Our Three-Week American Adventure

Our Three-Week American Adventure

Ever since I was a kid, I have always wanted to go to the United States of America–mostly due to the number of relatives we have over there, but also because of what I saw in movies. In high school, I even had an “American dream” which was to study fashion abroad and live in an upscale apartment in Manhattan. Fast forward to the present, and traveling to the US has finally become a reality!

So here’s what happened–our cousin Jonathan was going to get married to his fabulous girlfriend, Tina–in Denver! Lolo said that he wanted Chiara and I represent him at the wedding. So we applied for a US Visa, got approved, and on June 24 of last year, we were on our way to the US! If you want some tips on how to get a US Visa, I wrote about our experience here.

Chiara, my younger sister, basically did the whole itinerary and coordination to make sure that our three week adventure would be nothing short of exciting. The objective? Aside from attending the wedding, we wanted to be able to visit most of our relatives.

So here goes! I’ll just be sharing the highlights for each state we visited but will also write a separate post for each one (please give me time).


New York was a blast–and a beauty in every angle. Even just walking along the city gave me goosebumps. We were able to do the MUSTs– see a Broadway Show, go to Times Square, see the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, and Flat Iron, stroll in Central Park, do a Big Bus tour, go to the Museum of Modern Art, see the 9/11 Memorial and World Trade Center, and even ride the subway! Auntie Anne even bought us each a bag of treats from Dylan’s Candy Bar.

We were also in the city for the Gay Pride parade, and though we didn’t witness the parade itself, we saw a lot of people who looked like they were on their way there. It was just a really fun and festive day wherever we went. Continue reading “Our Three-Week American Adventure”

Hong Kong: Ocean Park and Mongkok again

Hong Kong: Ocean Park and Mongkok again

It’s every kid’s dream to go to Disneyland/Disneyworld. So it wasn’t a surprise when the first sure thing in our HK Itinerary was Disneyland. But then we also wanted to go to Ocean Park. And the tickets are expensive–and there are 6 of us, which makes it very expensive. So we had to choose only one.

So, why Ocean Park? We decided this by asking people we know who have been to both Disneyland and Hong Kong. The older people said that HK Disneyland is more for kids compared to the other Disneylands, but we couldn’t care less–because Disney is Disney and we are Disney kids for life! Then friends told us that if we want action-packed rides, we should definitely choose Ocean Park. So, Ocean Park it was.

One tip for less cost: get your tickets from your hotel concierge or from the different shops on the first floor of Chungking Mansions–way cheaper!

Second tip for an even less expensive ticket: Buy your tickets in advance from Klook. You don’t even have to fall in line!

How to go to Ocean Park from Tsim Sha Tsui

From TST, take the MTR to Admiralty (that’s just one station) and then interchange to the lime green line (South Island Line) at Platform 5/6 and get off at Ocean Park. The ride from Admiralty to Ocean Park is around 14 minutes. This is a pretty long ride and your ears might pop as you will be traveling to another island. Use your Octopus card for $11.9 fare, $5.9 for children, and $2.0 for the elderly.

When you get off at the Ocean Park Station, you’ll be greeted by sea creatures decorating the pillars of the station. It also looks so bright and so clean. And then you’ll walk on a short bridge to the park’s main entrance.

Continue reading “Hong Kong: Ocean Park and Mongkok again”

Hong Kong: Ngong Ping Village and Mongkok

Hong Kong: Ngong Ping Village and Mongkok

Our original plan for Day 2 was supposed to be Ngong Ping Village and the much talked about Nan Lian Gardens. Google Nan Lian Gardens and you will understand why it is popular. However, due to time constraints and aching feet, we decided to just go to Ngong Ping Village to have at least a cultural experience. Afterwards, we went to Mongkok to meet with Lolo’s business partners.

Oh, if you want to check out our itinerary for four days and four nights, here is our DIY itinerary.

Ngong Ping Village, Big Buddha (Tian Tan Buddha), and Ngong Ping Piazza
So Ngong Ping Village is this open-air village that is designed in the old and traditional way. I really thought it was a legit old village, but I later learned that it was created specifically for tourism. A lot of tourists go to visit the Big Buddha, so the Ngong Ping Village was designed to accommodate a large number of people. Because it was made for tourists, it has a lot of souvenir shops and restaurants.
Continue reading “Hong Kong: Ngong Ping Village and Mongkok”

Hong Kong: Kowloon Park, The Peak, Causeway Bay

Hong Kong: Kowloon Park, The Peak, Causeway Bay

This is a more detailed post on our Day 1 in Hong Kong. For a more detailed itinerary for four days and four nights, check out our DIY itinerary. We went to Kowloon Park, Central Station, The Peak, and Causeway Bay.

It is just walking distance from Chungking Mansions, Tsim Sha Tsui, where we stayed. Upon entering the Park, you will see a map so you can plan your route. Something amazing: Hong Kong is such a PWD-friendly city! The maps even have braille letters.
Continue reading “Hong Kong: Kowloon Park, The Peak, Causeway Bay”

Hong Kong DIY Itinerary: 4 Days and 4 Nights

Hong Kong DIY Itinerary: 4 Days and 4 Nights

It’s that time of the year again–for our annual family vacation. After much thought, we decided on Hong Kong, which is one of the most popular tourist destinations.

I was assigned to make the itinerary, which I was able to do with the help of Google. Thank you, technology! However, we weren’t able to do everything we wanted, but at the end of this article, I’m going to show you the itinerary I planned for 31 May to June 4. The itinerary is complete with costs, transportation instructions, and other activities.

Now, most itineraries you will find on the Internet will include day tours to either Macau or Shenzen, which we decided to forego. Of course, it really depends on your preference. For this trip, we decided we wanted to see more of Hong Kong. Here’s a quick summary video of our amazing trip!

Continue reading “Hong Kong DIY Itinerary: 4 Days and 4 Nights”