Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Just came home last night from a 5 day vacation at Hong Kong, taking advantage of the holiday – extended weekend. At any rate, it was quite a nice vacation and the trip was kind of memorable to me. Hong Kong is not actually new to me. I’d been there like a dozen times before. In fact, I’d sojourned there for like a month sometime in the early 90s (that is because I had two aunts who lived there). Despite that, I never really “traveled” Hong Kong. I mean despite my numerous visits, I’d never go to places in and around Hong Kong save for a few shopping destinations that my aunts took me to and I soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo hate shopping!!! Anyway, when the extended weekend showed up in the calendar and my travel bug – bitten shobe of mine was itching to go “anywhere”, I decided to take advantage of it and travel as well. After all, I do need a vacation myself. However, when the choice of Hong Kong cropped up, the one question that perturbed me and my shobe was “where to go in Hong Kong?” I mean going to Hong Kong, there are only 5 reasons to visit that city aside from seeing old relatives and they are: Hong Kong Disneyland, Ocean Park, and Shopping, and more Shopping, and even more Shopping (and I sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo hate shopping). Ocean Park, I’d been there like once or twice already. Disneyland, not my forte, I’m no longer a kid anyway and as for shopping, never mind. As such, it’s really quite a problem then but through diligent research using Wikitravel (about the favorite travel guide site of mine). I was able to come up quite an interesting and in fact, an adventuresome itinerary, which my shobe and I were able to roughly follow during the course of our trip. The trip, which I dubbed as an adventure can be categorized roughly into 6 activities. First, there is the Biblio – excursion, which is basically a bookstore tour as well as a visit to the Hong Kong Central Library (which is like my favorite place in Hong Kong). There is also the Culture Exploration, which is about visiting museums and places with cultural significance. The Sightseeing tour is about visiting some of the famous landmarks in Hong Kong and Macau. The Gastronomic Escapade is about satisfying that epicurean curiosity by trying out the food in restaurants around Hong Kong and Macau. Then, there is the Hiking Expedition, a trip to the wilderness in Lantau Island in Hong Kong. Lastly, a Hong Kong adventure wouldn’t be complete without a Shopping Quest (but that doesn’t mean that I anywhere “liked” shopping at all). Anyway, travelling to Hong Kong at this time of the year is SWELTERING HOT!!! Manila by contrast is a lot cooler. During our stay in Hong Kong and Macau, the temperature is like in the vicinity of 33 – 34 oC. And the only time it rained was like very late Monday afternoon for like 30 minutes or even less. To use a metaphor to describe the hot clime at Hong Kong, I would say that I’m not “melting” under the scorching heat of the Hong Kong summer rather I’m “evaporating” underneath its sun. It was that hot! It is not that I’m not used to the hot weather, having living in a country near the equator. Rather, it is because in Manila, I live in a bubble, an air conditioned bubble. I mean, I slept in an air conditioned room. I worked in an air conditioned office. If I had to go out, I drive in my Honda Accord, which is also air conditioned. I visit my clients in their air conditioned office. I dined in a restaurant and leisurely stroll in a mall, both of which are also air conditioned. If by any chance I had to stay out under the sun in Manila, it would be like 2 – 3 hours tops. As a tourist in Hong Kong on the other hand, I walked a lot (which is natural considering the fact that I’m sightseeing) and stayed under the sun for like almost the whole day, which is why I looked “drenched” and “dripping wet” after the day’s trip not by the rain of course but by my own sweat! It’s really that hot in Hong Kong! Despite the hot weather, what makes my latest Hong Kong trip standout from my previous trips to Hong Kong? Well, I had to say, memorable places, great food, and 2 new books that I bought in a Hong Kong bookstore (Commercial Press in Causeway Bay).