Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Hong Kong - wandering with my eldest

I was on vacation last March. I thought it was another great and relaxing vacation

One week before my flight back to work, the so-called "Arab Spring" started at my work place, Yemen. Protests and rallies were held in many places. Our Philippine government imposed alert level 2 for travel to this country where over a thousand Filipinos were working. During that time, alert level 2 means restricted travel. Several of my colleagues and I were trapped in Manila. Some of them were offloaded from their flights. It was nightmare for a family man who has 2 college and 1 high school kids in private while paying his car and housing loans. Our house was damaged by Ondoy flood couple of years back and I have no choice but to spend our savings to transform our bungalow type to 3 storey house for I need to make sure that my family would be safe in case another Ondoy-like flood happens. It came to my mind that something much worse than Ondoy would happen if I'll lose my job.

Hence, I have to find a way on how to go back to my work place. To make my story short, I have decided to go to Hong Kong with my son as tourists with logistical support from my company.

My son and I did plenty of preparations. He has traveled to Bangkok before with some of his classmates so his passport will surely escape the scrutiny of our immigration officers; however, in regards to my work visa, it could be a different thing.

At the airport, all necessary documents were at-hand. I have prepared answers in anticipation to the questions that the immigration officers might ask. We went to airport fully prepared and hoping for the best. I must go back to my job at all cost.

At the immigration counter, the officer simply asked, "Sir, is he your son?" I replied yes. In  my mind, less talk less mistake.

So, we were on our way to Hong Kong!

We booked ourselves at Panda Hotel.   

We took our daily breakfast at McDonalds near our hotel. 


We usually take our lunch at Panda Hotel Restaurant. Hong Kong is quite expensive compared with Singapore. Note the price. Nevertheless, it was quite an experience to have authentic Szechuan cuisine for few days.

Our lunch always comes with complimentary green tea. However, I have observed that the locals were using the tea also to sanitize their utensils by immersing them on the steaming hot tea. We did the same.

When in Hong Kong, it is a shame if you won't drop by at Disneyland, unless you've been there before.

One of my childhood dreams

Mickey Mouse designed train will bring you to Disneyland Resorts from MTR station.

Shots inside Disneyland

Entrance of Disneyland Resort

Got Ya! Buzz!



The Parade of Stars

After few hours of strolling and several rides, we decided to have some Mickey Mouse as snacks. They were just waffle with fancy design and quite expensive

My son and I also explored Mongkok Street and down town Kowloon


Hong Kong MTR system is similar to Singapore, it is a combination of subway and overhead stations. In Hong Kong, they call the tap card as Octopus while in Singapore it is EZ Link. Both train systems are issuing single trip ticket.




 with Jackie Chan and Jet Li


with Bruce Lee

Sampan Trip - we paid 50 HKD each 

World's Biggest Floating Restaurant


Due to good sales pitch of our kabayan working at this shop, I bought Chinese horoscope golden pendants for my wife and 3 kids. Each one costs 49 USD with free stainless steel chain. I don't know if I was ripped off or not, what is important is to have souvenirs from this trip. I love collecting souvenirs from each place I visit.

Our 3D2N tour was quickly over. My son needs to fly back home after missing his class while I have to go back to my job. On our way to airport we had some shots.

Typical Hong Kong city cemetery. Note the crosses.

Some shots outside our hotel after hotel check-out. We were waiting for the hotel bus to bring us back to airport.

Though we lack preparation for this trip, it was nevertheless, a great experience for both us. I was able to come back to my job and decided to wander in other countries during my vacation until Philippine government lift the travel ban to my place of work. Until then, I would be facing another chapter in my life totally different from what I expect and plan. I just hope and pray that the travel ban will be lifted soon.

P.S. The photo above was taken by tour photographer. In addition to that photo, he gave me a personalized ceramic plate (?) with our picture. Cost me 120 HKD. Yes, it was a rip off but something to treasure.


Street Carollers at Causeway Bay
Roaming Around Causeway Bay
Roaming Around Mongkok
I am in Hong Kong for my lunch and dinner

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