Excellent excursion

Grand prize winners of Mag Inc 2011 are in for a trip of a lifetime to one of the world’s most vibrant cities.

For most of us, seeing Sleeping Beauty’s castle at the beginning of any Disney movie stirs a host of childhood memories. Who can forget the image of Tinkerbell gracefully flitting about the castle, sprinkling “pixie dust” all over it?

What if you had the chance to see the castle up close, glistening in the sunlight by day and beautifully illuminated by night?

As grand prize winners of The Star’s annual Newspaper-in-Education (NiE) contest, you could turn your fantasy into reality as you will be rewarded with a trip to Hong Kong Disneyland, courtesy of The Star and Pizza Hut!

After months of deliberating on your mini magazines, what better way to reap the rewards of your hard work than to visit bustling Hong Kong with your teammates.

Be assured that the trip in December will indeed be an exciting and memorable one, as a whole itinerary of fun activities have been planned for the winning teams and their teachers-in-charge.

First on the list is a visit to the famous Avenue of Stars, which is Hong Kong’s equivalent to the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The avenue, which is located along the Victoria Harbour waterfront, showcases the celebrities of the Hong Kong film industry.

As you walk along the avenue, you will see commemorative plaques, handprints of movie celebrities, various movie memorabilia and a special treat for kung-fu fans — a life-size statue of the legendary kung-fu action star, Bruce Lee!

At night, the avenue is transformed into a glittering galaxy of stars.

Be enthralled as you watch the spectacular multimedia show with pyrotechnic effects called “A Symphony of Lights”.

Day two of the trip is when the real adventure and excitement begins as you are scheduled to spend the whole day at Hong Kong Disneyland.

Located on Lantau Island, the world-famous park attracts millions of tourists each year to Hong Kong.

Explore the park’s four themed areas – Fantasyland, Adventureland, Tomorrowland and Main Street, USA – and expect to have non-stop thrills and spills, as you try out each ride in the amusement park.

You may even have the chance to meet and greet your favourite Disney character, so keep those cameras on standby.

You are in for a spectacular time as this year is Hong Kong Disneyland’s fifth anniversary and special events have been created to commemorate it.

One such event is the “Flights of Fantasy” parade, an all-new interactive and innovative parade of characters. Look out for Mickey and friends on his Magical Airship as well as other characters such as Stitch and the Green Army men from Toy Story as they “celebrate in the air”.

Festive seasonal events are celebrated grandly in Hong Kong Disneyland, and you and your teammates will be able to experience its year-end theme, Sparkling Christmas.

The weather in Hong Kong at this time of the year can get chilly, so do remember to bring some warm clothes.

On day three, expect your travel schedule to be full as there will be many interesting places of attraction to visit.

First, you will visit The Peak, Hong Kong’s most popular landmark.

As its name suggests, The Peak is approximately 396 metres above sea level and the journey to the top by one of the world’s oldest and most famous funicular railways is an unforgettable experience.

From shopping and dining to nature walks, you will be able to do it all here, while you enjoy breathtaking vistas of the city.

History enthusiasts, take heart as next on the agenda is a visit to the Hong Kong Museum of History located in Kowloon.

The museum showcases almost 400 million years of Hong Kong’s dynamic history.

Delve into objects at the museum that portray the natural ecology, traditions and culture of Hong Kong.

After the museum, you will head to Repulse Bay.

Located in the south of Hong Kong, the bay is the most spectacular in the region.

Repulse Bay gets its name from a momentous 19th century battle, in which the British army defeated attacking pirates.

Today, the crescent-shaped beach is popular among locals and tourists.

For the adventurous, there are many water sports available to try.

Or just lie on the beach and soak up the rays of sun after you take a dip in the cool, clear waters of the bay.

After your sojourn at the beach, you will be taken to the Golden Bauhinia Square, also known as the Expo Promenade.

The focal object at the square is the golden sculpture of the Bauhinia flower, the official emblem of Hong Kong.

The sculpture was presented to the people of Hong Kong by the government to mark the most significant occasion in the country’s history – the return of Hong Kong (a former British colony) to the People’s Republic of China.

A trip to Hong Kong is not complete without a sampan ride around Aberdeen Harbour.

Aberdeen is famous for its floating village, largely inhabited by the local “boat people” known as Tankas, who are primarily fishermen.

Look out for the equally famous floating restaurants such as the Jumbo Floating Restaurant and Tai Pak Seafood Floating Restaurant, which have been featured in many local and Hollywood movies.

If you are looking for a slightly expensive but distinctive souvenir for your loved ones, be sure to stop by the scores of jewellery shops found everywhere in Hong Kong. From gold, diamonds and pearls to the popular jade, jewellery is a “must-buy” in Hong Kong.

Another thriving trade in Hong Kong is the Chinese herbal medicine trade.

Take a stroll down Ko Shing Street, better known as “herbal medicine street” as it is the retail and wholesale centre of Hong Kong’s herbal medicine trade.

You will be amazed by the range of products available in these shops; from roots, bark, twigs, flowers and seeds to more unconventional items such as insects, dried sea horses, deer antlers and even rhinoceros horns!

So, teams, let your ideas flow on this year’s theme, “Speak Out!” and put your “pens to your mags” as your diligence and insight could earn you a trip to one of the world’s most vibrant cities.

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