Saturday, December 28, 2013

Hong Kong July 2013 Itinerary: Third Day (Part 2)

Continuing from my previous post, as mentioned before, it was our last day in Hong Kong so there were lots of things on our itinerary. After doing some window-shopping at Citygate Outlet Mall, we went back to our hotel to freshen up before continuing our night activities.

Our first stop was to get some dinner. We decided to go for wanton noodles as it is well-known at HK. The nearest would be at Central. So back again to Central!

#11: Eating Wanton noodles & prawn dumplings

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Hong Kong July 2013 Itinerary: Third Day (Part 1)

It was our last day in Hong Kong. There were still a lot of things on my list that I have not yet done.

Because I wanted to go to visit the Giant Buddha at Lantau Island, Yi Won so kindly agreed to acompany me. Li Ling and Zee Yun have decided to spend their last day at HK by being kids again at Hong Kong Disneyland, also at Lantau Island.

#7: Having HK-style Breakfast at char chan teng

But first, we headed out looking for breakfast. Yi Won mentioned how we have yet to try any polo bun so we hunted for this restaurant 金華冰廳 at Prince Edward. Needless to say, we were so unfamiliar with the place that we got so horribly lost. Finally thanks to a kind soul, we found our famished selves inside the char chan teng

Ordering from the menu provided is a challenge for someone like me who is illiterate in Mandarin.

However, a lot of pictures and newspaper/magazine articles are pasted on the walls so just point and voila!

The polo bun deserves 2 thumbs up for being the most delicious and crispy bun ever. I don't even like polo bun but I just could not get enough of it.

French toast is something I like but avoid occasionally because some places just served it real bad. However, this one was nothing short of amazing. It is crispy without being oily and just the right amount of butter and honey.

#8: Taking Cable Car Ride to Lantau Island

After a filling and satisfying lunch, we took the MTR to Tung Chung station Exit B where Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car is located.

I have seen photos of people taking the cable car to Lantau Island, especially the Crystal Cabin cable car that has a glass bottom so you can actually see the view from the bottom. Sounds scary? Apparently that is what Yi Won thinks so we just took the Standard Cabin cable car. For a round-trip ticket, it costs HKD135. Crystal Cabin is HKD213.

Tung Chung Cable Car Terminal.

Crossing the sea can be kinda scary.

Finally we reached Ngong Ping Terminal. The first thing that you see once you exit is, of course Ngong Ping Village. It has a traditional feel to it and has lots of shows available. But our aim here is to visit Giant Buddha so we didn't buy any tickets for any shows.

Along the way, we passed by many souvenir shops.

The walk to Giant Buddha seems far for two city girls like us but the air was a lot fresher here compared to Hong Kong city so I enjoyed the walk.

#9: Visiting Giant Buddha

When we saw the stairs leading to Giant Buddha, we actually groaned. But there were lots of elderly and children also walking up the stairs so we cannot lose also right? The higher we went, the cooler we felt. The weather was also quite good, cloudy but no rain.

Giant Buddha
Yes, finally we arrived. I think I was more excited as I have only seen this gigantic landmark in movies and dramas and pictures but never in real life. I am not the religious kind just the curious kind lol.

We spend a few minutes there praying and resting and also enjoying the cool breeze. After that, I wanted to visit Wisdom Path but because it is quite the distance away, Yi Won was a little hesitant as she was tired of walking already.

But fortunately, she gave in. Thanks babes :)

#10: Visiting Wisdom Path
Although it was a long walk inside the forest trail, I was so excited when I finally see it. It is such an amazing view, just pillars and pillars of Chinese characters. I don't think you can see this anywhere else other than HK.

Suzane asked me if I became smarter after going to "Wisdom Path" LOL.

A jumpshot near the entrance to Po Lin Monastery which we didn't visit because we were exhausted already. Apparently you can also purchase meal tickets for vegetarian meal here.

#OOTD - Leessang Cap: online; Atlas tee: Topshop; Skorts: Zara; Bag: Longchamp; Shoes: Adidas (not shown); Watch: Bangkok
We ate tau foo fah and took some pics at Ngong Ping Village before boarding the cable car back to Tung Chung station.

At last, it was time for some R&R as we decided to shop at Tung Chung Citygate Outlet Mall which is right opposite Tung Chung MTR station. I cannot really remember what brands were there as I didn't shop for anything there. Just not my type of shopping brands but I saw many people buying luggage bags. Yi Won also bought some clothes. Still prefer Bangkok as my shopping destination lol.

Hungry and tired, we just ate lunch at the mall's food court:

Yi Won's cheese chicken chop rice.

I was craving for Korean food so ate this beef rice. It tasted good but was such a huge portion that I found myself struggling to finish it. I don't know why food portions in HK are so big. Huhuhu next time both of us should share one portion instead.

-Day 3 to be continued-

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Hong Kong July 2013 Itinerary: Second Day

Day 2 starts with a HK-style breakkie - Dim Sum!

But before that I want to give thumbs-up to this awesome hotel we stayed at HK - Cityview Hotel. Not only were the rooms spacious for Hong Kong style, but it was super near a MTR station. One would think distance doesn't matter but after walking for one whole day, we were never happier that the hotel is so near. Also, great when during rainy season especially in summer.

So, back again to our breakfast. We didn't think HK people would be up so early for dim sum so we arrived quite late and almost all the dim sum finished.

A meh dim sum breakfast. Probably because there were really not much options left.

Lin Heung Tea House - it took us a long time hunting this place down.

There is something about these small green stalls that I find quaint and nostalgic.

Next, we decided to go visit some shopping malls. First up is Times Square at Causeway Bay.

Nothing much to shop here but when we left, we noticed a Monsters Inc. exhibition outside the mall.

Tee-hee. Love how Yi Won colour-coordinated with the character.

Self-potrait tee: Hua Hin, Bangkok; Houndstooth skirt: Bangkok; Wedge shoes: Adidas; Red bag: Longchamp
A chance to show off my #ootd. Lols. Since I just came back from Bangkok then, I brought mostly newly-bought clothes from Bangkok. 

 #3: Eating authentic Hong Kong street food

Yes, how can I miss the opportunity to try Hong Kong's famous street food? We tried a few - siu mai, french fries, some round round waffle-like thingy (sorry!), cheong fun and of course my favourite has to be curry fish balls! Every time I see a stall selling one, I just cannot resist buying it. It is so spicy, unlike those back home in KL.

#5: Mongkok

Visiting Mongkok is also on my list as I didn't get to visit it the last time. 

We walked around Mongkok shopping mostly for cosmetics and beauty care products. There were some clothing shops too. And sports shoes street. 

The unfortunate thing was there were just too many people that made it hard to shop comfortably without being pushed around. Sigh.

#6: Watching Symphony of Lights Show

This was a definite must-have on my list. I was grateful to Li Ling for agreeing to go despite the fact she has watched the 5 minutes show before. 

The Symphony of Lights Show starts at 8pm and can be watched from vantage points at either side of the harbour - Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade along Avenue Of Stars and Golden Bauhinia Square / Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre at Wan Chai. We chose the former.

Nearby is the Tsim Sha Tsui harbour to take the Star Ferry. This was on my to-do list too but we didn't take it because our hotel was nearer to Tsim Sha Tsui.

The famous Clock Tower at Tsim Sha Tsui.

The show started at 8pm but so sad, it started raining so the photos taken were really blurry and cloudy. The lights show were still obvious but not captured well :(

Langham 1881 Heritage Mall. It houses high-end brands but has a pretty architecture. It used to be a former police station.

-End Of Day 2-

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Hong Kong July 2013 Itinerary: First Day

This is a very belated post about my Hong Kong trip in July (like 2 months ago?). This is my second time to Hong Kong but I was excited because it was going to be a free and easy trip with friends, unlike the first time whereby it was a guided tour. So my objectives of this trip was to go places I didn't have the chance to go the last time as well as to accomplish some things I have always wanted to do in HK.

Arrived at Hong Kong International Aiport with Yi Won and then we purchased the Airport Express Travel Pass for unlimited travel on the MTR. Coincidentally, we were going to be in HK for 3 days, which is exactly when the card will expire.

Our first stop is to Lan Fong Yuen at Central for food.

We had french toast, milk tea and noodles. Food was just meh but the restaurant culture here is so different. Everything moves really fast and sharing tables are habitual here, so much so they don't even wait for your answer when they asked you if you mind to share tables.

First look of Central from atop the Soho Mid-Level Escalators:

#1: Visiting Soho Mid-Level Escalators.

Yes, that is one of the places I wanted to go on my list. It is the longest running escalator in the world. Plus, it was also filming location for both "We Got Married - Adam Couple" and "Running Man Hong Kong Episode".

#2: Riding the tram up to The Peak.

Although I have visited The Peak the last time I went to Hong Kong, I have always wanted to experience riding the "antique" tram instead of going up by tour bus the last time. We were aware of the notorious queue that the tram is famous for (because there is only one tram). 

Maybe because it was a weekday and we reached the station pretty early so the queue was not as long as we have previously seen in photos prior to our trip. Even Liz who has been to HK a few times noted that it was the shortest queue she has ever seen. Despite the heat and the stuffiness, finally we were able to secure seats on the vintage tram. 

At the Lower Terminus Tram station, we also purchased tickets to Sky Terrace 428 to enjoy a magnificent bird eye's view of Hong Kong. In every trip that I planned, I will never miss the opportunity to visit any place that is able to give me a bird eye's view of the country that I go to. There is nothing that gives me a rush more than looking down at the city with all its beautiful lights and be amazed at how much the country have developed. I know, I am such a city kind of girl. 

But, undoubtedly one of the highlights of my trip.

My mediocre camera did no justice though. Want a new camera so badly.

And of course, a postcard to the future is one of the things I wanted to try. Another 2 more months...

Whilst walking to MTR station to return to our hotel.

-End of a short Day 1-

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Italia Part I: Roma

This is a way belated post about my first trip to Europe back in Sept 2012. I was so excited as Italy was the one country I wanted to visit the most out of all the countries in the world. Since I went with my mom, we went on a tour so we did not really get to visit a lot of places as it was a fixed itinerary.

Our flight had a transit at Dubai. I forgot how many hours was the flight but it was super long and tiring. 

We arrived at night so there wasn't much to see on the first day other than how Rome looks like at night. We stayed at Blu Radisson Hotel, near the train station. It was a really nice hotel but we had problems with the air-conditioner on the first day.

Our first stop of the day was of course the majestic Colosseum (Colosseo) where gladiators used to fight in the ancient days. Seeing it upclose was surreal as you see it so often in movies and all.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Just thoughts

One day while working, I met a young boy around 9 or 10 years old. His name is Justin. I tried talking to him but he just look at me with those big eyes and said nothing. I asked him, "Do you understand Mandarin?". He still won't reply me. I thought he was just shy.

Then the man who brought him told me that he is autistic. He goes to a special school. Justin keep looking at me not saying a single word. I later found out that the man who brought him is actually Justin's mother's boyfriend. And yes, he is a methadone patient whose urine is constantly positive for substance.

About two months later, I went back again to that same place. I had already forgotten about Justin. But again, I saw him. He smiled as he saw me. He came towards me and just kept staring at me. I asked him, "Do you remember me?" He didn't say anything again but I didn't care. 

This time his mother was the one who brought him together with his little sister. The mother just started the methadone therapy but urine has still been constantly positive. I start worrying about what happens to Justin and his sister if their mother is still taking drugs.

Just last week, again another 2 months, I went back to work at this place again. I saw the boyfriend but there was no sign of Justin or the mother anywhere. So I asked the pharmacist in charge. Turns out the mother is taking methadone at another health clinic elsewhere. 

He told me that the mother's brother is a drug pusher. Sells drugs and whenever there is leftover, he gives it to the mother. That is the reason mother cannot stop her drugs habit.

I was shocked to hear that. I thought about Justin. I worry what goes on at his home with his family all hooked on drugs. I wonder if he will be able to leave this kind of environment that he is currently in. Added with his condition, I worry if he will be okay.

The most innocent ones are the children. Parents who are drug addicts do not deserve to have children. If you cannot take care of yourself, how can you take care of the young children? Why can't they think for the benefit of their children? What if one day the children also grow up to be drug addicts?

At times like these, I feel helpless. Although it seems like I am helping the parents get better, I don't know if the children's conditions are improving or not. And yet, I don't know what I should do to help them.

The truth that no one will report is the fact that there are more and more drug addicts out there right now. Methadone therapy is not a cure for drugs, it is merely to suppress their drug-taking desires. Without the right psycho-social treatment of counselling and the proper environment for their rehabilitation, these patients are just a waiting time-bomb. It won't be long before they relapse and continue with their drug-taking habits.

The government plans to open up more methadone clinics. But what is the point when they should solve the root of the problems? What exactly is the enforcement doing to the point that drug pushers are selling drugs in broad daylight in a busy city like KL? If you think outskirts are better, they are not. Many drug addicts are still at large at small villages as the enforcement there is not as strict.

How long more are we going to treat their addiction when "temptations" are everywhere? This country is soon becoming a dangerous place to live in when there are nobody we can depend on to solve this drug problem. What we truly need, is indeed "superman", someone brave and bold enough with power to state what exactly is going on in this country without sugar-coating it.

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Bangkok 2013 (Day 5): Khao San, Terminal 21, Siam Square, Siam Paragon

This was from last year:

And this year we returned to Khao San Road:

OOTD: spikes cap: sg wang; yellow tee: primark london; stripes pants: times sq
The others commented how much my outfit complimented Mr. Ronald McDonald himself wtf.

If you have been reading my blog, you will know I have had an obssession with Running Man (and Gary oppa~) lately. Khao San Road was also one of the filming locations for Running Man Thailand special episode. It was in this restaurant where the teams performed one of their missions, which was playing charades with other tourists. I was super estatic when I spotted this restaurant wtf.

Bangkok 2013 (Day 4): Bangkok City is Love~

Day 4 in Bangkok is finally the day we get to fully explore Bangkok, the metropolitan city filled with lots of shopping malls. Yippee, Day 4 was the day we dedicated to shopping because that is one of the must-do in Bangkok for shopaholics like me :)

The first shopping destination is the Pratunam morning wholesale market. Located in front of Baiyoke Sky Hotel, the market hours are from 6am - 9am. Last year, we woke up too late and only managed to shop for a short time before all the stall vendors started to leave.

Good points: Cheap cheap cheap. Here, the stock are mostly similiar to Platinum Mall but at a much cheaper price. If you buy more than 3 pieces, you get a even cheaper wholesale price. Awesome if you have friends of similiar size and style. Variety of stuff too, I found mostly what I came for here. 

Bad points: Small lanes, so conjusted and very hard to move around. You can expect being pushed around and moving aside for trolleys to pass through. Also, some vendors insist on you buying same clothes but in different colours (but not all). 

Since we woke up early for the market, we had some breakfast afterwards at food vendors near Pratunam area. The food were simple Thai soup noodles but tasted awesome. We also had Thai iced tea but not pictured here.

Tom yam, so deliciously spicy

Yamunseng - glass noodle salad, but too sour for me

Simple noodles with soup but the broth was excellent

Noodles with pork

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Bangkok 2013 (Day 3): Visiting Cha-Am

One of the places I wanted to go during my trip to Bangkok last month was to Cha-Am, another small town near Hua Hin. This is because one of my friends went to Santorini Park at Cha-Am and the place was so beautiful. It is inspired by the actual Santorini at Greece. After seeing pics of it, I was really tempted to go.

Our 3rd day of Thailand trip started with a yummy breakfast at the hotel.

My favourite breakfast - muesli with yoghurt and fruits, and a must-have coffee.

We were informed that public transportation in Hua Hin and Cha-Am are scarce and difficult to find, especially at Santorinin Park. After much consideration, we decided to hire a driver to take us around Hua Hin and Cha-Am for the day. FYI, our hotel helped us with it and it costs us 1500 baht.

The driver brought us to a Venice-themed amusement area but the place was still under renovation so there was really nothing much to see there. Then, he took us to Santorini Park and Swiss Sheep Farm. After that, we went back to Hua Hin where he brought us to Maruekhathaiyawan Palace, which was the summer residence of the king. Finally, we ended the day with lunch and the subsequent drop-off at the minivan stop for our return to Bangkok.

Because the other places were not as interesting, I will only blogged about my favourites: Santorini Park and Swiss Sheep Farm.

555 Moo 3, Khao Yai Sub-district, Cha-Am District, Petchburi 76120
Opening hours: Mon - Fri (10am - 8pm), Sat & Sun (9am - 10pm)
Admission fee: 50 baht per person

The theme is mostly blue and white, typical of Greece.

This is my current cover photo on my Facebook. Love the elements of the carousel, flowers and blue balconies in this photo.

I love this carousel the most at Santorini Park. Perhaps it is the colours and that magical atmosphere it exudes. It also reminded me of the lovely carousel near Eiffel Tower at Paris.

There were many murals scattered around Santorini Park and I like that it was so random. When we spotted one, we would immediately start posing and taking photos. When I look at this mural, I imagined a couple standing under the umbrella falling in love lols.

The colourful flower pots provided the perfect background for a random photoshoot. Clara Sia was dressed pretty cutely that day, like a Japanese tourist. Her fashion sense has improved heaps compared to when I first met her lol.

When I commented that she looked like a Japanese tourist, she was so happy she said, "Annyonghaseyo!". HAHAHAHA.

Giant ferris wheel, looks a little gloomy due to sudden appearance of Mr. Grey Clouds.



(unless you ask ms blogger first)