What can I say about Hong Kong? Not much, as it turns out.
For my 22nd birthday, I decided the best gift I could give myself was another stamp in my passport. Seeing that I was in Manila, and there was a cheap flight available to Hong Kong, it seemed perfect.
“Why not go all out?” I thought to myself. “I’ll be puttin’ on the Ritz!”
I booked a hotel room at the Ritz Carlton in Hong Kong for one night. I figured with how much money I saved on the flight, and that it was my birthday, I should just go all out with the hotel stay.
I arrived in Hong Kong at night and hailed a taxi. This was my first experience riding on the wrong side of the road. The experience, I decided, warranted a photo.
My plan for Hong Kong was to enjoy a fancy night at a fancy hotel, then tour the city market the next day before returning back to Manila. That all changed about 2 minutes after arriving at the hotel.
“I’m sorry, sir, but we’ve overbooked your room,” the hotel clerk told me.
My heart stopped. What was I going to do? I didn’t really know this place and it’s almost 9pm already! How am I going to find…
“So we’ve upgraded you to a deluxe suite at no charge.”
…my heart started again, and it swelled with amazement.
“Really? That’s so kind! Thank you for the best birthday present ever!”
When I arrived at my room I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was bigger than my apartment in Manila. The bathroom alone could’ve slept 6 comfortably.
And the view from the room’s full wall window…
It was then I began to wonder if I should get a better camera. All I had then was my cell phone.
There was an old fashioned telescope sitting next to the window, like you see in the study of a rich guy’s home. The bed had to be a California King, which I didn’t even know existed at the time. A lounging couch, a huge television, even a place to plug in your iPhone to blast your tunes across the entire suite (which was a big deal in 2011).
The experience was so surreal, especially with it being my birthday, I didn’t want to leave my little palace. I ordered room service. I listened to music. I pretended to read the Chinese newspaper as if I knew what any of those jumbled characters meant.
I drank my morning coffee, sitting next to the window, watching as boats came in and out of the bay. Then got lost in the surrealness of just how fortunate I was to be experiencing it all. I ended up never leaving that suite until it was time to head back to the airport.
So how was Hong Kong? I have no idea. But the Ritz Carlton was amazing.