At the end of November we travelled to Asia, and visited both Hong Kong and Tokyo. In this report I am going to share our experiences in the city of Hong Kong, plus merchandise in both the city and at Hong Kong Disneyland. My reports for Hong Kong Disneyland (excluding merchandise of course) and Tokyo Disney Resort will come separately at a later date.
Let's start with our hotel. During our city stay, we were at the Metropark Wanchai, which is near to Times Square and close by to the major metro stations. We had booked the hotel on Expedia, and although I don't recall how much it was, I do know it was very reasonable.
When we arrived we were suitable impressed with the lobby and the staff, and when we arrived in our room, we were really taken aback. The room was well furnished, modern, clean and stylish. There was a double bed, a soft chair, and a table with two chairs. We also had a fridge, a kettle and various tea and coffee making amenities. The bathroom was suitably equipped, modern and clean.
One thing, more than anything really, blew me away though, and that was a free smart phone that was in the room for us to use for the length of our stay! The phone was really a regular, working phone with a data plan on it, and apps to help visitors to the city. We were free to take it with us around the city, make calls and use the internet on it as much as we wanted! Amazing! Obviously we had to return it at the end of our stay, but it really was an incredible feature, especially for out-of-country visitors. For the price we paid for the Metropark Wanchai, I was very impressed, and would most certainly stay there again.
Kowloon is an area of Hong Kong that Jon and I really like to visit. There are an eclectic array of stores and restaurants for all tastes and styles. We visited the famous night market, and walked through some of the many malls, including for the first time this trip, Harbour City. Harbour City was hosting a special Disney display for Christmas, so of course we had to go see it!
From Harbour City on Kowloon there was an amazing view over to Hong Kong island.
At a place called 1881 Heritage there was a neat Christmas display. We also visited Times Square (yes, Hong Kong has its own Times Square!) where we found a Star Wars LEGO display. Unfortunately it was still being constructed, and we didn't get to see the finished result before we left.
If you love shopping, then Hong Kong can be both good and bad - good because it has so much amazing stuff, but bad because it'll bankrupt you! What I find crazy about Hong Kong is that we could walk into 7-11 (7-11 is a big deal in Hong Kong, believe it or not!) and find the most awesome stuff! I'm pretty sure the people who worked in these small convenience stores thought we were insane getting so excited over everything, but really there is so much amazing merchandise!
Hong Kong Disneyland of course didn't disappoint either, and once we arrived there, we found ourselves going crazy over everything they had also! We walked into the park on our first park day, and we spent the first hour just in the Emporium on Main Street USA. The photos below are a mixture of things from the city and the park.
Here's just a small selection of the stuff we bought...
I want to mention the Magic of Hong Kong Disney stores at Hong Kong International Airport. Due to splitting the trip between Tokyo and Hong Kong and having fly from and to the US, we ended up going through Hong Kong airport four times while we were in Asia, which meant we found ourselves in just about every part of the airpot at one point or another. We came across at least three Magic of Kong Kong Disneyland stores at the airport. Most carry a general selection of merchandise from the park, but they are definitely worth a visit, if nothing else just to get your last minute Disney fix before leaving!
This was our fourth time visiting Hong Kong, and I am still as much in love with it as the first time we visited. The city has an unusual mix of British influences, Chinese culture with an infusion of south east Asian tropical weather and climate that make for a destination like no other. Nearly everyone speaks at least a little English. All the signs are in English and Chinese. The trains are ridiculously clean and efficient. Everything is super cheap. I always feel safe, and have never once have we found ourselves "off the beaten path" in an area we disliked.
I would highly recommend Hong Kong to anyone, and would go back in a heartbeat.
Look out for my report on our visit to Hong Kong Disneyland which will be coming up in the next few days.
Have a great week everyone,