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Hong Kong & Taiwan: Day 3

Today was quite a chilled day and in the morning we went for Yum Cha with my dad, grandma, Auntie and Uncle in Yuen Long. Afterwards, my mum, dad and I just wandered around the shops in Yuen Long for a while.

Mum and I then headed back to Tsim Sha Tsui and waited until the sun had set so that we could see the colourful lights on all the buildings :) I love how different everything looks at night and it gets even busier the later it is so the place was really buzzing with life :D We stayed to watch the Symphony of Lights which happens every day – must be a nightmare for everyone living close by!



Symphony of Lights

Symphony of Lights

We then went to Maxim’s for dinner and I fancied something different so went for a rather untraditional Chinese dinner of veal sausage, bacon, chicken, pork chop, sweetcorn, chips, and a soup covered with puff pastry – it was gooooood! Mum went down the Chinese route and had mixed meats with rice, veg, and soup :P

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Hong Kong & Taiwan: Day 2

When my mum went to Hong Kong last year she went on a mountain walk with one of my Aunties. When I saw the pictures, I really wanted to go too as the view looked amazing. So on our 2nd day in Hong Kong, that’s what we decided to do! Before we headed up the mountain, we went for Yum Cha with my Big Uncle and his wife, and one of my Aunties. For anyone that doesn’t know, Yum Cha is basically a Chinese style morning meal (which literally translates as ‘drink tea’) and involves consuming copious amounts of dim sum, which isn’t a bad thing at all – though going pretty much every day does make the novelty wear off after a while :P I always feel like the amount we go when we’re in Hong Kong fills up my quota until the next time we visit in a couple of years time! I do have my favourites when we go such as Ha Gow (prawn dumpling), Ha Cheung (prawn rice noodle roll), and Cha Siu Bao (cha siu bun) as well as many others. My mum is weird and likes the stranger stuff like chicken feet and fish head – give me some dumplings over that any day!

After filling our bellies full of delicious food, I headed with my mum and Aunties to the Tsing Yi Nature Trail. It’s great how after a short walk from the restaurant, we were already in the mountains! Sadly, it was another quite foggy day so the views weren’t quite as clear as when my mum came here last time, but still nice nonetheless!





After walking for a couple of hours, we headed back to my Big Auntie’s house which is pretty much behind the mountain. I’d love to live so close to a walk like that and she kept joking that it was her back garden haha! My Big Auntie is an amazing cook and she can whip up a delicious feast in no time at all! On the menu tonight was a lovely soup containing fun see (glass noodles) and beancurd, many types of meat and seafood such as pork, duck, beef, prawns, scallops, and abalone, as well as lots of yummy stir fried veg and egg! An absolute dream if you’re a meat eater with eyes bigger than your belly like me – if you’re a vegetarian, then tough, more food for me :P However, I did stay clear of the pig’s tongue! Since there was so much other delicious food, I thought someone else could have the honour of eating that haha.

Feast

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Hong Kong & Taiwan: Day 1

The next morning we decided to walk to Tsim Sha Tsui as our hotel was close by. The Avenue of Stars is there, which is basically like a Hollywood Walk of Fame where all the famous Chinese people have their handprints and names on the floor.

Sadly, it was quite foggy so we couldn’t really see across the harbour to Hong Kong Island :(

Hong Kong Island

Hong Kong Island

After battling our way through all the mainland Chinese tourists, we reached the Star Ferry. Mum suggested going across and coming back since we still had some time to spare before meeting up with my dad and grandma. At around 30p each way, we definitely had to :)

In the afternoon, we went to my grandma’s house in Yuen Long until it was time for a big family dinner with my dad’s side of the family – so much yummy food! I’m the third oldest cousin on my dad’s side with the oldest two living in England too. Since I hadn’t been back to Hong Kong for nearly 3 years, all my younger cousins had grown up quite significantly!

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Hong Kong & Taiwan 2015

Well it’s definitely been too long since I’ve written anything here! Not quite sure what happened or how the past four months have gone so quickly – I’ve clearly been having too much fun at work! After such a long period of neglect I think it’s only right to restart my blogging with many posts about my trip to Hong Kong and Taiwan. I’m sure it’ll have been worth the wait ;)

My family are originally from Hong Kong and both my parents came to the UK a million years ago so I was born and bred in the UK :) It had been nearly three years since I last went to Hong Kong, but in March we finally headed back there to see all my family for just over two weeks. To say that there was a lot of a food involved during the trip is a massive understatement :P

My mum was lucky on the flight there as she managed to bag herself two seats to herself, though I did get the window seat (perks of being an only child!) so I can’t really complain :D

On the plane

I think the best thing the dinner we got was the Gu pudding we got for dessert (I’m such a sucker for sweet things haha :P )

As we were on a night flight, we arrived after 5pm in Hong Kong after a 12 hour flight. The lovely blue sky and warm sun was a pleasant change from the dreary cold we’d left behind in England!

Landing in Hong Kong

After a while waiting for our luggage, Mum and I travelled to our hotel in Hung Hom.

On the bus to Hung Hom

On the bus to Hung Hom

We stayed in the SAV Hotel which was built quite recently. Our room was absolutely tiny, but that didn’t matter too much to me because the small child in me was too preoccupied with playing with the remote control that changed the colour of the room’s lights!

We got settled before getting some well needed grub from a nearby restaurant that served pretty cheap, standard Chinese food like wonton noodles and veg.

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Christmas Time in London!

I was a bit sad this year not being in London during the build up to Christmas since the decorations and buzz around the celebration always gets me in the festive mood! But I did get a chance to head up to London on a few occasions which definitely perked me up a bit!

Southbank always has loads of Christmas markets and this year was no exception! As expected, it was very busy, but even the hoards of people didn’t dampen my mood!

The food market behind the Royal Festival hall was amazing and all the stalls were calling at me to choose them with their enticing smells and displays! A delicious duck burger from Frenchie won me over as I can never resist some duck!

A visit to London wouldn’t be complete without heading to Covent Garden! No matter how many times I’ve been, it always makes me smile as there is always something going on and the atmosphere is just so lovely! This time, there was an impressive Lego sculpture of some reindeer and Santa! I dread to think how long that took to make!

Out of all the lights in London, Oxford Street was definitely the most disappointing since they used the same boring white balls as last year. You would have thought that one of the busiest streets would have the most impressive lights?

I always look forward to seeing what the Selfridges window displays look like, and this year they seemed to be themed around fairytales. My favourite window was definitely the one with the gingerbread house!

We also headed up to the top floor of John Lewis as they had ‘Monty’s Winter Garden’ with the penguin from their Christmas advert. We could see the whole of Oxford Street from above and I felt so far removed from all the hustle and bustle of it all!

A trip to Winterville in Victoria Park was also on the cards. I’d been to Winter Wonderland a couple of years ago so wanted to go somewhere new and see what the hype was all about. It was quite quirky and definitely suited East London with its random market stalls selling the oddest of things!

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Bournemouth, Sandbanks, Poole

A few weeks ago I headed to Bournemouth with Luke for a well needed break from work. It was rather odd heading off on the train during work hours since it was the first of my allocated annual leave I’ve taken. It felt a bit like I was skiving! But it was great knowing that I was getting paid for it! Oh the joys of paid work!

We were sooo lucky with the weather that weekend as glorious sunshine shone down on us! One of my favourite places is the beach! No matter where it might be in the world, there’s just something about the sea and the calming waves that just makes me smile :) So it was great that our hotel was literally just a five minute walk to the beach!

We arrived in the late afternoon and it was soon pitch black so we had a bit of a wander around Bournemouth town centre which had a ‘Festival of Light’ which was a bit disappointing to be honest! Definitely much more something for kids to have a play around and be amused by!

There was also a German market which was very busy but pretty :) I do love markets! Even though I’m not one to really buy anything from them, I still love just peeking at all the different things on offer! We also managed to see a guy doing a fire show which was amazing!

On our second day, we visited was Sandbanks which has the fourth highest land value in the world! Never thought somewhere like that would be in England! The houses there definitely didn’t disappoint as they were all so grand and impressive! A few years in my job and I’m sure I’ll be able to afford one ;) (or maybe just a brick…)

We also headed to Poole for a bit of a wander and the Twin Sails bridge was definitely an attraction in itself!

Poole

Poole

I am such a sucker for sunsets so we just had to stop to watch it! They’re just so beautiful and since it was a clear day it was even more stunning!

When we were watching the sunset, a guy cycled past on one of the most amazing bikes! It was like double the height of a normal bike and I just had to take a sneaky pic ;) I have no idea what happens when he stops! Does he just topple over or does he have to keep on cycling forever?! Who knows?!

On our third day, we decided to just have a long walk around Bournemouth and all the Chines. When we were walking, it didn’t feel like we were still in Bournemouth as the really tall trees enclosing us and small streams made me feel like I was in a different world.

During our trip, we saw so many different types of beach huts, some more impressive than others! It’s mad how much they probably cost!

Bournemouth beach huts

A walk down Bournemouth pier was also on the cards and we watched another stunning sunset :D

On our last day, we had a few hours before our train left in the afternoon, so we headed east towards Boscombe. We passed a beach hut which is apparently the first municipal beach hut in the UK, although it looked pretty new to me!

First beach hut in the UK

First beach hut in the UK

We also passed loads of huts painted in various shades by Dulux, which I did rather like (the pink ones being my favourite of course ;) )

Beach huts

Beach huts

Boscombe pier had loads of strange musical instruments dotted along it and we probably had a bit too much fun on the last instrument which played out ‘I do like to be beside the seaside’ when we hit the metal tubes!

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Oxford, Bath & Bristol – Day 6

The last day of our holiday! Since our train back home wasn’t until the afternoon, it gave us the opportunity to explore some more parts of Bath :D We headed to Alexandra Park which was just a small walk south of our hotel. There was a bit of a steep climb up to the top of the hill which proved how unfit I am! The views at the top were worth the pain though as they panned across all of Bath :D

View over Bath

View over Bath

We could see everywhere that we had been the past days, including the Royal Crescent and part of the Bath Skyline walk!