Hong Kong Layover 2014

I have always pictured touring my boyfriend, now fiancé in the place where I grew up. It’s a little challenging since I grew up abroad, in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Thank you Lord for making it come true last Oct.26-Nov.8 of 2014.

We even had a one day tour during our Hong Kong layover since the airlines we took is Cathay Pacific because it’s cheaper than the straight flight from Bahrain’s local airlines, Gulf Air. Plus we get to do a side trip so it’s a win-win deal!

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I went ahead and planned our itinerary in Hong Kong which included going to the places where we don’t need to pay entrance fees and are accessible via the MTR, but we discovered that riding the bus was more fun because we get to sight see the streets. These are also the places we didn’t get to go to the last time we visited Hong Kong in 2013 which was our first trip out of the country together. It was with his family though, nonetheless, it was super fun!

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First stop, Snoopy’s World, because I looooove SNOOPY!!! We rode the bus going here straight from the airport. It’s within a mall called New Town Plaza in Sha Tin.

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We brought bread from Breadtalk (Philippines) for snacks and bought drinks from a nearby convenient store using our Octopus card. This is more practical when you’re on a budget. Besides, this tour of Hong Kong is just a freebie from our major destination which is in Bahrain.

Next stop was The Avenue of Stars in Tsim Sha Tsui. This time we used the MTR going here. From Sha Tin station to Tsim Sha Tsui and then we walked to the place where we got to see the Hong Kong version of Hollywood’s walk of fame, plus the famous Bruce Lee statue and the Hong Kong skyline. It was very worth it!

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We even discovered a place that was not in our itinerary but had the time to check out since we had the whole day to ourselves before our next flight. Besides, commuting around Hong Kong is convenient. The Hong Kong Avenue of Comic Stars!

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Riding the A21 bus, here’s a snap of us two sitting at the top deck of a double deck bus. Hong Kong sights below.

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Back at the airport, we got hungry so we decided to eat somewhere unusual. We ended up eating at this Food restaurant. They served good food which totally satisfied our hunger, affordable too! We used our left over Hong Kong dollars from our last trip so again, it didn’t cost us a thing from our budget for Bahrain. *applause*

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Thank you again Hong Kong for accommodating us!

Mount Pico de Loro

This climb’s our 2nd this year and officially our 4th mountain overall. First day hike though.

Pico de Loro is popular for beginners and dayhikers as they say but I still had a pretty hard time trekking this mountain and climbing the super steep monolith or Parrot’s Beak which is mostly the goal of climbing Pico de Loro. They’ll tell you that your climb”s not complete if you don’t experience being on top of that monolith which is in front of the mountain’s summit.

We started our trek at around 6am after registering at the jump off point in Ternate, Cavite. We rode a bus from Coastal Mall in Pasay City at around 3am then arrived at Ternate, Cavite around 5:30am. Tricycle ride going to the jump off point or DENR post. You can even eat breakfast if you want coz there’s a sari-sari store, souvenir shop and carinderia in the area. That is also where hikers take a bath coz they have a number of restrooms where you only have to pay 5pesos.

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It rained the night before, hence, the muddy trail. Look at the those fallen mangoes on the trail. It exuded a sweet rotten smell and a loooot of insects flying about. It made me hop from side to side faster just so I could get to the end right away.

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Here’s my friend Ley trekking through the tree vines. At this point we’re about 20-30mins away from the campsite.

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My Dad, who was the sole reason why we all got into this, showing us how to rappel up the steep rock going to the monolith. He climbed the monolith twice! First alone, then second was with us.

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Me at the summit in front of the monolith or Parrot’s Beak. I was already satisfied just being there coz it seemed impossible for me to ever get on top of that monolith. It was my Dad who insisted we all go and so we did. Priceless experience yet again! Thank you Papa!

Since it was a day hike, no camping and all, we got back to the DENR post past 5pm. It was a good ol’ tiring 11-12hrs. Worth it but I don’t know if I’d go through it again. I need to lose a lot of weight first.

LOVE NATURE!

 

Seoul Searching

(안녕하세요) Annyeonghaseyo! (반짝 반짝) Banjjag Banjjag!!

Yep, just been to Korea. I didn’t expect going there this soon even though it’s in my bucket list. I was invited by my friend/housemate Kim to take a trip there. She’s a Kpop Fanatic so it’s her dream come true to go there. Thing is, she remembered me making a promise that I’d go with her if ever the opportunity comes. So I had no choice but to fulfill my promise even if I only came from the States 4mos prior(READ: out of budget).

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This is where we’re checked in.

Besides thinking of how short my financial status will be after the trip, I just thought of the personal experience I’m gonna gain throughout the tour. It was a 4-night, 3-day tour around Seoul, the famous Gyeongbokgung Palace, Myeongdong Shopping District, Nami Island and Everland Resort. We even had a university tour (HanYang University) because it was enlisted as an educational tour with members of the Centro Escolar University Faculty.

 

Statue of the one of the most popular Koreanovela "Winter Sonata".

Statue of one of the most popular Koreanovelas entitled “Winter Sonata” in Nami Island.

We even had side trips to Gangnam and the SM Entertainment Building where the Kpop Stars go.

 

Gyeongbokgung Palace

Gyeongbokgung Palace

Overall, it was a superb experience alright. I’d comeback coz I know there’s waaaaay more to explore in Korea. I haven’t been to Seoul Tower or Namsan Tower and Jeju Island!

 

 

Mt. Cinco Picos Traverse

I was given the opportunity to join the anniversary climb of the ADDICT Mountaineers. For me, my fiance Steve and our friend Ley, this was our first traverse, our 3rd climb and our 2nd major mountain climb.

It was all excitement because we were told that we’ll be camping by the beach which will be like an outing altogether besides climbing, plus it’s a traverse, no more going back to the starting point.

We left Manila at 10pm from Victory Cubao Bus Terminal. Arrived at Olongapo around 1am. Rode a jeepney going to the starting point which was at Pundaquit, Zambales.

We started our trek at 3:30am. It was our first time trekking without sunlight so it was really an adventure even if the trail seemed the usual rocky and grassy path.

There were several muddy encounters and two river crossings (the rivers were too shallow to be afraid of so sa’ll good!)


This is not even halfway of the hike. lol Isn't this a breathtaking view?

This is not even halfway of the hike. lol Isn’t this a breathtaking view?


This trail is challenging because it's like going through thorns.

This trail is challenging because it’s like going through thorns.

 

We passed through trails that were burnt. Caused by the sun's heat or by careless trekkers who just leave their cigarettes on the trail? Sadly, I found out it's the latter reason most of the time.

We passed through trails that were burnt. Caused by the sun’s heat or by careless trekkers who just leave their cigarettes on the trail? Sadly, I found out it’s the latter reason most of the time.

It took us a total of 10hrs of trek and hike. It really tested our endurance and patience. Besides the rocky and steep trails was the additional scorching heat from the sun. The unique and the most challenging path we went through was the burning leaves that looked liked a mini forest fire. It scared me a little because I thought we wouldn’t be able to pass through and would have to find a longer way to reach our campsite. Phew!

 

Silanguin Cove... aaahhh! Achievement Unlocked!

Silanguin Cove… aaahhh! Achievement Unlocked!

 

socials

This is during our socials after dinner. It was fun getting to know fellow hikers.

 

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Group picture before going home! ^_^

We even found out that our bangkero (boatman) is a Surfer Dude! lol

Surf's Up!

Surf’s Up!

One boat captured my attention…

God knows us better than we know ourselves.

God knows us better than we know ourselves.

Hong Kong & Macau

This trip took place early this year, around last week of January to first week of February. I grew up taking stop overs in Hong Kong because of flying to and from Bahrain but I never actually stopped and appreciated things because of what looks like a fast paced city life going on. There was a time my family and some friends toured the city for a while but I can only remember vaguely.

I remember going to Ocean Park and seeing Peking ducks and snakes(phobia alert!) hanging in the food markets as menu of the day.

This year, my boyfriend’s family decided to take a trip there with a side trip to Macau for some bonding experience.

This Hong Kong Trip had many firsts for me.

– First trip with boyfriend overseas

– First trip to Macau

– First trip to Hong Kong Disneyland.

Well, just that but it’s significant for me.

I was particularly excited about this trip because it was winter season! Winter fashion galore! We shopped for boots, trench coats, stockings, tights, leggings, long sleeves, turtlenecks, scarves, gloves and more! I just looove winter fashion!

Our vacay took about 4days and 3nights and we spent it at Regal Hong Kong Hotel.

Behold, the photos taken during our trip. I narrowed it down from the millions we took. Tihee!

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Around the Golden Buddha, HK

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Tramway

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Senado Square in Macau which leads up to the St. Paul Ruins

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Grand Lisboa Hotel & Casino.
Macau is tax free because the casinos pay for it. It’s like the Las Vegas of Asia.

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Hong Kong Disneylaaaaand!

Thank You!

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Minutes after the fall. Yeah, I can still smile. Smile despite your pain. lol

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Hours after the fall.

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Covered in ointment.

After exactly 7 days. Scars present but not too obvious.

After exactly 7 days. Scars present but not too obvious.

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The ointment I used that made my wounds heal faster. Thank you Calmoseptine!

What happened?

I fell hard on my face during a mini hike in the province last Good Friday. I was unconscious so my body lost its motor skills that’s why I didn’t get the chance to use my hands to at least prevent my face from hitting the ground. Factors that caused myself unconscious was lack of air (i didn’t breathe continuously) and the scorching heat that day.

Lesson Learned: Never stop breathing especially when you’re tired. Your body needs more air when you’re tired.

Anyway, we cut short the hike and went back home to treat my wounds instead. I felt bad that we weren’t able to reach the peak since it was just a really small mountain compared to the other mountains I want to climb.

The next day, I decided to go again and hike the mountain but of course I am more cautious this time. I DID IT!

Here’s the view….

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Never give up! Everything’s worth a 2nd try…