Day One: Arrival at Hong Kong
Hong Kong Travel Blog› entry 1 of 1 › view all entries
December 29th, 2008 – by: tedi31
In addition to work and what has seemed to become mandatory stress. My Christmas vacation to Hong Kong this year was a welcomed change.
And from the moment our Philippine Airlines flight landed in Hong Kong (HK), it looked like things were off to a good note as I was immediately greeted by the by one of those generic yet timely "points to ponder" signs in front of the urinals at the HK International Airport.
Paraphrasing, the sign read, "If you every feel down and out. Don't fret and be grateful that you are alive and blessed to see another day."
It was a message that I needed at that very moment and one that made me realize that whatever problems I was currently facing--things could be a lot worse.
At the end of the day, it is really all a matter of perspective as well as a choice.
So that mid-day morning, I was going to make the most of this holiday break and leave all my stressors behind in Manila.
Now onto the trip.
Red Taxi Cabs
Don't you just love those red taxicabs?
From what I have been told, the Hong Kong government encourages the use of public transportation (specifically the subway and ferries) by imposing stiff taxes on citizens who have automobiles. In addition to the aforementioned taxes, gas prices are also not too friendly. But hey, this is Hong Kong! If citizens are going to be restricted to one car, they seem to make the most of it by getting the most frivolous vehicle you can ever imagine with the likes of right-hand drive converted Porsche', Ferraris', vintage Ford Mustangs, just to name a few.
Eye candy for most automobile enthusiasts.
Causeway Bay, Hong Kong - Our home away from home...at least for the next four days...
As our cab made it's way to our hotel--Express by Holiday Inn--located the heart of Times Square in Hong Kong, I was famished. Lunchtime had come and gone and with our token Airline trays aside, we were certainly due for a hearty meal after our plane/train (more on that in a future post)/and cab rides.
After depositing our luggage, the family decided to jump next door to the Times Square Building and we ended up eating at city'super located at basement one. City'super--A conglomerate of several food establishments driven to provide quick and affordable meals to patrons everywhere. That about sums that up.
Among the established that caught my eyes was one called Triple O, which according to the city'super site, originated from Canada and is the company's second Hong Kong based store. Specializing in burgers, fries, and onion rings--which I was unwilling to have any part of--so I settled for an order of five chicken fingers, a glass of orange juice, and a bucket of ketchup.
Not the healthiest option, but one of the most filling ones, especially for only $43 HK. Also a word of advice, if your ever in the area and plan to order the same thing but your not a heavy eater (which I’m not), get the three piece meal instead of the five.
HMV and Toys R’ Us
Among the many motivations that I have whenever I travel to Hong Kong is making a pilgrimage to HMV, Toys R’ Us, and Page One for my music, movie, action figure, and reading needs.
So after our meal, my family and I made our way (and quite a stroll it was) to The Park Lane where HMV Style House is located. I also got to go next door with my brother to Toys R’ Us which was on the 7th floor of Causeway Bay Windsor House.
Now, if you are in the market for diverse Western music or DVD’s, HMV is certainly the place to go if you have deep pockets. For example, four reasonably prized box sets (ranging from $265 to $319 HK--some sets can go as high as $400-$600+) will set you back roughly about $1100 HK. That’s your shopping right there!
I also recommend that you make your rounds (if time and budget permits) around different music establishments in order to compare prices. HMV alone doesn’t have consistent prices as I found the same box set (priced on sale at $319 HK) in their HK Pacific Centre in Tsimshatsui for only $265 HK….ouch.
As for this branch of Toys R’ Us, all I can say is, you will certainly be better off going to their Ocean Terminal branch in Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon.
Getting lost on the way back to the hotel
This was bound to happen as we usually spend our trips on the Kowloon side of Hong Kong. With night falling along with my poor sense on direction (I usually need a couple of days or orient myself with any new surroundings), my poor brother and I walked aimlessly around Causeway Bay searching for our hotel.
However, getting lost does have its advantages as my brother and I stumbled upon a three level building in Wan Chai Road called the Oriental 188 Shopping Centre which specializes in computer games, systems, anime, music cd’s, etc.
After looking around at the said establishment, I was even able to get a gift for my dad for $20 HK -- George Benson’s Midnight Moods. He certainly enjoyed that one.
After giving up hope that we would ever find the hotel on foot, my brother and I took a cab back to the hotel.
Pizza Hut and the Exchange Rate
After dinner at the “new look” Pizza Hut on the 3rd floor of Express by Holiday Inn--for those of you that have seen it, doesn’t it look just like the sole survivor of the “franchise wars” from the 1993 movie “Demolition Man”?--my brother and I went out to exchange our Philippine and US currencies into Hong Kong dollars.
The best exchange that we could find at that time was $7.52 HK to $1 US and $0.15 HK to P1 PHP.
End of day one.
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