Hong Kong: Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car Ride in 24 minutes

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This video is about our journey up to Ngong Ping 360. Ngong Ping is a little village up in the hills of Lantau, Hong Kong. Near the Hong Kong International Airport. Part of the “fun” is getting there (or getting anywhere, ideally) is the journey. And, as a tourist, the trip involves some lines for sure but, we also had a lot of smiles and laughs along the way as well…
Join us for our trip up the mountain from the Tung Chung Cable Car Terminal (easy to get to via MTR) on our Crystal Cabin Cable Car.
Here’s the Official Website : https://www.np360.com.hk/en/
We bought our tickets via the KLOOK App. KLOOK seems to be a decent solution about 50% of the time for tickets, excursions, things to do, etc when in SE Asia. We’ve used it in Vietnam, Malaysia and Hong Kong. Their customer support via the app is either non-existent or lousy but in the field, if your adventure involves a tour guide then they have actually been ok. So, expec to save money but not get better service.. the KLOOK rule of thumb…

The Ngong Ping 360 is a gondola lift on Lantau Island in Hong Kong. Intended to improve tourism to the area, the aerial lift was previously known as Tung Chung Cable Car Project before acquiring the Ngong Ping 360 brand in April 2005. The Tung Chung Cable Car terminal still has the “brand” so sadly there care be a bit of confusion but for the most part EVERYONE knows how to get to this thing.
We’d recommend it. Once… Victoria Peak on the other hand, I can see going up there during the day, at night, on a cloudy day, during low season, even for lunch, etc… even if you live there. Ngong Ping 360 is where the tourists go. Which is fine. That’s what we are this trip!! 😉 Our first trip to Hong Kong.

Live the Dream!

Hong Kong: 393 Meters Up! = Sky101 Observ Deck – Int’l Commerce Center Kowloon

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This video is our experience in Hong Kong’s highest indoor observation deck: the Sky101 Observation Deck in the International Commerce Center (ICC) in Kowloon.
If you’re in a taxi, say “ICC” and a few HKD later, you’re there!
For info, check our their website: https://sky100.com.hk/
more info:: Sky100 is a 360-degree indoor observation deck on the 100th floor of the International Commerce Centre, in West Kowloon, Hong Kong. The deck offers views of Hong Kong Island, Victoria Harbor, the Kowloon Peninsula and Tai Mo Shan in the background. Sky100 is located two floors below The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong.

When we were there (as you will note in the video) this *was* the 10th highest building in the world. Fast-forward just a few months and by the end of 2018, China had two more building within the top 10:
(as of 2019) #9 = Tianjin CTF Finance Centre in Tianjin, China and
(as of 2019) #10 = China Zun in Beijing, China – and this then became Beijing’s tallest building upon completion.
Finally, in the second half of 2019 another mega-structure from China comes in at #5, further pushing the ICC out to #13
#5 (as of 2019) = Goldin Finance 117, Tianjin, China
for the most updated list heck out this Wikipedia Entry: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_tallest_buildings

With all that data out of the way, I can tell you that only as I was producing this video and updating this blog/VLOG post did I investigate this. While there, it was very easy to ignore all of this. We walked around amidst very limited crowds and enjoyed ourselves. A “perfect” tourist experience by some people’s definition 🙂
Hope you enjoyed it.
Thanks for watching.
Live the Dream!

Hong Kong: Peak Tram Success!

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This video is about our journey to and our experience at Victoria Peak in Hong Kong. We took The Peak Tram up and back. Now, like about 99.9% of all activities, there are multiple ways of getting things accomplished, and many of the same level of enjoyment. Getting to the peak of Victoria Peak in Hong Kong can be done via public bus, taxi, and of course, walking but, arguably, the most popular “tourist-way” and the one probably most publicized on YouTube is taking the Peak Tram.
We have been fairly successful using and saving money with the KLOOK app w/in South East Asia for tickets and attractions and for sure, buying your Peak Tram tickets via KLOOK is our recommended solution as it keeps the price to $9 *and* that includes entrance to the Sky Terrace 428 – The “Original” 360 degree view terrace of Hong Kong/Victoria Harbor. Not having to pay an additional $26 HKD (~$2.25) to get into that as well as a few other little nickel & dime attractions removes distraction (in my mind) so, that’s also a nice plus.
The main benefit, in my opinion, is not having to wait in such a long line to get on the tram heading up the mountain. The Tram is made up of only 2 “cable cars” connected to one another and a motorized cable pulls it up the hill full of people and “lowers” it down the hill again… full of people, for the return trip. There is one track. While the whole journey only takes about 12 minutes each way, when you are waiting in line, in anticipation, you want to lower that wait time as much as possible.
So, Thank You, KLOOK: https://www.klook.com

As always, thanks so much for watching and joining us on our journey.
Live the Dream!

Hong Kong: Kowloon Park Fountain

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This video is about our little stroll through Kowloon Park in Hong Kong. We start off near the fountain and make our may past an aviary with some spectacular toucans. When I Googled and YouTubed “Hong Kong” before our first trip, results like “Top 10 Things to do”, “Top 12 things to See”, “13 tips for an Awesome time in Hong Kong”, “Top 6 things to do during a long weekend in Hong Kong”, etc.. all came up as happens with all well known cities. For sure, Gracie and I engage in those activities… the “tourist attractions” right? They are cool… To some degree… They are entertaining for the most part and after enough weeks/months/years of travel you get good at avoiding the crowds and the lines and the nonsense… for the most part. There will ALWAYS be imperfections and as a guy on YouTube once said, “If you are not at least a bit uncomfortable, you are Not traveling… you’re just on vacation”. I prefer to travel as much as I can. During this trip to Hong Kong, our first trip, actually we did about 1/2 tourist stuff and about 1/2 just walking around doing travelers stuff. For sure I almost Never claim “living like a local”… I think that involves a commitment of at *least* one full month… however, in most places, I don’t think you can really “get it” until you have been there 3 months. That said, I have also discovered that coming and going several times can really expand your expertise. All of these videos finally made their way up to YouTube after several months of constant travel. During which time, both as a couple and solo, I traveled in and out of Hong Kong more than 3 times in less than 2 months. This also happened with several other South East Asian Cities: Singapore, Kuala Lumpur… and many others, you will see videos from.. and hopefully enjoy. Thanks for watching. As always, I hope you are Living the Dream, if you’re not, you’re doing it wrong!
Peace. 🙂

Hong Kong: Check-In from Times Square/Causeway Bay Alibaba Offices

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This video is me just checking in on a Tuesday morning from the Times Square building/area in Hong Kong. Hong Kong Island is probably the area that many people think of when they thing of “Hong Kong”. Although, Hong Kong Island is a series of islands and a significant amount of life and work occurs on the Kowloon side (as people refer to it). Gracie and I ended up getting an AirBnB in Tsim Sha Tsui area of Kowloon for a VERY reasonable price. Meaning, for less than $100/night we had a nice, safe, quiet, clean place that (while INCREDIBLY SMALL) had hot water, cold A/C and we got great night sleeps each night. Good stuff!
[from Wikipedia: Tsim Sha Tsui is a shopping and nightlife district in Kowloon. Casual eateries and eclectic local shops are packed along neon-lit Nathan Road, while luxury malls line nearby Canton Road. The Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade, on Victoria Harbor, is a popular spot to appreciate Hong Kong’s skyline views, while mainstream concerts and musicals are performed at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre.]

Thanks for joining us on our journey.
Live the Dream!
~mikes & Gracie

Hong Kong – Do Waterfalls when there is No Peak Tram

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This video is about an afternoon we spend in Hong Kong when we didn’t want to wait for 6pm to use our Peak Tram tickets. I incorrectly clicked on the wrong tickets on the KLOOK app and realized that I bought the 6pm tickets for the Peak Tram… as we were arriving at the Peak Tram entrance… at about 10am. WHOOPS!!!

First FULL Day in Hong Kong : Peak Tram Try #1

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This video is about First FULL Day in Hong Kong. I really took a shine to Hong Kong, even after less than 24 hours here. Over the course of the next 2 months, I will have come back here another 3 times: 1) a few days of lay-over heading to the Philippines to meet up with Gracie, 2) another layover on the way back to the US after spending over a month in the Philippines with Gracie, 3) as well as a few days of meetings with various companies and 3.5) even a meetup with current and alumni students from USD… half way around the world and I get to see some co-workers I see in the hallways of my workplace as well as fellow students and alumni… from San Diego to Hong Kong – what an honor!!! What a gift. What a GREAT trip.
Thanks for joining Gracie and I on our journey.

Live the Dream – If you’re not, You’re Doing it Wrong!

Next Stop: Hong Kong – quick check in: MTR to South Horizons

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Just a quick intro on our first few hours in Hong Kong.
While manly Novembers have been spend in Thailand, so many so that Thanksgiving is now THAISgiving, Gracie and I decided to meet up in Hong Kong this November. I was pretty tired after the initial leg of the trip BUT that didn’t stop us from exploring at least a little bit off the beaten path.
Fear not, for sure you will see videos from us at Victoria Peak and many of the other “tourist attractions” – which are indeed quite entertaining.
For this video, we get on the MTR near our AirBnB at the Jordan station on the Tsuen Wan (red) Line and take that toward Central. Transferring at Admiralty to the South Island Line (lime green) and head all the way to the end of that line to the South Horizons stop. This is one of the many, Many, multiple 60+ story building communities that is part of a very well planned and executed community by the MTR corporation.

Here’s a cool map of the MTR lines (as of July 2019): http://www.mtr.com.hk/archive/en/services/routemap.pdf

What really surprised me about the MTR corporation was they are WAAY MORE than just a subway system. As subways go, they are easily in the top 5 in the whole world. As of this writing they have a 99.5% on-time rate. That is UNHEARD of in the US’s largest and most well-known subway/public-transit systems (e.g. New York Subway system, Boston’s MBTA system, etc…) The MTR owns real estate, malls, huge condo/apartment buildings, roads, schools, and additional retail. I’m VERY impressed with the leadership, vision and follow through of the MTR corporation. Its not something you really pay attention to going from place to place but doing a little bit of “non-tourist” digging, I soon realized that THIS organization Really had their act together.
I dare say it is what Makes so many people’s daily lives in Hong Kong so well architected.
Thank You MTR!!!

And Thank You for joining us on our journey.
Hope to bring you more perspectives and adventures and we Live the Dream! …cuz if you’re not Livin’ the Dream – you’re doing it wrong!

~mikes & Gracie

Bermuda morning wrap-up: Flying home.

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Every time, I’ve come to Bermuda, be it solo or with Gracie, I always say to myself, “I (we) need to come back here again… its SO easy!!!” Just a 2 hour flight on either JetBlue or Delta from Boston and BLAM: Paradise!!! Such a great and Easy long weekend!!!

Thanks for watching – stay tuned for more fun and travels.
Live the Dream!
~mikes & Gracie