「 Hong Kong 2018 」 sky100, Nan Lian Garden, Victoria Peak via the Peak Tram

By Pearly Jane - February 19, 2019




I still prepared a chill itinerary for our 2nd day. This time, it’s for views of Hong Kong from above~

My aim was to see the city skyline in the morning and in the evening so that we’ll have varied perspectives of the busy and thriving metropolis. I picked out the sky100 for day and the Victoria Peak via the Peak Tram for night. You can interchange this for your preference, which is what I will most likely do for next time.

If I have to compare right now, their main difference is glass. For sky100, you drink in the scenery through glass windows while for Victoria Peak, you can really see with no barrier whatsoever. The barrier you might encounter (90%, I predict) are people in the viewing deck with you. Spoiler alert: they were swarming.

Our call time with each other was 10AM and I planned to go to the Flower Market in Mong Kok with Shasha first. It didn’t happen. Lol I should’ve done it alone. Anyhoo, they tried some street food while I snap some pictures of them.

  

I’m picky AF and food around Hong Kong smells a bit… not my type so there’s my situation. It just sticks to your nose and it’s not the good kind for me. (I was in Manila some time in November 2018 and I got a whiff of the same smell. I almost puked. Or I could be exaggerating.)


Tried the famous Korean banana milk! In Hong Kong! Lol

  

 HOW TO GO: SKY100 

100/F, International Commerce Centre, 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Fare: 4.6 HKD
Estimated Journey Time: 26 minutes

• Walk to Mong Kok MTR station
Tsuen Wan Line – Red line
• Stop at Central MTR station
• Walk to Hong Kong MTR station
• Transfer to Tung Chung Line – Orange line / Interchange at Hong Kong Platform 3 or 4 towards Tung Chung
• Stop at Kowloon MTR station, Exit C1/D1

The sky100 is basically part of a big-ass mall - International Commerce Centre - so if you’ve got much time (and money), it can be an opportunity to look around and shop before and/or after your tour.


Just go up here then follow the signs. I keep saying this but it's true: HK is full of signs. Remember that this was my first time there and in foreign land. But I survived and am sharing all this information with you~


I took the lead again as the booking was named after me. All the same, just present your Klook voucher and you’ll be handed the real thing. Purchase here before you go on your trip!


I had to go a floor down though, because that’s where their counters were. In no time, I was given our entrance tickets and off we went~ There weren't as many people as I expected or maybe because it was still early?


The hallway had some futuristic lighting going on and I wanted to spend an hour to awra there. Lol I would if I could.

  

But we were ushered quickly; before getting to the view deck at the 100th floor, each family / group gets to do sort of a photo session in a mini studio. Staff went snap, snap, snap like I haven’t processed anything yet and we’re already done. Lol

LQ photo because did I even think of taking a picture? NO. But I shall pose willingly.
The 8 of us fit the elevator just right and as we ascended to the top, it was just incredible. Just like during airplane takeoff, your ears start hurting and you start to not hear well…

Soaring high above the city on the 100th floor of the International Commerce Centre, the tallest building in town, “sky100 Hong Kong Observation Deck” is the highest indoor observation deck in Hong Kong, offering visitors bird’s eye sweep of the harbor with an unbeatable 360 degree panoramic view. It also features a large-scale interactive multimedia exhibit, offering fascinating insights on local history and culture to enrich visitors with a thorough understanding of Hong Kong.

More info: The sky100 is 393 meters above sea level.

Imagine getting to the 100th floor in more or less a minute. What an experience.

  
  

The deck is not really spacious but it houses a souvenir shop and a restaurant, among others. I didn't even ask / look at how much their food and drinks cost. I automatically think they're expensive. Lol


I think we had another family picture and then we were off on our own to enjoy the view. Unfortunately, it was foggy / weather was downcast. It definitely reflects on my photos. Huhu


Notice me in the glass? That's why I prefer the Victoria Peak for daytime view next time!


I thought I was gonna achieve my million dollar shot here – as in for profile picture – but the fog was so bothersome. These are the times you’re left with no choice but to live in the moment~

  

Still, there were photos I barely *salvaged* so here you go. I srsly need to practice my skills especially indoors and with low light. And overall, I gotta have patience. And confidence to pose like no one's watching. Lol


The unfairness. She got the shot I was aiming for

Souvenirs are pricey here. Remember we took pictures before riding the elevator? They sell and print those for 100 HKD each. Same pose but different digital backgrounds of Hong Kong. Mama was almost scammed because she was about to buy all 12 designs (actually, I’m not sure how many) but I was right on time and told her it was an unreasonable purchase. She bought 1 anyway for remembrance. Well, okay, but no more than 1, thank you very much.

Lunch was spent at the mall and we had chicken curry and rice. A set cost 20 HKD+. Drinks were bought at a 7/11. They’re everywhere, I swear.

Call time for our Victoria Peak tour with KKDay was 5PM. With plenty of time, Karen suggested visiting Nan Lian Garden. We’re game, of course!

 HOW TO GO: SKY100 TO NAN LIAN GARDEN 

Nan Lian is an MTR ride away so it wasn’t a hassle at all (If you’re still confused with transfers, you’ll get used to it, I promise. Or you’ll have no choice but to manage). The garden’s also FREE!

• Go to Kowloon MTR station
• Stop at Lai King MTR station
• Transfer to Tsuen Wan Line – Red line / Interchange at Platform 2 towards Central
• Stop at Prince Edward MTR station
• Transfer to Kwun Tong Line – Green line / Interchange at Platform 3 towards Tiu Keng Leng
• Stop at Diamond Hill MTR station, Exit C2

There’s a mall there with Uniqlo in front; you can use that as trademark. Behind that would be the garden. Again, there are signs everywhere so it’s just a matter of following them accordingly.


As modernized as Hong Kong is, it’s refreshing to know and see you can just walk to a natural park from the mall... The weather was hot that time though so it was not as comfortable as one would think. It was summer in July but rain was expected. It didn’t rain then though - thank God it didn’t rain literally and on our parade! (Yet.)

Nan Lian Garden is a Tang-style landscaped Chinese garden of classical elegance based on the blueprint of the famous Jiangshouju Garden in Shanxi Province. Covering an area of 35,000 square metres, the garden has been open to public free of charge since November 2006.


The nearest thing to cherry blossoms that I ever encountered! Kidding. But let me imagine. Anyways, we just walked around...


This was the 2nd time for my parents to travel abroad. Oh diba? I lose to them! They deserve it anyway, right? *winks*

  

This is called the Pavilion of Absolute Perfection. As you circle the garden, you can see the other side of this too, but this is the part with the bridge towards it. You can't cross it though. There was a fence so obviously... Off-limits.

  

Portraits are my thing, except I'm not theirs. Lol I mean, I'm yet to have myself captured the way I really, really want. I also blame that I really, really can't model well in front of the camera.

  

Now this is the back of the pavilion. How regal, right!? This is my most favorite from this day~


These lady guards were definitely worth documenting

  

 HOW TO GO: NAN LIAN GARDEN TO PEAK TRAM / VICTORIA PEAK 

Fare: 14.7 HKD
Estimated Journey Time: 25 minutes

• Walk to Diamond Hill MTR station, Exit C2
• Stop at Mong Kok MTR station
• Transfer to Tsuen Wan Line – Red line / Interchange at Platform 2 towards Central
• Stop at Central MTR station, Exit K.

The package I availed from KKDay specified that the meeting place would be at Exit K, so that’s where we went out. You’ll be greeted with a mini park and it’s sandwiched between a church (I’m not very sure though...) and a strip with luxury brands. There's a mini fountain too.

  

I'm almost apologetic that this post is full of my face but whatever. MY BLOG ㅋ ㅋ ㅋ ㅋ


While waiting, I remember my sister and I went inside the station again to buy snacks from the 7/11 there. It’s pretty much free to go back inside since the stores are not inside the train platform yet. You can even use the restrooms.

There were many Filipinos in this park! Some were Bisaya and we had small talk like where they’re from and how many years they’ve been working there. It made me realize how fortunate I am, truly. They were there to earn money while I was there spending money (read: hard-earned). But it was surely an eye-opening moment.

PS. I actually made it a point to book Klook and KKDay (albeit different activities) so I can see how they fare even not against each other per se. They’re both satisfactory so it’s only a matter on which is cheaper at a given time. They both offer sales so tune in on their social media channels!

Again, our visit to the Victoria Peak via the Peak Tram was with KKDay. The tour operators had this flag-attached rod with the company’s logo on it, so they were easy to spot. Plus folks started lining up, urging you to do the same. Lol


In fairness to them, they didn’t allow cutting in line, whether local or tourist. Mr. Tour Guide firmly but politely told anyone to go to the end of the line and wait for their turn. It was refreshing. And as usual, I prepared our vouchers and my passport. After our entrance cards were distributed, there was still some waiting time while everyone else got their own.


The guide then blew his whistle for us to gather around him for the briefing. I didn’t see the Peak Tram terminal nearby so I figured that we still had to walk some more to get there. Well, nope. We didn’t.


We ran. Lol it was like we were part of the Amazing Race. I think we had to cross 2 to 3 blocks? And for dear sake, it was uphill. With Mr. Tour Guide waving his flag as he ran, it was our only sign we weren’t lost. But surprise, for me, it was sooo much fun!

  

Pedestrian lane countdowns in Hong Kong are so fast you can’t laze around when you cross the road. You have to be alert. So envision our extra alertness with our leader sprinting towards the Peak Tram along with our fellow tourists. I had to hold hands with Mama, while Shasha did the same with Papa so we won’t lose each other. It was srsly one for the books.

  

In all seriousness, I wouldn’t recommend this for the older generation, anyone suffering from arthritis or anything similar. It was a hike! It was indeed a relief that my parents are still in good physical shapes. Again, I’m advocating you travel while you’re young and energetic~

  

Our tour group be so huge! We lined up after Korean girls and their language was music to my ears~


We booked a tour but we still had to line up for our turn, and it took a while. By the way, isn’t it funny, because everyone was being rushed and all from the MTR station meetup, but in the end, we still had to wait? I expected the wait though, since the Victoria Peak is a popular destination. It was inevitable. The place was packed!

  

Getting on the Peak Tram was a battlefield. You had to wait long then fight for your seats. I even wore heeled boots - bad move! I got to enter first and reserved the seat beside me using my bag but what have you, a local (or someone Chinese) didn’t care and just took it roughly. He didn’t even bat an eyelash while I stared in disbelief. I mean, it was 1 seat! And everyone else was doing it for their companions! Usually, people just go, “Oh, the seat’s taken,” and move on... He freakin’ took over. In any case, our group got seated - all is well.

I researched on which side of the tram is better and I found it was the right side, going up. Well, it was a weird ride because yes, we got to see the tall buildings lit up up close but diagonally… Lol

Everyday, the Peak Tram carries passengers from the city centre to the Peak. Pulled by steel cables, the tram climbs 373 metres. It’s so steep that the buildings you pass look like they’re leaning! The Peak Tram was first opened for public service in 1888 and underwent major upgrade in 1989 to achieve international standard.

It was totally crowded on top. As you enter, you pass by this souvenir shop then you’ll see where the Madame Tussauds is, which I didn’t include in our itinerary because as much as I like celebrities, they’re mostly Korean celebrities. Lol the only Koreans there are Kim Soohyun, Lee Jongsuk and Lee Minho? Or maybe also Suzy. So I found it not worth it.

Madame Tussauds Hong Kong delivers a fun and interactive celebrity experience with over 100 incredibly lifelike wax figures. Guests can savor truly memorable moments in the six themed areas and get up close with celebrities, important politicians, famous sportsmen and music icons.

Before you get to the viewing deck, there are 2 floors filled with restaurants and shops. Don’t lose your entrance card / ticket because there will be a different entrance to the deck where staff will swipe it or was it scan?

Standing at 552 metres above sea level, the Peak is the highest mountain on Hong Kong Island. Looking down from the Peak you’ll be amazed by the spectacular view of the surrounding city skyline, the world-famous Victoria Harbour and Kowloon Peninsula, towering skyscrapers and peaceful green hillsides in the New Territories.


For me, the night view was more breathtaking. Wow. I can attest how stunning the sight of lit skyscrapers were and it’s a shame I couldn’t give justice to it with my photography. It was incredible and I wanna see it again!


My family and I settled on getting groufies with phone and selfie stick; it’s futile to even attempt to take good shots without photobombers~ It’s another reason to go back. I will come when it’s daytime too because natural light is the best. But not to undermine this view at all. I loved it!!!

I wanted take a million pictures but they were all rushing me... *rolls eyes* (I guess this is why folks travel solo.)

After having dinner there, heading over to the terminal was the next agenda. More lining up, standing, waiting happened. These are the boring aspects of travel that I dislike but what can we do... It’s part of the whole process. Having nice, comfortable companions will definitely ease the unease. Lol

 HOW TO GO: PEAK TRAM TO DRAGON HOSTEL 

Fare: 12.3 HKD
Estimated Journey Time: 12 minutes

• Ride at Central MTR station
Tsuen Wan Line – Red line
• Stop at Mong Kok MTR station

The journey home is the walk to the Central MTR and on to Mong Kok with aching feet. It wasn’t 11PM yet so we proceeded to do our shopping at Ladies Market~ I definitely use all my energy, huh?

  

Crossing Macau in Day 3!

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