June 25, 2012

Ocean Park Hong Kong

Built during the later half of the 70's Ocean Park Hong Kong opened on September 1977 headed by the British Governor of Hong Kong. It is situated at the Southern District of the Hong Kong S.A.R. which has been catering to millions of tourists, Asians and beyond the borders of the region!

Ocean Park Hong Kong

The Park is HUGE! As you enter, there is this Giant fountain situated at the center but the hugeness doesn't stop there because it is just about a third of the park in view! The rest of the park is situated beyond the mountain wherein you have to take the train that leads you up or of course, their famed cable car that will bring you up high in the mountains while you enjoy a spectacular view.

The view of the Park as you enter it from the gates

I was so excited to ride the cable car and Kuya Jonjon said it was quite a ride and that He and Ate Ardel will just take the Train. I was quite nervous about it knowing that they will not ride it again but he said it is a great experience so that I should try it!

Before we get to the other side, we decided to have lunch first! It was around 2 pm at that moment because we have been to Victoria in the morning together with the Sampan Cruise which I shall be featuring on another post. So we strolled along the Old Hong Kong part of the Park and we decided to have some Noodles and Beef Brisket! I must tell you their servings are HUGE!

Beef Brisket Noodles

After lunch, We parted ways with Kuya Jonjon and Ate Ardel as they are to take the train ride to the other side of the mountain. So I, Ate Judy, Ate Ming and Gabe, yup! Gabe, my five year old nephew, so brave he would like to join us with the Cable Car Ride! I am so proud of my nephew because he is not just smart and kind, I also have found out how brave he is!

So there it goes! We went straight then slowly the cable cars are about to go above the mountain so the ride was smooth but the view is just spectacular! I can remember the scene from one of my favorite movies, "All my Life" wherein Kristine is so afraid while she was in the cable car ride high in the forests of Langkawi in Malaysia. And Aga said something like, "Kung hindi mo bubuksan ang mga mata mo sa mga bagay na nakapaligid sayo, hindi mo makikita kung gaano ito kaganda" or in English, If you're not going to open your eyes to the things around you, you can never appreciate its beauty. That scene is just so memorable to me and I agree with that! Okay too much about these drama, it was so beautiful up high!

The view midway from the Cable Car ride just across the mountain.

Me inside one of the Gondollas up high and enjoying the spectacular view!

As we went down from the ride, we were waiting for Kuya Jon and Ate Ardel and when we caught up with them, they got us an Ice cream break and it was sooooo good! It has these raspberries that I have only seen in pictures because we don't have them here in the Philippines and they tasted so good! Way better than strawberries I must say! Then when I was sitting, I felt that my shoes are slowly killing my feet! It really had me walking weirdly so Kuya Jonjon and Ate Ardel bought me some slippers! Yeay!

My feet suffering from these leather loafers from my Uncle Ben! Well what can I do I Looove these shoes and I really like wearing them!

While having Ice cream, the view from the Ice Cream Parlor is just astounding! I really feel like I'm in Monaco and the view of the French Riviera is just absolutely enticing! Hong Kong truly is magnificent! By the way, I brought some friends from home and finally, my Snoopy Hong Kong got back to his home country! Yeay for you Snoopy!

Welcome Home Snoopy Hong Kong!

So after some Ice cream, Kuya Jon let us roam around the park, just me and my Ate to try some rides! So of course, what will I ask my Ate more than one of my favorite things on Earth, FERRIS WHEEL! And Ate said they do have one so we started circling around the Park! Mind if I tell you, these map things that they give at the entrance, they REALLY do come in handy especially on Ocean Park Hong Kong wherein the roads are like snakes and dragons swirling around the whole area and you can get lost in circles if you really don't try the map!

So we did reached the Ferris Wheel! The ride's queue was quite long but it wasn't that bad because the weather is nice and there are fans orbiting along the queue. While in the line we hear a lot of Tagalog speaking people, of course Filipinos and it is always so nice to have your own people around you. Then there was this Chinese man in front of me who was very friendly and smiles in all but he keeps on talking to me in Mandarin! I can see how he kind of feels sorry whenever I can't respond to his questions and stories because I can't understand him but he stills smiles after.

So when it was our turn, I was so excited! I just love Ferris Wheels! I mean I was afraid of heights as in VERY AFRAID when I was still a teener but since I skywalked Cebu, believe me, it helped a lot and now, heights are just so relaxing to me (as long as I am not suspended on air with just some string) and the view, literally breath-taking!

My Ate Judy at the Ferris Wheel Ride at Ocean Park Hong Kong

After the ride we felt really refreshed and calmed. the slight stress from picking the wrong routes to the Wheel was left on the air! So before heading back to Ate Ardel's, My Ate treated me some Iced Coffee from McDonald's inside the park! We both have seen how Hong Kong Fastfood and even other companies allow people of elder age to still work at the counters and at these establishments. Me and my Ate both have a soft heart when it comes to elder people and we felt really happy that in Hong Kong, Age is never a discriminatory factor! And this lady at the cashier who sold us the coffees is just so nice and her smile is just so contagious! I hope my country allows older people as well, someday I guess.

Me and my Iced Coffee while resting on a Marble bench at the Park

After some coffee we went back to Kuya Jon, Ate Ardel, Ate Ming and Gabe. We went back to the Front part of the Park and this Time by Train! It was so cool just like a Mine Train going straight directly to the Center of the Earth! When the ride was over, we went to the Ocean Park Grand Aquarium! It was really HUGE! I think this is the third time I said HUGE on this post because the Park really is Big! Thousands of Fishes of different kinds can be seen inside even our National Fish the Bangus or the Milkfish has its own Exhibit inside the Aquarium!

One of the Giant Aquariums at Ocean Park Hong Kong

When the sun bade its goodbye for the day, we had dinner at the Panda Restaurant inside the Park while we wait for our Coach. As we were walking this Kind Sharky Mascot was there to have some pictures with the guests! And of course, Will I and Gabe take pass to this opportunity? We can't swim with the Shark so a Picture would be nice right? Thanks to Kuya Jon who got this shot!

Me and Gabe and Sharky! Ok Gabe is just so cute!!!

Ocean Park Hong Kong is just so vast and so huge and all its rides and attractions will truly give you long lasting memories! Will I come back given an opportunity? Yes I will! I am a Sea Person! I love Nautical themed clothes, houses, and of course, Sea Themed Parks like this one! Never Stop Dreaming, Never stop Travelling! Steven^^

June 24, 2012

Hong Kong - The Fragrant Harbour

Hong Kong, Asia's World City is a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China. Once a British Colony in the Orient, the British Rule over the Islands ended on July 1, 1997 or much known as the Handover.

It was my first time in Hong Kong and it marked itself as my Fourth Country/Territory that I have visited. It was very exciting because my Mom had been here last 1990 on a Vacation trip with my father and my Grandparents! The fact that I chose Hong Kong to Celebrate my birthday in makes me miss her so much! I love you so much Mommy and I know you helped me reach Hong Kong.

We left NAIA Terminal 3 in Manila at 1915H via Cebu Pacific Flight. We arrived about Two hours after at Hong Kong International Airport. It was huge I must say! I think it is bigger than Suvarnabhumi but I have to be honest, the design of the Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok is just so much better and much more Artistic than the Hong Kong International Airport.

As soon as we arrived, we were carried by the bus which fetched us up on a remote part of the Airport to the Arrival Gates leading us to the Immigration Process. It was a very liberating experience because it is the very first time I get on the plane with just me and my Ate! Ok we were not just the ones inside the plane generally but I mean it was just the two of us, no other friends and family! But when we got there, we waited for a few minutes for my Cousin Kuya Jonjon and Ate Ardel's Flight! I was so excited to see Gabe, my nephew and I was truly looking forward to a great trip just like our trip to Boracay with them, Kuya Jon, Ate Ardel, Gabe and Ate Ming!
Me at the Chek Lap Kok Airport or the Hong Kong International Airport Arrival Area

It was also a sad moment because my Faux leather jacket just slowly deteriorated as we arrive. Yup! Deteriorate as in the Polyurethane shell of the jacket just started flaking all over and I really will miss my Zara jacket! We've been through together for quite a while!

As soon as we got of the Airport via Coach that will directly lead us to the hotel, I started to get ecstatic with the beautiful Night View of the Territory! The Bus ride to the hotel, Panda Hotel, was quite a while from the airport that gave us the chance to see the beautiful lights that float around the city! From high rise buildings, to the suspension bridges, everything is just on fire! And of course, Double Decker Buses! Now, I can say that I'm on Hong Kong!

First sights of Hong Kong through my lenses! Buildings and Double Decker Buses

This is actually our Second Trip with Kuya Jon and Ate Ardel since Boracay last January and I really enjoy Travelling with them! Not just because they are very kind to bring us and help us having carefree travels which make us feel like luxurious tourists haha but most of all, they are just so fun to be with! All the stories we exchange and all the laughs we do together with Gabe and Ate Ardel's Mom Ate Ming, it is just irreplaceable!

As we arrived at the Hotel, it was so, Panda-y!!! With Panda walls, panda figurines and stuffed animals, we are definitely in Panda Hotel! It was around 10 pm when we finally settled down our check in requirements and went to our rooms! So Kuya Jon decided that we should grab some dinner at some McDonald's since it's quite late so we just have to get thighs through 7/11 and a 24 hour McDonald's! I am so excited because visiting those two establishments gave me things that truly I can appreciate the difference between my country and the other that I am visiting, just like in Bangkok!

The Panda Hotel Lobby located at the 3rd Floor. Hotel Lobbies on this part of the world are not usually found at the Ground Floor.

So after we had our dinner at our rooms, we settled down to bed for a good night's sleep! Panda Hotel is a cozy place to retire for busy leisure days around Hong Kong! I particularly like their bed sheets that are just so soft and will truly give you a good night sleep in comfort! Their Buffet Breakfast is as great as well with a wide array of food from Hash Brows to Deli Goods, an egg salon to a salad bar. And the best thing about it for me, the Ketchup, it's like SOUP on a giant bowl wherein you use a laddle to help yourself with it! there you got it, I LOVE Ketchup! It is located inside the Mainland so it is quite far from the Harbour and the Shopping Districts but you can reach Disneyland from it much faster than other Hotels from other districts.

The bew Doggy enjoying the view from our Room's window at Panda Hotel

This is Ate Judy and Gabe waiting for our Bus on the First morning.

Our First stop was Victoria Harbour! I was so much excited, okay excited will not even describe it the least because Victoria Harbour! THAT is what HONG KONG pictures in my mind every time I hear it! Just as too Lady Liberty to NYC and Eiffel to Paris, the Cloudy, building dense harbour is what Hong Kong is to me! So on our ride to the harbour, we are joined by other Pinoy Tourists inside the bus! Our Guide Jenny from Continental travel and Tours is just so nice and bubbly! She knows so much not of her own City but of the Philippines as well and it made us very happy and special while we were inside the bus! She even thought us some Cantonese!

And so we arrived! As I got my first glimpse of it, as usual, I stopped, stared and savored that very moment! I just can't believe I am actually there, at that very spot facing the whole harbour! Forgive me for being such a drama king but I'm sorry I just really am, this is how SERIOUS I am when it comes to travelling around, I am DEAD SERIOUS about it and every trip is truly a BIG DEAL for me, the place does not just make it a big deal for me, I MAKE IT A BIG DEAL FOR ME!

At Victoria Harbour. Me, Ate Judy, Ate Ming, Ate Ardel Kuya Jonjon and Gabe at the Front.

The Great View of the Victoria harbour has been transformed into a beautiful boardwalk park and they named it the Avenue of the Stars! Just like in Hollywood but it features their own Hong Kong and Chinese Celebrities like the Pinoy Favorite Jacky Chan, Fu Chi and so much more. But the Star of all the Stars is of course, the legendary Bruce Lee. The park was built when he was already deceased so in memory of him is a big statue of him and his famous Kung Fu/Karate Chop Pose at the very end of the Avenue.

Me, Gabriel and Ate Judy posing at the Bruce Lee Statue! Photo taken by Kuya Jonjon.

Me at Fu Chi's Handprint. I don't know Fu Chi but I just think the name's cute hahaha

The Hong Kong Trip was truly memorable even if this is just the very first part of our Four Day Hong Kong - Macau Adventure! Stay tuned for more stories on this trip including rants about the Park near the Ocean, Something that brings Europe to Asia and of course, A story about our favorite Mouse!

Never Stop Dreaming, I Don't!

June 13, 2012

Goodbye Summer!

My Summer Vacation is officially over as I start packing things for School! The things that I will miss are as follows:

1. Magtinda sa Lumber! Had so much fun meeting many people especially people from my Town! Magbuhat ng 200 Pawid sa isang bilihan ng hindi ako tinutulungan ng Costumer! Maghugas ng kamay 10 times an hour kada may bibili ng Pako! At magbuhat ng Semento at Sako sakong buhangin!

2. Bonding with the JSV Peeps! Ate Judy, Carlos, Trisha and especially sa mga alaga kong weekly ko ata nakakasama Caren and Abrielle! I'M GONNA MISS YOU GUYS!!!

3. My Afternoon naps.

4. Biking around town during the Afternoon hours (Will not be able to do so this semester as my classes are from 12-7 at most.

5. Nights dedicated to nothing but watching FRIENDS, Once Upon a Time and Dream High

6. Missing the greatest students that I loved so much and not seeing them in the school premises BIT45 and BCS42 Batch 2012 (We Are Family)... AND SO MUCH MORE! Good Bye Summer, May the Semester be nice to me and all my students :D