It’s Seegs Quarterly time! Here are some highlights from the last few months:
Holiday in the Philippines
I visited the Philippines for the first time. One of my very good friends in Hong Kong is from Cebu and recommended the tropical and somewhat deserted Bantayan Island for a beach getaway that we all DESPERATELY needed.
Recommendation from a local? I’m all about it. Done and done.
Bantayan Island is a true tropical paradise, but like many Filipino islands, it takes awhile to get to. I certainly didn’t mind because the drive up the Eastern coast was one of the most beautiful drives of my life (up there with Los Angeles to San Diego, through the Austrian Alps, along the Spanish Costa del Sol and the seven-mile bridge to Key West in Florida). The drive also gives you some time to adjust to the island vibes, and to soak in a bit of Filipino culture along the way (i.e. my first Jollibee experience).
Bantayan Island is a pretty deserted island. Since we were a group of full-time graduate students who hadn’t seen the outside of a library in months, we were perfectly content to just laze in the sun, drink Filipino beer and fill ourselves up with fresh fruit juice and coconuts.
But having said that, if you’re looking for more of a party atmosphere, this is not the place for you. I’d instead recommend more popular Boracay.
Although I have to admit I am glad it didn’t include Manila on this first visit to the Philippines, I am still intrigued to visit the city and see if it’s really as bad as so many people say it is.
**Note: A few weeks after we’d returned from the Philippines, there was some political instability in the country. Even with this in mind, Cebu is a safe city and there should be no deterrent to visiting. As I always advise people, use the same caution that you would at home.
Adventuring Around Hong Kong
I continue to be ashamed that I haven’t explored as much as Hong Kong as I probably should have at this point. Living there, I don’t feel such an urgency to see some of the more touristy sites that are at the top of the lists of people who only visit Hong Kong for a few days. I guess that has a both a good and bad side to it because I’m getting a true local experience (I don’t hang out with too many from the expat crowd and have more local/Chinese friends), but there are still many things that I have intentions to see before I wrap my time up in Hong Kong (IF I wrap my time up there, which is an entirely different conversation).
These past few months though, I crossed two more things off of my HK “Bucket List”: the Yick Fat Building and “Hiking” The Peak at night.
Yick Fat Building
This is one of the most classic Hong Kong buildings and consequently, one of the most Instagramworthy. Of course, the day my friend and I trekked out to shoot it wound up being overcast and consequently having a terrible glare so I wasn’t able to get as many photos as I’d have liked, but I shall be returning in the Autumn to give it another try.
Victoria’s Peak at Night
I had actually been to the infamous Victoria’s Peak several times; it’s something I will never tire of. But I’d never been at night to see the electric neon city skyline, so after a particularly long day, I convinced two friends to take a mental health break and join me in taking the city bus up to the mountaintop.
We caught a beautiful night, and took a very mild hike down Luard Road to get a different vantage point of the city. The views were simply spectacular.
Now that I’m writing this from back in the USA, I’m drooling over this photo. I truly love Hong Kong and it’s garnered a very special place in my heart. Just needed to say that.
June was a pretty boring month spent working, packing up my apartment and journeying back home. This is essentially why I don’t do a monthly recap instead of these quarterlies – sometimes I just don’t have anything interesting to write about. But everyone needs some down time. Get off my jock.
I also don’t have any travels planned for this summer while I’m back home. I’m working on my thesis which is time consuming to say the least, so maybe instead I’ll start planning some trips for once I’m back in Hong Kong so that I have something to look forward to.
Have a happy summer to those of you in the Northern Hemisphere, and a big thanks for following along even during boring times like these! xx