Monday, October 8, 2012

National Week Vacation – Part 1 (Hong Kong)

Back after a much deserved break nearly after 10 days, thanks to National week in China. I seriously liked the Funda of National week in China. Basically, there are two week holidays in China. One week in October of every year. Some people called it Golden week, some called National week. These national holidays were first started by the government for the Public Republic of China’s National Day in 1999 and are primarily intended to help expand the domestic tourism market and improve the national standard of living, as well as allowing people to make long-distance family visits. And another one week off is during Chinese New Year which is around January and February of every year. Last year also I was in China during National week, but due to some work I couldn't make any trip to utilize it. So this year I want to make most of it. So I planned to visit Hong Kong, Macau and Shenzhen with my other two friends.
I started from Shanghai to Shenzhen; as Shenzhen is located on the border with the Hong Kong (which is also known as Special Administrative Region – SAR of China). From Shenzhen you can go to Hong Kong, via bus, ferry and metro. As long as I landed to Hong Kong; a bus was ready to depart for Hong Kong after 10 minutes. So without any hassle, we three boarded the bus and reached Hong Kong Border. Immigration process seems to be so funny you exited from one country and after few steps you are entering into another country. Hong Kong provides on arrival visa and as I already have china visa so there was no problem during immigration check. As we were not carrying anything extra so problem happened also during custom checks. After completing the immigration process we again took the same bus and reached Hong Kong within one hour. Hong Kong, I would say deeply populated area as compared to China. You will find so many people on roads, metro, malls etc. Even though it SAR of china, still I feel it is much advanced as compared to China. China is communist on the other hand Hong Kong is democratic country. Hong Kong I found mostly surrounded by foreigners/expats mainly Indian, Russian. During my stay in Hong Kong I didn’t feel I am out of India. It was so good to see so many Indian after so much time. After reaching there we checked in hotel and start exploring nearby area. The nearby area was surrounded by so many pubs, bars. And we got a chance to enjoy Indian Pakistan match. I enjoyed a cricket match and Heineken after ages. After dinner we came back to hotel.
Next morning, as planned we started for Disney Land. It took around 40 minutes to reach Disney Land.  The Disney Land Park consists of six themed areas: Main Street, U.S.A, Fantasy Land, Adventure Land, Tomorrow Land, Grizzly Gulch and Toy Story Land. Main Street, U.S.A, is the first "themed land" inside the main entrance of the many 'Disneyland'; it has a train station above the entrance which covers the aerial view of whole Disney Land. We also tried this and it was seriously an amazing experience. Main Street also cover markets to buy souvenir from Disney Land.  Fantasy Land features Sleeping Beauty Castle, as well as the Fantasy Gardens where costumed Disney characters can be met. Hong Kong Disneyland's Adventure land is the biggest among all Disney parks.  It is themed to resemble the remote jungles in Africa, Asia, South America, and the South Pacific. Tomorrow land at Hong Kong Disneyland features an emphasis on metallic trim, dominated by blue and purple hues. Each version of the land is different and features numerous attractions that depict views of the future. Toy story land is the first new themed land implemented in Hong Kong Disney Land; it is themed using bamboo to act as giant blades of grass surrounding the area, toy story land uses the characters from Toy Story Movies. Grizzly Gulch is the new concept in Hong Kong Disney Land. This themed land reminisce an abandoned mining town called "Grizzly Gulch", set a midst mountains and woods. We covered almost every part of the land. You can find Mickey Mouse everywhere in Disney land starting from metro to Disney land to clothes to food to flip flops.
We also tried Big Grizzly Mountain Mine Car basically a roller coaster ride in Grizzly Gulch. There was also one more roller coaster ride in the completed dark. It was horrible yet adventurous. The best part is the moment you are out of the rides. Your pictures will already be waiting to show your expressions during rides. J At the end of day, around 19:30 PM we also witnessed nightly frameworks performance at the Hong Kong and event is known as “Disney in Stars”.

It was nice experience to visit Disney land but I feel the kids and girls will be more enticed with Disney Land as compared to Guys like me. So we were done with Disney Land by the end of the day.
To all who come to this happy place, welcome. Many years ago, Walt Disney introduced the world to enchanted realms of fantasy and adventure, yesterday and tomorrow, in a magical place called Disneyland. Today that spirit of imagination and discovery comes to life in Hong Kong. Hong Kong Disneyland is dedicated to the young and the young at heart - with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration, and an enduring symbol of the cooperation, friendship and understanding between the people of Hong Kong and the United States of America. – Message from Walt Disney
Hong Kong is also characterized by low taxation and free trade, so there is huge difference in prices of clothes, perfumes and electronic goods. Next morning we went to Apple store to check IPhone 5 price. It is around 39k which is less than India and in China is yet to be launched. But to buy IPhone 5 you have to register on Apple Site if you get mail in response. You can go to store and buy IPhone 5. Basically it is lottery system and the store manager was saying you will be very lucky if you get mail within same day. And probability is one in thousands. In China, I have seen people crazy for IPhone and may be same scene with Hong Kong Residents.  After Apple Store, we visited IFC mall to do little bit of shopping and trust me perfumes were really cheap in Hong Kong. I also believe - Make Hay whiles the Sun Shines. So I also took the advantage of the opportunity being in Hong Kong.
After shopping we planned to visit Victoria Harbor. Victoria Harbor is a natural land form harbor situated between Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon Peninsula in Hong Kong. It is famous for its stunning panoramic night view and skyline, particularly in the direction towards Hong Kong Land where the skyline of skyscrapers is superimposed over the ridges behind. And it is major attraction for the tourists. It was worth visit to Victoria Harbor.
Another attraction point for tourist in Hong Kong is Victoria Peak. Victoria Peak is a mountain in Hong Kong from where you can see 360 view of Hong Kong and offers spectacular views of the city and its harbors.. We visited there via Peak Tram which is funicular railway. It runs from Central District to Victoria Peak via Mid – Levels.
When the sun goes down, the traders have already laid out their wares and the opera singers and fortune tellers begin to emerge. Welcome to the Temple Street Night Market, a popular street bazaar, named after a Tin Hau temple located in the center of its main drag, and a place so steeped in local atmosphere that it has served as the backdrop to many a memorable movie.
Yes, the last destination for us in Hong Kong was The Night Market. It started from 7 pm and last whole night. Trinkets, tea ware, electronics, watches, menswear, jade and antiques are scrutinized and haggled over, while clay pot rice, seafood, noodles and other treats are consumed with gusto. Temple Street Night Market is an enduring example of the theater and festivity of a Chinese market. So this was my Hong Kong Trip. It was nice and mesmerizing experience.
I will cover the Macau, Shenzhen in the next blog.This is my first blog under Travel category. Hope you all will like.


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