Thursday, January 13, 2011

Travel Kuwento: Hongkong Dec 3-5, 2010 DAY 1

When: December 3-5,2010
Who: Me, Hubby, Father, Sister with her husband and son, Brother with wife and daughter (party of 7 adults and 2 kids)
Where: Stayed at Harbor Plaza 8 Degrees at Kowloon side and visited other places which will be detailed in the itinerary below
Airline: Cathay Pacific

At the start of the 2010, my sister told me that she wanted to bring her family to Hongkong and asked if she could join me and my husband in our annual holiday. We consented and as early as February, we were scouting around for cheap packages going to Hongkong for a December booking. However, travel agencies do not yet have prices for December and it was only in August that we were able to find a package and it was at the Cathay Pacific website. Promo was inclusive of airfare, hotel lodging, land transfer and HK Disneyland entrance ticket. Not bad for the price.

When my mom learned about it, she said that in lieu of Christmas gifts, she will shoulder part of our fare and said that we should bring our brother and his family with us. To make the family complete, I called my dad and invited him to come with us and he agreed (after I told him I'll shoulder his fare).

So we were set, Hongkong, here we come!

Our flight was at 0630AM and we were supposed to be at the NAIA1 airport 3-4 hours before. I told them that I'll meet them there at the entrance as the tickets and itinerary were with me.

My siblings were so excited so they slept at my Dad's house and they arrived 10-15 minutes before my husband and I did. As we're a big group, the nice people at the check-in counter directed us to a different line where we checked in at around 330AM.

As it was everyone's (except for me, Leo and my brother) first time at the airport, they were roaming around checking the stalls and we finally waited for our flight at the gate. That's my brother, my husband, my nephew and my dad with an airplane (that Cathay) at the back.

As we had kids with us, we were able to board ahead of everyone else. We were able to find our seats and I so love the monitors behind the headrest as seen below.

My siblings were excited of course. A couple of our airplane shots:

Another interesting thing is that they have a camera underneath the plane which gives you a belly view of what's outside. So at take-off, it shows you the front wheels and when the plane leaves the ground and vice versa at touch-down.

Breakfast was served and I liked the corned beef pandesal and fruit bowl.

We arrived in Hongkong an hour or so later. I would love to fly Cathay again in the future, especially on a long-haul flight. Too bad they're a bit pricey. When we left the plane, we were made to ride a train which took us to immigration. We cleared immigration, exchanged a bit of our dollars and proceeded to our land transfer booth.

We boarded a bus which took us to the hotel which was 30-45 minutes away. I enjoyed the view and was reminded that Hongkong was indeed a port/harbor city. I was also amazed by how tall and thin the buildings are.

We made it to our hotel in due time and while waiting for our room to be ready, we walked around to find a place which would serve early lunch. We found a hole-in-the-wall place and walked in to try out authentic chinese food. Much to our consternation, the server does not speak any word of english and we had to order by pointing to the picture of the food that we want.

After taking our order, she prepared the food and served it to us as well. Talk about being a one-woman-show. Apparently, the rest of the staff (which we deduced was her family) was out shopping for ingredients. Here's my brother-in-law posing in front of the (in)famous restaurant:

We headed back to our hotel where we happily found out that our rooms were ready. Unfortunately, one room is not on the same floor so Leo and I decided to take that room with my Dad rooming in with my brother and his family. Since we were up early that day, we all took a nap and woke up at around 3PM where we headed out to look for a snack. We found a nearby Yoshinoya where Leo and I ordered the yummy meal below:

After pigging out, we walked to a nearby park where we savored the deliciously cool weather and enjoyed the thought of just being in a foreign land with your loved ones.

We then decided to take the shuttle which would take us to Nathan Road so we can see the sights. Unfortunately, we were a bit overwhelmed by everything so we just headed to a nearby Mcdonald's where we whiled away the time while waiting for the shuttle to take us back to the hotel.

And that ends Day 1 of our Hongkong Adventure.

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