Minutes before we landed in HK, roughly before 10AM, last 10th of September 2011, I breathed out a silent prayer of thanks for having a safe flight. Though we’ve talked about all sorts of enjoyable and near-death experiences we’ve encountered, my comic seatmate resisted my gratitude and mentioned “Too early to be thankful”.
Agree. I cannot blame anyone part of this trip to have second thoughts of visiting HK. After a year of the scandalous HK tourists-hostage-taking in Manila, there have been various talks searching for justice and peace. But while I’m writing and posting these photos now, I feel earnestly sorry the victims and their families. However, we don’t have to generalize – time and unforeseen occurrences befall us all. True enough, these issues were forgotten and a new story began as the plane touched HK’s airport.
HongKong - from a Cantonese name meaning "fragrant harhour"
We arrived at L’Hotel Nina, a 5-star hotel situated in Kowloon and checked-in.
Being nested on the 51st floor gave us a view of the harbor
and the breathtaking skyscrapers outside.
A little fast forward. Since the trip was settled thru a corporate agency, we didn’t have any problem going to our destination. However, being a bit adventurous during our free time, we ventured throughout the bustling streets of the city and that’s when we were exposed to HK’s real world.
A tourist has an option to ride the MTR (HK’s version of a railway transit) and independently express bravery in a Cantonese-speaking world, or simply ride a cab. Oops, not “simply”. Every ride is a challenge since most of the drivers cannot understand English. The strategy is to show the Chinese characters (request from tour guide/hotel) of your destination. And remember, don’t block driver’s view of the side mirror unless you want him knocking on your head and getting your out of the way.
Avenue of Stars - honors celebrities of HK film industry
Jackie Chan's handprints
HK's version of the Statue of Liberty :P
Jumbo Floating Restaurant
Victoria Peak view
Shopping is one of the most-loved activities by tourists in HK. I am not a fan of their MongKok night market, but admittedly the shops in the malls offer less expensive branded products than in my hometown. If you want to go shopping for branded items, explore the shops! :D
Overall, I admire HK for being an independent city-state of China. It truly is an "East-meets-West" place reflecting perfect mix of Chinese and British cultures.