Hong Kong Travels

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I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to travel with my team to Hong Kong, but unfortunately the trip felt too short! We stayed in Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong at the Silka Far East Hotel. I’ll be honest with you, this “room” my roommate and IĀ were booked was the absolute most uncomfortable hotel room I’ve ever stayed in… IT WAS A ROOM FOR ANTS. Seriously, you walk in the door, take one more step, and BAM you’re standing at your bed (sorry, I didn’t save my snapchats about it). The good thing about the room was that it was clean.

Food. NOW.

20160923_123255.jpgI cannot translate the restaurant name for the life of me, but we went to this small, yet amazing place along the sidewalk on Castle Peak Rd just before the Circle K convenience store. It was only about a 5 minute walk from the hotel and I had the best ramen I’ve ever had! Granted, I’ve only had Top Ramen, but still! It was amazing. It was called the Beef Brisket Ramen with Special Sauce. I’m not sure what the “special” part was, but I’m guessing it’s magic because I did not let my ramen go to waste. The beef was so tender and seasoned well and just fell apart and melted with each bite. I also had mango juice, which is basically a mango shake there and that was delicious too.

Garden of Stars

The Garden of Stars place was pretty cool, and I got to put my hands in Jackie Chan’s handprints woo hoo! It was fun to walk around and see how they arranged all the stars’ names and some awesome statues. I was only starstruck for Jackie Chan’s hands and Bruce Lee’s statue though.

 

Ocean Park

Ocean Park was THE coolest theme park I’ve been to in terms of location and things to do! It has everything you want in an amusement park- FOOD, rides (dry & wet!), an aquarium & other animals that sadly belong in the wild šŸ˜¦ Ā , places to chill and watch shows, kiddie areas, etc. My breath was taken away by theĀ gorgeous scenery especially going to the top of the mountain where the rides were. WE TOOK A HANGING CABLE CAR TO THE RIDES!!! The rides were so fun, but I really could not stop looking at the scenery. At one point I rode a ride similar to Drop Zone 4 times and changed what side of the ride I was on because when you get to the top you can see all around you, then it all goes away when you’re screaming so loud because you’re, well, dropping really fast from the ride. You just have to go experience the place for yourself!

 

Nightlife & Final Thoughts.

A few teammates and I took the train to Lan Kwai Fong and I was completely shocked at how cool the nightlife was! All of the lounges, clubs, and basically parties were on a huge strip that went uphill; and at the top of the hill there was another strip- so it was a huge street party on a road shaped like a T. Everyone was so chill & fun at the same time, and there were so many foreigners.Ā The best part is you don’t actually have to get all dolled up unless you wanna go into the high-class lounges! Casual wear for the win!

Overall even though I had to stay at a hotel I would never recommend, I absolutely loved Hong Kong and I really look forward to going back and exploring more of the scenery and more food!

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Qatar Travels

Some teammates and I were invited to play in another exhibition match in September, this time in Qatar! Never in a million years did I ever think I would have the opportunity to travel to the Middle East, especially to play some volley! Here’s what our schedule looked like on our arrival day :

Land in Doha 2 am, get to hotel 3:45 am, press conference (yes) at 4 am (yeah, I know), sleep until 9, breakfast, practice 10-11, lunch, free time, game time 5 pm.

My body has never been so angry at me. Oh wait… Then Mr. Food Poisoning made its appearance for the first time in my life at a very wrong time. The day before we left Manila I now recall eating a cheeseburger that smelled different than normal, but I was a silly hungry hippo and ate it anyway. Although I know you’d all love to hear about how I had to run to the restroom about every hour or every time I consumed anything, I’ll save the lovely details for myself. Bummer, I know.

THE HEAT WAS SO REAL, BUT SO WAS THE AMAZING ARCHITECTURE.

Mel and I decided to explore the area around us before we had to leave for the game. We were so excited to explore and look at beautiful buildings all around us. We even got so serious about it that we borrowed an umbrella from the hotel (shoutout to our awesome Melia Hotel), you know, looking like Asian tourists. We took some awesome pictures even though we were sweating profusely, but we kept saying it’s all for the experience and it was so worth it! We headed back to the hotelĀ and obviously the very next thing we did was ate some delicious food at the buffet! I personally was trying to be careful about what I was eating, but let’s get real, you can’t turn down the imported cheese & cracker table- and you definitely can’t turn down a cup of sangria! Let’s not forget about dessert…

GAME TIME- MY SETTER DREAM CAME TRUE

Unfortunately one of our outside hitters was not able to make the trip, but that left an opportunity open for someone else to step up to the plate… the little Setter in me jumps with joy every time I think of doing serve receive and attacking… Michele, who’s our opposite, started playing OH for the first half of the match, while I played OPP. Personally I love playing OPP AND I’ve done it before in recreational games, but never in an actual match. The second half Michele and I switched and we freaking killed it hellerrrr! Shoutout to all the coaches who taught me how to be proficient in all positions of volley hahaha. I mean we lost for the first time against this team, but that will never take away a huge accomplishment from me!

PACK. NO CAMELS. SHOP. BYE.

We were supposed to go camel riding at 4 am the day after playing, but our organizer of the event wasn’t there to pick us up so… no camel ride… we ended up touring some of Doha and going to the Vellagio Mall, which reminded me of the Venetian Hotel in Vegas! It was cool, but I was only able to afford groceries and souvenir goodies at the supermarket. Although the Americana in me wishes I could’ve stopped by Starbucks to buy a Qatar or Doha mug like I usually do when visiting a new place. Anyway, we buy our stuff, head back to the hotel, scarf the Dominoes pizza down, and rush to the airport.