As soon as we saw the sale banner on one of the airline sites, we booked our tickets to the cheapest destination it covered: Hong Kong.
“What are we gonna do there?”, someone asks.
“Bahala na! Basta let’s just book!”
Hahaha! Our BSB (Bible Study Barkada) is full of serial travellers. Any excuse to leave, and they're out! But this would be our first time travelling together.
And Hong Kong seemed like the perfect place to start—it required getting on a plane, but is really just like driving from Alabang to Quezon City on a Friday night!
Of course once booked, we eventually came up with a (very flexible) itinerary. And because we all had work/family/babies waiting for us back home, all we could afford was a weekend in Hong Kong. Which is why I have decided to name this list:
HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OUT OF A SHORT TRIP WITH FRIENDS
(Errr… I’ll eventually come up with more creative titles.)
1. BE ON THE SAME PAGE
Make sure you all have the same purpose for travelling.
Is it going to be a cultural trip? Is it going to be a shopping trip? Will it be fast paced or laid back? Will there be a lot of free time, or do you schedule tours one after the other?
This part was easy for us. Laid back food trip won by unanimous vote. Haha! We all just wanted to try the different cuisines that diverse Hong Kong had to offer.
While spontaneity is also key to a good trip, there should be ample planning.
One of my pet peeves is waiting around for someone to decide on where to eat or where to go because everyone is saying “I don’t know, why don’t you ask (person A)?” or “I don’t know, it’s up to you!”. Before you know it, sarado na lahat, ending, cup noodles nalang in the hotel room. Haha! So prepare an itinerary just in case. You don’t have to be super faithful to it, but at least you’ll have default activities and you won’t end up wasting the day. :)
For this trip, the girls did most of the planning (as is often the case). :p In our defense, we asked them if they wanted to go to a particular place. To which they responded, "Disneyland". *cue tinginan of girls* "Uh, NO. Sorry." Haha! Poor boys!
I’m not a big fan of “touristy” activities. I mean, a good amount of it is fine (of course, we all need that photo holding up the Leaning Tower of Pisa! Hello?). But I get stressed with long lines, and obnoxious tourists. :( So I like researching for non-touristy places and activities. For Hong Kong, my Google searches were “Hipster places in HK 2016” or “Trendy HK restos 2106”. In fairness, results did not disappoint. Haha!
Here are some of the restos we tried and enjoyed. (Disclaimer: I am NOT a food blogger. My culinary vocabulary is limited to “masarap naman” and “Omygosh, you have to eat there!”)
FANCEHHHHH. You’ll need reservations for this Michelin star resto. Although we ended up just walking in because we chanced upon it while looking for ANOTHER restaurant. Good thing they had space for all 8 of us! They’re known for their Peking duck which you’re supposed to order in advance (but we didn’t get to try because, walk in).
We did, however, get to try the dim sum, pork buns (side kwento: we even had a contest for the last piece. Wheel of Porkbuns with the lazy susan. Sooo good.), char siu and… well, other really good stuff. Wow, I’m bad at this. :p Be forewarned, it’s a little on the pricey side. There may have been audible gulps from the husbands when the bill arrived. Hahaha! But I give it a 4/5.
We’re all lolas in the barkada, so when we walked into Sevva—nice, dim and sexy, Sevva—it may have been the coolest that we’ve felt in years (“Uy, guys, kailangan mag picture tayo!”). It felt so… adult. Hahaha! One minute you’re in the food court with your high school barkada counting what’s left of your baon kasi nagpa-neoprint pa kayo after mag-mocha frappe sa Starbucks. Next thing you know, you’re in a happening Hong Kong spot for a nightcap, walking around in the al fresco cocktail area, overlooking a gorgeous view of the city, amaretto sour in hand, charged to credit card. I love being a grown up. :p Hahaha!
It’s a nice place to do after-dinner drinks, but I hear their afternoon tea menu is the best in HK. If you've tried it, let us know what you think in the comments section below!
It's a "tiny servings on a big plate" kind of restaurant. :p Not ideal after an afternoon of intense shopping and walking around. Haha! I probably would've liked this place more had we eaten here before Mott 32 and Duddells. Those two restos really set the bar high. Nonetheless, it was a pleasant dining experience.
Old school Chinese food with to-die-for Peking duck and sungit waitstaff. Haha! They’re typically full during dinner time so we decided to eat there for lunch instead. We arrived at around 11:30am to an almost empty restaurant but within 30 minutes, the place was filled with hungry locals. No Instagrammable moments here, but I think it's safe to say we were most satisfied with this meal! Bird’s nest soup, peking duck served a million ways, fried rice, beef with broccoli, sweet and sour pork, THE WORKS. MSG galore! JK. Food coma right after!
*More photos below.
Anyhoo, here are more photos from our trip, most of them taken by Patty. :p I planned on taking photos, but I guess I was always too hungry to take them first before digging in. Haha! Enjoy!