Live! / Woman

How to Spend 7 Days in Hong Kong

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Last year, I won roundtrip tickets to any country in Asia, any island in Micronesia, or Australia. This would be my first international trip and my husband’s first international trip as an adult. Not to mention, being well-traveled is one of our family goals so it was a pretty HUGE deal.

My husband and I originally wanted to travel to Beijing, take a train to Shanghia and fly back to Guam from there, but we waited too late to book our flight (all the free seats were taken). So, our 2nd choice was Hong Kong. We had no idea what to expect, but we were beside ourselves with excitement. The first thing we did was Google things to do/places to visit. Most of our activities we got from Trip Advisor.

If there are 7 tips we learned from our travels it was:

1. Pray.

I think I was praying for the entire flight crew for almost an entire year. I was also praying for the family that would be entrusted with watching our daughter. Cover everything with prayer.

2. Choose someone you trust to watch your house/car.

We choose our neighbors/friends to watch our house/car and feed our kittens. We also stocked the fridge with their favorite drinks and told them to use our cable anytime they wanted!

3. Prepare for the unexpected.

In the case that we died on this trip, my husband left our credit card, will, insurance information and daughter’s passport with his company. We designated our friend to accompany our daughter back to the states. And, we contacted  family we wanted her to be raised by.  It’s not easy writing out “just in case” letters, but it’s the responsible thing to do.

4. Plan ahead.

With the help of Trip Advisor, we created an itinerary. We knew how much the events would cost, what bus to take to get there, and if that event would take up the whole day, half a day, etc.

5. Get Lost.

We used the evenings to just walk with nowhere in mind. Because we ventured to back streets, etc. we saw the locals doing…local things. We found some great restaurants and a lot of side stores with great deals.

6.. Stay a few extra days to vacation from your vacation.

We only had 4 or 5 days worth of activities to do, but we decided to stay 7 days and I’m sure glad we did. We were able to sleep in and just do whatever we felt. It was a vacation from our vacation. So, we went home rested instead of wired from all the things we tried to cram into each day.

7. Do your research.

My husband handled the exchanging of money, etc. So, I asked him what he recommends. He says that you should know the exchange rate so you can make sure you’re being given the correct amount of bills in return. Don’t trust people to be honest.

He says choosing how much money to exchange is a personal preference, but remember that you have to pay to exchange back what you don’t use. So, if you’re planning ahead, you should be able to ballpark what you need for your activities and then of course factor in spending money.

8. Take Your Debit Card.

He  recommends taking a debit card over a credit card because 1) you need a pin number to use it (in case it’s stolen) AND 2) for budgeting purposes — you can’t overspend. Fortunately, we were able to use our debit card in HK, but that might be the case for other destinations.

So, here is how we spent 7 days in Hong Kong…

Pre-flight…

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{Someone’s trying to sneak in our suitcase!}

VIDEO: Aggravation At The Airport

The flight…

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{My “I’m sleepy” face}

{We arrived in HK at approx. 9pm. I love major airports! All the stores and restaurants and different cultures scurrying about.

We grabbed a bite at McDonalds in the airport (we weren’t ready for rice and noodles, yet) and hailed a cab.

Our hotel was about 30-35 mins. away in Aberdeen.} 

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{I’m kind of a sucker for modern, organizational things. You know, platform beds, rain shower heads, mounted televisions, etc. So, of course we LOVED our hotel room.}

VIDEO: The Hotel Room

  {It was compact, but very modern. The shower was to die for. We’re suckers for great water pressure and steaming hot water. And, we decided we MUST have a rain shower shower head. The fridge was stocked with Coke, Coke Zero, water, beer, and juice (free of charge). And, the downstairs dining area was always open if you wanted to stop by and grab some coffee, snacks, fruit, and extra soda (free of charge). Continental breakfast was different. Boiled eggs (Hey, can you scramble this, please?!), bagels, croissants, granola cereal, corn flakes, slices of ham & cheese, jam, and fruit. I ate a multi-grain bagel w/ butter and cream cheese every morning. (Yes, I gained a pound or two, but I hadn’t had bagels in forever and they were extra tasty!!) We even had free backpacks, slippers, and a complimentary happy hour from 5 to 8 every evening.}

VIDEO: First Night In The Hotel

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{Found these in our swag bags!}

Day 2 – Peak 360

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Waking up and realizing you’re child-free, have a maid and chef, and don’t have to go to work for the next 6 days is so wonderful! I can’t even begin to describe it! I wanted to leap from bed instead of hide under the covers! You have to experience this euphoric feeling!

(Confession: I want a chef and maid in real life.)

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 {I don’t even read the paper, but just knowing that I could….in peace….during breakfast.}

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{These lil’ mason jars of jam were TOO cute! It reminded me of The Cracker Barrel back home in SC.}

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 {Randomly waiting for the bus when we spot a black guy and he spots us. Forget the bus! We must introduce ourselves.

Turns out he’s from NC and just relocated to Hong Kong for a career in banking.}

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{For some odd reason, I was very fascinated by the high-rise clothes lines. I had only seen one in my grandma’s back yard. So, to see people hang their clothes on their balcony was new for me. Now, I realize that people do that on Guam as well.}

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{The Tram Ride}

 

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{The first day we went to Peak 360. Peak 360 is the highest 360 degree viewing terrace in town. To get there, you ride a tram up this  very steep hill. We were on such a steep slope that the buildings begin to look like they were leaning. It was wild & kind of scary. Once you get there, there are lots of restaurants and shops.}

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{The View}


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{There was my first time seeing a living roof. A living roof has grass, flowers, and in this case trees on it. There’s also a house.

It was pretty neat to see.}

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{There was so much smog in the city. You can really see it here.}

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{This was one of our fav lunches. I don’t know what this hotdog was made of, but it was delicious. We went back to get another one before we left HK.}

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{This lady is explaining very loudly that I have problem skin and she has the solution. I didn’t buy it. How rude!}

 

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{I loved seeing all those beautiful bills in my wallet. It was just a really neat experience to shop with HK dollars.

$100 HKD = $13 USD}

 

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{I chose not to pay however much it was to see Michael’s wax figure. But, I still got to show him some love.}

 

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{This doll was about $200 USD. No thanks.}

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{Sending post cards to friends & loved ones.}

 

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{Every evening, we would get lost in the city wondering from street to street, mingling with the locals. We stumbled upon a street restaurant called Mr. Bing. Mr. Bing sells Beijing crepes. The ingredients sounded like, “Eww!” Green bean batter? What the heck is that? But, hey, why not? They recommended the roasted duck, but the BBQ sounded safer to me. I chose one and Travis chose the other. Roasted duck won. I wanted to eat there again, but we never made it back. If we ever go to HK again, this would definitely be on my to-do list.}

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{The bar stool my butt wouldn’t fit on. I really did fall off. No one saw me, though.}

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{This is what turned me on to foods made with fresh ingredients. This Belgian crepe had fresh cucumber which I thought I’d pick out like a 4 year old. But, it was delicious. Mom, I’m growing up!}

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{We rode around on these double-decker buses that were pretty cool. We’d always sit on the top and in the front so we had the best view. It was a nice change of pace from driving.}

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{Riding the bus helped me learn the value of money. Those bus drivers will pull off and throw you halfway down the aisle if you’re up there trying to figure out the fare. Embarrassing! Embarrassment is a great teacher.}

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{There were people on buses and the people driving the Benzes.}

Day 3 – Stanley Market/Symphony of Lights Cruise

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{Stanley Markets is THE best place to shop for souvenirs and goodies in HK. The prices and quality were good. I bought scarves, handbags, kimonos, bowls, and chopstick sets there. }

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  {Authentic Chinese food. YUM.}

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{One of Travis’ favorite desserts from Red Lobster is the apple crumble. So when we stopped for dessert and saw the apple crumble, we ordered it. We were a little skeptical when it first came out. But it was apple crumble gourmet style. Delicious.}

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{Stanley Market shops & restaurants}

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{I love to see the different varieties companies offer based on the location. For example, here on Guam McDonald’s offers spam and rice for breakfast. I think I’m just intrigued by marketing and the thought process and the endless possibilities for a brand to stand out in different markets.}

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 {I love these bowls!}day 3 hong kong 026{Travis’ sword. I buy bowls. He buys weapons.}

 

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 {So, the symphony of lights show was pretty whack. I was definitely expecting more. But, we met some friends from Thailand. It’s interesting talking to someone with a different language. You use your hands and facial expressions a WHOLE lot more. Until someone said “Facebook” and we all were like, “Yeah!” LOL.}

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Day 4 – Ocean Park /Watoto

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{Being goofballs on the elevator. The blue lights were pretty cool, though.}

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{We happened to be there in October so there were costumes everywhere. I’m not a Halloween-y person, but their costumes were so amazing we had to get pictures!}

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 {I think they were supposed to be dolls. One of them winked at Travis. I still can’t figure out if they were boys or girls…}

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 {Not only where they made up wonderfully, but they were in full character. This guy was hilarious.}

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 {This panda just wouldn’t act right. “Y’all wanna see something? I’m going to show you something.” According to Travis, these were the Panda’s thoughts. Hehe!}

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{But the dolphins performed like the little perfect creatures they are.}

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 {Apparently everyone goes up the left side and down the right side in HK. We could never remember the rules so we were always on the “wrong” side.}

 

 

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{It just so happened that while in Stanley Market we saw a sign advertising an African children’s choir coming to a local Baptist church. How perfect was that!}

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{The kids were so precious and their stories were so heartbreaking.}

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 {We were the only black people there so we stood out like sore thumbs! But, I also felt a very deep connection to my Ugandan sisters and brothers. Look at Marc and Travis embracing like brothers. This was one of the best parts of the trip for me.}

 

VIDEO: Watoto Children’s Choir

Day 5 – Lantau Island

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{This line was ridiculously long! And, I wasn’t that impressed with the Big Buddha, but for people who enjoy museum-y type stuff….hey, check it out.}

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{Dancing in the square. The side of me on my husband sees…usually.}

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{We just stumbled upon this restaurant. I think it was an Asian only joint. Oh well. It was like an Asian Denny’s or something. It was kind of weird because they would seat other people at your table. They did have this buttery bread thing that was AMAZING. Too bad I can’t remember the name of the restaurant.}

Day 6 – Dragon Back Hike

{Today was our kick back and sweat day. By now, we’re bus pros which means we’re not 20 mins. early, we’re running to catch the bus like the locals. And, we’re sleeping on the bus and able to wake up at our stop. LOL.

We had been on a few hikes in Guam and enjoyed those so hiking in HK was an easy yes for both of us. We didn’t know what to expect on this hike, but it was really nice. We’d definitely do it again!}

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hong kong day 6 127   hong kong day 6 130    hong kong day 6 134   hong kong day 6 141

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hong kong day 6 143   hong kong day 6 153 hong kong day 6 154 hong kong day 6 157 hong kong day 6 159  hong kong day 6 190

{Time to refuel. These weren’t bad, by the way.}

hong kong day 6 161     hong kong day 6 168   hong kong day 6 172   hong kong day 6 178  hong kong day 6 180          hong kong day 6 196 hong kong day 6 200

 {The water was NOT clear. And, sand was all in my water shoes!  The water was waaaay too cold.

And, we’re like, “We live on an island. Let’s go.” Haha! Clearly, Guam has spoiled us.}

 

Day 7: Macau

{We took a 1 hour ferry boat to Macau. None of the signs were in English & most of the people covered their ears when we asked them questions. They didn’t speak English. So, we just walked…bought a watermelon at a local market…went to the casinos and ate some pretty interesting nuts, and went back to HK.}

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Day 8 – Back to Guam

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{By now, I’m eating with chop sticks like the BOSS that I am. LOL.

This was Aji-sen by the way…}

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{Until next time, HK…}

1. Do you remember your first international vacation? Where did you go & what were your takeaways?

2. If you haven’t traveled internationally, do you plan to & where would you like to visit?

With Love,

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4 thoughts on “How to Spend 7 Days in Hong Kong

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