Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Hongkong in 6 Hours

There is no direct flight from Dhaka to SFO which means we had to stop at either Singapore or Hongkong, just two of our options before flying back home. The last time we chose Singapore and stayed 3 days to have a post-Bangladesh-vacation vacation. This time it's Hongkong's turn. BUT we couldn't stay. Not a single day. We already had a week in India prior to the 3 weeks in Bangla, so no, we couldn't stay a single day.

We did have 6 hours of layover though. And we could do a lot of things in 6 hours, considering Hongkong is quite small.

Nope this wasn't my first time to step into HK. I've had two connecting flights thru HK before; but this would be the first time I'm coming out of the airport to see the island.

We've mapped out a plan to see as much as we can while doing the city bus tour. From the airport we took the speed rail and stopped at Central Pier. There was a bus leaving as we were coming, so we had to wait for the next one. Nope it wasn't a long wait.

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Round-trip ticket is expensive, I thought.

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Not a speedy train can prevent me from drive by shooting.

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Very nice ticket seller.

The bus arrived and it was just me and the hubby and three other people. All of us opted to sit on the upper deck - despite the hot weather.

As the bus traversed the busy streets of Hongkong, I did my best to capture everything that interested me in the passing scenery - which to be honest all of them. New city, new experience, all interesting.

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From my perch at the top of the double-deck bus, I could feel the friendly vibe of the city. I loved the smell of the city, the cosmopolitan feel of the high rise buildings, the chaos of the people everywhere (there is a lot of people, can easily beat Bangladesh IMHO). The city just spoke to me. I was joyful as I sat on my chair trying to find the familiar in this new city I'm experiencing. I know I was smiling like a fool; but I didn't care.

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We wanted to stop and ride up the Victoria Peak (as part of the ticket we paid for the tour bus), but we saw how long the line was as it snaked up and down the street. Skipping it was the only option, we just didn't have time to wait in line knowing our time in the city was ticking. So we stayed in the bus and let it take us to where it's supposed to go.

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I thought the tour ended too soon, but it's a small city. I was also getting worried that we might miss our flight. I worry like that. I'm the type of person who comes in 4 hours early for a flight, just in case something would come up.

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Before we went back to the airport after the sightseeing, we headed to a Starbucks and gotten a frappuccino. We were without "good" coffee for a month. Both India and Bangladesh are tea drinking countries and although we bought our own ground coffee beans to drink (my in-laws only drink tea), our bodies were craving some Starbucks - who would have thought?

Walking around the mall and sipping our fraps we stumbled upon this little eatery also inside the mall that has a few youngsters eating. We browsed at the menu and we thought we'd have "real" Chinese food. We ordered dimsum and a bowl of beef noodles to share. They were delicious. Except that we found out as we finished our meal that we were eating at a Taiwanese restaurant. Same difference?

And so our very brief flirtation with Hongkong ended. I pray that I'd be able to return for a longer visit and possibly eat "real" authentic Chinese food, whatever that means.

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That's our plane taxi-ing.

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Thank you Hongkong. Until we meet again!

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31 comments:

  1. As usual great pics! You certainly made good use of your time! Ha! I'm doing better. Thanks for asking. The treatment is working for now! Happy skywatching!

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  2. It looks like you have a great time in Hong Kong! I like Hong Kong too. :)

    Alexander
    Alex's World! - http://www.kakinan.com/alex

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  3. Amazing shots! What a gorgeous place!

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  4. Fantastic photos and post!What a great place!Have a nice weekend!

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  5. You crammed a lot into a short time, and got some wonderful shots. HK is definitely worth a longer stay...

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  6. What a lovely trip. Great photos!

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  7. I enjoyed this look at Hong Kong. Great shots.

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  8. I miss riding on a double-decker bus when I was there :(

    And ohhh, sumptuous dimsum indeed :)

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  9. Hi Maria, you are so very good in drive-by shots, they don't seem like you're moving. And i love the way you build your articles, i am always enticed for more. It looks like HK is doubly populated than the last time i've been there. But my first time was just like yours, taking the top deck to see more landscape, that was 1990 imagine! But i've been there a few times and each time is different.

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  10. Wow, what a tour! Thanks for sharing.

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  11. You managed to do a lot in your layover. Lovely shots! And happy travels.

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  12. Enjoyed these Hong Kong shots! Those buildings are amazing, love those facade shots.

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  13. Wishing you a safe, and enjoying trip! Fantastic shots!

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  14. Thank you for sharing this amazing place. You did see a lot! Wow, there are so many people there! Your photos are awesome. Have a great weekend!

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  15. I'm like you I'd rather come to the airport early and kill time. I learned my lesson well, once I've been left behind by my plane and twice I had to run like an Olympic runner through the airport just to make my flight. I'm getting too old for this kind of excitement LOL.

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  16. Thanks for taking me on the tour bus with you! Hong Kong looks to be an amazing city. Six hours obviously was just enough to whet your appetite -- I hope you get to go back soon.

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  17. must be a weekend crowd.:p
    i remember my first trip to HK more than a decade ago, Victoria Peak was also one of our destinations. it was a Sunday, and the crowd was just overwhelming. your drive by shots are spectacular!

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  18. The first time I visited Seoul, S. Korea, was the same situation, Maria, but the airline actually "did" the lay-over excursion into the city for us, even with an authentic lunch meal. I was thrilled. So I can imagine just what this trip must have been like for you.

    And I'm the same way, always needing to be somewhere too early than on time, accounting for the possibility of an emergency. I've always been like that, so I understand!

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  19. It's a great post of the urban jungle but the reflection shot is a winner!

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  20. Hi! Nice 6 hour trip in Hong Kong. The brand new airport is very cool.

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  21. Wow! What a great reportage!
    Love all photos and thank you for sharing this fantastic place.

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  22. very limited time yet maximized it...nice :P

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  23. Great photos of a quick trip to HongKong! I think we would do that someday. :)

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  24. It's nice to see HK from your eyes. But it's sooo expensive to get a tour bus! I mean $100?? Seems worth it for you, though, since you're only there for a day. I, too, wouldn't want to bother falling in line for the Victoria Peak ride. The number of people there is insane!

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  25. I've had many layovers in HKG over the years (CX loyal I am) and one time I went to the city only because I had to buy some Giordano shirts for NYC peeps :)

    If I remember it right, there's also a bus going up Victoria Peak besides the very busy peak tram. I'm sure you'll get there on your return!

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  26. I'm smiling right now while looking at the photos.....you really like people watching wherever you go. :)

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  27. whaat!
    h.k in 6 hours?! ^0^
    grabe! not enough time talaga!
    I miss H,k in a heartbeat,
    always,
    it's one of my first trips ever.
    so yeah, your photos dictate what H.k's all about.
    and yes, i'm like you, also a worry wart, haha, ^0^


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  28. ps: i like the nice "Maria's" store in the photo too. ^0^

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  29. Hi Maria,
    I came back to your post to ask you some details on this layover because we would be going back to Saudi Arabia via HKG next summer.

    1. Did you pay anything when you went out of the airport, or just the $100 roundtrip fare?
    2. You mentioned that you have the option to go down the bus to check out some sites like the Victoria Peak. If in case we plan to do that, how will we go back to the airport? Will we just wait for another bus and show the $100 card?

    I'll wait for your reply, thanks so much!

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