Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Day 2 started with an early morning rise. We were supposed to be ready for the tour at 7:45am so we went down for the complimentary breakfast at 7. Little did we know that the ham and egg sandwich breakfast with coffee or tea would be the the same breakfast we'll have for the next 3 days. At around 7:40, people were starting to crowd the hotel lobby, mostly Filipinos. My mom befriended 2 ladies who were, as it turned out, in the tour with us. The tour guide arrived on time and we boarded the bus to our first stop.

Our tour group were composed of a semi-deadma all Filipino crowd, including a newlywed couple who were probably in their honeymoon, another family of 3 and a large family with several members. I didn't do a quick count but I would guess that we were probably 15-20 tourists in the bus.

The tour guide gave us a detailed map of Hong Kong with a piece of paper referring to our hotel so we could start tracing from there. This proved to be very useful on our 3rd day as we have to reach the Hong Kong Ferry Terminal on the other side of the city, all on our own.

Our first stop was in a kind of overlooking bay with a brass Bruce Lee statue and stars embedded in the pavement ala Hollywood Walk of Fame but featuring Hong Kong stars. We got the chance to take many pictures of the great view and the garden. But it the sun was shining a little too brightly so after the pictorial, we headed to the washroom to freshen up and back to the bus.

View of the bay. My camera decided to have issues at this time hence the gloomy photo. In reality it was freakin hot.

One of the stars etched in the pavement.

While riding the tour bus to the next stop, my cellphone proved to be a reliable camera amidst the window glass and movement. With it, I was able to capture these photos of some of the numerous skyscrapers of Hong Kong. (Click for a way bigger picture.)

Hong Kong is like a never ending Makati / Ayala with tall infrastructures everywhere.

Next stop is a taste of Victoria Peak. Here we were offered another view of the city. From high up a mountain.

View of the city and a Polo Club. Hence, all the greens.

I was not expecting this, but our next destination involved a sort of lake and a boat ride which showcased the fisherpeople of Hong Kong. Our tour guide said that long ago, fishing is the primary means of living of residents there and there are still families who chose to live at sea. With the boat ride (that costs HK$50 adult, $25 child), we were able to circle the body of water and take pictures of the famous Jumbo Floating Restaurant. It is said that meals there costs an awful lot, but you get to be treated like Kings and Queens for the day.

I had a great time taking videos and pictures of everything. And if you're not interested in the view, the boat lady controlling where we go has buckets of souvenirs for sale, including T-shirts, magnetic Hong Kong thingies that you stick in the refrigerator, and other stuff for all ages. We ended up buying a couple of shirts and some of those magnetic things for giveaways.

Boat houses floating along the bank and the intricate design of the Jumbo Floating Restaurant.

Next stop was my least favorite. If it wasn't mandatory that we go there, I would've chosen another place to go to. We went to a jewelry shop where we got to see how various gems are polished to perfection then made to very very expensive accessories. We almost got harassed into buying an expensive ring but we made it out alive. The down side was that our group had to spend extra time in the store because our tourist bus broke down on us on our way there and they had to replace it with a different one. Hence, the lost time and the wait.

(1)Shot of the craftsman's working table and an (2)icon of everlasting luck.

Aboard the new bus, we were on our final stop of the half-day tour. It was a factory outlet of some sort with various items for sale. From chocolates to bags to Disney products, we were treated with free taste tests of the chocos and free delivery of what we have purchased to our hotel concierge. There we bought key chains and sweet stuffs and had it delivered to our hotel so we didn't have to carry it with us.

After shopping, we boarded again our bus. This was the time that we part ways. Some families were going to be dropped off to the shopping district for a shop-till-you-drop afternoon while others were going to... Disneyland! We, and the two ladies my mom befriended back in the hotel, were part of the Disneyland group. So, we sat back as half of our group left the bus, and together, we headed on to Lantau Island where the theme park is located.

I watched the window view as I imagine how many more shots the 3 cameras with me can stand. Ha.


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