Hong Kong Day 1 | Tsing Yi to Tung Chung
Our 4 day Hong Kong trip for 2016 is a package offered by a high school friend’s FRM Travel Services. The package’s major inclusions are round trip airfare via Cathay Pacific (with 20 Kg baggage allowance), round trip airport transfers, 4D/3N accommodation in Rambler Garden Hotel, daily breakfast in Cafe de Coral, Disneyland tour and half day city tour for Php 19,950 per pax.
Package Tour Itinerary
Day 1 – Meet and transfer to hotel check in.
The package’s day 1 only includes meeting our travel guide and accompanying us to our hotel. The rest of the day is free time so we planned on checking on the nearby places and public transportation on day 1.
Day 2 – Whole Day Disneyland Tour
Day 3 – Half Day City Tour (Harbour front Promenade, Jewelry Factory, Souvenir Outlet, Aberdeen Fishing Village, passing by mid-level of Victoria Peak).
We have half day free time on day 3. We planned to either go shopping in outlet stores/shopping markets or to go to Madame Tussauds on our free time.
Day 4 – Whole Day Free Time
We planned on buying our pasalubong and on visiting one more attraction during our last day in Hong Kong. We have no specific place to visit yet, it will depend on whatever will happen and we’ll discover on days 1 – 3.
Departure from Manila
Our flight was at 05:15 am. We left our car in Park ‘N Fly at around 1:30 am and we were already at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) at 2 am. We then had enough time to have our super early breakfast in one of the airport’s coffee shops before our scheduled flight.
Arrival in Hong Kong and Rambler Garden Hotel
We arrived in Hong Kong at around 07:20 am. Our tour guide who’s a Chinese male was already waiting for us when we arrived at our designated meeting area in Hong Kong International Airport at around 08:15 am. He discussed to us an overview of our itinerary then we waited for a while for other travelers in his list who will also be transferred to their hotels. Our tour guide speaks very good English however gives an impression of being distant and aloof. He doesn’t look to us when answering our questions.
When all travelers in his list were already complete, our tour guide led us to the shuttle bus that will transfer us to our respective hotels. He gave his final instructions on our drop off points and left us to the bus driver. We were transferred to our hotel, Rambler Garden Hotel, at around 10 am.
Check in time is at 2 pm and it was only 10 am. While waiting for our 2 pm check in, we left our luggage to the concierge and decided to check on the nearest shopping market/mall where we can stroll and have our lunch. The concierge at the hotel lobby suggested that we go to Maritime Square by taking the 88F Mini Bus outside the hotel and getting off at Tsing Yi MTR station.
We observed that there are no public mini buses passing by in front of the hotel lobby area so we went down to the basement where we were dropped off by our shuttle bus driver. I saw a customer service lady and approached her to ask on where we can ride the mini bus going to Maritime Square. The Chinese lady could not speak English very well but still gladly accommodated my inquiry by writing instructions on a piece of paper as shown on the photo below. Can you figure it out?
I wasn’t able to figure out the written instructions at first so we got lost for a while around the Rambler Garden Hotel area and have asked several locals for directions. The locals gave us different specific directions but what’s common is that they are all pointing back to the Rambler Garden Hotel.
We then went back inside the hotel via the basement entrance. I pulled out the written instructions and read it again, focused on unleashing the Robert Langdon in me and… ta-dah! I figured it out! The direction says “Take the lift going up to level 5. Go out and take the mini bus with 88G signage.” Eureka! But why 88G? The concierge said 88F. Probably it’s because both mini bus can get us to Maritime Square.
First Ride in the Public Mini Bus
We went up to level 5 which is the hotel lobby, went out its entrance doors and followed the road on the side. At last, we saw the bus stop where we can take the public mini bus. We took the 88F mini bus. The fare is fixed at 3.4 HKD (~Php 22) per head and can be paid via the Octopus card or cash in exact amount. Good thing that we had Hong Kong dollar coins enough for the exact 6.8 HKD (~Php 44) fare for the both of us because we didn’t have an Octopus card.
Tsing Yi MTR Station and Maritime Square
We got off at the last bus stop which is the Tsing Yi MTR Station. Maritime Square is just adjacent to the MTR station so we easily saw it. We took a stroll and checked on what’s inside Maritime Square.
The view along one of its bridgeways is a breath of fresh air.
First MTR Commute and the Octopus Card
There is really nothing fancy about Maritime Square as it looks similar to our high end malls in the Philippines. We were actually hoping to find outlet stores where we can shop for branded items at a much lower price but weren’t able to find one in Maritime Square. We then decided to check on other attractions near the area. I took a little time studying the MTR and attraction site maps and directions.
We decided to go to Tung Chung Station as it’s just two MTR stations away from Tsing Yi Station. The attraction guide says that we can find several Ngong Ping attractions when we go to Tung Chung station. We bought one Octopus card for each of us since we find it convenient in commuting around Hong Kong. It’s being accepted in MTR and in other public transpo, even in some restaurants. One octopus card is 150 HKD (~Php 975), 100 HKD (~Php 650) of which is consumable while the 50 HKD (~Php 325) is refundable once the Octopus card is surrendered back.
We took a quick standing lunch in Tong Kee Bao Dim before we board the train going to Tung Chung Station. I ordered Steamed Rice with Chicken & Chinese Mushroom for 25 HKD (~Php 162) while B ordered Glutinous Rice with Chicken, Roasted Pork & Salted Eggyolk Wrap also for 25 HKD (~Php 162).
Tung Chung Station and City Gate Outlets
When we reached Tung Chung, we were surprised to see City Gate Outlets, a shopping mall housing lots of outlet stores! We accidentally found what we were looking for! So we opted to just shop/window shop in City Gate Outlets instead of checking on the Ngong Ping attractions.
We found prospect purchases like designer shirts at 69 HKD (~Php 448) and a wide range of Adidas Stan Smith designs from 625 – 700 HKD (~Php 4,062 – Php 4,550). Though we decided not to buy them yet as we’re still planning to check on the shopping markets. We thought that we might still find better deals.
It’s a Wrap for Day 1
We decided to call it a day and go back to our hotel after we have gone around City Gate Outlets and checked on the outlet stores. On our way home, we passed by Tsing Yi Station’s Das Gute and bought some bread and pastries for our light dinner.
We were able to get back to Rambler Garden Hotel at around 6 pm. After eating our light dinner in our hotel room, we already took our good night’s sleep so we’ll have enough energy for day 2. Day 2 will be a whole day in Disneyland!
Check out part 1 of Day 2 blog post here!