Lush green sceneries, gorgeous skylines, world-class theme parks, authentic Chinese cuisine and a one-of-a-kind shopping experience—all of these you can find in the “Pearl Orient of Asia”—Hong Kong.
Hong Kong is an autonomous territory in China. It was once under the rule of United Kingdom which lasted for 156 years until 1997, where the British handed back the sovereignty of the territory to China. There is an estimated population of 7.4 million (2016) where majority are Chinese. People here are called Hong Kongers or Hong Kongese and the currency used is Hong Kong Dollar (HKD).
My favorite mode of transportation is the MTR. It is cheaper than riding taxis and it will get you to where you are going just by sitting down inside the train. It is also unlikely that you’ll get lost riding the MTR because you know which station you are heading to.
When in Hong Kong, my family and I always stay in Wan Chai because it is close to everything. It’s just a few stations away from Hong Kong Disneyland, The Peak, and Ocean Park Hong Kong. (I highlighted the names of these attractions according to the color of the MTR Line that you should be in to get there.)
You can check out the prices of the MTR tickets on their website. They will automatically calculate the cost of the ticket according to your travel pattern, passenger type, and trip.
Tip: Bring a copy of an MTR system map. You can study it while you’re inside the train travelling. I was able to plan out our itinerary because of this map.
Day 1: Hong Kong Disneyland
For our first day, we headed to the most famous theme park in Hong Kong—Hong Kong Disneyland. You can get there by riding a bus or by riding the MTR. The theme park is located in Lantau Island, so we had to wake up early in the morning to ride the MTR because we were in Hong Kong Island. From Wan Chai, it would take approximately 30 minutes by bus or by car. If you will ride the MTR, it would take you more than an hour however, it’s more cheaper. Here’s how you can get there:
- Ride an MTR train that is in the Tung Chung Line. The MTR train should be heading to Tung Chung.
- Alight at Sunny Bay Station.
- Transfer to the Disneyland Resort Line and ride the Disney-themed MTR train.
The last station of the line is your final destination. From the station, you have to climb the stairs and walk for a few minutes to reach the entrance. You can buy your tickets in the park or you can buy them online through their official website.
1-Day Pass General Admission Tickets:
- Adult – HK$ 589
- Child (ages 3-11) – HK$ 419
- Senior (ages 65 or above) – HK$ 100
Prepare yourself for some serious walking because Hong Kong Disneyland has seven themed areas that you have to visit and experience: Main Street, U.S.A., Fantasyland, Adventureland, Tomorrowland, Grizzly Gulch, Mystic Point, and Toy Story Land.
Tip: If you will be visiting a theme park like Hong Kong Disneyland, you should allot one whole day to fully enjoy the park rides and attractions.
Day 2: St. John’s Cathedral, Peak Tram, Sky Terrace and Madame Tussauds
This is St. John’s Cathedral located in Garden Road, Central. This is the oldest Anglican church and the mother church to the province of Hong Kong and Macao. The church is located at the center of the “Powers of Hong Kong” where it is surrounded by banks (Bank of China and HSBC), the Legislative Council Building, Former Central Government Offices and the Court of Final Appeal.
It was really exciting for me because St. John’s Cathedral was the very first church I have ever visited outside my own country. What makes this so exciting? Well, there is this Filipino belief where if it’s your first time visiting a church, you have to pray and make a wish because it will come true.
After passing by the church, you will eventually get to the Garden Road Peak Tram Lower Terminus. This is where you will get to ride a tram to get to The Peak. The tower is built on top of a mountain so expect that the tram ride will be a scenic one. Reaching the three-storey tower, you will find shopping and dining establishments, Madame Tussauds, and the Sky Terrace—where you can view the entire Hong Kong.
Monday to Sunday (including Public Holidays)
7:00 AM – 12 Midnight
- Peak Tram Sky Pass (The Peak Tram + Sky Terrace 428)
- Return Ticket
- Adult – HK$ 90
- Child (aged 3-11) – HK$ 43
- Senior (aged 65 or above) – HK$ 43
- Return Ticket
- Peak Tram
- Return Ticket
- Adult – HK$ 45
- Child (aged 3-11) – HK$ 20
- Senior (aged 65 or above) – HK$ 20
- Return Ticket
- 2-in-1 Combo (Madame Tussauds + Peak Tram)
- Online Price: HK$ 249
- Walk-in: HK$ 315
- 3-in-1 Combo (Madame Tussauds + Peak Tram + Sky Terrace 428)
- Online Price: HK$ 305
- Walk-in: HK$ 335
Tip: Peak Tram, Sky Terrace, and Madame Tussauds tickets can be purchased at the Garden Road Peak Tram Lower Terminus. However, if you want to buy tickets for all three, it’s better to make your purchase online. There are special packages available as well as limited-time offers. You can buy your tickets online here.
Day 3: Ocean Park
Before Hong Kong Disneyland, there was and there still is Ocean Park Hong Kong. This is an amusement park, an animal theme park, a marine mammal park, and an oceanarium. You can get here in under 30 minutes by riding a bus or car, but you can get here more cheaper if you will opt riding the MTR. Here’s how you can get there:
- From Wan Chai, ride the MTR train in Island Line heading to Kennedy Town.
- Alight at Admiralty station.
- Transfer to the South Island Line and alight at the Ocean Park station—one station away from Admiralty.
The theme park is separated into two areas by a large mountain—The Waterfront (Lowland) and The Summit (Headland). You have to ride a cable car at the Ocean Express funicular railway and travel 1.5 kilometers to reach The Summit.
You will definitely love Ocean Park for its animal shows and wildlife exhibits if you’re an animal lover as well as their rides and attractions if you’re a daredevil who’s up for some stomach-dropping experience. If you’re not both, you can still enjoy the park like I did. You can visit the souvenir shops, have your photos taken by Ocean Park photographers, dine at different restaurants, visit different wildlife-themed attractions, and take a lot of photos.
I’m an animal lover but I’m not a big fan of hardcore rides. However, I got to ride the Arctic Blast, which was my very first roller coaster ride. It’s for kids but still, an achievement for me and a strikethrough in my bucket list.
Monday to Sunday
10:00AM – 11:00 PM
General Admission Tickets:
- Adult – HK$ 438
- Child (aged 3-11) – HK$ 219
Tip: Be observant and look for people who are selling Ocean Park tickets outside the entrance. I bought the tickets for me and my family from a civilian near the entrance of Ocean Park. He doesn’t work there but he sells legitimate tickets at a cheaper price.
On a Final Note
Hong Kong is a place for amusement, exploring, dining and shopping. The people are fast-paced and the place is modern, however, the culture and heritage of the ancient civilization remains. That’s why the best of all, it’s in Hong Kong.