Friday, 24 February 2017

Happy Chinese New Year 2017!!! The Year of the Rooster (Chicken)

Happy 5th Birthday to my blog (from 31st January. I completely forgot)... thanks for following, reading and adding comments. I do enjoy reading the comments, even if it's to tell me off, and for those who like to puke at what I write, then so be it - I was not born to please everyone... And spammers are still not welcome!!. 

Is it too late to say Happy Chinese New Year - about 4 weeks down the line?

Yes it is. But I don't care. 

This year is the year of the Rooster. In Chinese we say 雞年 (Canto: gai nin; Mando: ji nian) meaning "year of the chicken" not rooster. The character 雞 doesn't refer to the chicken as being male or female but it is assumed (I'm guessing) that it is the male chicken the Chinese are referring to. It's actually the same factor for all the Chinese Zodiacs and a debate I was having with Mr Games and Miss Money. What sex were the Chinese Zodiacs? Discuss! 

Dumplings are traditionally made on the first day of the Chinese New Year, but these were bought from frozen, fried and then "steamed". Pork and Chinese chives flavour.

These are dried, flattened sharon fruit - often made just for Chinese New Year.

And I got two lucky red envelopes. If you follow me on Instagram, I asked the question if they had money inside. Yes, they did. ^_^

One of my colleagues just came back from China, he said he had a lucky envelope for me. I said in Cantonese "唔使啦" (m sai la), meaning "no need la" - because he's kind of my age and not my boss... it didn't feel right accepting! LOL!  ¥10 is equivalent to £1 by the way. >_<"

Anyway, celebrations are now over, although in China Town London you can still see the red lanterns around the area.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Regal Riverside Hotel 麗豪酒店 - Shatin, Hong Kong

Ah, one more post about Hong Kong!

Last time we stayed at the Regal Oriental Hotel based in Kowloon. My family didn't really like that hotel even though there was free WiFi and lots of local stores. But we had to try and go back to the Regal Riverside Hotel 麗豪酒店 (Canto: lai hou jau dim) on this trip! Why?

Because the rooms are much more spacious at this hotel than their sister hotel (plus they finally finished renovating whatever they were doing and installed free WiFi)!

In previous stays at this hotel, they used to have a big table and chairs available. Now there's a squeaky sofa and a small glass table which I kept bumping to at night. :( It hurts you know! I mostly sat on the floor to eat my breakfast or dinner... Felt the sofa was too high and the table was too low. >_<"" Not sure if they vacuum the rooms as often as they used to. And I don't think they change the bed sheets because I spilt a bit of soy sauce on the duvet cover, nothing was changed. ¬_¬"

We were put on the 8th Floor (lucky number for the Chinese), but really it was unlucky for us as we couldn't sleep! I switched the aircon to heat but all we got was cold air. Turned it up to 24/25 degrees... and still no hot air... What kind of aircon did they install?


Forgot to take a picture of the bathroom. They haven't upgraded their bathrooms for years. I think depending on the cleaner you get, you don't always get new bottles of shampoo or body wash... :(

Think the hotel has gone a bit stingy for a 4 star. Weren't like this 6/7 years ago! The cleaners were much more generous with the teas and coffees and sugar... Unfortunately they give out a lot of bottles of water... In the end we had around more than 10 bottles sitting in our room! >_<" Stupid management idea really...

Didn't take any of the drinks from the fridge... no point. They were more expensive than the supermarket and 7Eleven. 

The only best thing is how fast the lift goes up and down. ^_^

Pointers when staying at this hotel:
- Close to the bus stops but be prepared to wait for some of them, as some are hourly buses
- 2 bus stops away from New Town Plaza, which is where you can take a train
- Far away from a Metro line, so you will need to hop on a bus to somewhere like Yau Ma Tei
- There is a HK$1000 deposit - in case you break anything or order things like room service
- There are restaurants around but walk around to City One or New Town Plaza... or even walk to the Star Seafood Floating Restaurant...
- If you've been put in a room near the roads, then I'm afraid there's nothing much you can do except purchase earplugs
- The walls are not that thick so it's possible you can hear your neighboring hotel guest
- There's finally free WiFi!!!
- Try out their restaurants, I never did, but they look good
- It's generally a quiet area - apart from the traffic
- There's a dry cleaners nearby, try and find it as it's cheaper than the hotel!
- There are family rooms available which have more facilities like microwaves and cookers etc.

If I were to give a geeky rating, it would be defo be a 3/5... but 5/5 for location! :p

Address:
中國香港新界沙田大涌橋路34-36號

34-36 Tai Chung Kiu Road, Sha Tin, Hong Kong
Phone: +852 2649 7878

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Hong Kong 2016 Day 14: Last Day

Friday 16th December 2016

Final post on my holiday! (But hotel post is next after this).

I felt the lazy bug step in. I realised why I was not able to sleep. It's because I usually sleep late and wake up late in London, and that's what I did on our last day. Really felt the tiredness kick in.

I felt like the lazy person I was supposed to be at the start of this holiday, my laziness was not meant to be on this holiday! MummyGeek was up and I asked if she could buy takeaway because I was being my lazy self...

My last bowl of HK congee!! This time with pig liver. Woooow. I wondered why people liked eating this one. The liver was so smoothly made... Like eating butter or very smooth cream. Yummy!



Breakfast that morning was HK$98 (~£10.32). MummyGeek paid. No prob! :D

I managed to sleep for another 2 hours before checkout time. I was so tired. I requested a late checkout for 1pm as our flight was in the evening, but it seems Mr Stingy was kicked out at 12pm. So we kind of left. No extra charges were made so they didn't take my deposit.

We left our luggage around the taxi station area. You're allowed to leave your luggage at the hotel for up to 7 days before they somehow get rid of it... so during that time we went outside the hotel (it was very cold that day) and waited for the cousin who took Mr Stingy and I around our village on Day 3... 


We saw a couple in their wedding outfits... a happy day for some!

We ended up in BBQ King again. There is no escaping this restaurant! My cousin wanted to discuss family stuff - which I thought was totally inappropriate timing! Ruined my mood really..
Lunch came up to HK$170 (~£17.89). I seemed to have paid again! :p

After our hour longish lunch of family stuff Mr Stingy and I went to the New Town Plaza Shopping Centre for one last trip. Bought a colleague a traditional Chinese music CD - as it was his birthday soon. 

Came back to the hotel within less than an hour... And then went to the airport. VERY EARLY!

It didn't matter because we got to see the sunset from the airbus. ^_^



So at the airport we were too early to check in... about 2 to 3 hours. That meant it time to crochet Mr Picky's scarf which I had started on the plane coming to HK. Was also trying to catch some Pokémon at the same time... free WiFi at the airport!



Finally crossed over to the other side after 8pm. Such a long wait. I think next time I'm going to choose an earlier flight with a different company. Virgin flights are really late!

I forgot to eat one of my favourites. Beef brisket curry and rice!! Oh, how could I forget?!!! I paid for MummyGeek's meal as well... It's really expensive at the airport, so I don't advise you to eat there unless you really have to. Cost came to HK$252 (~£26.52). I don't think UK airports are this expensive. ¬_¬


Mr Stingy went for char siu and special fried rice... ¬_¬" Typical of him!

Time to walk around and find our gate... Bought some sweeties and Gudetama stuff...


Finally got to our gate and so I decided to charge my phone in the meantime... At the time of charging I think someone had lost their phone or charger, well a couple of males came over so I'm not sure if someone stole something. Didn't see anything suspicious really. I was playing Pokémon as I usually do. LOL!


Finally time to board...

It was a very unfortunate flight. We had four babies on board. Because they were all quite young they all started screaming and crying at the same time. It was possibly my worse flight in history. I'll take Ryanair any day for the silly messages and cramped seats. Food was so-so. For a very famous company and bright, you would really expect decent food in the Economy section. :p I can even get decent food in my work canteen for less the price of what they provide per person. ¬_¬" The pasta dinner was basically the pits! Disgusting!

At some point the person in front leaned their seat back and damaged my mini USB cord. I was so upset I hit the seat in front! Grrrrr. I think the long leg room seats are not worth it. Total waste of money to be honest. Going back to a different flight company with better seating.

I managed to sleep somehow after watching some of House of Cards Season 4... think I was beyond tired on that flight. What works is big earphones (always purchase your own because flight ones are rubbish) and very loud music. I dozed off with music. That's the first time that has ever happened in my entire waking life.

When I was awake, the babies started to cry again... I really wanted to get up, go to the parents and say "would you like me to hold your baby? I have godmother experience" ... But I didn't do it as Mr Stingy was blocking me. ¬_¬""

Breakfast came and I had the full breakfast - not bad! Decent for my taste buds.

We finally arrived in London. We had to do some sort of emergency landing and all our devices had to be completely switched off. Why? It was foggy that Saturday morning. The foggiest it's been in London since we've been gone. It's really pretty from the top. Not so pretty from the ground. I think we were very lucky as during the day not many flights were going in or out from Heathrow. 

As we got to the airport, queued (and I caught 2 Pikachu's with Xmas hats on), passed passport control, I saw this poster... American Airlines really know how to make people laugh: "Fly Flat, Arrive Sharp"... Hmmmm...

Got a taxi back. Black cab one. Cost £80. Worth it in the fog. Cabbies need to make money too!

Well that's the end of our holiday. It was a very hectic one being with family, hardly any shopping, some sight seeing... But for me, that was not enough! Argh... maybe another time...

End of Day 14 and holiday time in HK! ^_^

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Hong Kong 2016 Day 13: Kwun Tong

Thursday 15th December 2016

Second to last day!! We're almost to the end of this almost happy trip... 

It was difficult to decide what to do on the day before our flight back to London. In the end we all decided to go to Kwun Tong. It has one of those big shopping centres... So we took the 89X from the back of the hotel bus station... 

I thought we saw the shopping centre - but we got off the bus a stop or two too early. Argh... So we started walking to the opposite side.







We kind of walked into the wrong building, so we started walking up towards the shopping centre. I even pointed out where the old market used to be, but Mr Stingy said we're not anywhere close to the shopping centre... so we had to get back to the bus stop we got off from. MummyGeek was annoyed with me as we should have got off the last bus stop. We walked back and forth to remember which bus number we took as well... When our bus finally came, MummyGeek asked for the wrong stop and we didn't get on the frigging bus! And that's when my anger stepped in. I shouted at MummyGeek for being stupid... Grrrrrr!!! (Being with your mother 24/7 for 13 days now was rather tiring!! My Aries sign kicked in... TBH: I'm glad I work). When another bus came we spent a bit more money on the bus... BUT guess what?! When we were walking, we were practically half a kilometer away from the apm shopping centre... ¬_¬". My annoyance kicked in further... MummyGeek apologised, and I did too with gritted teeth, :p

apm shopping centre had big massive bears for their Christmas display. We walked around and around taking lots and lots of pictures. ^_^











It was finally time to eat! So we ended up in the expensive food hall. Had to thank this German guy who gave up his seat for MummyGeek and Mr Stingy! Thanks dude!

MummyGeek ordered noodles, some crappy veggies and I think it came with some pork chops. Mr Stingy had something similar...

I had a beef or was it pork with kimchi and rice... boy this sort of bibimbap was massive... and there was soooo much kimchi and not enough meat. ¬_¬"" I've lost the receipt but think it was quite expensive for what I got... Never again peeps! Think smaller eateries outside the shopping mall is probably the best thing to go to.

Lots and lots of kiiiiimchiiiiiii!

We all went around the shopping centre in our sort of separate ways... I didn't buy anything because everything was too expensive for my liking. :p





After an exhausting morning, we went back to the hotel... Tough Love. Tough Morning. Tough Everything! :p

Well. It was an unsatisfying morning. So I said to MummyGeek I want to go shopping by myself that afternoon... In which I did! I went back to Ma On Shan... I had to go back to Miniso, which is now one of my favourite Japanese-Hong Kong stores. It's a bit like the Danish Tiger stores in London, but of course Miniso sells Japanese things. :p I bought myself a new bowl for work and some other useful things...


Went into the next mall, and one of my cousins who I hadn't seen when we had the family gathering a few days before text me to go out for dinner... Ugh!!! Why me?!! Why did I have to be the sole bearer of a mobile phone with all the contacts. :( Had to rush back to the hotel and explain to MummyGeek and Mr Stingy. No more shopping allowed. How unsatsifying! But at least I got what I wanted. 


Ok, so the most satisfying part of the journey back was the sunset. Hong Kong has beautiful sunsets during the winter period.


Miss Pinky was practically asking for one of my cups. One thing not to do is post things on your personal social media site and tell people what you're buying or doing! Well, I can't help but show off. So Mr Stingy decided to surprise Miss Pinky. We both got 7 stickers in total. I went down to the 7Eleven next to the hotel to check if they had stock... They did! Yippee!! I had to check which one it was coz I would have swapped with one of the other ones... Luckily the one given to me was a pink cup, and one that I didn't want. Phew! Surprise Miss Pinky. ^_^

In the end we gave in to my female cousin. The only reason she couldn't make the family meal was because of her son, my second cousin, LOL. He's kind of a difficult and hyperactive child. A funny child.

My cousin came with her daughter. We haven't seen her for about 8 years! Wow, and she's now in uni going off to study English Literature at a Hong Kong University in Kowloon. Amazing... My cousin's children really have grown up so fast. 

MummyGeek didn't want to go so far, so we ended up going to BBQ King for dinner. ^_^






Food was kind of casual. The expensive item here was the soup!
Total cost came to HK$498 (~£52.42) - I paid as this cousin of mine came to London to visit us and paid for dinner last time. ^_^

Reminder of the address:
沙田沙田大涌橋路20號河畔花園D座地下39號舖
Shop 39, Riverside Garden, 20 Tai Chung Bridge Road, Sha Tin

It seemed like a very long day!

End of Day 13.

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