Saturday, January 28, 2017

Shenzhen 2017 - Day Trip Shopping

Headed to Shenzhen right after visiting sky100's observation deck, so it was not really a day trip! Half a day was spent on the deck and commuting to Shenzhen. By the time I reached Shenzhen's immigration it was sunset. I was to glad to make it in time to see Shenzhen in daylight!

As it was a day trip, I did not plan anything for Shenzhen and China being very restrictive on its search engine and social media access just brought my will to explore the city down to a low. I spent the evening at the famed KK100 and KK Mall. I do not know what is with me and tall buildings but it just got on to me. I have no idea what triggered but my affinity towards tall buildings is probably attributed to convenience, being able to see everything from the top, giving me a sense of direction of the city whereabouts.

You know, like how you would orientate a map to ground.

Going to Shenzhen was just an alternative plan in case I got some of my reservations screwed up but since I managed to cover quite a lot my itinerary in my previous days and everything went gratefully smoothly, I thought why not!

I was travelling alone, and if anything ever went wrong along the way to Shenzhen like getting lost or what, nobody could blame me! Or even if I decided not to go back to Hong Kong and spend the night in Shenzhen, nobody could stop me either and ask if I am going back!

My dad told me Shenzhen is haven for electronic and tech products which I thought I had to see for myself. True enough, got myself some peripherals to go along with my iPhone. It was a good trip after all! Luckily I brought an empty backpack.

Thanks to accessibility by metro, it made travelling there so much easier! Just when I thought my transport system back home is efficient, my entire belief about that all changed when I managed to get from one country to another with so little walking and so much sight seeing along the way.

I do not mean to complain but here at home, we boast about how efficient we are compared to others. No clue who have we been comparing our efficiency with all these while. We are building so many lines and extensions, but none that could cross borders yet.


Friday, January 27, 2017

Hong Kong 2017 - Hong Kong Observation Wheel

Located right beside Hong Kong's AIA Great European Carnival, Hong Kong Observation Wheel brings you around to see the other side of Hong Kong. At different angle, how Hong Kong would look like from the other side and the best part, the cabin is intimate for parents to bring in their children, without disturbing other patrons!


I have seen bigger ferris wheels but from experience, while it may fit almost a classroom size of visitors, nothings irks other people than children crying at an elevated height in an enclosed capsule. Not saying having bigger is a bad thing but small gondolas like this makes you sit closer with your loved ones as you see the colourful lights from the carnival and a closer look of the lit buildings before the light show begins. Personally, Hong Kong Island being the home of Hong Kong's financial centre has a more laid back persona than its shopping belt.

Just in case if you are afraid of being brought up to a heigh of 60m in a cabin, you can opt to enjoy the breeze and view right the the footstep of the wheel! They have stalls that sells premium quality refreshments such as authentic Belgian waffles, genuine German hotdogs and Chinese dim sum.

The Hong Kong Observation Wheel has 42 luxury cabins, all equipped with air-conditioning in the summer and heating in the winter. High-tech safety and super-fast Wi-Fi are also available to share your precious moment online! By the way, I swear by Hong Kong's internet connection. Their 4G connection was superb. Had no qualms updating my social media fast!


To find out more about visitors information and ticket prices, log on to www.hkow.hk/en.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Hong Kong 2017 - Victoria Peak

Victoria Peak offers a spectacular view of the concrete jungle and Hong Kong's islands.

It is famous for the tram ride, which was so crowded I gave up queuing. I could not even see the start of the line! Had I known the queue would be that long, I would have gone to the other side of adventure and climbed up The Lion Rock instead.

Unfortunately it was already sunset and I had got no time to spare. I probably looked too fabulous to climb anything on that day anyway so I guess that was probably that is life's way of saying, go again!

Anyway, Uber saved the day! I was at the peak within minutes. Ain't got time for some overhyped slow tram. If I had wanted to be squeezed in with others in the train, I might as well do that on the metro.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Hong Kong 2017 - Sky100 Observation Deck

Hong Kong's tallest indoor observation deck, sky100 brought me to new heights in exploring the city. Just at one point, I got to see 360 degrees view of Hong Kong!

So have I seen all of Hong Kong? I sure did!


It may not be the tallest building in the world, but with a height of 490m above sea level, its vantage is high enough and importantly unobstructed by other buildings. It was hard for me to leave this place, knowing that I would miss the view!

From the north, you could see the populous metropolis of Hong Kong's residential area, as you move to the east side it will lead to the the impressive view of the Victoria Harbour and the passing boats. Moving down to the south side of the observation deck you get to see the financial hub that is integral to Hong Kong's economic success and is part of the picturesque skyline. If you prefer to lay your eyes on the horizon, the west side of the deck offers a romantic vista of islands with mountains and docking ships that look dwarfed from the top.

sky100 is not short of culture. As you enter to the lobby, you will pass through a series of fascinating multimedia exhibits donned in festive decorations. The tallest building in Hong Kong promised to offer the most memorable sky-high experience in every season and at all times of the day, and they delivered!

Here's the amazing thing about technology. Wi-Fi is free at sky100 and you are strongly encouraged to download the sky100 app while you are there. Available on Apple and Android, it is free and the best part, if offers photo filters that Snapchat probably won't! All you have to do after downloading the app is to scan a round card that will be given to you upon collection of tickets. You can then create amazing pictures like going paragliding above the harbour, or take a picture alongside the International Commerce Centre (ICC) building!

It was at sky100 I called my family and all of my friends because while Wi-Fi is free, it was an opportune time to share with them the amazing view!

One of the best things about sky100 is its accessibility. No doubt Hong Kong's connectivity is top-notch, and to get to ICC where sky100 is should never be that hard. As you exit the metro, all you have to do is to follow the sign towards Elements shopping complex leading to Metal Zone. It was easier to find Sky100 than the washroom really. I had to go rounds just to find the nearest gents!

Missing this in your itinerary would be a waste because while sky100 is the only place to get a good view of Hong Kong. They have been awarded Certificate of Excellence by Trip Advisor for three consecutive years so if TripAdvisor is not missing this on their list, you should not too! Besides, they are actually one of the top ten attractions in Hong Kong!

I had no idea until I checked them out today. Woops!

Keep in mind that currently Café at Sky100 will be closed for renovation from 1 January 2017 and is scheduled to reopen in late March 2017. Meanwhile, visitors may proceed to Holly Brown Café located on second floor or purchase light refreshments at sky100 gift shop. The current cafe is amazing and the new cafe would be better I am sure! So if you are visiting after March, count yourself lucky for being able to try out the new and revamped cafe!

By the way, I just love the neatness of the building's architecture!


Advance booking can be made via Purchasing Tickets online from 24-hours to one month prior to your admission date and time. To redeem your tickets, simply present the printed confirmation and payment card at Sky100 Hong Kong Observation Deck Ticket Centre.

100th Floor, International Commerce Centre, Kowloon Station, Hong Kong
Entrance connecting Elements - Metal Zone 2/F

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Hong Kong 2017 - New Year's Eve Countdown

This year's countdown was amazing! I was so grateful not having to squeeze with the rest of the crowd because it was crazy last year in Sydney!

My day started early, I checked in, settled down preparing for the evening. I was undecided if I should just watch the fireworks from my hotel room or go down to get a closer view of the fireworks. I had the room to myself so I had the option of not having to face the crowd at all and God knows how manners during New Year's Eve were actually down the Victoria Harbour before the clock strikes twelve.

Staying in the room comes with a price because then I would be hungry and I would never want to miss a buffet of oysters and other seafood! In the end, I decided to go to Harbour City and it was worth it!

The Avenue of Stars were closed for maintenance so the promenade got smaller this year for people to be at. I took the wrong turn by entering the promenade as I thought there would be a through to Harbour City. I was so wrong! I got stuck in the midst of the crowd. It was so mad it started to feel very warm.

I was so relieved when I got out of the crowd and found the right way to the restaurant. I literally heaved a sigh of relief. It was just seven o'clock and the promenade was already full. When I reached the restaurant, I was actually early. Too early that I had to roam around Harbour City and do some window shopping.


The food was great. Oysters and other seashells were abundant. It felt like there was no end to the salmon and sea bass and I meant well on that. That was probably because everyone else was attacking the red meat and other dishes, and forgot about seafood!

Being alone at the restaurant, seated by the harbour (literally beside the water I became so cautious hoping nothing precious would fall), with food, camera and all ready to witness the biggest new year's celebration in Asia gave me a mix feelings. On one hand, I felt bad because across I could see the crowd finding any air pocket for them to squeeze in just to get a glimpse of the show, while on the other hand, I felt so safe being away from the crowd.

It may sound horribly arrogant but after much thought, as my friends would say, we make choices and sacrifices! Either seated here or standing there, both has its price.

Nevertheless, I was really thankful that my hotel was just 400m away from Harbour City. Walking was such a breeze as compared to my past trips!

This may be long due, but 2017 will be one of the most fantastic years ahead!