Friday, September 18, 2015

Is Hong Kong Really Worth Going On A Holiday Trip Anymore? - Day 1 Disneyland and Discovery Bay

I simply did not recall spending so much during my first visit to Hong Kong last year (September 2014). Colin and I burst our travel budget like nobody's business.


First of all, there really aren't as many attractions to visit as compared to Taiwan.
In fact I've visited almost all the recommended tourist attractions my previous visit, except for the Big Buddha in Lantau Island.

Been there on my first trip:
The Peak, Avenue Of Stars, Lan Kwai Fong, The Light Show, Hongkong Disneyland...

No doubt the food is delicious and spoilt for choices, the taste is also easily adaptable for Singaporeans like myself - the fried intestines, night stalls, noodles and rice with side dishes, Dim Sum... In general, their hospitality services has also improved at departmental stores as well as shopping malls since the previous time I visited however, I'd say it is really expensive to shop and dine in Hong Kong now.

I simply don't recall spending this much the last time, really.
I lost count of how many times I had complained mentioned to my travel kakis about the attitude, the fast-pacing locals, the quality of services and the cost of living when we were there. The only thing I could adapt really quickly (despite Yongwei's daily rants) was the summer weather. He was perspiring like mad and would request to go back for a shower almost after every place we visited. Colin and I were okay because we have experienced warmer climate in Taiwan last July.

The standard of living in Hongkong now, in my opinion, is Singapore-comparable, or maybe even higher.

On a lighter note, the first two days were most enjoyable for me because I felt I was truly on a vacation. Colin, Yongwei and I visited and stayed on Lantau Island.

For convenience sake, I'll try to remember and convert whatever I've spent on into SGD currency.

HKD$1 = SGD$5.47 (rounding it off to about SGD$5) from Arcade Mall at Raffles Place.
SGD$1 = HKD$5.47
Thanks Weida & Christina for spotting this!

Alright, time to spot the damages I've made on this trip.

Disclaimer: I cannot remember the exact amount of some of the items which I've spent in Hongkong so I've given a rough estimation instead. For accuracy purposes for people who intend to travel to HK soon, please assist to leave a comment to correct the amount if the price difference is +- HKD10 or more. Thanks for your help!

The Flight
Cathay Pacific was having a DBS credit card promotion in Sept.
We booked an economy flight to Hong Kong for SGD$239.30 per ticket.
Best Deal Ever!

Benefits of flying with Cathay:
Convenient booking with minimal information required, online check-in up to 48hours before flight, self deposit baggages, mobile boarding pass sent via email and SMS, Sms reminders, There's also complimentary in-flight entertainment, 20KG check in baggage, 7KG carry on baggage, standard meals, seat choice, blanket and pillow for our night flight.

We had yummy chicken mayonnaise sandwich, sponge cake, Kit Kat, Orange juice and fruits for breakfast.

We landed safely in Hong Kong after 3hr 50min.

It is essential to get an Octupus Card (similar to our Ez Link). 
You can take a ferry, a bus, an MTR train, even purchase something from selected merchants with this card. 

Damage: HKD$150 per card (SGD$30).
Every card comes with HKD$100 value (SGD$20 value).
You may top up a minimum of HKD$50 at every MTR station.

Wait for 7am when the I0I0 shops open to get a prepaid Card.
Anyway the shop name read like TOTO.
Damage: HKD$118 (SGD$23.60) for 5 days of 8GB data and unlimited local calls. 

Spent SGD$10+ on horrible breakfast that I don't even bother to take the Hong Kong Cafe name located just opposite the bus terminal at the airport. The staff even sulk at Yongwei when he stood at the counter trying to keep his change. 

Was told to take a cab to Disneyland by the MTR service crew.
Taking the MTR would cost about HKD$60 per person to travel to Qsing Yi alone.
We still have to transit to Sunny Bay > Disneyland Station from Qsing Yi.

Grabbing a taxi for 3 of us would cost around HKD$250 (SGD$50)

I will never forget that stern advice he gave to us in that cantonese accent while pointing his finger at Colin, as if to reprimand a child who'd just broken a window, "You BETTER take taxi ah~ Only HKD$250."

Day 1 - Disneyland + Discovery Bay at Lantau Island

Damage: SGD$92 per admission to Hongkong Disneyland.
Souvenirs and meals: SGD$200+

This time round the train is working yeah!
Thank you Yongwei for taking all the thrill rides with Colin because I was scared. :)

Hidden Perk:
Approach any of their crew, staff, cleaners or security officers to get adorable Disney Summer Collection stickers.  I collected 11/16 of them.

I'm not sure if they have these sticker collecting task during any other seasons but it was fun approaching people and asking for stickers. Kept myself very entertained.

Image from Google Search


Brace yourselves.

The Chinese really like to cut queue.
They will seize to jump the queue at every opportunity.
No manners at all.

We were queuing up peacefully for the gates to be opened at 10am.
The moment it did, the chinese rushed (RAN) forward and you could hear many locals shouting at them in their cantonese-accent mandarin "Oi, queue up, queue Up!!!"

When no one bothered, the locals and other tourists started running forward too.

The Chinese can never seem to follow instructions.
1. No running and pushing to watch the show - they ran and pushed anyway to watch the Lion King show.
2. No standing up in the train while train is moving - The staff had to continuously make annoying chants "请坐下,坐下,坐下,  坐下,坐下,坐下! " to the ADULTS.
3. This chinese kid was standing right in front of me. Basically we were first in the queue but the kid cut right in front of us and his family surrounded us. (omg can you give us some privacy for goodness sake). When the next train hailed to a stop but the gates were not opened yet, he asked the adults why and you'll never believe the atrocious conversation.

Here's what one of the adult told the kid, "No worries, I will tell the staff off and ask them to open the gates for us quickly. Then we can take the joy ride together. See he's coming. I will tell him off now."

The crew walked past us but he kept quiet.

Within a minute, the kid asked the same question again.
"Yeah, I will scold the staff and demand he open the gate for us now. He will do that for us immediately." This adult proceed to shout at the crew,  "怎么门不开呢?!"

Eh Hello.
Who are you to DEMAND that the gates be opened when the safety procedures have not been met?
You're teaching your kid all the wrong things. They need time to open the train gates and ensure the safety of all passengers. What's your freaking problem?!

Anyway, I decided that this would be a small episode which will not dampen the rest of my disneyland experience. Be patient. Let them cut the queue, run and perspire like mad in the hot sun. The disney crew would help us get seats anyway, just not the best seats even though we were first in the queue. Oh well.

Since we're there, might as well enjoy to the best we can. 

If self-encouragement fails to work, take more quirky wefies and selfies!

Damage: Disney portable mist-fan
I think it's about HKD$135 (SGD$27)

- Posers alert - 

If whacky selfies still don't work, entertain yourself by spotting the disney characters painted on your nails.

Here's my Tsum-tsum disney-inspired nails done at Manicure Mermaid SG just before my trip.

If all above fails, get your favourite popsicles!
Estimated Damage: HKD$30-$60 per stick (SGD$6 - $12)

Or enjoy the disney tunes played by their talented musicians. 
Everyone is so talented at disneyland. 
So proud of them!

About 6PM, we left Disneyland to Discovery Bay to look for our hotel for the night. 
Beautiful place, damn chill. 

The room is spacious, clean, neat and the room view is AWESOME. 
There's a swimming pool with jacuzzi, 24 hours gym, a handful turkish and western bars located next to the hotel. 

If you're looking for a staycation, you can try Discovery Bay Hong Kong. 


Oh yes, transportation is so convenient from both the airport and disneyland!
There is a 15minute shuttle bus or public bus from Sunny Bay MTR station to Discovery Bay.
The waiting point is also easy to find and shuttle bus timings can be easily found online HERE so you'll know when to catch the next available bus. 

Follow the signs when you exit Sunny Bay.
It's so BIG piak across every single pillar you can't miss it.

The bus stops right outside the hotel. :)

Our room view!
Spot the purple bus? 
That's the bus stop.
The Pentagon-shaped building is the mall (DB North Plaza) where you can find some westerns bars and a supermarket.

FULL Morning View.
I can wake up to this every morning.

Auberge Discovery Hong Kong Bay Hotel

Our stay per night booked via Hotels.Com: SGD$195.68.
Breakfast: HKD$500++ (SGD$100+) for 3 pax
Dinner at DB North Plaza (random western bar): About HKD$350+ for 3 pax (SGD$70+)

We ordered a BBQ pork spare ribs set, Caesar salad, Soup of the day & I think chicken/pork chop for Yongwei. Too dark to take pictures and the bar doesn't serve alcohol yet.

Oh by the way, I keep seeing these two beautiful structures in my friends' wedding photoshoot albums recently.
WE FOUND THEM HERE at Discovery Bay!

The White Chapel

Gazebo next to the swimming pool.

Total estimated Spenditure Colin and I have spent so far:
 (Breakdown items has been mentioned throughout the post above) 

The consolidated damage list in SGD for Day 1
(thank you Pei Liang for suggesting to draw up this consolidated list for clarity)

2 x economy Cathay Pacific tickets - $478.60
2 x Octupus card - $60
2 x HK Mobile Prepaid Card - $47.20
Taxi to HK disneyland - $50
2 x HK disneyland admission tickets - $184
Spending at Disneyland - $200
 to Discovery bay from Sunny Bay for 2 pax - $5 
1 Night Auberge HK Discovery Bay Hotel Stay - $195.68
3x Hotel Breakfast entries - $100
Discovery Bay Dinner for 3 pax - $70

Total: SGD$1,390.48

4 more days to go, save me~

Saturday, August 1, 2015

N.E.mation! is 10 years old, Celebrate By Joining This Contest!

N.E.mation! is 10 years old!!!
Happy 10th Birthday in advance, wohooo!

Having been following this contest since it's 5th season, I'm certainly anticipating the entries of this year!

The theme for this year is "Together We Keep Singapore Strong. 

Singapore is celebrating her golden jubilee this year - SG50. 
Reminiscing the kampong days to the advanced urban development of today, we certainly came a long way together. 

What are the strengths that kept us moving forward?
How have we progressed?
What values and beliefs did we hold on to such that our forefathers and us could work together to bring ourselves this far? 

Let us take time to reflect and reaffirm the little contributions and love that have brought Singapore this far and, more importantly, the values that reside within each and every Singaporean to take Singapore forward. Together, let us continue to play our part to keep Singapore strong.

If you have a story to share, submit your entry now! 

Make your way to Top 10 and you might just win a coveted trip to visit renowned animation studios in the USA, just like the winning team last year - watch HERE for more. 

Follow these 3 simple steps:

1. Form a team of 3 to 4 students from your school.
2. Register online at N.E.mation! 10.
3. Submit your story ideas on the theme “Together We Keep Singapore Strongby 16 August 2015.

Don’t know how and where to start? 
No worries!
Here are some resources to help you get your creative juices flowing to craft the winning story.
View the Online Story Workshop at 

For N.E.mation! 10,  the animation clips produced by the top 10 finalist teams will be judged by a panel comprising industry professionals. In addition, the public can show their support by voting for their three favourite clips come January 2016 via website (, Facebook or SMS. 


One of the finalists of N.E.mation! 8 - Rainbows And Unicorns :) and I still kept in touch.
In fact, we took part in a community facade art workshop together last month and our works are now hung up in at Blk 270 Bukit Panjang to celebrate National Day.

We drew up a white tiger, orchids, cable car and other places of interest found in Singapore!

Trish tracing out some orchids for painting later. 

Ching Gje and Xin Pei working on the white tiger & Heliconias while MinutemanSG drew the Night Safari logo.

Job done, time for selfie & dinner!

(Photo Credit: Daniel Khoo )

Spot our works?
So proud of my girls!

I like how we are so closely-knitted together even after the contest. 
I like how this contest helps foster lasting friendships.

Check out N.E.mation! 10 website for more information about the contest.
Good luck to the contest everyone and look forward to meet friends!