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Dad and I went to Hong Kong three weeks ago WITHOUT an itinerary in mind (I guess spontaneity runs in the genes, huh?), so I did what any other millennial would do in a time like this:
Post a Facebook status to ask for recommendations from friends!
My friend Jad suggested that we try biking at Cheung Chau Island, and so we did.
is part of the Hong Kong Islands district. It is a quiet little fishing village where people could take a dip at the beach, eat at sea food restaurants, visit temples, and go around on rented bikes.
HOW TO GET THERE?
Dad and I took a train to
. From there, we walked all the way to
in front of the
You could choose to take either the fast ferry (45 minute-ride) or the ordinary ferry (1 hr-ride).
We took the fast one and paid around 24 HK dollars for each of our ticket (that's around PHP 168).
The ferry was clean and air-conditioned. The seats were comfortable, too, which explains why I fell asleep on the way to the island. Lol.
Ferry schedules and rates
Getting to Cheung Chau was a breeze, but finding a place to rent bikes was another story.
Because most of the locals in the place did not speak English, looking for bike rental shops were quite a challenge for us. We walked around for a good 20 minutes, before we found a man who told us that there was one beside the bush of flowers at the right (well, he didn't really say it-- he
acted it out! In fairness!!)
Finally, we found one (about a 10-minute from the pier) at the left side of the island. I rented a bicycle for
10 HKD per hour
( PHP 70), while dad got the tricycle for around
20 HKD per hour (
We were also asked to pay a refundable free of
(around PHP1,400) as security deposit.
I really wanted to eat at a cafe and check out the temple, but because we had other things to do to that day, we decided to only spend 1.5 hours on the island. We ended up biking to the beach, checking out quaint little shops, meeting some locals, and taking lots and lots of photos!
We went inside this super cute doggie shop. Not only did it have beds and doggie clothes (ranging from costumes, to swimwear, and even formal attire!), but they also had cute, fluffy dogs lounging around and enjoying the air-conditioning. HUHU ADORABLE.
squealed a little when we found this tiny ukulele store! The lady was kind enough to let me play a song with it.
What I love about Cheung Chau is the simplicity of the place. Everyone's so relaxed and the time, slow-paced. The beach was not what we could call majestic, but it was charming.
While enjoying the beach and the heat of the sun, a group of ladies approached us. I couldn't understand Chinese, and they couldn't speak English, so we were basically playing charades for a good 20 seconds before I realized that they wanted to take a photo with me! Haha! we took (a lot of) photos together, exchanged laughter, and shared a pretty fun moment together, too. True enough, laughter
the universal language, and f
riendship knows no barrier.
Dad and I also made another friend that day! Shirley studies at the States, but is spending her summer vacation at Hong Kong right now to help her grandma out with the shop! We bought ice candy and frozen pineapples from her. :)
Cheung Chau had me captivated. Before leaving the island, I badly wanted to bring something home with me as a remembrance.
On the way back to the ferry, we chanced upon this backpack in a quiet little stall, and bought it right away.
I fell in love with this island so hard, I'm definitely coming back the next time we fly to Hong Kong! Hopefully, we could spend the whole day to wander around even more, then. :)
Watch this 30-second video for a quick tour of the place!! :D
Feel free to comment below or
me if you have any questions! :)
Have you been meaning to go to the TINIPAK RIVER and CAVE in Rizal? Here's a quick travel journal to help you plan ahead, then! :)
2. Tricycle to Barangay Daraitan (1 hour) (500 pesos/ 4pax)
3. Tricycle from Barangay Daraitan to River (15 minutes) (15 per person)
We met up at EDSA Starmall around 8:30AM, and we got to Tanay around 10:00 AM. When we arrived at the terminal, we went inside an office to register our names and to choose our tricycle.
(A group of trike drivers kept following us around afterwards, and I swear I laughed out loud when I said, "Wow first time kong maka experience nang pinag aagawan ng lalake!" Hahahahaha).
Eventually, we chose one guy who offered us a ride to Barangay Daraitan for only 400 pesos.
It took us an hour to get there, and since the ride was long and the road rocky, we decided to pay our guy PHP 500 instead.
At 11:00 AM, we registered at the jump-off point and got ourselves a tour guide (aka Kuya Oliver)! Kuya Oliver was an awesome guy. He was really patient with us and he was the one who took all of our amazing photos. Neat, huh?
Anyway, from here, you can also rent headlights. I DO INSIST that you do so if you plan to go inside the cave. You can rent one for only PHP 30.
The hike to the cave was relatively easy, but expect a lot of climbing and slippery rocks. (Bring lots of water cause you'll be walking long hours under the sun).
After a delightful swim in the river, we trekked back and stopped in a sari-sari store along the way. There, we took a bath (we paid a shower fee of PHP 20), freshened up, and had merienda.
The trek back was just as beautiful! <3
Aaaand here's a quick video of the day's highlights: watch it HERE.
Do not be a stranger in your own country! Go ahead and explore the beauty Philippines has to offer. :) #thewandererwonders
Right outside The Country Club was this big, fun children's activity ground where, apparently, (fake) snow fell.
We got out of the car and quickly ran up to the entrance where we were greeted by the lady guard who asked us "Ilan adults?" =)))) (yes, this was a children's place kasi HAHA)
I shyly and awkwardly replied "uhm... four."
After playing around with snow to a winter wonderland-themed Christmas music playlist, we headed over to Sky Cafe and La Presa. It was quite a long ride going there. We literally were so up high, we were already above the clouds!
The idea was to create a palette of colors and stick to that, so the pieces won't clash and outdo each other.
Say hello to 2/3 of the Neri sisters! lol This was what my sister wore that day. I loveee her pants! I'm planning to invest on a nice printed pair too. Anyone here who could suggest where to buy one?
I'm ending this post with a promise to go back here one day. To be honest, I really can't imagine myself settling down in another country, because I do love Manila so so much. But I just can't help it; I left my heart in New York, and that's why one day, I'm coming back.Not for good though-- just for a little while. For internship, or for studies, or maybe even for work. I'd like to pursue a career here, maybe in one of the top PR firms or so. One day. I know it's a big risk to take-- there will be competitions, racism, failures, and what nots along the way-- but I just have a strong gut that it's a risk worth taking. I just pray that an opportunity knocks on my door so that one day, I could finally check this off my bucket list.
I've never felt so inspired and determined. Just writing all about my "dream city" gives me the chills. What about you? Have you found your "dream city"?:)