En Route: Hong Kong

October 21, 2015 Filed Under: En Route, Personal, Worldly Whereabouts 8 Comments

October 20, 2015 | 1:22 AM

Cebu Pacific Flight 5J143 bound for MNL

Initially bound to leave HKIA at 9:55 in the evening, we found ourselves killing an extra 2 hours waiting at the departure area before running to our boarding gate, not realizing it was already Final Call for our flight back to Manila.

While I’m supposed to be asleep at this time, I don’t feel sleepy at all – or tired. A bit dehydrated, yes, and a bit nervous with all the turbulence at this time of night. But it’s fine – I’ve finished listing down tomorrow’s to-do list and post processed photos for my next blog post. #productive

Anyway, here’s a recap of last weekend’s short but fun adventure in Hong Kong.


It was a great two and a half days. After falling almost off the edge the past week with the influx of work and events, I slowly felt rejuvenated again like I always did every time I leave the country. This time, I spent it with three of my good friends from way back in high school – because after a few attempts to wait for a budget promo to pop out online, we succeeded on booking this time.

Well, the catch was – I had to rebook my flight because silly me forgot about my work calendar (it was Student Media Congress last Saturday). As painstaking as it sounds, I followed the 4-day trip but had mine cut down to 2 (no regrets though).

Either way, arriving last Saturday evening definitely didn’t ruin the trip – what with the two whole days of crazy and memorable adventures we ended up having.

The last time I visited Hong Kong was two years ago with my family. At that time, my only goal was to shop, eat, and go to Disneyland – typical tourist things. Now that I’ve gone back, I realize how different I wanted my trip to be this time, and I made sure my goals were on point – and on point they were.

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Case in point, my undying fascination for art around me. Apart from geeking out on street signs (like I always do), I slowly found myself observing architectures, color schemes and packaging design (Chinese medicine packaging = A+), among others. So much for being a design geek, really.

On my first day, we tried out Lin Heung Tea House in Central – and it was undoubtedly one of the best food experiences we’ve had.

Here’s the gist: you have to channel your inner Katniss Everdeen and get your fill of dim sum once the kitchen lady takes out the trolley. If you’re not aggressive enough, you don’t get to order and eat. The funny part was, we were probably the only tourists there. And while we could all speak a few Mandarin phrases, it wasn’t enough to fully understand the serving system of the restaurant.


Everything here was efficient; and I think that’s what I love about Hong Kong (and Singapore, and Japan): these cities are built on efficiency – the kind that makes you want to hustle and do things at a quick but effective pace.

Wait, I’m getting ahead of myself.

So anyway, back to efficiency. Alyssa & Giselle were the chief navigators and Google Maps experts for the trip, while Kara & I were the documentations & creatives team. Pretty good pairing if you ask me – each one of us had our own roles per agenda per day, lol.

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My favorites from the trip were of course, visiting art stores and book shops as per usual – and the occasional “look for walls and take nice mowdel photos” moments, lol. The best part about it was having people to share the experience with – people who understand the way your eyes light up once you step in a bookstore, an art shop, or a cafe.

From deciding what to order at a cha chan teng or a cafe, picking out the best value for money clothing at Argyle Centre, purposely shooting in the middle of a busy street all for a proper Instagram photo, hoarding chips and candies for pasalubong at Wellcome supermarket, choosing the best VSCO filter for our respective lineup of photos to post, to laughing our hearts out at way past midnight at our tiny but cozy hotel, I don’t think I would have had this experience any other way.

This was my only trip this 2015 that required no work (at all) – no e-mails, no lettering or designing, no worrying about what projects I have due – for 2 straight days. My friends know how much of a workaholic I am, and I’m glad I got to detach a bit from Manila duties.

As I’m writing this, I’m excited to go back home and get back to work – after recovering from a very tiring couple of days that have passed before flying to Hong Kong. It’s great; I’ve never been this energized spiritually for the longest time. It’s so easy to always get lost in the sea of work I enjoy doing, but while I’ve been working as a full-time artist for almost 6 months already, I’m slowly grasping the idea that this life is definitely a crazy but exciting one — and I can only secretly wish to impulsively book another trip sometime soon. :)

Follow my adventures on Instagram: #ABCEnRoute

Related posts:

En Route: Paris, FranceEn Route: La Union, Philippines

En Route: Tokyo, JapanEn Route: Singapore

TY for some of the photos: Giselle, Kara!

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8 Responses to “En Route: Hong Kong”

  1. Shannelle
    October 21, 2015 at 4:50 pm

    I always love reading about your adventures! I love looking at all of the Chinese street signs in Shanghai, and Chinese packaging is just so beautiful. It inspires me so much to learn the language better when I see them

  2. Abbey
    October 21, 2015 at 8:19 pm

    Thanks Shannelle! Yup, went to Shanghai a few years back and the signages are really cool. Plus points if I can read em haha

  3. Giana Barcelona
    October 21, 2015 at 9:47 pm

    Hi!I’ll be going to HK next month, can you name sone art stores where I can find good art stuff? Thank you! :)

  4. Abbey
    October 22, 2015 at 12:47 am

    Hi Giana, it’s already queued up on my drafts haha. I’ll post it this weekend :)

  5. ABC (Art, Books & Coffee) in Hong Kong | Abbey Sy
    October 25, 2015 at 6:54 am

    […] from my friends if I could sneak in a few art shopping duties on my limited stay in Hong Kong (2 days isn’t enough, tbh). True enough, I got to check out a few on my list and did a bit of art shopping and […]

  6. Life, Lately: Efficiency | Abbey Sy
    October 28, 2015 at 6:02 pm

    […] to spend a weekend in Hong Kong with my friends. Even if it was only for two days, I had no regrets (well, except I still miss our […]

  7. Kim
    November 4, 2015 at 9:48 am

    Are there any blogs you used as reference for your itineraries? I’m creating an itinerary plan and the art stores you recommended are included already!! :)

  8. Abbey
    November 5, 2015 at 8:29 am

    Hi Kim! I checked Mikko’s blog (itrydiy.me) and Mikka’s (mikkawee.net) for Hong Kong. Others are self-researched though. Enjoy :)