Hong Kong: The First Second Time

With my dream to travel the world in this lifetime, I never planned to go to another country twice BUT there are just some places worthy of a second (or even third) visit especially when you’re traveling for free… and when you’re with family.

My family’s first out of the country travel destination EVER was in Hong Kong where we made a lot of memories. I got a stiff neck, my mother prank called my younger brother (she pretended to be a Chinese receptionist which almost made my brother cry), my younger brother asked me to pray the rosary while we’re on the cable car, and many more! So it’s nice to come back after about 12 years, this time with nieces and in-laws (Nans is soon-to-be!) in a big group of 11 (9 adults and two kids.) We formed new memories including my first time in Disneyland!!

Let me share with you some photos of my second time in Hong Kong, and it’s definitely sweeter than the first.

Younger brother Rocky taking a photo of HK skyscrapers.

Just like our first time, we joined a group tour during the morning of our first day which was mostly fun because of the tour guide, Jackie. She had a lot of trivia about these buildings including the one about the structure of Bank of China which was designed like a blade to cut the throat of the lion (HSBC’s logo) with chopsticks on top to pick out the eyes of the dragon (Standard Chartered Bank’s logo) which are the symbols of its competitors. This is also the place where a photographer took our photos that end up na naka-print sa mga plato tapos ibebenta nila as souvenirs. Siyempre hindi ko binili yung akin. Aanhin ko yung plato na may picture ko??

Lovely necklace that I could only wear in my dreams.

After about 12 years, the tour still includes a visit in a jewelry store. We were supposed to drop by a market or a souvenir outlet but because of the weather Jackie just brought items to the bus tapos binenta niya samin. And then, we still went to a souvenir / food shop na maraming pa-free taste. It’s obvious that these tour packages bring you to places where they can get commission from (jewelry stores, souvenir shops, etc.) because that’s how they earn and that’s okay. But I won’t recommend joining tours like these especially when you’re not traveling in a big group. Nakatulong lang sa amin yung transpo na bus kasi ang dami namin pero kung 5 or less lang naman kayo, wag na kayo jumoin sa mga tour!

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We all wanted to insert coins in these ticket machines!

We separated from the tour and explored the city on our own because we wanted to go to Mongkok and shop for shoes!! We did a lot of walking na medyo mahirap para sa malaking grupo like ours especially may toddlers kaming kasama (One is 3 years old and the other is 1.) TIP: If ever you plan to travel with toddlers to big cities which involve a lot of walking, I really suggest that you bring a stroller/walker. It’s worth all the trouble!

I’m sure Kuya Koks enjoyed walking with Nash when he’s not carrying her.
Ang bad ass ni Kuya o! Naka-red po yung ilaw!!
We spent the whole afternoon in Fa Yuen- the sneaker street in Mongkok.

TIP: When you see a pair that you like, make sure to buy it right away because Fa Yuen is a long street with A LOT of shops so you’ll be tempted to think that there might be a better pair waiting for you at the next store and then the next–but you’ll also regret it when the first pair that you really like is in a shop that you can no longer find. Kaya kapag napusuan mo na bes, sunggaban mo na! ANOTHER TIP: Be mindful of rip offs!! Yes, may mga fake din sa ibang bansa! Tandaan, China pa rin ang Hong Kong!

My lovely parents asking for a photo.

A travel isn’t complete without a mishap. Most of us wore our new pairs of shoes from our shopping earlier including my niece with her new Nike pair. After long walks and train rides, we were finally seated at a table to have dinner where we realized that my niece is wearing only one shoe! Kuya Koks checked for the missing pair outside the restaurant and the streets nearby but he was unlucky. Rocky was checking photos on his phone and saw that the other pair fell inside the train! We tried to get it back by calling the train station, going to the lost and found but we never got it back. Nashie really loved that pair. So, my sister and her husband decided to get her  a new pair (same as the one they lost) and just let the other missing pair be part of a new memory.

Me and the boys went to LKF for some nightlife!
Bought these headbands to be part of the HK fun and to give to our nieces!

There are lots of bars in LKF with expensive drinks! TIP: Buy beer from 7-11, drink it on the street and party with the both locals and tourists. Madaming gumagawa nito kasi siguro madami ring nagtitipid kaya hindi nakakahiya!

My brother’s friend works here and scored us free drinks!

I really believe that Ilan Cafe Bar is owned by Filipinos. I’m still not sure if this is true but most of the staff are Filipino including that singer. This is one of the few quiet and low-key bars in the area. So if you’re looking for a steady drinking night with good music then this must be the place for you!

Taking advantage of the empty footbridge going to our hotel–photoshoot muna!

That’s mostly what happened on our city tour. I want to tell you about our Disneylad trip but that deserves a separate entry, don’t you think? =D

With love and excited smile, K


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