HONGKONG, a visitor’s impression
by Jean Greta
Being within your comfort zone does not necessarily mean restricting yourself within the walls of confined places, it also means you can extend your vantage point like visiting other places and seeing beautiful views within your limited resources.
For quite some time I did think of expanding the scope of my own comfort zone. I successfully did that when I went to see Hongkong for the first time. I went there with my grandnephew from the Philippines to meet my niece, Leslie, who came all the way from Dubai. It was truly a very exciting and enjoyable experience and surely indeed still within my comfort zone
My Hongkong thrilla started with a short glimpse of the biggest airport , they say, at exactly 12: 15 in the morning of January 6, 2007. The airport’s runway was lit up to serve as pilot’s beacon so I started counting planes but stopped at twenty as I saw some more on the other side, while the others are still coming in. We were whisked out of the airport terminal on a very cold night, the local TV station reported an 11 degree Celsius temperature. My first impression of Hongkong that very night or shall we say that very early morning is a quiet city, with high-rising buildings surrounded by hills and mountains.
Day 1 still includes my waking up at 5:00 in the early cold morning. An over-all view of Hongkong skyline that morning seemed to change my previous impression. I saw many high-rising buildings, a combination of the old and new constructions. From my hotel’s window I saw some people started brisk walking while others were running, perhaps to catch up with their work transport or whatever. We stayed at Metropark Hotel in Kowloon. My niece chose that area because it is near the market.
Mom feeling cold
Our City tour started with a visit to the Man Mo Temple. “ Man” is said to mean Literature and “ Mo” means Martial Arts. How it came to be called such, it was briefly explained. But I was totally engrossed in the rituals of some Chinese folks visiting the temple and I was careful not to disturb the solemnity so I made sure I followed every step they made until we reached the exit door. We were told by the Tourist guide named Ryan that your prayers will be heard if you lit a scented stick as it shall travel faster to the heavens with the smoke of the scented sticks stuck on a well-polished brass, the spiral candles and pewter incense burners.
Hongkong really and in fact is a breathtaking beauty, I confirmed that in our climb to the famous Victoria Peak. I almost made a squeak on a tram ride, it was frightening. There, our TRAM was practically climbing at about 45 degree angle to the top of the peak but the spectacular view from the hillside overlooking the islands overwhelmed me, I forgot the scary climb.
I missed the experience of riding on a Sampan in our third stop at Aberdeen Fishing Village. My grandnephew got very sick on our walk down the Peak. We had to stay inside the Tour Bus to keep him warm. But I got some nice shots of the fishing village though from my phone camera. The tourist guide jokingly suggested a swim in the very cold channel, where the temperature is almost at freezing point. We then proceeded to the Industrial community and observed the making of jewelry. Several beautiful and intricately mounted stones on gold chains and rings were shown to us in an array of sparkling display. I bought one necklace with a blue topaz representing my birthstone. I had a good bargain. Chinese is known for introducing these method of marketing.
Our last stop on that first day was in Stanley market. We were told to come back after two hours or may opt to stay for shopping to our heart’s content minus the tour bus. Stanley market is truly a shopper’s delight. There, you can find various souvenirs from garments to sportswear. We chose to go back with the tourist bus that delivered us to our hotel after about an hour’s drive around the City of Hongkong and Kowloon.
in wonderful Disneyland