We had a lovely time in HK ..The weather was cloudy and it did rain but it made our trip all the more memorable
Landed in HK airport at 11 AM on Oct 1st ..Daughter was not well because of the 6 + hrs flight at night and we wanted to just get back to the hotel as fast as possible . We chose the Airport express because the last thing on our mind after a long flight was sightseeing on the bus or a cramped taxi ..
Airport express TIPS
If there are 3 or more people in your group then you can get discounted group tickets on airport express which is just across the arrival hall. The Ticket counter is just adjacent to the HK Tourist Information counter as soon as you come out after collecting your baggage. We paid 180 HKD for 3 of us to Kowloon and the trains were practically empty . There is ample space to store heavy luggage in each compartment . Once we reached Kowloon then there are feeder buses just outside the station and there was a counter where they helped us to get on to the right bus .The feeder buses are free of charge. Even if your hotel is not mentioned in the feeder drop list ,no need to worry as they will drop you nearby for u to walk. We were staying at Novotel nathan road and they dropped us a block away and we walked to the hotel.
Octopus Card -Advantages
You can also take Octopus Card from the same counter . We first took the discounted group tickets on airport express and then took the Octopus cards (one for each person) . Octopus cards are a must for anyone coming on to HK and prefers to travel on the excellent transport system . We practically avoided taxi's for the whole 7 days except once to ocean park when we were late.. You can get the entire balance refunded at the airport on your way back. These cards can be used in the MRT,buses, ferries,trams,7-11's and even can be used at Macdonalds .We used this at Ocean park Macdonalds for a couple of burgers. This will help you save lot of time from queuing up for single trip tickets at MTR's and also getting the correct change every time when you board a bus .
We also saw the fireworks celebration on Oct 1st which was awesome and walked back to the hotel from Tsim Sha sui ..
We went to the science museum which was ok if you have children and then went to TST (Tsim Sha Sui) pier /Star ferry Pier . Here also u can use the Octopus Card and there is also a HK tourism information centre . The Upper Deck is superb for seeing the HK skyline and we used the ferry mode much more than the MRT for reaching Central. They also have a 1 hour Night cruise which we took . It basically takes you a full round across the harbor .. Try and avoid the Symphony of Lights cruise which was a big disappointment .We took the 7 o clock cruise and came back at 8 ..
Day 3 -The Peak
We took the bus from our hotel to Star ferry .Bus 1A takes you from Nathan Road to the star ferry pier . These double Decker buses are really special as you can see the entire city .Try and sit on the front on the upper deck and you have a 180 degree view . From Star ferry pier we took the ferry to Central and then we got onto the 15C bus (Bus stand is just next to the Pier where you get off ) to reach the Peak Tram Terminus .Go early else it will be a big queue. To avoid the queue for tickets and if you are interested in Madam Tussaud ,take a combo ticket which normally has a shorter queue . The tram experience was good as some points of time it really goes into a steep 45 d incline.. We took the return trip by bus instead of the tram . Bus 15 starts from the Peak Bus station which is behind the HK Tourism centre ( The Tourism centre is a old Tram body which is pretty catchy) You can ask them for directions to the Bus station which is hardly 2 minutes walk from there . The return by Bus 15 was really lotta better than the tram and we sat on the front of the double Decker at the upper level. The view is superb and do not miss it .It beats the tram anyday.
Had to buy some medicine and I found 2 medical shops .Watsons and Mannings are found everywhere across HK ..
Day 4- Disney land Tips
Tickets can be taken from most of the hotels and these are valid for at least a month . So u can plan to go whenever u want on your trip .They allowed mineral water,juices inside . Reaching there early at about 9:30 AM helps . There are 2 brochures available ,Disney Map and Show timings ..Take both and study it for some time ..Do not rush inside like the crowd does.. You need to get a complete bearing of the whole place ,understand what is where ,fast pass attractions etc. Use the Fast Pass system for Winnie the Pooh show and other fast pass attractions .The Fast pass saves your place in line for a particular attraction while you enjoy the rest of the theme park The fast pass is nothing but putting your normal ticket on a machine and it is complimentary with your normal ticket . Please ask the Guest services people about this and they will explain it in detail.It will save you a lot of time and not many people know about it. see the link below of Disney for more details ..http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/guest-services/fast-pass/.
Do not work your way from start of the park .Rather go to the extreme end of the park and work your way backwards .It will help you avoid the crowds and also will help u see the attractions you wanted to see without waiting in a queue . Do not wait at the entrance for the photos with disney stars as the crowd will be huge and you will lose precious time . They are there for the whole of the day at different places and you have plenty of opportunities at noon . The disney stars were around the fantasy gardens from noon till 6 for photo op sessions..We took the fast pass at winnie the pooh ,got a time of 11 am there and in the meantime finished off the River cruise first and came back to Winnie the pooh ride ..And we were taken to the front of the line like some superstars just because of the fast pass .Same situation at the other fast pass attractions .And we did'nt have to pay a penny extra than the poor queuing population .. The lion king show was also good . Now the Disney parade(flights of fantasy)Best place is to Go to the start where the Parade starts (Near the Golden Micky /near the entrance to Tomorrow land) about 15 minutes before the Parade starts ..If you notice there are 2 red lines on the road. Stand or sit there there as that is the cutoff point and you can witness the show without anybody in front. Before the parade starts , the Disney volunteers would come and make sure that you are not crossing the red line..
Have your lunch between 11:30 AM and 12:30 PM else the whole crowd comes in for food from 1 PM onwards and the entire food outlets were choke a block..best way is to buy a sandwich and juice at around 12 PM and then have a blast seeing attractions while the crowds throng the food outlets .. Then when they come back at around 3 PM go in for lunch ...Same plan for dinner ..The entire crowd goes for the MRT after the fireworks and there is a huge rush ..We went for dinner after the fireworks and by the time we reached the disney MRT station the crowds were quite less.
Saw the Halloween night parade and that was good..All in all , if you plan your must see attractions early, use the fast pass wisely , reach the Park by 9:30 AM, use the lunch timings judiciously , working backwards from the end, you can cover this completely end to end without missing anything in One day.
The Trip's not Over , but this trip report is .Wait for the Trip Report 2 which covers the Open top double decker bus trip, Ocean world , Temple street night markets, Ladies market etc etc ..Will try and send in a day or two...