Good Bye Hong Kong, Hello Philippines!
It was our last morning in Hong Kong and we were a bit sad to be leaving already, the week went so quickly! But we're also excited to be moving onto our next destination, the Philippines!
We didn't have to go to the airport until 1:30pm so we went back to the market to buy some Just Beats head phones by Dr Dre. On our way to the market we got distracted by the puppies in the pet shop window, we had to go in.
The puppies were so cute and playful we really wanted to get them out of their cages and play with them. But the staff watched us closely and told us off every time we poked a finger through the bars lol.
When we found the head phones we wanted Chris used his amazing bartering skills to get the lady to discount. She started at £35 but went down to £20 each! She didn't look at all happy with us as she stuffed our new headphones into a bag. Apparently they sell for £250 in the shops so we were really pleased with the price.
We went back to our room and collected our bags, checked out then got a bus to the airport. We were advised to check in three hours before departure instead of two as it would be so busy because it's Easter next week.
It wasn't too bad getting through compared to waiting times at Gatwick and Heathrow which can sometimes be murder. The lady at the check in desk asked us to prove we had a flight leaving the Philippines otherwise we couldn't travel. Apparently they have a problem with people over staying their visa time and the airline gets fined! We asked her if there was wifi so we could show her our tickets online. She looked at us strangely and laughed "Of course, it's free everywhere in the airport." Tut duh, we should have known that!
We sat in Star Bucks while we waited for the gate to open, then caught our flight on time at 5:10pm. Chris was happy he got fed on the plane, we weren't expecting to get anything on the short flight so had already eaten!
We arrived in Manila on time and were hoping we could catch another flight straight over to one of the islands. As soon as we collected our baggage we went to the Tourist Information desk to find out where we needed to go. The guy we spoke to was really friendly and recommended we book a flight through Zest Airways. He even offered to call the office himself. He advised us that there were no more flights for today but there was one leaving tomorrow morning and we would have to go to the office and book it there. This meant we would have to stay in Manila for the night. The tourist information guy then phoned a hotel near to the office which although it was expensive to stay in it would have apparently saved us on the taxi fare and hotel price in Manila city. Plus all the cheaper hotels were apparently full because it was Easter week (Holy Week). So for £44 we agreed to stay in the recommend hotel. I didn't really want to stay in Manila, we had heard a few bad things about the safety there but at least the hotel wasn't that far away.
At first the guy gave us directions to the taxi pick up point where we could get a free transfer to the hotel, then two minutes later he caught up and joined us in the elevator and escorted us. He was concerned for our safety outside of the airport, he told us a tourist couple were kidnapped not long ago by a taxi driver and held for ransom! Well I felt really safe after that! Chris asked if they found the guy. He said yes, the police shot off one of his fingers and now he is in prison. Nice, not before he collected his ransom money though!!
Just then he pointed out our transfer to us. We got in and were on our way. I had a quick look to check how many fingers he had lol.
We arrived at the hotel which was on a busy main road just opposite the domestic terminal. I felt so uncomfortable standing in the reception with four guys staring and snarling at me. I was tired and I couldn't wait to get in the room.
The room was really big and very nice, so it should be for the cost we paid for it and breakfast's free tomorrow morning. We didn't waste anytime in there and went back down stairs to see the hotels travel agent. She knew we were coming back down to book with her but she disappeared. After waiting more than half an hour we got fed up and decided to walk over to the Zest Air ticket office in the domestic terminal.
We passed a lot of armed guards including one on the door of the ticket office. The guard let us in and we took a ticket and sat down, we didn't have to wait long to be served. We told the agent we wanted to go to either Donsol or Malapascua (Donsol for swimming with the Whale Sharks or Malapascua for Thresher shark diving). The agent found us a flight for Donsol leaving tomorrow but didn't understand us when we said Malapascua. She and her colleague looked at each other confused and she asked us to repeat ourselves a few times. In the end we showed her on a map. She said "Oh Malapascua!" exactly as we pronounced it! Her colleague muttered to her "What's there?!" She said "Nothing! Just beaches."
She checked the flight and it was cheaper to to fly to Cebu airport for Malapascua than it was Donsol, so we booked the Cebu flight for 9am tomorrow and will go to Donsol later in our trip.
Charlotte & Chris
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