Thursday, July 23, 2009

Visiting Hongkong

Hong Kong is situated on the southeast coast of China at the mouth of the Pearl River facing the South China Sea and it consists of Hong Kong Island, the Kowloon Peninsula and the New Territories. As a cosmopolitan city, Hong Kong is famous for its skyscrappers and shopping centers. Here are some of must visit places in Hongkong:

1. Hong Kong Disneyland
As always, Disneyland succeed to bring us back to our childhood memories. You can enjoy the rides, attractions, Mickey's show and stay until night to watch the fireworks performances. I recommend you to stay at one of the Disneyland's hotels. Believe me, you'll feel like you're living in a real Disneyland. Too cute to be true :) Disneyland can be accessed by train from the city. You should spend a day in here to enjoy the whole attractions. Visit this website for more info of tickets and hotel booking. I uploaded here some photos taken at Disneyland Park and Hotel.
Fireworks at Disneyland

Disneyland Hotel Room
2. Ocean Park
Ocean Park is a theme park located in Hong Kong Island, featuring rides, exhibits and conservation facilities. There are three attraction areas, which are the Lowland, the Headland and Tai Shue Wan. The three areas are connected by a cable car and an outdoor escalator, which is the second longest in Hong Kong. You may see pandas, spectacular jellyfish, sea lions and dolphin show, here. Visit here for more info of Ocean Park.

From left to right: sea jellyfish aquarium, sleeping panda, and dolphin in action at Ocean Park

3. Victoria Peak

To go to Victoria Peak, we must use Peak Tram, special tram which rises to 396 metres (about 1,300 feet) above sea level. The railway is so steep that the buildings you pass look like they are leaning a gradient of between 4 to 27 degrees. From the Peak, you may see panoramic Hongkong's skyscrappers. It is a great experience to have a trip using the old-fashioned tram yet so steep railway; and of course you'll also enjoy a great view from up there. Inside the Peak, there is also Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum, where you could take pictures with hundred famous people around the world.

Tram ticket fee is about HKD33, while package Tram+Madame Tusaud entrance fee is about HKD170. More info, visit here.

4. Repulse Bay
Repulse Bay is one of the most beautiful beach in Hongkong, surrounded by luxurious houses owned by Hongkong's riches and celebrities like Jacky Chan.

View from the beach in Repulse Bay

5. Victoria Harbour
Best places to photo Hongkong night view and skyline at night is in Victoria Harbour. The harbour is located between Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon Peninsula. Also located in the harbour, there is Avenue of Stars, built along the promenade outside the New World Centre in Tsim Sha Tsui. Modeled on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, it honours the most illustrious people the Hong Kong film industry has produced over the past decades.

6. Shopping Paradise
Hong Kong has many famous shopping areas, such as Causeway Bay and street markets. For branded items, you may securely find them at Causeway Bay. Here, you can be sure that the brand is original and not fake. Some stores in Kowloon may sell the same item with lower price but the originality is not guarantee. For cheaper shopping, visit Hongkong's street market; such as Ladies Market in Mong Kok.

As I joined a tour for my trip, the visited places are arranged by the tour. Unfortunately, we did not visit Victoria Harbour and Ladies Market at Mong Kok, so I can't provice you with pictures and detail budget :(

Holiday Tips #1: Photos are The True Holiday's Memories

It's important to take photos of your holiday moments and places as after holiday is over you have no memories left except the one in your brain. Here are some few tips from me:

1. Bring your camera everywhere you go, because you'll never know what you'll see or meet on your holiday. SLR is recommended but camera pocket is lot more easier to carry.

We were at Regal Hotel in Hongkong and we were about to swim when I decided to bring my camera along instead of leaving it in hotel room. Amazingly the color of the sky was breathtaking. So glad that I did not leave it in the room.

2. Don't take only narcissm faces pictures, expand your photos to your surroundings. No one interested that much to see faces in the whole holiday pictures. Showing the place is more essential.

Photo is taken at Disneyland Hongkong, the city looks colorful and bright contrast to the dark night sky.

3. Take unordinary photos such as jump shot or model-alike pose! Ask your holiday's friends to be creative. It would be so fun!

Their ridiculous faces and poses brings smile to everyone who sees it.

4. Find interesting spot to take photos so your photos would be memorable.

5. Forget about photography technics, just push the button wherever and whenever you like. Just remember to bring extra batteries and memory cards.

So, what's your best holiday photo? Let's share!


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Thousand Island (Pulau Seribu)

As describes by the name, Thousand Island consists of several islands such as Pulau Pramuka, Pulau Ayer, Pulau Bidadari, Pulau Sepa and etc. The islands have white sands, clear water and nice corals, which you may rarely find in other beaches near Jakarta such as Ancol or Anyer.

How to go there?
Thousand Island is located at North Jakarta and can be accessed through Marina Ancol or Muara Angke Pier. To go to Marina Ancol, you must go inside the Taman Impian Jaya Ancol. While for Muara Angke Pier, you must go to Pluit first, then when you found Megamal Pluit on your left, you follow the street and turn right, go straight until you see sign of Muara Karang, then you must turn right, go straight until you found fish market on your left. Enter the fish market and follow the road until you found the gas station. The pier is on the left of the gas station.

For a cheaper holiday, I suggested you took the boat in Muara Angke as the price is only Rp30,000 per person while in Marina Ancol Pier the price is Rp75,000. However, as money talks, the boat from Muara Angke is not speed boat like in Marina Ancol, so if you’re looking for comfort, you better take the boat in Marina. The boat will transfer you to Pramuka Island within 2 up to 3 hours depend on the weather and the boat. Based on information I’ve got, Radja Express is the fastest one to go to Pramuka Island. The boat may also stop at Pulau Untung Jawa and some other islands; you must check them before you depart. There is no ticket seller to enter the boat, you just seat and put your bags near you. During the way, the boat fee will be collected.
1. You can sit above or below on the boat. If you afraid of sun heat, you better choose to sit on the below, but beware of sea sick and water splash.
2. Arrive maximum at 7am in the Muara Angke Pier to avoid missing the boat. Regularly, there is two boats depart in the morning, and the next departure is 1pm.

Where to stay?
Pramuka Island has several places to stay and even some local people opens their houses for tourists (homestay). I stayed in Wisma Dermaga on my last holiday and it is recommended for it’s cheap price and cleanliness. Price per room is Rp300,000 and the bed is king size so it can be shared for up to 4 persons. For extra bed, you are charged Rp25,000 each. The room size is quite large it can fit for 2 extra bed. The facilities provided including AC, TV and bathroom inside. Another recommended places are Wisma Taman Laut Nasional and Villa Delima (same price and facilities as Wisma Dermaga).

Take more people on your holiday to minimize accomodation cost by sharing the room.

What to do?
Thousand Island is perfect holiday destination for you who loves swimming, snorkeling, diving and playing on the beach. At the island, you can rent a boat for Rp300,000 a day (maximum for 20 persons) and snorkeling equipment (including fin, goggle and life jacket) for Rp30,000 per person.
Best location for snorkeling is Karang Lebar and near Pulau Air. Near Karang Lebar you may find small land with white sand surrounded by the blue sea. The view was amazingly beautiful. You must be careful when snorkeling in Karang Lebar as the coral are not so deep and there are many sea urchins (bulu babi).
After that you may visit Semak Daun Island to have lunch and take a rest. Unfortunately, Semak Daun does not have restaurant or food stall, therefore you must bring your lunch from Jakarta or buy them in Pramuka Island before you go. Semak Daun Island is perfect for playing sand and learning snorkeling. It also has many great spots to take wonderful photos.
Before you go back, don’t forget to go snorkeling near Air Island. The coral is deeper so more various types of fish live there. If you are a good swimmer, go deeper to see lobster and touch the fish.
You may ask the boat driver to take you around the Thousand Island, there is lagoon look alike, Karya Island with its white sand and other amazing islands. During the sunset, you may stop at Nusa Kerambah to enjoy the sunset and have dinner in the Nusa Restaurant. The restaurant is not very expensive, around Rp30,000 per person, subject to your own choices, of course.
The next morning, you may visit Conservation of Sea Turtle and Teripang in Pramuka Island or just playing on the beach before you go home. If you want to buy fresh fish to bring home, you may ask local people to take you by boat to Panggang Island.
1. Wearing sunblock to avoid sunburnt.
2. Bring some snacks, you may feel hungry after snorkeling.
3. Bring towel dress for ladies and towel for man, you'll get wet and the wind is hard.

The Budget
Boat transfer from/to Muara Angke – Pramuka Island: Rp30,000/person.
Accomodation: Rp300,000 per room (max 4 persons) + extra bed Rp25,000.
Boat transfer for snorkeling: Rp300,000/day
Snorkeling equipment: Rp30,000 (fin, goggle and life jacket)
Food: at Nusa Kerambah (around Rp30,000 per person), at Pramuka Island around Rp10,000-Rp20,000 per person)

Contact person:
Wisma Dermaga: Hermanto / 021-33095523 / 0818779990
Villa Delima: Untung / 021 54373149 / 0813.19551955

Hot Tips: Feel free to ask them to arrange your accomodation, snorkeling and boat trip on your budget!

All photos are under Travellicious copy right so if you wanna use them please ask my permission or make a link to my blog.



Hello You!

Who does not love holiday, right?
I believe we agree that holiday is the best time of the year! Even more than our own birthday. That's why I created this blog, to share my holidays and gives you information you need to plan your holiday.
Please feel free to drop your comments or questions when visiting my blog. Just don't forget to put your name! I promise I'm gonna reply ASAP.

Be ready for the launching of my first holiday report!