Travel: Revisiting Hongkong 2011

08 November 2011


Travel: Revisiting Hongkong 2011


Hongkong still remains to be one of the top ‘to go to’ international cities of most Filipinos. After an hour’s worth of plane ride from Manila, one gets to experience the perfect balance of the old and new – – with its heritage tours coupled with luxury shopping, land and water tours, temple and jewelry shop visits, amongst many others.


It’s been 3 years since I was last here. My first trip with my family was a typical family vacation – – staying a day and a night at Disneyland, spending an entire day in Ocean Park, and visiting relatives and friends in the three main islands – – Hongkong Island, Lantau Island, and New Territories.


My second trip to HongKong was more “tourist-y,” as we got to see more travel spots this time.


Day One. Arriving in HongKong during the wee hours of the morning meant the unavailability of the usual travel agent’s welcome at the airport. We prepared for the travel-agent-less trip to the hotel by downloading MTR (the official HongKong’s train system) maps and fare matrix. I also had my roaming activated to ensure availability of communication, in case we got lost (and yes, we got lost for a good hour or so at Tsuen Wan while we were dragging our luggage up and down the busy streets). Navigational instincts told me that we had to stay at the left side of the road, as odd-numbered buildings are there plus we had to go down the street as the building numbers increase as we go up.


Our hotel for 3 days and 2 nights was Silka Hotel (formerly known as Dorsett Hotel). This hotel was relatively bigger, cleaner, and brighter than the hotel we stayed at three years ago in HongKong Central.
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Our first lunch in HongKong was McDonald’s. I know. I know. We were supposed to try out authentic Chinese restaurants. But being overtly famished coupled with the idea of searching for an authentic resto with an English-speaking waiter was not an exactly good combination. Hence, we had to settle for the nearest familiar restaurant in town. McDonald’s with Spicy Black Pepper Burgers!
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Finally a non-Mcdo meal in HongKong.
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We bought the MTR tourist daypasss. We got unlimited MTR rides for 24 hours.
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Our first target destination was Central. Particularly, the Louis Vuitton store at Central. Happy happy joy joy. Time to look for another sister bag for my LV Neverfull GM bag and LV Rabiera bags. LV bags in HongKong are cheaper. My LV Neverfull GM bag which was bought in Greenbelt was 10,000-pesos more expensive! However, hotstamping of LV bags in HK takes 2 weeks to complete. Hotstamping in the LV branch in Makati takes 30 minutes.
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Time to pay my dues. A 10-minute walk from Louis Vuitton was all it took for us to visit the HSBC Main Building.
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HSBC right lion Stitt.
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HSBC left lion Stephen.
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We boarded the MRT to go to the Temple market for pasalubong shopping.
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Day two. City tour around HongKong.
Aboard the tour bus, we got to take pictures of HongKong which we normally couldn’t see aboard the MTR — Residential district, countless red Crown cabs, street signs, buildings (take note of the Filipino brand San Miguel sign atop a building), islands, track for dog racing, billboards, etc.
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Our first city tour stop. Avenue of the Stars. Tourist warning: Make sure that nobody takes your picture using his/her camera. Our tour guide’s companion took our picture with his DLSR and came back an hour later carrying breakable picture plates with our photos on them. Each plate costs HKD 160!
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Second stop. JW Jewelry with its Filipina usherette and Pacquaio posters. I bought a rotating fan pendant. Per feung shui, the crystal-encased four-bladed fan pendant brings luck and prosperity.
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Third stop. Chocolate Empire. For everything chocolate from chocolate-covered Durian, strawberry, nut, etc.
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Fourth stop. Victoria Peak. A view of the residential district below. A view of the most expensive codominium (approximately 49 M pesos) nearby.
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Fifth stop. Aberdeen Fishing Village, contrast of new yachts and old house boats.
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Sixth stop. Jumbo Floating Restaurant. Yes, this was the same restaurant floating on Manila Bay several years ago.
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Next stop. Macau Ferry. We were booked for Macau at 3:30 PM. As we still had approximately 2 hours to spare, we went around the Macau ferry mall to shoot. Read more about Macau here.
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Going back from Macau to Hongkong was nauseating. We were in the ferry for more than an hour due to rough seas. The best medicine for any illness? Shopping (who says laughter is the best medicine?). Off to night market shopping at ladies’ market.
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Day three was a public holiday. We decided to go back to Central to check out more luxury shops. I love the prices! Got my new Ceramic watch, tax free. Happy happy joy joy.
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On the way to the St. John’s Cathedral, overlooking the HSBC Building, the building is full of people, eating, drinking, laughing.
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Thanksgiving at the St. John’s Cathedral.
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On our way back to the hotel to prepare our luggage, we took notice of a lot of old couples on the MTR.
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Love love love HongKong. We’ll back in 3 years’ time again. Unless I find another country with cheaper LV bags and Cartier bracelets. =P Next international stop, Revisiting Singapore.


Travel Spot: HongKong
Address: HongKong
Telephone Number: N/A
Budget: PHP 12,000 inclusive of 3D2N hotel accommodation, 2 buffet breakfasts, hotel transfers, one city tour, and Macau tour

Highly imperative that you have your roaming activated for emergency reasons.
I highly recommend that you have an international bank to ensure that you can withdraw money (my local banks usually go offline on me when I’m in another country).


Feel free to leave your comments.

Explore the world we live in,

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Mai Pascua


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