Traveling has always been an innate yearning for me. I love exploring new places, culture, and seeing new faces. I always like to get immersed into foreign places and just engulf everything around me. To be blunt, I have troubles of letting go to places I’ve been to. My feet would always beg me to take them back.
Hong Kong is the very first country I traveled to out of the Philippines, and it certainly made me crave to go back.
“Sometimes best decisions sprung out from impulse”
My cousin Steffi and I had our usual night at a cafe: killing time while waiting for our mothers to finish their bingo sessions. I was browsing through the internet when we saw that there were ticket sales in Philippine Airlines. We luckily found a good deal for Hong Kong, where a roundtrip ticket from Manila priced at $148.10 (roughly around Php 6,812.60). We gave each other our look of “Hey, why not?” Definitely a good steal. When it was time to pick our moms up, we asked permission to go and when they gave us the green light, we immediately booked our flight the next day. I was thrilled. My first trip out of the country and it’s just the two of us!
“It’s okay to get lost”
We arrived at Hong Kong around 2PM in the afternoon. The Hong Kong International Airport is huge! To me, it feels more like a big mall as to be an airport (Btw, they have a cinema XD). After going through the standard protocol of customs and immigration, we can finally say achievement unlocked: Hello Hong Kong!
First things first, we need to make our way to the Hotel to freshen up and drop off our bags. We took the Vigor airport shuttle bus, which was roughly about an hour ride. We didn’t mind though, we got to sight-see while heading to the Hotel.
Once at the hotel, we immediately processed check-in and headed to our room. I need to forewarn you guys, the hotel rooms in Hong Kong are space savvy. So there’s not really much leg room to move around much (I mean, you can sit on the toilet while brushing your teeth at the same time haha). But hey, what’s important is we have a room with a clean bathroom. And the big plus is: A free phone with internet data! It’s sort of like those wifi eggs but instead of being a pocket wifi, they let us use an actual phone, which is awesome!
Once we freshened up, Steffi and I headed out to the streets. We just walked around, tempering and embracing the ambience of the place. We located were we can take the trains, convenient stores, and money changer would be. Luckily we had the wifi phone and we can check Google Maps and Waze in case.
But alas, we did get lost. We were trying to find the original Tim Ho Wan resto, because our cousin Cha said I should eat the pork buns there first despite having a branch in Manila. We were somewhere in Kowloon and we kept going around and around in circles. GPS wasn’t helpful, because they either turn or lagged out. Haha. After feeling defeat, we ended up eating at a local resto because we were really tired and hungry. It was satiating, we ordered their local custard buns and some pasta.
We then went out again to walk around some more. Hong Kong is a busy place, I feel like everyone was rushing to get somewhere. My stay here actually made me love walking around more when I got back, people noticed my pace getting faster. haha
And not to leave out, we tried one street food that has become very popular around the world: Egg Waffles! They were tasty and filling, it’s a great snack on its own but I think it would go great with some ice cream or jam too.
Heading back to the hotel, we decided to take the train. One of the things I loved the most of Hong Kong is their MTR station. It makes commuting such a breeze! You have this e-wallet card where you charge your fare and you go through stations like a secret agent by tapping them onto the scanners. We got the 3-day unlimited tourist cards, so we used them to our hearts content ❤
We got back to the hotel tired, but feeling accomplished. We took all those facebook posts of “Let’s Get Lost” literally.
“When you see the castle, and know you’re home”
Ahh! Day 2 is fulfilling my childhood’s dream! To go to Disneyland!
We got up really early, bought breakfast at the nearby 7/11 and off to disneyland. Did you guys know there’s a special railway that goes straight to Disneyland? This made me love the railway system even more.
Just as you would expect, I was surrounded by kids and also felt like a kid again heading into the theme park. Our favorite disney classic songs played all around the park, and we got to meet a few princesses too! We also got to meet Mickey and Minnie as well.
We went sightseeing during the morning, my geek self felt giddy seeing that Star Wars has became part of the theme park as well. (Dark Vader entrance music soulfully plays as we stroll along).
But I think the Lion King Musical was by far my favorite event. Steffi and I were singing to the songs, and we completely had goosebumps and feeling “kilig” when they played Can you feel the love tonight. Ah, so many memories.
We stayed until closing time, so we were able to watch the parade and of course…the fireworks! They weren’t kidding when they say that Disneyland has the best fireworks. The whole park went black, and then they made the facade of Sleeping beauty’s castle as a screen where all you favorite disney characters come to greet you. And yep, the fireworks show was amazing. It’s really a must to stay for the fireworks.
When the crew finally wave their goodbyes, we cued in with the rest of the audience back to the train and headed back to the hotel. It was pretty late, but it still felt pretty safe to walk around the city since there’s still alot of people. Hong Kong is one of the cities that never sleeps.
“Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.”
For our third day, our itinerary for the day is reserved for Ngong Ping Village. There are three ways to get to the village: 1) Take a Taxi, 2) Ride a Bus, and 3) Cable Car. And obviously, we opted for the cable car because I looked up that they would be closed next week for a month of maintenance.
Steffi and I got up early, bought quick meals in 7/11 and took the train that goes to the Tung Chung Station. If you go through exit B, you’ll be just a 10 minute walk away from the Ngong Ping cable car ticket office.
The line was indeed long, but it was okay since it was moving. I think it took us roughly about 15 minutes of queuing until we got to our cabin. And once we got on, off we go to the village!
You have two choices for cabins: The regular one and the crystal one. The difference is that the crystal cabin has a glass bottom, so you can definitely see the world beneath you! It’s really scenic and thrilling to look down!
It was a 25-minute ride. I enjoyed watching the hiking trail below us as Steffi focuses on Snapchatting every bit of the cabin. Haha.
The village was beautiful! It made me feel like being in Mulan. Haha. Chinese folk music played overhead, and even though there are commercial and western shops, the village maintained their buildings and architecture ever since.
We didn’t buy any tour packages, so we just wandered around the village and went sight-seeing on our own.
We also decided to climb up the stairs to the Big Buddha. And yep, sudden realization that I need to work on my Cardio kicked in. Haha.
When we got to the top, we prayed and made a wish. We then just stayed for a while to enjoy the magnificent view of the village from the very top. It’s really high up because you can actually see the condensation of the clouds!
Heading down, we went around the temples and had lunch in the village as well. We had the usual pork buns and roasted duck. We also went to this special tea shop and had a cup of Pu’er tea while waiting for the rain to stop.
When the rained stop, headed back to ride the cabin back to the city, with the view of the village still lingering as we head to bed.
That’s about it for my Hong Kong Trip. The last day included going to the mall and the night markets to shop for souvenirs. I didn’t really take any photos that time since my hands were pretty busy carrying things. haha.
There’s still so much more to explore in Hong Kong. We haven’t even set foot in Macau. Oh well, another reason to go back ❤
Have you guys been to Hong Kong? Let me know about it!
Thanks for reading and have a lovely day!
x Camille Marie