One’s first time outside the Philippines will always be a special one. Traveling unlocks a person’s curiosity and thirst for discovery. For those who have a brand new, stamp-free Philippine passport, here are seven reasons why visiting Hong Kong — Asia’s World City — makes perfect sense for first-time Cebuano overseas tourists:
Applying for a visa is one of the most daunting things for would-be tourists. There’s a lot of paperwork to be done. Even after submitting all pertinent documents, there’s still the uncertainty of being approved.
Hello, Hong Kong. This place is one of the few places where Cebuanos can go without the hassle of applying for a visa. With only one’s passport and plane ticket in hand, one can finally say that he or she has been abroad.
The flight from Cebu to Hong Kong just takes under three hours. That’s just enough time to watch a movie while on the plane or getting a power nap before landing at your new destination.
Currently, Cebu Pacific flies from Cebu to Hong Kong once daily at 6:05 to 8:55 a.m. and Hong Kong to Cebu at 9:40 a.m. to 12:35 p.m. The early flight allows one to experience more of Hong Kong during the day and the return flight gives travellers just enough time to have breakfast at the airport and catch afternoon engagements back at home.
Generally speaking, most Hongkongers can communicate in English. Most business and traffic signs are also in English. Tourists won’t have much trouble finding his or her way around town, shopping for specialty items or ordering one’s favorite dishes at a restaurant. This is very helpful for first-timers.
Say hello to authentic Cantonese fare ranging from street-style beef brisket noodles to the glistening skin of a whole roast goose. Don’t forget the steamed and fried dumplings and the street food skewers served with curry. Rice is abundant here as well, so the menu is very family-friendly.
Book a flight around November to February, and experience super cold weather. It’s the type where one can double (or triple) down on layers and step inside establishments to enjoy the heater. Walking around tourist spots would be less burdensome and become a more pleasurable experience.
The Mass Transit Railway (MTR) of Hong Kong is simply amazing and super easy to navigate. With a map in hand, one can easily go to most (if not, all) popular tourist destinations with ease. The stops are fairly easy to memorize since they are presented in a more “linear” format as compared to criss-crossing lines. Purchase an “Octopus Card” and have it reloaded with cash in the station or some convenience stores for easier transfers via buses and trains.
There are only six Disneyland theme parks with castles around the world: California, Florida, Paris, Tokyo, Shanghai and Hong Kong. Cebuanos need a visa to visit the other five, but they don’t t need one to step right into Hong Kong Disneyland. Enjoy the food, the rides, the shows and the overall magic. Remember to stay for the theme park’s daily finale, “Momentous,” the magic and lights show that runs 20 minutes, packed with moving music and memorable moments.
What about those who have been to Hong Kong already? The place remains a hot spot for food tripping and shopping ranging from the affordable to luxurious. It has also carved itself as one of the premier destinations for contemporary art in this part of the globe.
One can never get enough of Hong Kong, distinctly charming in its own special way. Discover Hong Kong for the first time or again and again.