KWENTO: My First Ever Out-Of-The-Country Trip – Hong Kong! (Part 1)

One of my “Things to do before turning 25” was to travel abroad.

Since it will be my first time, my friends and I thought of going to Hong Kong since, madali sya for first timers. Pero yung plano namin na ‘to eh hindi talaga concrete. Parang “just in case na magka-chance na makapag travel abroad, HK tayo.” Ganyan lang.

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*not my photo. credits to the owner*

Sakto naman na nung week na napag-usapan namin ito, my friend’s bank offered a promo for their credit card holders. PHP 2,000 per way to HK, so, we chatted on Facebook like… “Hey guys! May offer si Citibank!”

Nakakatawa nga kasi last day na nung offer nung makita namin yun, and it’s just a few hours before the clock tick midnight! So we were really frantic because we were booking a plane ticket out of a SPUR-OF-THE-MOMENT decision. No one should be offline because we needed info right there and then. To make the story short, we were able to book a ticket for 4 to Hong Kong for January 2016!!! Yay!

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*not my photo. credits to the owner*

A few minutes after booking, we still can’t believe that we really gave it a go! That in a few months time, we will set foot to a land outside our country! That soon I will be able to tick this off my to-do list! Grabe talaga yung feeling na yun, nakakatawa na nakakakaba na nakaka-excite!

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*not my photo. credits to the owner*

So fast forward to one week before our flight, nag-ayos na kami ng mga dadalhin. I went to Ukay-Ukay to buy some clothes for cold weather because January is one of the coldest daw sa HK. I was able to buy few long sleeves and turtle necks and one thick jacket. Sabi ko, “Okay na siguro ‘to. Baka mainitan naman ako masyado kung makakapal ang susuotin ko.” We also changed our peso to HKD here. We bought some canned goods, noodles, biscuits, breads, spread and coffee that we brought there para makatipid kami sa food. Yung tipong aakalain nung nagmo-monitor ng scanner sa airport na magtatayo kami ng sari-sari store doon. 😀 Mas madami pa ata yung food na dala namin kesa damit.. hahaha We also decided to just DIY our trip to fully experience the adventure. At madami din namang nagsabi na kaya namin sya libutin on our own. So, go! 🙂

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Flight day! We were so excited. 2 of my friends were first time flyers then, while I was a first timer at HK and we were thankful enough because my other friend was a second timer at HK. At least, she’s a bit familiar with the place.

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1 hour and 30 mins after take off, we have arrived!!!! We peeked at the plane window and saw that the weather was gloomy, there was drizzle. After alighting the plane, we roam a bit at the airport to find where we can buy the Octopus card and to get a map and flyers of the tourist spots. We just followed where most of the people were going and voila! We have what we need. From here, we learned that some tourist attractions were closed because of the weather and Temple Street was closed for renovation. Whyyy???!!! 😦

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*not my photo. credits to the owner*

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Disappointed of what we’ve learned, hinanap na namin yung exit para sumakay na ng bus. Although there’s also the option to take the Airport Express (a train), we opted to take the bus because it’s cheaper. Wala naman traffic doon na katulad dito sa Pinas kaya kebs lang ang bus. hehe

As we get nearer the exit, aba! Ramdam na ramdam na namin yung kakaibang lamig. Hindi na sya yung lamig na kayang kaya namin i-endure. Nanunuot na sya sa bones! hahaha So we did some layering and thought that it should be enough. And we were so wrong because as we stepped out, grabe! Ansakit sa balat ng lamig. *cry* We really wanted to get inside the bus as soon as possible. Thank God that we waited for just a couple of minutes.

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Dito palang, ramdam na ang lamig. At my back is the way to the exit.

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This was the time when we were welcomed by a 3 degrees weather upon arriving at the HK airport. And it’s also raining! Imagine that! 😨 For nearly 60yrs, this was the first time that HK hit its coldest temperature. Nagkataon na andun kami. I don’t know if it’s a good thing or bad. hahay Sa napakalamiging tulad ko, 0 degree feels na sya for me. Eh ang suot lang namin nun ay isang jacket! We weren’t prepared at all! Akala namin mala-Baguio feels lang!!! Yung nasa likod ko ay yung bus na sasakyan namin. A21 routes are Mong Kok, Yau Ma Tei, Jordan, Tsim Sha Tsui and Hung Hom in Kowloon. Tsim Sha Tsui is the 12th Station!!!

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*not my photo. credits to the owner*

While inside the bus, we were thinking, “How are we going to enjoy this trip if the weather is like this!” Our clothes were not enough to make us feel warm. huhu Paano naaa? We thought of buying a warmer but our pocket money was budgeted and we didn’t expect that kind of expense. We were already kind of problematic, but we decided to appreciate the view outside first and talk about that once we’re at the guesthouse.

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It only took us less than an hour to arrive at Tsim Sha Tsui. To think that it was the 12th Station, that was fast for a bus ride! Kung dito yun sa Pinas…….

Our guesthouse was at Tsim Sha Tsui. HK Taisan Guesthouse was referred by my friend who’s also with us in this trip because that’s where they stayed before. They have several branches around the city which is just a few minutes away from each other. Very convenient because it’s right in front of a bus station and few walks away from MTR.

They are also offering discounted tickets from almost all the tourist spots so we didn’t have a problem from getting cheaper ones. There are also so many establishments around where you can window shop (window shop kasi ang mamahal ng brand na nasa paligid! Unless rich kid ka. hehe).

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As we arrived at the guesthouse, we settled and had some rest first and thought of what to do. In our iti, we will visit The Peak on the first day (halfday) but the caretaker told us that it was not a good idea because the temperature there might have dropped to 0 degrees. Syempre, hindi talaga namin kaya yun guys!!!! 0 degrees! Baka maging statue kami doon! Kaso wala na kaming paglalagyan pa nung The Peak kung ipagpaliban namin sya. So paano na??! Then someone knocked on our door, one of the assistant of the guesthouse, giving us our tickets. Then she suddenly said, “Mga pinoy kayo no?” Sobrang saya namin!!!! hahaha God sent! At least may makakausap kami ng maayos doon, kasi hindi din ganoon ka-fluent sa english yung caretaker.

We told her our problem, na wala nga kaming winter clothes. 😦 Sinabi nya din na hindi namin kakayanin ang lamig sa The Peak sa mga suot namin. And without any hesitations, she offered us help! Grabe. Nakakaiyak! Kahit saang lugar ka talaga mapunta, basta may Pinoy, may tutulong sayo. #ProudlyPinoy hehe She said that the caretaker of the main branch is also a Filipina and she has some winter clothes that we can borrow. Imagine the help! Haaay Thank you, Lord!

Thank goodness as well that the other branch is just 3-5mins away. Walking distance. Pero sa lamig doon nun, yung 5mins, parang dumoble. Kung pwede lang mag-teleport nalang eh!

As we arrived the the other branch, which is the main branch, we heard a familiar language. Andami nilang nagsasalita ng Tagalog! It seems that there were other Filipinos staying there. The assistant (I forgot her name. I’m so sorry. haaay) introduced us to Ate Yolly and said our dilemma that time. Sobra nyang hospitable. Kahit ilang taon na syang nagtatrabaho doon sa Hong Kong, hindi iyon nawala. Nasa dugo na talaga nating mga Filipino yun.

Agad-agad nya kaming pinahiram ng mga winter clothes. Walang pag-aalinlangan. I’m not saying that we’re not trustworthy pero diba, kahit Pinoy kami, stranger pa din kami. Sobrang bait lang talaga nila para tulungan kami. We’re sooo thankful.

Grabe guys, kahit naka-winter clothes na kami nun, hindi pa din namin kinakaya ang lamig. Sumugal nalang kami sa The Peak.

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Mukhang ang kapal na ng balot ko, pero no match sa lamig. 😦

So they told us that the temperature at The Peak does dropped to 0 degrees so better if we go there the next day but we still pushed through (stubborn us.. eh kasi nga. :(). So tinuruan kami ni Ate Yolly kung paano pupunta doon via MTR. Mukha naman palang madali lang. Push!

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Pagdating namin sa MTR, para kaming napunta sa ibang mundo. hahaha Akala namin madali, pero litong lito na kami.

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We don’t even know where to go, etc. Mukha kaming mga batang paslit na naiwan ng bantay. We decided to just ask someone what to do and where to go. Then, as we approached a lady, after trying to give directions, bigla sya nagsalita ng, “Mga Filipino ba kayo? Pinahirapan nyo pa ako mag-english” hahaha Waaaah! Another God sent! Wala kami idea nun that she’s a Filipina. Basta nag-approach nalang kami ng kung sinong dadaan, at boom! Pinoy! haha Thank you Lord! Tinulungan nya kami hanggang sa makasakay kami, pati yung directions after namin bumaba ng MTR. Haaay Salamat po, Ate!

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Since we already have the tickets, we proceeded in The Peak tram line. And there were so many people! Buti nalang mabilis ang usad dahil medyo malaki din ang tram.

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*not my photo. credits to the owner*

Though I was scared because it’s an uphill ride. Noon lang ako naka-experience ng tren paakyat sa tuktok ng bundok! Paano kung hindi kami kayanin? haha Sana meron ganun dito sa Pinas para di na kami mapagod sa pag-hike. haha Pagsakay namin, tayuan kami! hahaha Imaginin nyo nalang ang itsura namin habang umaandar na yung tram paakyat. 😵 Kapit maigi mga beh! 😀

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And as we arrived at the top of the mountain, freeeezing cold! We can’t even stand staying outside the viewing deck 😦 We rushed inside the building where Madame Tussauds is located and decided to explore it first and take another chance later to go outside the viewing deck (maling desisyon kasi gabi na after namin dito).

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We decided to eat after, and while looking for a place to eat, we found a chance to have a photo of the view atop. Ito na yung pinaka-best na photo namin na may view ng labas! haha

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Kita naman ang struggle di ba? hahaha

We tried their popular food there, egg waffle or Egette and Mochi. Sakto lang for my taste. 🙂

It was already evening when we decided to go back to Tsim Sha Tsui.

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Kalbaryo ulit ang pagpila kasi, sobrang dami ng nag-uuwian, tapos yung antayan ng tram ay open air so imagine how cold it was! 0 degrees, atop a mountain and open air. *brain freeze*

It was 30 mins I guess before our turn to ride. All we want to do was to be at the guesthouse already! Gusto na namin ng mainit na noodles!

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Day 1: Survived! Thank you Lord! 🙂  Inspite of the fact that we weren’t able to visit so many places in our iti because of the unexpected drop of temperature there, I’m still grateful that we experienced such freezing cold. Dahil syempre, napakainit dito sa Pilipinas. 😀

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SOON! PART 2: NGONG PING 360, BIG BUDDHA, DISNEYLAND AND OCEANPARK

xoxo,
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