Written February 23, 2013
I like and dislike today at the same time.
Even if I had all the time in the world to prepare for this trip (particularly the itinerary specifics), I still wasn’t able to be as proactive as I apparently needed to be. This is because, this time around, I’m not traveling with friends who usually don’t insist on making to-the-dot plans, and also not just with my mom who’s very easily pleased with good food and a good weather. This time around, I’m traveling with both my mom and dad—my mom who’s very easy-go-lucky and my dad whose mind is always one step ahead making him easily stressed out a lot of times. What a combination, right? And not to mention how I perfectly managed to stay up all nigh before my very early flight at 5:40 am. The plane hadn’t even taken off and things felt crazy already.
I initially planned for us to take the Airport Express going to our hotel as it was what I’ve grown used to. It’s fast and convenient, but also pricey. I never really gave much thought to the cost before, though, until today. Because, again, this time around I’m with my dad who’s anything but wasteful with money. Unlike my mom who’s all about convenience and the experience - pretty much like me (un/fortunately). So, anyway, a one-way ticket would cost us about 100 HKD per person. Compare that to the 33 HKD bus fare that also brings us straight to TST and we know who wins hands down. A realisation like this makes me wonder why I kept using the Airport Express all those times before. Once is okay, but for every single time I was there - I know it was my laziness to look for an alternative route that my biases thought would be much less convenient. Clearly, I was wrong.
So, that’s one. Since I had to figure out a new way to get to our hotel, aside from the tried and tested Airport Express, people got stressed out again, and this time, even I was included in the crime.
Good thing the double-decker bus was cozy and we even got to sit with a Filipina who happened to go down the same area as us. Which was pretty much heaven-sent, considering how it was my first time to do this bus thing from the airport.
At the Hotel
After iSquare, Cafe de Corale, and International Supermarket, we finally got to check in at our hotel and rest!
It was my first time at Citadines Ashley Hotel, and so far, it’s been great. It’s the second most spacious room I’ve encountered so far here in Hong Kong. And yes, if I haven’t said it enough, I’m also digging their orange room accents. They’re like twins with my laptop case, my bag organizer, my iPhone case, and so on.
*Insert Annoying Orange face.*
I wish I could’ve slept longer, but I also didn’t want our first day to be put to waste. So I put on my eager-beaver face and braved the weekend crowd.
At the Star Ferry
From Harbour City, my dad somehow got to convince me to ride this 10-minute ferry and learn to enjoy simple pleasures. And true enough, it was an enjoyable first-time experience for me. It was short but sweet.
At the Hong Kong and Central Stations
Since the Star Ferry had Central as the destination anyway, I decided to push through with what was on today’s itinerary - The Peak. But before that, we had to get to Exit J2 of Central first.
Longest MTR walk ever.
At The Peak
Another “I’m glad I did this so I know I wouldn’t do it again incident” this was.
I was able to do this before already, but I did it in the afternoon, which I realised later on was probably why I didn’t appreciate it so much. There were no city lights, and I’m kind of a sucker for that.
And so, against my better judgment, I stubbornly wanted to maximize today by setting this plan in stone. And you know what happened? We ended up lining up outside the Terminus for about 1 and a half hour — after having to “hike” from J2 towards The Peak Tram Terminus! Too much for braving the weekend crowd! Wrong moooove.
What else? We went to the Sky Terrace 428 of The Peak, hoping it would make all our walking and waiting in line efforts worth it, but it still fell short! The skyline was awesome, of course, especially the city lights, but I personally think it’s a little too far from the buildings that photos taken from up there are not as nice as I had expected them to be. Either that or it’s because I’m not using a professional camera.
But even after that, our Peak mishaps weren’t over yet. The waiting line for those riding the return trip back to the Terminus was once again very long. And like I said, it was extremely cold up there, so we ended up riding a bus instead.
Hmm, this may very well be the day I became bus dependent!
Back in Ashley
Despite the crazy day full of shallow arguments and poor decision-making, we ended up walking around Ashley Road where our hotel’s located. And it was a nice wrap up for the day.
Not only our hotel located in between the wide stretch that is Nathan Road and the shopping-crazed Canton Road, it’s also along a street filled with an interesting variety of restaurants - from the known ones like Ebeneezer’s and Delicious Kitchen to the strangely named (at least for me) Ka Ka Lok (hehe *insert a*). I think deep inside, the idea of this makes us feel like we don’t exactly have to go too far to explore the city when the city’s pretty much here already.