Hong Kong and its Iconic Landmarks

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Hong Kong’s Finest

I already blogged about our Hong Kong Disneyland visit, blabbed about our extreme Ocean Park experience and discussed on how to tour Macau in 8 hours. This time, I cover the conclusion of our 4-day trip in Hong Kong by giving you our visits to Hong Kong’s most famous landmarks. Let’s get this over and done with, shall we.

Avenue of the Stars

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Avenue of the Stars

Right off the bat and fresh from our Speed-Macau adventure, we headed directly to the Avenue of the Stars after alighting the Turbo Jet that docked at the Tsim Sha Tsui Ferry Terminal. Since we arrived back in Hong Kong at roughly 7:40PM, we were’t able to catch the Symphony of Lights. It’s ok though as we imagined it would be too crowded at the Avenue of Stars during the lights show. That would’ve prevented us from getting clean shots of Victoria Harbour.

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The vibrant colors of Victoria Harbour

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Spotted an infamous red “junk” boat!

Similar to the Walk of Fame in Hollywood, you will see many “plaques” of famous Hong Kong/Chinese celebrities lying around while strolling along the vast strip of Avenue of the Stars; Jackie Chan, Chow Yun Fat, Jet Li and Bruce Lee, among others, to name a few.

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“Be water, my friend.”

HK (6)Before going back to Golden Crown hostel, we made a quick stopover at the Ladies’ Market in Mongkok to find some much needed souvenirs for family and friends. As expected, night markets can be pretty crowded. The stall owners weren’t the nicest we’ve encountered, but hey, I managed to find some cheap ballpens with dragon engravings as “pasalubong”. Small, light and handy dandy.

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Quick stop and shop at Ladies Market in Mongkok

Ngong Ping 360

Our itinerary for our last day stay in Hong Kong was visiting Ngong Ping 360 (Big Buddha) and The Peak. I know, I know, the two places couldn’t be more geographically apart but even then, we didn’t have much of a choice since this was the best-case scenario for our 4-day trip. 🙂

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No time to shop at City Gate Outlets

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To save time, we already bought our tickets from Golden Crown since the rates were cheaper there compared to the ticket counters on-site. The prevailing discounted rates back then was HKD180/head for the Crystal Cabin and HKD120 for the standard one. For the current discounted rates of Golden Crown, click HERE.

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The cable car is big enough to comfortably accommodate 8 persons

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All aboard the Crystal Cabin

We’re no longer strangers when it comes to cable car rides so this was not a “thrilling” experience for us, although the glass bottom did add some flare and intrigue during the course of the trip. We pleased our eyes with the beautiful sceneries of the Lantau Island countryside coupled with an amazing spectator’s view of the hustle and bustle of aircrafts plying the Hong Kong International Airport.

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30-minute cable car ride

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The Crystal Cabin’s glass bottom

After the 30-minute cable-car ride, we looked for a cheap restaurant inside the Ngong Ping 360 compound for a much needed lunch meal. We then continued our sight-seeing and strolled through the Ngong Ping Village which impressively showcases beautiful traditional Chinese architecture.

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Signage says it all

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A wide array of novelty shops and restaurants can be found inside the compound so shopping and dining won’t be a problem.

Bodi Wishing Shrine

Bodhi Wishing Shrine

One of the many souvenir/novelty shops inside Ngong Ping 360

One of the many novelty shops inside Ngong Ping 360

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Nailed it!

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There’s not really too many things to do inside Ngong Ping Village aside from the usual strolling and picture-taking. And that was quite a “relaxing” day for our already-exhausted bodies due to the things that we’ve been doing the past 3 days.

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At Ngong Ping Village

Big Buddha

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One of my fave shots

Posing with one of the Twelve Divine Generals

Goofing off with one of the Twelve Divine Generals

Moving forward, we found ourselves closer to the gargantuan landmark that can be already seen from the cable car ride: the big and mighty statue of Buddha.

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That’s 268 steps our knees can’t endure no more

Upon researching about the Big Buddha, we were already fully aware that we were required to endure 268 steps to get up close and personal with the big statue. However, since we were not physically up to that challenge (and partly due to time constraints), we decided not to climb and be contented with capturing good photos from the ground.

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Postcard-worthy, don’t you think?

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We then proceeded to the next attraction of Ngong Ping which was the Po Lin Monastery. Too bad the exterior of the monastery was under renovation at that time and the temple was covered with makeshift bamboo structures necessary for the construction at hand. It would’ve been nice to capture some shots of the monastery’s facade.

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Inside Po Lin Monastery

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Religious items for sale

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Sunny day at Lantau Island

Going back to the cable car station, we were pleasantly surprised to catch up with the Martial Arts Extravaganza starring some of Hong Kong’s up and coming traditional martial artists. Talk about perfect timing!

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Haiyaaaaa!

The show was enjoyable (as expected) to spectators of all ages with the kung fu students and shaolin monks gracefully performing their unique martial arts moveset and techniques.

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Not the time to make an Asian stereotype joke…

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Ella, ella, ella, eh, eh, eh

After enjoying ourselves with the free martial arts show, we now went back to the cable car station. After all, we still had to travel 60 kilometers to reach our next destination.

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Another 30-minute ride back

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If Buddha could only wave goodbye

The Mighty Skycrapers of Hong Kong

We’re back in Hong Kong Island for our next destination, The Peak. Our original plan was to ride the Peak Tram going up to The Peak and back. Unfortunately, we did not research enough on what bus to ride going to the Peak Tram Terminus. Instead of riding the Peak Tram, we settled in riding a bus that goes directly to The Peak. Although we weren’t able to ride the Peak Tram going up the peak, the long bus ride gave us the opportunity to pass by Hong Kong’s tall and imposing skyscrapers, so we had that going for us, which was nice. 😀

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The iconic building that everyone saw at The Dark Knight

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The Peak (Madame Tussauds, Sky Terrace and Peak Tram)

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After the long and tense bus ride, we finally made it to The Peak. Like our tickets to Ngong Ping 360, we also bought our 3-in-1 Peak tickets (inclusive of Peak Tram ride, entrance fee to Sky Terrace and Madame Tussauds) at Golden Crown at HKD200/head. To cover up for some lost time, we immediately went up to our first order of business: Madame Tussauds.

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Madame Tussauds is a world-famous museum that has quite a number of realistic, life-sized wax figures of international celebrities. Here at The Peak, the museum has a collection of statues both from the international and local scene. Note that the museum is quite small and may feel a little cramped up. Add that with the large number of tourists that the place attracts, it’s quite difficult to get a selfie next to your favorite celebrity.

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With the “celebrities” inside Madame Tussauds

After rubbing elbows with famous celebs at Madame Tussauds, we hurriedly went up to the Sky Terrace to enjoy some fresh air and of course, fill our eyes with the dashing skyline of Hong Kong. Located at the top floor of The Peak, it is the perfect vantage point if you want to appreciate the modern wonders standing above Hong Kong’s grounds.

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View at the Sky Terrace: Hong Kong’s breathtaking skyline

We were blessed to have a very good weather during our visit at The Peak. The weather was a very important factor in making sure we captured good photos of Hong Kong’s skyline. Note that when visiting the Sky Terrace at night, there is a huge chance of rain/cloudy weather (especially during winter season) which may give poor visibility to the tourists’ view from the top (the clouds can cover the tall buildings which ultimately blocks your view).

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Buildings. Buildings everywhere (insert Woody and Buzz Lightyear meme)

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The iconic Peak Tram

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Our last bullet point for the day was the ride back to downtown Hong Kong via the infamous Peak Tram. Apparently, we weren’t the only ones excited for the tram ride evidenced by the large crowd of passengers also patiently waiting for the tram’s arrival. Expect standing positions.

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Peak Tram Terminus (Notice Kaye’s unamused smirk. Hihi)

 

After the Peak Tram, we went back to the Golden Crown to get our luggage and went straight to the airport to officially end our 4-day Hong Kong adventure.

All in all, Hong Kong gave us lots of memories to remember and a lot more things to look forward to when we return. Exploring Hong Kong’s beauty for 4 days is not enough and we will definitely be coming back, shifting our focus on other important cultural sites, immersing in downtown Hong Kong and of course, visiting the shopping districts. Until next time Hong Kong! -rod-

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