Friday, August 06, 2021

Hong Kong pilgrimage

OFFICIALLY, Hong Kong is an autonomous colony in southeastern China. With over 7.4 million people of various nationalities in a 1,104-sq-km area, it is one of the most densely populated places and largest number of skyscrapers in the world coupled with commercial ports and global financial centers. Over 90 percent of its population uses public transportation.

I’ve been to Hong Kong about a dozen times starting from the 1960s. So this time around, and due to inclement weather, I was not keen on taking any hectic tours. I was with family and planned on an easy-going itinerary... exploring shopping spots nearby and eating at quaint or well-known diners within the vicinity.

We rode the charming Star Ferry boats that have been faithfully carrying passengers from Hong Kong Island to Kowloon and back since 1888. While the two sides of Victoria Harbour are now connected by a world-class infrastructure system of road and rail tunnels, tens of millions of people still climb aboard the humble Star Ferry vessels each year. You can take the ride for an up-close look at one of the world’s most photographed harbours, while locals have kept their affection for it because it’s still a highly reliable and efficient form of transport.

I always relish my trips on the iconic Star Ferry. The years may pass, but my experience and joy never changes. Think burgers and apple pie, Thanksgiving and sports bars – whatever it is you’re missing from the good US of A, you’ll find it at the member-owned American Club Hong Kong. Established in 1925, it is a reciprocal club of Baguio Country Club. I highly recommend stepping outside to enjoy the scenery of Hong Kong. This place has an awesome view!

Everyone knows Hong Kong as a place of neon-lit retail and food pilgrimage. International brands worth their logo have outlets here, and they are supplemented by the city’s own retail trailblazers. So what’s worth shopping for in Hong Kong? Clothing, luggage, jewelry, cameras and electronic goods are the city’s strong suits.

Likewise, Hong Kong’s cuisine is recognized throughout the world. From the 1950s, up to the present, wealthy Filipino families still travel to Hong Kong solely for food-trips. Think of dim sums, noodles, roast ducks, sweet treats, etc... Hong Kong’s got them all. So we treated ourselves to all these goodies every meal, everyday. What a pilgrimage!


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