28/06/2018

Hong Kong 2018 Day 5 + VLOG






Hey guys, today's blog post is all about day 5 of my Hong Kong trip. We started the day a lot later than usual as we wanted to stay out during the evening. During this holiday, in particular, I found it hard to stay out past 6pm as I was exhausted from the heat and all of the walking around we did. We had decided to meet at Mong Kok train station which is on the Kowloon island of Hong Kong. 

Mong Kok is a tourist shopping district which means that it is very crowded and there is always something going on. We decided to go there for a traditional Hong Kong breakfast which I had yet to have. Connie my friend got a hot Hong Kong milk tea as well as a tomato-based dish with beef, tomatoes, and pasta. I, on the other hand, got a sandwich which was similar to a club sandwich. My sandwich had egg, meat, ham, tomatoes and a sauce which tasted similar to thousand island sauce. 

We then got two traditional Hong Kong breakfast pastries to share. The first one was a pineapple bun which is a light and airy bread roll that has sugar on the top and is usually served with a slab of butter in the middle. The other pastry we got was the traditional egg custard tart. You can get the egg custard tart with either a cookie crust or one with a pastry crust. We got one with a pastry crust which meant that it was light and fluffy and the egg custard was still hot when we got it. 







After breakfast, we headed towards Ladies Market which is a well-known market, especially during the nighttime. Ladies Market has over 100 stalls which each have a wide variety of souvenirs, gifts, and accessories that you can buy. The name Ladies Market came about as the market has many clothes, accessories, and gifts for ladies. You can find the market on Tung Choi Street close to Mong Kok station. 

I'm glad that we went here as I still had few people to buy gifts for and I was running out of ideas. There was so much to look at as each stall had about 100 different things that you could buy. What is good about this particular market is that it is known for its bargaining. If you aren't happy with the price then definitely try to lower the price. The stall workers are hard bargainers though so be prepared to bargain back and forth until you meet an agreed price. 

We then headed to the other side of the river which is the Hong Kong island to take a trip up to Victoria Peak. Victoria Peak is one of the highest points in Hong Kong where you can see the rest of the city from high above. To get up to the peak you can either take a tram up to the top or you can walk. Obviously, we took the tram up as neither of us are fit enough to walk all the way up. 

Luckily we were able to use our octopus card's to pay for our tram rides. We paid around 37 HKD which is around £3.70 for a single trip. Of course, we took the tram down as well as even though it is a lot easier going down than it is going up it is quite a long way to walk down. I was a bit unsure of the tram as it is quite small and I thought that it would be quite claustrophobic, however, it was very pleasant as there were seats and they made sure that the carriage wasn't too full and that everyone managed to get a seat. 

When we got to the top we then headed up several more floors of the sky observation deck to reach the top where we could take these amazing photos of the Hong Kong skyline. We went during the afternoon as we had plans for the evening, however, it is also magnificent during the evening I have heard as the whole of Hong Kong lights up and you get a different perspective of the skyline during the night. 





We didn't stay too long at the peak as we needed to head back to the otherside of the water to get there in time to watch the Symphony of Lights. This time we headed to Tsim Sha Tsui which is by the waterfront. A Symphony of Lights is when the buildings on Hong Kong island get together to create a light show using lights that are on the side of their buildings. 

The light show is free to watch and happens every evening at 8pm. I would suggest that you get there early if you want a good seat as it is very popular with tourists. It was very enjoyable as I have never really seen anything like it before. After the light show, there are lots of things you can do close by as there are several malls you can go to and shop or eat food. Another option is catching a Star ferry across the water to the Hong Kong island. I wasn't too keen on this idea as the water looked quite choppy so we didn't do that. 

Instead, we headed back to one of the malls where we ate some Taiwanese food which was really yummy. I had never eaten any Taiwanese food before so I didn't know what to expect really. We got a few dishes to share as it meant that we could try different dishes. Connie got rice with mince meat on top whereas I just got plain rice. We then got fried vegetables, shrimp and asparagus and fried oysters to share. 

My favourite was the shrimp as the flavour was so rich and they were cooked to perfection. I never usually get shrimp here in the UK as it's often quite expensive. I wasn't too keen on the fried oysters as they didn't really taste of anything. The fried vegetables were yummy too as they had a really nice stock cooked with them.

After dinner, we both headed our separate ways as it was quite late and we were both tired from the day's activities. It was my last evening that night so I spent the rest of the evening packing and making sure that I had everything that I brought with me. I then went straight to bed as the busy day had caught up with me and I could no longer keep my eyes open. I did sleep later than usual around 12am so that slept longer as I didn't need to check out until 12pm the next day. 



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25/06/2018

Hong Kong 2018 Day 4 + VLOG





Hey guys, today's blog post is all about day 4 which was one of the days where I had to be up really early. The night before I managed to get to bed early after a jampacked day at Disneyland. I think I slept from around 8pm-4am which is good considering my sleeping pattern was all over the place at this point in my trip. I did try and go back to sleep from 4am-6am but I had no luck so I got up instead as I needed to meet my friend at 8.40 anyways. 

For breakfast, I decided to go to Starbucks as there was one right down the road from my hotel. I know that it's not original at all but I fancied some fruit and a good old English breakfast tea with milk. I then met my friends at Hong Kong Central station where we took a short taxi ride to the Qipao rental place. 

Qipao is a traditional Chinese dress however, these particular dresses had modern patterns on them.  To rent the dress it was around 338 HKD for the day which is around £33.80. This price also included getting your hair done and being able to choose from a wide range of accessories to complete your outfit. The first dress I tried on was a white and blue one, however, it was too small for me and I couldn't get it past my hips which are quite wide. 

In the end, I settled for the white and green one instead as I loved the pattern and the fit was a lot more comfortable. The only thing I don't like about the dresses is the neck as there are buttons that fasten around it which makes it quite tight. In the heat having a tight piece of clothing around your neck is quite uncomfortable. The dress itself is surprisingly comfortable and very airy considering it was so hot and humid in Hong Kong. 

After taking a few photos we then headed to a traditional cafe where my friends got some breakfast as they hadn't eaten anything. They got a traditional dish which had macaroni, ham, and tomatoes in a tomato sauce.  The cafe was very small and compact which meant that if you had a table for five people but there were only three of you then you would most likely share the table with people you don't know. 






We then headed towards the Man Mo Temple which is in the Central district of Hong Kong. The temple itself is beautiful and I am so glad that I got to see it as it was on my bucket list. As soon as you step inside you feel as if you have gone back in time. The temple itself is very traditional and has a lot of opportunities for amazing Instagram shots. I managed to get some wonderful photos that I have actually had printed as a birthday present for my Nan. 

After looking around the temple we then headed to the small gift shop that they have there which is brilliant for souvenirs for family and friends. I got so many little gifts which my family and friends all loved. The prices of them were really reasonable as well as they were around 45 HKD which is around £4.50.

After the temple, we then headed to Cat Street market which is only a 5-minute walk away from the temple. By the time we got there, the market wasn't in full swing but there were a few shops and stalls that were open. I managed to get a few more gifts for family members who I hadn't got anything for yet. 

One of my favourite parts of Hong Kong was the traditional shops where you could buy gifts for family and friends. They always had so much to offer that it took me ages to choose which gift to buy for each person. The people who worked at the stalls or the shops were always so lovely and always offered to show me the other items that they had. 





We then took a tram around Central as I hadn't been on one yet. I have to admit I was a little apprehensive to go on one after the accident that had happened a few weeks before. I absolutely loved it though because it was quite relaxing and you could just watch the world go by. 

My friend wanted to visit a Starbucks that is known for being different to the other Starbucks in Hong Kong. This particular Starbucks has a Bing Sutt Style Theme. Everything about the Starbucks was different including the pictures, the tables, and the menus. Again it's a great place to take Instagram photos as there are so many different opportunities to take photos. 

The menu at Starbucks is slightly different as there are all of the normal items on the menu that you would expect but also unusual things such as Hong Kong style milk tea, sweet pumpkin soup and pudding cake with red bean. What I loved about the Starbucks is that it sits in between tall office buildings, however, when you step inside it feels like you have gone back in time. 





The last part of the day was spent at the Mandarin Oriental hotel where we all went for Afternoon Tea. The afternoon tea was around 285 HKD which is around £28.50 I didn't think this was too bad at all as you can easily spend around £60 here in London. The scones were delicious and the jam was rose scented jam. We then had a selection of savory and sweet items to share. 

My favourite savory item was the salmon and creme cheese sandwich as it was really rich but quite filling as well. The cakes were also yummy but I didn't eat all of them as some of them were too sweet. We had a lovely time sitting, sipping tea and chatting about everything and anything. 

We sat there for hours as we wanted to pace ourselves and not rush through the food. After afternoon tea I headed back to the hotel as I was exhausted from being up early and walking around in the sun all day. I got back at around 5pm which is quite early considering I was on holiday but we did meet at 8.40am to go to the Qipao place. For the rest of the evening, I stayed in the room and watched YouTube videos and got an early night which I really needed that day. 



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18/06/2018

Hong Kong 2018 Day 3 + VLOG (My 22nd Birthday)



Day 3 of my Hong Kong adventure was spent at Disneyland. It was also my birthday on that day which is why we chose to go to Disneyland on that day. I haven't been to a Disneyland park in years which is why I had to go while I was in Hong Kong. 

The day started off very early as usual as had I only slept a bit due to jetlag. However, we didn't meet until much later that day which meant that I got to sleep a bit more before I needed to get up and get ready. I then headed to the MTR station where I took a train to Tsing Yi which is a few stops away from Sunny Bay where you catch the train to Disneyland. 

We had decided to go to Tsing Yi first so that we could grab some food first as the food at Disneyland is expensive. I did expect the food to be expensive and I knew that I probably wouldn't eat a full meal there just a few snacks to keep me going. I managed to pick up a pastry from a bakery at Tsing Yi which I ate before we got into the park. 

We then headed to Sunny Bay where you catch a special train to Disneyland. The train itself is pretty cool as it has been decked out with Mickey shaped windows and has a really cool interior just for the Disney express. The train journey from Sunny Bay to the Disneyland resort was about 10 minutes long. 




The first thing I noticed when we got to Disneyland was that it was very open and exposed to the sun. It was also very very hot that day which meant that I tried to keep myself hydrated as much as possible. Disneyland was just as I had expected it to be as I have been to the one in Paris many times. 

Luckily when we went it was on a Monday which meant that it was still busy but only with tourists and not the locals. Our tickets were around 600 and something Hong Kong Dollars which is around £60. This is quite a lot however, it is Disney so I was expecting to pay a high price for a ticket. 

We arrived just in time for the parade as it was starting when we were walking into the park. We stood and watched it all as it was only a small one. I absolutely loved seeing all of the cast members dressed up as well as all of the characters. My favourite thing about visiting a Disney park is seeing the joy and excitement on the little kids' faces. 




After the parade, the first thing on my list was to get a birthday badge from the town hall. If you didn't already know you can get badges from the town hall for all sorts of occasions. I got a birthday badge as it was my birthday on that day but you can also get badges for your first visit & just engaged as well as many others. I then popped to the emporium to pick up some Minnie ears. I decided to go for the classic ones as I thought they would best suit me. 

We then walked down Main Street where we saw Mary Poppins and Bert. Of course, I had to queue up and take a photo with them as I loved the film when I was younger. Luckily we just made it as the staff closed the queue straight after us. I had forgotten how in character everyone is as when I chatted to both of them it was like talking to the real movie characters. 

After meeting them both we then headed towards the castle which was unfortunately under construction which meant that there was a wall all around it. I would have loved to have taken a photo in front of it but it looked unattractive with the wall around it. We then decided to walk around the whole park in a circle so that we got to see each land. 




The first land that we visited was Tomorrowland where we just had a look around and met Chewy as well. I should probably mention that myself and my friend aren't the biggest fans of rides. We probably only went on about three or four rides throughout the whole park. Just as we were leaving Tomorrowland I saw that you could meet Chewy which I immediately said yes to as I do like Star Wars and I think that Chewy is pretty awesome. 

We then headed towards Fantsyland where we rode on It's A Small World & The Many Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh. We had decided to go on It's A Small World as the queue for Winnie The Pooh was really long so we decided to go there first and come back to the other ride later. Both rides were great fun and brought me back to my childhood days when I went to Disneyland Paris. The Winnie The Pooh ride was really good as they don't have that ride anywhere else I don't think. Pooh Bear has always been my favourite character ever since I was little. 

The next land we came to was Toy Story land which was particularly cool as it really looked like the movies. Everything in the land was huge so you felt like one of the toys. Again we didn't go on any of the rides in this land but we did grab some ice cream which was really yummy. I got one with churros which I really needed at the time as it was so hot and my energy levels were low. 



We then walked on over to Mystic Point where we rode on Mystic Manor which is very similar to the Phantom Manor at Disneyland Paris but it just has a different storyline. We then strolled through Grizzly Gulch & Adventure land as we didn't want to go on any rides in those lands but we still wanted to wander around. 

The last thing on our list was to head to the shops to pick up a few gifts for myself as well as family and friends. I thought that I would have picked up loads of things but I was actually really good and only bought a few things. We then headed to leave the park as we were both tired and wanted to get some food outside of the park where it is much cheaper. 



For dinner we went back to Tsing Yi where we got dinner in the shopping centre attached to the train station. We had decided to go to Law Mark Kee which is a traditional restaurant. I had decided to get the tomato noodle soup which had instant noodles, beef and tomato sauce. 

After dinner, we then headed our separate ways as my friend lived closer to Tsing Yi so it was easier for her to get home from there. I then headed back to my hotel in Fortress Hill for an early night. When I got back to the hotel I watched a bit of YouTube on my laptop and then went to bed as I was exhausted. The heat that day was unbearable at times as it was directly on us because of the lack of shade and breeze. 



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14/06/2018

Hong Kong 2018 Day 2 + VLOG




I started my morning very early as I could not sleep at all. I think I got about four hours sleep in total. My jet lag was really bad when I was out there and I only got a good nights sleep probably once out of the whole week. That morning I spent getting ready in my hotel room before heading off on the MTR (Similar to the tube). My friend and I had planned to meet up at Nam Cheong tube station where we would then travel to Tung Chung to go to the Buddha. 

My friend actually overslept as she had been working the day before so she was very tired. I decided to go to McDonald's for breakfast as I hadn't eaten yet and my friend would be at least another hour. You would think that getting a McDonalds is quite easy but in a foreign country and when you're by yourself it is quite different. 

After breakfast, I met up with my friend and we made our way to Tung Chung. When we got there we then headed towards the cable cars which were only a few meters away from the train station. For a round trip on the cable cars it was around 280 HKD which is about £28 roughly. 

The cable car ride was around 15-20 minutes each way. I did start to feel really anxious while queuing up. I think it was because it was really hot and humid that day and the area where you had to wait was very crowded and didn't have a lot of fans. However, when I actually got onto the cable car I was absolutely fine as there was a lovely breeze. The sights from the cable car as we got higher and higher were amazing and you could see for miles. We were so lucky that it was a sunny day that day as I think if it was raining it would have ruined it a bit. 




When we got to Lantau Island we wandered around for a bit as there are lots of shops and restaurants. We then headed up to see the Buddha which was very hard work I have to admit. It was a really hot day and we had to walk up tons of stairs. I did keep stopping as I thought I was about to pass out. Luckily I was fine just unfit and sweating a ton. As soon as I got to the top I sat down for a good 5 minutes before I got up again.

At the top of the Buddha, you could see the monastery that was across the way it looked so magnificent from afar. Again we were so lucky that it was sunny on that day and not cloudy as when it is cloudy you cannot see the Buddha properly because it is that high up. Walking down was a lot easier but still hard work as there were so many stairs. 

We then headed on over to the monastery to look around. The whole area was well taken care of and there were so many plants and flowers. There were also incense sticks everywhere that tourists could buy and light themselves. After that, we headed back towards the cable cars but stopped at the shops before to take a look at the souvenirs that they had on offer. I managed to pick up a few gifts for my family which I was pleased about. 





For dinner, we headed for some Dim Sum which is a well-known meal in Hong Kong. There is also another thing called Yum Cha which means that you sit down with friends or family to eat dim sum and drink tea. Usually, Yum Cha is eaten for breakfast or around lunchtime. 

We had decided to go to Tim Ho Wan which is a famous Dim Sum restaurant chain in Hong Kong. There are actually several chains of this restaurant around the world. Tim Ho Wan is well known as it is a Michelin-starred restaurant that serves reasonably priced dim sum. 

We got four dishes between us as they are quite filling and we didn't want to order any more in case we wasted it and didn't eat it all. We ordered steamed prawn dumplings, baked buns with BBQ pork, vermicelli roll with beef and then steamed siew mai with shrimp. 

Every single dish was delicious and we ordered just the right amount as there were even amounts for both of us. My favourite dish was the BBQ pork bun it was so delicious as the bun itself is light and fluffy but the bbq pork filling is warm but sweet. I could have easily eaten all three by myself haha so I know next time I visit Hong Kong I will definitely have to get some Dim Sum again.  



We then headed to Temple Street which is a famous night market. When we got there the market wasn't quite set up yet as it was still light out. However, my friend wanted to take me there as there is a historic entrance at the end of the street which says Temple Street. That day I was particularly exhausted as I didn't sleep well the night before which meant that after we had walked around the street a bit we both headed off back to our separate homes. 

I do wish that I had stayed a bit longer as it would have been amazing to see the night market in full swing however, we did visit plenty more street markets throughout the holiday. I slept pretty early that night at around 9pm as I was so tired. It was a great first full day as we managed to do a lot and this was just the beginning of my holiday. 



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