You must be tired of my HK stories by now but really, there’s so much to tell about this wonderful city especially if you cease to become a tourist and start wearing your TRAVELER’s hat. Now that we’re done braving the queue and squeezing in through the crowds of the major tourist spots, it’s time to get local. No more rushing. Just experiencing, blending in and enjoying. Here are snapshots of my HK experience with short annotations. Don’t worry, just anecdotes and comments. Let’s leave the history lessons to Google and Wikipedia :).
THE OCTOPUS CARD
Probably the most important item on your purchase list, the Octopus Card is a stored value card usable in MTR, Trams, Peak Trams, Star Ferry, Buses and some minibuses. It can even score you a beer in 7-11! The ones we got entitled us discounts in Disneyland and Ocean Park.
THE TRANSPORT SYSTEM
Speaking of transportation, we went around HK mostly by foot and commuted our way through the city but I never felt a bit stressed at all. A refreshing change when you’re like me who grew up in Manila and is now living in Jakarta where traffic situations can be really daunting. This experience only re-affirms my belief that an efficient transport system is key to progress and development. Efficient transport system means getting to your destination on time therefore making people more productive (less time on the road, no time wasted on traffic). This is my dream for my beloved Philippines.
THE CENTRAL – MID LEVEL ESCALATOR
They say this is the longest escalator in the world reaching three stories at point and offers great views down into the wet markets, restaurants and pubs. This escalator is elevated above street level and covered; it allows the transportation of about 60,000 people everyday.
This business and commercial district hosts a number of offices, shopping malls, hotels and banks. Some of Hong Kong’s most distinctive skyscrapers can be found in Central.
Walk back up Hollywood Road and you’ll reach MAN MO TEMPLE, one of the most popular temples in HK built in 1847.
At this point I met a very nice Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW), Ate Carmel, who came to Man Mo with her equally nice employer. They are regulars at the temple because her employer prays for her six children who all now reside abroad. The old lady was kind enough to teach me the temple rituals in Chinese while Ate Carmel interpreted the instructions in Tagalog.
I wanted to see the “fabulous panoramic view” of Hong Kong so a trip to The Peak was definitely on the list. We took the Peak Tram which, as the story goes, had been without a single accident for over 100 years. Amazing isn’t it? Especially if you think about the very first time it became operational in 1888 making it the first funicular in Asia. Again, another grand dream for my dear Philippines…
Unfortunately, it wasn’t a clear day that day. The temperature was around 15 degrees and the sky was foggy.
But it didn’t dampen our spirits, we just spent the morning walking at the highest point of HK and goofing around the camera. WARNING: Touristy shots ahead 🙂
UP NEXT (yes, there’s a “next”. ang sarap mag-kwento eh🙂 ): The people, parks, food, wardrobe, shops,etc.