A Travellerspoint blog

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Arrival to Manila through Hong Kong

sunny 30 °C
View Southeast Asia on kmpossible's travel map.

Hong Kong was just another big city airport, minus the loud, obnoxious Americans crawling everywhere. It was quiet, even in the middle of the morning when business traveling is at its peak.

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Manila’s International Airport was seemingly quite small in comparison. When we entered the concourse, I realized there was no air-con at all, and it smelled like a musty basement. Luckily for us it’s only about 10,000 degrees…yea, phew! It was pretty quiet as well, though there were lots of people waiting to depart in the seating areas as we passed to immigration and baggage claim. There was no line at immigration, thank f*&k. Last time Mike was here with his dad, it took them an hour and a half to get through immigration alone, let alone baggage claim and customs…I think we got very lucky! The bags came about twice as fast as they do at San Francisco Airport – well done, Manila! Customs was very fast as well, and we promptly hopped into a pre-paid taxi (with air!) to our hotel, the Copacabana Apartments.

Passing through areas similar to areas near airports in many other places in the world, I had many random thoughts, including “wow, this is a shit hole”, “these people are truly beautiful”, and “I’ve never quite seen anything like this.” There were people EVERYWHERE…simply EVERYWHERE! "Mercedes" busses called “jeepneys”, tiny little motorcycles, bicycles with sidecars for passengers, personal cars, taxis…all weaving in and out of the lanes around each other. I was surprised at how little horn-honking was happening – these people must have never seen how it’s done in New York City. (I think the car horn is the sacred sound of NYC.) It’s a lot like Tijuana, aesthetically speaking.

The nearer we got to the hotel, the “nicer” things appeared, though very near our hotel are a few really tall, once beautiful, completely abandoned buildings. They look like they were under construction and never quite finished. Right next door is The Heritage Manila, a very large, heavily armed hotel, complete with machine-gunned guards at the doors. Seems a girl can’t swing a fake-Fendi in THIS neighborhood without knocking over at least one militant gun-for-hire.

Next: dinner!

Note: Dinner didn't actually happen since we fell asleep at about 2pm and woke back up around 10pm, only to sleep again for another 5 hours. Oi vai!

Posted by kmpossible 16:12 Archived in Philippines Tagged round_the_world

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Comments

Yeah! I heard that the Manila's pretty vanilla, too!! Heheheheh..

Miss you both madly!

xoxoxoxo

P

by phantastic

Good to hear you guys got the safely!!!
Miss you already.
Joy

by xcoldsunx

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