Why not HONG KONG?

September 6, 2007 at 4:30 pm Leave a comment

Ever since we introduced the Tale of Romance package to Hong Kong two months ago, I’ve felt the urge to write about this favourite destination of mine. I’ve been drafting the key points but with so many things to talk about this city, I’ve cut off the not-so-relevant bits to make it useful for couples considering Hong Kong for their pre-wedding photo shoot.  

In many ways, Hong Kong, with its pulsing neon lights, constant buzz of activities and throngs of people everywhere can be a turn off for some, but this City of Lights is also a gem to many other enthusiasts of Hong Kong cuisines, fashion trends, TV programmes, movie stars, shopping and attractions. Amazingly compact, you can easily explore the city on foot without worrying about getting lost, as long as you remember which subway station you came from. Transportation is efficient and not as complicated as Tokyo, signages are both in English and Chinese and public toilets are clean. Although I hardly take the public transportation in KL, unless my good old faithful 15-year old Toyota breaks down, I have always enjoyed walking around Hong Kong as compared to being chauffeured driven in a tour bus. It offers a more intimate ‘bonding’ with the local scenes and permits encounters with the unexpected. photo-shooting.jpg

Top Suggested Sights to Behold for Your Pre Wedding Photo Shoot

Wisdom Path and the Giant Buddha on Lantau Island 

Located near the Poh Lin Monastery at 34 meters high and 250 tonnes, the Tian Tan Buddha statue is the world’s tallest outdoor bronze seated Buddha. Entrance to the Buddha is free of charge but if you would like to view the exhibitions at the exhibition hall, you will need to pay an entrance fee of HKD60 which includes a vegetarian meal (between 11:30am – 5pm) and a souvenir card. The Poh Lin Monastery is open to the public between 10am – 5:45pm. Lantau Island is where the airport is located, and other attractions include Hong Kong Disneyland and the scenic Sunset Peak (大東山).  

Giant Buddha 

Ride the Star Ferry Across Victoria Harbour

For only HKD2.20, take a leisurely ride from Central Hong Kong to Tsim Sha Tsui (or vice versa). 

Ocean Park

A popular attraction that is already familiar to many, be prepared to spend most of your day here if you intend to come here for your photo shoot. The Park is divided into two parts, the Headland and the lower land and the two are linked by the cable car. A one-day admission cost HKD185 per person.  Please visit their website for a complete tour of the vicinity. You can also hold your wedding ceremony here but it’s exorbitantly expensive. Nonetheless, do check it out for an idea of photo opportunities in Ocean Park. 

Get Onboard the Hong Kong Tram or Open Top Bus Tour

The Hong Kong tram has been around for over a century and to-date is still the best and cheapest option for a quick tour of Hong Kong. It will only cost you HKD2!! If you take the open top bus tour, hop off at Ladies Market to finish off your day with some ‘light’ shopping. If you have the time, check out the Langham Place Mall that is also situated in Mongkok.  

Draw inspiration from fashion magazines like GLAM

Glam

Azura on the upper deck of open top bus tour in Glam magazine.

Arena of Stars and the Symphony of Lights

Visiting Hong Kong wouldn’t be complete without a picturesque shot from the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront. Try to catch the Symphony of Lights at 8p.m. (daily show), a synchronised multimedia display of music, narration, laser beams and light show that celebrates “the energy, spirit and diversity of Hong Kong”. It is also listed in the Guinness Word Records as the World’s Largest Permanent Light and Sound Show.     

skyline.jpg  

 Walk around the heart of Central in Hong Kong Island

and capture the past and present Hong Kong, and the blend of old and modern lifestyles. Historical buildings like St. John’s Cathedral, old Supreme Court Building, Flagstaff House Museum of Teaware, antique shops and more stand amidst ultra sleek skyscrapers. Ride the Central-Mid Levels Escalator (longest outdoor covered escalator in the world) and climb a few streets up to SoHo.  

photo-wall-hkg-2.jpg 

Stanley Market and the nearby beaches

Ah, one of my favourite spots in the sunny south side of Hong Kong. Irresistible street market, the Murray House, cafes along the boardwalk, the Blake Pier……  I really do think this is a beautiful spot for pre wedding photo shoot. Unfortunately, I do not have any photos of the place.

At the Top of Hong Kong

Your photo shoot can start from inside the tram on your ride up to Victoria Peak, followed by a panoramic view of the city, and more shots inside Madame Tussaud’ Wax Museum. We’ve also included a special romantic dinner at The Peak Lookout, so it’s best to schedule the trip up to the Peak as the final destination of the day. Upon completion of your exploration and photo shoot, sit back, enjoy the live music and savour the full course dinner. The view on the outdoor terrace overlooks the other side of Hong Kong, not so spectacular as compared to the city skyline, but the ambience is simply perfect!

the-peak-lookout.jpg

Having a light moment with Einstein at Madame Tussaud’s

einstein.jpg 

and he reminded me, “A photograph never grows old. You and I change, people change all through the months and years but a photograph always remains the same. How nice to look at a photograph of mother or father taken many years ago. You see them as you remember them. But as people live on, they change completely. That is why I think a photograph can be kind.” Well said, Einstein.

Travel & Accommodation

Head on over to this weekend’s MATTA Fair or watch out for the launch promotions by Malaysia’s leading ‘no frills’, low cost airline to Hong Kong. Plan ahead, book early and enjoy earlybirds  discounts on air tickets. The Tale of Romance package to Hong Kong is already inclusive of 4 hours private car transfer which will take you to anywhere you want to go within those 4 hours.

Purchase the Airport Express Tourist Octopus Card at HKD300 which will give you 2 trips on the Airport Express line, 3 days of unlimited rides on the MTR and HKD20 pre-paid rides on other public transports. The pass can be purchased at the Hong Kong International Airport.

Nice, clean, convenient and affordable places to stay:

1) YMCA Salisbury on Salisbury Road

2) The Knutsford Hotel on Kimberly Road

3) Kimberley Hotel on Kimberley Road

Pay a little more for a little more luxury:

1) Marco Polo Gateway Hong Kong, TST

2) Hotel One Taichung, Tai Chung (Lantau Island)

High end, good stuff:

1) Langham Place Hotel in Mongkok

2) Langham Hotel on Canton Road, TST

Splurge and indulge: 

1) The Peninsula Hong Kong  

2) Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong

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Dine like the Locals

It won’t do justice to all the sumptious food and wonderful bistros, ‘tai pai tong’ and restaurants that one can find in Hong Kong by cramping all into one post. I shall talk about this on a separate post.

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