September 15, 2011

Travel to Hong Kong - Kowloon quest

In most occasions, traveling starts getting fun when you have to muddle through something that is far from what you have gotten used to.  It gets you into a mixture of emotions, you  won't be able to comprehend whether or not you are terrified, excited, challenged, or anything for that matter, especially when you are compelled to find your own way and no one is there to help you out.  This is exactly what hyped my Hong Kong adventure above ordinary fun and excitement.

I went for a short and urgent business trip to Hong Kong with limited information as to the details of the place I have to get to.  But it didn't worry me too much in fact I was all but ready to take a madcap adventure out of it, explore and have fun all at the same time. 

Upon my arrival to HKIA(Hong Kong International Airport), I would have thought I was inside a huge shopping mall if it wasn't for the luggage conveyors.  HKIA is for a fact one of the largest airport terminal and also one of the busiest if not the busiest airport in the world.  But in spite of its size,  You will not have trouble locating the exits or any airport terminal service you will need at that particular moment for as long as you know how to read and follow directions.

From inside the airport, I took the Airport Express train by the MTR(Mass Transit Railway) to reach my destination, Kowloon.  MTR is a railway transport service interconnecting several different points in Hong Kong including the airport terminal, Hong Kong Disney land, Kowloon, and into the main city.  I took one of the so many ticket vendo machines scattered in almost every corner of the airport terminal to buy my train tickets, I didn't even have to ask anyone for help to take me to where I could get them or to where the train terminal is exactly located.  Buying tickets from the ticket machine is a no brainer and an effortless task.  You just have to locate and choose your destination by pressing the red button beside it and insert your money.  I inserted my 100 HKD bill to pay my 90 HKD ticket from where I am to Kowloon and seconds later, a 10 dollar coin dropped as my change.  Talking about convenience.    And just when I thought that experience was well-satisfying and made my day, maybe until I got to board the train.  For a second I thought I was in a plane again.

Inside Airport Express train photo
I thought the time I spent inside the train was too quick I didn't realize it was time for me to disembark just moments after I got on.  As soon as I got off, I took a taxi and asked the driver to take me to the nearest shopping mall.  Not too much trouble on communication, Hong Kong people can communicate well in english.  Now off to the busy streets of Kowloon, the first thing I endeavored to look for was a place to eat.  Now this is were the excitement began.

There were a bunch of fast food restaurants, Mcdonalds, 711 and KFC in the vicinity but none of them seized my hunger at that time.  I wanted to try something different, it made no sense to me to pack my tummy with the same stuff that I get to eat back home in the Philippines.  And so with that,  I took myself in what I could think of as an authentic chinese cuisine encounter.  I really couldn't tell the name of the local restaurant simply because I didn't know how to read the chinese characters written.  As a matter of fact everything, including the menu was all written in chinese and that's what made the experience more interesting.

Prior to this trip, I made it sure I won't get into the battleground unarmed.  So I brought with me some of the most useful chinese words I once learned during my trip to Taiwan, another chinese speaking country, years before.  And this is how I was able to get that large bowl of authentic chinese see food noodle soup and a glass of milk tea onto my table without using their menu. I thought it was a cheap one but it was a good way to get some doze of self gratification at that instance.  I definitely enjoyed my food and everything else that made it. The experience was beyond words it was all fun and the excitement just never stopped.  All these for only 20 HKD, more or less 120 pesos.

After that luscious meal,I still had time left to roam around the streets before I finally get to meet my folks at work.  Few meters away from where I took my lunch was Kowloon Park and there I chose to spend the rest of my time waiting. 

Kowloon Park is probably one of the biggest public park in Kowloon peninsula and in the whole Hong Kong.  It is packed with lots of trees, stone walks, a pond, and also a museum that was originally a British force barracks.  And one interesting thing about Kowloon park, is that it is also packed with lots and lots of filipinos working in Hong Kong especially on Sundays.  They meet together, throw mini parties and have fun.

I took off just in time with my companies arrival.  Our chinese companion took us to her place where I was supposed to stay for my trip to settle my things before we finally go to dinner. 

I thought I had enough of the fun I was looking for when I took my jubilant meal at that chinese restaurant and spent few hours roaming inside Kowloon park and talking to some of my country men until they took me to what I thought was a more amusing and extraordinary dining experience, in a different way ofcourse.  Again we ate into a restaurant that there was no way I could remember the name but I could describe how amazing the dining experience was.  It wasn't the first time I ate in a shabu-shabu restaurant(a restaurant that serves a hot pot with mixed sea food, vegetables, and other stuff in it cooked right on top of your table), but that was the first time I feed on a shabu-shabu hot pot that divides the pan in two. One side spicy and the other side is not.  It was a thrilling experience and an extraordinary one.  Something that you need to try when you get to visit Hong Kong for whatever purpose. 

Though I was not able to alot and spend time visiting the popular tourist spots and must see places in Hong Kong because of my trip's limitation and urgency, I would say the fun and excitement I had was just as good as to what I would have when I go back not for business but for pleasure.

Need a place to stay in Hong Kong? 


Anonymous said...

interesting article ;)

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