We got off at Bank Centre Station to meet AC, our host for the accommodation. I found her unit through Airbnb and instantly fell in love with the place. Also, the room was cheap for a family of seven. It had a sofa bed in the living room(see picture) and 3 bedrooms that fitted 2 persons each.
|sofa bed by the living room, image via Airbnb|
|bedroom with AC unit, image via Airbnb|
The unit looked small but it really was just enough for a family of seven. We were always out anyway and staying in a big, cozy, hotel room would only be a waste. Plus, the beds and pillows were so soft and comfy that even after a day of strolling around, we managed to have a good sleep. Click here for the Airbnb listing.
We were very fortunate to be able to stay in one of the liveliest districts in Hong Kong that is Mongkok. We were situated just above Ladies market! Think Divisoria! (Also, they didn’t call it Ladies Market for nothing which I found out from a friend when I came back to the Philippines.)
It was already a little past lunch time when we’re finally settled in so we asked our host, AC, where we could have a cheap, good Chinese lunch for our first meal. She recommended London Restaurant(this was Chinese, I swear) just along Nathan Road. The menu was written in Chinese and we really didn’t understand any of it. Plus, the waitress did not speak English but we could tell that she was nice. We only relied on the pictures so we pointed to lots of dim sum!
Our first destination was at Ngong Ping 360. To get there, we got inside Mongkok Station and bought Octopus cards first. This card was very convenient because it offered discounted fares and could also be used in buses. We were also able to use it when purchasing from selected establishments like 7-11. Initially, the card costed $150 which had $100 as credit and $50 as deposit. Don’t worry, it’s refundable.
The fare was $16.50. (To know the fares to and from different stations, click here.) We got off at Tung Chung Station and walked toward Ngong Ping 360.
Ngong Ping 360
Ngong Ping 360 is one of Hong Kong’s famous attractions, which included a cable car ride to the themed village. We rode the standard cabin which costed $165 per head, roundtrip.
Ngong Ping Village is a culturally-themed site designed to showcase the culture of the whole Ngong Ping area. Since Hong Kong is modernizing fast, you won’t see many traditional infrastructures like the ones in this village. This should be on everyone’s itinerary when in Hong Kong!
Reaching the top on a sunny day was not easy. That’s why we rewarded ourselves with ice cream ($12) as we rested by the shade around the temple. It was also summer in Hong Kong, very hot! Good thing we were given fans upon purchasing cable car tickets. At the top, we could see the panoramic view of the mountains and the whole village, very niiiice.Tian Tan Buddha is the bronze, seated Buddha which represents Sakyamuni, who meditated under the Bodhi tree and attained awakening to true reality. Surrounding it were six other statues that posed offering necessary for enlightenment.
|Me and Nanay|
We didn’t have much time to explore the whole village because we also planned to visit the Victoria Peak by evening. Also, the queue to the cable car might build up since it was already 4pm and we wouldn’t risk it.
Tired from walking and sleepy from the early flight, we rode the train once again to our next destination: The Peak Tram.
|2007 vs 2015|
We’re excited to get off Central Station to recreate an old photo we took when we first visited Hong Kong!
The Peak Tram and Victoria Peak
From central station, we walked to the Peak Tram. It started raining and we didn’t have umbrellas with us while we waited in line outside of the station. Good thing we pursued because the rain eventually stopped when we’re already soaked. I think we waited, standing, for almost an hour because of the loooong queue. I hate queues!
One of the oldest funicular railways, the tram carries both the tourists and locals to the upper levels of Hong Kong. When the train arrived for our batch, we rushed in to save ourselves seats. I didn’t know back then that it would go steeply upward and was in for so much surprise when it started going. The buildings seemed to lean sideways to 30 degrees! Totally worth the long wait!
From the first station, we traveled upward onto the next. We saw the huge airport, the highways we traversed earlier, the skyscrapers from the city, the calm, calm sea, and the other cabins that made me estimate the tension held by the rope that held us all which sort of triggered a panic in me. It took us about twenty-five minutes to reach the Ngong Ping Village but when you’re inside a cabin suspended hundreds of feet above the sea, you’d really lose track of time.Upon reaching the Ngong Ping Village, we already saw the big Buddha which got us excited! After exploring the vicinity, we headed right for the Buddha and found a flight of 268 steps that led to it. It’s okay since we needed to burn all the dim sum we had earlier. haha!