Going Mainstream in Hong Kong

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While I wanted us to sleep, eat, and walk like locals and steer clear of tourist traps as much as we could, it would’ve been a shame to skip The Peak and Disneyland especially for first-timers like us. The Peak is a must for every tourist. Aside from the spectacular view from up there, it’s a place that says a lot about Hong Kong. As for Disneyland, well, you just can’t go wrong with it. Besides, it’s not dubbed “The happiest place on Earth” for nothing!

The Peak

The most common and fastest access to Victoria Peak is MTR via Central. Coming from Mongkok, we went to Central via Star Ferry and from Central Pier, we boarded a double-decker bus (15C bus) that dropped us at Garden Road Lower Peak Tram Terminus, where tickets to The Tram and Victoria Peak are sold. The MTR is no doubt a faster way of choice but the ferry+bus gives an even better perspective and more laidback ambience.

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View from the pier–am not sure which side though. hehe
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The double-decker buses parked across Central Pier as they wait for the passengers
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View from the upper deck as we tour Central
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Tram’s railway to and from The Peak

As expected, a long queue greeted us as we lined up for tickets. No, you cannot pre-purchase online or through their office unless you’re a group of 15 up. We hopped on the tram after another long queue. The ride was an experience itself–short but scenic. Sure, it’s nothing fancy, but as we were carried up the mountain, I observed how quaint the Tram is. Despite thousands of visitors it transports a day, it remains humble and simple. A few minutes later, we were on top! The feeling of being on top of the world, overlooking Hong Kong skyscrapers and the lush surroundings was just amazing! In the simplicity of Tram and stunning panoramic view from The Peak, one can appreciate the quintessential beauty of a once struggling and now progressive nation that is Hong Kong.

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The thick crowd lining up for tickets to The Tram + Peak
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Photo taken by my mom. I photoshop-ed the text overlay. :)

 

Hong Kong Disneyland

One day isn’t enough to cover the whole of Disneyland! The key to getting the most of it is to carefully select worthy and age-appropriate rides, and NEVER EVER miss shows. Prior to this, I already studied the shows and attractions so we won’t waste time and won’t skip anything—park map and schedule are available on their website.

Aside from The Golden Mickeys and Festival of The Lion King, which by the way are truly entertaining, we strongly recommend these two:

  • Flights of Fantasy Parade

At 3pm, all visitors would leave whatever they are doing or line they’re in and would flock Main Street, USA to witness Mickey and Friends, all the Classic Disney Characters and Princesses gather together and dance their way from end to end of the street. Was it worth half-an-hour of our limited time at the park? A definite yes! While watching the parade, all Mccoy and I could think of was the wonderful feeling of being like kids again. Even when we’re 20-something already, we still consider ourselves lucky to have had this incredible kind of experience.

  • Disney in the Stars Fireworks

This event begins at 8pm but minutes before that, we already secured our positions along Main Street, USA for a nice view. NEVER LEAVE DISNEYLAND without seeing this one. Was it that spectacular? Well, Mccoy and I were beyond delighted. You know tears of joy? Yes, we had those and we’re not embarrassed to admit it.

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A Disney-themed Train!
The Golden Mickeys Show
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While waiting for the parade to begin

Sure, amusement parks bring out the kid in us. However The Disneyland is not just another amusement park. I’m sure Mccoy will agree with me when I say we were able to feel all kinds of positive emotions you can imagine in this one-day fantasy adventure. It’s a dream come true for Mc and me and am not exaggerating! Our childhood dreams literally unfolded before our very eyes! Mickey and friends, the Disney heroes, heroines and princesses, we grew up knowing through books, TV and movies, all came alive! The experience is worth more than the ticket price!

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