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Sunday, January 11, 2015

Hong Kong 2015: My New Year's Through Instagram

So I'm officially back on the grind and I have to say that it makes me sad to think of all the upcoming stress that school is about to bring on. I'm still on quite of a video game hangover which I'm hoping passes soon. It's only the first week of classes and I haven't even met all my professors, yet I already have a bunch of stuff I have to do - including blogging!

Anywho, at the end of last year I actually got to travel to Dubai but I'm going to be blogging about that in the future as I took tons and tons of photos I haven't the time to sort through it yet! For the New Year, my family spent the first four days in Hong Kong, my favorite city! And since I've already did a full-blown blog post about it here, I figured I'd try a shorter and more different way to share it with you guys and that's through a few Instagram photos I compiled! Read on to find out the gist of my fun four-day stay in Hong Kong! :)

Our flight was four in the morning and that meant we had to leave home at about midnight, and taking into account all the awful fireworks accidents we've been hearing lately, we left before midnight to dodge the worst of the craziness. Basically, we arrived way to early and to wait for a *long* time. Considering we just came back from Dubai about a day and a half ago, I'd say we were more exhausted than we should have been. Anywho, we finally reached Hong Kong after that painful wait and we were greeted by this huge Swarovski Christmas tree at the lobby of HKIA. The photo at the lower left is actually a close up of the detail on the base which. in my opinion, was so much nicer to look at!

To get to the city proper we took the bus because getting a round trip ticket from the airport is super duper cheaper as opposed to riding the train but it does take twice the time to get to where you need to be. If only trains in Manila were *this* fast and convenient, I wouldn't mind paying a bit more.

We stayed at the same apartment as last time in Causeway Bay and I couldn't resist taking this shot of the intersection in front of SOGO Department Store as it such a nice view. (Also my desktop wallpaper LOL) This trip was definitely all about learning the ins and outs of Causeway Bay for me. We arrived at about half past six in the morning which explains the lack of people. We grabbed some breakfast and went to the supermarket to get some fruits and stuff we couldn't find in Manila. (There's *so* much great stuff at every Wellcome supermarket it's crazy.) I tried their fresh Coconut Milk with Sago and it was lovely! The Honey with Aloe is sort of weird since the aloe vera is so fresh it's kind of mucus-y so you might like it if you're into that. I personally would just go for the bottled ones from Lotte. :D

We also swung by The Commercial Press which is probably the best place to check out all the cool art supplies you won't usually find at a local store here in Manila. Being an art student in Hong Kong must be so great. Haha! I found myself grabbing a ton of Staedtler Marsgraphic Duos since they're so awesome and they're almost extinct in the art world which is bizarre! (Review to follow!)

The rest of the day was spent exploring/shopping around Causeway Bay and we turned in late because it's quite unbelievable how many malls there are. It makes you think if there are any houses here at all LOL.

Day 2 started with a super filling breakfast at Ocean Empire Food Shop which is just literally a few steps away from The Commercial Press. We had breakfast with our uncle whose family lived in Kowloon. He ordered five variations of Congee/Rice porridge for us to try. They all essentially tasted the same but only varied with the stuff that was mixed into the hearty dish. The one I liked the most is the one with liver and intestines. #DontJudge LOL. The Congee is especially delicious when eaten with what I can only identify as Bicho-Bicho here in the Philippines. The mix is *amazing* because the super crisp bread works so well with the comforting Congee! Definitely my favorite food find for this trip! :D

Afterwards, we took the bus to Citygate Outlets which I've already talked about in further detail here. My family opted for the bus as it was cheaper so it took us about 45 minutes to get there. As usual, there were great deals everywhere, but I didn't get to buy anything as there wasn't anything that specifically caught my eye other than a pair at K-Swiss that didn't have my size. Talk about not meant to be! We then took the MTR to Kowloon station which directly connected to...

Elements Mall! It was my first time there but I had great expectations since it looked so amazing from the outside and my parents gave it all the hype. It reminds me a lot of Greenbelt in Makati only a bit fancier, and we immediately hit the large H&M branch there. Luckily, there was just so much stuff on sale so I got myself a cool cotton jacket that I can't wait to feature on the blog as well as a pair of slacks that finally fit me just right for school! No more huge looking legs! LOL

I must note that H&M in Hong Kong is a bit cheaper and also a bit more generous with the stuff they put on sale. The jacket I got for about 900 bucks costs 1990 bucks here and was actually retained in the regular price pile! Definitely make it a point to swing by H&M in Hong Kong when you have the chance! :)

We ended our day with dinner at Cafe de Coral which I later found out is actually owned by a Filipino-Chinese (If I'm not mistaken) which is super cool!

The next morning, we were bound for Sheung Wan because my sister wanted to check out the famous Pantry Magic store. It took a bit of walking and asking around but it turns out it's actually a bit of a stroll from the station. You pass through alleys like the one above which aren't at all scary or claustrophobic if that's ever a concern.

The exterior of Pantry Magic is so cute I cry. It's like there's suddenly a little piece of Europe when you see it. Unfortunately, those fancy decorations meant the prices of the stuff inside wasn't going to be exactly affordable. We were a bit disappointed since we sort of expected Pantry Magic to not just have tons and tons of mostly basic tools and gadgets but also rare ingredients that aren't usually found anywhere. I guess Pantry Magic would be the perfect place to do an overhaul of your kitchenware as the stuff they sell is purely top-shelf. And so we left and headed for Tsim Sha Tsui hoping to continue the shopping streak. LOL

We had lunch at a place called Shanghai Popo at iSQUARE Mall which was directly connected to the station.The food here is nothing special save for these pork dumplings which I really enjoyed. They mostly draw you in because of the pretty interiors and hipster details. Haha! Unfortunately though, it was our first time at Tsim Sha Tsui and we had a hard time getting where we wanted to be and it ended up a complete bust. Next time, I'm playing it safe and try heading to The One Mall which is just outside the exit of the station.

Still, heading back to Causeway Bay every night was really fun. There were stores literally everywhere you went. Heck, the streets were your mall! And it is just so much fun to look at the interesting store designs wherever you go. Next time, I'm devoting a few photos to interesting storefronts like the one above from Innisfree which looked almost like a cubic Christmas tree that shined the brightest at night. There's this huge-a** Forever 21 that I still cannot get over. You'd think one of those floors was for menswear but it turned out to be located at the basement with ever *more* women's wear! If you ever become hungry there are always food stalls that sell Hong Kong street food that you'll surely love. I recommend the hotdogs because you have to eat it to believe how good it is! Skincare are everywhere as well! High end products can be easily found in SOGO while Korean brands like Innisfree and Etude House have stores you'll eventually find while on the road.

It was so sad when the time came to go because it also I meant I would going back to school very very soon. So for one more time we took the A11 bound for the airport. Coincidentally, the airport boarding area is still packed with stores you do a ton of last minute shopping in. I personally hit the Zara store and was surprised to find a sweater from the Dark collection I've always wanted on sale! Thankful for the policy that they accept dollars in the airport, I finally got my hands on this largely dramatic top which I also can't wait to feature on the blog! Haha!

And that's pretty much it for my 4 day stay in Hong Kong. Hope everyone has a productive 2015! :D

18 comments:

  1. Wow your New Year started out great .. amidst the Blogging and School Work ... You had a pretty good time. Great Photos Jason :-)

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  2. Nice shopping at Hong Kong. I personally feel the stress and tension in Hong Kong, especially when the commuters there looked really stressed out with everything and angst-y when you knock into them. I hope you didn't have similar experience as me!

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  3. Nice way to start the New Year. My wife had been to Hong Kong last year and she is egging me that we go there again this summer. Perhaps, this time I'll give her my nod.

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  4. We spent Christmas in HK as a whole family last year. Really am exciting place to be during the holidays.

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  5. Looks like you had an amazing time! Hong Kong is definitely on my bucket list! Hope you enjoyed Dubai too! :) Good luck with school! Sim x

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  6. I am leaving for HK too tomorrow. Thx for sharing some of your experiences.

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  7. A very nice touring around the city and eating, taking photos to the max. You enjoyed it and glad to know that....now, back to school.

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  8. yes, you can't go wrong with those steamed pork dumplings, topped with a little vinegar and sliced ginger shreds! yummy!
    nice photos you have there!

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  9. Wow, that's sooo nice that you basically went on a (well, almost) back to back trips! So jealous ^^. I really enjoyed reading your post, Jason! And i can relate to the shoes incident, i also spotted a really pretty pair of shoes on a huge sale but they ran out of my size (ONLY), It hurts my heart thinking about it *LOL*.

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  10. Isquare and that food looks amazing! What a beautigul place so unlike anywhere i have ever been x

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  11. It's good to know you enjoyed your stay in Hong Kong. This is actually a timely post since my parents are planning to celebrate their holidays in HK this year. This would be a great help for us to plan our trip. Welcome back by the way!

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  12. I visit Hong Kong at least once a year for vacation. I like how their shops and transportation can be really so efficient. It's really fun to go around Hong Kong.

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  13. What a wonderful getaway and a great way to start the new year. Hog Kong is a great vacation spot with so much going on. Lucky you that you found something you wanted on sale at the airport. Sounds like the perfect vacation to me.

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  14. Good to spend New Year in Hong Kong, there are lots of sale going on. As usually Hong Kong is best for shopping and eating. Nice photos

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  15. That's a wonderful way to ring in the new year! Enjoyed reading about your trip :)

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  16. Hong Kong is a great place to spend your new year in.. :) Enjoy ya!~

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  17. Love all your shots! Seems like you had a blast in Hong Kong!

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  18. Great pictures! It's amazing that u were able to chronicle your new year through instagram.

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