First day in Hong Kong

So James and I made it safely to Hong Kong. We had to change over at Singapore, so we had a couple of hours there. The flight to Singapore was eight or so hours, and the plane left kind of late. We left at about 2-something-pm in Sydney so by the time we arrived in Singapore it was 10pm our time. We only had some cheap $1 McDonald’s cookies on the flight because we didn’t buy a meal with our airfare (hell yeah, budgeting).

We worried a little about our luggage being overweight. We decided to travel light and only have cabin baggage, which limited us to seven kilograms. It was difficult for me to “empty” my suitcase before we left for the airport because I had carried all these skirts and shirts and my suitcase didn’t seem to be getting any lighter. When we checked in, though, the lady didn’t seem to care very much.

Naturally, we were hungry when we got to Singapore, but before eating we had to check in to our flight to Hong Kong and meet my good friend Daniel. We walked to the desk to check in and the lady didn’t even ask us to weigh our luggage. James and I were thinking about how much stuff we could have carried! I was even trying to hide my laptop bag… but yeah, that turned out pretty well!

Since I was famished (I believe that was the word I used), and our last proper meal was eight hours ago, we walked into a little seafood restaurant and ate some spicy noodles. I had exchanged fifty Australian dollars for some Singapore cash, just so we could eat, and we burned a bit of that cash on the plane to buy some water and tea. We thought we had more than enough money for our extremely late dinner, but didn’t realise that we had to pay for taxes and a service charge, which was an extra 17% of our bill. Grrrr. We were only two dollars short, too. James paid with his card instead.

We used the rest of the money on the plane to buy more drinks on the plane. Since I didn’t see a point in keeping the rest of the Singapore money and wanted to burn the remaining $15, we looked through the Tiger Air souvenir catalogue and tried to look for something to buy. After we considered a jigsaw puzzle in the shape of a plane and the fact that it would only entertain us for three minutes, we bought a tiger print blanket. It was pretty amusing, burning our last of a country’s currency on some blanket. (It’s cute though.)

We didn’t get to see Daniel for very long but made sure to take some photos before we left! I’ll share a couple of those in one of my future posts.

Confusing elevator buttons.
Confusing elevator buttons.

James and I managed to get some sleep on our long flight, and a little bit on our flight from Singapore to Hong Kong. I think we enjoyed that more than our first flight to Singapore, because there were a lot less people on the plane, and the ride was really smooth. I was legitimately impressed with how smoothly we landed as well. We also arrived in Hong Kong half an hour ahead of schedule.

We caught a night bus to our hotel. The driver drove pretty crazily. I used the opportunity to take some long exposure shots of lights on my camera. They didn’t turn out so great and James pointed out that they only show how wonky the bus ride was (I had the camera propped up on a straight ledge). We got a little bit lost on our way to the hotel but we got there in the end. The buttons in the elevator were confusing.

Long exposure shot from night bus
Long exposure shot from night bus

By the time we went to sleep it was about 6am. 🙁 We got up around noon and decided to see what we could get out of our day. We walked up Victoria Peak (also got lost up some stairs instead of taking the road and had to climb a bit), which was tiring, but we felt really good when we got to the top and were greeted by a polar bear with a very small head. He makes me look so skinny, haha.

The Peak Galleria (shopping centre)
The Peak Galleria (shopping centre)
Floating spaghetti models!
Floating spaghetti models!
The outside of the centre
The outside of the centre
Me with polar bear
Me with polar bear
Cute penguin statues
Cute penguin statues
There was a lot of fog due to the cold
There was a lot of fog due to the cold
James and a dog statue
James and a dog statue
Milk tea
Milk tea
Along the nature trail
Along the nature trail
Another spot along the nature trail
Another spot along the nature trail
A petition to stop the building of a hotel
A petition to stop the building of a hotel
“Thank you for signing”
“Thank you for signing”
The Peak Galleria
The Peak Galleria
Top of the mountain again
Top of the mountain again

The weather here has been really good. I guess we are expecting it to be a lot colder in Japan. Yesterday the weather was excellent, there was a tiny bit of rain but it wasn’t much of a bother.

We got a lot of exercise yesterday, walking to the top of the mountain and walking a nature trail around the peak. We also went shopping afterwards, going to the night market in Temple Street and visiting Harbour City. Temple Street was full of stalls that sold mostly the same things, so got a bit dull. James wanted to buy some grapes from a store just off Temple Street, but changed his mind because it was a bit pricey. We tried to find the store again when we walked back, deciding to get the grapes anyway, but couldn’t find it.

HSBC stone lion
HSBC stone lion
Streets of Hong Kong
Streets of Hong Kong
Long exposure shot by a Ralph Lauren store
Long exposure shot by a Ralph Lauren store
Another one of the street
Another one of the street

We went down the Avenue of Stars, spotting the handprints of various movie stars. We were mainly looking for Jackie Chan’s, though, and the statue of Bruce Lee. There was a light show/display as well, and many people had gathered for it. It was quite boring. Just a few laser lines in the sky.

Harbour City was full of fancy stores and luxury brands, and nothing really to our liking. We walked around, bought some food and groceries at Market Place, and headed back to our hotel. My feet were very sore by the end of the day!

We passed a monk in the street who gave us beaded bracelets. He wanted $20 for them but we gave them back instead. Finally he gave in and let us have it for a few coins that we had sitting in our pockets. Haha…

It was pretty good for a half-day out. We’re probably going to do a lot of shopping in Mong Kok today. I am really liking the Octopus card system here in Hong Kong, which is a smart card that can be topped up with money and used to pay for public transport, as well as being a method of payment in some retailers. You just tap and go… uh, literally. I am impressed.

James topping up his Octopus card
James topping up his Octopus card
Escalator in the train station
Escalator in the train station
Train network map
Train network map

I also like octopuses.

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Comments on this post

Wow! I’m super jealous that you’re in Hong Kong for the holidays! Not only in Hong Kong, but in Japan as well! I bet it’s gorgeous, and just from seeing the great wall of China, I’m jealous that you’re even to see that! Are you planning to climb it? If you climb all the way to the top — there’s a little ride you can take going down. I heard it’s a bit wobbly going down, as it is going downhill.

Honestly, they think of everything first! They also get everything first before anyone else does. So it doesn’t surprise me any that they have top off cards to pay with money. Would you mind if I asked how much the trip cost in total? I’m super jealous that you’re in one of my travel destinations! Ah well, maybe one day I’ll go there!

Sorry that this comment is short. Don’t know what to say – I’m so in awe!

I am so jealous of the fact you get to travel for the holidays. I haven’t gone traveling in forever (okay, minus my service trip to Panama this summer but that wasn’t really for the sake of traveling). Those pictures look fabulous! I hope you continue to enjoy you’re time there. I can’t wait to see more pictures and hear more about your adventures.

The Octupus system sounds interesting too. I wish Seattle had something like that. Our public transportation system is such a mess compared to everywhere else. They’re trying to make something like the Octupus but it’s overpriced and I’m not sure if they have a refillable card kind of deal going yet.

Hope you’re having a blast!

“…didn’t buy a meal with our airfare…”
o.o Last time I was in a plane was about nine years ago, but I remember meals were always offered with no extra charge. You have to pay extra for them now?

“…urned a bit of that cash on the plane to buy some water and tea…”
Oh my god are you serious?! Back in my day (cough), I could go up to the little kitchen area and grab cookies and make me tea without anyone bothering Don’t know if it was because I was a kid back then, but whoa. This is really news to me.

ANYWAY, I’m glad you guys had a good flight and that the first day in Hong Kong went well. Really liked your photos here, in particular the street ones! I look forward to seeing more of them!

Hi Georgie. Sorry for not returning comments immediately. I have been busy with the university and I think it will go through until February.

Anyway, it looks like you’re really having a good time at HongKong. Actually, I am eyeing to visit that country too until a problem arose between the Philippine and Hongkong governement. Now, I need a fucking visa to enter a nearby country. How sad is that? 😞 Well, I’m looking forward to the next posts! ♥️

Hi Georgie! Haven’t visited your blog in a long time. Wow you’re in Hong Kong! ♥️

I’m glad to hear you and James landed safely there. The photos you took look superb. Wow I’ve never seen such elevator buttons before. Wonder why they are designed that way? O_O That polar bear is sooo cute. At first glance I thought it was a snowman but when I saw that small head I realised that it’s actually a bear. Lol. 😍 hahaha

Ahh the Octopus card. In London they have what they call the Oyster card and it functions the same way as the Octopus card. Ah the Avenue of Stars, I’ve always wanted to check it out. So did you actually find Jackie Chan’s handprints?

Enjoy the rest of the trip! ♥️

I’m so glad we got to meet up in what little time you had in Singapore ♥️

I’m gonna have to get back to you about the photos we took, of course! I’m still feeling a bit camera shy /um

Should I be proud that your flight from Singapore was more pleasant than your flight from Sydney? Only kidding! Either way it’s good to hear that you made it safely, and got some sleep on your flights as well. You had to be out and about for practically a full day, so I was a little concerned you might get too exhausted. Hopefully you’ve rested better for today.

The Octopus card is pretty much identical to our EZ-Link card. Remember when you asked about a card system similar to the Oyster card in the UK? They’re all very similar if not the same! I think it would be cool if everyone else adopted the same thing. To me, personally, it was the difference between being able to use public transport, and being unable to.

… and now I wish ours was named after a sea creature too 😆 Oh well.

I also like octopuses, buuuuut you knew that. I see that you spelled it “octopuses” this time though — I know you’ve always spelled it “octopi”, but it’s nice to see you adopting the correct spelling for once. Again only kidding!

So glad you made it safely. I am really looking forward to hearing more about your adventures. 😄

That card sounds so awesome.

I really love the photos of what you have seen so far. ♥️

That’s awesome that you’re in Hong Kong and are also going to Japan! I really hope to visit Japan next year. It’s been on my list for so long. I would love to revisit Hong Kong as well. I’m glad you got there safely!

I’m glad you got to meet your friend Daniel too, even if it was for a little bit! That long exposure looks pretty cool actually 🙂 I’ve done it with water and car lights, but I haven’t tried the car trick yet, where you do it while driving.

Ooh, the nature trail looks nice, and I like the interesting shape of the Peak Galleria. Also, I’m kind of amazed at how many double decker buses there are! The public transportation system there looks a lot nicer than where I live, haha. That’s really nice that the Octopus card can be used for both transportation and some retailers. Convenient!

Have fun on the rest of your trip!

Wow, Hong Kong for the holidays! That’s awesome. 👏 I’m super excited for you and your adventures there. Also, I’ve really always wanted to go to Japan, both of those places just seem so different from where I am now that it’d be extremely fascinating to visit.

All those pictures are gorgeous, I love that you photographed so much so that we could feel like we were there with you! 🙂

Have a great time!! ♥️

The picture (second to the last) of the escalator has a cute guy staring back. ♥️ 😍 😘 🌹 😜 /um

Anyway! It looks so amazing there! The Octopus card system kind of reminds me of this thing here in the USA people are advertising on TV and in business magazines that sounds similar but instead is trying to be the national currency/payment system for the USA altogether, combining gift cards and credit cards in one. The problem is that, if it gets stolen, pulling up all that information would be easier/deactivating the card would then deactivate like a credit card/etc. Of course, that was around August, so I’ve no clue of the status. BUT I think I like Octopus better. 😁

Glad you’re having fun! ☺️

So how do you like hong kong?:) I’ve lived here all my life! Love the picture post you did. Enjoy the rest of your holidays! Take care!

XOXO.

Hong Kong!!! 😋

You make me wanna go there again like… right now 😭 Gah, I hate college…I hate only having 2 weeks break for christmas-new year ….darn college for ruining my plan of having celebrations in hk.

Nice long exposure shot! I love taking pictures of lights during night time too 😆 especially bokeh~ ah, i remember you giving me tips on bokeh which resulted in me doing some decent bokeh shots for the first time. I shall thank you again for that ♥️

I’m not sure why I’m feeling all giddy and happy about this… you’re the one at HK and yet I’m the one feeling all excited ahaha.. I’m also happy you put a snapshot of milk tea there… HK’s milk tea is the best imo 😅

Oh by the way, where did you live in HK? I mean… was it Kowloon, the HK Island or the New Territories?

We were on the island (Sheung Wan). 🙂

Oh and you’re welcome about the bokeh tips! Good luck in your long exposure shots, too. Some photographers out there do some really amazing ones, but experimenting with just the nightlife and moving people and cars is always fun.