Travel Diaries: Hongkong~Disneyland & Oceanpark

Though I’ve visited few theme parks in Hyderabad & Beijing. It isn’t the same with Hong kong’s Disneyland & Ocean park. I felt for the magic spell of Disneyland and adrenaline rush of Ocean park. I made this visit in June end 2009. Its almost been 6 years but still the memories are so intact that I feel this, as if it happened yesterday. We only carried a small digital camera so the pictures are not upto the mark. I wish I can show you guys all the rides and activities we did but I can’t and don’t want to because I wanted you people to go to Hong kong to experience it..

Disneyland: Where imagination comes to life

This is the world of imagination, hopes, and dreams. In this timeless land of enchantment, the age of chivalry, magic and make-believe are reborn – and fairy tales come true. Fantasyland is dedicated to the young-in-heart, to those who that when you wish upon a star, your dreams come true. I literally got carried away during my visit to this park. Only three words were coming out of my mouth ‘WOW’ ‘WOW’ & ‘WOW’. Too much of joy and happiness made our trip successful and amazing. This place has brought out the kid in me.

Flights of Fantasy Parade:

Alice in Wonderland Unit, The Little Mermaid Unit, Toy story unit, Disney Princess Unit, Plane crazy unit, Chip & Dale, The Band Concert Unit(8m high Hot air Mickey balloon) and the finale consists of Mickey Mouse and his friends, Minnie Mouse, Pluto, Goofy, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck and Tinkerbell from Peter Pan. Also the statues of Jiminy Cricket from Pinocchio, The Genie from Aladdin, Rafiki from The Lion King and Mushu from Mulan.

Adventure Island:

This Island has Indiana Jones Adventure, Jungle Cruise, Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room & Tarzan’s Treehouse

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 Tarzan’s Treehouse:

Tarzan’s Treehouse built on Tarzan’s Island. Rafts near Festival of the Lion King are used to ferry passengers to and from the island, which is encircled by the Rivers of Adventure

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Adventure Island.. Indiana Jones 😉

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Cutepie taking a picture with Mickie mouse

 

Fireworks at Cinderella Palace:

Fireworks starts at 8:00p.m, In order to get a good view of the palace and fireworks we went to the palace at 7:20 only. There were 100’s of people waiting for the show to begin. Time moved faster than ever. The show was fantastic. I’ve found this video which was uploaded on youtube..  watch it..

Tips from my perspective: Disneyland tips

1. Getting to the theme park is very easy and convenient with Hong kong’s MTR as it has own dedicated MTR “Disneyland Resort” Line and Station. From Tsimshatsui it takes around 40mins. costs around 25Hkd.

2. Park timings 10:00 am to 09:00pm. Tickets: One day pass 450HKD, two day pass 580HKD. For Children will be 320 and 415. Student discount will be 50%.

3. Check the show timings and plan well such that you can cover all the shows.

4. Don’t miss the Fireworks at Cinderella palace

 

Ocean Park:!! WOW It’s My Park

It is a marine mammal park, oceanarium, animal theme park and amusement park situated in the Southern District of Hong Kong. It is, together with Hong Kong Disneyland, one of the two large theme parks in Hong Kong. Me and Goutham reached  Ocean park at 8:30 in the morning, Queues were longer than we expected luckily we met a Pakistani guy Sameer who was waiting for his friends at the entrance of the park. Since his friends didn’t show up, he asked us to join with him which saved as a lot of time. Ocean Park is divided into two main attraction areas: the Waterfront and the Summit.

Show at Waterfront:

There was a show at the waterfront area which was quite entertaining and educational too. They show the story of endangered bamboo forest animals, such as giant panda, snow leopard, tiger, red panda and golden snub-nosed monkey. Thrilling acrobatic performances and exciting stunts will captivate the whole family while they discover the importance of protecting these beautiful creatures from extinction.

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These two zones can be further divided into eight different attraction zones: Amazing Asian Animals, Aqua City, Whiskers Harbour, Marine World, Polar Adventure, AdventureLand, Thrill Mountain and the Rainforest.

View of the rides at Thrill mountain..

View of the Headland rides..

Uninhabitated islands scattered in South China sea..

A view from the bay restaurant.

Ocean theatre Show :

Ocean Theatre is located in Marine World. We saw “Sea Dreams!”, a world-class production with sound editing provided by an Oscar winner, featuring the Park’s marine animal stars in a story about the importance of marine conservation.

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Both the trips to Disney land and Ocean park are spectacular. It was a very memorable experience. You can imagine how memorable it was that even after six years I’m sharing my experience with you all.. 😛

Tips from my perspective: Ocean park tips

1. Park timings 10am to 18:30, Ticket adult(320 HkD) Child (3-11years 160HKD)

2.Don’t miss Lion king show, Emperors of the sky,sea lion fun time & Ocean Heroes.

3. Be there as early as possible, because the queues are very long.

4. Try to avoid visiting this place on weekends.

5. Take 629 at Admiralty MTR Station or Central Pier No.7 to Ocean Park directly.

6. Hydrate yourself by drinking more liquids.

 

 

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Guest post: A Parrot’s Empathy

A creative mind or soul would definitely bring lively emotions and bring different perspectives of what we see… This is what exactly happened.. One my friend my very good friend Dr. Shweta Chatterjee wrote this poem based on the picture which I took in Hong kong . I have never seen the beauty of this picture until I read the below lines from her.. I hope you’ll like it too..

Oh, Nature’s An Another Beautiful Creature,
Other than Me,
You have travelled miles away from home,
Just to click my picture,
with such great enthusiasm and ecstacy?
And so I finally decided,
To stand on my feet wisely,
showing all my courtesy,
And offering you not an inch more trouble,
For you have been loaded your back with priorities enough,
In the name of “Falsehood of Reality” and “Power of Almighty”!
Here  I assure, you find, Peace but no woe ever,
If you see through my rounded small eyes,
That has seen every sunset at this empty sea shore,
Created only for “The Virtuous and Wise!”
My wings are folded,
Just to pose,
Like a “King of my Territory”, “The Air”
Where I do not fear,
when I roam in search of food, water and Freedom Forever!
Oh Dear! Let me take you to the other end of this view for once,
Where I found happiness yesterday,
Wrapped in a bottle within a piece of paper,
Somebody wishing for something awkward might be,
But my reading skill is not that good you know, practically!
And that little boat over there,
Rowing rowing rowing all day all night long,
Not knowing exactly to stop and start again,
Since when and where shall come the end,
Which it doesn’t know ,
So just following its Day dreams is the only aim it hear,
When its inner ear calls n asks,
What are you willing to seek further,
You, The Ultimate Seeker,
from this World Full of Terror and Desire?

I can't stop appreciating her for her deep observation.. Captured at Stanley, Hong kong

I can’t stop appreciating her for her deep observation.. Captured at Stanley, Hong kong

Travel Diaries: Hongkong ~ My First Backpacking Trip – II

Hongkong is praised as ‘A bright pearl in the orient’. As a tourist destination in the world it is acclaimed as ‘shoppers paradise’ and ‘gourmets city’. And is one of the most densely inhabited regions on the earth.

The transport system is great and very systematic too. This City’s transport system offers very safe and comfortable rides. You’ll never miss your destination as there are markers and pointers everywhere and all exits are duly marked to guide your travel. It is an expensive city but it is worth it. Food is cheap but hotels are expensive. There are so many good places to go and even if we stay there for a couple of weeks there, we can’t visit all those places which we wanted to visit. At night there is always life at the harbor.

You can leave Hong Kong, but it will never leave you.

You can leave Hong Kong, but it will never leave you.

The Hong Kong Star Ferry is one of the most unique things to do while traveling in Hong Kong. It is basically a short 10 minute ferry ride that takes you across the Victoria Harbour between Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon and Hong Kong Island side.

The Hong Kong Star Ferry is one of the most unique things to do while traveling in Hong Kong. It is basically a short 10 minute ferry ride that takes you across the Victoria Harbour between Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon and Hong Kong Island side.

Take the Star Ferry atleast once, do it from the Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon side to get to Hong Kong Island at night around 8PM. This way you will see the magnificent view of the skyscrapers in Central and Wanchai. Every night at 8PM there is also a light show called “A Symphony of Lights”. It is a show of dancing lights and music coming from buildings and skyscrapers. You will get a close up look of the light show on the Star Ferry plus a unique boating experience at night.

Take the Star Ferry atleast once, do it from the Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon side to get to Hong Kong Island at night around 8PM. This way you will see the magnificent view of the skyscrapers in Central and Wanchai. Every night at 8PM there is also a light show called “A Symphony of Lights”. It is a show of dancing lights and music coming from buildings and skyscrapers. You will get a close up look of the light show on the Star Ferry plus a unique boating experience at night.

The cost of the Star Ferry ride from Tsim Sha Tsui to Central is only HKD $2 during weekdays and HKD $3.40 for weekends and holidays. The Star Ferry runs from 7:20 AM to 10:30 PM daily. We did it in the day time. It looks more spectacular during night time.

The cost of the Star Ferry ride from Tsim Sha Tsui to Central is only HKD $2 during weekdays and HKD $3.40 for weekends and holidays. The Star Ferry runs from 7:20 AM to 10:30 PM daily.
We did it in the day time. It looks more spectacular during night time.

Skyscrapers! Unhealthy ugly giants! To live and work as close as to the land is a blessing! Remember, you are not a cloud! Come down and live on the ground! -Mehmet Murat ildan.

Skyscrapers! Unhealthy ugly giants! To live and work as close as to the land is a blessing! Remember, you are not a cloud! Come down and live on the ground! -Mehmet Murat ildan.

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This enigmatic city of skyscrapers, ancient traditions and heavenly food will fascinate, whether it’s your first visit or your 50th.

Hong kong MTR system is very efficient and is the best way to go around in Hong Kong as this is a subway and there is no traffic. MTR is a good way around Hong kong especially for tourists like us since most public bus drivers in hong kong don't speak english. and the Taxi's charge high rates of HKD $ 18.50 for the first two kilometers and HKD $ 1 for each 1 minute in traffic or every 200 meter increments. Taking an MTR helps us in time and money management(especially for budget travellers)

Hong kong MTR system is very efficient and is the best way to go around in Hong Kong as this is a subway and there is no traffic. MTR is a good way around Hong kong especially for tourists like us since most public bus drivers in hong kong don’t speak english. and the Taxi’s charge high rates of HKD $ 18.50 for the first two kilometers and HKD $ 1 for each 1 minute in traffic or every 200 meter increments. Taking an MTR helps us in time and money management(especially for budget travellers)

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Graffiti Competitions… Was impressed by their dedication. They were even doing it in Rain.

 

In order to save some money, we vacated our room and spent a whole night on the Victoria harbor while walking and talking. Luckily we met a bunch of travellers who are just like us. Our conversations  killed the night. Meeting new people is the best part of travelling. Do you agree with me?

In order to save some money, we vacated our room and spent a whole night on the Victoria harbor while walking and talking. Luckily we met a bunch of travellers who are just like us. Our conversations killed the night. Meeting new people is the best part of travelling. Do you agree with me?

Avenue of stars is located on Victoria Harbor waterfront in Tsim sha tsui. It honours celebrities of Hongkong. This is a Bruce Lee Statue.

Avenue of stars is located on Victoria Harbor waterfront in Tsim sha tsui. It honours celebrities of Hongkong. This is a Statue of Bruce Lee.

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Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living. -Mary Ritter Beard

 

Top 7 Tips from my perspective:

    1. Star Ferry: Take the Star Ferry from Tsim Sha Tsui because there is not much to see facing the Kowloon side if you begin the trip from Central or Wanchai.
    2. Budget Hotels: If you are looking for budget hotels go to chungking mansions and mirador mansions in near Tsimsha Tsui in Kowloon.
    3. Get an ‘Octopus Card’: For a $50HKD deposit and an initial $100 HKD load, you are all set to ride the rails on a comprehensive public transport system that includes ferries, buses and trains. At the end of your trip, you return the card and get back the $50 HKD deposit and any unused money loaded on the card.
    4. Foods: Don’t miss ‘Dimsum’. There’s a chain of restaurants called “DimDimSum” where it is cheap and tasty.Don’t miss Blooming teas & Tibetan Vegetarian meals near the Ngong Ping tourist village on Lantau Island.
    5. Visa on Arrival: For all those Indian Citizens there’s a free 14days visa on arrival. If you have  your passport with minimum of Six months validity and the most important is your original confirmed return Air ticket showing exit from Hongkong , within fourteen days .
    6. Don’t miss these attractions Victoria peak, Tiantan Buddha statue, Disneyland, Ocean park, Arts & science museum, Stanley Market(High-quality souvenirs), Temple street Night market, Ladies market(cheap souvenirs), Ozone bar (Ritz-Carlton hotel), on the 118th floor is the highest bar in the world and has spectacular views and the most important is Symphony of lights which is held at 8:00pm every night.
    7. Learning Cantonese: Last but not least learning the local dialect might help you especially when speaking with taxi drivers because they don’t speak much English. As with any country you go to, the people really appreciate it when you speak a little of the local language. Let’s Learn 3 words here 1.Hello=Nei ho 1. How are you?= Nei hou ma? Thank you=M̀h’gōi

Travel Diaries: Hongkong ~ My First Backpacking Trip

Hongkong (meaning Fragrant Harbour) is a Special administration region of PR China. Before the transfer of sovereignty to China in 1997, It had been a British colony for nearly 150 years. As a result, most infrastructure inherits the design and standards of Britain. It is a unique destination that has absorbed people and cultural influences from different places of the world and proudly proclaims itself to be Asia’s World City.

It is a paradise for tourist’s. I’ve visited this place thrice and it always stands tall. It was a good & different experience every time I have been to this place, first time I visited this place in 2009 with my friend Goutham and it was a backpacking trip. And forget not that it was my first backpacking trip.  Later, I had to visit twice for some business meetings in 2011 & 2012. In those business trips, I have never visited any other place other than Arts museum and planetarium and a brisk walk on the harbor. It is quite hard for me to recollect all my memories since its already been 6 years;). Now in this coming posts, I’m going to share some of my experiences, tips, suggestions and Pictures (mostly taken by a small camera and the pictures are not of a great quality ;).

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Ngongping 360: Ngong Ping Cable Car is a visually spectacular 5.7km bi-cable ropeway. This cable car journey begins from Tung Chung, crossing Tung Chung Bay to reach the angle station on Airport Island and turning about 60 degrees in the air towards North Lantau. This was one of the best ride to enjoy all the beautiful views during this 25-minute ride: One can view the vistas of the distant and vast South China Sea and the rolling grassland slopes of North Lantau Country Park from the cable car slowly take over from the hustle and bustle of the city, introduce us to the serene and natural surrounds that Lantau is famed for. The journey also offers a breathtaking panorama of the Hong Kong International Airport, verdant, mountainous terrain of Lantau Island, Tian Tan Buddha and the 360-degree view of the Ngong Ping Plateau.

Uninhabitated islands scattered in South China sea..

Uninhabited islands scattered in South China sea..

Visiting the big Buddha in Lantau Island is in my opinion the No1 must visti attraction. Reserve a full day for it and try to go with good weather. Recommendation: To get there you have to take a gondola lift (Ngong Ping 360) which offers 2 kind of cabins: a standard cabin and another one with a glass floor (crystal cabin). I strongly recommend to take the crystal cabin for one of the ways. Now the catch: take the standard cabin in the way up and the crystal on the way down. The majority of people takes the crystal on the way up and the standard on the way down, which causes some major delays in taking the gondola on the way down, take advantage of this fact to avoid huge queues on your way back.

Visiting the big Buddha in Lantau Island in my opinion the No.1 must see attraction. Reserve a full day for it and try to go with good weather.

Tian Tan Buddha, also known as the Big Buddha, is a large bronze statue of a Buddha Amoghasiddhi, completed in 1993, and located at Ngong Ping, Lantau Island, in Hong Kong. The statue is located near Po Lin Monastery and symbolises the harmonious relationship between man and nature, people and religion. It is a major centre of Buddhism in Hong Kong, and is also a popular tourist attraction

Tian Tan Buddha, also known as the Big Buddha, is a large bronze statue of a Buddha Amoghasiddhi, completed in 1993, and located at Ngong Ping, Lantau Island, in Hong Kong. The statue is located near Po Lin Monastery and symbolises the harmonious relationship between man and nature, people and religion.

A view from the peak tower.. And the backdrop is the one of the finest Harbors on Earth..

A view from the peak tower.. And the backdrop is the one of the finest Harbors on Earth..

Looking down at the city from this famous vantage point, you'll see one of the finest harbors on Earth and a skyline so improbable, audacious and lofty.Everything you've heard about Hong Kong's restlessness and energy is dramatically reaffirmed by the view from the Peak. Even the most cynical locals never tire of visiting.

Looking down at the city from this famous vantage point, you’ll see one of the finest harbors on Earth and a skyline so improbable, audacious and lofty.

A view from the top of Victoria peak

A view from the top of the Victoria peak.. Victoria harbor and Kowloon as a backdrop. The view was breathtaking! & the best part of our visit was it was not very crowded when we were there.. 🙂

A view from the Victoria Peak..

Everything you’ve heard about Hong Kong’s restlessness and energy is dramatically reaffirmed by the view from the Peak. Even the most cynical locals never tire of visiting.

Some Info-Bits about Hong kong Islands:

Hong Kong Island (香港島): Most of Hong Kong’s highest skyscrapers and the financial centre can be found here. Overall, Hong Kong Island is more modern and wealthy and considerably less dirty than the other areas of Hong Kong. The Peak is the tallest point on the island, with the best views and highest real estate values in the world.

Kowloon (九龍): The peninsula to the north of Hong Kong Island, with great views of the island. It offers a chaotic mix of malls, street markets, and residential tenements. With over 2.1 million people living in an area of less than 47 square kilometres, Kowloon is one of the most densely populated places in the world. Kowloon includes Tsim Sha Tsui (尖沙咀), the location of many budget hotels and Mong Kok , a shopping district.

New Territories (新界): The New Territories contain a curious mix of small farms, villages, industrial installations, mountainous country parks and towns that have populations the size of some cities.

Lantau Island (大嶼山): A large island west of Hong Kong Island. You will not find many idyllic villages, but once you get over the stray dogs and the ramshackle buildings you will find beautiful mountains and beaches. The airport, Disneyland, and the Ngong Ping cable car are located here.

Outlying Islands (離島): Well-known weekend destinations for the locals, the Outlying Islands are most of the islands surrounding Hong Kong Island. Highlights include Lamma (南丫島), well known for its seafood and Cheung Chau (長洲), a small island that used to be a pirates’ den, but now attracts seafood aficionados, windsurfers and sunbathing day trippers.

Top 7 Tips from my perspective..