Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Nam Sang Wai's Ghost House

The weather is quite nice, warm and sunny again.  I remember, around this time last year, it was raining torrential rains almost daily.  But, because the weather is so fine, we headed out to Nam Sang Wai to get some rollerblading in.

Besides a pretty nice scenic route of the wetlands that stretches a mile or so, Nam Sang Wai has a beautiful stretch of land that is popular for picnics and remote controlled flying objects.

There is also a huge area of tall grass that leads to one of the landmarks of the area.  My husband called it the Nam Sang Wai Ghost House.

It is an abandoned home out in the fields just behind the grassy area.

The feeling of the area takes me away from Hong Kong and into the midwest US.

I think it's the tall grass and the rolling clouds that make it seem less like the fast-paced Hong Kong.

When I first went out here a few years ago, the house didn't have the fence.  Teenagers would be climbing all over the house and taking photos in the doorways.

People still head out to the Ghost House, obviously, and leave their trash everywhere.

It is amazing how someone lived here, probably within the past few decades.  But so much of the house has fallen into ruins.

The Ghost House of Nam Sang Wai is truly a reminder of how much time changes things.

During the late Spring and Summer months, this place will be getting pretty busy with droves of tourists passing through.

I'm glad that I have the opportunity to be here when it's so quiet and peaceful.

This place is so beautiful that I hope it doesn't get excessively trashed up when I next visit.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Eating the Weekend

There are so many places to eat in Hong Kong.  I have been here for a couple of years and must have tried hundreds of places.  Most of the time, I am amazed at the deliciousness of everything.  It's quite rare to find mediocre foods around, which is great for Foodies.

Here is a sampling of eateries I indulged in over the weekend.


We started the weekend off in Tsim Sha Tsui.  And a street that always has a good selection of restaurants is Hau Fook Street.

Dinner @ Sarangchae

We got the bimbimbap and a beef with turnip dish.  Both were pretty darn good.  I would suggest getting the bimbimbap in the stone bowl because the regular bimbimbap without the crispy rice just isn't the same.

Korean food is always a great way to start off any weekend!


I was down in Causeway Bay for the day, so my husband and I had breakfast in the area.  Usually, for breakfast I'm always up for the local congee or rice roll place.  I like a simple breakfast!  But, having something like noodles for breakfast is also a pretty good option.

We got one signature fishballs and noodle dish, which was pretty good.  It was even more delicious when I added condiments and spice to the mix.  The second dish was beef tendon, which was also delicious.  The sauce was what made this dish.

For lunch, I met up with a friend for some grub on Haven Street, which is a swanky little dead end in Causeway Bay.  There are a few really nice looking eateries along this dead end, but Cafe Yawn was the first that I'd tried.

Lunch @ Cafe Yawn

We split a skillet dish and got two mini skillets to eat off of.  Quite excessive, but quite thoughtful, in the customer service sense. 

The dish was delicious and left me satisfied.  Who doesn't love a good potato and egg mix?  And the guava juice I got quenched my thirst.  Guava, by the way, is one of my favourite juice flavours... being from Hawaii and all.

A few hours later, we headed to one of Causeway Bay's popular dessert houses.  This was another totally new place for me, so I was totally up for trying it.

Afternoon Tea @ Chung Kee Dessert

Chung Kee Dessert was actually quite barren during the middle of the day, but probably gets busy during the evenings.  We ordered a mango puff and a mango shaved ice.  The shaved ice melted before I could get halfway through.  It didn't compare to some of the shaved ices I've had back in my Hawaii days, but it was good for the hot weather.

When I go back next, I am definitely going to try the shaved ice cream.  I'm not sure what it is called, but some places have called it the Taiwanese ice cream.  I had it before on Cheung Chau Island and also down in Cheung Sha Wan.  It's always the best fail-safe thing on the dessert menus for me.


Yuen Long, where I live, was known for food back in the day. It still has a bunch of great eateries, but so does every district in Hong Kong!

Because we were in the center of Yuen Long today, we walked around in the hopes of finding a new place to test out.  I'm always looking out for places where I can comfortable order food, interact with servers who have huge amounts of patience, have orders made quickly, is pretty convenient to get to from my place and is worth returning to.

There is one place that caught our eye…a place that usually has a line outside when dinner rolls around, but for lunch it seemed to have open seats.

Lunch @ Hok Kee 

Congee seems like a lot of people's comfort food in Hong Kong.  

Hok Kee is really in such a convenient location, right next to the Tai Kiu Market.  Also, the food is quickly served, so that you can be in and out within minutes (depending on how fast you eat).  That's something I like about Hong Kong…how FAST fast-food can be.

I can totally understand the presence of the line, though.  The congee is pretty darn tasty.  I mean, usually, you may think congee is dull, but this was nice.  We also got beef noodles, which were also quite nice.

I believe that I will come back here... perhaps make this place one of my regular places to eat a quick and simple meal. I just have to go during non-peak hours.

For dinner, we went down to Hung Hom.  Originally, we were going to see if the ribs were being served at Go Inside & Friends.  I am starting to think that the ribs are never coming back onto the menu!!!

But, instead of ribs, we ordered pork chop and salmon steak.  Both were incredibly delicious.  I have yet to order a mediocre dish from this place!  I'm not too sure what the soup was, but we ordered tiramisu at the end.

It was a great meal to celebrate the end of the weekend.

I noticed a fawn on one of the columns of Go Inside & Friends

My friends always say how it is easier and sometimes cheaper to eat out in Hong Kong.  I would sort of agree with that thought, but that's only if I am eating at a local canteen or local dai pai dong.  If I am craving some pesto penne, I think that it would definitely be cheaper to make that on my own.

But, living in this city, the atmosphere of going out with friends or having an evening out with my husband makes for eating out a lovely experience.

I would definitely recommend trying out new places every once in awhile.  Trying a new place is like gaining some new life experiences.  Y.O.L.O. right…(does anyone say that anymore?)

Friday, April 24, 2015

A Night Tour of Yuen Long

When I first moved abroad, I was living in Japan.  Some days, I would ride my bike for miles in one direction just to see what was out there.  

When I was living in Beijing, I would take my bike all the way out to the 6th ring and find my way back to the center of the city.  

Living in Hong Kong, on the few occasions when my bike hadn't gotten stolen, I would ride along the bike trails up here in Yuen Long for miles and see where I would end up.

Well, I haven't done much wandering in awhile until one of my friends came to Yuen Long for a visit.  She was not familiar with the area, so I thought I would give her a tour of the happening spots (in the eyes of an American living in Yuen Long).  

If anyone if you are in the area and are looking for some good food and some socialization, perhaps these spots will be interesting.

***Engaging the Night Tour of Yuen Long***

1.  Yau San Street 

Yau San Street is a few minutes walk from Yuen Long Station and can be reached by way of Castle Peak Road.  (There is one of those lovely pink/purple tourist signs directing you to Yau San Street from Castle Peak Road.)  It's a street where you can find a handful of street food vendors.  These vendors are open pretty late at night.  My husband and I were here a little after midnight and it was still crowded with hungry people on the weekend.  It also has a late night pharmacy and doctor's clinic nearby (just in case of emergencies).

2.  Tai Tong Road

Castle Peak Road is the main road that runs through Yuen Long.  Tai Tong is another quite busy road, which is a few minutes walk from Yau San Street.  During the day, a lot of fresh produce and meats can be bought in the open markets right off of Tai Tong Road, especially along New Yuen Long Street.

Along Tai Tong Road is also where you can find CitiMall.  Inside this building with the clock on it, you can find Taste Supermarket and also CitiStore.  Taste is a level above the normal Park N Shop supermarkets.  It's a great place to go for imported foods.  It's where I can get my ingredients for my Mexican, Italian, and American dishes…it's also where I have a pretty good assortment of Japanese/Korean foods.  CitiStore is one of those local department stores where you can find the usual homeware products, kitchenware things, cosmetic/beauty counters, clothing for the family…the usual!

3.  The Yuen Long's Waterway Stroll

From Long Ping MTR Station, you'll be able to see a drainage/waterway/manmade stream that cuts through Yuen Long.  A lot of people that I know from Yuen Long joke about the little river that runs through the town.  Some people say that sewage sometimes flows into it.  Mostly, I figured that it helps to alleviate the flooding that occurs up here during the rainy seasons.

These days, the water level is just a trickle.

There are several paths that run along this waterway.  It's actually quite a lovely and romantic little evening stroll with the significant other on nice Spring evenings!

4.  Shooting Hoops

There are thousands of basketball courts all over this city…and Yuen Long has quite a handful too.  It's a great place to watch players face-off, shoot some hoops, and socialize with the locals.  In the mornings, the basketball courts (this one in particular) is dominated with tai chi lovers.  I really love how the public facilities are always being used around these parts!

5.  Skewers, Japanese, and Dessert Houses

Along Yu Wing Path, which is one of the paths that runs alongside the Yuen Long waterway, you'll see crowds of happy people.  They're all happy…probably because they are sampling some of Yuen Long's most delicious foods.  There are dessert houses (like my favorite in the photo below), micro mini Japanese restaurants, and also a Malaysian restuarant along this path.  Because of the popularity, the seating has extended out onto the path…which makes for a fun outdoor dining experience.

6.  Yuen Long Stadium

If you are looking for a late night workout, a safe place to stroll, a casual soccer game, a place to train, or a place to hang out with your friends, the Yuen Long Stadium is open most nights until 10:30 pm.

Being that this was a Friday night, it was quite the hot spot of activity and also a great place to end the tour that I was giving my friend.

From one side of Yuen Long to the other, I actually found myself appreciating the area where I lived a lot more.  I'm always reminded of how great Yuen Long is when I show people around.

There are so many public facilities available for us to use…and I should take advantage of them!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Aviary @ Kowloon Park

When I was a kid, I used to watch a lot of movies.  I remember my sister and I going to the Saturday matinees for $2.50 each.  And it's like $12 a ticket!  Oh, how I love to look back at the prices of the past!  I have been having these Baby Boomer recollections recently!

The movies I loved the most were the ones about New York…Big!  Home Alone 2!  Ghostbusters!  I loved how people always went to Central Park and did STUFF.  

Well, Hong Kong has a park where we can go and do STUFF as well…Actually, there are a few parks, but Kowloon Park is one of the most popular.

I was down in Tsim Sha Tsui (TST) today and was just taking a break at Kowloon Park before an appointment.  Seeking some shade and silence, I headed up to the Aviary.

The Aviary is up on the hill and is, basically, a large birdcage where people can circle around and view the birds in their habitats.  Walking into the Aviary also, sort of, made me feel like I too was entering a birdcage.  It made me feel like Alice in Wonderland for a split second, then lines of Maya Angelou's I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings flowed into my head and I found myself a bit contemplative.

It's absolutely a beautiful experience to see such wonderful birds, but it is also a bit sad because these exotic birds are caged without consent.

With all these mixed emotions, the Aviary was a good hour spent for me contemplating a bunch of the things that I have been dealing with recently.

Its peace and quiet calmed my, then, nerves and stress into peace and quiet.

I'm quite thankful that there is a place in the center of the crazy TST where I can take a mini break from everything.

***Views as I ambled around the Aviary***