Backpacking Hong Kong and Macau
November 25, 2012
The weather had not gone well on our 3rd day in Hong Kong. It was still drizzling outside but most people, locals and tourists alike, still braved the light rain. Luckily, I was able to complete my “winter” outfit the other night.
Yes, we came to HK with our clothes unprepared. I asked 2 of my friends who went to there a week earlier and they told me that the weather was fine; that I could actually wore shorts and sando. However, when we were there, it was cooler – perhaps about 19c. And sando and shorts were definitely a no-no.
After our Disneyland tour, I went directly to the shops to look for affordable boots and clothes that would match HK’s winter fashion. While walking on the streets, we noticed that most people wore boots, coats and warmer clothes. They were also not very fond of colorful outfits; mostly wore black, grey and earthy colors.
I only had doll shoes and sandals with me and they did not give enough protection from the cold. In the end, I picked a pair of black elf boots for HKD200. Then the sales lady gave a HKD100 discount coupon for my next purchase. Kat was not able to choose her boots so we went home with the coupon unused. There. I had my winter ensemble – boots, scarf, leggings and warm shirt. Ready to join the HK winter fashion.
We left our room and went straight to the Star Ferry Pier terminal located at Man Kwong street. While walking towards the harbor, we spotted high-end shops like Louis Vuitton and Armani.
We reached the ferry terminal earlier than expected so we looked around the area first. There was actually a Tourism board office and you can ask them for directions and guide – and more maps, of course.
The fare for the Star Ferry is HKD3.4 one way. Travel time was just a couple of minutes. You can also take photos inside. HK Island’s skyline was foggy that day but we we still took loads of photos.
We arrived at HK Island safely. Then we walked along the terminal and looked for the bus to Ocean Park. Since we arrived earlier and Ocean Park will open at 10 am, we decided to head first to The Peak. We walked along the long bridge going to Central HK. We passed by government buildings like the IFC and Post office. We also saw a big Apple Store.
We did not know that Central was actually composed of many buildings connected with one another and had difficulty locating the road to The Peak. It was also Sunday that day, which meant many people will flock the area. We came upon a floor of a mall where we saw Filipino banks like PNB and BPI. We saw our fellow Kababayans remitting money. There were Filipinos everywhere – sitting on the sidewalks, protesting for their rights, sharing packages sent by their loved ones and a lot more. I felt I was just back home; the familiarity was overwhelming and actually hearing Tagalog everywhere was unexplainable.
While searching for our way, we smelled something so familiar that made our mouths water. We saw the only Jollibee in HK. I was dying to go to the store and order my favorite chicken joy. Unfortunately, we had to pass because there were so many people and it might take our time.
Then we had the courage to ask a Filipina for the directions to The Peak. She told us to go down the MTR. There we found the signs leading to The Peak. It was a long walk but relaxing. We passed by a lot of shops and Filipinos. We also saw them flocking in a park – doing mani and pedi, exercising and chatting. What I saw there touched my heart and made me more proud of them. It is very difficult to live in a foreign land and luckily they have each other to help them go through their day-to-day lives far from home.
Blooper 4: We were crossing the street when we saw the stoplight blinking. We actually thought that was just a signal for us to pass. We had a second thought on crossing the street but we still did. What we did not know was that was actually signaling the pedestrian to walk faster because the vehicles will be on the go soon. Good thing was that HK drivers were very patient and they waited for us to cross the street before speeding up. Thanks. Thanks. 😉
After almost 15 minutes of walking and passing by the St John’s Cathedral, we reached the Lower Terminus of The Peak. We showed the attendants our passes then they guided us to the tram. There were already many tourists waiting. We selected a nice seat near the window. The tram was actually inclined to follow the mountain slopes. We passed by some high-rise apartments and buildings before we reached the Upper Terminus and went directly to the shops. The Peak was also a shopping haven for souvenirs – from magnets and keychains to chopsticks and Chinese ornaments, you will find them there.
Before heading to the Sky Terrace, we decided to have lunch first at the Hong Kong Day restaurant located just beside Madame Tussaud’s museum. We did not enter the museum since we already had an experience in a wax museum. We just took a photo of Bruce Lee. Kat and I ordered the stir fried rice noodles with beef and vegetables for HKD55 while Mel had baked pork and rice for HKD50. The rice noodles was actually huge and I think was already good for two.
After having our lunch, we went directly to the Sky Terrace. I was hoping to see HK’s skyline when we arrived at the top. However, it was very foggy and windy. We had no choice but to just take our photos and go down. We were literally chilling and freezing up there; too bad all we saw were fog and the eternity of it. It was also “dogs day” that day and we saw different breeds. One owner was actually very nice to talk to me and let me touch his dog.
I really wished that the sky was clear that day. I would have loved to take more photos of HK’s skyline however we did not get the chance. Maybe next time when I visit HK again. As for that day, after visiting other shops we decided to go back to the Ferry Pier to take the bus to Ocean Park. (Please see next post for the rest of our Day 3 in HK.)
HKD3.4 Star Ferry (used Octopus card)
HKD75 The Peak+Sky Pass