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Four People, Two Countries (Part 4): Three Pairs of Eyes

>> Saturday, September 29, 2012

Last batch of photos to share. These came from different eyes and different cameras. Photos were taken by Jace, Cerz and Edlyn. All edits by me.

Photos by Ceres

View of Hong Kong from up above. I think those are the bridges connecting the two main islands.

Tourist mode with Joshua the camera and the bullhorn lens

Everyone is a princess or a prince at Disneyland


Chocolate Panacotta. mmmm.

Lovely double decker ride

My favorite was the HK$ 10. They have colorful and huge money!

The route during the monorail trip

Our Shenzhen tourguide took this photo of us

With Joms on our first day!

He gave us our first MTR experience

Photos by Edlyn... Atty. Edlyn

Hong Kong we have arrived!

The new soap opera

HAKAWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW. It bursts in your mouth. oh noms.

We bought Hello Kitty Stuffed toys from McDonald's. Except for Edlyn. haha

My loopy soupy Mcdonald's breakfast!

Sail away in a jade ship

SO many maps, yet we still got lost.

Wall art!

I have this photo on my study table wall

What was this treat again? Mango yogurt thingie. hahaha

Disney photos from Jason


We found Baguio in Hong Kong! (not a Disneyland shot.)

The weather in Disneyland



Four People, Two Countries (Part 3): Amazing Race

>> Saturday, September 22, 2012

Warning: this is going to be a chatty entry.

Right after we ended the Disney trip with a bang, we immediately boarded our tour bus, passed by our hotels to pick up our luggage, and rushed to the train station to catch the last trip to Lo Wu Station. Lo Wu Station (and also the last station of the East Line) is at the border of Hong Kong and is the way to get to China. That meant going through immigration and customs for both Hong Kong and China. Double the pressure.

We felt like contestants from Amazing Race as we hopped off the train and semi-ran to the first immigration station. We also had to keep close with the other Filipinos who were with us on the tour. We got through the Hong Kong immigration quickly.

The trouble began when we got to the Chinese immigration. China requires a visa for non-residents. Our tour group was issued a group visa, meaning that we had to enter and leave China as a group. If one person missing on the list, we won't be able to proceed on any plans.


When we arrived at the Chinese immigration, the gates were about to close. Our tour guide was there already, waiting for us, visa in hand. We were instructed to line up according to the list. Sure, easy. We were comprised of four groups. We and another group stuck together and arrived first at the immigration. The other two groups took long in arriving. That stressed everyone out -- me, my friends, the other group, the tour guide waiting, the immigration people and the immigration boss. He was shouting in Mandarin -- which of course we could not understand. We had to explain that the other group had an elderly woman and it would take time before they'd arrive.

At this point, we were already tired. The frustration added to the exhaustion and it put us all in a bad mood. I wanted to go back to Hong Kong and just stay there. But we didn't have a place to stay so we had no choice but to endure the stress.

To cut the long story short, we eventually got through immigration. Since we were the last ones through immigration, everything was closed, even the elevators. We had to lug our luggage up a steep flight of stairs (the escalators were turned off so they transformed into stairs) -- two flights up and two flights down before we got our butts in a bus and to the hotel.

We didn't have time to breathe. As soon as we got our key cards, we all immediately crashed in our beds and slept. That was around 2AM. I only turned on the TV to watch the Olympics when Jace was having his turn at the bathroom.

The exhaustion gave us dreamless sleep. The next thing I knew, I was being wakened by my alarm clock at 6:30. Jace was still down with the fever, so I gave him a few minutes more to sleep.

I swear it was the most useless day tour. I thought we were going to go into a cultural tour. Instead, we went to places where they just kept on selling us stuff - pearls, jewelry (AGAIN), silk (that didn't feel like real silk), prunes and dates, jade, tea, and phone accessories.

Hello random shot of flowers

The only real cultural tour that we got was when we rode a monorail around a certain part of the city, and gave a glimpse (note: GLIMPSE) of a mini world park called Window of the World. If you're familiar with Nayong Pilipino, it's something similar to that, only that it showed the different famous parts in the world. We had our photo taken outside the park and the tour guide sold us the prints. *rolls eyes*

After lunch (which was thankfully for free), we went through the stress again of going through immigration. The tourbus dropped us off at the Hong Kong International Airport, where everyone (except for us) had flights back home.

Since we extended for another day, we rolled our luggage to the bus stop and rode a double-decker to our final hotel. We were so relived to finally have control over our own schedule. We relaxed in the bus, sported big smiles on our faces, and took advantage of the wifi on board.

Jace booked us two rooms at BP International and boy, when we saw our rooms, we squealed in delight. FINALLY A REAL HOTEL! Free wifi, decent cable, lovely view, well-lit rooms, and and and... *happy sigh* Our vacation started that day.

I didn't have much pictures anymore of our last Hong Kong day, because I left my camera at the hotel. We allowed ourselves to get lost in the city. We shopped, walked, waited, walked, walked, walked, FINALLY FOUND TOYS R' US, walked, shopped, walked and walked again.

We met up with Joms again for a late lunch at MongKok and did last minute shopping at the Ladies' Market before rushing back to the hotel to take the cab to the airport.

To complete the travel photography challenge taken from Digital-Photography-School.com, here's the last two tips and the photos I've taken.

Tip #4: Combine a simple detail shot with a great story

It's not really a great story, but I'll tell it anyway. When you're crossing the streets of Hong Kong, you'll hear two kinds of beeping sounds. One is a rhythmic beep, like a ticking clock. The other has a faster beeping sound.

When we were there, I realized that it's the first time I've seen/heard of a pedestrian light that is friendly to the blind. The beeping sounds are indications when a person should cross. The slower beep means stop, a countdown to the go signal. I'm guessing that the fast beeps means that you should keep the pace and hurry in crossing the street. It's a busy city and slowing down isn't part of their dictionary.

Shopping at H&M!

While we were on a scavenger hunt for Toys 'r' Us, we found ourselves in the high end district of Hong Kong. We got to experience the "expensive" side of shopping. It was even better because we came right smack in the middle of the sale. The ladies (sorry Jace. hehe) went crazy in H&M and bought clothes. I bought a dress for me, cardigans for my mum and a polo for my dad. Hong Kong is really a good place to shop.

Tip #5: Turn your camera away from the sunset and shoot a "triptych."

This triptych trick is supposed to be three photos of the same location, but in different hours. In just a couple of hours (especially during dusk), the sky can show three different colors.

Sadly, because we were always on the go, I wasn't able to take triptych photos. I should've done one during our last night stay in Hong Kong from our lovely hotel room view. I forgot about the tips because I was too busy enjoying the room. Ehe.

I'll post post the photos from our hotel room. It's the evening and the morning. Soooo Bi-tych? Diptych? Biptych? oh, there you go, a Diptych!

At night

The lovely view using a fake panoramic shot

Ah, according to Digital Photography, a triptych or a diptych should present contrasting photos. I guess the views from our hotel window do show contrasts. Soooo, check on that!

Do three photos count as a triptych?

Oh hey, three photos in succession count as a triptych! CHECK! Yaaaaay! I was able to follow all tips! Issasuccesssss!

It's been more than a month since we came home from the trip, but I'm still not over the experience. It was definitely a memorable experience, bad and good included. The next time we're going back to Hong Kong, we'll do it our way. We already had someone tour us around and we more or less know our way around the city. It's not that difficult to use the public transportation. I'm glad that I was able to experience it with my best friends and we were all willing to take on that adventure.

So where are we off to next? New York? London? Or a province here in the Philippines?


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