Hong Kong Hustle: Day 4; The Peak, The Amazing Airport Express, and Overall HK Efficiency

Being tired for the three days we were in Hong Kong is all right. Leaving is not :(

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It was our last day in Hong Kong and it was a kinda sad day to leave. Hong Kong is such a magical place! But then again, life in Manila waits. So the first thing we did that morning to maximize our time was to head over to the In-town Check-in over at Kowloon station. This is so convenient! Imagine dropping your bags early on so you’d just have to be at the airport just in time for immigration and boarding. Saves a lot of hassle imho. ALL AIRPORTS NEED THIS!!! The process goes like this —

  • Check if you airline allows for this here. Furthermore, check how many hours prior boarding your airline allows to check in through here. Our flight then was 10pm and we checked in at around 10am. NEAT.
  • Enter the check-in area near the Airport Express at Kowloon or Hong Kong station by badging in your Octopus card or buy a single journey ticket (around HK$90)
  • Drop your baggages and get your boarding pass. Quite literally, you’re now checked in and all you need is to show up for immigration, additional baggage drop (if any), and boarding.
  • The fare deducted from your Octopus will be used when you board the Airport Express. Make sure you’re not on negative by then though.

VERY EFFICIENT, HONG KONG. VERY. EFFICIENT.

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Then we headed back to Sheung Wan for breakfast! There were a lot of interesting coffee shops around and it’ll be a shame not try even one. We holed up in Barista Jam and had my usual flat white. I love, too, that they also retail coffee brewers of every kind. It’s a small space but the crowd is lively and energetic for a drowsy Tuesday morning.

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Then, for the last day, we caught Bus 15 in the Exchange terminus to go to The Peak to while time. We wanted to try the funicular but we found it expensive, touristy, and well… if we can go there without any queueing that’d be great, right? I love the Peak so much! It gives you a good vantage of the Hong Kong skyline and it’s a great place to spend a couple of hours. But other than that, there’s the usual shops, restaurants, oh… there’s this watch shop which offers a lot of discounts! I got a Casio watch for HK$ 100 (just US$ 13!!!!!)

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For one last hurrah at dim sum, without even trying to look for it, we just saw the world’s cheapest most affordable Michelin star restaurant on our way to the Airport Express via the IFC Mall. At first, we didn’t notice it because it has no English signs but the logo really seemed so familiar. Nica said we should eat there because there are a lot of foreigners eating there, and I was just like, I’m just really hungry. So we went in and as soon as we sat down we realized it is Tim Ho Wan! We ordered our usual dim sum, but we really had to try the pork buns, well… because it caused a ruckus in Manila. Verdict: the pork buns tasted way better in Hong Kong. As expected.

IMG_5721IMG_5722Reflex

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The Airport Express takes just about 24 minutes to take you to the airport… which is in an outlying island away from the city side. There are just two terminals (PAL is in the second one) but we were directed towards Terminal 1 because we already checked in at the MTR (yes it is redundant but I can’t get over how efficient it is.) There are a lot of shopping opportunities here but let’s skip that. Let’s focus on the fact that there’s Popeye’s Fried Chicken there!!! Without thinking, we queued in and got biscuits and chicken because why not. Who cares about waistline (oh but wait, I doooo. Nooooo. HAHA!) And it was just easy to while time here because everything is so organized… I only wish the same for Manila.

IMG_5663It’s been real, Hong Kong

I need to be back soon!

 

Weekend Shenanigans: Back from the Land of Dim Sum!

I’ve just been recently back from a quick trip to Hong Kong and I’ve three words — awesomely, gloriously tired!

IMG_5676.JPGAround Johnston Rd., Wan Chai

Hong Kong is an ultra fast-paced hyperreal country with a rich past, sumptuous food, and incredible population (I thought Manila has that many people, but no!)

I cannot (dim) sum into words what it felt being there – it is just positively infectious, save for the people walking too close to each other – that I don’t like. But with an efficient train system and strong-willed feet paired with really comfy footwear, you will never run out of places to go to. Up, down, left and right. Go diagonal, get lost. I like being lost in Hong Kong come to think of it, and maybe bump into a stranger that would be my eventual boyfriend. Oh no, wait – that didn’t happen *wink*

IMG_5702.JPGThe majestic view at the Peak

If it weren’t for the language barrier though, I guess it’d be easier. It’s definitely part of the experience – like this one time I was in the nearby 711 wanting to buy stamps but instead ended up staring at the cashier for 20 seconds for the loss of words. How many synonyms and charades for stamp I can conjure before the cashier gets me is beyond my twisted state of mind. I just gave up and walked around to find (love, lol no) another convenience store. When I got my stamp though it felt like victory over adult life, that I could cut across this barrier, and actually got what I want in the end. Like, really. Buying those stamps made me learn a lesson. Who would actually fucking know?

Good thing, picture menus are a thing in this beautiful and glorious wasteland – because if it weren’t then we’ll never know if it’s the mystery meat of the day!

IMG_5650.JPGTian Tan Buddha statue at Lantau Island via Ngong Ping 360 cable car

They said that the East crosses the West this part of the world. It definitely does — trams in the city and this big serene Buddha in the countryside. Nevertheless, I can consider shopping (or selling for that matter) as the national hobby, as shops loom around town everywhere you go. This means that your pocket might actually need to be ready for the cutesy things you’ll find. Or stuff you won’t find at, say, Manila Uniqlo branches – like this jacket I’m wearing right now. I think they were on their way to Manila but stocks were out in Hong Kong already. That’s the only logical reason *wink, again.* But seriously though, amidst eating, shopping, and roaming around town – there is something magical in this seemingly harangued yet very not-giving-a-fuck place called Hong Kong that I can actually picture myself moving in there.

IMG_5592.JPGOne of the third wave coffee shops along Jervois st., Sheung Wan

It’s definitely so fetch! (I just had to.)

*Photos taken using iPhone 5


Up next: Transit options to Hong Kong – we actually flew via Macau airport! Stay tuned!

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