the sembreak guide to HKG

A couple of friends have been asking me what there is to do here in Hong Kong, especially since it's sembreak in the Philippines and many families have plans of taking a vacation.

Here is a list of my personal HK favorites (+ a couple of mainstream tourist attractions. HAHA.)


1. Ocean Park 
I'm not much of a rides/rollercoaster person, but everyone's been raving about the Ocean Park Halloween edition. Try to catch it before its last day--October 31st! Here's the link to the halloween promo.

(photo from 

Regular Admission - 320HKD
HK Resident - 272HKD
Students (Thursdays & Fridays) - 224HKD
Halloween Premium Ticket - 628HKD

Citybus 629 from Central (Star Ferry)/ Admiralty MTR Station

2. Hong Kong Disneyland 
It's where the magic happens, folks. There's nothing in this world like the first few bars of Disney intro music to transport you back to the good, ol' days.

(photo from

HK Disneyland now has 7 sections of the park (Main Street USA, Tomorrowland, Mystic Point, Grizzly Gulch, Fantasyland, Toy Story Land and Adventureland). My personal favorite though, would still be Disneyland Hollywood Hotel's breakfast buffet Mickey Mouse-shaped waffles. :))

(photo from 

General Admission (1 Day Pass) - 450HKD
Check out their website for more details.

Take the MTR (Orange/Tung Chung Line) to Sunny Bay and then transfer to the Disneyland Resort Line.

3. Lantau Island
Ride the Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car to see great views of the mountains/ocean. (Try the glass bottom one lol!)

Take in the Chinese culture by visiting the Big Buddha and the temples surrounding it. 

Take a detour to Tai O Fishing Village for some legit culture immersion. (Warning: Some areas smell quite fishy. It isn't called a "fishing village" for nothing!) If you decide to take a tour, you can ride a small boat out to sea--don't worry, it's safe--and get to see the old-style stilt houses! (They reminded me of Davy Jones from Pirates of the Caribbean though, since most stilts had coral and algae covering them, probably because they've been there for so long...)

The tour guide will also attempt to sell you dried fish which he claims is what is all the rage here because it's believed to be a whitening product. :)) According to our guide, buying it in Tai O will make you spend only 1/5 of the commercial price. No idea if that's true though. Hmm.

Take the MTR (Orange/Tung Chung Line) to Tung Chung, walk to the Ngong Ping entrance. 

4. Stanley
If you want to get away from the bustling metro, then you can travel to Stanley, found South of Hong Kong Island. Stanley offers a small beach where you can dip your toes after a day of walking. They also have a mall that caters to dogs!!! 

Definitely a photogenic place. 

Many establishments can be found near the walkway by the water. There are lots of small restaurants specializing in various cuisines. A couple of minutes of walking from this area and you can find yourself in Stanley Market, where they sell different things, ranging from scarves to bags to shoes to blankets!

Take Bus 6 (or 6X) from Exchange Square, Central. 

5. The Peak
This one is always on tourists' "Things to See in Hong Kong". Offering a view of Hong Kong, it's definitely an attraction that can't be missed, although once you get up there, there's not much to do aside from wander around the tiny mall they have (which has Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum, a couple of dining places, etc)

But basically, people flock to the Peak for the view, so...

(from HK Tourism Board website) 

Most tourists ride The Peak Tram (near Central MTR station) for a more worthwhile experience. If you take Bus 15, you'll be brought straight up to the Peak via a winding road featuring some of HK's most expensive flats/residential areas. :))

I advise that you go up to the Peak around sunset so that you'll be able to see both day and night views.

6. Victoria Harbor (TST)
Tsim Sha Tsui is another tourist hotspot because of its view of the harbor, as well as other attractions such as the Walk of the Stars and Bruce Lee's statue. :))

This is the view of the sunset from Harbor Center, the mall in TST fronting the harbor. You can access these outdoor areas with benches from the mall (the exits are at the side, along the Cafe de Coral corridor), which are perfect for just chilling and watching the sunset. 

Stay in TST until night time in order to catch the Symphony of Lights. Watch as the skyscrapers of Hong Kong Island light up to provide tourists with a visual treat. If I'm not mistaken, it's usually held around 8pm. Lots of people take their places along the harbor's railings early on.


1. HK Style Waffle (+ Eggettes)

Being a dessert addict, I absolutely love HK-style waffles. They're smothered in peanut butter and condensed milk. What more can I say?! They sell these at various street stalls, so just be on the lookout for them!

(Photo from

Eggettes (gai dan jai, translated to "little chicken eggs") are also popular here. Instead of being flat, they take the shape of half-eggs, thus their name. So far, I've read many good reviews about Mammy Pancake (Whampoa St, Hung Hom), which offers original, chocolate and sesame flavors. Here is the link to their openrice page.

(from Openrice)

2. Wonton Soup w/ Noodles
I am personally a sucker for shrimp wonton. Again, they sell these at random stalls as well. I usually settle for those that cost around 30HKD. THEIR SHRIMP WONTON IS LEGIT STUFFED WITH SHRIMP, MAY I JUST SAY. They taste amazing.

3. HK "Fast Food" (the set-up for fast food chains is you pay and then you eat, but in conventional restaurants, you take your own bill to the counter after your meal and then you pay.)

My family is notorious for having Cafe de Coral every. single. darn. day. whenever we take a trip to Hong Kong. There are several branches EVERYWHERE, and they serve basic Chinese food (char siew, soy chicken, shabu shabu) and a couple of "Western fusion" dishes as well.

(Pork chop in Tomato Sauce from Cafe de Coral)

MX (by Maxim's) is another fast food chain that we patronize regularly. They offer a menu similar to that of Cafe de Coral's, and they have the same price range as well. However, they have really good Western sizzing plates for dinner time that's sure to keep you full until at least merienda time of the next day.

Talk about protein... and carbs. =))

Of course, we all shouldn't forget about my beloved KFC. I know you might be thinking, "What?! I didn't go all the way to another country just to eat at KFC!" but... one bite into their egg tarts, and you will take that back.

(KFC Egg Tarts, 6HKD per piece)

4. Lai Cha (Milk Tea -- I like mine cold, so... Dong Lai Cha)
I'm not talking about the commercialized milk tea stalls like Gong Cha. I'm talking LEGIT milk tea.

After tasting "real" milk tea (by real, I mean I literally saw them handling tea leaves for each cup), I don't think I'll ever go back to the powdered ones. The milk tea they serve here at restaurants is pleasantly bittersweet. They go for about the same price as the commercialized ones (~14HKD), without pearls and other add-ons, but it's totally the real deal.

5. Dim Sum!!!
Go to the Sham Shui Po district and you're bound to find some dim sum place... or
try Tim Ho Wan ("The Dim-sum specialists")'s pork buns. They have a Michelin star!!! and a branch in the Hong Kong MTR station. ;) 

(Photo from the Tim Ho Wan website

Just look at that queue...
(Photo from

1. Causeway Bay
There are many malls here, but most shops are just the ones we have back in Manila--F21, Etude House, Giordano, etc. You should go check out Victoria Park though!
(Photo from

(Victoria Park--what I have dubbed as the Asian Central Park, lol)

2. Citygate Outlet Mall
Another guilty pleasure of my family's. We always dedicate an entire day to take the MTR to Tung Chung just to pay a visit to Citygate.

With factory outlets for Giordano, Esprit, Nike, Coach, etc., this place is surely a haven for shopaholics, especially since most malls in HK feature only signature brands. There's also a smaller mall adjacent to it that has a couple of dining establishments and some smaller shops.


3. Mong Kok
They have it all... from sneakers to camera lenses to refrigerator magnets. Since Mong Kok shopping is basically street market-style, there can be haggling involved. However, that can be quite a challenge if you don't know Cantonese.

Fa Yuen Street --aka Sports Shoes Street if you venture a little further!!!
(photo from

Check out Argyle Center for a building version of Greenhills. 
It's a few blocks away from the Mong Kok MTR station. 
(Photo from 

1. Internet Access 
- Government buildings (Airport, etc.) have wi-fi access. Some restaurants (KFC, Starbucks), as well as train stations, have free wi-fi for 20 minutes. Some tourists opt to buy prepaid cards for unlimited access to Internet.

2. Octopus/MTR Pass
- The MTR has a Tourist Unli Day Pass (55HKD), so if you plan on going around Hong Kong via the MTR, maybe it would be more practical to buy an unlimited pass instead. They also offer an Airport Express Travel Pass (Airport Express to/from HK International Airport + unlimited 3 consecutive days of MTR travel - 220HKD for one way, 300HKD for two way).

3. Tourist Mobile Apps
MTR Mobile:
Lonely Planet's HK Travel Guide:
Open Rice HK:

Whew, okay. There are actually lots of other things to do in Hong Kong, but I haven't quite explored myself, so I will add a Part Two to this list when I've gone to less mainstream places! Haha!

- J 

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