I started writing this post during my flight back to Manila. The trip to Hong Kong and Macau somehow ruined my sleeping hours. Our return flight was around 11 pm and most of the passengers were already asleep. While me, I'm wide awake. My body is still conditioned to sleep around 1 am. 

Going back to the real intention of this post, I have written some random observations during my short stay.

1. In Manila, flip flops or those plastic shoes serve as the official footwear of most female commuters. I often see females in full make up, iron straightened or curled hair, tailor fitted uniform wearing flip flops and plastic shoes in different modes of public transport. In Hong Kong, the official footwear of most female commuters are Vans or any of those classic slip on sneakers. I find it cool that Vans are paired with skirts and office uniforms.

2. Aside from Vans, Toms are very popular in Hong Kong. Although I haven't seen any store selling the line of ballet flats. All I can see are the classic slip ons.

3. In the Philippines, Skechers and Paez released their versions of slip ons similar to that of Toms. In Hong Kong, J&M seems to be the expensive counterpart or copycat? :)

4. It's all about cotton shirts, denim shorts and see through skirts for the female populace. I will never fit in. My button down blouses, floral tops, and Peter Pan collared tops are nowhere to be found.  

5. Aside from housing different nationalities, Hong Kong appeared to me as a melting pot of both the upper and lower class members of the economy. It entertains me whenever I cross the street and I'm surrounded by a female sporting a signature bag, while another female is carrying a canvas tote and a market basket trolley. :)

6. In Manila, it's easy to spot a tourist. The locals always dominate the majority. In Hong Kong, the situation is quite different. The flock of tourists seem to outnumber the locals.

7. In Manila, the immigration line for the locals are always the longest, may it be arrival or departure. The complete opposite happens in Hong Kong. The immigration lanes for the tourists always outnumber the spaces for the residents. 

8. The iPhone 6 plus is the national mobile phone. A few own Samsung units, but iPhone still forms the majority. 

9. There are toys for sale in 7-11 stores. It's not only in Mc Donald's you can buy those collectible action figures. 

10. You have to pay the standard rate of HKD 0.50 for one  plastic or paper bag.  The rate applies regardless of the bag's size. Unless you instructed the cashier personnel that you will pay for the bag, no one will pack your purchases. Hence, an eco-bag is another must have when in Hong Kong. 

11. It's not hard to find trash or garbage bins in Hong Kong. I guess this can explain why Hong Kong remains clean, more than the discipline of the citizens. In Canton Road, garbage bins have lavender plants above the lid. Whoever generated this idea is so brilliant! Aesthetics, odour control and cleanliness solved in one solution. 

12. Octopus cards are not universally accepted. Small scale establishments don't have the facility. Although I've noticed that octopus cards are usually accepted in food related establishments and convenience stores. 

13. I maybe wrong but Hong Kong is a territory dominated by the older populace.I rarely see kids around. In a train ride, I'm quite lucky to see a school boy or a toddler traveling with their parents.

14. Malls don't have security guards. :) No bag inspections even when entering a Louis Vuitton or Hermes store.

15. There are times when you have to line up to enter a Louis Vuitton, Chanel or Hermes shop. I believe they are controlling the volume of people inside their premises.

16. Taxi cabs are using the same unit of the old Toyota Crown.

17. The Issey Miyake Bao Bao bags seem to  be another popular luxury brand among females in Hong Kong. I like the unique structure of the bag. I initially thought it might be another branded bag. Much to my surprise, a piece costs around Php 25,000.

18. Yosi Samra is not available and nowhere to be found in HK. Quite a surprise because I always believe that HK always gets the first dibs of every foreign brand.

19. It was only in Hong Kong and Singapore when I see a Lamborghini parked along the sidewalks or drove even on the narrowest streets.

20. I believe that there are only a few private cars in Hong Kong. If you own one, you are considered extremely rich. Case in point, HK's bus and train system are very effective and efficient.

21. If you want to own a Herschel backpack, HK is your place..... relative to Manila's prices. The underground sports and apparel store in Tsim Sha Tsui is the best place to purchase.

22. They always say the City Gate Outlets is a shopping haven. You might not believe me but I ended not buying anything. Hahaha I checked the Kate Spade's outlet shop. Choices are great but prices? I still find their merchandise expensive. The diaper bag I've been wanting was priced at Php 13,000. When Kate Spade last had their online sale, same bag was sold for less than Php 10,000. I still believe that it's best to buy Kate Spade through their online sale. More so, if you have relatives from US who are willing to receive your purchases.

23. The 10th floor of City Gate Outlet is a haven for shoe lovers. Lacoste footwear, Crocs, Dr. Kong, Vans, Converse, Fred Perry, Adidas, Nike, Camper,  Aerosoles and other brands are contained in one huge floor.

24. If you are planning to buy a Nike Airmax, HK is the best place. I found a pair that retails for an equivalent of only Php 2,000?!? Deal!

25. HK is not the best place to buy another dream brand, Onitsuka Tiger. Mahalia pa din! Hahaha If the local Onitsuka store in Megamall or MOA allows terms in zero interest on selected credit cards, go buy it! A pair in HK retails around Php 4,000 too.

24. If you want to buy a discounted Coach bag, the best place to purchase is at The Peak Galleria. The outlet store in City Gate is a bit intimidating and has lesser selections. The cheapest Coach bags, both for men and women can be purchased at The Peak Galleria. It also helps that the staff are more accommodating and friendly.

25. Another great brand to purchase in Hong Kong is Esprit. I cannot remember how many Esprit outlet stores I've encountered. You can buy an Esprit jeans for as low as Php 600. Not extremely cheap but Esprit offers volume discount. The usual practice is 50% off when you purchase three pieces for blouses, bags, pants and accessories. Buy three bottoms of different styles, you will eventually receive a 50% discount. After the experience, I found Esprit sold in Manila too overrated and expensive. You have to spare around Php 2,000 for a pair of Esprit jeans. Bring your Php 2,000 in Hong Kong, you already have a complete set of outfit.

26. I have been wondering where do the upperclass citizens of Hong Kong reside? One of my travel companions said it's in Admiralty. I'm not convinced. Hahahaha

27. Cath Kidston is not popular in Hong Kong. I haven't seem females sporting a piece from Cath Kidston. In addition, prices of CK merchandise are still expensive in HK and even Macau. The best way to purchase is to catch the online sale and pool orders with friends. (I love you Leah and Mother E.!)

28. The streets surrounding Prat Avenue and Tsim Sha Tsui serve as another shopping haven. There is a huge Cotton On Store, shops offering discounted sports apparel, Korean beauty products, branded shoes, bags and more items you always find expensive to purchase in Manila. There were even hidden apartments that offer signature brands. And nope, they aren't contrabands. They have business permits and issue official receipts.

29. I used to be frightened with the practice of Land Reclamation. This is one reason why I'm sometimes frightened to visit SM MOA and other similar areas. Turns out, HK and Macau are territories who took advantage of the opportunities promised by Land Reclamation.

30. Will I ever go back to Hong Kong? Yes but _________________ (Complete the sentence and if you get it right, I might give a prize hahahahaha)