Hong Kong Travel Diary 2016: Day 1

I finally got to blog about my Hong Kong trip!!! It was my first time to get out of the country and pay my own expenses. For me it’s actually satisfying to spend your hard-earned money for experiences like this. First up is our flight to Hong Kong. We booked our flight with Chariot Travel and Tours for 4 days and 3 nights. We chose Cebu Pacific and the booking was pretty smooth, our scheduled flight to Hong Kong was at 6:00 am. We arrived a little early at the airport and had 2 hours to spare since our flight was delayed. We finally got on the plane at around 7:20 am and our flight took 2 hours. Riding the airplane for me is like a roller coaster especially when it’s taking off or landing since it was my first time.

Upon arrival, we were immediately greeted with a long line of people for check-in. I must say Hong Kong International Airport is huge! We had to take a train to get to the Immigration Center.

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We got through immigration in a breeze, After that we had to meet with our high school friend T. who is currently living in Hong Kong. As you exit out of the Immigration Center this work of art will welcome you entitled “Our City‧Our Dream” showcasing the symbol on Hong Kong’s flag, the Bauhinia flower.

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I wasn’t able to get the whole image of the artwork as we were in a hurry. You can check out the amazing artwork here.

We weren’t able to get the Octopus card at the airport because T. was hurrying off to catch the buffet he helped schedule us. Time is important here in Hong Kong. I highly recommend that you should purchase the Octopus card because we had such a hassle getting an MTR card when we were going places. It’s a necessity!

HKIA ART

As you go towards the exit you’ll also notice the several displays of artworks that will capture your wandering gaze from Hong Kong International Airport’s amazing interior.

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On our way to the Hostel

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View from the double decker bus. It was a 1 hour ride and I couldn’t sleep due to my excitement so I just had to take photos and videos.

We took the double decker bus from the airport going to our hostel. The place we stayed at was Cosmic Guest House. It’s conveniently located at Tsim Sha Tsui and we had no hassle going to our destinations like The Peak, Disneyland, Ocean Park Hong Kong and not to mention the night market. The attendant was kind and accommodating, and our room came with free Wi-Fi, Hot shower (on some days, I guess?), Air-conditioned and there’s a convenient hair dryer outside of the room. Although the building has a lot of Indians, so if you’re a group of girls better huddle together because what happened to us was that on our last day this Indian guy was staring at me (with obvious lust as told by my boyfriend) inside the elevator and my boyfriend had to glare at him. I honestly didn’t notice because I was busy, stupidly smiling at a cute baby in front of me.

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After checking in at our hostel and leaving our luggages, our first stop was eating a buffet at International Grand Stanford Hotel. T. recommended this place to us, he said that their buffet offers delectable food and he was right. Their luxurious buffet offered an array of sushi, seafood, chinese food, desserts and salad. It was limited but it was sooo good, fresh and their staff is nice and accommodating. Unfortunately, I left my appetite in Manila so all I hogged was salmon. If you’ve been following me on Instagram you’d notice my salmon cravings. I also had a hard time getting some of the food because two of the chef’s were pointing at me and gossiping whenever I passed by their station and theirs were the displays of cooked beef! I JUST WANTED FOOD. WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM MEHHHH. But seriously, It made me very uncomfortable at that time and so I cannot get my beef on!

DSC_0446 copyWe spent HK$ 300 for the buffet

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but it was so worth it!

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Freshly cooked mussels and my 4th plate of salmon

Before going to Hong Kong, we had our itinerary already planned but due to time constraints we’ve left the fate of our trip to T. . .Well, mostly. Since we were newbies on travelling except for J. though. I was travelling with my boyfriend and J.

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It’s definitely inevitable comparing our home country when you’re in a different place. The roads are clean, people here obey the street signs, does not mindlessly litter everywhere, always stand on the right side of the escalator to make way for people who are in a hurry or step aside when people are exiting the MTR. I’m sure we can apply these basic things in our home country if we are able to do so in another country.

Next stop was Victoria Harbour which was just a walk away from Intercontinental Grand Stanford Hotel. A great fat burner after eating from the buffet.

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Victoria Harbour boasts a beautiful and picturesque view of Hong Kong which we are obviously blocking but in real life it’s a beautiful and scenic view. It just makes me want to just sit by the bayside and ponder about life. Definitely a great place to check out.

After the most satisfying view from Victoria Harbour, T. then took us to Hong Kong Park by foot. I enjoy walking at Hong Kong’s bustling city full of interesting, fashionable people. But sometimes the city isn’t just for me when I try to keep up with its fast-paced crowd.

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Hong Kong Park is filled with lush trees and a beautiful garden that is home to koi fish, frogs and aviaries. There’s also a Tai Chi garden, Fountain Plaza, Waterfall and the Tea Museum wherein you can learn more about the history of Chinese and British Tea. The park is also a place where you can see a lot of the youth who are playing Pokemon Go. This is a hotspot actually because I was playing at that time too (lol). I’m surprised that admist the busy cosmopolitan city there’s another beautiful place to escape and relax your mind.

After taking tourist-y selfies, our next stop was The Peak. We walked there on foot again and by the time we arrived, the place was packed with tourists. We had to get in line for 30 minutes. Well, It should have been 20 minutes thanks to some big group of tourist. We were cut in line by 10 people! And they’ve done this a lot! Tip: If you don’t want to get cut in line don’t let a child cut in front of you because then all of their families will cut in line and pretend that they were looking for the child or something but they really weren’t. This is one of the tactics they use. #HOKAGE Or build a barrier with your group of friends. I’m not gonna tell which nationality but the hint is: They’re very well known for having a bad rep as a tourist. THIS WAS MY BIGGEST PET PEEVE whenever we’re in line whether it was at Disneyland Hong Kong or Ocean Park. We all know waiting in line is such a drag but to cut in line and not to mention bring your whole family of 10 in is really unfair to the people behind you. #Reklamoday

Well enough of that.

Anyway, after paying for our ticket which I think was around HK$ 45 we had to wait in line for The Tram to arrive and this place was called THE PEAK FOR A REASON. Apologies if I didn’t have any photos of The Tram as there were many tourists and you know how we Pinoys are very careful with our gadgets especially in public. To tell you the truth, I’m glad that I didn’t whip out my camera because we had to stand inside the tram while it was going upward the steep mountain! And I was holding on for dear life because I thought I’d slip! Or if I didn’t hold on to anything I would make a domino effect of a crash landing to the people behind me. My hands never felt so alive like the time I was lifting weights! What a ride though. It felt like I was really lifting weights at the gym.

As you exit The Tram you’ll go straight to The Victoria Peak Mall where there are vendors selling souvenir items. There are even branded stores as you make your way inside.

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I noticed that Hong Kong offers a lot of cute and delectable pastries! You can also find a lot of these in MTR stations

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My boyfriend posing beside a Bruce Lee statue

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After the tiring walk, we took a break and sat down on the steps of The Peak Galleria where it’s a great place to people watch and breathe in Hong Kong’s fresh mountain air.

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I told you guys it’s similar to Baguio…but only more advanced.

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After regaining our strength T. took us to an unexpected nature walk and we obviously weren’t ready for it with J. wearing an oxford leather shoe and me being no good at physical exercise. But it’s a challenge we are willing to take!

The Lugard Road is definitely a great spot for joggers, dog walkers and hikers or people who like physical activities. You’d walk through the lush mountainous landscape and enjoy the fresh air. You can even get a beautiful view of Hong Kong’s cityscape as well as it’s seascape. A great view with the best of both worlds.

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At dusk you’ll notice the trail becomes lonelier and lonelier even as you pass by the abandoned houses that are perched at the top of the mountains. It took us 1 hour to finish the trail. And we were dead tired. One thing’s for sure people here like to walk. No wonder they’re fit and they usually sport sneakers. If you’re planning to go to Hong Kong it’s really advisable for you to wear comfortable shoes. After the trail we had to fall in line and take The Tram to go back down. We had dinner at Ichiran Ramen. The restaurant originated from Japan but made its way to Hong Kong. This is one of our biggest mistakes though, since we were here to try local Hong Kong dishes. But since we were dead tired we didn’t care which place we’d go to. But going to Ichiran Ramen is the best thing ever! They have the best ramen in town! No joke! Considering it originated from Japan. This place was packed too!

That’s it for our First day in Hong Kong! Have you been to Hong Kong? Share your experience in the comment below~ tumblr_inline_mjs0b4ee2p1qdlkyg

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