Minggu, 04 Juli 2010

Hongkong....city for shoppers

Jalan-jalan saya bulan Maret lalu melibatkan orang tua, sehingga ini mungkin menjadi trip yang paling miris backpacker-nya, karena memilih hotel yang diatas budget rata-rata backpacking dan seringkali siang jam 2 an gitu kami kembali ke hotel, bonyok take a nap, dan kita jalan lagi sekitar jam 4...maklumlah ya namanya juga orang tua.

Saya memilih Hongkong, Macau dan Shenzhen sebagai tujuan kali ini. Tidak perlu diceritakan detil 9 hari perjalanan kali ini, saya hanya kepengen share bbrp info penting dan sangat informatif yang saya dapat.

These are points for planning trip to Hongkong, Macau and Shenzhen. I found these information after intensive research for 1-2 months, changing different keywords into uncle google and patiently open first 20 pages.
You probably wondering why i change language into english, o well..this is requested by my expat colleagues at office, so they also can read my blog :)

Okay...lets start.
1. Define your route.
I want to have the lowest fare for every flight that i'll be taking, so i check all budget airlines that have flight there. I checked Jetstar, AirAsia, VivaMacau, Tiger,and enter various dates, also doing research what is the cheapest transportation to move to other destination, the final results were like these:
a. CGK-Macau using VivaMacau (thank God they were still operating back then)
b. Macau-Shenzhen using boat
Board at the New Macau Ferry Terminal and alight at Fu Yong Ferry Terminal (Shenzhen Airport). The ticket fare also stated in the website. I bought the ticket when i get there, cannot buy advance ticket through internet at that time.
c. Shenzhen-Hongkong using train
From Shenzhen to Hongkong, i only found out that to reach Hongkong from Shenzhen we can use train at Lowu station, i googled but found nothing clear about this.
So when i shopped at LuoHu shopping mall, i immediately have clear 'vision' about how to get to Hongkong (clear signs were there and it is so obvious because people are moving to the same directions).
d. From Hongkong to CGK, i used Jestar to SGP first, then take flight AirAsia the next couple of days (the sum rates of both flights are cheaper than take direct flight from HK to CGK).

2. Download maps of the city, to choose which area is your hotel would be best
a. Macau, i stayed in Kou Va Hotel
Kou Va Hotel
71 Rua da Felicidade, Porto Interior, Macau
Phone: +853 28375599
(+853) 2893 0755
I dont know how to pronounce name of the hotel using Kantonese, so i give the phone number to taxi driver, he call the hotel and able to find it easily.

b. Shenzhen, i stayed in Shanshui Luohu Hotel (http://www.shanshuihotel.com)
c. Hongkong, i stayed in Lee Garden Guest House (http://www.starguesthouse.com.hk)
No complain about all the hotels i stayed, all nice and as expected (sweet result from my deep research about the hostels), i looked for a hotel that friendly for my parents (have elevator :P).

This link is providing info about Hongkong for dummies:

3. Transportation
a. Macau
I used taxi to go around in Macau, since it is a small island, so it is still affordable to use taxi. But most of the time, we walked, yes walked :)
b. Shenzhen
Shenzhen Metro, provide most convinient way to go around in Shenzhen, most of the places to see is near Shenzhen Metro.
Download Shenzhen Metro map and print before u start the trip, so you will not spending much time to find out how to go to Windows of the world.
I always buy single journey token when using Shenzhen Metro there to reach Windows of the world and Splendid China.
To reach Window of The World (世界之窗), stop at Shi Jie Zhi Chuang Metro Station(南山区华乔城深南大道).
To reach Splendid China & Chinese Folk Culture Village (深圳锦绣, 中华中国民俗文化村; Shēnzhèn​ Jǐnxiù Zhōnghuá, Zhōngguó Mín​sú​ Wén​huà Cūn​​), stop at Hua Qiao Cheng Metro Station, exit D, walk about 200 meters.
To reach LuoHu shopping mall, i walked.
c. Hongkong
To go around Hongkong, you can use MTR (www.mtr.com.hk), card to use MTR called Octopus Card. I quote this from one of the website "Remember, when you buy an Octopus Card, you will have to pay 50hkd for the deposit and 100hkd to load it. Your octopus Card will start at 100hkd when you swipe it. Once you already used up the 100hkd and you can't find a place to load your card you may use up to 35hkd of your deposit. So, it's okay to see a negative sign in your Octopus Card. However, you can only go as high as negative 35hkd (-35hkd).)
Minimum Reload is 50HKD, you can reload it in any 7-Eleven store or MTR station.
You may return your Octopus Card at the Customer Service in the airport or at any Octopus Card Service Center in HK. Your 50HKD can be refunded once you return the card plus the money left inside your octopus card."
IMHO, fare rates for HK MTR is a bit pricee than MRT in Singapore, i spent 150HKD on using MTR for 3 days there, (around 90 HKD to go to HK airport).

4. Places I visited there
a. Macau
This is a small island, just spend 2 days will be enough, i go to almost every spot for tourist here.
b. Shenzhen
I went to Splendid China, Windows of the world, and LuoHu shopping mall. Just googled, you'll find the websites and get the fee for entrance ticket (when i went, the fare was 120 CNY/person, its not cheap, so make sure that u explore all spot there :P ), dont forget to find out what time is the show performance there, so you wouldnt miss it, you wont get charged extra to see the show performance.
To save money, bring food or snacks into those area, food price is much expensive inside there.
c. Hongkong
I went to The Peak, Giant Budha, Victoria Harbour (Avenue of stars), Victoria Park, shopped at Causeway Bay.
Hongkong is city for shopppers indeed, shops open until 12 midnight, even 1 AM!....i finished my shopping at 12 midnight, took MTR, and people still wondering around for shopping....hahaha... really miss HK, i will go there again definitely, for shopping of course!! :D

I concluded those steps when planning this trip, and spend time doing my research before leaving because i went without paying tour, and went with my parents, so i had to have perfect plan. i made list of detail itinerary in excel and put all the details (flight number, hotel name and address, how to reach one destination and then move to other destination). Lots of information only telling about the place they went, but not explaining how to reach there.
I'm lousy in reading maps, so i prepared steps on how to reach the destination very clear for myself (of course....by using the cheapest transportation :P )

Local citizens (informal workers like waitress, shop attendants etc) in HK and Macau cannot speak English neither Mandarin, they only talk Kantonese.
Only in Shenzhen i can speak Mandarin with them when i'm ordering food or else.
so remember, always print your hotel nama, address, place to visit using their language, not only print using Latin words.

Before booking the hostels, read reviews about it using uncle google. for example you're interested in hostel A, open google, type "Review hostel A", read the ratings review in Trip Advisor, it helped me a lot on deciding which hostels.
But sometimes, even the best rating hostels had poor rating, if that the case, just read the poor rating review to know why they giving poor ratings, if it is still acceptable for you then go a head, book the hostels. And if its only has 5 poor rating from 200 very good rating, i also think its acceptable :)

So..i think that's it for now....Macau: i will not go back,one time is enough for me, Shenzhen: also nothing special for me, but Hongkong.... for all women out there, that is one city that you gals will love :D

1 komentar:

  1. haiii :)
    I'm planning to go to macau, hk & sz in this june. Really find your post helpfull :)
    anyway, may I ask for your detail itinerary in excel? as I haven't made and don't have any clue at all. will appreciate it very much. Thanks in advance. Anna
    PS. : my email address : daintypiggy_girl@yahoo.com