“All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me.
You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.”
– Walt Disney
Hongkong is the very first “Chinese” city I’ve visited way back 2007, though it’s really not “China” but a Special Administrative Region of China and a former British colony. I was already working in Singapore then, so I wasn’t that culture-shocked anymore when I went there. Just like Singapore, it’s a progressive city with multi-cultural influences, so for me at that time, I am just visiting another developed Asian city.
I went here on 2007 as my birthday holiday tradition. I chose HK (Hongkong) because coming from Manila, HK is the place where Filipinos often travel for holidays during those times when budget airlines are still not popular and backpacking in South East Asia is still not the norm. So when I was still in Manila, I told myself that one day I must visit HK. Then living in Singapore for almost a year that time, a lot of Singaporeans are really raving about it, the pop culture, the food, the shopping, the nightlife, etc! Everyone is just crazy about going to HK. So for my first birthday in Singapore, I chose to go to HK.
I went here with a boyfriend (now ex of course) and if my birthday tradition is to go on holiday, I think in our 3 years being together, his tradition was to make me cry on my every birthday holiday, and these were not tears of joy sad to say. So my recollection of my HK trip wasn’t really that good, so I will try my hardest to remember because I still remember HK as an interesting city despite the not so nice personal memories I had whilst there.
We stayed at Tsim Sha Tsui in Kowloon so we could get a more cultural atmosphere and this is the perfect place for tourists if they want to witness how the Hongkongers live their daily lives. In this part of HK also you can find the cheapest places to eat and shop. Though for accommodation it is quite expensive if you base it with normal standards.
The places the I’ve went to were:
- Hongkong Disneyland
It was my very first time to go to Disneyland and I was already 30 years old then! But it was one of the happiest days of my life as I have been dreaming of Disneyland since I was a kid (US or Tokyo). In 2007, HK Disneyland was just barely new, so going here at that time was still something unlike nowadays where there are a lot more theme parks options around SEA like Universal Studios in Singapore and Lego Land in Malaysia. We spent our whole day and night here, so I guess I did enjoy a LOT! ;)
- Lantau Island
It’s the “countryside” of Hongkong, so it’s a bit of an alternative from the skycrapers and modernity of Hongkong Island and the hustle and bustle of Kowloon. However, the only thing we did see whilst here is going up to the giant Buddha (Tian Tan) up the hill :P
- Victoria Peak
We took the Peak Tram to go up here to see the stunning view of bright lights of Hongkong island at night, this is where we witness the Symphony of Lights.
- Madamme Tussauds
We were acting very “tourist” so we went here even if we will only see mostly are the wax of famous Hongkong/Taiwan actors :D
- Avenue of Stars
This is also a great place to witness the Symphony of Lights. We went here for another chance to see it and also it’s just few steps from our hotel too. This park is like the version of Hollywood’s Walk of Fame.
- Temple Street
This is where our hotel (Ramada Hotel) is located at (or I think close to, I can’t remember anymore!). All I remember was we shopped till we literally dropped, we still want more because we still have more from our allotted shopping budget, but we felt really tired already of going around and doing all the haggling and bargaining!
- Ocean Park
I don’t know why we went here, perhaps because it’s the very first theme park in Hongkong and everyone is just talking about the scary cable car with a wonderful view! However, I could not remember the experience because this was the point where I was just crying not because of fear but because of a big fight with my ex then! Grrrr >.< reason why I didn’t have any picture of that “view” that is still very blurry in my memory until now.
I am quite in mixed emotions while writing this Hongkong trip I had few years ago. It brought back some bad memories I had in the past, the heartaches and the heartbreaks. But also, it brought back some good ones like fulfilling my childhood dream on my own and also be able to appreciate the lesson of the troubles and obstacles I experienced to make me the stronger person that I am now.
I may not understand it then, but the message is very clear to me now. Sometimes – a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you – accept that kick no matter how it hurts, get up then move on and do something in your life. Then someday, you’ll see that this kick is one life-changing moment you were blessed to experience. Trust me ;)