The Month of the Heart of Winter

the new leaf of January is my Month!

Hong Kong, Day One

After the Manila hostage-taking incident of Hong Kong nationals last September, husband and I concede with our plans of visiting Hong Kong. Even my family especially my Tatay didn’t approve us getting to that foreign ground. It is because everyone we knew feared that the relationship between the two countries (PI and HK) wasn’t all right and that security would be a question too. 

It is also because our ticket was expiring soon, we find the schedule a little too tight for us last year, and so, we totally scratch the trip from our calendar. But really I have that slight regret about us not taking the FREE tickets 😦 .

Dear Elna, 

I’m writing you to follow up with your target date for the trip for two to Hong Kong that you won last August. You may avail the prize until March 2011. Do let me know until December 21 if you already have a specific date in mind. Please provide name in your passport and the plus one that you are taking with you during the trip. 

Regards,
 AJ
 

I was still probably blessed 🙂 when the organizers emailed me last December 16, repeating to me the freebie and it’s not that, they told me that they extended the tickets until March 2011. I was like jumping in happiness and excitement, who wouldn’t be? Without further ado, I started reading reviews and forums; I need a crystal-clear guide to this trip.

HK visit in 2008

 

My previous visits to Hong Kong were different from this upcoming one. Before, everything was provided from accommodation, transfers, tour, meals, etc. –all you need is to make yourself ready for the adventure. And this time, it would be like Hongkong 101. I would be like a first time HK tourist like my husband, should learn the basics, the do’s and don’ts.

I picked the date; our travel was scheduled on February 12-14 – why not? I would love to celebrate Heart’s Day away from Manila this time. And that would be my idea of getting a vacay, there should be a justifiable occasion so to give good reason for the expense, hehehe…

I have been reading a lot of forums three weeks prior to our departure. There were plenty of things to complete like we need to book a hostel, plan the places to go, check fares and fees, bus routes and so on and so forth. Coincidentally during my planning husband was able to make contact with his HK based colleague. To make the story fast forward, the friend arrange our accommodation 🙂 .

Feb 12 – we reached NAIA Terminal 2 at 8am; our flight was scheduled at 10am. We ensure we don’t get late this time, our Boracay flight last month was a big lesson for us, right Honey? 🙂 After we checked in our luggage and finished the immigration we spent our time at the departure lounge. The first thing we did was to grab something to eat; I don’t remember us having breakfast that morning back home. We had coffee and pastry from Café France; I remember it was still Delifrance the last time I boarded at Terminal 2. We even get by to check Duty Free shops and compare prices outside. 

It was already 9:30am, (boarding time on boarding pass says 9:15am) when boarding was announced and gate was opened.

Yes, this is it! We’re flying via PR0318/Airbus 320. The airliner left Manila on time and I was happy that for the first time I am flying with husband out of the country.

 

I always love airline meals especially of PAL because they served rice meals 🙂 . The last time I boarded Cathay Pacific we were given a sandwich only, so, most of the passengers asked for an extra sandwich. The common Economy Class service meal of PAL composed of a rice meal (pork or chicken), fruit juice or cola and pastry (Red Ribbon). Husband and I was so satisfied, we were thinking at least, we saved spending hard cash for lunch 🙂 .

We arrived in Hong Kong on time, 12:15pm via HKIA Terminal 1. It was freezing cold when we first stepped outside the aircraft going to Immigration. It was so different from Manila’s average temperature. Husband and I didn’t wait long for our luggage to arrive, and our way out. That was our first challenge –to look for the bus stops and board the correct bus going to the city. We were told to ride Bus E11 going to Tin Hau, where our hostel is located. And btw, I slide a Hong Kong Map on my bag before we went out of the airport. It was our handbook during this entire DIY flight.

Since the friend was not available to pick us at the airport he gave us a detailed direction on how and where to descend. It was our first time to ride a double-decker bus; we chose to stay at the upper level so we can enjoy the scenery as we head for Hong Kong Island.

Bus E11 last stop was Tin Hau Station, which is located at 1 King’s Road inside Park Tower, so, it was very convenient for us. This leading also to the MTR Station and right next to it was Golden Court, which was our HK address for the time being. I had very little idea of what awaits us; Google wasn’t able to show me enough info on my searches for “Golden Court”. Anyway, we asked the lobby guard for Jimmy whom husband had speak before leaving Manila. I swear, I didn’t understand any from that guard and the only lucid word I heard was 11th Floor.

Our coming was expected and we were welcomed by Doray, who by the way is a Filipina. She directed us immediately to our room and there goes me, examining the basic room facilities.

 

The space can fit in two/three people, equipped with twin bed and a single bed, which we used as station for our luggage.

There’s television with TFC channel, ac, private bathroom with water heater, two pairs of slippers, towels, wardrobe cabinet and wifi (specified spot is on that single bed only). Just don’t expect anything posh because for HKD300/day only, this one is value for your money.

Soon as we get settled, we went out to see husband’s friend. After a few turns and wrong ways, we met up Joel N. He and husband met three years ago and became associates because of their former boss, S. And even after Joel’s departure in Manila they speak to once in a while. I didn’t have the chance to meet him in Manila, so, it’s my first time to meet him in HK. It was a short meet because Joel was still at work. He let us use one of his mobile phone so calls and sms would be cheaper.

And our adventure begins, from a corner store that sells street food husband and I get hold of something to eat.

Fish Balls and Egg Puffs cost us HKD28

It is because we were not yet accustomed to riding buses, trams and MTR we wander Causeway Road by foot. We passed by Hong Kong Central Library our way to Causeway Bay.

And Sogo was having Clearance Sale so imagine the people that flocked the district that day. We went to Sogo for a quick look around but bought nothing despite my almost liking to buy a Le Pliage bag.

We went from corner to corner until we get to Times Square. This is one of HK’s mega-malls, flagship stores are Marks & Spencer and Lane Crawford. We were partly looking for a place to dine in however, we didn’t find any that would fit our budget (should be HKD30/meal only Honey 🙂 ), hehehe…as this writing progress, I learned that there’s a City Super at the basement of Times Square and one of the famous stop is Curry in a Hurry.

McDonald’s was just across Times Square so we settle down and ordered extra value meals. We had EVM Quarter Pounder HKD30.80, Quarter Pounder with Cheese (Ala Carte) HKD19.20 and McWings Platter HKD26.  We both love this entrée!

Afterwards, we went to TST (Tsim Sha Tsui) by MTR. From Causeway Bay we took the Sheung Wan direction to Admiralty, then, took the interchange line going to Tsue Wan.

I suggest you get an Octopus Card, an electronic fare card that is accepted by almost all forms of public transport, convenience store and restaurants. It’s easy and convenient to use and saves time especially for people on the go. Adult cost HKD150.00

Nathan Road wasn’t new to me, and TST side is still recognizable despite my shadowy eyes. Hello Shopping District!

During those two occasions that I luckily joined the company-sponsored pleasure trip, TST is our HK address, Marco Polo to be exact. I’ve been to Gateway and Prince both. This side of HK offers non-stop shopping opportunities and I can’t help but step in to outlet stores located along Peking Road and Canton Road. T’is is Hongkong, shopping is all ye round 🙂 !

Getting around this side of the city is easy however, I warn you –a comfy shoe is a must because walking would be non-stop too.

We head home around 11pm as we need to catch the MTR or else we would be compelled to take an expensive cab to Tin Hau.

I went home with an Esprit purchase, while husband bought a bonnet from H&M for HKD69.90

 

Back to Tin Hau, we realized that we skipped dinner and it’s because the vicinity is classified as residential most eatery were already closed. By chance, we discover that a 7-11 store was located at the other side of Golden Court so we immediately grab hold of Carbonara for HKD13.90 and Steamed Rice with Beef Brisket and Tendon for HKD20.50; Coke in can sold for HKD6. It was so cold outside; the temperature had dropped down so after reheating our food, we went back to our room.

We stayed underneath the blankets while watching Pinoy shows via TFC, I was so tired, my legs were in pain. I cannot recall who dozed up first between husband and me. All I remember was we had a grand time 🙂 !

One response to “Hong Kong, Day One

  1. Pingback: just because we miss Hong Kong « The Month of the Heart of Winter

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