Look It Up!

01 October 2011

Hong Kong, Day 1

Hong Kong Revisited

Last week, my siblings and I had the chance to revisit a place close to our hearts. This time, the trip was more special because we were joined by Rhuel and Trish.

We visited Hong Kong, that charming place where we spent 2 weeks of our summer vacation in 1999. Back then, Tatay was assigned to work there so we stayed in his flat with Nanay. We had friends to show us around.
This time, we had no tour guides to depend on. We only had my travel-savvy brother to rely upon. We called him our "poor" guide. He prepared our itinerary, booked everything, and picked out places to visit and restaurants to try.

Originally, we were not part of the plan. But the Cebu Pacific seat sales were so tempting. Rhuel and I were able to get round trip tickets for 2 at only Php7,000.00 more or less. I wanted my sister to be there too. Otherwise, I won't have a fashion consultant who will scold me when I try on baduy clothes. So she bought a ticket too. It was more expensive though.

Rhuel, Barney (who is blogless), and I left Manila at around 8 p.m. Toto (of galapinoy) and Trish (of manilaandbeyond) were leaving a day later. Our flight was delayed, as usual. We were dead tired when we got on the plane because we still reported to work in the morning. We also stayed up late the night before to do some last minute packing. We dozed off in the plane.
We arrived in Hong Kong at about 10 p.m. The airport was still impressive.

It was huge with functioning walkalators. I'm grateful that we didn't encounter any problem with the immigration people. I know they're quite hot on Filipinos due to several drug trafficking issues plus last year's hostage-taking incident. My husband even advised me not to bring my Pinoy shirts. Mahirap na daw. We got through immigration with no questions asked. Yey.

We had some money changed at the airport. Rate was USD1.00 = HKD7.10. Tip: better have your money changed in the city. Rate there was USD1.00 = HKD 7.80.
We were riding Bus A21 that will take us to the guest house. We had a hard time finding our bus because we were looking at the wrong place. Hehe. We thought we were supposed to buy tickets first before riding the bus. But when I went to the ticketing office, the lady there shooed me away and told me to pay on the bus. Okay, whatever.

The bus fare costs HKD33.00 per person. I was nervous because I know that bus commuters use some sort of card to pay. We didn't have that card. The driver might not accept cash payment. It didn't help that the foreigner ahead of us in the line had a coupon which he presented to the driver. When it was our turn, I showed HKD100.00 to the driver as payment for 3 persons. The driver pointed me to his cash box and I dropped our payment there. He didn't give me any change. Good thing he only owed us HKD1.00. So make sure you have the exact amount when you hop on these buses and you don't have the Octopus Card.

The bus was a double decker. Yey! We went up to the second level to enjoy the view. Our stop was 13th from the airport. We were apprehensive because we've traveled a considerable distance already and the bus has yet to stop. What if it won't stop until someone presses the buzzer to get off? What if we already passed by the 13th stop? Praning! I was relieved to see the bus' signboard say that we were near the first stop. Whew.

We were staying at the Yiu Fai Guest House located at the Golden Crown Court building along Nathan Road in Tsim Sha Tsui. Traffic was quite slow in Nathan Road due to some constructions/road works. I was worried that the reception at Yiu Fai would close down and we won't be able to check in.

We arrived at Yiu Fai at about 12 midnight. The owner and another guy were there. Yey. They made us pay for the entire accommodation cost for 4 nights. Nyay. Eh we only had USD200.00 converted to HKD at the airport. That won't be enough. We needed HKD20.00 more. Good thing the owner was nice. He allowed us to pay the additional HKD20.00 the following day.

We went to our designated room. It was shocking at first because the room was small and the place was quite old. But we learned to love it eventually. It was actually nice because it was well-maintained despite its old age. The rooms and the bathroom were clean. Besides, we only needed it to sleep and take a bath. So it was more than enough. :)

We went outside after putting our things down. It was dinner time. Although it was past midnight already, it was not scary at all. The streets were still alive and bustling with people.

Some shops were still open. Unfortunately, the restaurants were closed. We ended up eating at McDonald's (again because we also had our lunch at McDo near Terminal 3). Okay na rin because we had the chance to try the Grilled Chicken Burger (which we failed to do in Singapore). It was disappointing though. It tasted Indian to us and we're not exactly fond of Indian food. The fries were not okay either. They were soggy and cold.

We went around the area after dinner. We saw the Sheraton Hotel and some directions to the Avenue of Stars. But we were scared of venturing to unknown places so we decided to go back to Yiu Fai. We showered and slept.

1 comment:

  1. I was happy reading your experience in Hong Kong. I already see what will be happening to me when I get there next year.