Archive for March, 2012

28
Mar
12

WELCOME TO CHEW JETTY

With my 20-month-stay in Penang, Malaysia on working visa, I still consider myself a tourist. There are more to explore in George Town, Penang than meets the eye. That is, if you’re like me whose interests go beyond malls, shopping and dining. Penang is more than a gastronomic haven in Malaysia. The island was not listed as one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites for nothing.

Out of curiosity why a certain modest place is part of the list, I strolled my way to one of the laterals of a busy thoroughfare, Weld Quay. A few meter-walk from Rapid Bus Station, I saw two other jetties; these are the Ong Jetty and the Lim Jetty. Then the third one is situated just across Armenian Road, this is the famous, Chew Jetty; so popular among backpackers, travelers and tourists, and that after online surfing, it caught my attention too.

Believe me, I have been passing this main road a countless times during weekends and public holidays but I have not noticed Chew Jetty neither I have thought that a Heritage treasure is tucked in this unassuming area.

A common sight of groups of old Penangite men spending lazy hours of the afternoon in hawker food stalls greeted me as I entered the vicinity. Then few steps more, I turned my back to capture the facade of a small Taoist temple right in front of the entrance to Chew Jetty. This effortlessly confirmed that this waterfront community has been flocked by a Chinese-Malaysian families.

Established in the Mid 19th century, this UNESCO’s World Heritage Site that is considered to be the biggest of the waterfront settlements in Penang had Ancestors’ origin from Xinglinshe Village, Tong An District, Quanzhou Prefecture, Fujian Province, China. Chew Jetty is divided into 2 parts (Part 1 and Part 2); each has length of 182 meters and 122 meters respectively. And there are a total of 75 houses within this preserved and protected Heritage Site (Note : These facts are posted at the entrance of Chew Jetty).

I enjoyed my late afternoon walk inside and snapped photos of things I perceived as fascinating. I had FUN!

Who would find ART in various lines of those century-old wooden planks but ME, MYSELF & I? haha! ;)

In case of and Emergency, this Chew clan community is ever ready!

Thou shall not underestimate this community built over the years by the Chew clan; they know how to decorate their houses on stilts.

HOMESTAY in some parts of Malaysia is common. They offer much affordable and competitive rates compared to commerical hotels. The greatest advantage, I think is you get a chance to be up close and personal with people of the town or city where you stand as a tourist. And Chew Jetty’s homes offer Homestay too! One can even get an online reservation from agoda.com or other travel-hotel websites. Another big plus when you opt for a Homestay in Chew Jetty is you’ll have an opportunity to wake up in a place where according to many, has an excellent view of Malaysian sunrise. However, you need to have no apprehensions and must have an adventurous mind when sleeping in houses on stilts. To each his own.

Nonetheless, the security is way better than you could expect. Nikilado ang mga pintuan dito, mga stainless pa ‘ata, gaya ng pagkaraniwang pinto ng mga bahay sa Penang (Doors of houses here are nickel-plated, perhaps stainless steel were used, similar to common doors of most houses in Penang).

One of the corners in Chew Jetty’s a stand out.

Not because it has Astro Cable TV, haha! No, definitely…

I found this small alley so quaint because of its colorful wooden walkway…

Proof that Chew Jetty's a topnotch tourist spot (Well, at least for me and them who also did what I enjoyed at Chew Jetty!)

Imagine, you can step on a rainbow…

and view a Sunshine with LOVE…

Here are some more little things that made me smile…

and reminded me that simple things can definitely make you happy!

But of all the features that this UNESCO’s World Heritage Site has to offer, I definitely love the boats! (Read : I have a thing for boats) It would not be a jetty without them, right? toinks! ;)

I love boats and I love planks.

Send them greeting cards, love letters, not emails and SMS. Don't you miss those days when emails and texts are not yet in existence?

Deities’ flags at the end of Chew Jetty

One of the best spots to adore the sunrise in Penang…

I saw various groups of tourists and a team who took photos of a bride-and-groom-to-be. Oh yes, Chew Jetty also serves as one of the favorite backdrops for those prenuptial pics.

Admittedly, I envy people who live in Chew Jetty. Although I and my family have been savoring glorious sunsets from our tiny porch at our 10th floor appartment, Chew families enjoy waking up with the best view of the sunrise in Penang and they get to rest and relax the way they want to.

She's living the life I want to live. Worry-free, that is!

It’s a wonderful stroll in this wooden pier without an entrance fee; it’s where I experienced a living heritage and an inspiring treasure.

26
Mar
12

MY 2ND VISIT TO PINANG PERANAKAN MANSION

I have no other word in mind to express the reason why I paid another visit but compulsion. The decision came instantly one lazy Sunday afternoon. Without concrete and serious logic, I spent an hour trip via buses and ferry from our current place in Butterworth, Penang and strolled my way from Penang Street in George Town to Church Street under the heat of scorching summer sun.

The cliche, “One is enough, two is too much” doesn’t apply to my unexplainable attraction to what I personally call, The Green Mansion.  My very first visit to Pinang Peranakan Mansion several months back was followed by a sudden impulse to go back. Perhaps, because I knew I have not seen enough and there are a lot more details yet to be appreciated. Or maybe, I was just looking for subjects where my lame photography skills would be put to practice. Either way, to say that I enjoyed my visit again was an understatement.  People may look at the experience as something like watching a great movie over and over again. However, the visit to Pinang Peranakan Mansion for me, was actually so much better!

Res ipsa loquitor -“Evidence speaks for itself.”  Those antique metal pillars in the central courtyard of the mansion were imported from Glasgow, a proof that the mansion was built on wealth.

Hey gold jewelries, we meet again…

There are more to appreciate beyond the thousands of collections of the by-gone-era. Call me a fool but I am drowned in fascination of the tiniest details this mansion has. Nothing was overlooked. Everything was done in grandeur.

Out of the massive volume of picture-worthy things inside the Pinang Peranakan Mansion, one may miss to admire these door handles in blue, orange and green crystals. If my memory serves me right, there’s also red crystal door handle in one of the rooms in the ground floor which I failed to capture. I didn’t notice them myself on my first visit! Educate me please, is this kind of door handles common in your places? Pardon my innocence, but I have not seen such, thus my amazement. I like the contrast of the colored crystals with the metal and the wood; they make a very intersting visual feast, at least for me.

Scottish iron-works, Chinese carved-wood panels, English floor tiles were put together in this century-old stately mansion that previously served as the residence and office of Kapitan Cina Chung Keng Kwee.

Wooden screens gilded in gold.

“The Peranakans, also known as Babas and Nyonyas, are a community of acculturated Chinese unique to this part of the world. They are also known as the Straits Chinese, having settled along the British Straits Settlements of Penang, Malacca and Singapore. The Peranakans adopted local Malay ways and the British colonial lifestyle. These influenced its rich culture, customs, cuisine, language and lifestyle that are still evident in Penang today.” -via PPM Visitors’ Guide.

It must be my exposure to similar Filipino furnitures that I have an eye to these ultimately beautiful fine set of mother-of-pearls flawlessly embedded in those intricately carved wooden furnitures.  It’s all in the details, I tell you.

To me, these seats look like thrones.

Allow me to digress. I grew up with both of my parents working; my mom worked more than expected of her in the office back home and my dad was a Saudi-boy for almost 2 decades. Needless to say, I and my siblings were oftenly left not with a nanny but with our late maternal grandmother. Isa akong laki sa Lola, ‘ika nga. But it was my mom who personally inculcated discipline to us. I remember my Lola as someone who’s strict at everything, almost perfectionist but lived her life with simple past times. Among them were gardening, playing sungka (or as Malaysians call it, congkak) and sewing our pillow cases and curtains all by herself. She owned a Singer sewing machine before, so my memories of her resurfaced in a blink when I saw this Green Mansion’s collections… I love you, Mama Idang!  We miss you and Lolo Ama! :(

On a lighter note, in this age of LED, LCD TV and whatnot, this for me still looks hot! haha! :) Seriously, I cannot imagine the cost of this antique in shops; it must be a fortune!

The Pinang Peranakan Mansion is gorgeous in monochrome, even stunning in colors!

If someone will ask me about the must-visit sites in George Town Penang, indubitably, the Pinang Peranakan Mansion tops my list. I HAD FUN! I wish to go back whenever I get the compulsion again. ;)

View more photos from my first visit here : Pinang Peranakan Mansion

Pinang Peranakan Mansion. 29 Church Street 10200 Penang, Malaysia. Admission at the time of this posting: Adult RM10 (USD 3.24 or PhP 140), Child : RM5 (Child below 6 years -free).  Open Daily from 9:30AM to 5PM even Public Holidays unless specified.

22
Mar
12

FIRST SUNDAY OF MARCH

It’s quite rare for my wife, Tina to go out on a Sunday particularly when the following day isn’t a public holiday. I love her dearly and completely understand that she prefers to spend the first day of the week at home to gather all energies to prepare for another work week.  And the first Sunday of March this year was not an exception. So instead of attending to an important and supposed-to-be life-changing appointment alone, I brought along my mom with me to keep me company and to provide me that much needed support.

Because we left our place in Butterworth at daybreak with nothing on our tummies yet, my mom and I were the first diners in our favorite Indian cafeteria, Kapitan at the corner of Little India and Lebuh Chulia in George Town, Penang. Egg prata, two orders of tosai with tasteful dips in varied flavors that burst in the mouth were our breakfast. We all washed it down with mango lassi (mango juice with yoghurt).

An hour after, we reached this awesome place…

No, the venue wasn’t a jungle or a park. That man-made hanging bridge, waterfalls and kois with rich foliage were all actually part of a hotel.

Before I appreciated the lobby and took those shots, the first thing I did after hopping off the cab was to go to tandas (bahasa melayu for toilet) for a bladder break. Just like any five star hotel, the toilet’s almost spotless.

Tucked on a hillock at around 150 meters above sea level, one of the branches of Hotel Equatorial in Malaysia is located few minutes away from Penang International Airport. This golf and convention resort reminded me of Shangri La Mactan Hotel back home that I and my mom got to visit ages ago. It has a vast and open-air lobby that welcomes every guests with luxurious warmth and splendor.

Punctuality runs in our blood so expectedly, we arrived earlier than scheduled. No worries because Hotel Equatorial’s ambiance was more than enough to keep us busy.

Then sunshine turned to rain but the beauty remained the same…

Whatever that day will yield, I leave it to the Almighty. With hopes and spirits high, two hours after, we went home with a smile. ;)

21
Mar
12

JOY IN SIMPLE THINGS

Don’t be deceived by the photos above, they may look as scenes taken at wee hours of the morning but  it was almost seven o’clock when I captured them in a blink, en route to the first scheduled Catholic Mass one weekend (read : Tanghali na kung sumikat ang araw sa Malaysia at gabi na ang paglubog nito). I hopped on the bus at 15 minutes before 7 in the morning with my family in tow.  After the short bus ride, we strolled our way to the church. Gabby, Tina, my mom and I heard the 30-minute Mass in English in this parish called Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Hello, Mr. Sun! :)

Gereja Katolik = Catholic Church. The NBVM Church is located at the back of this old chapel.

That old chapel (or was it the parish office now? who knew?) in front of the church compound was always kept locked, or perhaps it was still early to open it. Nonetheless, I found a visual stimulus in its rustic metal padlocks over  textured wooden doors. :)

Because it was only half hour past seven in the morning and the mall and the grocery are still closed, we decided to take our first meal of the day in one of the local food stalls across the street.  The eatery or carinderia for us Pinoys, or as Penangites call it, hawkers is situated in front of a small Buddhist temple which apparently caught my attention.

The caridenderia’s big enough to sit 100 people; well ventilated and offers a variety of drinks and tummy fillers.

No, we are definitely NOT ALOCHOLICS but we have this LOVE AFFAIR with a variety of COFFEE available in Penang. Just in case you want to check out the common beverages offered in food stalls here.... one ringgit = more or less fourteen Ph pesos.

PRICELESS morning smiles…

Children, say, KEOY TEOW SOUP

LOVE at 8 o’clock in the morning…

With warmed stomachs, we took another bus ride to one of the malls in Penang mainland.

Lunch was done in McDonald’s, in favor of Gabby’s collection of Happy Meal toys currently featuring his favorite, Spongebob. Then we decided to see a movie at around 12:30PM.  It has been a while since we last munched caramel popcorn inside a cinema.

Disregarding the fact that Taylor Kitsch's "airport hassle" issue that happened in Indonesia and NOT in the Philippines, JOHN CARTER wasn't that bad movie. We were entertained, actually! But we read via online news this Disney movie plummeted at the box office; who's to blame? *just asking*

After the movies, must buy groceries…

No-Plastic-Policy in groceries and shopping malls in Penang. Let's Reuse, Reduce, Recycle!

After the groceries, must satisfy growling tummies again! ;)  We had purple yam balls which we didn’t like (nothing’s special),  taho or what they call here, tofoo far with brown sugar syrup, 3 bowls of dried scallop congee that we topped with fried bread called yoo tiao from the restaurant called, I love Yoo. The congee bowls were made even more tasteful with a dash of soysauce and sesame oil.  A tall glass of cold soya for Gabby, and a cup of white coffee for me completed the light meal. Solb!

Merienda over a very affordable restaurant called, I LOVE YOO (not yoU! mind you!).

We could not be unhappy when there are more reasons to be grateful! ;)

18
Mar
12

LOOKING AT THE BRIGHTER SIDE

“A cloud does not know why it moves in just such a direction and in such a speed…It feels an impulsion…this is the place to go now. But the sky knows the reasons and the patterns behind the clouds, and you will know, too, when you lift yourself high enough to see beyond the horizons.” ~Richard Bach 

*The photos were taken from the tiny porch of our 10th floor appartment in Butterworth, Penang, Malaysia overlooking George Town in Penang Island. I frequently look at the sky immediately after arriving home from work and wait for dusk. There I see abundance of priceless blessings!

16
Mar
12

IN TUNG CHUNG

Parang Nasa MRT / LRT lang sa Pinas (less the stampede and the bomb threats! *no pun intended*)

Closed. Sarado. Tutup.

Siklistas are mall rats, train riders and bargain hunters too!

To the Left. To the Left

Finally, we reached the CityGate Outlets located at the terminal end of Tung Chung Station via what else but Hong Kong’s very efficient MTR lines (Mass Transit Railway). Although it’s just a ride away from Sunny Bay Station where we hopped off from that awesome Disneyland Resort Train Line, you know what a new place can do for some first-timers-unseasoned-travelers like us. Luckily, our feet didn’t get lost.

CityGate Outlets is one those must-visit spots in Hong Kong particularly when you only have limited time to kill or you’re on a hunt for some branded merchandise on a super bargain price (read : 50 – 70% off, which to us wasn’t a surprise because in malls in Penang, discounts also go as low as those during sale season).  As for us, our game plan for this short trip to CityGate was simply to see the place and while away time as we wait for our 5:45PM flight back to Malaysia. Oh, and to fill our tummies too!

KIDDIE TEMPTATIONS  AHEAD!

Amongst the many branded stores of rubber shoes, bags, clothes offering huge sale, nothing seemed so enticing (to someone whose wallet was well guarded because the budget is uber limited!) to us than this kiosk…

LEGO. Eye Candy to Gabby and Me. And you? Do you dig Lego too?

Gabby's eyes popped upon the sight of this kiosk filled with Lego goodies. While he was asking Tina and I to buy him at least a piece (read : he still has a new large box of Lego which he got as a gift from my father in law last holiday and he just received an exactly similar Lego-Light Buzzyear watch from one of our fellows in our HKDL trip) I held on to my wallet tight and kept my will power. Success! haha! And although those keychains are cute, I passed the chance of buying for I am not much into keychains.

The Star Wars Lego gift that Gabby got from his maternal Lolo last Christmas was as big as this. He has yet to explore and build it soon!

If you must know, I frequently rise up early and always beat my alarm clock- even weekends and holidays, mind you. I believe I don't need a large one as that in my old mobile still does the job perfectly. But these Lego-movie-themed alarm clocks were such an enormous temptations that greater will power to held on to the budget was a must! :) I know I only wanted them but don't need actually (why do we buy things often times we don't need anyway?) . But then again, they're so cute, aren't they? haha! :)

FOOD REPUBLIC,

CITYGATE OUTLETS,

 TUNG CHUNG, LANTAU ISLAND, HONG KONG.

Yes, Food Republic is the CityGate Outlets’ food court!  And I apologize for thinking that we might smell like the food they offer after eating inside; I was so wrong!  It must be a great food place for it’s almost packed when we arrived.

Thou shall not judge people by their hairstyles. There are 5 types in this shot, can you count them all? *snickers*

hip and edgy... i like the hoody more than the hair

It's a must when in Hong Kong

Ate, ano ginagawa nyo sa dim sum?

Bibili na sana ako Kuya, pero parang galit ka. Why?

HCR = Hainanese Chicken Rice is happiness. But we passed up because hawkers offer this in Penang anyway or perhaps, we're craving for something else.

Korea House : Tina's choice

Milo or Ovaltine? Guess.

Tina's Korean Lunch : A Bowl of Beef & Veggies. It was OK according to her.

I almost ordered a Korean Bento Box from that Korea House where Tina bought her lunch set but I decided to hop from one food stall to another and tried  to feel what my gastric mucosa’s craving was.

Food Republic’s made of various Asian cuisines -Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean and my palate opted for a Japanese fastfood favorite!

Impeccable Teamwork : While a lady-crew tends the cashier, these two create our very own favorite that was sorely missed (read: it has been more than 2 years!) Japanese fastfood sizzling yummies in a few sec. However, because queues and orders pile up, customers and hungry diners like Gabby and I need to wait despite the two's perfectly coordinated moves in the kitchen.

They're making Gabby's lunch!

I know.

When in Hong Kong, one should savor Chinese dishes –dim sum, noodles, and anything cooked Cantonese or Sichuan.

But it has been years since we last enjoyed cooking our own food in a sizzling plate with lotsa butter and pepper on the rice meal.

We love Pepper Lunch! We miss their Shangri La Plaza and Powerplant Mall branches back home (We have not tried Greenbelt branch yet). We even won in one of PL’s promo contests years ago (CLICK THIS!). I know now that PL has a branch in Malaysia, but it’s in Pavilion Mall in Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur! That’s 5 hour-away via bus ride from Penang. So when opportunity presented itself, Gabby and I didn’t think twice, we had PL Rice for our last lunch in Hong Kong!

Gabby's Pepper Lunch favorite : Beef Pepper Rice (I can still hear my boy saying, "Daddy ang sarap! Favorite ko ito!")

My Pepper Lunch Meal : Cut Steak and Hamburger Combo. With butter beneath and over the meat, plus that favorite HONEY BROWN SAUCE, a cup of Japanese rice seemed not enough! ANG SARAP!!! Miss na miss!

 We loved those moments in Tung Chung!

Before 3PM, we went back to Disney's Hollywood Hotel, collected our luggage and bags and rode a cab to the HKIA. Bye bye, Tung Chung! Bye bye Hong Kong. Thanks for the memories! They're one of our coolest! See you again in the near future! ;)

*PS : LEGOLAND MALAYSIA in Johor Bahru (near Singapore) opens end of 2012 (view HERE!)

13
Mar
12

OUR HONG KONG DISNEYLAND TRIP 2012 : LAST DAY HIGH

19 February 2012. Sunday. It was the last day of our 3D2N grand family vacation in Hong Kong Disneyland Park and Resort. And although we’re ecstatic with everything we had experienced in the Happiest Place On Earth, we tried to struggle a bit with fact that we’re leaving Hong Kong for our work place in Penang, Malaysia before dusk. It’s always hard to leave something so special that gave you many wonderful memories. Nontheless, we still had a day to enjoy so Tina, Gabby and I started our last morning in Hong Kong with ear-to-ear smiles.

Good Morning, Disney’s Hollywood Hotel !!! :)

From our room down to the lobby, we headed directly to Chef Mickey to have our buffet breakfast!

“Chef Mickey recalls the lavish Art Deco-styled studio commissaries of Hollywood’s Golden Age. Mickey decorations and various Disney characters in sketch form are found throughout the restaurant.” (via hongkongdisneyland.com)

Here’s the nice corner reserved for my family and me…

From the ceiling, fixtures, tiled walls and the spread, there’s a piece of Mickey Mouse to delight your senses!

It was Gabby who first noticed and told me, “Daddy, look at the plate, it looks like Mickey Mouse’s pants!”

Much ado about carbo-loading : My first plate had a crusty cheese bread, a delicate egg tart, sample of fruity and fluffy pastries and a piece of Winnie the Pooh banana cake. Of course, my morning would not be complete without a dose of coffee.

Who says pizza ain’t a morning meal? Gabby was wide-eyed when he spotted an all-cheese-thin-crust-pizza on the spread; he’s a purist when it comes to pizza thus, it’s his favorite!  I asked him, “Anak, do you want some?” Of course, I received an excited positive response! I got a few slices for him, added some hash browns molded into smileys; how cute! And the basic scrambled eggs and bacon with Mickey Mouse waffles spruced up with maple syrup, while our boy favored chocolate syrup!

One of my favorites that I found so good from Chef Mickey’s various offerings was those thin slices of smoked salmon! I paired it with fresh green salad which I topped with different kinds of cheeses, some bits of cold cuts and vinaigrette and my morning instantly became perfect!

Tina and Gabby were satisfied with the breakfast too. Why, there were cereals which is a staple for my wife and son; yoghurt and fresh tropical fruits too! There were also some Chinese favorites –choices of dim sum, noodles, congee and a lot more that we wished our stomachs can accomodate. :)

After filling our tummies from Chef Mickey, we got our luggage and bags, had an early check out at 10:30AM, deposited our bags (for free!) at the Left Luggage Service of the hotel and trooped to the Disney’s Hollywood Hotel garden.

For the nth time, I owe some brilliant observations from our 7-year-old-kid. After first noticing those Chef Mickey’s plates patterned after Mickey Mouse’s pants, he commented about the aisle at the garden has film strips! And so I took a snap…

Bright and beautiful foliage at the Disney’s Hollywood Hotel garden…

The colors of the blooms – both big and small were awe-inspiring!

Pretty, isn’t it? My mother would agree (read : she loves flowers while my wife prefers food!).

It must be the great climate. It must be…

Happy moments in Disney’s Hollywood Hotel were made of these…

So happy he became buoyant on cool air!

Then, at the back of those “Hollywood Hotel” signage is somewhat discreet walkway where vintage cars are parked, excellent for photo-ops. What is Hollywood without them anyway?

Now, here are the exhibits of our “not-our-car-photos”….

Gorgeous cadillac coupled with those lovely smiles…

We’re almost ready to leave the garden when Gabby was fascinated with this movie ticket booth…

Gabby was inspired to do role-playing with his mom. Tina as the movie-goer and Gabby sells the tickets. Guess who’s their director? Definitely, not me! I played the usual camera man; Gabby himself called the shots! And all the while we thought his mind’s already fixed in becoming a chef, hotelier and restaurateur in the future. He got other talents, baby! ;)

The moment came when he thought of dancing in the middle of a turntable-designed ground near the poolside. Elvis Presley songs were on air. He was then more of an entertainer with the grooves more than just an actor-director! haha! :D  (I captured all of his moves in photos which I will probably post on a separate entry soon).

Time to bid goodbye to Disney’s Hollywood Hotel. Thank you for that warm and family-friendly accomodation! :)

As we planned to collect our luggage from Disney’s Hollywood Hotel at around 3PM before heading to Hong Kong International Airport to catch our 5:45PM HK-KUL flight via Air Asia, we rode the resort’s free shuttle bus and went to Hong Kong Disneyland Resort Public Transport Interchange (PTI). 

TRANSPORTATION IS ALSO WHIMSICAL AT HONG KONG DISNEYLAND! 

Here are some info and tips on how to go about the MTR Disneyland Resort Line

Getting to and out the park is as easy as counting 1, 2 and 3. :) From Hong Kong International Airport, one can opt to ride a bus, a car, a taxi cab or a train to reach Hong Kong Disneyland and vise-versa if you’re leaving the Happiest Place On Earth.

We’ve been to Hong Kong and Hong Kong Disneyland quite a few times already but we were always on a package tour (read : there’s a tourist bus that pick us up to and from the park) and we have not experienced riding that Mickey-Mouse-windowed train running on the MTR Disneyland Resort Line. And so we did not let the chance pass last month to enjoy such experience.

It’s always great to ask whenever you’re in doubt. So I went to the counter of the MTR Disneyland Resort Line to inquire how to go to Ting Chung via Sunny Bay. He instructed me to buy tickets from the machines located at the laterals of the station just before the turnstiles. He generously broke my bills into coins for the train ticket machines; very HKDL-friendly! :)

The ticket machines are touch screens; you need to identify and press the point of your origin before you touch the point of your final destination. Say for example, touch first Hong Kong Disneyland Resort then Tung Chung. The ticket price for adult and kids are different but the machine monitor will show the amount per person and you just need to press the total pax (e.g. 3 adults, 1 kid).  Et voila, you collect the tickets to be inserted (or swipe if it’s loadable) on the turnstiles!

Convenience meets Fantasy.

That’s my first impression on Disneyland Resort Train Station.

It made me wish that all train stations around the globe would be as neat and pretty as this.

“Travel on the railway network of MTR and interchange for the Disneyland Resort Line at Sunny Bay Station.

  • Only 23 minutes from the Hong Kong International Airport, MTR Airport station,
  • 30 minutes from MTR Kowloons tation and
  • 33 minutes from MTR Hong Kong station where Guests can pick up  Park Tickets too!
Operating Hours between Sunny Bay and Disneyland Resort Station
From Sunny Bay: from 6:15am – 12:45am the following day From Disneyland Resort Station: from 6:20am – 12:40am the following day
Frequency 4 – 10 minutes.” (-via hongkongdisneyland.com)

Just wonderful. :)

And at an instant, we fell in love with the train! Those train handles are one of the many reasons why one should visit and experience Hong Kong Disneyland! :)

Among the many train couches, we were lucky to randomly seated near that Mickey Mouse bronze statue.

There’s Tink’s and many other Disney characters immortalized in bronze enclosed in capsules.

Hong Kong Disneyland Resort line runs until Sunny Bay. From here, you wait and take other trains that will take you to your destination.

Doing the “tourist thing” at Sunny Bay Station….

Now, where did we go and what did we do after Sunny Bay would have to be posted next!

With that, I’d like to thank the people who made our Hong Kong Disneyland trip very memorable and fun-filled!  Thank you to Jaclyn, Nicole, Catherine and Purple –you guys are the BEST!

Thank you to my fellow Filipino bloggers and their families and friends who were nice companions on this trip -Gael of The Pinay Solo Backpacker, Thammie of ThammieSy.com, Leslie of Shoot First Eat Later, Laureen Uy of Break My Style, and Kyrz of KyrzUy.com.

Thank you to my fellow Filipino bloggers with their families and friends! Thank you to Gael of The Pinay Solo BackPacker and her sister, Juvy, Thank you to Thammie of ThammieSy.com who came with her entire family, Pastor Dennis of Act Like A Man and their two adorable daughters, Alyanna and Mika. Thank you to Leslie of Shoot First Eat Later who came with her friend, Ms. Elizabeth (not in photo but Thank you, Maam for giving Gabby a lego-Buzz Lightyear watch!), Thank you fashion bloggers and celebrities, Laureen Uy of Break My Style  who came with her special one, Robbie, and Kryz Uy of KryzUy.com who went with her sister, Jack.  Maraming Salamat! Don’t you wish we meet again in some similar trip like this? Better yet, let’s go to HKDL again someday! :)

Last but not certainly not the least, THANK YOU SO MUCH to HONG KONG DISNEYLAND for being the venue of our FAMILY bonding, offering more than expected delicious FOOD and providing us never-ending FUN!

In so many ways, this Hong Kong Disneyland vacation was truly an exceptional one! 

Whether it was our first time or we’ve been to the park and hotels several times over, reasons are beyond words to go back and revisit the Happiest Place on Earth!

Let this last set of my photos speak of those remarkable reasons why WE SO LOVE HONG KONG DISNEYLAND!

As Shakespeare had put it, “Parting is such a sweet sorrow.”

It was an enormous blessing that we got a chance to revisit Hong Kong Disneyland and experienced family bonding, food and fun beyond our great expectations!

Thank you so much, our dear God!

Thank you so much, Hong Kong Disneyland!

Till we meet again, Mickey Mouse! ;)

———————————

This Blog Series Includes :

07
Mar
12

OUR HONG KONG DISNEYLAND TRIP 2012 : GLORIOUS DAY 2

18 February 2012, Saturday.  Tina, Gabby and I woke up early from one of our restful sleeps in Disney’s Hollywood Hotel and excitedly prepared for our Day 2 in the Happiest Place on Earth! 

It turned out to be  glorious! :)

From Disney’s Hollywood Hotel, we hopped on the resort’s shuttle bus and headed to Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel. We had a table reserved under our names at Enchanted Garden Restaurant for our breakfast buffet and Meet and Greet with the Disney characters! Everything seemed so thrilling particularly for Gabby!

As we went down directly to the  basement of the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel where the Enchanted Garden Restaurant is housed, this beautiful space greeted us…

Enchanting, indeed!

We came in too early at 8AM (read : apparently excited!) and found from the Cast Member at the door of the restaurant that our table would be ready at around 9:30AM (so that’s the time that was reserved to us!). Without a hint of worry, we went out the door from the restaurant and spent time almost unnoticed in this perfectly manicured garden at the back of Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel.

The gazebo looks inviting as a perfect venue for couples to exchange “I dos”.  Imagine a wedding with all your favorite Disney characters led by no less than Mickey Mouse! Amazing!

A more interesting part of the garden is the hedge maze that Gabby, Tina and I tried finishing…

This is called, “Mickey Maze!” :)

Our kid totally enjoyed every second inside the maze…

Spot us in the Mickey Maze…

Let’s play “Hide and Seek!”

More cheesy but priceless bonding moments in Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel…

Must be so happy? You bet!

After almost an hour at the garden, it’s time to freshen up and hit the tables and the spread. On way to Enchanted Garden Restaurant, we spotted super cool and nice things.

Exhibit #1 : Wooden high chairs for kiddos. They made me smile.

Exhibit # 2 : A room near the Enchanted Garden Restaurant will surely entice parents and their little daughters…

In “My Little Princess”, little ladies may be transformed into a Disney Princess of their choice.

This was just a “one proud daddy scene.”  The moment reminded me of our wish (I and Tina’s) to give Gabby a little sister. (read :If it will come, it will in His time.) :)

Exhibit # 3 : Spotted Cinderella at the lobby of Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel with Alyanna and Mika (the beautiful daughters of Dennis and Thammie who were with our group in this HKDL trip).

Finally, a walk under those trellis! Splendid!

Being ushered to our reserved tables and seats felt surreal! Not that we’re excited to binge eat, hehe! but the ambiance exceeded our expectations!

The spread had Asian and Continental breakfast favorites. Everything looked tasteful and a must-try. There was more than enough for us to savor and be energized for another whole day at the park!

And then a thought popped out…

You don’t go to Hong Kong without sampling good bowl of noodles

and some tasteful dim sum and dumplings.

You just dont.

I just wished they had toyomansi (soy sauce + lime/calamansi) for the dim sums.

And because it’s Disneyland, Enchanted Garden boasts of Mickey Mouse figures in their waffles and pancakes! These made me stare at my plate for several minutes before I dunk my fork and knife at them. :)  I had some of the goodies in pair, yum, yum!!! :D  One of my plates had waffles, pancakes, hash browns and french toasts. Appreciate if you won’t calculate the calories! This is when my weakness in Math comes to be most useful! hehe!

The next set was mostly Tina’s and my plates. I had no chance to take photos of Gabby’s because he’s preoccuppied with excitement and huge appetite. ;)

Known in local Filipino TV series, “My Binondo Girl as”Amethyst” that Tina religiously followed online (Malaysia has no TFC!) and more popular as a fashion blogger-celebrity and sister to Liz Uy, we met the charming and beautiful, Laureen Uy.

One Stellar Moment

More stunning episodes happened as some of the best loved Disney characters went to our table for us to take photo-ops! Diners of Enchanted Garden need not to queue to have memorable pictures with Mickey, Pluto and Goofy (and other characters). It’s another VIP treatment that we enjoyed in Hong Kong Disneyland!

Widest and sweetest smiles from my family as we posed with Pluto and Mickey…

Must have one more shot with Pluto…

After that one-of-a-kind-breakfast experience at Disneyland Hotel’s Enchanted Garden, it was time to explore and enjoy Hong Kong Disneyland Park again!

To those who are planning to experience HKDL for the very first time and have doubts if you can enjoy it in one whole day, actually, you can! But would you not wish to double the fun if you can be there on 2 consecutive days?

Weather forecast checked : 14 to 16 degree Celcius. We loved the climate; we didn’t have a downpour! God is truly great!

We wore various hats : A Cast Member volunteered to take our family pic just before a quaint door in one of the pastel-colored structures at Main Street, U.S.A..

Hot. Fresh. Delicious!

Then our feet brought us to Tomorrowland!

As Tomorrowland intends to give park goers a creative experience of being in the future, the moments became nostalgic to us. :)

Here’s how we looked five years ago…I guess only pounds and kilos of happiness were added! ;)

Inside the Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters ride, we have been warned. :)

We had FAST PASSES to this awesome ride!  It was so cool when Buzz Lightyear himself introduced us to Astro Blasters!

Emperor Zurg! :P

Shooting robots. robots and more robots! We liked it here!

After that exhilarating Astro Blaster ride, we trooped to the largest restaurant in the theme park with over 800 seats, the Starliner Diner and grabbed a lip-smackingly good fried chicken and fries for lunch!

Over and beyond the food, what Tina and I liked was the fact that Hong Kong Disneyland’s Starliner Diner prioritizes sanitation and cleanliness by providing plastic gloves given inclusive of the food tray. You’ll find them folded and pack neatly with your tray. So eating chicken with hands was no-worries at all!

One more time on this car, Gabby! :D

2007 on the left ; 2012 on the right –Take a look at Gabby’s Then and Now photos and appreciate what 5 years have done!

Another ride within Tomorrowland available with Fast Passes is Space Mountain. We gave our Fast Passes to Laureen and her friends as we’re not fond of rollercoaster rides (read : Tina has Vertigo, Gabby’s still uncomfortable and cannot ride alone and I might throw up!). But if you’re adventurous and somewhat fearless, by all means, Space Mountain will surely give you the thrill!

We bid goodbye to Tomorrowland and strolled our way in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle to watch the Flights of Fantasy Parade for the second time! That 30 minute Hong Kong Disneyland parade really left us in awe!

Just before the parade started, Tina thought of a clever strategy. Since we didn’t have priority pass to the musical, The Festival of the Lion King, she suggested that together with Gabby while I am still drowned capturing the parade on photos, they will head to Adventureland just before the parade ends. In that way, while people are still busy watching the parade, they’ll be the first on the queue to that another must-see-musical..And true enough, it was a wise move.

The Festival of The Lion King at Adventureland

The scene became more fascinating after the stage lights were turned off. Let the show begin!

“It’s the Circle of Life

And it moves us all

Through despair and hope

Through faith and love

Till we find our place

On the path unwinding

In the Circle,

The Circle of Life….”

It’s visually stunning! The songs and their voices are overwhelming too. We have seen this musical at HKDL more than a couple of times already and performance gets better and better! My particular favorite was the gorgeous air stunt of this lady-bird character; the act was so graceful; almost breathtaking!

These live musical shows (The Golden Mickeys and The Festival of the Lion King) make Hong Kong Disneyland specially different from the other Disney Theme Parks!

Then, it’s Gabby’s time for some Mickey Mouse ice cream! Sarap!

Few more steps, we found oursleves in Liki Tiki…
These “leaky” tiki jungle poles squirts water like fountains; look how our little one enjoys the drizzling effects…

Playing with tribal percussion instruments entertained Gabby to the fullest!

Tina and I are the happiest when he’s happy.

OK, so we left Adventureland with a smile and moved on to Fantasyland with even wider smiles!

This Pixie Dust area where Tinker Bell usually drop by for photo-ops wasn’t existing yet way back in 2007 (Gabby’s first trip to HKDL).

Time for some Mickey’s PhilharMagic! This colorful 3D movie adventure about how Mickey Mouse lost his wizard hat and what Donald Duck has to do with it never fails to amuse us. You never get tired of great attractions in Hong Kong Disneyland!

3D glasses on!

Our last Fast Passes on our hands were for the The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh...Gabby was only 2 years old when he first rode the track to the story of Winnie.

Cinderella’s Carousel has 60 graceful, prancing horses!

I learned that last year’s celebration of the 5th Anniversary of Hong Kong Disneyland, Tink had showered Sleeping Beauty Castle with her pixie dust… The effect is even more magical at dusk!

After Winter Must Come Spring… Is it Spring yet? :)

Smiles and blooms perfectly blend…

Ahhhhh… another stupendous day at Hong Kong Disneyland is about to end…

Thank You, Lord for another magical day!

We made sure we remember this trip not only through photos and video but mementos and souvenirs from HKDL shops itself. Other than the Disney character-hats that we bought, Gabby got himself a rubber Mickey Mouse wrist watch (When we got into the hotel room, he received a gift from one of our new friends in our group–a lego writs watch with Buzz Lightyear design! Thank You, Ms. Elizabeth for such generous gift!).

Before exiting the shop, Gabby called my attention, “Daddy, picture!” hence, this…

Before 7PM, we left Hong Kong Disneyland Park with almost a heavy heart. It’s our last day in the park and surely we’ll miss all the fun!

Thank you for the memories, HKDL!

We had our last dinner in Hong Kong at Disneyland Hotel’s WALT’S CAFE. I’m almost lost for superlatives to describe how great the overall gastronomic experience we had. First thing came to mind : The dinner was EXCELLENT!

I think diners of Walt’s Cafe can opt to enjoy their meals at the lobby…

I checked the reservation and we’re instantly led toward the end of the restaurant where everything seemed perfect.

This is the beautiful corner reserved to our group. Isn’t it divine?

Looking at my photos after the trip made me wish I have sampled a bottle of their wine…

The view from our table… The ambiance and the look of that by-gone era was almost ethereal!

The smiles to live for….

Now, let’s get down to business. We loved everything we chowed down; starting with this crusty bread that looked like a hot air balloon when you work your imagination; it’s baked to perfection and can be enjoyed sans butter.

Gabby favored one of Mickey’s Kid’s Meal -Oven Baked Ham and Cheese Macaroni with carrots and green peas, fresh fruit salad and a choice of drink; our kiddo got himself a hot chocolate.

For Tina, she savored, Grilled US Beef Tenderloin and Simmered Beef Short Ribs with Mushroom and Pinot Noir Sauce, HK$ 268.

Let me tell you, I had a great time from browsing the menu to having a taste of everything my family had. Here’s my preferences and recommendations from Walt’s Cafe..

Chicken Breast Fillet with Poached Crab Meat with Papaya and Mango Salad served with Honey Lime Scented Dressing, HK$ 128.

My palate was satisfied with its texture and flavors. The fusion of  freshest and sweetest fruits complemented well the crunchiness of the greens. And the Chicken Breast Fillet? Heavenly!

I requested the wait staff to provide extra small plates so I can share my order with Tina and Gabby. I also sampled one Walt’s Cafe’s soups -

Double Boiled Black Mushroom with Kam Ha Wam Soup, HK$ 78.

The soup’s tasteful. I like the flavor of the Chinese ham and the black mushroom. Beautiful combo! The mushroom was shaped into Mickey Mouse’s head too! Amazing!

Then for my main entree, a huge plate was served first with one of the prettiest veggie side dishes I ever had…

To people who think amusement parks and their resorts only offer fast food junkies, think again!  Hong Kong Disneyland’s Corner Cafe and Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel’s Walt’s Cafe proved it otherwise. Their menus are beyond sumptuous! The ambience, sublime!

Seafood Platter for Two. (Grilled or Poached. I wanted it grilled). Lobster, Scallops, King Crab Legs, Squid, Salmon, and Cod Fish with Lemon Dill “Beurreblanc” and Crustacean Sauce, Assorted Garden Vegetables, and Boiled Potatoes. HK$ 538.

One word : Outstanding!

Just take a look at that lime gorgeously wrapped with golden tulle and ribbon; wonderful!

The entree, Tina, Gabby and I shared….

We cannot be grateful enough! :)

Moving on to desserts…

My choice : Penny’s Bay Mango Pudding with Mango Puree.

Tina’s sweet preference : White Chocolate Cheesecake with Raspberry Coulis

Gabby’s dessert plate was the most divine!

Oreo Cheesecake never tasted this great! :D

It’s one FUNtastic dinner to end one glorious day of everything that this blog gives reverence for :

FAMILY. FOOD. and FUN!

———————

I cannot help but marvel at the immense scale of blissful experiences we had in Hong Kong Disneyland! That 3-day-2-night vacation extremely gave us unforgettable memories that Tina, Gabby and I will cherish forever.

Hong Kong Disneyland spells H-A-P-P-I-N-E-S-S! :D

Thank you so much, Hong Kong Disneyland!

*Up Next : The concluding post of this Hong Kong Disneyland Series! Stay Tuned!

———————————

This Blog Series Includes :

 

01
Mar
12

OUR HONG KONG DISNEYLAND TRIP 2012 : TIMELESS MAGIC

The fambam goes to Adventureland! Celebrating at Hong Kong Disneyland the best way we know how! ;-)

A young elephant at Hong Kong Disneyland, seriously? ;-)

We never thought that we’d see Baby elephant with Mama and Papa elephants other than Dumbo in a theme park reigned by our favorite, Mickey Mouse.  Or perhaps, we got overwhelmed being there again and forgot that almost anything’s possible because MAGIC and FANTASY come alive in a perfect fusion in the Happiest Place on Earth! ;)

Even Tina, Gabby and I have been to HONG KONG DISNEYLAND a few times already, and thankfully I’ve experienced the theme park in Tokyo and California too,  it was our very first time to ride a tour-guided-boat in the waters of ADVENTURELAND last 17 February 2012, and definitely enjoyed every moment to bits.

Our gang at Hong Kong Disneyland with our uber friendly and warm exclusive tour guides, Janice (on red uniform) and Danny (with tie).

How cool it was to bypass the long queues legally without a feeling of guilt because of

DISNEY’S  PRESTIGE  TOUR  (HK$ 3,888 for 3 consecutive hours up to group of six) .

Our Jungle River Cruise in Adventureland was led by an intrepid skipper. Our group was amazed as he passionately described and elaborately narrated what to expect and see along the mysterious waters.

But wait.

Why’s Gabby so afraid?

First he was afraid; he was petrified!!! ....hehe! ;-)

Was it because of the Baby elephant?

Or was it because of Papa elephant and his striped African friends?

Can it be due to those rhino and hyenas chasing these men?

Climb for your lives!!! ;P

Oh, I remember! Gabby was frightened about those fire-and-explosions-on-waters effects during one part of the cruise!

Okay.

Fine.

I admit…

Those mother and baby elephants, zebras, hyneas and rhinos, gorillas and cobras (not in photos) are mechanically operated; they’re unreal! You thought so too? But they’re the next best things to see after watching the lovable Disney characters on parade and I think even better than seeing their natural counterparts in a zoo. Exposing kids like Gabby to such artificial animals that appear like real would give them appreciation of the wild and the environment as a whole without the risk. Safety’s always a priority whenever you travel with kids and Hong Kong Disneyland knows how to implement fun with so much care!

That Jungle River Cruise was really something! It felt like we’re instantly ushered into an African Safari and left Asia for a while to experience some animal and jungle encounter.

Adventureland also features Tarzan’s Treehouse, Liki Tiki and the fabulously produced musical, “Festival of the Lion King”  which we watched the following day (to be featured on my next post!).

Moments after we hopped off the boat, our HK Disneyland Tour Hosts, Janice and Danny brought us to FANTASYLAND to experience another engaging attraction, tagged  as the happiest cruise that ever sailed, as the children of the world sing and dance to the song, “it’s a small world!”

My favorite part of this Fantasyland attraction : The Jungle Safari! We're having a safari-overload! Amazing! :)

A ride on the lift took us down to another exciting boat ride! :) This time, our senses feasted on colorful tableaux made of dolls representing children of each countries around the globe sing and dance to the song of “it’s a small world” in their own respective tongues.  And just like that Jungle River Cruise in Adventureland, It’s A  Small World journey via boat was another first for Tina, Gabby and me because we always passed the chance to experience it on our previous visits due to its long queue (a proof that it’s a MUST-SEE!).  But now that we’re on Disney’s Prestige Tour, it was really a hassle-free!

it’s a small world…

Name Game! What country does this dolls represent? The frustrated violinist in me was in awe! ;)

This FANTASYLAND attraction may be so appealing to kids and kids-at-hearts but it definitely shows a serious issue of unity amidst diversities. We may have come from various cultures and nations but in music and harmony, we could be one!

Indubitably, I am biased with tableaux from Asia!

Outstanding play of colors and costumes!  …More Asian flavors!

Then at one lowly lit corner, two dolls dressed in Philippines’ national costume were singing “maliit ang mundo” (Tagalog version of “it’s a small world”).  

Tina told me that she only wished that the Philippines’ corner would have a larger and brighter area or perhaps she meant, more dolls, more features like that of the other countries. Nonetheless, at least our very own’s represented! Yay! :D

As for our current work place, I think our eyes missed to spot Malaysia.

I’m not sure what comes first but certainly, our boat sailed onto the Golden Bridge!  At this part, I suddenly missed the actual thing!  ;-)

Tulips and windmills? Must be Holland.

Venetian Gondola? Must be Italy.

It’s so magical how we toured the world on a boat without the fuss of going through terminals and applying for visas! hehe :D

Cabaret? ...Moulin Rouge?

“it’s a small world” greeted us with “Hello” in different languages and bid us “Paalam”, “Adieu!”

Next, we headed to another Must-See in FANTASYLAND -A musical celebration of Disney’s movies and characters. If in “It’s A Small World” we took a journey around the globe on a whim, “The Golden Mickeys” presented our favorite Disney films live on stage!  It’s a favorite and we never miss seeing this show whenever we visit Hong Kong Disneyland. Again, this trip was extremely special -I am with my family, we met new friends and we got PRIORITY PASS and EXCLUSIVE RESERVED SEATING!

VIP  TREATMENT at  its  BEST!

Thank you so much, Hong Kong Disneyland! :D

THE  GOLDEN  MICKEYS

Wonderful!

Hearing Mickey and Minnie speak Cantonese never fails to amuse me. It only happens in Hong Kong Disneyland!

I may not be an expert critic in theater but I know my eyes and ears.  I have watched a few musicals during my wonder years and this one’s short but excellently staged! We’ve seen other actors performed “The Golden Mickeys” the previous years and I may state that it has been consistent. What an AWESOME PRODUCTION! Gabby’s eyes were glued on the entire show! The three of us barely blinked! haha! :D

Live performances of songs, dances and stunts really reminded us of our favorite Disney movies!

The 30-minute show ended with a blast! We were soon guided to the newest and exclusive attraction in Hong Kong Disneyland :

TOY STORY  LAND

“It’s playtime at Toy Story Land!

Exclusive in Asia, Toy Story Land brings the cherished stories of the Toy Story movie trilogy to reality, providing an immersive and memorable experience for all Guests. Toy Story Land’s opening on November 18, 2011 as the first themed area of the Park’s expansion project marked a key milestone for the Resort.

Entering the themed area, Guests will feel like they’ve been shrunk to the size of a toy as they are transported to the oversized world of Andy’s backyard. Toy Story Land houses three main attractions – RC Racer, Slinky Dog Spin and Toy Soldier Parachute Drop – offering Guests interactive and playful adventures. Through the themed area, Guests will also be able to play with their favorite Toy Story friends.” -HKDL.

Follow the Arrow to TOY STORY LAND!

Everything is oversized at TOY STORY LAND! Never imagined that we’d experience being in a backyard and feel like shrunken toys of Andy, the boy who owns the toys that come alive in the Disney movies, Toy Story. But it happened magically in TOY STORY LAND!

RC RACER

Soaring in a U-shaped bright orange track, you can ride a race car and have the thrill of fun!

I wish I had the will to try these thrilling rides; I passed up for the fear that I might throw up. I didn’t want to spoil our weekend fun feeling nauseous and tachycardic (having increase heart rate). It’s just me and my family (Tina has Vertigo and Gabby’s too young to get the scare out of him). But for those who seek such gravity defying race ride, RC Racer is made for you!

Since we opted not to try the RC Racer, we thought the next best thing was to pose  for posterity! :P

TOY SOLDIER PARACHUTE DROP

TOY SOLDIER PARACHUTE DROP -another ride that gives you adrenaline rush! If you’re into Skydiving or you dig such extreme drill, this one’s tailor made for you! You’ll get a view of the entirety of Andy’s backyard set in Hong Kong Disneyland in the poetic Lantau Island!

Dig this : “Drop from the sky with the Toy Soldiers in a parachute training drill that thrills!”

 SLINKY  DOG  SPIN

This one’s Gabby’s favorite! He asked me to accompany him not once but twice! :D  We experienced how Slinky Dog run around and chase his tail around and ’round! Fun, fun, fun! ;)

We love Toy Story Land!

You’ll never get to sit on pastel-colored popsicle stick-benches on a daily basis! Made me want to bring them home! haha! :D

Wonderful, isn’t it? “And there’s more to come! Toy Story Land is the first of three themed areas planned at Hong Kong Disneyland. The second themed area at Hong Kong Disneyland will be called Grizzly Gulch and it’s scheduled to be completed and opened to the public in 2012. And the Mystic Point themed area is expected to open in 2013.” -HKDL.

And because Magic is so timeless,

and the fun never ceases,

we didn’t notice the hands of the clock inside Hong Kong Disneyland!

Dusk fell beautifully in this theme park.

Time for dinner at CORNER CAFE!

One of the newly established restaurant inside the park is Main Street Corner Cafe.  This table serviced restaurant offers premium American menu; everything spells D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S!

Gabby’s kiddie set included Fish fingers and fries, veggie side dish, cream puffs that he so loved! (read : as I write this, he uttered, “Iyan ang pinakamasarap!” –“That’s the most delicious!”), watermelon sliced into Mickey Mouse head and watermelon juice to match.

We were served with fibrous bread and butter. Yes to carbo! hehe! ;)

I sampled their Seafood Chowder and it’s rich and tasteful, just what I like!

Satisfying one’s craving inside a kiddie theme park is almost always close to rarity. The usual meals in most amusement parks are fastfood delights and at times, far from your palate’s want.  But CORNER CAFE inside Hong Kong Disneyland is amazingly different! Surprisingly, we found the irresistible, SURF AND TURF on their menu!  The adequate portion of tender beef which Tina and I had medium-well, and a perfectly seasoned lobster on a bed of creamy whipped potato, all in one heavenly plate was simply divine!

For dessert, Tina, Gabby and I ordered a trio of cheesecake (not in photo); too bad my shots on that plate were so blurry I decided not to post.

Thanks to the Hong Kong people we’ve met -Nicole, Catherine and Purple (you guys are the best!), they left us with beautiful souvenir pins inspired by Toy Story Land! Everyone in our group had a piece; Gabby even got to keep and bring home the handsome box, sweet!

We needed to postpone savoring our desserts because the fireworks outside was about to start. We’re told that it’s best to view such magnificent lighting of the Hong Kong skies in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle but because we’re still halfway on our dinner  (it’s really sumptious, you feel half-hearted to eat fast!), most of us just walk outside Corner Cafe and marveled at “Disney in the Stars!”

DISNEY IN THE STARS

Because I didn’t bring a tripod and I was not in the most strategic spot (lame excuses for not having expertise on firework photography!), my shots were disappointing. Good thing though, Tina brought her ipod and took a 43-sec video of the finale of the Disney in the Stars!

Short Video Captured by Tina : View  HERE!!!

Our photo and video may not be compelling but trust in Hong Kong Disneyland should be more than enough to convince you that the Disney in the Stars fireworks is such a beautiful and perfect one to end the day at the park.

Thank you, Hong Kong Disneyland!

This post concludes our DAY ONE in Hong Kong Disneyland.

We smilingly hit the sack inside our room in Disney’s Hollywood Hotel

and woke up extremely excited for another MAGICAL DAY!

OUR DAY TWO in HONG KONG DISNEYLAND

and A LOT MORE on this blog’s succeeding posts!

Stay tuned! ;)

———————————

This Blog Series Includes :




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