Learning To Walk

Hong Kong 1994 and 1997

They say that if you want to see the world outside the Philippines for the first time, you have to see it at an age that would allow you to remember. I’m glad that my elementary graduation gift in 1994 was a trip to Hong Kong with my sister. I was not too old nor too young to remember the places I saw and the food I ate. A big opportunity came 3 years later when I went to Hong Kong again, this time with my entire family. There were plenty of great moments during those two trips to Hong Kong. Here are some I would like to share (as far as I can remember):

1. Airplane – Cathay Pacific was our airline of choice. The highlight was the music which you can listen to from your seat.
2. The ride from the airport to the hotel – I saw so many buildings for the first time. I also saw a lot of condominiums / residences with laundry clothes hanging about the windows.
3. Marco Polo Hotel – We stayed here in 94 and 97. It was my mom’s choice because the price was not too expensive and the service was excellent. My three unforgettable moments in that hotel:

a. The chocolates inside the refrigerator (which I initially thought were free)

b. The pay per view movies

c. And I believe..it was Alec Baldwin whom I saw in the hotel (Planet Hollywood Hongkong would open a week later)

4. The MTR – The fastest train ride of my life.

5. Ocean Park – I was able to watch sea lions and a killer whale perform awesome tricks. I wanted to ride the roller coaster but I was too young then to face my fear (it’s different right now of course!)

6. Authentic Chinese food – Peking duck and noodles. One more unforgettable moment: My brother got too dizzy after eating too much rice at one restaurant.

7. Giordano, Bossini, and Fila – I was foreign to those shops because they didn’t exist in Manila back then. I was very excited about Fila because the brand sponsored my favorite tennis player Monica Seles during the early 90s

8. 711 – I ate my first ever Häagen-Dazs in a Hong Kong 711.

9. Victora Peak – The Hongkong skyline at its best

10. Jumbo Restaurant – We had to ride a junk to see this and the experience was magnificent.

11. Hard Rock Cafe Hongkong – Where I first tasted my now favorite Corona Extra.

So far, these are the highlights of my 2 trips to Hong Kong. I’m sure that the region has changed over the years but I’m glad that I was able to step on such a land of wonder.

Hong Kong, for me, is all about shopping and entertainment. I can’t say that if you want to see something historical you should go to Hong Kong. But I would definitely say YES to Hong Kong if you want to experience a wild shopping spree and eat lots of delicious Chinese food. The Marco Polo Hotel stood at Kowloon-side, the bustling area of the region. The Hong Kong-side, meanwhile, was more laid back. I remember this huge strip selling lots of bags and souvenirs at Hong Kong-side but the entire area wasn’t as loud as Kowloon. Taxi was already expensive back then, so I had to do alot of walking, which is a great way to see and experience a city.

The Hong Kong of 1997, I’m sure, is far from the Hong Kong of 2011. I hope to go back one day and see how the region has changed over the years.

**The photo above is me and Lola Maren (spelling?) at Hong Kong side.

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