Cities like Hong Kong aren’t suited for lazy ass person like me. I don’t like walking. Here in the Philippines we have every bit of transportation even for small distance travel (hence the crazy traffic!). So I got myself in a very exhausting trip. It felt like my feet were about to fall off from my legs. But first, let me backtrack of what made us (me and my younger sister) took this impromptu trip!
Originally my sister asked my youngest sister but she declined, I said I’m willing to go & I’ll pay for our tickets. I booked us plane tickets that also served as my birthday gift for her (her birthday was in June, too). She said that it would be our “test run” for upcoming Japan trip & if we could travel by ourselves. And since I’m back and had written this entry you could say that we did it but not without minor stumble upon! It was kinda nerve-wracking because it was just the two of us (I have traveled with my family the other times) so this one was truly memorable experience.
Hong Kong said to be the country Filipinos should first visit when trying the waters of international travel. For one, it’s only 1 hour & 45 minutes from the Philippines—really near! And two, no VISA! But honestly I find Malaysia to be tourist friendlier than HK: for communication reasons. You see, I can easily get lost & it’s very vital to me to ask directions—something that was a struggle for us because English is not widely spoken (from my impression). I’m also a type of person that can be easily intimidated so yeah, I was very, very shy & apprehensive to ask (I am this tiny person in the sea of people—nervous!). So you better have a map, phone (with net! ETA: all streets signs/directions are in English so that came handy!) & octopus card—you can pay all kinds of transportation in HK (sans taxi) & other selected establishment. These things are quite a life saver!
Hong Kong is an evident merge of East & Western culture. So many tall buildings, so many people! It’s a very busy place! The only regret we had was we didn’t eat local dishes because we were once again intimidated by the language. One time we want to eat in this place & the menu was entirely in Chinese! We didn’t like to chance it so we exited the establishment, haha.
Like I mentioned before, we did a lot of walking. Something I don’t normally do in my everyday life here in Philippines. I think I exhausted my leg muscles’ abilities to its limits LMAO! But we don’t have any choice since there was no other option but to travel by foot! I also recommend going to Hong Kong during winter (November – February) because damn, the heat was unbearable! I mean, the heat in PH is hotter but we have transpo to avoid walking; so I got a little tan from all the walking I did. (I was kinda upset that some tourist place like Avenue of the Stars is closed for renovation.)
We stayed near Causeway Bay and I found out JP mall there called Sogo Department Store that sells JP products. In fact I found a JP bookstore there: Asahiya Bookstore! They sell JP books, as in everything are in Japanese! Products are sold in Yen so I kinda splurged few volumes here & there (please look forward to my review of the store!) Overall it was really fun experience. From the time we got lost, or we rode those Ding Ding Trams and still got lost! To the “how do we get to the airport again?” kind of scenario (since we avoided riding taxi because it might max out our budget!) But we made it YAY!
But once we got home, we experienced kind of hell in the form of scammer taxi! When people told foreigners about shady people of Metro Manila, I find that a bit too much! But I was wrong! They need to be called out! If you’re traveling to the Philippines please be careful riding taxis here (particularly around airport)! I’m Filipina & I got swindled! We paid almost 4X of what we normally pay but things went weirder and it scared us (we’re both female!) I think Grab is available in Airport? (hopefully Uber will follow suit). Or ask someone to fetch you! I won’t ride taxi anytime soon for the meantime. The sad part was the only thing that ruined this vacation for me was the part when I was already in my OWN country! But I believe in karma, things like he did to us (and perhaps some other people) will not left unpunished! I trust the new government will finally track down these abusive people!!!
But it will not deter me to travel again! I’m excited for my Japan trip next (please approve my VISA!) And there are also many Asian cities I still have yet to visit!