I can still remember it very well. It was one early morning back in 1989, I entered the Ninoy Aquino International Airport while holding Papa's hand very tightly. I was wearing my best Sunday dress, my comfy M&S socks, my favorite Mary Jane shoes and a cute little backpack on my..uhhh...back. We were going on my first ever trip abroad and boy, was I excited! I think I hardly slept the night before and was immediately awaken when Mommy woke me up to get ready for the airport. We were going to Hong Kong!
Fast forward twenty years and a couple of return visits after, Hong Kong is still one of my favorite places on earth. How can I not love a place that serves the best tasting food? From dimsum lunches to roast goose dinners, Hong Kong is one place where dieting does not exist. However, we can always compensate all those cholesterol-laden dishes with loads of walking. From the lovely Victoria Peak to that romantic walk down Avenue of Stars, you'll definitely get the best leg workout as you explore Hong Kong. This place is also every shopper's Asian paradise. You can definitely shop till you drop at Mongkok, Stanley Market and at the posh malls in Causeway Bay.
How to get to Hong Kong
Hong Kong is probably the easiest place to go from Manila. Most of our local airline have numerous flights to Hong Kong. Due to its proximity to our country, flying to Hong Kong only takes an hour and 50 minutes.
Another good thing is even though Hong Kong is part of China, there is no need to apply for a VISA provided your stay is 14 days or less.
Arriving at the Hong Kong International Airport, the first thing one must do is to load up on all the maps and flyers that are readily available in almost every corner. This will definitely help you maximize your stay and will save you from getting lost in this fast-paced city. Just to show you how HUGE the HKIA is, we had to take a short train ride from one terminal to another where the Immigration booths are.
It is also good to change a little of your money to Hong Kong dollars (HKD) as you will have to pay for your cab/train/bus ride from the airport to your hotel.
Going around Hong Kong
Hong Kong is very tourist-friendly. Almost all of its road signages are in English and the locals are pretty good in speaking English too. There are a lot of mode of transportation going around in Hong Kong. It really depends on where you're heading. For our trip, we were able to take the bus, the tram (both in the Victoria Peak and from Central to Causeway Bay), the ferry boat (which I truly love), the cab and lastly the MTR. Each of these transportation types follow a strict schedule which makes going around Hong Kong very quick and stress-free.
Frannywanny's travel tip: Try to carry a good amount of coins when you commute as the buses and trams would request for the exact amount.
While Hong Kong is relatively small compared to the Mainland (China), there are a lot of things to see and places to visit here. Hong Kong is divided into two main islands called: Kowloon and Hong Kong island. Aside from these, there are a number of outlying islands where Hong Kong Disneyland, the Giant Buddha and a lot more at located. Don't worry though, since moving around Hong Kong is a breeze, these beautiful tourist places can easily be reached either via the MTR or a short bus ride.
This is just the beginning. Watch out for parts two and three of my Hong Kong travel series where I will share with you the best dessert finds, the beautiful tourist spots and ways on how to make the most of your stay in Hong Kong.