#HKSojournSeptember2013 {Part 01} - Roaming around Kowloon

2013 has been my lucky year for my blogging career (and also for me). I’ve got a chance to meet nicely good people, worked with them promoting common goals, and the best part – travelling for free. YES! Last September, I was invited to visit the amazing Hong Kong Island, and get a chance to learn new cultures and enjoy the new place!

Since I have tons of photos to share, I’ll give you first this first post about my first day in Kowloon City.

Traveling is my newest pleasure these past few months, though it’s a little pity that I haven’t shared it to you here, being distracted with loads of writing gigs, and social events that are very hard to resists (thanks to my sponsors).  Having partnering with some non-profit organizations (and of course with my generous Amico) gave me chances to travel overseas free, and experience the different cultures and living outside the Philippines.

It is my first time to travel overseas, and I am very happy to visit Hong Kong for my first journey. I only had 4D3N and I need to maximize my time, without the pressure and just enjoying my stay.

I arrived at Hong Kong International Airport last September 6, at around 09:30PM. I felt some butterfly in my stomach (in a positive way), it was an unexplainable feeling. I was impressed with the Hong Kong Airport – very tidy and organized, full equipped and very impressed facilities – not to mention its very fast WIFI connection that you can access for FREE.

I feel a relief when I was my boyfriend walking towards me with his glazing eyes and smiling face, welcoming me to his country (my Amore is an Italian, and had acquired his HK residency). Yes I rarely mention here about him as I want my relationship be private – but I couldn’t help it now as he is part of this journey (Grazie, Amico mio!).

Hong Kong International Airport is located at Lantau Island – a man-made island that was built for this purpose. From Lantau, we rode in his BMW and traveled 30minutes going to Kowloon City. I was amazed how clean the main street and highways are! I have this tourist-facial expression, and my Amico keeps on smiling and teasing me.

We arrived at Kowloon City at around 10:30pm and I was greeted with these crowd, walking in the main streets of Hong Kong, doing anything – walking while eating, ladies with their shopping bags, other tourist with their luggage, everything’s are very alive during night time! It was very different compared in Manila (of course).  

Aside from the busy people, another thing I've noticed are the crazy lights of each store businesses – their signage are outrageous, compared to the businesses here in Manila. Perhaps because it’s the Chinese way of business – the colorful and huge it is, the more noticeable (and perhaps will bring more customers).  Stores are still open until midnight, or until there are still customers, so shopping and having fun here are quite enjoyable. I wonder how much power they needed every day and night to have this kind of outrageous sight.

We arrived at my place, the very impressive Intercontinental Hotel – Grand Hamptons located along the famous Tsim Sha Tsui. This is my view outside my room – overlooking the famous Hong Kong skyline across the lake, and seeing the iconic red-flagged fishing boat! You can also see the Tsim Sha Tsui Promerade – my Amico said that every morning you can see joggers, and some tourist hanging out and walking in the promenade and enjoying the sight.

Good morning Hong Kong! 

We woke up at 6:00am (yeah so early, and I can’t sleep properly because of excitement) and saw this beauty outside my window. Again Amico mio teasing me to go back to bed, as I have more time to explore the place than spending time with him, (hyena laugh). Yup, I went back to bed and have my quality time with him.

At around 10:00am we are ready to have our brunch to this famous Chinese restaurant in town (apology that I forgot its name, I only remember the feeling). I wore this cute dress I sewed (I called it Emily, named after my bestfriend), paired with my foldable ballet shoes from Butterfly Twist (thanks to my sponsor!). 

Driving in his BMW, I was like a puppy enjoying the sight outside the window. I’ve noticed that most (or may I say – all) the buses in Hong Kong have printed signage and advertisements on it. Chinese knows how to maximize its resources. Unlike when you are in Manila that you can use jeepneys for public transportation – Hong Kong uses public buses that are traveled by assigned schedule (think about the buses in BGC) I find it more organized and less traffic.

I am so glad that we have a car to use for this day trip, and a very caring driver, hehehe. We are now arrived at the school district. Education in Hong Kong is indeed a high business and a good investment. Parents are working their best to send their kids at the best schools in town, starting from pre-school days until their college, and choose their own desired university. Studying in a best school means uplifting your social status – it’s very Chinese as they said, but analyzing its reason makes sense at all. 

Residences in Hong Kong are very steep. You are very lucky if you own a 45sqm flat. They build all high as 100 storey building residence, which can occupy thousands of residents. This picture is a government owned housing project, which are rented-out for its people. As you have noticed, the structure and design is similar to the condominium buildings of SM Residences (like Jazz Residence, Sapphire, to name a few).

Passing along the school district

Another public bus with movie advertisement.

Your belle enjoying the ride with her caring Amico!

If you already traveled to Hong Kong or to any Chinese country, you will probably notice about how they constructed their buildings. Unlike here in Manila where construction companies uses metals for scaffoldings, in Hong Kong I’ve noticed that they are using bamboos, no matter how tall the building is. Amico mio explained to me that Chinese believes that bamboo are the best – bamboos are not get rusted, it becomes more sturdy under the changing weather, and it’s cheaper than metals. 

Gigantic billboards along the busy streets of Hong Kong.

More skyscrapers. Due to limited land mass, Hong Kong needs to built it more taller to accommodate more people.

After our brunch and a short drive, Amico drop me off to this place (like Divisoria), as he still have a client meeting. The place offers lots of cute finds in very cheap prices. He said this place is famous to most domestic helpers, to buy some gifts for their families. Though it’s not my plans to go shopping, I went out the car and started to roam around the place. 

This store sells stationery finds, and lucky paper lanterns and flags.

I’ve saw this stall selling cheap books – academic books, trade books, magazines, novels, and the most catchy thing – erotic books. The owner shoo me away seeing me with my camera, but luckily I’ve managed to get this photo behind his back (sneaky bitch)

 This crowd looks like it’s always payday!

This photo is similar scene here in Divisoria or Baclaran markets. 

I find Hong Kong to be very tourist friendly, in spite of the hear-say that Hong Kong people are snobs. The place is tourist-friendly, as there are always signs on every street like these photos. You can tour around the city without the help of the guide (but I still advice to maximize the use of your smart phones and always have your Google Map).

Aside from friendly signs and directions, you can also find some ads like this, selling spaces, and residence properties. 

Hong Kong is a very busy place, even this old man. He is carrying his cart full of junks that he got from the streets nearby, and selling it to the next junk shops. Everyone has something to do; you can barely see bystanders around (as compared here in the Philippines wherein you can see thousands around). 

It’s quite enjoyable day! I feel that Hong Kong suits me, not bad for my first day. I’ll share more photos and stories about my journey on my next posts. I encourage you to start exploring our nearby country and learn about their cultures. You’ll learn more from traveling, and enjoying each experience. 

Ciao Bellas!


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