***Note: The pictures and videos in this post we're taken last March 2019, months before the events of the Hongkong civil unrest and the coronavirus outbreak. ***
What's up travelmaniacs and Steemitians! Here I am once again for another one of my travel stories! This time, I'm sharing to you about my first ever travel to Hong Kong.
I was suppose to have a schedule in Davao and I already booked a flight in advance. However, my then-business colleagues invited me to travel with them to Hongkong. Since I've never traveled abroad for almost 6 years, which the last one was with my family adventure in Singapore, I took it as an opportunity to break the drought.
I decided to let my Davao trip pass since there's no way I could reroute because of the promo's conditions. I think it's a round trip amounting to around P5,000 or $100. I booked my flight with them. Good thing my passport wasn't expired yet under the old 5-year expiration rule.
Day One: We are at the airport early because of so many passengers falling in line in the immigration, so we have to be there at least two hours advance.
As the immigration is checking my travel history, she asked if it's my first time in abroad. I said to the immigration officer that I have been in abroad almost six years ago (2013) with my family, and confidently telling her about my purpose, which is to attend a blockchain conference. She stamped my passport and I proceed to wait for our flight.
We left around 7:00 A.M. and arrived exactly to the Hong Kong International Airport around 9:30 A.M. As we passed immigration, we immediately took the MRT to Tsim Sha Tsui. From the airport to Tsim Sha Tsui in Southern Kowloon, we spent around $105 HKD or $13.47 for a one-way ticket.
The duration of the travel is approximately 45 minutes. It would have been expensive if we take a taxi. Bus is much cheaper, $33 HKD or $4.23. However, it's longer than an hour and 10 minutes (depends on traffic situation).
I think we have stopped at the Central Station to transfer to another one going to the Southern Kowloon.
After landing at the Southern Kowloon station, we managed to find a ramen restaurant and eat with the gang.
We checked in to our tiny hotel room named HK Star Hotel in Chungking Mansions in Tsim Sia Tsui afterward since we're just budget travelers.
As I check in my phone's history log, we paid for a total of $960 HKD or $123.15 for 5 nights. On top of that, we are required to deposit $100 HKD or $25.52 for the electronic keycard.
I have to say that the HK Star Hotel isn't impressive to me at all. A tiny space with a tiny bathroom? The sliding door won't even fully close and no lock as well. I told them that the next time we go back to Hong Kong, we'll never go back to this hotel again ever. I had a feeling that our money's not worth the stay, but charge to experience.
Anyways, we do have speedy Wi-Fi access in the room. Only one electronic keycard is provided for us, so we have to stick together. We slept for a few hours before heading off to meet someone at a nearby mall.
After meeting with a business client, we head off to the Eyebar near the Victoria Harbour.
As you can see in the picture above, the Victoria Harbour is already there. It's an amazing view from above, especially during night time. Before heading back to the ugly HK Star Hotel, I took time seeing the colorful Victoria Harbour at night.
After our brief strolling at the Victoria Harbour, we head back to our ugly hotel room and getting a much-needed rest to be prepared for tomorrow's activity.
Day 2: We wake up around 12 noon. and ate our brunch in the ground floor of Chungking Mansions. There are some local restaurant chains around the corner, since the hotel is just inside the mall. During that time, Veronica and Sonny are the ones being invited to the private meeting of the Ethereum Foundation. They entrusted me with the room keycard while they head off to the private invitation.
As for me? Well, I simply head off to Disneyland Hongkong!
From Chunking Mansions, I went down to the iSquare mall and head down to the MTR station heading to Tsuen Wan line. After that, I transferred train to Tung Chung. I went to the Sunny Bay Station and head off to Disneyland Resort.
It took me three MTR transfers to finally reach Disneyland Hong Kong. I forgot how much did I pay for the one-way ticket though, but it's slightly affordable.
The standard 1-day ticket to the main Disneyland attraction for adults is around $619 HKD or $79.39. For children ages 3 to 11 years old, the cost is $458 HKD or $58.74. However, senior citizens ages more than 65 years old will enjoy Disneyland for only $100 HKD or $25.52. You can get discounted prices at Klook website.
However, I choose not go inside as I'm saving money. I just wandering around the Disneyland park that is free of charge. It's good enough for me to finally reach Disneyland Hong Kong for the first time in my life. It was truly unforgettable, especially going there all by myself.
I didn't have much pictures in the Disneyland though, but I did record a video of mine sharing about my Hong Kong experiences here (Sorry if I cannot embed the Facebook video because it's dimensions are 4:3. When I checked the preview, it says "The video cannot be played", but if redirected to FB it's fine).
After eating my noodle snack with Coke in can at the Disneyland Hong Kong, I waited for the Disney Express train to come as I proceed to the Quarry Bay to attend a blockchain meetup.
The blockchain meetup in Quarry Bay was held at the PCCW Tower. To summarize, I've attended their panel and network with other cryptocurrency enthusiasts in attendance. As Veronica and Sonny are still with the Ethereum foundation meeting and after party that time, I head back to the HK Star Hotel in Chungking Mansions to rest in preparation for the Token 2049 event.
To summarize my 3rd and final day in Hong Kong, my colleagues and I have attended the Token 2049 conference at the Kerry Hotel and after party in some bars and restaurants.
I met some famous cryptocurrency personalities like Vitalik Buterin of Ethereum, Charlie Lee of Litecoin, Justin Sun of TRON, Ian Balina and many more.
In the after party of Token 2049, it was held in the Avenue at Wanchai. Since Veronica and Sonny wants to party more, I didn't stay long and went back to the HK Star Hotel by taking a taxi ride (because MTR stations are not operating for 24 hours). I can't sleep that time though, so I have to go outside and take a quick walk to the Victoria Harbour.
By the next day, we check out on our hotel room and ride on an MTR to the airport to catch up on our flight back to Manila.
Overall, it's a blessing for me. For almost 6 years, I've never stepped foot outside of the Philippines. I didn't regret it for sure, even if it means of giving up my Davao trip without refund. I would definitely be coming back to Hong Kong for sure, once the coronavirus (COVID-19) is successfully controlled or eliminated as Filipinos like me are currently barred from flying to Hong Kong to prevent the spread of the virus.
Thank you so much for your time to read my blog post about Hong Kong and Disneyland. I hope you liked it very much.
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Check out my previous travel stories here: