Travel Guide: First Time in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is simply an extraordinary place to visit. In this city, one may enjoy the modern and ancient life without leaving the city. It has several attractions which include; shops, museums, parks, beach, island and temples.

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When I visited Hong Kong for the first time, I made sure that I’m ready. Being ready physically, emotionally and financially to do everything that I desire to do is important. Luckily, it’s not my first time to go out of the country and I already got a visa stamp on my passport, and that made easier for me to pass the immigration unlike my friend who is a first-timer. She was interrogated for twenty minutes by the immigration officer and asking about a lot of documents. We are worried about her but grateful that in the end she was able to join our trip.

Just to avoid the hassle in the immigration (especially for first timers), you may opt to bring the following:

● passport
● valid Id’s
● COE (certificate of employment)
● round-trip tickets
● hotel voucher
● travel itinerary

(Note: The Government of Hong Kong allows citizens of specific countries/territories to travel to Hong Kong for tourism or certain business-related activities for periods ranging from 7 to 180 days without having to obtain a visa.) Reference: Hong Kong

First time in Hong Kong?  You can use the suggested 5 days itinerary below:

5 DAYS ITINERARY

Day 1
AM: Arrival in Hong Kong International Airport
PM: Check-in at hotel usually starts at 1:30- 2:00 PM but you can leave your luggage at the hotel if you came early so you can start roaming around the city. I booked my hotel on Tsim Sha Tsui area as there are a lot of free attractions nearby. In the evening, one can enjoy the Symphony of lights and it usually starts at 8:00 PM and lasts 14 minutes.

Clock tower
Promenade
Avenue of the stars

Symphony of lights
Museums
Harbor Square

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How to get there?
MTR Tsim Sha Tsui Station, Exit J. Follow the signs and walk around 5 minutes. You can also go to Exit E, walk towards Salisbury Road, then turn right and take the subway (pedestrian tunnel) located next to the YMCA to the Hong Kong Cultural Center. Turn right again and walk straight ahead towards the waterfront.

Day  2
AM: You can leave your hotel around 7:30 AM to have breakfast and go to Lantau Island before 9:00 AM. What to see?

Ngong Ping 360 (cable car)
Big Buddha
Temples
Souvenir Shops

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How to get there?
MTR Tung Chung Station, Exit B. Walk for approximately five minutes to the Tung Chung Cable Car Terminal.

PM: It’s a must to go to the peak of Hong Kong to see this stunning city. Experience the thrill when riding the train going up the peak.

The Peak
Madame Taussaud (wax museum)

How to get there?
Walk from the MTR Central Station, Exit J2 and travel by Peak Tram from the Peak Tram Lower Terminus on Garden Road.

After dinner, you can go around “Mongkok” where the Ladies Market is located. Enjoy shopping sprees as this is the right place where you can find stuff at affordable prices.

How to get there?
MTR Mong Kok Station, Exit E2. Walk along Nelson Street for two blocks.

Day 3
Whole Day: This theme park is one of my favorite sites in Hong Kong. An adult park where one can enjoy the thrill of the rides and appreciate the animals that is rare to see in one’s county, such as; dolphins, sharks, panda, penguins, Kuala, and a lot more.

Ocean Park

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How to get there?
Bus 629 from MTR Admiralty Station Exit B, and alight at the park.

Day 4
Whole Day: One of the reasons why I want to visit this country is to see Disneyland. Everyone wants to see the magical castle, all Disney’s characters, experience the rides and witness the spectacular show and fireworks. It’s nice to feel young and be like kids who enjoy the thrill and adventures.

Disneyland

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How to get there?
MTR Disneyland Resort Station.

Day 5
AM: If your flight is late in the afternoon, you can visit Hong Kong’s temple. I love being in this site as I’d like to see the rich Chinese culture and tradition of this city.

Siksik Yuen Wong Tai  Sin Temple

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How to get there?
MTR Wong Tai Sin Station, Exit B2, walk for about 3 minutes.

Note that the most efficient way to explore the city is by subway system (MTR). It’s a must to buy Octopus Card on MTR Stations, as it is accepted on most public transport and many retailers. Directions stated above are taken directly from the map and handbook I got from Hong Kong.

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How?

I wonder if you’re the kind of person who would listen to me.

When I speak my heart and when I whisper to your ear

Do you know how to listen? Or you’re just pretending

Do you really care about me? Or you’re just caring cause you need me?

My heart aches when you keep secrets from me
And my eyes cry for reasons hard to define

How do I tell my heart to stop loving you?
How do I tell it to stop beating for someone it doesn’t deserve.

I WISH…

I wish to go somewhere beautiful
A place where reconnecting with nature would be cool
I wish to swim in deep blue sea
Where corals and cute little fishes are free.

I wish to go somewhere in the forest
Where I can get lost and get rest
A place to find peace within my soul

And takes away my worries  I can’t control.

I wish to climb the highest  mountain
Where the climb can be steep and daunting
Where my will and strength will be tested
To see the summit where my heart is well-rested.

-happy rabbit-

BibimBOWL

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Last night, I tried this beef bibimbowl of Bonchon and I loved it. I’m a big fan of Korean food especially that it suits my taste. My cravings are always satisfied,however, I am looking for extra spiciness in this bowl. When I visited Korea, I noticed that their cuisines are a bit spicy and I’m longing for that taste.

This bowl is good for only P99.00 (a la carte), you can also try the chicken bibimbowl.

Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar

Happy Rabbit Travels

las casas13Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar is one of the most awe-inspiring and absorbing historical sites that I’ve been. Not only because it’s superb but also it gave us an educational experience. The tour guides are outstanding and they provided us the backstory of every house built in this park. Our tour guide was so great that we’re hooked by his stories and we’re so thrilled to enter the house he’s referring.

las casas2.jpg Casa Candaba

las casas3.jpg Casa Jaen I

We went to Las Casas after our Mount Samat trip and both  of these sites are in Bataan. Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar is located in Barangay Pag-asa, Bagac Bataan (Central Luzon, Philippines). In 2003, Jose Acuzar started rebuilding the Spanish mansions in Bagac. The houses are bought from different parts of the Philippines. Each house has different background, culture and architectural designs. Stone houses were uprooted from their original location, transplanted to Bagac…

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Mt. Daraitan + Tinipak River Dayhike

Mt. Daraitan is near the border of Tanay Rizal and General Nakar, Quezon. Attractions include river, spring, cave, mountains and limestone formation. The barangay has proper management of handling visitors and they provide trained local tour guides for every group of climbers.  

Based on Pinoy Mountaineer description, “the hike up is a straightforward 600-meter ascent that might feel steep to those not used to hiking”.  It will be a challenging hike but  the limestone viewpoint found at the summit of Daraitan makes it rewarding.

Nowadays, climbing becomes a trend not only to those who are physically active but also for those who are up for a challenge. I’m not athletic and not even adventurous, but this year I decided to do something different… so I did.

I asked my teammates to join me on climbing Mt. Daraitan. This is not an easy decision for us because we are not climbers.  I saw a post on facebook page from Traveling Adventure regarding this climb. It’s actually a day hike and they provide a tour and van transfer from Manila-Tanay-Manila. It is not easy to organize so we decided to get their service and based on their page, they have satisfied clients.

Also read:2016 Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta

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Bridge an hour away from Barangay Daraitan

Also read: Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar

Our day hike happened last February 28. We left Manila early Sunday morning going to Tanay Rizal. We arrived on time and we registered at Barangay hall. We are briefed at the Barangay basketball court and we are grouped into 6 teams. We are only 8 members in our group and Kuya Mel was assigned to us as our guide. He’s a local tour guide and very warm in welcoming us. We are excited about this climb and we brought first aid kit, medicine, water and food. Of course, we are in our climbing outfits; we wear sandals and shoes for this climb.

We start the climb around 7:15 in the morning. We reached this spot where we had our snacks and picture taking. The climb was steep but easy for the first two hours. We are making friends with other members of the group; luckily, they are nice people and love joking around.

Also read: Trip to Mount Samat Shrine

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You’ll reach this spot after two hours 🙂

Also read: Why you should go to Bataan Tourism Center?

After four hours, we finally reached the summit of Daraitan. It was an amazing feeling. We are surprised to see a lot of people and the picture taking was limited to 20-30 minutes only to accommodate all the visitors. We fell in love with the rocky summit and the limestone formation. From the summit, we saw the Sierra Madre Mountains, Laguna de Bay, and the Daraitan River which is part of our side trip. We enjoyed the panoramic view from the summit.

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I like seeing the view from here 🙂
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View at the summit of Mt. Daraitan
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At the summit of Daraitan

Also read: Photographs: UP Oval

Going down the mountain supposed to be easy but in our case, it’s not. We already felt the difficulty of going down, it’s slippery and our shoes are muddy. One of the climbers told us that we already experienced all the elements in this climb. It is indeed a challenging climb especially that the rain poured heavily.

We rest in a restaurant near Tinipak River and waited for the rain to stop. While waiting, we use towels to dry ourselves off after getting wet from the rain, and we tried the restaurant’s famous “LOME”. I got lome and coffee.

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Also read: Boracay: Nostalgia Moments

We proceed to Tinipak river and we’re surprised to see the bigger and bolder stones. We clean ourselves and some members of our group swim. It was a relief to freshen up and to see how amazing the river is. One of the reasons why we chose Daraitan, is this rocky river and I never regret it. It is amazingly beautiful! 🙂

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Tinipak River

Also read:Art in Island: Stunning 3D Museum in Asia

ITINERARY

0200 Meet-up at Puregold Cubao
0300 ETD to Tanay Rizal
0500 Arrival at Daraitan River. Cross with raft and take trike to Barangay hall
0730 ETA Barangay Hall; Register and secure guides
0800 Start trek up Mt. Daraitan
1130 ETA summit. Explore the viewpoints / lunch
1300 Start descent to Tinipak River
1500 Arrival at Tinipak River Explores the area
1630 Proceed to Brgy. Daritan via riverside trail
1800 Head back to manila

Traveling Adventure

Contact No: 09266930794

Costs and Inclusion:
Amount: Php 850.00
Inclusion: Guide, Van Transfer, Tour Coordinator Bag Tag

Boracay: Nostalgia Moments

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Did you ever experience longing for long-gone moments?
I bet you do, we all do… and as I’m writing this, I recall all the memories in Boracay that made me happy and unhappy at the same time. Memories that made me want to re-experience those past events as they already left a mark in my heart and life.

What I really want is to share all the magical moments I had in Boracay and how will you get it, too! I will share all the things you can do on this island and how to have an awesome vacation in an amazing and affordable hotel.

Boracay is a small island in the Philippines found in the province of Aklan. It is one of the top tourist destinations in the world and its long white beach was also known as one of the best beaches in the world. One of the reasons why I’m making Boracay as my yearly destination is their white beach with powder like sand and crystal water. A place where you can relax, have fun with many activities and enjoy the active nightlife.

My first trip to this beautiful island was in 2012 with my college BFF (Ben & Tin). We’re supposed to be four persons but due to the unexpected event, Nic wasn’t able to join us. I think for this trip, we spent mostly on food as we kept coming back to this one seafood restaurant. It was our favorite restaurant and we enjoyed their food with our favorite fruit shakes.

  Also read: Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar

Favorite Moments: College Buddies

HELMET DIVING: We had a sweet encounter with fishes and feed them. I was hesitant at first because I’m scared of underwater but it was worth trying. Bonding with my friends and fishes was a great experience.

ATV: This was crazy as we drive along the highway and we went to the highest point of Boracay where you can see the island. Amazing ride indeed!

SEEING MARC NELSON: Yay! Seeing our ultimate crush actor was one of the most memorable parts of our trip. We were able to have photos with him and he’s very kind, handsome and approachable.

I came back to Boracay with my girlfriends from the province of Bicol. They are my friends who love parties and nightlife.

Also read: Trip to Mount Samat Shrine

Favorite Moments: Bicolana’s

FOOD TRIPPING: We limit our budget for this travel but it didn’t stop us from getting the best and affordable food on the island. Being thrifty doesn’t hurt, in fact, it gave us a lot of options and we were able to find cheap dishes that’s worth trying.

ACOUSTIC BAND & CLUBBING: I love the moment on the beach, chilling out with candle light on the table, drinking our favorite cocktail drinks and listening to the awesome band who played our favorite songs and requests. Also, I won’t forget the crazy nights when we dance, drink and party at Epic Bar. Boracay has a very active nightlife for young and old people who love to party, mingle or just chill.

The third time I  visit Boracay was in September 2015, I was with my office mates and I can say that this is the most chill and relax vacation I had in Boracay. This is also the time where we experienced a not so good weather cause it felt like there was a typhoon by that time. It was raining so hard during the week we stayed, but thank God there was a day  were we able to do our activities.

Also read: Why you should go to Bataan Tourism Center?

Favorite Moments: College Buddies

PARASAILING: We all decided to try it though we’re terrified. I’m so glad of trying it for the first time and I felt relieved the moment I saw how amazing the view from the top. It’s a magical fifteen minutes moment seeing the whole island and I can say it’s absolutely a must try the activity.

FLY FISH RIDE: It is one of the most exciting and enthralling rides I ever had. The moment our craft was pulled by the motor boat, was the moment the ride became wild and exciting. This is memorable for me and Kat but I won’t tell you why. haha

We do not remember days; we remember moments. ~Cesare Pavese

 

 

Missing you…

I hate the days when I’m not working. My mind is sometimes filled with thoughts about a lot of things. I think about you all the time. I think about the first time that I saw you, the time when I’m still not into you, the time when all I think about is myself. I don’t know why I sometimes dream of having moments with you. I want to talk to you about a lot of things and maybe things that would define you. I want you to tell me things about the things that you love, like music, your favorite book, you favorite food, your favorite place, and your favorite person in the world. I want you to share how you deal with your family and how you treat your friends. I want you to tell me when did you learn to play the guitar, when did you learn to dive and climb the rocky mountains. It seems like these are just dreams, but these dreams felt real for a while.

One day, I wake up feeling sad and lonely… I take a sip of my coffee and listen to my favorite songs. I try to do some write-up yet I end up writing poems about you. Why is it all about you this time? Why not still about me? or about work and my goals in life? I keep asking myself a lot of questions and the only answer is you.

I’m missing you so badly….

I’m missing the days when there still us… I’m missing the days when we wake up early to snuggle and cuddle for a while. Those days that are filled with mushy things and sweet warm embrace. The days when we eat our breakfast and dinner together, the days when we just enjoy the moments having each other, the days when all we can think about is to swim and to climb, the days when we waited for the sun to set while we’re talking ’bout our lives.
Those moments are  the best moments of my life that I will be forever grateful and no matter what happens, I will  be the same person you knew for the first time.

January Love

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You came towards me and you said “Hi”
You hugged me tight and I was caught by surprise
At first, I felt awkward and intimidated by you
Your words, gestures, made me clueless and blue.
But you made me feel home with your angelic smile
Never would I realized, I’ll get lost in your eyes
You shared your life while we walked hand in hand
You told me stories of your great friends and your land
You asked me all the movies I’ve watched
You made me realized that somehow we’re matched
You love to play the guitar and those songs
Lend your headphone for me, just to hear those songs
I lay on your shoulder every day and night
We kissed, we cuddled and it felt so right
You hold my hand as we swim to the sea
You dive, play Nemo just for me to see
And showed me your passion and how amazing you could be.

-happy rabbit-

 

Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar

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Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar is one of the most awe-inspiring and absorbing historical sites that I’ve been. Not only because it’s superb but also it gave us an educational experience. The tour guides are outstanding and they provided us the backstory of every house built in this park. Our tour guide was so great that we’re hooked by his stories and we’re so thrilled to enter the house he’s referring.

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Casa Candaba
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Casa Jaen I

We went to Las Casas after our Mount Samat trip and both  of these sites are in Bataan. Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar is located in Barangay Pag-Asa, Bagac Bataan (Central Luzon, Philippines). In 2003, Jose Acuzar started rebuilding the Spanish mansions in Bagac. The houses are bought from different parts of the Philippines. Each house has a different background, culture, and architectural designs. Stone houses were uprooted from their original location, transplanted to Bagac Bataan and were reassembled and restored. The park is 400 hectares and it features 27 Spanish Colonial buildings and stone houses. The missing part of the houses were replicated to look like the original structure and it was opened to the public in 2010. The heritage park has museums and gallery where you can see old items and arts from the past. Also, it has a restaurant where you can choose from a variety of authentic Filipino-Hispanic cuisine, a calesa where you can ride, a beach, function rooms and a swimming pool. According to our tour guide, they plan to build 40 heritage houses, so it would be a great idea to come back every five years to see the new houses they built.

Also read: 2016 Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta

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Sanctuario de San Jose

All the photos we took are Instagram-worthy photos and the place, houses and corners are absolutely stunning. The heritage park is great for  prenup and pictorial. We even saw some models during our visit who wore nice outfits that match the beauty of the park.

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Casa San Miguel & Casa Byzantina
Casa Jaen II
Casa Jaen II

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Paseo de Escolta
Paseo de Escolta

Out of 27 heritage houses, Casa Luna (Luna House or the Novicio/Santoromana House) is my favorite. The mansion was owned by Novicio family in Namacpacan (now Luna town) in La Union. It was constructed in 1850 and reconstructed in 2007. The town was named to honor its revolutionary heroes and Luna brothers Antonio, the general and Juan Luna, the painter.

Also read: Why you should go to Bataan Tourism Center?

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Casa Luna

HAPPY RABBIT TIPS:

  • Wear comfortable yet fashion-forward clothes
  • Bring a nice camera/phone
  • Bring extra clothes and swimwear
  • Wear flat sandals, slippers, and comfortable shoes
    Note (You will be asked to remove your shoes once you enter the house)

Also read: Trip to Mount Samat Shrine

Favorite moments at Las Casas with my college buddies 🙂

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ITINERARY:(Hot Air Balloon- Mt. Samat-Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar)

0230 – ETD Manila
0230 – ETD Manila
0400 – ETA Clark Air Field
0700 – ETD Clark Air Field
0800 – Breakfast, Balanga
0900 – ETA Mount Samaat National Shrine
1030 – ETA Mount Samaat National Shrine
1100 – ETA Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar
1600 – ETD Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar
1900 – ETA Manila

HOW MUCH?

The day tour we got from Kuya Harry only cost Php 2000.00 inclusive of transportation and guide. (Food not included)
(Food not included)
You may contact our tour coordinator Harry Asuncion Balais
Mobile no: 0917-6274-945

 

Note: If you’re not planning to stay overnight, you can also avail the Heritage Day Tour of  Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar. They also provide a shuttle service from two pick-up points in Manila.

Below information are available on their website http://www.lascasasfilipinas.com.


Pick-up Point at New World, Makati

ETD from New World – 7:00am
ETA back at New World – 8:30pm

Pick-up Point at Astoria Plaza, Pasig City
ETD from Astoria Plaza – 7:35am
ETA back at Astoria Plaza: 8:30pm

ETA at Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar – 10:45am
ETD from Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar – 3:50pm

The Guided Walking heritage tours schedule which is at 8:30AM-4:30PM (Every hour except lunch time).
Guided Workshop Tour: 3:00PM
NO need to reserve. Just join your choice of time.