 7.30am and had to fill an immigration form to get through. All the process were done so quickly and now we had almost more than 30mins to board. Its almost a flight like experience, where they have assigned particular gate to individual ferry at a specific time.

Photo of Macau by TravelTales
Photo of Macau by TravelTales
Photo of Macau by TravelTales
Photo of Macau by TravelTales
Photo of Macau by TravelTales

It was almost 60min ride from HK to Macau by sea. We didn't feel that we sailed on sea because of the smoothness of the sea. As we woke up early in the morning, we had a good nap in the journey to Macau. In between I could click some good pics of China Sea.

Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales

We reached there at 9.30am and again there was immigration process in which we were given a visa on arrival valid for 30days. Since we had already booked for a Hop on Hop Off bus tour of Macau, we inquired on where to catch the bus and reached the respective place before time. It was open top bus which had 10 stops and each stop had many attractions nearby. We thought it was good way to explore the city. Firstly we started from Fisherman's Wharf, Golden Lotus Square, Sands. Unfortunately Wine Museum & Grand Prix museum were closed due to some renovation. Later, MGM Macau, Kun Lam statue, Grand Lisboa.

Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales

Our next visit was to Ruins of St. Paul's. It is listed in UNESCO World Heritage Site List as Historic Center of Macau, this is one of the most famous attractions of Macau. This church was constructed in yester years, which caught fire several times & also got damaged in typhoon, now has the front wall and stairs are the only remains of its glorious past. There is also a small museum in the lower ground which shows the scenes of Christianity, how things were used in their time and so on. To reach this spot, we had to walk a lot on small roads by carefully following the sign boards.

Photo of Ruins of St. Paul's, Macau by TravelTales
Photo of Ruins of St. Paul's, Macau by TravelTales
Photo of Ruins of St. Paul's, Macau by TravelTales

We also had to cross Senado Square to reach the Ruins of St. Paul's. This is also a part of Historic Center of Macau listed in UNESCO World Heritage Site List. Senado Square has been Macao's urban center for centuries, and is still the most popular venue for public events and celebrations today. This place is full of historical colonial buildings with Portuguese influences. This is the best place to buy the famous egg tart, drinks, restaurants, fashion clothes and souvenirs. We had a very tasty ice cream here from Haagen Dazs outlet. Most cherished ice cream ever !!

Photo of Senado Square, Macau by TravelTales

Next we hopped to Macau Tower. It is an important landmark of Macau with an height of 338 meters. It also has the world’s 2nd tallest bungee jump, and the only tower in the world to allow visitors to climb outside to the tip of the Tower. It has an observation deck for panoramic views, theaters, shopping malls, restaurants. We had purchased tickets for the observation deck in advance from Klook. This ticket allowed us to enter 58 & 61st floors of the tower. The view was stunning from top and could see whole of Macau.

Photo of Macau Tower, Macau by TravelTales
Photo of Macau Tower, Macau by TravelTales
Photo of Macau Tower, Macau by TravelTales
Photo of Macau Tower, Macau by TravelTales
Photo of Macau Tower, Macau by TravelTales
Photo of Macau Tower, Macau by TravelTales
Photo of Macau Tower, Macau by TravelTales

We next stopped at A-Ma temple, visited Navy Museum and last stop was Venetian and we ended our Hop on Hop Off tour. En-route to Venetian, we also got to see Galaxy, Braodway Macau, Studio City.

Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales

Venetian Macau.. which has largest casino, huge shopping center, restaurants of world class cuisines, canals, gondola rides and what not !! As we were not into gambling and casinos, we decided to just take a walk and explore The Venetian before catching the ferry back to Hong Kong. But we entered casino and saw how the gambling is done. We were roaming since morning and wanted to have a good meal, so we went straight to food court and had some good food. There are 2 Indian restaurants in Venetian. Unfortunately both were closed temporarily at that point of time.

Photo of The Venetian Macao, Estrada da Baia de Nossa Senhora da Esperanca, Macau by TravelTales
Photo of The Venetian Macao, Estrada da Baia de Nossa Senhora da Esperanca, Macau by TravelTales
Photo of The Venetian Macao, Estrada da Baia de Nossa Senhora da Esperanca, Macau by TravelTales
Photo of The Venetian Macao, Estrada da Baia de Nossa Senhora da Esperanca, Macau by TravelTales
Photo of The Venetian Macao, Estrada da Baia de Nossa Senhora da Esperanca, Macau by TravelTales

After having lunch & re-energizing ourselves, we took a Gondola Ride where we already had a pre-booked ticket for it from Klook. Its a 10-15 min boat ride inside the Venetian along with the Italian lady who sang 2 beautiful songs for us. This feels like as if we were in Venice, Italy. We totally enjoyed taking the ride.

Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales

By then it was sunset time and we stepped out to see the lighting of the surroundings. Everything looked so shiny, glittery and made us feel like we were in the most happening place on earth. We could get a glimpse of Parisian Macao, Four Seasons, Sheraton, City of Dreams which were lit brightly and we had a great time being there.

Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales

We had our return ferry at 9pm. So we left Venetian by 7.45pm by hotel shuttle which is free of cost and runs throughout Macau. Reached ferry terminal in 25mins. We had to again go through immigration process. This time they asked for Pre-Arrival Registration which we had filled while arriving to Hong Kong. But we had not carried it, may be we should have carried it. They asked if we have a copy of it in our phones. Fortunately we had it saved in our phones and they told printout is mandatory. There we had to pay 100 HKD extra just for 2 printouts which was kind of penalty itself for not carrying necessary documents. We reached HK by 10pm and had dinner in the nearby Indian restaurant of our hotel.

Tips:

Its not necessary to stay overnight in Macau unless you want to indulge in casinos.

Major attractions are just big hotels and their casinos. That's it!!

Do not ever forget to carry Pre Arrival Registration Form whenever you go out of Hong Kong.

There are 3 Ferry terminals in HK and 2 ferry terminals in Macau. Ensure that terminal names are clearly mentioned in your ticket & you reach same terminal in HK to board ferry. Please do some R&D from where to start in Macau. As there are 2 terminals Taipa & Cotai and have different flavors of Macau.

2 types of ferries operated between HK & Macau - TurboJet & CotaiJet. Both are more or less offer for same price. Depending upon the terminal and timing, you can book it accordingly.

Currency in Macau is different than Hong Kong. It's MOP here, Macau Pataka. Both the currencies almost have same value. HKD is accepted widely in Macau but the difference amount will be returned in MOP, whereas MOP is nowhere accepted in Hong Kong.

Finding vegetarian food is not easy here. If you are vegetarian do your research. Most restaurants may have a vegetarian menu, which they may not give you until you ask for vegetarian options, so do try that.

Many people asked me, Is Macau worth visiting?

I would say yes, but only if you are clubbing it with Hong Kong as there is not too much to do in Macau, unless you are an exceptionally skilled gambler who knows how to make money! Staying more than 2 days here will make you get bored. On the other hand a day trip from Hong Kong is also sufficient. While there are tons of hotels to choose from, I'd strongly recommend The Venetian as it is an experience in itself.

Day 6

This was the last day in HK and we planned to go to Ten Thousand Buddha's monastery, which was bit far from our hotel. We had to change 2 trains and reach the spot. We started bit lately this morning as we had a bit tiring day before. I had read that there is climbing of steps to this monastery but actual amount of climb got to know after reaching this place. We followed GPS from Sha Tin MTR station and it was nearby. But there is no proper entrance for this place and a small board is placed just before climbing the steps. I'm not certain about number of steps there, but it was bit tiring to climb all the way to top. This is an off-beat place where we could literally count number of visitors present there. Atlast we climbed slowly and it was good to see the shrine, Buddha, architecture, views from top.

Photo of Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery, Sha Tin, Hong Kong by TravelTales
Photo of Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery, Sha Tin, Hong Kong by TravelTales
Photo of Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery, Sha Tin, Hong Kong by TravelTales
Photo of Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery, Sha Tin, Hong Kong by TravelTales
Photo of Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery, Sha Tin, Hong Kong by TravelTales
Photo of Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery, Sha Tin, Hong Kong by TravelTales
Photo of Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery, Sha Tin, Hong Kong by TravelTales
Photo of Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery, Sha Tin, Hong Kong by TravelTales
Photo of Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery, Sha Tin, Hong Kong by TravelTales
Photo of Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery, Sha Tin, Hong Kong by TravelTales

This is the actual place where we got to see some destruction happened due to typhoon Mangkhut in Hong Kong and was surprised to see them.

Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales
Photo of My trip to Hong Kong for a week !! by TravelTales

In the evening we walked on Nathan Road, Jordan Road and also had been to Temple Street Night Market. That had so many food stalls, fortune tellers, souvenirs, watches, cookware, cutlery and many more. I felt that not all items were genuine here and some may be duplicated too.

Photo of Temple Street Night Market, Temple Street, Jordan, Hong Kong by TravelTales
Photo of Temple Street Night Market, Temple Street, Jordan, Hong Kong by TravelTales

We returned to hotel soon after having early dinner as we had to pack our bags to go back home next day after a full week of fun-filled trip.

Day 7

We checked out at 8.30am and reached airport by 9.30 as we had our flight at 12.30 to Singapore and then to Mumbai later. Then we had to travel to Pune too. It seemed to be a long journey while returning but we enjoyed our journey in super-jumbo Airbus A380 aircraft.

Hong Kong is certainly much more than what I have mentioned here. We did give a miss to few places & things like Ding Ding tram, Repulse Bay for beach side, Aberdeen for floating restaurant, Museum of History and many more. But I have tried my best to explain my itinerary and we thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it. We returned home with a satisfied feeling of covering as many places as we could squeeze it in a week. To experience this modern yet cultural city, you need to visit Hong Kong !!

Disclaimer - Tips I have conveyed is personally based on my experience only.

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