Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Highlights from HK trip (April 14th to 29th)

My obsession with Fu Dogs. They were everywhere and I have too many photos of them to post. Kirin, Lions, Pi Yao, Fu Dogs, however you want to call them, I love them all. This pair was located outside a temple and look at how polished the brass is from people rubbing on them for good luck. I polished it too.

Central District. Perhaps my favorite neighborhood. Commercial district full of young, hipsters and some of the most amazing collections of ancient period pieces of Buddha, and collectibles on Hollywood Street. Even the restaurants were "Westernized" and interesting. And we had a short visit to Mandarin Orient hotel spa. Probably one of the most amazing hotel spas I've been in. Tropical Rain forest room was a small black room that had scented tropical mist come on and off and lights going dark and bright. It was a nice get away from the craziness of HK.
Simply the must do for all who visit HK. Take the MTR to Lantau Island and visit Big Buddha. I was a tad disappointed in how they had transformed the visitors area into a "Disneyland" style theme park with Starbucks and all... However, once passed all the "tourist" trapping and trinkets, you reach the steps leading up to Buddha and you feel it...Zen. I was happy to say that I walked up, almost skipped up along all the steps without resting and by the time I got up there, I was drenched in sweat. Be awed by the scenery and spectacle of it all.

A big shout out to Mrs. Chan and Men Yi (or as Neil called her Money) for being 2 of the most hospitable traveling companions and tour guides we could have ever asked for!
Thank you! Thank you!

Seeing Old and New exist side by side.

Bird park in HK. Men come here in the mornings to show off their little chirping friends. You can hear them blocks away. I was sad to see just how many birds were put in a cage and found 2 goffins in extreme stress and over plucked. I realize the standards are different than what is in the US and I don't doubt they love their pets any less.

In the same neighborhood as the Bird Park, you'll find the Florist Neighborhood. I was very happy to be here. Having a short stint as a florist at City People, I loved the inventiveness of Eastern floral arrangement and how every flower had a meaning. I've never seen so many fortune bamboo ever.

Foshan in GuangZhou, China. Fu Dogs everywhere and such a gorgeous temple!

Asiana flight home. Unlike the US counterpart, flight attendants over extended themselves and provided unparallel customer service. They assist in helping people stow and bring down their bags during the flight, kindly move the service cart to the side for you to pass unlike the US.
They were just simply HAPPY and it showed.

Maxim's Dim Sum at the airport. The BEST BBQ hum bow I have ever had. Neil ended up ordering more. I've never seen him order BBQ buns ever!

Finding 20 eateries or more on every block packed and sometimes lines outside waiting to eat. Everything is cheap $5 or less US. I loved how everyone is expected to share a table. Oh, and not to mention that everyone asks for a bowl of hot water to wash their cups, bowls, and utensils. It did get a little annoying. But then again, none of us got violently ill.

I am not exaggerating when I tell you that to close the door to this bathroom, you kinda had to stand on the toilet seat or to the side. I was lucky that this one wasn't a squatting toilet.

Waking up at 6am famished randomly walking the streets on Nathan Road in Tsim Sha Tsui looking for food.

Cafe de Coral. $21 HK for 3 items. What is that? $3.

Chinese boys and girls love their orange hair.

Temple in Central District. Spiraling incense hung high above throughout so that a light dusting of incense wood lingered all over your clothes when you left. We went in the late afternoon, and the lighting was sublime.

Hollywood Road in Central district is full of antique stores and some of the most amazing collection of various dynasty fu dogs I have ever seen. I wanted them all.
This is Pi Yao. Google it.

Riding the MTR and enjoying the fashion show.

In ShenZhen. Thanks to Philip and Jacky, this was the BEST custard tart I ever had. Unlike the flaky crust I'm used to, this one is more crumb-like and extremely buttery yet light. Must be enjoyed HOT. I could have had a dozen of them.

Spicy agar noodles. The texture and spices were fun on the tongue and palate.

Sunday, May 02, 2010