My First Solo Trip: Hong Kong Day 1

16 Jul

“Travel Alone” — usually found in most bucket lists, but rarely ticked off.  I never intended to cross this off my list for this trip but fate intervened and provided me an opportunity to step out (once again) from my comfort zone.  #nochoice #justkidding

It’s been less than a year since I last visited Hong Kong. The trip still remains fresh in my mind — from the forms to fill, queues to take, processes to do and  places to visit.  And it seemed so perfect  that this would be very same destination I was set to go to for my first (international) solo trip.  The last time I visited HK, it felt like it was just too short. #toomuchitineraries

Since I only had myself to think about, I took my sweet time. I allowed the anxious tourists to get off the plane and enter the first shuttle. I didn’t mind queuing at the slow immigration line either.  Conveniently, as I  soon as I got out, my baggage was already there waiting for me. #worthitnamanpalayungslowness

After a semi-confusing conversation with the Airport Express lady, I found myself in-transit with just a few passengers.  For some reason, I never enjoyed riding the Airport Express. The ride was always:  too short for me to go ahead and do something productive ( ie. finishing Norwegian Wood) or too long for me to just sit still. I tried taking a selfie to pass the time. That was a fail as it resulted to a photo that only emphasized my eye bags. #anggandalang

 Arriving at the MTR, I took in the familiar complexity of their public transport. But before anything else, the first thing I did was buy not one but two bottles of mineral water. I could never survive without water.  Random share though: I really dislike it when the bottle gets all slippery from the condensation. #idontlikegettingwet #thatswhatshesaid

Although I could have taken the free Airport Express Shuttle at the Kowloon Station, I decided to take the MTR all the way to the East Tsim Tsa Tsiu. Well, I’ve always liked trains.

My two  trusty companions through out my whole trip were my Airport Express Travel Pass and Samsung Galaxy Grand.  I must say, with no biases whatsoever, this smart phone legitly ranks very high on the sturdiness scale. The once white but now greyish (borderline dirty dirrrttyyy white) flip cover could attest to the adventures that it’s gone through in the past seven months. #survivedSinulogLaBoraCrayWeekendandLKFHK

Waiting for the next ride, I found myself drawn to a  group Hong Kong boys. Now, I’m no expert in taking photos of strangers. Here is my stealthy attempt of trying to capture their unique Hong Kong street style.  #medyofail #hanggangpaalangkaya

I remembered what my friend told me with regards to my failed attempt at Hong Kong Street Style:  “This time, just promise me you won’t buy silver rubber shoes again.” #noted #getskona #shuminebrightlikeadiamondakonun

After hauling my huge-ass luggage around, I finally made it to my room. The cold airconditioning, plush pillows and clean sheets (+++ the gloomy weather) made the bed  extremely inviting. I find it really really hard to say no to hotel beds. But after reviewing my  brother’s extremely specific shopping list, how can I not ditch the bed and start shopping already?

Before anything else though, I made sure I took a photo of the innards of my luggage just to be able to compare the before and after slash pre and post shopping.

The second item that I (unfortunately) bought was an overpriced umbrella from 7-11.   This was my third staple companion for the entire trip. Hong Kong was very, very, very…VERY wet during my stay. #wetandwildatHongKong

I  would’ve forgotten about lunch  but my stomach made sure it reminded me. Walking to the familiar eatery (that had no English name), I found myself confused at the menu. It was in English but I was overwhelmed with what to order. #toomanyoptions

I went for something safe and adventurous — a bowl of wanton noodle soup. I finished the whole bowl. The soup tasted clean (aka no oil or MSG) and the wanton was freshly prepared (not the pre-frozen slash preserved type).  Aside from feeling bloated from the additional carbohydrate intake, I felt normal and pretty damn good to have soup on such a wet day.   Thankfully, there was no usual bout of MSG dizziness that I would  normally get from eating Chinese back here in the Philippines.

And since I did wake up a tad bit too early for my morning flight, I ordered their staple iced coffee. The waitress and I had a communication gap for my request for no sugar and milk in my coffee. Thankfully, she was nice enough to replace it. I must make a mental note that the next time I go to Hong Kong, I should know what Splenda or sweetener is in Chinese. #theyneverseemtohave

Back to the commuter’s life, I felt like these ultra fast escalators were a theme park ride entering differently themed portals.

First shopping district on the list was Causeway Bay.  Mainly because of the large building across the street. At first I felt overwhelmed with the variety of choices, but then I realized, all of these will be available in the Philippines. #easylangate

And so, I wandered off and found myself at Lee Gardens. It was raining pretty hard so I took my time and even accomplished a restroom selfie. Excuse the siopao face, but my wavy hair did not seem to agree with the weather.

After exploring Lee Gardens, I found myself in Jardine Crescent. Appealing to the inner bargain hunter in me, I checked out the quaint and dimly lit street.  Most stores were closed but I was able to score some pretty unique items.

Despite still feeling full from lunch, I really really really wanted to try the infamous egg waffles.  This was second on my very short must-eat at Hong Kong list.

Black Coffee + Something Sweet tops my favorite combos in the world.  And so, after one bite, the waffle sent me to looking for a coffee shop. One which I hoped to have WiFi.  It must’ve been the area or the pouring rain that made it extra difficult for me to spot a warm coffee shop. I went for my favorite, the good old trusty Mcdo Black Coffee.

As the sun started setting and my shopping time seemed to  slip away all too fast, the rest of the afternoon and most of the evening was spent shopping at Central.  These shopping bags are like Matryoshka Dolls — shopping bags within shopping bags.

After a quick dinner at 11pm, I was fulfilled enough  to call it a day. Not bad for a first day at Hong Kong.

Check out “My First Solo Trip” at HK series in the following posts…

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