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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My Hong Kong trip

Its been 15 years since my last visit to HK. Ive been wanting to go back for a very long time and my long awaited getaway was finalized when I decided it was finally time to go back just in time for my cousin’s wedding and grandma’s birthday.  HK is a place that never sleeps and full of excitement and colour..  a busy city day and night.   It is truly a shopping paradise from themed shopping districts, street markets, trendy boutiques and malls. Also known as the culinary capital of Asia from five star cuisines to traditional fast food, snacks or casual food/pastry…lots of variety with good eats everywhere you go.

Theres just so much to see and do in this bustling vibrant city, I was literally walking from day to night everyday..LOTS of walking. If you’ve never walked the streets of an Asian mega city before get ready for a major workout and sturdy shoes with shoe gel pads is a must. With no pads the first 2 days of walking resulted to massive pain on my arch, heel and lower back which until today im still feeling pain around the arch bone.. oh well it was certainly worth it

So here are some highlights from my trip, lets start with the food which was on top of my list.

    Modern Toilet 
A popular Asian chain “toilet themed” restaurant where you sit on a toilet bowl seat and eat/drink from miniature toilet bowls and urinal cups. You can even order swirly chocolate ice cream on a squat toilet that looks like poop.. hmm appetizing?
 “Yung Kee”  one of the most famous and oldest restaurants in HK where you can have classic Cantonese food. Everyone comes here for the signature dish:  Roast Goose which was superb and have won numerous awards.  Other than the goose, according to their menu it listed that every dish that’s been entered into competitions had won over the past few decades including Iron Chef!  Fortune magazine also named it as one of the top 15 restaurants in the world (the only Chinese Restaurant to be included in the list) ___________________________________________________
 “Sing Heung Yuen” This is a traditional type of street side food stall and one of the most famous ones left, a great way to experience HK food in a old fashion way. Don’t expect to get a seat right away as this place is known to have line ups throughout the day.  Locals and tourists would come here for their specialty items such as their many types of tomato broth dishes , milk tea and crispy condensed milk toast *expect long line ups ___________________________________________________
"Kau Kee" 
Noodle shop with over 80 yrs of history serving famous tender beef brisket cooked with a secret recipe and its flavoured broth - the best beef broth ive ever tasted and rated one of its best in HK *expect long line ups __________________________________________________
"Tai Cheung"
This egg tart heaven which serves fresh batches of piping hot egg tarts every 15 mins as people line up ordering by the dozen.  No doubt this is one of the best buttery pastry crust ive ever had with its extremely smooth and silky egg custard that melts in your mouth with every bite.
The shops in HK open late and stay open later. Don’t expect stores to be opened in the morning as most shops are shut and HK people are late night owls. My favourite are the street markets where you can find cheap clothes, bags, watches and souvenirs.
Kowloon side of Hong Kong (Street markets and full of shops selling bargain priced trendy fashion and goodies ):
Sportswear street (Fa Yuen St)
Ladies Market 
Temple Street                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Goldfish Market 
NATHAN ROAD KOWLOON  - Walk under the neon lights in the busiest streets of Nathan Road which runs through 4 districts and is lined on both sides with tons of shops and restaurants along the street then spread out to different points. This street can definitely induce sensory overload
CAUSEWAY BAY HK  - This major shopping district and one of the most crowded areas in HK is most famous for its 13 storey Japanese department store “SOGO” and Time Square (an indoor shopping complex) along with many smaller malls/shops all concentrated in this area
MACAU I have not read about Macau since my last visit years ago and was surprised to find out that it has now developed to a little Vegas with familiar casino hotels such as MGM, Wynn, Venetian, Sands and  others in development including a major casino zone called the Cotia Strip
Travel from HK to Macau is around an hour ferry ride away. However the waters were so choppy with crazy waves which its known for, I was sea sick with a nausea floaty feeling which did not go away for some reason and lasted for 2 days
So there are 2 sides of Macau (which is also a former Portuguese colony) – theres the heritage sites and historic streets then theres the developing so called Las Vegas of the East.  The 3 must do’s in Macau is to taste the famous Macanese and Portuguese food,  sightseeing and casino hopping.
My favourite Portugeuse Egg tart treat:
Lots of food everywhere and free food sample tasting 
Macau at night - the little Vegas of the east interesting find is you will see casinos all on one side of the street and then theres  pawn shops all on the opposite side of street.. only in Macau!
Old Macau with a mixture of Chinese and Portuguese buildings as well as heritage sites from the 1800's
This street on the bottom right was really cool with only Red wooden doors , windows and signs on all the units throughout the street
AND FINALLY..... 1 hour foot massage only $13.00 USD!!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Happy Joy Joy

Wow it has been a while since my last post. Ive been back from my 2 week Hong Kong vacation several weeks now but it has taken me a long time to recuperate coming back to reality! Hope to have some time to work on my travel blog to highlight my adventures during this holiday break. Happy holidays