We woke up with a great view of Hong Kong in all its, well, morning glory.
So what was in store for us today? It wouldn’t be an authentic trip to Hong Kong without experiencing what it’s like to take the MTR/Mass Transit Railways from point A to point B. We were a few short steps away from Jordan station. To get there, we had to pass by this bakeshop which had these……cute little treats. My regret is that I didn’t even get to taste it. We passed by this bakeshop almost everyday. And I didn’t get to taste a single mousse. F***.
Tricycles are our mode of transportation here in Zamboanga, and I don’t really have the luxury to go to Manila just to ride their MRTs (haha), so the naive little child in me was looking forward to the beautiful, fast paced metropolitan chaos that is the Hong Kong subway.
So our destination for the day: Hong Kong Disneyland. Getting there was interesting, to say the least.
Before I actually set foot in its hallowed road, I had this idea that Disneyland is so overrated, that it’s just an amusement park with rides that I don’t really get to appreciate since I have been cursed with easy motion sickness.
But lo and behold, it’s not overrated at all. And I know the cliche lives on when I say that I felt like a kid again. Really, there’s truth to the magic.
Surprisingly, I managed to overlook the fact that it was so hot and that the crowds and queus never end. Because for a day, I was like a little child, left alone in the toy store. I felt like I was reliving the magic moment when Disney channel was a major chunk of my childhood. Yeah, I was that wide-eyed and naive.
Our first stop was the souvenir shop, and it was a deluge of Disney. For a moment, I just had to restrain myself from grabbing everything they had.
My favorite souvenir?
Need I say more?
It was my ninang’s birthday that day (she celebrated her birthday in HK Disneyland, pretty cool), so we were treated to lunch at The Plaza Inn. According to the brochure it’s the resto inspired by the movie “Mulan”, so it’s basically authentic Hong Kong cuisine, albeit expensive.
Noodles on top of fried noodles was a first. I actually enjoyed the dish. It had a subtle savory flavor that I really liked and if I could order it again and again I would.
The braised eggplant was tasty as well. Actually the noodles and the eggplant had the same flavor. Its sauce reminded me of the Chinese Nido/Egg Drop soup sold in powder form in the markets; well, I think it actually was Chinese soup.
And it was my first time to try soft shell crab. They served it with a powder that really tasted like salty shrimp chips. The texture was great, and looking back, it was the first time that I managed to really eat a whole crab. The last attempt was not so stellar.
And these pork dumplings were supposed to look like goldfish. They looked way better in the menu card though.
My pet peeve with the experience of dining in Hong Kong is that it was the second time that we used small plates! I’m huge, I don’t appreciate eating in small portions!
After lunch, we went outside and we were just in time for the parade. The parade at noon was apparently something that shouldn’t be missed as well. It was sweltering hot so we just armed ourselves with plenty of sunscreen, but I think it was to no avail. The instant tan was worth it in the end though – the parade was fun.
After we bathed in the noonday sun, we went to the corner bakery and lo and behold, the desserts were practically Mickey Mouse on a plate.
PLUS, it was my first meeting with the famous Egg Tarts, something that I’ve always wanted to try apart from the amazing Peking Duck.
The verdict on the egg tarts? The tart that I tasted was kind of undercooked – the filling was still a bit runny and it was more tart than it was sweet. On the other hand, the crust was amazing. It was a puff pastry that just crumbled and melted in my mouth. But little did I know at that time that it was Macau’s egg tarts that would rock my world.
The New York cheesecake was pricey, but good. I was halfway through devouring the little mound of Mickey when I already felt full and couldn’t eat anymore. But as usual, I go the extra mile, even when I’m full. 🙂
An interesting fact: the castle in the center isn’t actually Cinderella’s, it’s Sleeping Beauty’s! Thus the iconic castle we see in the beginning of Disney movies is not a fixture of HK Disneyland. Go figure.
So when we went through the castle and into Fantasy Land, I realized that the park’s area is pretty small. I’ve always had this idea that it stretched on and on, but actually, you can walk around the whole park in just a few hours.
We didn’t really go to Disneyland for the rides, except for Space Mountain. Space Mountain was amazing, but traumatic and I swear my brain was jarred because of all the twists and turns. I’d be crazy to take pictures while I was suffering.
We just had to reward ourselves after surviving Space Mountain with ice pops. I had the green tea ice cream pop. Because I have this obsession with green tea in milk, I really felt good after eating that.
Now for the attractions: the only things that I can really really really rave about are the Philharmagic in 3D and the 9pm fireworks display.
The Philharmagic in 3D basically follows the exploits of Donald Duck, as he accidentally activates Mickey’s magic baton/wand that transports him through time and space and into the iconic scenes of different Disney movies. It’s funny that I had my first 3D experience outside of the country; I didn’t even get to try IMAX yet (haha).
Disneyland at night is something that must not be skipped. The streets look amazing, with all the bright lights and bustling activity. I didn’t have trouble taking pictures since there was enough light.
Basically the moment that tourists all stay for is the fireworks display at Sleeping Beauty’s castle. At around 7pm you can see people sitting on the street infront of the castle, all wanting the best seat in the house to view the pyrotechnics. We sat on the benches near the fountain, practically infront of the castle. So I’d like to believe that we had the best view.
The fireworks display goosebumps-worthy since it was choreographed along with music. The first few lines of “A Whole New World”, sung by a children’s choir (not physically there though, just the music) punctuated by the first few explosions of color in the night sky was breathtaking – I had this wide goody smile throughout the presentation. I didn’t even notice anything else; time just flew by.
The little kid, at the end of the night, was happy. 🙂
To be continued….