Monday, 9 September 2019

HK VIII Day 3: Disney Explorers Lodge

We decided to join the locals at a very traditional Hong Kong Cha Chan Tang just 5-minute walk from our hotel. The moment we stepped into the cafe, we knew right away that we were fish out of water. Locals have the habit of going to the same cafe for breakfast so they know who are regulars and who are foreigners like us. Everything here is in Chinese/Cantonese so thankfully we read and speak the language!

Simple but tasty breakfast that the locals typically eat for breakfast

This breakfast was the cheapest of all our meals in Hong Kong! 😄

After breakfast, we prepared to check out of our hotel to go on to Disneyland! This Disney fan needs her annual dose of Disney magic! 😄

We like to stay at the Disney official hotels for its amenities and proximity to the park. Previously we stayed at Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel so this time we decided to stay at the newly built Disney Explorers Lodge for a different experience.

Entrance to Disney Explorers Lodge
Interior reminds me of Africa
Left: We got a Priority Admission Pass for certain attractions, which was one of the perks of staying at the hotel;
Right: Love the crafty Mickey rings that they were giving out to the kids while waiting for check in. 
Our very cute room card

The hotel was very deserted when we arrived as a result of the drop in tourism ever since the start of the protests. We were able to check into our room immediately, which was located on the same level as the lobby.

We booked the Standard Double Room via Agoda and paid S$235 per room per night (no breakfast). We didn't find it expensive as compared to other official Disneyland hotels that we have stayed at, this is one of the cheapest. The room can accommodate up to 4 adults on 2 queen beds.

Two queen beds and they even put in a bed rail to prevent a baby/child from falling off
Baby girl enjoying herself on the bed
Left: Super cute handmade Chip and Dale;
Right: Disney Explorer Lodge toiletries box. Love it! ❤️
The sink is located beside the bed and has a stool for little kids
The bathroom is simple with the usual Disney bottles
Bedroom slippers and bathrobes are provided
Love that the bin allows you to separate recyclable trash and regular trash! They should have this in every hotel! 
The awesome view from our room! 
Selfies with the baby, who was in a really good mood!

We had a little bit of time so I brought the kids to Nemo's Recreation Reef to participate in the craft activity that they organised. There're different activities at different time slots so do check their schedule for more details.

Nemo's Recreation Reef,
most ideal for kids 2 to 10 years old
Sunken ship play structure
Climbing up and into a fish net
Little area for smaller children
Slide down the slide
Busy working on their craft activity, which was a door hanger

It was a small play room but kids still had fun. They liked the craft activity a lot!

When we were done with the activity, we rejoined the rest of the family to head to Citygate Outlets in search of shopping and food. We took the hotel's free shuttle bus to Disneyland Resort Station and took the MTR to Tung Chung Station (transfer at Sunny Bay Station).

In the Disneyland train from Disney Resort Station to Sunny Bay Station

Shopping wasn't that fun as it wasn't a sale period but we still managed to buy winter boots for the kids and I for our upcoming trip to Nagoya. We had a simple lunch at the food court and headed back to the hotel for a swim in their pool.

The Disney Explorer Lodge in the evening
Beautiful waterfall
Noodles and pool toys were provided to guests for use
Both us and the kids love the pool noodles! So fun!
Baby and grandma watching at the side

I have to say, the pool is definitely smaller and a lot less fun than the pool at Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel as the latter has a slide! But not to worry, if you have time you can go visit the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel pool as guests of any of the 3 official hotels can visit and use the amenities of the other hotels during their visit! Another great perk of staying at the official Disney hotels!

The Disney Explorers Lodge is nice and new but I still prefer the princess vibe of the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel. If I get the chance, I will stay there again 😄


Continue to >> HK VIII Day 4-5: Hong Kong Disneyland with Littlest Baby



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Download the printable itineraries of our previous trips to Hongkong in 2014 and in 2016;
Check out our full list of kid-friendly attractions in Hong Kong
OR
Visit MADPSYCHMUM TRAVELS for the rest of my posts on Hong Kong, China 
as well as other travel itineraries!


You can also follow my travel adventures on Instagram via the hashtag #madpsychmumtravels! =)

Sunday, 8 September 2019

HK VIII Day 1-2: Mongkok

Day 1

2019 is a significant year for Hong Kong and not in a good way. Protests started in the middle of the year and the situation did not seem to improve. While thousands of tourists postpone or cancel their trips to Hong Kong for fear of the unrest, the hubby and I decided to go ahead with our trip as planned. We had prayed and felt the peace of God to go, trusting in God's divine protection.

We woke up really early in the morning to take our pre-booked Maxi Cab to the airport. With so many kids and adults, Maxi Cabs to the airport are our new normal 😅

Grandma and the kids were super excited to set off!

We booked our Singapore Airlines flight before the start of the protests and paid S$285 per person (baby girl was her usual infant rate). I heard that if you book the tickets after the protests have started, it can be as low as $80!

Baby enjoying her flight! 
Baby's ticket came with baby food suitable for a weaning baby. My girl loves all these Heinz flavours except for pear 😂 I thought it was really generous of SIA to provide so many bottles!

When we arrived at Hong Kong International Airport, we cleared immigration in just 10 minutes because there is no queue! This is our 8th visit to Hong Kong and this is the first time that we did not have to queue!


We managed to squeeze the whole family into one 5-seater cab, which saved us some money! We arrived at our hotel, Royal Plaza Hotel, and proceeded to check in.

Monopoly theme at Royal Plaza Hotel

This is our 3rd time staying at Royal Plaza as it is relatively cheap, can accommodate our big family and in a good location. We booked the Plaza Deluxe Family Room
via Agoda for S$229 per room per night (no breakfast). We stayed at this room for our previous trip and enjoyed it.

Baby on one of the queen-sized beds
Cot with comfy mattress and blanket
The usual toiletries

Our hotel was conveniently situated next to MOKO mall and Mong Kok East train station, which is the railway line you take if you're going to Shen Zhen. Do note that the nearest MTR station, Mong Kok Station, is 15 minutes away by foot; not far but also not very near.

MOKO mall is having a Disney Princess event! 

We headed to nearby Muscle Man for lunch!

Muscle Man
Love their beef tendon noodles! So yummy! 😋

We love Muscle Man for the typical food you'd find in a Hong Kong Cha Can Tang (cafe). We loved the beef tendon so much that we ordered a whole plate of it. So yummy!

After lunch, we went back to the hotel to rest before heading out again for dinner. We decided to go back to one of our favourites, Chan Kee Roasted Goose, located next to Cordis Hotel/Mong Kok MTR Station (you can read our previous experience here).

Your Hong Kong food adventures is not complete without tasting roasted goose. It is a must-try in Hong Kong!

After dinner, we contemplated doing some shopping at the streets of Mong Kok. Thank God that we decided to head back to our hotel instead! The moment we arrived at our hotel room and switched on the TV, we found out that the police had stormed the streets of Mong Kok and Prince Edward where protests were active! Thank God for His protection!

Live broadcast of the protest happening just minutes away from our hotel

We were so thankful to be in the comforts of our hotel room, enjoying the peace and fellowship. It was a great day for us! 😊


Day 2

We had breakfast at the mum-in-law's favourite, Mui Kee Congee, which is located at Fa Yuen Street Market. I brought the mum-in-law here previously (read our previous post here) and she has been pinning for it ever since. They have an outlet in Singapore located at Shaw building but it's really not the same as eating there in person 😋

Having yummy congee is another must-try in Hong Kong!
Right: Baby girl loves the congee too!
Left: The chee cheong fun is ok but not as nice as the congee. 

After breakfast and some shopping in the area, we headed back to our hotel for a nice swim!

Kids were super excited to go for their swim
Left: Enjoying the warmth of the hot jacuzzi;
Right: Kids love the main pool as it's also warm enough to jump in without freezing. 
Lovely family shot at the pool
(we love to swim!)

We were hungry after swimming and had originally planned to go to Central Station for Tim Ho Wan (one of our favourites, you can read about our previous experience here).

However, the hubby felt that it would be more convenient to go somewhere nearby instead. Thank God that we did because again, we found out later that day that the protesters were demonstrating at Central Station, which caused chaos and crowding at the station!

It was a good thing we decided to head to nearby One Dim Sum, supposedly one of the best restaurants in Hong Kong according to the internet.

One Dim Sum, the one and only!
Our favourite dim sum choices
Tried to capture a wefie with the food but wasn't very successful, oh well

We decided to just shop at MOKO mall just so that we won't be caught in the middle of any protest.

When it came time for dinner, we decided to try Men Wah Bing Teng, located conveniently at the ground floor of MOKO mall just next to our hotel.

This is a typical Hong Kong Cha Can Tang (cafe) with typical delights such as butter toast
Left: Gotta have Hong Kong milk tea when you're here! (Come to think of it, I like milk tea no matter where I go in Asia!);
Right: Mum-in-law with the biggest and tastiest pork chop ever!

The winner of our meal was the pork chop. It was huge and surprisingly succulent and tasty! 😋

We snuggled into our beds that night, once again very grateful for protection. Looking forward to Disney tomorrow!


Continue to >> HK VIII Day 3: Disney Explorers Lodge


~~~~~~

Download the printable itineraries of our previous trips to Hongkong in 2014 and in 2016;
Check out our full list of kid-friendly attractions in Hong Kong
OR
Visit MADPSYCHMUM TRAVELS for the rest of my posts on Hong Kong, China 
as well as other travel itineraries!


You can also follow my travel adventures on Instagram via the hashtag #madpsychmumtravels! =)

Friday, 19 July 2019

Playdate at Hort Park

We've been wanting to visit Hort Park's new play garden ever since it opened. As usual, this full-time working mum has been too busy and only managed to finally bring the kids when I've got maternity leave! 😅

Follow these signs to the play garden

We invited the boy's buddy to have a playdate together!



Welcome to the Nature Playgarden
Climbing on planks and running into caves
Making music
Figuring out how water flows
Such a cute little tent made of wood
The Big Fig Adventure! 

The play area was meant to be very organic and natural, unlike the 'plastic' playgrounds that we are used to. There were a lot of sand, wood and plants, which the kids really liked. The environment reminded me of the playgrounds in Australia, though the humidity immediately brought me back to the reality that we were in Singapore! 🥵

The playground was really boring to me and I especially hated the mosquitoes that bit me all over my legs! 😩 If you ask me, there's no way I'll be back 😞

My equally city kids got bored after a while and decided to play at the nearby 'plastic' playground instead. They had just as much fun there if not more 😂

Cute little playground just 5-minute walk away
Kids playing with the sand
The play area with climbing structures and small slides for younger kids
There was another playground at the back with more slides
Playing catching or murder mystery? I don't know 😂

Overall, it's a nice place to visit if you live nearby and like nature. For us, we still prefer Jurong Lake Gardens for the size and variety of playgrounds (read our experience here)!

We enjoyed it while it lasted 😊

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This post is part of my MadPsychMum Fun in Singapore Guide to all things exciting for kids! 
Check out other fun playgrounds and attractions in Singapore! =)


You can also follow us on Instagram or join us by using our hashtag #mpmfuninsg!
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