Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Hong Kong Part 1: Goodbye Singapore, Hello Hollywood!

After much deliberation and encouragement from fellow mummy bloggers, I decided to try something new - travelling without daddy! Having daddy around had always made travelling a whole lot easier because I can always rely on someone strong to carry the kids and the heavy shopping. Yet, with his busy working schedule, it is high time I venture out on my own. Fine, not on my own, since I still have two kids in tow. It was a last minute decision to go Hong Kong. I have never been there before but upon hearing that my cousin would be bringing her three kids back for a visit (her husband has been posted there), I decided to perform the highest act of 'thick-skin-ness'. I invited myself and the kids and it was a relief that they were kind enough to accommodate us not only for the trip but also in their house.
When the day finally arrived, we set our alarms before the sun rose to catch our flight to Hong Kong. After some difficulty overcoming the inertia to stay in bed, we got a ride from Daddy, who had the car for a while, to Changi International Airport Terminal 3. The one-bag check-in to Singapore Airlines was quick and smooth before linking up with our travel companions. This being our first trip to Hong Kong, we were nervous and had no idea what to expect. Hence, it helped to have our cousin, who has stayed in Hong Kong for the past 2 years to play guide. Her three kids would be great playmates for our girls too. Looks like we were all set for a great and fun-filled holiday.  

Having fun with the giant M&Ms!

Here we go!

We arrived in Hong Kong just before mid-day and were ferried by our cousins to their cosy apartment.

Outside the apartment.

The view from the apartment area showing surrounding hills and highways.

Our cousin bought these 'Octopus Cards' for us. They can be used to pay for train rides and purchases almost anywhere, including supermarkets and restaurants.

The plan was to drop our main luggage at their place, and take a smaller pack with us to check in at Disney's Hollywood Hotel at Hong Kong Disneyland for two nights. Our cousins made a booking for us using their staff privileges, and although it was not cheap, it was an opportunity to experience it at a discount. By the time we got to the hotel, it was late in the day and we did not have much time to explore it. Here is a compilation of what we saw at the hotel during our two-day stay there.

The Hollywood themed front desk of the hotel.

The lobby of the hotel: welcome to Hollywood!.

Posters featuring Disney's classics were everywhere!

For entertainment, there is a game machine arcade at the hotel called Malibu Games that is open from 9 am to 1030 pm. We did not spend much time there during our stay as we were more interested in checking out the Disneyland attractions. However, we did a quick look around the place and took some photographs.

Checking out the hotel arcade: Malibu Games.

Game machines here require tokens. Watch out health conscious parents: winnings here are in the form of candy!

Fanciful version of the classic 'candy grabber'.

Another old time classic!

This booth was under repair, and requires a little child-like  imagination.

Bowling simulation: "hmmm, where did that bowling ball go?"


The objective of this game is to stomp the spiders.

Tokens can be bought from this machine.

The in-house cafĂ© is the Hollywood & Dine, serving a simple selection of Japanese and Italian fare. They also had a number of baked-rice options.

The Hollywood & Dine Restaurant in the hotel.

Exploring around the hotel was also interesting as the hotel made the effort to extend the Hollywood theme outdoors.

Vintage cars in the car park. I wonder who these belong too?

Nice view of the waterways.

Children's playground.

Footpaths around the hotel.

The children gathering to observe snails crawling out of the flower beds on a wet day.

The hotel facade.

Entrance to the hotel pool.

Towel rack for pool users.

Shallow pool with a water slide.

Weather forecast: it was hot and humid when we were there, typical of the mid year.

Jacuzzi pool.

Lifeguards were actually on duty! Points added!

At the hotel lobby during certain times of the day or week, special activities are held to cater to young children. During out stay there, we had the opportunity to try out 'Recreation's Fun Moment', where a booth was set up in the lobby allowing children to do a simple craft to commemorate their stay there. This booth is available daily from 10.30 am to 11.30 am and 3 pm to 5 pm.

The booth is a simple table and the friendly staff is all ready to entertain the children.

The activity of the hour is hand printing!

Television in the lobby showing Disney classics.

There is a store in the lobby selling all sorts of Disney and Hollywood related souvenirs

We bought the 'Hello Kitty' cup noodles from the supermarket before heading to the Disney hotel...

... and had fun picking out all the Hello Kitty fish cakes!
The room was decked out in Disney themes as well. Everything from the deco to the furnishing seemed to carry a Disney character or design.

The view from our room.

The pantry: I wonder if the Disney sugar and milk sachets are collectors' items?

Mickey Mouse shaped soap and shampoo and drinking cups where toothbrushes were kept

Basic toiletries were provided.

Bedside table with a fancy phone. The notepads came in handy for the kids to do their drawings and scribbling.

The luxurious toilet setting.

A cosy corner by the lamp. All I need now is a good book and a coffee!

The beds with the Mickey themed covers.

There was so much to share about at the hotel that we'll touch on the rest of our stay at Hongkong Disneyland and the fun we had at the theme park in a separate post. Are you ready?

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