Hong Kong City Break Itinerary
It had been quite a few years since we visited Hong Kong, so we thought it would be a good idea to head to Hong Kong for a city break to celebrate our wedding anniversary in June. Moreover, airfares to Hong Kong have been pretty affordable flying on budget airlines. In addition, we had our Accor Plus free stay to use up for the year, hence we took advantage on this and booked those expensive Accor Group hotels in Hong Kong for the trip.
So our airfares via Jetstar was just about $135 per person. Flight timings were very good too.
Singapore to Hong Kong 10.10 am to 2.10 pm
Hong Kong to Singapore 2.50 pm to 6.40 pm
Accor Hotels booked were The Park Lane Hong Kong Pullman Hotel in Hong Kong Island for two nights and then the last night in Novotel Hong Kong Citygate near the airport. There was nothing much to prepare so this trip was really easy. Anyway, other than shopping and dining, what else was there to do with some other sight-seeing activities depending on the weather.
Jetstar Flight to Hong Kong
The day soon came and our flight to Hong Kong was a breeze. We were quite worried about our flight as Hong Kong was hit by a typhoon just a few days before our departure. But mainland China was more badly hit where Hong Kong just some skirmishes. We were very glad it was over by the time we left for Hong Kong.
After clearing custom and immigration, we walked over to Bus Bay 29-30 at Terminal 2. Over there we waited for the free shuttle bus to bring us to Novotel Citygate Hotel in Tung Chung where we would be staying on the last night. From Tung Chung, we could take the MTR directly to the city centre. This is much cheaper than to take the express train to the city as we were not in a rush to get to the hotel.
The shuttle bus came after 10 minutes. Another two hotel guests boarded the bus with us. Novotel Citygate Hotel is just 10 minutes away. So we arrived the hotel very quickly. The ride was pleasant too.
Novotel Citygate Hotel at Tung Chung
Once we alighted, we checked out the restaurant for a quick meal but it was past lunch hour as it was already past 3 pm. Not wanting to waste time here, we walked into the Citygate Outlet Mall. From there, we walked towards the Tung Chung MTR Station. At the bridge connecting the MTR Station, we stopped by for a quick late lunch at one of the stalls.
It was a fast food kind of Chinese food stall. We ordered the steamed minced pork rice with soup. The lunch wasn’t cheap. The food was just palatable perhaps not up to our taste buds. So we didn’t finished the food. With this late lunch done, we headed to the MTR Station.
Tung Chung Station to Causeway Bay Station
At the station control room, we purchased our Octopus cards for our transportation in Hong Kong. Very quickly, we entered the platform and boarded a waiting train. Soon, we were on our way to Hong Kong Island. We enjoyed the train ride but Hong Kong looked gloomy after the recent typhoon. The train became crowded after a few stations.
When we reached Central Station, we alighted and took a walk to board another train heading east to Chai Wan. It was quite a long walk through the busy underground passage passing shops and convenience stores. Everyone seemed to be walking very fast. This is Hong Kong after all. Soon, we got on to the connecting train which was very crowded and then three stations later, we exited at Causeway Bay Station.
This was another very busy station with so many exits. We checked out the floor plan on the wall and then took the Exit E. Once we were up on ground level, we were swarmed with people. We were right smacked in a very busy shopping area. We were of course ecstatic. It was an overcast day but it didn’t dampen our excitement.
After orientating ourselves, we turned left and walk ahead, crossed a small lane and saw the entrance into Ikea. The Park Lane Hong Kong Pullman Hotel also shares this same entrance. So we walked into the hotel lobby happily as we knew it was time for some great shopping and dining.
Service from Pullman Hotel staff were exceptional. As we were celebrating our wedding anniversary, hotel staff made a personalized greeting card and took our pictures and then pasted it on the card. Their service was indeed tiptop. Perhaps we communicated with them in Cantonese, the exchanges were so friendly and pleasant. Checking in was a breeze too.
Having gotten our room keys, we went up to our room. The room was perfect. Furnishing was great. The room was so modern and new. We were given a box of colourful macaron to celebrate our anniversary. It was such a nice gesture from Pullman Hotel. We kept the macaron to bring home to share with everyone.
Bathroom was very clean and modern. A bathtub is part of the setup. Complete with full range of toiletries, there was nothing else that we needed. Wifi was excellent. TV programs were aplenty.
Window views were great too. It was partial sea view with city view of Hong Kong Island. Victoria Park was just below. Low clouds were passing the hills nearby. We were hoping to visit The Peak but it seemed it wasn’t a good time this time round.
Causeway Bay to Mong Kok
With everything settled, it was time to head out to explore Hong Kong. So we walked past the busy Causeway Bay Shopping area and headed back into Causeway Bay Station. We took a train to Central Station again and then changed train and alighted at Mong Kok Station. As expected, it was so crowded in the train stations.
We decided to head to Mong Kok first to take a quick look and perhaps do some shopping as well. We were hoping to watch some street performance too. Once we got into the streets in Mong Kok, it was very busy with tourists doing their rounds of shopping. But the weather wasn’t so accommodating even though it was not pouring from above.
We walked through rows and rows of street stalls, many covered with sheets to protect their stalls from rain. It was stalls after stalls selling pretty much the same things. Many stallholders didn’t seem to be locals anyway. It was indeed a tourists trap. Obviously we didn’t buy anything.
It then started drizzling. We walked on and didn’t find any street performance set up anywhere probably due to this increment weather especially with Hong Kong just reeling from the recent typhoon, not much would take place here. We were a little disappointed as we didn’t feel this part of the city very authentically Hong Kong, at least not the same experience comparing to our previous visit a few years back.
Dinner at Novotel Nathan Road
So we walked south along Nathan Road. We were heading towards Novotel Hotel along this road where we stayed the last time. We remembered we had great shopping over at Wing On Departmental Store just across Novotel Hotel on Nathan Road.
After crossing a few roads, we arrived Novotel Hotel. We went up to the restaurant and settled down for dinner. The dinner wasn’t exquisite but very delicious even though we ordered a local fried rice and an Indian curry dish. The service was good and of course we enjoyed 50% discount dining for two as Accor Plus member. There are numerous restaurants and eateries from Mong Kok to Jordan but we still prefer to eat in air-conditioning comfort rather than to squeeze with other diners in those tiny restaurants where we have to share table at times.
With dinner done, we crossed over to Wing On Store via the underpass. Once inside the mall, we started from the top level down to ground floor. Merchandise here were costly and we didn’t buy anything this time. We did shop a lot here during their great sales a few years back. It was a little disappointing spending time at Wing On where the crowd was rather thin.
Shopping at Causeway Bay
So with nothing else to do here, we headed back to the MTR station. Using the tube, we soon returned to Causeway Bay area near our hotel. This place was more promising as far as shopping was concerned. So we spent time in Sogo, H&M and GU where we found these places much better shopping options for our first day in Hong Kong.
The streets here were busy and lively with shoppers and diners out on the streets after work or tourists like us enjoying some great time here in the evening. At least here was more authentic and modern part of Hong Kong. We mingled with the crowd and checked out shops and stores and of course restaurants too. We were glad it wasn’t raining here and we had a great evening enjoying the sights and sounds in Causeway Bay.
Before returning to Pullman Hotel, we went down to Ikea at the entrance for a quick look. There was a bistro with quite a lot of people having a quick bite. Since we were pretty familiar with Ikea and we had no intention to buy anything which we could buy back home, we returned to our room.
Unwind in Park Lane Hong Kong Pullman Hotel
It was a great feeling to be back in our wonderful modern and luxurious room. This was the first time we stayed over in Hong Kong Island. The hotels here are pretty expensive but we were using our Accor Plus free stay so we simply indulged in some luxury and comfort during this Hong Kong trip.
Our plans for the next day would be visiting more authentic Hong Kong neighbourhood and of course indulged in some Hong Kong dim sum. We would be heading back to Kowloon to explore during the day before returning to Hong Kong Island for more shopping. Of course our plans were subject weather conditions. At least we didn’t arrive during the recent typhoon or had our flights cancelled because of such seasonal storms.
So we unwind in our nice room watching TV and catching up with everyone else outside of Hong Kong. Soon it was time to slip into dreamland awaiting greater fun to come our way. Hence our trip to Hong Kong had begun. The next day would be the highlight.
Continue to Day 2 …