Hong Kong Part 1
I often choose a path where it is more convenient for me but this one was different and challenging.
I got bored having the same routine whenever I go home for annual vacation and since I was in the mood for an adventure, I decided to book a flight with an 18 hour-layover in Hong Kong. Which means, I can go out in the airport and tour the city for a while. So, considering my personality (who rather want to have a company when going out because I get stupid sometimes especially in directions), it took me a lot of courage and maturity to click "BOOK A FLIGHT" and travel ALONE. I don't know why I chose this path but all I know is that after this, I'll have something to tick on my bucket list during my lifetime.
I arrived HK at around 7 am and since my expected departure is late in the evening, I had ample of time to tour the city PLUS this amazing view of sunrise while on the plane. So after arrival, they have a baggage store facility where people can leave their stuff and be charged at 12 HK dollars per hour or 140 HK dollars in 24 hrs. The airport is so wide, it served like a puzzle to me on my way out.(note: Me=Poor in Directions)
The 10 Hk Dollar didn't feel like a complete paper, it felt like plastic or something. Not sure about it but what I knew for sure was, I didn't want it to get crumpled and since it's cute and quite girly, I just kept it in my wallet for souvenir. 1 HK dollar is like 6.5 Php or 0.5 dirhams or 0.13 USD. I only brought enough money for transport, food and entrance fee to my 2 destinations, then brought my credit card as well.for emergency purposes or additional expenses. Before leaving the airport, the immigration officers gave me a small piece of paper indicating that I am on connecting flights and can tour the city visa free for maximum of 14 days. (I don't know for other nationalities)
Thanks to Wifi, Google and Airport Staff, another step is completed. It took me a while to figure out on how to go to my destination! I swear to never travel alone again. It was my choice anyway so better stick to it with full pride. I didn't know where to consult for tour packages as well in the airport so move on to operation Solo Traveler. She suggested to buy this smart card, Octopus which other tourists often buy. It can be used for transportation using the train or buying some stuff and just return it to refund whatever that's left in the card or keep it if I want. They had other cards too but this was the best option for me.
Map of their train stations... In Philippines, we call it MRT or LRT, in Dubai it's "Metro" but in Hong Kong, I think they call it "MTR?" Mass Transit Railway. I was surprised at first by just seeing the map and numerous stations but in every stops, they also have nearby tourist spots so travelers won't get lost as long they are within the stations. I wanted to go to the main city at first but given the time frame, I had to squeeze and prioritize my journey. So far, this is the fastest train that I've experienced and what I loved there was if you will take the escalator, a voice over will remind you to hold the hand rail. My travel date was weekend so I didn't get to experience their rush hour but trains were fully packed in late evening as observed.
Ocean Park was my first stop and to go there because it's far from the city, I bought this City Bus tickets but can I also go by train? Not really sure about it, sorry but I was a beginner. I chose the easier way for me aside from taxi because taxi rides are not my thing as a tourist.
Please enlighten me in case you read this. How did I manage to get here? Aside from google, the staff in airport and MTR guided me where to go.
Their coins vary in shapes and width as well so I kept some for myself for something to remember but the 1 HK dollar coin caught my attention the most because it was heavier and bulkier compared to other coins. Their bus had two floors so I opted to stay on the upper part so to enjoy the view. Oh, there's one thing that I observed, I think I was the only lone traveler in that bus. =(
I'd love to take a ride in their bus or taxi if given more time.
On the way to Ocean Park... level of independence increased to 0.5% hehe.