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#LifeWanders in Hong Kong: The ‘Under Parallel Skies’ adventure

By Jerald Uy Published May 02, 2024 9:08 pm Updated May 07, 2024 3:19 pm

Call it a happy accident. Our shuttle dropped us at the wrong spot—the K11 Art Mall—which was about 800 meters away from our target destination, the K11 Musea in Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon. There was no choice but to walk and take the chance to burn some calories we’ve accumulated in the past three days of trying different menus in Hong Kong.

Looking at Google Maps on my phone not only re-aligned my sense of direction but also gave me goosebumps as I realized I was on the Chinese continent. Before the trip to the urban area, we’d been staying on Lantau Island and I had no cognitive map of where the tour bus had been taking us.

“You can actually take a train to Shenzhen from Hong Kong,” a colleague tells me, referring to the third most populous city in China. After a few vlogs, street shots, and a passing Gundam-stickered cab on Nathan Road, I caught my colleagues taking quick photos in front of a building, which piqued my curiosity.

It was the Chungking Mansions! This was one of the film locations of the Wong Kar-wai romantic comedy-drama film Chungking Express (1994), and of course, I hurriedly asked one of my companions to take a photo of me.

Chungking Express
Chungking Mansions, one of the film locations of Wong Kar-wai romance classic Chungking Express.

Hong Kong is no stranger to Filipino cinephiles and casual moviegoers—from Vilma Santos’ tearjerker Anak (2000), the eye-opening docu Sunday Beauty Queen (2016) to the blockbuster Hello Love Goodbye (2019). This year, the so-called Asia’s World City is also the setting of Under Parallel Skies, a romance drama starring Filipino actress Janella Salvador and Thai actor Win Metawin. 

A day was not enough to visit every film location of Under Parallel Skies as the weather seemed to not be cooperating at the time. But there’s no need to fret as Asia’s leading travel and experiences platform Klook is set to unveil an exclusive tour inspired by Iris and Parin’s story starting May 3.

Here’s what you can expect from the Under Parallel Skies Day Tour

Lantau Island Day Tour

The adventure starts with a cable car ride that connects Tung Chung and Ngong Ping on Lantau Island which is the gateway to culturally-interesting Hong Kong attractions such as Ngong Ping Village, Po Lin Monastery, and Big Buddha. 

Take the thrill up a notch by boarding the cable cars that feature 360-degree views of the South China Sea, the mountainous terrains of Lantau Island, and the Ngong Ping Plateau. Inspired by the touching events in the movie, this tour also explores the quaint Tai O Fishing Village, a peaceful floating village.

The six-kilometer journey via Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car takes approximately 25 minutes. 

For the media experiential day, our itinerary started at the Tai O Fishing Village. We then enjoyed a vegetarian lunch at Po Lin Monastery, where the Big Buddha is also a stone’s throw away. Due to the foggy weather at the time, we opted not to take the 200+ steps to see the Big Buddha. Instead, we boarded a Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car and enjoyed a breathtaking bird's eye view of Lantau Island before reaching the Citygate Outlets terminal in Tung Chung.

Tai O Fishing Village

What would have been a perfect spot for a BINI dance cover was the Tai O Fishing Village, one of the film’s locations we visited via a chartered bus from Disney Explorers Lodge. Co-sponsored by the Hong Kong Tourism Board, the nearly one-hour journey took us to the far end of Lantau Island. If you are commuting, you can take the train from Central to MTR Tung Chung Station followed by Bus 11 to Tai O. The journey takes about 45 minutes.

Because chartered buses are not allowed to enter the Tai O Promenade, we took a five-minute walk while passing by some empty public housing buildings. The tour guide told me it was because people were hesitant to live in a place far from Central and other urban areas. Still, I found the public housing units in Hong Kong beautifully designed compared to the colorfully painted bungalows in our country.

Upon reaching the Tai O Promenade, we took a boat ride around the fishing village that abounds with floating houses that seemingly reflect the personality and economic status of its owner. I spotted the blue-painted house with flowers that was featured in the movie as well as the Tai O Creek Pedestrian Bridge where they took a top shot of a supporting actor riding a fishing boat. 

One of the characters in Under Parallel Skies found contentment living the simple life in Tai O Fishing Village.

We then transferred to a speedboat and took our chance to spot a dolphin. But luck was not on our side on that day. Still, we passed by the iconic Tai O Heritage Hotel and got a glimpse of the part of the Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge connecting to Macau, the world’s longest sea-crossing bridge.

Tai O Fishing Village is hidden away at the far end of Lantau Island.

Tai O Fishing Village has some eye-catching stilt houses.

The Tai O Pedestrian Bridge connects people to the Tai O Market.

A portion of the Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge connecting to Macau can be seen from our boat.

Tai O Fishing Village is hidden away at the far end of Lantau Island.

Tai O Fishing Village has some eye-catching stilt houses.

The Tai O Pedestrian Bridge connects people to the Tai O Market.

A portion of the Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge connecting to Macau can be seen from our boat.


The next stop was the Tai O Market, where you could find shrimp paste, salty fish, and dried seafood. Because of the inclement weather, some restaurants were closed during our visit. Instead, we had a big fishball on a stick for a snack before heading to a nearby Buddhist Temple.


The tour guide also offered us frozen pineapple treats, ending our Tai O journey. 

Inflatable dolphin at Tai O Market
We did find a dolphin, albeit an inflatable one in Tai O Market.

Avenue of Stars

After crossing Salisbury Road, we arrived at the luxury shopping mall K11 Musea. We then looked for the Avenue of Stars facing the Victoria Harbour. The dock revealed a breathtaking view of the cityscape of Central, Hong Kong, located on the north shore of Hong Kong Island. 

It was a surreal moment to see the skyscrapers I usually see on postcards and fridge magnets, and recently, on the photo opp backdrop of Under Parallel Skies screening back home. Fittingly enough, the Avenue of Stars immortalizes the city's biggest entertainment stars including martial artist Bruce Lee via handprints and statues. It also doubles as a path for runners. 

I can now understand why the most introspective conversations between the movie’s lead characters Parin (Win Metawin) and Iris (Janella Salvador) took place at the Avenue of Stars. The idyllic setting gives off a zen vibe that will help you find a certain level of inner peace. I sat there, quiet for about half an hour, just watching cruise ships pass by and appreciating the modern architecture from afar. 

The picturesque view seemingly muted any plans of doing a Pantropiko dance cover and just made my mind calm and still.

The dazzling cityscape of Central seen from the Avenue of the Stars was one of the highlights of our trip to Hong Kong.

City-Guided Tour 

As we were pressed for time, we were not able to experience the city-guided tour, save for the aforementioned stop at the Avenue of Stars.

The city-guided tour begins with a stroll through the streets of Little Thailand, a beautiful community painted in Thai culture, cuisine, and remembrances. The next stop is the Tin Hau Temple, located in the bustling Yau Ma Tei, which is a “Declared Monument” where fishermen flock to worship the Goddess of the Sea. You will then move to the Bird Market, where a colorful parade of exotic feathers is bound to catch your eye.

A celebration of some of Hong Kong’s biggest names, the Avenue of Stars is next on the tour—this avenue has some of the best views of the breathtaking Victoria Harbour. What's exciting about this tour is the voyage on the Star Ferry which crosses the stunning Victoria Harbour with views of the city’s majestic skyscrapers.

Concluding this tour is the unassumingly symbolic Causeway Bay Sogo Crossing where the many roads of Hong Kong quickly intersect and transition, all amid the bustling culture of Hong Kong. 

Sheraton Hong Kong Tung Chung Hotel 

After a full day of touring, guests can come home to relax at the Sheraton Hong Kong Tung Chung Hotel. I was assigned to a room on the fifth floor overlooking a construction site but the scenic Tung Chung Bay and a beautiful view of the Hong Kong International Airport made up for it.

Sheraton Hong Kong Tung Chung Hotel is one of the prime hotels in downtown Tung Chung. 

Just a reminder: the Hong Kong Government has implemented a restriction on the use of disposable plastic products in hotels. Better bring your toothpaste and tumbler for water refills. It’s good though that Sheraton Hong Kong Tung Chung Hotel has replaced all amenities that were wholly or partly made of plastic with non-plastic alternatives. 

The five-star hotel also provides a free shuttle to the MTR station, which can bring you to the popular dining and shopping mall Citygate Outlets, and that is a story for another day.

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Disclaimer: This trip was sponsored by Klook.