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The Peak, Hongkong

Monday, September 17, 2012

View from Victoria Peak


Victoria peak is one of the best places to visit in Hongkong. It is the most favourite by tourists among Hongkong attractions. Also known as Mt. Austin, it is located in Hongkong Island. It is not the highest mountain in Hongkong but it offers stunning views over Central, Victoria Harbour, and other islands.

Although it is accessible by private car or taxi via the circuitous Peak Road, most tourists prefer the peak tram. A trip to Hongkong is not complete without taking the peak tram. From the MTR central station, we walked a few blocks to the Peak Tram terminal. Get ready to fall in line and fight the crowd! It gets pretty crowded and if you happen to be there in the middle of the day, expect to sweat like crazy! You will have to stand in line for maybe 30-45 mins before u get to board the tram. It is possible not to get an available seat inside the Tram (the tourists go crazy and push around to get a seat), you'll have to stand the rest of the time till you reach Victoria Peak. 

Tourists waiting in line outside
A roundtrip Peak Tram ticket costs HK$40 (US$5.33) for adult, HK$18 (US$2.40) for child/senior citizen. If you want to enter their Sky Terrace, you should avail of their package Peak Tram (roundtrip) + Sky Terrace Pass that is worth HK$65 (US$8.65) for adult and HK$31 (US$4.10) for child/senior citizens.

Complete list of tram ticket rates
There may be times that you would just want to turn around and leave the terminal while waiting to board the tram since you couldn't take the heat and the maddening crowd anymore, have patience! The view from the Peak Tram ride is rewarding. I'm so thankful that I didn't insisted on leaving (although I've thought about it couple times). I would have totally regretted it. :)

Yayy the Tram is here!



Aboard the tram finally!

View from the Tram Window


Inside Victoria Peak Tower

There are lots of souvenir shops and restaurants inside the tower such as Bubba Gump, Vietnamese restaurant, coffee shops, and etc. You have tons of choices. However, most of the restaurants here are expensive---around HK$300+ (US$40) per meal/person. If you are on a tight budget, there is Burger King inside (it is more expensive than your regular Burger King but remember you are in Hongkong).

Heading up to Sky Terrace

Proceed to Sky Terrace for more amazing view of Hongkong. If you have fear of heights, try to conquer it coz the view is totally worth it! :)

View from Sky Terrace

Tourists taking pictures in Sky Terrace

I hope I can visit Hongkong again soon! Wait..no! I wish I can live in Hongkong! :)

Must Love Cats!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Yesterday I got the cutest kitty ever! She's only 7 weeks old. A traditional Persian with a super cute face! She's my first pet cat. I never liked cats before. Not until Mark showed me his pet Angelina and told me about her personality. I started watching cat videos on Youtube and fell in love--instantly!

My cute Kitty

This bed is so comfy and....sooo pink! :)


Love my pillow! :)

I'm cute and I know it :)
I bought her from a local cat breeder for 6,500 pesos (US$150). She's the cutest in the bunch! So lucky I got her. I originally wanted a white persian cat but when I saw this Kitty, I fell in love! Persian cat breeders here in Philippines prefer the flat-faced persians than the traditional because they can sell for more but I prefer traditional since they have fewer health problems in the long run.

I still love dogs but I think cats are easier to manage especially if you live in the city with not much space for a dog (huge backyard etc.) to play at etc. 

"In a cat's eye, all things belong to cats." :)
- English proverb

Exploring Lantau Island, Hongkong

Sunday, September 9, 2012

It is so easy to navigate Hongkong even if you don't speak their local language. All you need is a map and you are ready to go. Their MTR (Mass Transit Railway) makes it easy to get around. You can literally explore most of Hongkong in just a day! I'm more of a culture and scenery junkie (sorry shopaholics! I don't have much stuff for you here lol). Lantau Island is the most interesting place for me in Hongkong!


View from the top of Big Buddha

This island is perfect for people who love mountains and cool scenery. It is more laidback than any other areas in Hongkong. HK Disneyland, Big Buddha, and Ngong Ping 360 (Cable car) are among the Hongkong attractions that are located here. If you are coming from Kowloon or Hongkong island, the easiest and cheapest way to get here is by MTR. Forget Disneyland, go to Big Buddha instead! To get to Big Buddha, you will have to get off on Tung Chung station and from there, you have the choice to either take the cable car(25 minutes from Tung Chung) or bus #23 (45 mins ride). We took the bus since the cable car isn't operating that day due to typhoon. It cost HK$18 (USD 2.40)/adult for bus fare to Ngong Ping.
Tung Chung Station
Ticket Line to Bus #23
Don't forget to enjoy the scenery while riding the bus! It was like riding a roller coaster but totally worth it!
Here's a video I took of the bus ride to Ngong Ping:

Before heading straight to where Big Buddha is, drop by Ngong Ping Village. It has a wide variety of shops and eateries.

Entrance to Ngong Ping Village

View of Big Buddha from a distance
You up for some hike?

Upon reaching the top, you are rewarded with awesome view of the mountain and bay area. You have the option to go inside the museum (inside the Buddha) for a fee or just explore the outer part of it. They will also offer you a lunch prepared by Buddhist monks for a reasonable price.

Almost there! :)

Finally!!

View of Po Lin Monastery
If you still have lots of strength left, head back down and go to Po Lin Monastery.

Entrance to Po Lin Monastery

If you decide that you had enough of Lantau sightseeing for the day, head back to the bus #23 station to take you back to Tung Chung Station. Be warned that the line gets too long and if it's day time, it can be miserable waiting for your turn to board the bus. It might take at least 30 mins before you get to board a bus. You should bring an umbrella to protect you from the strong sun. From my own experience, it was miserable coz I didn't apply any sunblock lotion and I don't have umbrella with me. Also make sure that you have exact money (HKD 18) to pay for the ticket as they want exact fare.
People waiting in line to board the bus

Day trip to Lantau island is totally worth it! Don't hesitate to go there if you can. :)

Hongkong Trip 2012

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Hongkong Cityscape
Few days stay in Hongkong seemed so short, how I wish I could have stayed longer. While most tourists want to stay in Kowloon or Central (where the all the action is), we preferred to stay in Tsuen Wan. Tsuen Wan is a bay area in the New Territories. It is less crowded compared to Kowloon and other popular districts in Hongkong.
From Macau you can take Turbojet to Kowloon, then either take a taxi or train to Tsuen Wan. The ferry fare from Macau is HK$140 (USD 18) for economy.

Turbojet Terminal in Macau


We stayed at L'Hotel Nina et Convention Center which is a 5-star hotel in Tsuen Wan. It has two towers and one tower has over 80 floors. Our room was in 56th floor and with amazing view of the harbor.
L'Hotel Nina et Convention Center


View from the room

View of Victoria Harbour from side window

View of Hongkong cityscape at night

The view from the hotel room is priceless--especially at night when all the city lights are on. The view of the harbor and the cityscape is breathtaking! I love this hotel and it's location. I don't need to stay in crowded Kowloon since getting around the city from Tsuen Wan is handy (thanks to MTR). L'Hotel Nina is connected to Tsuen Wan West MTR terminal and that makes it easy to go anywhere--literally! 
You can easily reach Central, Kowloon, Lantau etc. in just minutes.
If you are feeling lazy and don't wanna go anywhere, you can just hang out at the Hotel's poolside and enjoy the pool and the magnificent view.

View deck @ 9th floor of L'Hotel Nina

Pool @ L'Hotel Nina

Jacuzzi

Loooove their transparent glass pool!!!

Staying at L'Hotel Nina is like heaven! You don't even have to go further as the Hotel is connected to a mall called Citywalk where there are lots of restaurants to choose from. If you are on a tight budget (food in HK is very expensive--about USD $25 for an average meal at a restaurant), there's KFC and 7eleven. 

I'll definitely stay again at L'Hotel Nina next time!

What to Do in Legazpi City

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


When in Legazpi city, you should:

1. Enjoy the view of Mount Mayon
We were dying to see Mount Mayon in its full glory but the weather sucks the whole time we were there (4 days!)

The only time we saw Mount Mayon

This is more like what we wanted:
source: www.wallpapersforyou.info
2. Visit Cagsaua Ruins (The ruins of a 17th century church destroyed by Mayon’s 1814 eruption.)




3. Eat Bicolano Food

I was so disappointed to find out that Legazpi is lacking of authentic Bicol Food restaurants. Most of the restaurants there are the typical Western fast food chains such as Shakey's, Mcdonald's etc. and the so-called local restaurants at the mall serve Bicol-western fusion cuisines that didn't really thrill me. After asking local residents, we ended up at Waway's (supposed to be famous for native dishes). We went there around 6pm and we were the only customer. It is more like an upgraded canteen and they have several dishes for you to choose from. They serve authentic Bicol cuisine but the quality isn't so great and they didn't even bother to reheat the food we ordered. Their food didn't look so appealing and after tasting it, it was bland and lacked seasoning and spices. This is not like the Bicolano Food I grew up with (my grandparents used to cook tastier Bicolano Food when I was a kid).

Inside Waway's restaurant
Squid in coconut milk (ginataang pusit)

Laing
Bicol Express
Steamed Prawns (sugpo)
If you are looking for good food, although not authentic Bicol cuisine (more like a fusion between other Phil dishes), head over to Jasmine restaurant in Oriental Hotel. That is where I had my Bagnet ala Bicol Express and it is to die for! :)

Bagnet ala Bicol Express

4. Head over to Donsol and swim with Whalesharks
I was dying to do this activity but it rained hard the whole time we were there! :(
For complete info on swimming with whalesharks, go to http://tourism.albay.gov.ph/whale_sharks.html

source:  http://animals.nationalgeographic.com
5. Visit Embarcadero Mall
Legazpi’s waterfront lifestyle hub, commercial and entertainment center



 

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Certified foodie. Crazy cat lady in training.

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