Monday, June 19, 2017

Lunch at Shangri-La Hotel

Haven't written my blog for a while, time for update but I would like it to be a bit different from the past, more pictures less words to make my blog followers (if there are any?) have more visual pleasure J
Those from Hong Kong would know the above photo is the Kowloon Mosque and Islamic Centre in Tsim Sha Tsui (九龍清真寺暨伊斯蘭中), where I passed by when I was on a bus heading to Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel on December 2, 2015.
Looking at this photo reminds me of a Muslim friend who always supported me when I was very down in my life. Now he has already left Vancouver to his home country, I sincerely wish him safe and happiness forever.

Invited by my friend Charles, we had an enjoyable lunch buffet in Shangri-La Hotel on a Wednesday afternoon J

Once we stepped into the restaurant, we saw mouth-watering desserts including mini cakes and Häagen-Dazs ice cream.

Since Christmas was approaching, we could see nutcrackers as part of the decorations.

Different sections provided different kinds of food - Chinese, South Asia and Southeast Asia, etc.

The ones that really grabbed my attention were the marinated salmon. These were something new to me - beetroot marinated salmon, wasabi smoked salmon and coffee marinated salmon. 

Have you seen the salt in different favours? Charcoal, lime, green tea, lavender and orange? I recall I had tasted green tea salt in Okinawa J

I guess this was South Asia cuisine. But the lemons made me think of Iranian food since I had lunch in a Persian restaurant in Vancouver downtown before my trip to Hong Kong.

Here were my dishes!!! The first one was a presentation of veggie garden with marinated salmon, second was fresh sashimi. Third one was a bowl of green noodle in  soup. Last one was Christmas dessert with fruit.  Some people might think the portions were too small, actually this was pretty good enough since the green noodle was super filling! Most importantly, I would be able to have an enjoyable chat with Charles in a relaxing and quiet environment J

It seems to me people in big cities like Hong Kong know very well how to taste the food, thus love to criticize the quality. Recently I  started to appreciate all the food I have every day no matter they are tasty or not. Let me tell you the trick, this good practice of appreciation is very easy to do. When you go to YouTube or internet and watch or read about the famine crisis in East Africa and Yemen, seeing more than 20 million people starving with no food and water. Then imagine Hong Kong has a population of 8 million, Vancouver has a population of 5 million ... together is 13 million, still much less than 20 million. After that, you will be satisfied with your meals. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Hong Kong Snoopy's World

I've heard of Snoopy's World in Shatin Hong Kong from my Filipino colleague for a long time but never been to there until my recent Hong Kong visit. I was sure this time I would not miss it during my stay in Shatin. Luckily uncle George (uncle 7) and auntie Tammy (auntie 7) were very enthusiastic in accompanying me, and they are experts in Snoopy's World since their daughter, my coursin Ada 昫盈表妹 is a big fan of Snoopy! 真係天助我也, 唔駛自己揾餐死!

First area I noticed in Snoopy's World was Snoopy boat J I would like to ride the boat too, but I was embarrassed to do that by myself as I am way too over aged. Next time I will take my little niece or nephew there so I can ride the boat with them. 下次等我帶埋 cousin D小朋友先坐船 hehe ...

I like snoopy but had no clue when it was born until I went to the Snoopy's World.
1950, much older than Hello Kitty. Do you know all the peanuts characters?

Snoopy's House with a Big Snoopy lying on the roof! uncle George and auntie Tammy always said "peepee"?! 唔通成日要去厠所? 唔係 ... 係"peepee'" in lower tone --> "pypy". It must be how Ada called snoopy when she was a baby J

Let's have a seat in Snoopy's house. Oops! wrong spot, it's a short table. Glad that I was not over weighted to break it. 哎吔, 枱仔當凳坐, 好彩冇塌倒.

Snoopy is using a typewriter above his doggy house. I don't know if this scene is still common now, but it was one of the most popular images as almost everyone had used a typewriter in the past!

七十一梗有一間係左近, 打字機梗有一部係屋企. 不過我部很久巳掉了.

If you still have a typewriter at home, it is now an antique J

Suddenly I thought of my autograph in grade 6 in primary school. My mom bought me a very lovely autograph with nice drawings of little bears collecting apples on a meadow. But when I saw my classmates holding a snoopy autograph, I was attracted by its design more than my own autograph!

Time to test if you know all peanuts characters, did you see the snoopy with moustache? 有胡子的史諾比???

I thought it was Snoopy's papa. He is called "Spike" based on my web search. A brother of Snoopy!

The Snoopy's World was first opened in 2000. It was there for 15 years already when I visited the attraction. Some displays or figures were dull due to the long time outdoor exposure. D公仔曰曰曰晒雨淋, 係時候翻新一下 J
The workers were doing a good job in repainting the figures. Only 50% were repainted or renovated when I was there. Hope everything will look new and fresh when I visit Shatin next time!

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Regal Riverside Hotel

During November 30 to December 10, we stayed in Regal Riverside Hotel 麗豪酒店. We knew there's a hotel directly connected to New Town Plaza in Shatin 沙田新城市廣場. We thought it's Regal Riverside Hotel so without hesitation we booked it right away at 8,140 HKD non-refundable price. It was back in May ... let me double check my VISA statement. Yes it is correct with exchange rate of 1 CAD = 6.26 HKD. Now the exchange rate dropped to 1 CAD = 5.70 HKD. CRYING L

Just right after we booked the hotel, I recall there's another hotel in Shatin. Which one is connected to New Town Plaza? When I checked ... "OH MY GOD! It should be Royal Park Hotel 帝都酒店". It was too late, my fault. 唯有將錯就錯住麗豪酒店, 唉!

Looked at the ratings for both hotels. Royal Park had 8.3/10 while Regal had only 7.3/10. A bit disappointed, but Regal was 500 CAD cheaper than Royal Park thou.

We checked in at Regal Riverside Hotel on November 30, 2015 with concerns as the rating was below 8. First impression was actually good ... the bellboy immediately opened the lobby entrance door for us and carried all our luggages. We talked to the front desk and was able to reserve free shuttle to airport. WOW! A big bonus for free shuttle to airport!

We were assigned to live on 7th floor. Once got into corridor, it was like walking through a fridge! 好凍呀!

And then the temperate was back to normal when we entered our guestroom! Here is the floor plan and our room is indicated by the red dot.

Here's the foyer of our guestroom. Left side is closet and beverage table. Right side is the bathroom. I think the fridge was beneath the white table. We never used it since it was not cold.

Let's visit the bathroom first. Yuck! the floor was quite sticky. This hotel is 30 years old so don't expect too much. My mom told me that the janitor did clean the floor just it needed a huge work with special floor cleaner to clean it thoroughly. Never mind then. We got slippers on.

Nothing fancy but we got what we needed. 3 sets of towels, 3 sets of cups, 3 sets of toothbrush + toothpaste. Adequate tissues and body wash/shampoo J

Next to bedroom ... 344 square feet with 3 single beds. Nice, lots of space to put luggages and stuff J Another bonus was free WIFI. Yeah!

Oh! Something on the table. Ah! Restaurant discounts for hotel guests. Couldn't imagine that this middle size hotel already has 8 restaurants, 1 bar and 1 cake shop. Cool!
It has two Chinese restaurants (at least one of them serving dim sum), one Thai-Vietnamese, a Hong Kong style cafe, a Japanese restaurant, also American, Italian and a Singapore-Malaysian restaurant which it claimed has Halal food. I only tried one Chinese restaurant and the Hong Kong style cafe there as my schedule was fully booked with other activities.

How come there was a big Japanese itinerary in front of the restaurant? Am I posting a picture of Okinawa trip?
It was the second floor of Regal Riverside Hotel. The restaurant behind was Dragon Inn 龍門客棧. A Chinese restaurant that I would recommend since I had a nice dinner there. My mom said the food in the other Chinese restaurant Regal Terrace 富豪坊 was not as delicious as Dragon Inn.
Still wonder why there was a Japanese schedule? It was for Kobe City College of Technology. During my stay, I saw Korean tour group, Japanese high school students and Japanese college students accommodated in the hotel. This gave me more confidence with the hotel ... hehe!

Another restaurant I tried and would recommend is Moon River 月光光. It opens from 7 am to 1 am, offering breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner, dessert and late night meal. 夜晚眼光光, 不如去月光光, 將消夜食光光 ... haha!

Time to show a real sample! 講咗咁耐都要俾D實物嚟睇吓. My cereal and sandwich breakfast at Moon River, looks simple and good hey!

Our hotel is facing this beautiful Shing Mun River 城門河. We could see the New Town Plaza 新城市廣場 on the other side of the river, the brown buildings in the middle of this photo. Shing Mun River was once heavily polluted during the 80s is now transformed into a clean river since 1993. Here is a better photo of Shing Mun River found on the web J

The shorter brown building is Royal Park Hotel 帝都酒店 which is directly connected to New Town Plaza. New Town Plaza was the biggest shopping mall in the 80s. Now the plaza is still very busy everyday as it is connected to a big indoor bus terminal , an outdoor bus terminal, and a major railway station called Shatin Station.
From Regal Riverside Hotel to New Town Plaza, guess how long it takes by walk? 15 minutes at fast pace, half an hour at slow pace. I never went there by walk thou since there were a few mini buses going to the plaza J


I heard there were guestrooms in the hotel with nice river view. The room we were given was facing a Buddhist elementary school 慈航學校. I don't think there are many Buddhist schools in Hong Kong. 不知是否與佛有緣, 連住酒店都會對住佛教學校. Maybe because I started to study Buddhism in 2015 (currently in kindergarten level... hehe), I become more connected to Buddha J

The view of our room was nice even without river. We saw green mountain on the left.


On the right side from the window of our room, we saw a 一枝獨秀嘅 high rise apartment standing out from other buildings. We could see the sky clearly too!

I mentioned that I saw plenty of trees in Hong Kong on my blog on December 28 last year, this includes the surrounding area of Regal Riverside Hotel in Shatin. See these cute tropical trees adjacent to the hotel J



Now walk to the other side of the hotel, there is a green park across the street! It has a giant Banyan (一棵壯大榕樹), free exercise facilities called green health system. See the old lady enjoyed playing the fitness bike (睇阿婆玩得幾過癮 ) Another one in the picture is taiji pushing/ tai chi pushing (冇對手嘅太極拳推手?) Is better to practice tai chi in a group then. Isn't it great to do tai chi with others under trees in the spacious park? 感覺好正好舒服啊!

I thought this hotel would be less convenient compared to Park Royal Hotel. In fact, it is not completely true. There were bus stops and mini bus stops 巴士和小巴站 in front of the hotel, kind of in between Regal Riverside Hotel and the residential high rise Garden Rivera (河畔花園). More than two months after, I still remember there were bus 182 to Central 中環, 81C to Tsim Sha Tsui 尖沙咀, 85A to Kowloon City Ferry Station 九龍城碼頭. minibuses 65A, 67A, 67K and 809K to Shatin Station or New Town Plaza.
My memory seems good ... hehe J Especially 67A and 67K, one time we were waiting for 67K at New Town Plaza for half an hour while there were three or four 67A stopped by but we didn't know 67A would go to our hotel. When we found it out, we waited for 67A next time since the fee was lower. Then no 67A showed up for 20 minutes. 唔係咁玩我嘛? 要搭邊架邊架就唔來!

 Overall the experience was not bad since the average waiting time was about 10 minutes.

Remember our guestroom was across a Buddhist elementary school. It became our morning call (alarm clock) . Music started at 7:55 am Monday to Friday, must be a school song. Then it was quiet for the rest of the day. Hadn't seen small students for a long time, 突然好想見吓D小學雞. Are they different from my generation? 唔知依家D小學雞同我以前做小學雞有乜分別?
Last day in Hong Kong, I visited the school (just outside the building) before 7:55 am. 走去裝吓先 ... not much difference, lineup in the hall, school bags put beside on the ground floor. I think the students wearing red ribbons must be class leaders/ class monitors cause the class monitors in my elementary school were wearing red ribbons. 都唔係太大分別, 大堂排隊, 書包放隔離, 我諗有紅帶一定係班長 (因為我做小學雞時班長要帶紅帶).

Nowadays, recycling is a big trend. Here I found one in the school. Good practice, I like it, YEAH!