Travel – Hong Kong

The long awaited travel post.
Finally Hong Kong.
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I actually was going to plan a nice (way overdue) honeymoon trip [resort, 2 weeks doing absolutely NOTHING] but seemingly a higher power was against my plan ⇒

  • Philippines [dangerous and Boracay closed]
  • Hawaii [earthquake and volcanic activity]
  • Thailand [fully booked or flights to expensive]
  • Indonesia [oil spills in Borneo]
  • ….are you freakin kidding me?!

And that’s how one ends up in Hong Kong. Though –end up– is a bit harsh for this gem regarding food and potential to amaze.

Some keywords here: 
×they freeze you to death with air-conditioning (felt like 18C inside and 36C outside)×NON SWEET food culture (coming from japan where everything contains 90% sugar, Hong Kong is a real blessing!! Everything tastes normal, gonna miss it so much! ) ×Less ‘chinese dirty/loud’ than expected (felt like a Seoul with less of anger and like a Japan with much more “life” inside people)

We all know space in Hong Kong is limited and even hotels are smaller than Japanese standard – we did the full luxury course with a 40m2 room at OZO Wesley – to keep some slight honeymoon-touch, which I was hoping for in the beginning. (If you don’t mind staying in smaller places, HK can be a nice weekend trip in case you live in Japan and got bored of Korea.)


The ‘island‘ has less impact, if you have been to Tokyo or Seoul before, but what it made still jaw-dropping, was its density. You suddenly feel like a tiny ant no matter where you go. Also, compared to theit’s so close to china“-pollution we expected, the air quality was one of the best we experienced since 2 years, plus no rain with beautiful hot sunshine [sweat is not dripping down but drys off asap and only makes you more “sticky” than you might used to be. » Get’s my ‘Love It!‘ stamp – my skin has never been so smooth and clean!!]

It’s a small island, so 2.5 days is enough for a nice overview. We didn’t do much research and browsed the different areas as they came. And yes, you can find some spots that actually let you “breathe” for a while. It would spoil the fun to go into details, so I’ll throw in some keywords for you here ⇒ Hong Kong Park (Zoo) • Harbor view + Harbor (Island side) • Times Square • Causeway Bay Area • Sheung Wang/Soho Area • Kowloon Park • Tsim Sha Tsui …


Food is delicious as well, and even for picky eaters (intestines are a no-go for me too) there are variations of delicious congee (rice stew) and tons of fruits/snacks to explore. [avoid places crowded with tourist or touristy areas, it won’t taste even close as good as the “real deal”   addiction potential ⇒

        • Mui Kee Congee¹, 5min from Mong Kok St. [inside a fish-market on the 4th floor, makes you feel you jumped into one of those old HK fighting movies from the ’80s]
          —  cheap, with a nice view and super delicious

        • 椰汁大王 (Coconuts Drink)², 3min from Ya Mau Tei St. [opposite of starbucks]
          serves fresh coconuts juice mixed with a hint of condensed milk

        • Dim Sum Square³, 3min from Sheung Wang St. [a bustling area, slightly expensive,
          but very delicious food, and a nice stop to gain energy for exploring HK further]

       

      • Little Bonus for Mango Fans and “smoothy to go” — Hui Lau Shan (Tsim Sha Tsui, A2) – quite pricey but hella delicious.


    If you get yourself a 24h-ticket, you’re as good to go. Don’t forget sunblock/sunbrella and WATER! ( ! Free Shuttle Bus ! to your hotel is provided)

    (don’t worry, looks like fake money but isn’t. Each bank prints their bills in different style.)


    HK Air offers 1am flights from Haneda Airport and there are hotels which offer early check-in (7am) thus you’ll be getting a full day extra.
    We were arriving on a Friday morning and left Sunday late afternoon2.5 days with 2 nights hotel is a pretty nice deal.
    If you won’t let yourself rip-off in touristy areas you can eat and drink cheap [in total, this 2.5 day trip was around 1000 bucks for 2 ‘all inclusive’, and we ate a lot and stayed “luxury” class]


    ¹ Mui Kee Congee, Mong Kok St., Mainland [Exit B3 is closest]
    ²椰汁大王 (Coconuts Drink), Yau Ma Tei St., Mainland [Dundas Street Exit A2]
    ³ Dim Sum Square, Sheung Wang St., HK Island [Exit A2 along Hillier Street]

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Travel – Korea 2018

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This time for my brother in law’s wedding. So this post is really short, as was our trip (weekend).  If you’ve read my blog about our wedding, then simply exchange groom & bride and location and you got this months wedding. [in Korea weddings are to make money, less about “celebrating” something, which makes them so repetitive in style]

A nice treat – when being in Korea – are the cafes. This time we went big and got these

mouth watering eyecandies


[Cafe Osulloc, Seoul]

Travel – Nagoya / Nagashima

This post is a follow up on my Nagoya/Osaka trip. Introducing some 2 great spots we went to while visiting Nagoya. Rain and low temperature made us escape to a great secret spot in Nagoya [which we otherwise would have skipped 100% for sure]Toyota Museum.

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Maybe you are like me, expecting cars and robots (which you of course will find) BUT 60% is past history and thus new information (at least to me) – they started with textile machinery ! It’s a very active museum and honestly I did enjoy it way more than the Ghibli one.   Definitely worth its money and time you spend there!!


Another  to-do-list spot was  Illumination.  Around this time of the year Japan doesn’t give a damn about electricity issues/bills and lights up nearly anything.
Nabana no Sato Winter Illumination, which is said to be one of the largest in the whole country, is located a 30min drive from Nagoya near Nagashima Spa. What appears as a nice flower field within a Resort during summer, is lit up with millions of tiny bulbs in winter.
[negative: they charge you 2500 yen entrance which includes 2×500 yen voucher for the souvenir area — it’s not the world, but I hate to be forced to buy something.]

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[Nabana no SatoResort/Amusement Park, Mie- Prefecture]

Travel – Nagoya / Osaka

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Finally I can put a  beside one of the points of my japanese bucket-list. Finally I was able to ride with a Shinkansen (those long-nose high-speed trains) Being in Japan for many years, why not riding one earlier, you might ask. The thing is.. tickets are pretty expensive.

Our trip was typical japanese as well – 3 days/2 nights – Riding Shinkansen in the morning to Nagoya→ visit people→ stay overnight at his uncles house→ visit other friends the next day and then ride another Shinkansen to Osaka→ arriving at midnight→ staying at a hotel near the station→ go visit the city and some friends and then instead of wasting money for another hotel→ ride the night-bus back home for Tokyo.

[Shinkansen ride gives you a nice view on Mt. Fuji as well.]

There’s the saying ‘learning by doing‘ and I did learn a lot.

  1. Having lived in Argentina for some years, where land is huge, airplane tickets expensive, train-network scarce and thus buses quite comfy (you easily can ride 12h without sore back or leg pain.) Well, I thought Japan – the land of service – might provide the same service, but we ended up in a regular bus where seats were designed for small tiny Asian people. My husband and I being 180+ couldn’t even put our legs under the seat in front of us for a stretch, as those were  way to low and narrowHORROR BUS RIDE  9 HOURS  arriving DEAD in Tokyo. [positive: cheaper than train or car]
  2. Osaka (and also Nagoya) is way more my style than I ever could have imagined. The people seem ‘real‘ – less FAKE than they behave in Tokyo. Talking to them actually made me feel a real person is standing in front of me and not one sort of  ‘silent souzu¹. Sad thing, I can’t eat wheat stuff so the food Osaka is famous for [Takoyaki, Okonomiyaki and Udon] was out of range for me, but according to my husband – delicious.

Some tips for those who have not been on the road.
• Riding Shinkansen will be made easier for you in future; because of Olympics (and many foreign visitors) coming up in 2020, they try to implement the IC-card system also for this type of transportation [up to now you have to buy separate tickets for those trains at designated machines – not really difficult but always able to improve]

• There are really nice spots to visit in Nagoya and Osaka. Your Tokyo IC card will work for their train/bus system as well. Prices are slightly lower. Having not as much time as expected plus weather messing with us, we went to do speed-sightseeing….

Nagoya castle, some nice town buildings & gardens, shopping area in Osaka plus two more exciting things which I will write about in a separate post ⇒ [Illumination in Nagashima]


¹ Souzu. An endless bowing/nodding thingy ^

Travel – Prague

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The last (and maybe longest) extra part of our long trip to Germany [follow the link]Prag.  Very close to my hometown (eastern Bavaria area) just a short 2.5h drive away.

Thus it’s not my first time. Actually I have been there 3 times. For following reasons.

  • History [I love the old buildings]
  • Cheap [some 30-50%]
  • Easy going people [very warm “aura” throughout the whole city]
  • Good Food [and beer of course. It’s the mother of breweries]
  • Great Weather [maybe just coincidence but we had blue blue sky every time]

I truly was hoping to be able to visit this wonderful city again with my husband. Time was limited and we did (same to Berlin) a 1 night 2 days trip. But I dearly recommend to stay at least 2 nights (or better 3) to soak in and experience the whole city up to its core.

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• Climb the watch-tower, eat some delicious ‘Gulasch‘ with sliced dumplings [in Germany they are round balls], definitely get one of the great breakfasts and WALK. If you stay at a hotel within the center, everything is in walking distance. Even the castle on the other side of the river is not far.
Take a pic at John Lennon wall and then drink one of the delicious beers at the John Lennon Pub [it is a tourist magnet but somehow the whole story has its charm] escape to backstreets and immerse yourself into nightlife [for non-party people I recommend a stroll alongside the river – you both fall in love again all over again]

• For rainy days you could go to a sex-toy museum, the ultimate ♡little mole ♡ (comic by Zdeněk Miler) and other souvenir shops, become an alchemist and discover the underworld, become a child again at the Hampleys (huge toy-shop) or simply visit the national marionette theater ♡  ……


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[now you maybe understood why you definitely should stay more than 2 days]

Travel – Friedberg

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Here is another extra part of our long trip to Germany [follow this link]Friedberg.  Located near Frankfurt (which you might be more familiar with) just a short 15 min drive away.

So why there? I hear you already asking – very simple. It’s a tiny historical gem and provides way more nature than Frankfurt could ever do.

  • Military base of Ray Barracks [Elvis Presley served here] unused since 2007
  • Friedberg castle [one of the biggest remaining complexes in Germany]
  • European Elvis Festival [old-timers, greasy hair and Rock’n’Roll]
  • Little Sakura [largest areas for fruits cultivation in Germany especially cherries]

So I do recommend a visit during spring or summer – a once in a lifetime chance to actually see huge fields of Sakura blooming (outside of japan) and walking through fields of apples, cherries and other delicious fruits. As well as seeing Old timers and a revival of Rock’n’Roll during the Elvis Festival.

 


As a special I wanted to post some pictures of the place we stayed (friend’s apartment) I love the colorful combination of ones own personality visualized