We visited Hong Kong as a side trip to our Macau adventure. To get there, we took the Cotai Jet ferry. (If you get torn between Cotai and Turbo Jet, take Turbo Jet. They have newer ferries and cozier interiors). It did not take long before we arrived in HK port and proceeded via MTR to our hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui.
I advise you to purchase the Octopus Card, even if you don't think you need that much stored value for your train and bus fares. It has a lot of uses; we were able to cut in line for some attractions because we could use the card instead of paying with cash. At the end of our HK trip, we bought breakfast at McDonald's using the Octopus Card. The cards that had high credits still, we reimbursed and the ones with less balance we used to buy stuff from 7-11 and kept the cards as souvenirs instead.
There's a catch though. To be able to go to the highest viewing deck, there is an additional fee. I would not advise that you do so. There is not much difference in the view that will justify its fee. Here's a secret. Just one floor below there is a Burger King and it has a veranda at the back. You will get the same view, the same photos you can take upstairs, but no additional fee. Besides there were not many seats at the viewing deck, it can get crowded at times, and there is nothing else to see so you won't stay very long there. Not worth the extra bucks at all.
We spent the entire day on two attractions since we were pressed for time. We went to Ngong Ping 360 first. Ngong Ping is the jump off point if you want to go to Lantau Island where the second highest peak of HK is found by trekking the mountains.
Unfortunately for us, the queue to get tickets for the cable car was very long. It took us an hour to get to the ticket booth because it was a China Holiday (Labor Day) so there was a multitude of people doing tours. Upon reaching the ticket booth though, I discovered there was an express lane to buy tickets using your Octopus card (again, I reiterate the importance of securing one). It could have saved us an entire hour had we loaded our Octopus cards with lots of balance.
Once inside the cable car though, all thoughts of the regrettable time spent on the queue was obliviated.
Alighting the cable car, we were greeted by Ngong Ping Village, where a wide array of shopping and dining choices can be found. There are also attractions to see in the village such as Walking with Buddha and Monkey's Tale Theatre.
The Disneyland train was a treat! You will feel the magic instantly, the interiors of the train is adorned by popular Disney characters. I especially loved the Mickey Mouse handle bars.
Hong Kong was full of surprises. We saw and experienced a place and culture so different from ours. It indeed is a place where eastern culture meets western architecture. And that in itself is a charm that will make you want to go back every once in a while.