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"Hong kong, Several Years After the Hand-Over"

"Hong Kong, Revisited, Part 2"


The Cebu Pacific flight number 5J 110 promptly left Manila as scheduled at 8:00 a.m last August 2. One hour and thirty minutes later, the first island of Hongkong came to my view through the window of the plane. By the way, this easy reading article and more are also in my other blog:www.inbetweentakes.com.
Slowly, the next islands came into view and it started to amaze me as multitude of high rise condominium buildings are already dominating the islands! I thought it would be just for the first island, but no, almost all of the islands that the airplane passed are all “planted” with condominium towers! This was not what I saw during my first flight to Hongkong only nine years ago!

As we slowly made our landing, Hongkong’s new Chek Lap Kok International Airport reminded me of my landing in Europe (Netherland’s Schipol International Airport) in 1988! Yes, Hongkong’s airport is comparable to its European counterpart but with a unique distinction: it is a reclaimed land! Just like the land where Henry Sy had constructed the Mall of Asia, Hongkong’s airport used to be part of the sea and through a gigantic reclamation work, it transformed the sea into what it is now – a modern international airport!

As commonly said, “first impression is important because it will linger in a person’s mind forever” I told myself my first impression on Hongkong’s International Airport while we were still airborne must be sustained as we finally stood up from our plane seats to start our four-day Hongkong vacation.

Nine years after the Hand Over, Hongkong is now an epitome of a modern-day and progressive engineering technology! The airport facilities continued to impress me no end as we walked on the walkalators, rode the airport train to the terminal, passed through immigration and customs, airport bank branch to change my US dollars to HK dollars and finally to purchase our Mass Transport Railways (MTR) 3-Day Hongkong Transport Pass which is price at HK $ 220 per person. This already included Airport Express single journey and with 3-day unlimited MTR rides! This started my mental calculation: everytime I pay in Hongkong Dollars, I will multiply the amount by 6 to get the approximate peso equivalent! Thus, for HK$ 220 (about only P1,320.00), a person can already ride the Airport Express Train from the airport to Sunny Bay MTR Station and will enjoy an unlimited MTR rides to any point of its seven lines for three days. As the Airport MTR station is connected with the airport terminal, it is very convenient unlike well, our Ninoy Aquino International Airport where it is five kilometers away from the nearest MRT station! On the first place, our Filipino transport planners did not have any intention at all to make travelling convenient for all incoming passengers (both foreign tourists and filipinos) and on the contrary must have intended to let the passengers suffer at the hands of the greedy pinoy taxi drivers!

We conveniently arrived at Mongkok MTR Station by taking the trains transferring from one MTR line to another only twice! With the modern-day high tech train system of Hongkong, who needs a taxi?


Edgar Sandalo

Posted by E. Sandalo 20:03 Archived in Hong Kong Tagged transportation

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