I read a blog on travel bubble last month and I have to admit that I am pretty happy in my travel bubble. When I visit a place, for the first time or not, I tend to go where most tourists go and I see as much as I can given the time I have in any place. I see the sights, take my pictures, eat the food (when I can) and I move on. I am a typical tourist and I’m okay with it… for now.
I had been to Hong Kong to shop so I didn’t do any touristy stuff. Once, we even took the train to Shenzhen, for more shopping. We stopped by last year just to “see” Hong Kong.
This year, I wanted to see a bit more but my toddler got her way and we only went to Disneyland. We said that we would do our Ngong Ping tour on our way back from the Philippines but it was rainy. In fact, Hong Kong seemed gloomy on our way to and from Asia. It will have to wait another day and we’ve decided that we will stay in Hong Kong for a couple of days.
Flying from South Africa and back, we are normally presented with the option of a long layover in Hong Kong. This works for us who want to stretch our legs and breathe in some fresh air, or not so fresh, in the city before moving on. It is a plus that it is transit-friendly and there is no hassle whatsoever with immigration. There is also a left baggage so you don’t have to drag around with you your cabin luggage.
I like Hong Kong. Even better is the new Hong Kong. The airport is situated in Lantau Island and there is enough to see there. I didn’t feel lost upon exiting the airport but that is mainly because there is a friendly face at the information desk who offer advice on transportation options with clear explanation on the choice. We felt quite comfortable taking the bus. Luckily for us, I had some loose change from my previous stop so I didn’t need to break the notes I had just withdrawn. It cost HK$3.50 per person from the airport to Tung Chung, on the S1 bus. If I’m not mistaken, S56 is the express bus between the airport and Tung Chung.
We wanted to go to Ngong Ping but the cable car only opens at 10:30. We decided to walk around in the area. It’s not a strange place for me as a friend who is a flight attendant for Cathay Pacific is based in Hong Kong. The stores don’t open before 10:00. That doesn’t mean my toddler would not see the Disneyland posters. We promised to take her to the “happiest place on earth” but after coffee at Starbucks. We needed to sit down to decide if we would go to Disneyland first or wait for the Ngong Ping cable car. The free WiFi is a bonus.
It is easy to get to Disneyland from Tung Chung. The next station is Sunny Bay and it connects to the Disneyland Resort line. The dedicated train has Mickey Mouse windows and small figurines of the Disney characters in glass cabinets. I’ll even say that the whole train ride is enjoyable. Then again, we don’t do train rides in Johannesburg.
The Disneyland Resort train station is also better than the regular stations. It is already Disneyland! It is advised that the return ticket be purchased already. I can imagine the rush and the hassle if people only buy their train tickets on their way out especially if they stay in the resort until closing.
Similar to the Disneyland in Anaheim (I can compare with Anaheim because I have not been to the other Disneyland resorts), even before you enter the park, you already feel Disneyland. The difference is that there are no shops outside the park itself in Hong Kong. Disneyland Hong Kong is not as expensive as the one in California and it should not and cannot be the same. $99 would be too much in Hong Kong. Even the HK$539 for adults and HK$385 for children over two years old are a too pricey for our South African Rand.
Overall, it was enjoyable enough and definitely a lot of fun for the little one. I may not go back to Hong Kong Disneyland but I will definitely go back to Anaheim when my little princess is slightly older, in a good mood and awake to enjoy the park.
Some videos in Disneyland