Our First Trip Abroad
I actually was planning to write a first-hand narrative of what happened. In fact, I already have four paragraphs. But the lazy bug bit me (eww, stupid cliche).
So, I will just post pictures and write cute captions or something. Teehee :)
Picture credits (because most pics aren’t mine) to Mary Joy Molina, Keeshia Joy San Juan, and Ezra Hilary Ceniza.
My travel buddies. We just arrived at the Mactan Cebu International Airport.
I’m not in the picture. Hahahaha… I was sitting down on one of those metal seats on the side. I was thinking (because we came there at 4 AM), “Aren’t we too early?”
Oh, we weren’t early. Gosh. I did not know traveling out of the country would be like that. Write down on papers. Pay here. Pay there. Questions everywhere.
But, after like an hour, we finally sat down and relaxed at the boarding area.
Group selca. Because I don’t want to use the word “selfie.”
Oh, you know how Filipinos love to take pictures any time, any where.
Oh, I slept through the plane ride.
Joy, my friend, took this picture. Cool, uh?
Actually, minutes before we landed at HK International Airport, I eagerly looked outside the window.
It was a thrilling experience. All I wanted to see was how Hong Kong looked from the sky. But all I saw was a tip of the mountain and layers after layers of cloud. Hahahahaha.
I was amazed by their airport – carpeted floor, glass from top to bottom! It’s a big WOAH!
Because of that, shouldn’t we take a group selca again? hahahaha :))
Have I already shared that their shuttle looked like a train cart? COOL!
So we took a selca again :)
We had to go through HK Immigrations. But, unlike in MCIA, it only lasted for 20 minutes.
The airport was well-adorned for their week – long celebration of the Chinese New Year.
Those flowers and oranges behind us are real. Yes.
Those orange plants and fruits were in every store in Tsim Sha Tsui. Too bad we can’t eat them.
We then checked in at Chung King Mansions.
I did not expect our rooms to be small. Really small. It was different from the pictures on our online booking. It was like one third of a regular Philippine classroom. Well, because it was our first trip abroad, we decided to think positively.
We booked in a travel budget hotel after all. Besides, even though the room was small, it had all we need – neat beds, towels, aircon, a toilet with heater, and even a hair dryer.
After leaving our bags, we then expolred Hong Kong…particularly Tsim Sha Tsui –
The streets of Hong Kong
Oh, yes. We walked. We walked till our feet ached.
Once again – group selca while waiting for the bus. (We also rode the bus.)
The bus schedule.
Their buses were mostly double deckers. I loved it!
Selca on the second deck on the bus <3
With Joy, the selca queen of this trip.
oooh! I take pictures everywhere. This was at a park near the Tsim Sha Tsui Harbor.
Average sized buildings.
We were amazed by a certain fountain in Hung Hom. It looked like a shallow swimming pool!
There, a series of group selca began.
Then we took random pictures while we were exploring Hong Kong’s streets.
Me with a cute bear in front of a Japanese restaurant. I don’t know. I guess when it’s your first trip abroad, everything just seems interesting. hahahahaha
My feet were actually aching when this pic was taken. It was like walked through Hong Kong for a week already. But the Indian was irresistible.
We rode an elevator to reach this pedestrian over pass. Hahaha.. I guess we were really tired to walk up a set of stairs. And I think the steps didn’t reach 40. The experience was funny actually >< We enter the elevator on the other side. We faced the closing door. As we reached the top, another door from behind us (which we didn’t notice earlier) opened. Amazing.
We then attended mass at a building for sailors (I forgot the name). Most of the mass goers were Filipinos. Hahahaha. I just found that amazing.
After the mass, we stayed in the building for a while because it was raining hard. Of course we took selcas once again.
Keeshia and I.
Ezra and I.
You know how I found so many things amazing? These flowers were so adorable! They said they only bloom and display these during Chinese New Year. These flowers not only look good, it has a wonderful scent, too.
We also visited the Avenue of the Stars. Since most of the stars there were Chinese, we only looked for Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan. Hahahahahaa. It was so cold. Fog was everywhere and the cold wind was blowing.
Keeshia with Tita~
Ezra and Joy~
Do you know him/her? Hahaha… We just took a picture of a random star >//<
Group selca while waiting for the light show.
Isn’t this a replica of a junk ship from our history books? Isn’t it amazing?
More pictures at the Avenue of the Stars…
And of course… I should not forget to take my own selca <3 :3
The Peninsula Hotel.
Pose pose at the hotel’s facade.
Let’s smell the flowers and check if these are real. And they were! Amazing! (That’s me, by the way…)
Joy loved the flowers, too :3
My late ‘I’M IN HONG KONG’ pose. We’re still at the Peninsula Hotel.
I forgot which day we took the following pictures…but we took these at a mall near Fa Yeun Street.
The guy’s looking weirdly at us. He didn’t know that this is the art of taking selcas. hahahahahaha :) Selca pa more~
Fa Yeun Street is a well-known shopping district in Hong Kong. Since we shopped and haggled and carried numerous shopping bags, less pictures were taken.
HUGE fishes in an aquarium at a store near the main road. AMAAAAAZING!
Keeshia bought these Japanese nibbles at a Japanese store in Fa Yeun Street. These were really affordable and delicious that we came back and bought more the next day. :)
Joy just loves to take selcas <3
Our shopping bags were getting heavier. We got tired of haggling down. We all felt that our feet would go numb in any minute. In fact, I felt two large needles were piercing my feet.
So, we decided to rest at a tea restaurant.
It was a new experience. We bought new kinds of teas. Those which we considered as exotic.
This was their best seller. I didn’t know why. It was salty. (I’m sorry) I did not like the taste. It was foreign. Too foreign. Keeshia, Joy, and Ezra didn’t like their teas, too. >//< But we had to finish our cups. So, we had a challenge. We documented it through a video. Secrets were spilled. Laughter roared. :)
Tired but happy shoppers ~
Group picture inside the tea shop.
Next stop – Victoria Peak.
We initially wanted to take the tram (the most popular transportation to reach the Peak). However, a long line welcomed us. =. =
So we rode the MTR (their train)…
…and a bus.
I have to tell what happened during the bus ride.
The road going up the Peak was a great zigzag. It didn’t help that my travel buddies were mostly not used to that kinds of roads. Also, the driver of the bus drove like he was filming Fast and Furious.
Bragging aside, I’m used to zigzags and fast driving because I am from the province. So the drive up hill wasn’t a problem. In fact, I enjoyed the ride. It was great to see tall building nearly covered by the fog. it was also good to see greenery.
So I was shocked when I saw how pale Keeshia, Ezra, and Joy after the bus ride.
Although we didn’t ride on a tram to go up the Peak, we had a picture with it :)
There’s a nature trail at Victoria Peak. Of course, we went through it. It was great!
as you enter the trail, all you can see is fog. Fog everywhere.
But somewhere along the trail, the fog lessens. There’s less fog that sun light passes through.
I was soo happy when I took this picture! After 3 winter days, I could see and feel the sun! T.T
Did you notice that I wasn’t in most of the group pictures in the trail? That’s because I went ahead. HAHAHAHAHAHA I had my reasons. I’ll only say one – I love nature and I wanted to enjoy it ALONE. And I had fun. :)
I finished the trail first.
It was already dark when my travel buddies finished the trail. They told me that they waited for me.
I felt sorry. But that only lasted for a while.
Anyways… After that, we entered a mall at the peak.
This was the view from the top – A FOGGY HONG KONG WINTER.
Each of us posed with Bruce Lee, too.
And before we left the Peak, we took a final memorial picture in front of our favorite ice cream shop.
We heard a mass in Chinese at a Catholic Church, Holy Rosary Church at Chatham Road.
It was clean. Inside, there was a fusion of Chinese and Catholic traditions.
The altar was simple yet fascinating. And since it was Lunar New Year, a pink tree with flowers and orange plants similar to the airport decorations were placed on the side of the altar.
Hearing the mass in another language was amazing. And, I found it even more amazing when the Chinese attending the mass were so participative – they sang and responded with fervor and in loud voices.
The next pictures were taken at the Clock Tower near the harbor at Tsim Sha Tsui.
This was after our ferry ride from the main Hong Kong Island. Although we had less pictures on the ferry, we (particularly Joy and Keeshia) took lots of pictures.
The ferry docked at a pier near the Clock Tower. We were lucky. We saw the light show and even bought more chocolates at a lesser price. :)
Finally, we visited two universities in Hong Kong. Actually, we went to Hong Kong to look for universities which could offer great master’s degree training in Linguistics.
Walk. Walk. Walk.
Pose for a while.
I really loved the scenery. It made the long and tiring walk worth it.
The obligatory ‘We’re here at CityU’ picture.
Hello, CityU! (the picture’s blurry because I used a 2g phone >//<)
Their campus was nice. I liked it because it was huge. It was closer to nature than HKU’s Campus (which was located at the center of a tall building).
A lion. Of course! We’re in Hong Kong. And it’s the Lunar New Year!
It’s really a clean university! We were really amazed.
This is a painting near the main building entrance. It was beautifully taken. But didn’t you notice that my smile is just too genuine? That’s because I nearly stumbled down. I did not notice that the floor was sloping down towards the pebbles near the painting. >//<
Their library. HUGE.
And they even have their own bookshop just across the library!! And with shelves full of published thesis from the floor to the top! ><
Unlike the Department of Linguistics in my university which is at the ground floor, the Department of Linguistics in CityU and HKU were on floors higher than the fifth floor.
Sadly, we were not entertained by the department. But, as we saw it, everyone was busy. It seemed that they had a meeting. Or ….
But we sent them an email three months before our visit. They didn’t reply. I guess they don’t entertain guests on a holiday. It was Lunar New Year after all.
So, we just toured around and took pictures.
Hong Kong University was different. It had it’s own MTR stop. And it was located in the middle of tall buildings.
I noticed that both CityU and HKU had Run Run Shaw Buildings and Halls. Hmmmmm… I just cannot guess what these buildings and rooms are for.
Unlike CityU, the Department of Linguistics welcomed us warmly. We didn’t even expect to meet half of the faculty. We had our talk inside a conference room. Four professors welcomed us – Professor Diana Archangeli (the Chair), Professor Cathyrn Donohue, Professor Kofi Yakpo, and Assistant Researcher Jon Yip.
My friends and I asked questions. The professors answered our questions enthusiastically. They were amazed with our great interest in linguistics.
It was a rich and wonderful experience to talk with well-published yet humble professors.
We actually toured their library too. Sadly it was strictly NO PICTURE TAKING ALLOWED. We barely managed to get inside because Professor Kofi was with us.
Gosh, their library is AMAZING! Unlike my university’s library, their shelves are actually full of books from the floor up to the cieling! And I’m not even exaggerating.
Professor Kofi toured us on the floor with the Linguistics books.
BREATH TAKING. I could literally do my thesis there since most of our proponents’ and related literature are on their bookshelves. T.T
There were several interesting books and journals in linguistics, too.
Hong Kong – was very memorable. It’s distinct smell, the Chung King Mansions, the shop owners with whom we haggled with, their large food servings, their double-deck buses, and finally the thick fog. These were truly unforgettable.
We only toured two Hong Kong Islands. But it was fun and fulfilling.
We’ll come back next time. Whether it’s for leisure or for educational purposes – we’ll never know.
Last group picture in Hong Kong at the Hong Kong International Airport. (taken a few minutes before our departure)
Back at Mactan Cebu International Airport.