This blog contains details of our recent trip. Feel free to skip this if you aren’t interested to know what happened 🙂
(photos courtesy of Filbert Uy)
August 10 to 13 of 2010 was our first ever out of the country trip since Fil and I got married three years ago. Our roundtrip flight was booked last February for only P4,186 per person, exclusive of travel tax and terminal fee. Though not as cheap as the piso fare promo, it was quite a steal!
The place we went to: Hong Kong.
The trip was actually for both work and pleasure. We booked way in advance in order to plan and save up for this trip well. Our main goals? To visit Steven, to buy camera stuff, and to buy a sossy bag for me. Of course, we also looked forward to explore the city.
Being the obsessive compulsive traveller and excited planner that I usually am, I began researching about our trip months ago. Countless websites, forums, interviews, iPod applications, and data gathering helped me create a schedule that will enable to accommodate everything we wish to do, while allowing us to breathe and relax a bit.
This was what we planned:
Day 1: arrival in hk at 730am
Check in at Sun Kong hostel in Causeway Bay
Canvas camera prices from big stores
Visit Tsim Sha Tsui and Mong Kok and compare prices
Visit The Peak early evening
Sleep by 930pm
Day 2: visit Disneyland with Steven
Day 3: shop for bag and clothes
Meet up with relatives from my mother’s side
Gimmick with Steven and cousins at night
Day 4: visit food expo
Do last minute shopping
Fly home 955pm
Now here’s what really happened:
1. Instead of just the two of us, Mom Tina–my mother-in-law (MIL) and Katrina–my sister-in-law (SIL) decided to join us.
2. Instead of having an early start on our first day, we arrived at the hostel 1pm. Our luggage got damaged in the transfer and my MIL said we had to file a complaint and had to wait an hour for the attending officer.
3. Instead of exploring various stores all over hk, fil did the wise thing and called most of them up. We then went to Times Square to have a base price and work it down from there. Afterwards we headed all the way to Mong Kok to so some canvassing. It was there I bought my new Sanyo Xacti waterproof videocam. It was also there that Fil bought his TWO new camera lenses. After our shopping, we accompanied my SIL to visit the ladies market. She had fun haggling for her stuff.
4. Steven decided to join us for the Peak and we got lost when meeting up. To be honest, I would have backed out from going to the Peak if it were not for his presence. We arrived at the lower Peak tram around 830pm already and the place was full of tourists. But, we still forced our aching feet to go. The view was worth it, and Fil got to try the new camera lens he bought.
5. Instead of being rested and refreshed for our day 2 schedule, we were pretty tired from the night before, when we arrived in our hostel 1130pm.
6. Our trip to Disneyland was magical indeed. It was our first time, and Steven was a very good tour guide. We even had a fun time interacting with Stitch. Lines were generally long but each activity was worth it. To make waiting more bearable, we played mini games like charades and hit-your-companions-when-you-see-Mickey. Food inside the resort was expensive but there were drinking fountains available. On the average, we spent 70hkd per person per meal, almost double the amount we spent outside.
7. We reached Causeway Bay by 1030pm and Fil and I wanted to explore and eat a bit before heading back to the hostel, but we had an argument and we stormed off separate directions. Hmph! I went back and immediately slept without even changing my clothes.
8. Third day started with reconciliation and excitement. We were finally exploring the city on our own! My MIL will go to the food fair and my SIL will accompany her. First we went to Tung Chung to check out Citygate Outlet Mall. Then we went to Tsing Yi to check out their G2000 branch. Found a lovely jacket for myself and a set of suit for Fil. Then off we went to Tsim Sha Tsui (tst).
9. Our dear friend Abe told us about this camera shop that he always goes to: Sun Tek. We decided to drop by and visit the shop even though we bought what we needed already. The owner, Tony Mak, was very nice and accommodating! He tempted Fil with good stuff in really affordable prices, like Canon battery grip having around P1000 difference with other secondary brands here in the Philippines. Though he was quite reluctant to buy, I pushed him to do it. Not that he needed much prodding. 🙂
10. There were tons of second hand designer bag shops in tst, and I had my mind set on buying one. But given my budget, I could only afford a bag tag or a keychain there. After recounting all our money, Fil agreed to increase my budget! With my new budget, I could go back to Tung Chung and get a new Coach bag! So that was what we did. Went back to Coach outlet and got a nice leather bag. See my show-off pose 🙂
11. Since we still had some time before dinner with my relatives, we then went back to TST to visit the Avenue of Stars and watch the Symphony of Lights. There were plenty of tourists And I was astounded with the cooperation of hk’s tourism board, private corporations and citizens of hk in making their city a tourist spot.
12. Not knowing how far we needed to walk, we decided to try out the ferry ride crossing to Central. We were late for our dinner already and Fil was angry at me again for making us late. We had to go back to the hostel to fetch my SIL and leave all our purchases.
13. Dinner with my relatives is usually fun. And it was fun. One of my uncles acted like a drill sergeant. He kept on distributing the food, trying to make us finish it all.
14. We met up with Steven around 11pm. He came from work. We had coffee in one of the nearby malls and had a t-shirt decorating activity. (I bought several tshirt paints from home). Poor Steven, we finished soooo late that he had to take a CAB home!!!
15. Our last day in Hk was quite fun. We only had a few dollars left, and we spent most of it in IKEA. Got a cool crawling toy for my baby class, and photo ledge for home. We didn’t eat lunch as we opted to eat in the food expo.
16. After visiting the food expo, we decided to look for Hopewell center. It was a looooong walk. But we got to ride its scenic outdoor lift and take a glimpse of its revolving restaurant. The entire restaurant really rotates and it was located on the 62th floor!
17. We took the A11 bus to the airport, and had our dinner there. Since we ate rice during our entire hk trip, we decided to try out their congee and noodle and it was quite good. There goes our remaining dollars.
Our pockets were empty during our flight home, but our hearts were full of gratitude.
To good friends who care enough to spend time (and money) with us, to relatives who show their love and support for us, and to our almighty God for allowing all these things to happen, a heartfelt thanks I give to you all.