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Hong Kong holiday

How to get the most fun out of a short trip

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By Paulyne L. Fermin

We normally don’t take trips during the kids’ semestral break. Our family is big on Halloween and it’s an occasion that we enjoy to the hilt. This year, however, the husband requested for a short trip so he can take a breather from work. Hong Kong was the most logical choice since it’s less than two hours away and it has three things we like: theme parks, delicious food, and great shopping!

A Disney Halloween!

A Disney Halloween!

We stayed at Novotel Citygate Hotel in Tung Chung which is only five minutes away from the airport. It’s a family-friendly hotel and proves most convenient for vacationers like us. The hotel is directly linked to Citygate Outlets. Here you’ll find brands like Armani, Hugo Boss, Bally, Furla, DVF, Kate Spade, Swarovski, Ralph Lauren, and Max Mara. Sports brands Nike and Adidas always yield great finds. Now they’ve added a whole floor dedicated to shoes alone! The store is called 10th Avenue and houses a multitude of shoe labels. It’s a shopping mecca for both kids and adults. My five-year-old daughter R made a beeline for Crocs the minute we stepped out of the elevator. She chose two pairs. One had clouds, stars, and rainbows that light up when she walks and one that was pink and had flowers on it. Older brother M settled got blue slippers—the kind he wears everywhere, even to swim practice. Lacoste, Coach, Vans, Skechers, Geox, Hong Kong brand Le Saunda, and Birkenstock can also be found there. Of course, the main draw of the outlets is the big discounts. Get your wallet ready as some labels offer up to 70 percent off! And when you get hungry, just head downstairs and choose from an array of dining choices.

Ocean Park Fun!

Ocean Park Fun!

Halloween Hong Kong Style

We visited two parks during our stay. First on our list was Ocean Park. Do not go here on a weekend (like we did) because, chances are, you’ll be with busloads of tourists from the mainland. This did not stop us from enjoying the cable car ride which we had to line up for about an hour. It was just our luck that the train (which was the other means of transport to get to the other part of the park) broke down. Attractions we enjoyed here include the Aquarium, Huawei’s Palace of Death, The Sugary Spook Villages (we had to answer riddles and perform tricks to get sweet treats), and the carnival booths. My son and I even braved The Flash Ride!

With our favorite spaceman Buzz Lightyear

With our favorite spaceman Buzz Lightyear

Even if we swear we’ll give Disneyland a rest, we somehow find ourselves going back every year. Whether it’s in the US, Japan, or Hong Kong, the lure of the happiest place on earth is just too strong for us to resist. What’s different this year is that the place is all dressed for the Witching Hour. Aside from our favorite Buzz Lightyear’s Astroblasters (I’ve been promoted to Level four Space Pilot), we thoroughly enjoyed Mystic Manor. Those who’ve seen The Nightmare before Christmas or the dancing ghosts (as featured in The Haunted Mansion in previous years) will be amazed  at how inanimate objects are brought to life by the magic of the mysterious treasure box in the latest show. We also enjoyed the fire dancers at the Festival of the Lion King, the Halloween Parade, the Lights and Sounds Parade of Villains, and The Nightmare Experiment.

Outlet heaven

Outlet heaven

What’s fantastic about Hong Kong is that their MTR can take you everywhere! Our last two days were spent indulging in some retail therapy in Harbour View and Causeway Bay. I even got an early birthday gift at the Chanel Boutique in Times Square.

We definitely had a lot of fun during our stay. So glad we chose Hong Kong for this short trip. We’ll be back very soon!

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