Thursday, March 03, 2011

The one with 4th bday trip

I don't think i'd be able to finish blogging about our trip but i wanted to start right away as i might be able to forget some of the things i wanted to share.  While i was doing my own research about our trip, i could'nt find any blog about their travel experiences in hongkong-macau so i did'nt get much information about experiential posts.  I hope this will help out moms and other families plan their trip better.  I'll try to post pictures in between. :)

Date of trip: Feb 20, 2011 10pm to Feb 24, 2011 10:30pm
Destination: Manila to Macau
                  HK-Macau (via ferry)
                  Macau to Manila
Weather: Macau (11 deg celsius) and HK (15 to 16 deg celsius)
Travel buddies: Jon and Jill Ramos (our barkada); Simon and Simone (4yo)


I first bought a big luggage thinking that it will be more practical to just have one luggage for all of us three.  I bought a black and white polka dots luggage so i could easily find it.  And it was indeed easy to find.  It was only a medium luggage but when i tried putting everything inside, Simon could'nt carry it already.  Then i talked to Jill and she told me not to bring a big luggage that you can't carry as we will be travelling and transferring to places.  We divided our stuff and got a smaller luggage and kept the black and white polka dots luggage.  It's a good thing i listened.
TIP:  bring smaller luggages.  Something with 4 wheels is better.  Buy those printed ones or colored ones if you can.  Sometimes putting a ribbon or a tag is not enough.

Simone is a very good travel buddy.  We are blessed to have a very behaved kid traveler.  But before our flight, we brought a netbook, her favorite barbie doll and some chocolates -- all her favorite stuff so we'd get to distract her when she feels uncomfortable.  But thank goodness, we did'nt need to use any of those as she was so behaved, she felt she was a stewardess, walking to and fro.

TIP: bring a netbook.  it has been very useful during dull time.  simon uploaded simone's favorite movies there.  we were able to watch tangled three times. hahaha.

I only brought two feeding bottles, milk dispenser, and a bottle of water.  I did'nt bring a sterilizer.  I only used hot water to sterilize her bottles.  What i did was to wash the bottle with hot water right after her milk time and then put water that she'd drink right away.  That way, i dont have to wash it with soap.  

Our arrival in Macau was Feb 20 in the evening.  We took a cab going to our friend’s brother who was so gracious enough to accommodate us and offer their house for us to stay in. thank you kuya obet and ate irma! It was sooo cold with about 12 deg weather. We filled out the form of the immigration department.  It’s a blue form, carbonized.

TIP: always save your passport number, date of issue and place in your celphone so you don’t have to get your passports everytime you fill them out.  Once you’re done with immigration, NEVER lose the carbonized form as you will present it again when you leave the country J

TIP: my husband and simone easily get colds so I made sure I bought thermals for them.the ones I bought in greenhills at 450 per set (top and bottom) were maximized during our stay there. J

The following day, we rode a ferry at 1130am going to HK.  Since we had two destinations (macau and hk), we decided to just bring the ones we’re gonna use for hk.  So we settled with a smaller bag and our shoulder bags.  The ferry ride was more like 700 pesos each. We decided to book the macau flight since we wanted to hit two birds in one stone and maximize the trip and it still came out cheaper when we book it via macau plus ferry than booking straight to hongkong J the ferry ride was a good 1.5 hours. We then took a cab going straight to Hollywood hotel.  The cab cost about 250HKD. It’s costly I know but since we had a lot on our hands, we decided to take it…plus we don’t know anything about going there.

TIP:  the taxi cab drivers in hk and macau are fast drivers…as in! average is like 60kph. Haha. They also charge 5hkd for every bag that you put in their trunk. So if you can fit it inside the car, you can do so and you’ll save 5hkd more J

We booked the hotel online so we don’t have to pay anything at all.  We got the garden view room of Hollywood hotel for 1,486 hkd.  Apparently, upon checking in, the rates were subject to increase. When I asked the reason why I needed to pay addl 93 hkd, they could’nt give me a straight answer.  Since it’s almost 2 in the afternoon and we’re in a hurry to go to Disneyland, we just agreed to pay it already.  The stay comes in with 2 buffet breakfast at chef mickey. 

TIP:  If you want additional breakfast coupons, you can buy at the reception for 162hkd for adults and 80 hkd for kids.  The rates are cheaper when you buy it from the reception desk than when you buy it at chef mickey restaurant itself. J  about 10hkd difference J

We rode the shuttle going to Disneyland.  My friend, jill, bought tickets already online. We got two tickets free, as a gift from my sister-in-law’s friend. Super generous, it saved us about four thousand pesos! J thank you ate val! So we only had to pay for simone’s ticket.  Rates are 350hkd for adults and 250 hkd for kids. J we had to replace our Disneyland florida tickets (the one we got for free) to HK Disneyland tickets at Guest relations office.

TIP: BRING a stroller.  There’s a stroller for rent in Disneyland but believe me when I say that this thing will save your life. J my friend, kokie, lent us their umbroller. You know the thin one that you can fold easily.  We decided to buy another one for us when we got back so we can use it for our sg trip in june. Super lifesaver! If your stroller/umbroller is handy and light, it’s very advisable that you bring this.

It’s my second time in HK Disneyland, first for my two babies so it’s such a delight to see twinkle in their eyes when they saw the castle and how it is inside.  I felt like crying and tried to stop it until Jill mentioned that the place is overwhelming, she wanted to cry. And then that’s when I cried. Hahaha. Such a tear-jerker.  But I don’t know, there’s something about Disneyland that I will never get tired of.  I seriously thought of a job that I could do there. Hahaha.

The weather that day was perfect.  A friend of mine who went there two weeks before us gave me a tip to bring an umbrella.  It rained on the day they went there so she had to buy an umbrella worth 200hkd or 1 thousand pesos. Haha.

TIP: bring a foldable umbrella or pray hard for a good weather J we opted for the second one J

TIP: food and drinks bought outside are not allowed.  We did’nt eat much here in Disneyland as we know that it’s pricey.  A waffle cost about 40hkd. We just bought drinks and brought our chocolates with us (for the sugar rush, haha) I brought simone her milk and some crackers to munch on for the day (for some reasons, they did allow simone’s crackers inside or they might not have seen it?)

TIP: immediately get a map and a schedule of the shows.  First, ride the train that will tour you of the whole Disneyland and while you’re there, you can plan where you’d go.  Disneyland is divided into four adventure lands: fantasyland, adventure land, tomorrow land and _____________.  We based our itinerary on the time slots of the shows. We were able to maximize the shows more than the rides as simone was small for the rides, she wont appreciate it that much and we, adults, were not so much fond of the rides. Haha.  We watched lion king, philharmagic (which simone loved the most!), it’s a small world (very very nice!).  we missed watching the golden mickeys and stitch encounter because we chose to take photos with Disney characters.  There are designated gazebos for the photo opps.  You can just give your camera to their staff and they’d gladly take a photo of you and they’ll also take a photo of you using their camera and give you a blue coupon just when you wanted to purchase your picture taken by them. The photo cost about 50hkd. J

TIP: start with the shortest line for photo opp. We started with Minnie mouse, then, goofy, Pluto, and then mickey mouse. J unfortunately donald and daisy were not there.  L

We did’nt see other princesses roaming around but we did see Rapunzel and we had a good 3 to 5 minute talk with her. As in! when it was our turn, Rapunzel complimented simone’s dress and then simone talked back and they started chatting. I did’nt care about the others next in line.  All I cared about was “man, she was really talking to my daughter and they’re having a great time!” I also told rapunzel that it’s her bday that day (so the talk led to another minute longer, hahaha) sooo funny! Jill took a video and my husband some pictures of course.

No matter what you’re doing, go to the circle at 3:30pm. That’s when the Parade of the stars is. Being early is better so you can choose where to stay.  Super enjoy! Facing the castle, we were at the left side which was the same view as I had when I first came here.  It was a nice view according to my husband as the music playing was in sync with what is currently parading in front of us.  I don’t know if it will be different if we were somewhere else.  Woody shook hands with simone. Hehe. And simone kept on calling “Justin, Justin” at woody (Justin wore a woody costume last Halloween and simone was jesse)

TIP:  I personally think the part just right in front of the castle is the best part.  There’s also a smaller circle (inner circle) that I think is another great view. J

TIP: take a video of the parade. So nice!

TIP on the side:  when taking pics of you in Disneyland, there are suggested “Kodak points” where you can see a nice angle and you can do it on your own. J

We rode the casrousel, and strolled and waited until 8pm for the fireworks.  While waiting, we bought souvenirs and gift items.  There are a lot of gift items there but our best buys were two mugs (mickey and Minnie) with designs of their bottom parts. We first wanted the face of mickey and Minnie but had second thoughts as this can easily be imitated by the ones selling in divisoria. Haha. So we bought something that’s hard to be copied at the same price. We also got key chains (as part of our souvenir), mallow lollipops at only 15hkd, (we can give for the kids) and toys for my two nephews.

During the fireworks, we stayed at the street where the gift shops are located.  It’s a little far from the castle but it’s still a nice view as we were able to get a wide shot of the fireworks.  I think something nearer there is a better view but not too near from the castle as you might strain your neck looking up.

TIP: I regret to inform that simone was asleep during the whole fireworks show. So if you can, don’t let your kid sleep minutes before the show. Hehe…if you can…

We got back to the hotel at around 930pm and found a restaurant near chef mickey.  It’s like an upgraded fastfood restaurant.  The food here cost a lot cheaper. For a 40hkd to 70hkd, you get a full meal already.  We went to our hotel rooms with full stomach.  The room has complimentary bottled water, coffee and creamer.  The room can accommodate a maximum of 4 adults. Since we were 4 adults and one kid, I asked if this is ok and the reception officer readily said yes. 

TIP: when asking for bubble bath, they use the term “bath gel”.  I ordered for bubble bath and they sent me shampoos. Hehe J

The room is simple but with complete amenities.  The bed is queen-sized but the tv channels were limited to Disney channels and Chinese movies.  No cable. Haha.

The next day, we had breakfast and took the opportunity to take photos at the back of the hotel.  There was also a playground where simone played and a very good picturesque of the Hollywood Hotel signage.  We requested for a late check out of 12 noon instead of 11am. 

TIP:  The 2-day ticket of Disneyland now made sense to me.  For a difference of 40Hkd, you can maximize Disneyland for 2 days.  So first day would be your check in date and second day would be your check out date where you can leave your luggage at the concierge so you can enjoy another day in Disneyland.  You don’t have to finish the 2nd day until closing as you’d still have to travel to your next destination or check in to another hotel, if you’re not staying for another night at Hollywood hotel.  We did’nt consider this as we had our two tickets for free and thought that it was’nt upgradeable to a 2-day ticket but it would have been better if we were able to have the 2-day ticket. J

After our stay there, we took a cab going to Cameron Road of tsim sha tsui.  Our friend, naan, recommended a guest house that they’ve tried.  Lee Garden Guest House, Cameron Road, Tsim Sha Tsui station.  And true enough, the rooms are clean, a very good location.  But after staying at Hollywood hotel, set your expectations very low for this room as this is really for the purpose of a place to put your luggage and to sleep on.  It’s not a place where you’d like to rest and stay and just unwind. Haha. But in terms of location and cleanliness, we loved it.  The house staff were Filipinos too so we were able to ask for directions and other inquiries with better accommodations.

To be continued...this is soo long already...


brideabi said...

thanks for this sis! we're leaving tomorrow am. appreciate the kwentos you included here. :)

Rhea said...

thanks, sis! i was waiting for this. :) hahhaha :) more,more!