Our Favorite Places in Hong Kong!

Every time one of our friends needs to go to Hong Kong, they end up visiting our house for a mini consultation as to where to go & what to do based on the type of adventure they’re looking for.  It has been so frequent that we already have spare copies of the map of Hong Kong at home to write on.  Last Christmas and last December 2012 & June (this year), we were in Hong Kong & we’re going back again this December!

We finally came up with our own map of our favorite restaurants, art material shops (think washi tape heaven!) and dessert places.  Yes, we’re veering away from your usual touristy destinations like Disneyland, Ocean Park and Victoria Peak because Hong Kong has so much to offer! (Okay, we officially sound like ambassadors of Hong Kong. Haha).

Favorite Places in Hong Kong

How do we actually get around Hong Kong & how do we even get to manage to blog, update you, our lovely readers when we’re on vacation and still get in touch with our friends & relatives at home? Find out below:

 

The Map of Hong Kong (According to Tipsy & Ponggo)

Every time one of our friends needs to go to Hong Kong, they end up visiting our house for a mini consultation as to where to go & what to do based on the type of adventure they’re looking for.  It has been so frequent that we already have spare copies of the map of Hong Kong at home to write on.  Last Christmas and last December 2012 & June (this year), we were in Hong Kong & we’re going back again this December!

 

We’ve been wanting to come up with a map of our favorite places for the longest time.  Usually, after people have been to Disneyland, Ocean Park, Victoria Peak and stayed in Tsim Sha Tsui, they’re under the assumption that they’ve pretty much explored everything and there’s no reason for them to come back.

 

That’s when the discussion begins on what they’re missing out on.  From Ponggo’s point-of-view, there are sooooo many Michelin starred restaurants where you can have your fill of authentic Chinese food and from my side, there are a lot of happy colorful places where you can shop for art materials or simply absorb the creativity the place has to offer—the displays on the streets alone already have a lot of design inspiration to offer.

 

Here’s the map of Hong Kong according to us.  How we wish we could make a bigger map!  There’s still Tai O (the fishing village) & Ngong Ping (for the cable car ride as well as the hike to the statue of buddha) plus a whole lot of other shops & restaurants to insert! We’ve also plotted them per MTR station so that they’re easier to find.

Map of Hong Kong

Here are my favorite colorful / art supply & dessert places (Yes, the list of colorful stuff includes yummy macarons because Ponggo refuses to classify them under his list of mostly authentic Chinese restaurants).

Hong Kong Macarons

  1. Laduree Macarons – If there’s a long line during the holidays, you can just enter the store & go to the left to buy a set they have already prepared—no need to build those calf muscles while lining up!
  2. Jean Paul Hevin – I’m a dark chocolate lover & so far, they have the best dark chocolate macarons!
  3. Pierre Herme
  4. Godiva Soft Serve Ice Cream—Definitely makes me feel like a kid!
  5. Ikea –There’s so much inspiration in all the designs & fabrics! So much stuff to take home too!

Hong Kong Eslite

Above: Snaps from Eslite bookstore back in December 2012 & June 2013.

  1. Eslite at Hysan Place – It’s really a bookstore but of course, for me, it’s a washi & art supply haven!
  2. Log On – Citisuper’s stationery section used to be found within their stores but now it has a separate store. So far, I’ve seen branches in Mong Kok & Tsim Sha Tsui
  3. Homeless – A quirky furniture store in Causeway that looks like a trailer from the outside
  4. Cath Kidston – for anyone who loves to revisit the ‘50’s with colorful patterns.
  5. Times Square –They always have interesting exhibits that make you feel nostalgic like the Lego exhibit last Christmas or the Monsters University exhibit last June.

 

Here’s a roundup of Ponggo’s favorite restaurants:

Hong Kong Favorite Restaurants

Above Left: Din Tai Fung’s Xiao Long Bao, Center: Tonkichi’s Tonkatsu Set, Right: Din Tai Fung’s Tan Tan Mien

 

  1. Ruth’s Chris Steak House
  2. Lin Heung Tea House (Classic Dimsum place)
  3. Kung Lee (Best Sugar Cane Juice)
  4. Yat Lok (Best Goose Rice)
  5. Tim Ho Wan (Pork Buns)
  6. Din Tai Fung (Xiao Long Bao)-There’s actually another Xiao Long Bao place that we got too but too bad we only know how to get there but we don’t know the name of the place! *boingk*
  7. Tonkichi Tonkatsu
  8. Star Seafood Restaurant
  9. Street Food in Hung Hom

 

The last few days before travelling, I always panic because I know I have to finish and clarify everything with our clients before I leave. As much as we’re ready to spend for our vacations, we’re not really fans of paying a huge amount for our phone bills when we use the roaming services. I’ve tried so many ways to avoid being billed by telling clients subtly that we can communicate via e-mail instead or by actually announcing our vacation but in the end and warn everyone that they shouldn’t call me. However, as much as I don’t want to be charged for my phone calls abroad, I don’t want to lose our clients. I end up answering those calls & texts anyway 😛

 

I was already thinking about this scenario again come December when I stumbled upon the new Globe Roam Worry-Free updates, I realized, this is something I should really share this with you because of course, we all want our extra travel money for shopping sprees!

 

Hong Kong Pandas

Apparently, Globe Postpaid Roaming’s new packages now has standard rates per zone which makes it easier to remember. Zone 1 is for Asia & America while Zone 2 is for Europe & Africa. The rates are also inclusive of taxes & surcharges. *Whew! Now I can breathe & set aside those roaming woes.*

 

So, how are you supposed to use this? If you’re another country, would you be spending more for calling the customer service hotline? Nope, no need to do that because Globe has all their queries centralized in a directory when you dial *143# on your phone. So, dial *143#, choose Roaming Services & your destination to find out the rates.

 

By the way, should you still experience a problem in availing the roaming services, turn off your phone, remove the battery & turn it on again or you may call the toll-free Roaming Hotline at +6327301212. J

 

Here are the new Globe Postpaid Roaming Packages:

 

  1. Roam Saver where you only have to pay a Php 199 registration fee and you get 50% off voice & SMS valid for 7 days.
  2. Roam Unli Call & Text in denominations of:

-Php 699 (for 1 day)

-Php 1999 (for 3 days)

-Php 3299 (for 5 days)

  1. Roam Lite in denominations of

-Php 799 (15 mins of call & 15 SMS)

-Php 1399 (30 minutes of call & 30 SMS)

-Php 2599 (for 60 minutes of call & 60 SMS)

 

I actually had to read this list thrice! Ponggo also thought this was a typo. We can’t believe the rates because these are nowhere near our old roaming charges. This is a lot of good news especially for those of us who are travelling during the holidays! There are also Roam Unlisurf options:

 

USD 10-15: 1 day unlimited mobile surfing

USD 27-35: 3 days unlimited mobile surfing

USD 40-55: 5 days of unlimited mobile surfing

 

which will definitely ensure that we can finally live Tweet & upload photos on Instagram—we no longer have to be at the mercy of our hotel’s wi-fi connection! You may also opt to use your mobile internet for all those messenger apps. 😉

Hong Kong Inflatable Duck

Above Left: Carousel display at Lee Gardens (Christmas 2012), Monsters University Exhibit at Times Square (late June 2013), The Rubber Duck at the Tsim Sha Tsui Ferry Station (early June 2013)
Speaking of the holidays, Ponggo & I have rounded up more tips to make your stay more fun in Hong Kong:

  1. Stay away from the common tourist spots because this is usually where it’s crowded and the food is limited & not necessarily representative of the yummy food in all of Hong Kong.
  2. If you get to research your bus routes, it’s actually a lot cheaper to take the bus from the airport instead of hopping on the airport express. Depending on the location of your hotel, they also have stops that may already drop you off at your hotel’s doorstep—or at least close to it. When you buy bus tickets from the airport to the city, make sure you purchase it with the return tickets. That way, you get to save around 25%!
  3. When touring the city, if you’re not familiar with the bus routes, you can travel via the MTR. If you’re frequently using the MTR, it’s advisable to get the Octopus card so that you don’t always have to buy a ticket every trip at every station. The Octopus card can also be stored in your bag or wallet so that you don’t have to open your bag & stall everyone in the middle of a bustling crowd.
  4. Except during the holidays when Hong Kong is simply packed, if you can wait, it’s best to have lunch before 11am or between 2 & 5pm; less people and some of the restaurants also have discounts during this time.
  5. Avail of Globe Postpaid’s New Roaming Packages to save on all those roaming bills & explore the shopping destinations we shared with you without having to worry how much that you’ll be spending on those “Where are you?” texts and calls!

 

Dial #143* now, choose Roaming Services. Enjoy your vacation! J

 

 

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