Tuesday, January 17, 2012

First impressions

1982 was the very first time I set foot in Hong Kong. We were going back to Manila after spending 10 years overseas. So they (my parents) thought it was a good idea to stopover in Hong Kong for a few days before we headed back to 'home base'.

It was the month of August in the year 1982, Hong Kong was sweltering in the summer heat. Ergo, my very first impression of this city state wasn't very pleasant. I remember sweating profusely due to the humidity (big adjustment as we had just come from Europe) and the very warm summer weather. The place where we stayed was small and dusty and it was located in some dark alley. The streets had this distinct "oriental" flavor/odor that was quite revolting for someone who was raised in Europe. Kadiri talaga!

Fast forward to 2009. My sister and I were planning a trip for our parents 41st wedding anniversary. She suggested Hong Kong. I said sure why not? We availed of a package that included airfare, accommodations, HK city tour + a day tour to Macau. We only spent 4 days and 3 nights in a three star hotel in Kowloon during the winter month of February. But I tell you, it (the short trip) completely and utterly changed my whole view about Hong Kong in a heartbeat!

2011 - my sister got a new job and had to relocate to Hong Kong. Her flat isn't as big as her 2 bedroom unit in Singapore but we (all 5 of us) managed to fit in nicely. Her 8th floor studio was fully furnished with all the basic necessities. Her Bathroom Floor Tiles were a sparkling shade of grey. The flat itself is in a building that is centrally located in the dried goods district of Hong Kong. All modes of transportation were easily within reach of her front door. But by far, our favorite means to get around to explore Hong Kong was the double decker tram. Cheap, comfortable and quite cute! :D

I'm glad that I had a chance to erase my horrible first impression of this city state. I saw with my very own eyes how much it had progressed since 1982 and I fell in love with its enticing charms.


Heart of Rachel said...

Sometimes giving things a second chance is worth it. :)

I would love to get on one of those double deck trams.

When I was young, I remember riding the double deck Love Bus. Now that I think of it, I wonder what happened to those handful of double deck buses in Manila.

kayni said...

It sounds like HongKong really progressed, and I'd love to plan a stop-over when I'm flying to the Philippines.

Daphn3 LaurA said...

@Rach. Definitely worth it! :)

Well according to D, the Love Bus company went bankrupt thus no more double deck buses. Sayang!

Daphn3 LaurA said...

You should Kayni. HK is worth a visit, may I suggest you time your visit during the winter months. More pleasant weather to enjoy! :D

Photo Cache said...

Lucky that you got many chances to see the city in diff lights and form diff opinions.

I want to see it someday.

Daphn3 LaurA said...

@Photo Cache yes you should include HK in your list of places to visit. :)