Life Without Travel Is a Life Unlived

10 October 2016

A Life Without Travel, is a Life Unlived ‘The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page,’ said St Augustine. I’ve always had a love for travel, give me the resources and point me in a direction and I’m there. ? Just the other week, I had the opportunity to visit one of the largest cities in the world: Hong Kong. That opportunity came to me when I was on my way to work. I got phone call from a friend who just found out about a promo for Cebu Air Pacific for flights to Hong Kong. She asked me if I wanted in. Without any hesitation I said yes! Before even knowing when the dates are, I said yes.

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That was three months ago. I never had any regret for that decision . We left Baguio around midnight for the long trip to the Diosdado Macapagal Airport. We were excited, eager. We didn’t sleep the whole 4 and a half hour trip. Our flight was scheduled 9 am. We arrived 3 hours early. Yeah, were were excited. After that 3 hour wait and a two hour flight, touchdown Hong Kong! It’s funny that the travel from here to the airport was twice as long as compared to the time going to another country. After clearing customs and swooping our packs, the first thing we did was get something called an Octopus card.

The octopus card is Hong Kong’s Universal way of paying for transportation fare. It’s very convenient. You just swipe your card and you can hop on anything. Buses, subways, ferries, trams, you name it. So with that we took a super efficient train right into the heart of Hong Kong. After a 30 minute ride and a few stops, We stepped off the air conditioned train and we were instantly awed by what we saw. There are thousands of people out on the streets shopping, eating and drinking and every street is lit up with electric signs and florescent lights with the classic Asian energy.

Our first destination , even before dropping off our bags, was Ngong Ping village, the location of the Giant Buddha. The village is a culturally themed attraction with lots arts and music and you really get a feel for their traditions and culture. Visiting the Giant Buddha was the highlight of the experience that can only be reached by climbing up a 300 hundred step hill. The whole experience took the whole day. After that it was time to head into Hong Kong. The actual city of Hong Kong is built on a small island and for new development–the only place to go, is up.

The entire city is covered with monster skyscrapers, huge hotels and super-malls. Transportation is super easy, everything is detailed in both Cantonese and English so it would be very hard to get lost. There’s plenty to see here: experiences of endless shopping, big-city nightlife and delicious dim sum are to be had. Visitors can find both colonial history and modern architecture. Its open society allows many different cultures to flourish and you would see a lot of nationalities there. You would not be surprised to see a lot of fellow kababayans walking around.

The second day was spent in DisneyLand. Even though people say its one of the smaller Disneylands, I was still impressed. The first time I saw the Disney castle in the horizon I felt like a kid again. We got to ride all the rides, experience all the shows. It much better than I expected, lots to do there, it took up the whole day. The evening fireworks was unforgettable, with each explosion timed perfectly with the music. Everyone had their mouths open. I can say that, even if we’re grown up and all it still is a magical experience. The third day was for Ocean park.

This was a fun filled day out and very good value for money! As well as the obvious scary rides. There was a ride there that when you were in strapped to the roller coaster the floor would disappear and have you ride around and around. Unforgettable. We were lucky enough to see the Pandas at feeding time and it was a wonderful experience to be so close to them. I loved the aquarium, where you can see and watch a whole eco system live in there, with thousands of fishes, sting rays, sharks and all kinds of sea life mingle with each other.

With live dolphin shows, tons of stuff to see and do. I think this was my favorite place there. Day four was the day we had to go home. As we were leaving the skylines of Hong Kong, I cant shake of the feeling that it was all worth it. Between budgets and busy schedules, it is not always easy to set aside time and plan a getaway. But as Mark Twain has said, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So come out of your comfort zone. Explore. Dream. Discover. ”

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