Hongkong Adventure (Day 1 – 060508)
As promised, I’m posting my entries on my recent trip. Yes, I spent my long weekend in HK. 4D3N, that is! Together with 3 other friends and 4 new found friends, I headed to HK last Thursday. For easier reference, here is the complete cast of characters:
- Nikki – my officemate and Bohol companion (remember her?)
- Candy – my choirmate and ever reliable friend
- Mina – my choirmate with a new found love
- Rose – Mina’s officemate and close friend
- Loloy – Mina and Rose’s officemate
- Jap – Mina’s new found love 🙂
- Fred – Jap’s brother
Getz? If we are clear on the cast of characters, let’s continue on with my HK adventure story.
We got the first flight last Thursday, June 5, so we all arrived in HK at exactly 10:00 a.m. In fairness to Cebu Pacific, they were on time this time 🙂 All my companions were HK first-timers so I had to take the lead and explain the place a bit. Oh hah, feeling tourist guide. Oh well, at least I have a fall back in case I decide to shift careers. Hehehe!
We were booked in Manhattan Condotel along Bonham Strand in Central. The area wasn’t that nice at first for it resembles Binondo, but the unit was fairly conjusive and clean. The room gave a good homey feeling… so I was generally ok with it.
We were originally scheduled to go to Ocean Park at 1pm but my companions were a bit tired so they opted to have lunch and rest for a while. It was a little over 1pm and we still have to go to the World Wide House to (1) find a money changer outlet and (2) buy Disney and Ocean Park tickets. Yep, I don’t buy ticket at Disney and OP gates as I can get discounted ones at World Wide. My aunt taught me this so I could save some money.
As we all ran late for OP (it’s really not advisable to go to OP at 3pm as it closes at 6pm… it’s really not worth the money to spend a 3-hour tour in OP), we decided rehash our pre-set itinerary. We explored Central to familiarize my companions with the place and hopefully do their initial shopping spree.
So, after an hour or so roaming in Central, we headed to find the Peak Tram. I wasn’t that familiar on how to get to the Peak Tram as we took a cab when we went to the Peak in my first HK trip. It was as loooong walk to the Peak Tram. My companions and I were all exhausted. Chinese people are not fluent in English and are a bit snob so we had a difficulty in asking for directions. We almost jumped for joy when we saw a nice tall building with brass sign that said “THE PEAK TRAM”. We did find our way to The Peak.
We instantly headed to the ticket counter and secured our pass to the tram and Skyline Terrace. It was a different tram experience… a very steep tram experience. Going up The Peak was a bit exciting for me as I have heard lots of good feedback about the place. The Peak is a must-go place in HK as it gives an overwhelming look of the entire Hongkong Island. Any HK trip wouldn’t be the same without The Peak Adventure. See for yourself…
Time flew so fast that we didn’t notice it was nearing 7pm already and we still need to go to Kowloon to witness the most famous Symphony of Lights. Hurriedly, we all took a bus to going to Star Ferry as it’s much more convenient and fast to take ferry going to Kowloon.
We were just in time for the Symphony of Lights. Lots of spectators, despite the unending drizzle, were eagerly waiting for the lights’ show to start. And when it did, all of us were amazed to see the colorful and synchronized lights blinking all over the buildings in Hongkong Island.
Such a nice way to end the tour of the day!
It was dinner time and all of us were dead hungry so we headed to the first cheapest Chinese resto… Cafe de Coral. This one actually turned into the official resto of our entire stay in HK, hehehe!
Our day didn’t just end in that dinner. When we headed back home, we opted to take a bus as there was a station near the Grand Clock Tower (also in Kowloon). We saw this bus with a sign that said “Central”. Since it was the nearest landmark to our condotel, we didn’t think twice and hopped in. The bus instantly left. Half of us (Mina, Rose, Jap and Fred) were left behind. Thanks to Globe’s roaming service and we were able to send them message and tell them to take the next bus to Central. We’ll just have to wait for them in front of the World Wide House.
The bus ride was a bit long. I got instantly confused why it would take us more than 20 minutes to get to Central. Nikki was in low batt mode so I didn’t bother to tell her my confusion. Candy, who was seated directly behind me was also exhausted and fell asleep. Loloy was too far from me so I didn’t also bother to talk to him. I was trying locate us as I have a map with me but I really can’t recall all the streets that we passed through. And so I thought, we got lost.
Mina, who was on another bus with 3 other companions, already texted me and also got a bit worried on the long bus ride that we were all in. I didn’t answer back as I was lost and confused myself. I dragged Nikki, Candy and Loloy out of the bus when I noticed that we were the only ones left there. And I announced, “Friends, sorry! Nawawala tayo!” I really do not know where we were. I was hoping that Mina and the 3 others will notice us as their bus would pass by. And so they did.
To cut the long story short, we were able to ask for directions, find an MTR station and head back home… safely!
I had some lessons learned:
(1) Always carry a map. Map is such a useful piece of paper for easier navigation. It’s also a good reference in asking directions most especially in lost-in-translation kind of place like Hongkong.
(2) When in HK, find the nearest MTR station. No one can ever get lost in MTR. It can take you anywhere you want to go.
(3) Getting lost makes you see you things and lets you explore the place in a very exciting and unusual manner. At least I can say: “I got lost in HK!” Hahaha!
So, that was our day 1.
To be continued…