0

Hong Kong & Taiwan: Day 8 & 9

Thankfully mum was feeling a bit better the following morning so we were able to fly back to Hong Kong. We arrived safely and my auntie, uncle, and dad were waiting to meet us just to make sure mum was alright!

The next morning, we went Yum Cha with my grandma and then headed to Hong Kong Wetland Park as I fancied going somewhere we hadn’t been before. It was a lovely day so it was nice wandering about outside and seeing the scenery, though mum and I weren’t quite feeling ourselves – probably just extreme tiredness from the adventure the day before!



DSC03291

In the evening, we met with some of my family and went to a Korean buffet near their house in Yuen Long. It was amazing as we could cook our own meat on the grill in front of us and there was a massive selection to choose from ranging from duck, beef, lamb, pork, chicken, and more! There was also a lot of delicious cooked and cold foods too – it was amazing!! We all left feeling very stuffed and I’d totally go back there again!


Advertisements
0

Hong Kong & Taiwan: Day 7

This day was definitely not the best. To be honest, it was probably the worst day of my life and I’m not being overly dramatic, it was horrible.

The day started really well! It was still rather grey and rainy, but it was meant to clear up during the day! We headed to the Maokong Gondola and I was rather excited as I love cable cars of all sorts and was really pleased when there was one in Taiwan too!! Definitely the cheapest cable car ride I’ve ever been on at only $50 for a return journey! There was also a glass bottomed option, but mum wasn’t so keen, but as it was so foggy, I doubt we would have seen very much anyway!

We managed to get a gondola to ourselves until the first stop, when two rather cute young boys got on with their mum. They provided good entertainment for the rest of the journey as one of them was clearly quite scared whilst the other was just loving life.

Since it was raining, we couldn’t see too much out of the glass, but thankfully there were windows at the top of the gondola that opened, so I managed to get some decent photos without bleary windows in the way! There were several patches during the journey when we went through some very thick fog and we couldn’t see anything or where we were going – it literally felt like I was in a horror movie and anything could have jumped out at me! So glad I was wasn’t on my own!!

We soon reached the top and it was just so drizzly! It wasn’t heavy rain (thankfully!) but I think we must have been in loads of clouds as the air was just so damp. I’d read online that there were loads of amazing street food vendors at the top of the mountain and was really keen to try one item which was a pancake with peanut brittle and ice cream, but due to the rain, it was pretty deserted ๐Ÿ˜ฆ We weren’t too sure where to go so just followed some signs along the road towards a tea museum. It was quite interesting to see all the different teapots and methods of making tea and we could even try some if we wanted!



Afterwards, we decided to make our way back down as we’d planned to have lunch at a restaurant in the skyscraper Taipei 101 which I was very excited about! Gondolas and dining at a restaurant with an amazing view – the day couldn’t get any better! Definitely a case of speaking too soon here!

We got a table in Diamond Tony’s Italian restaurant as my mum and auntie came the last time they visited and I was keen to go too. The restaurant was on the 85th floor and the lift whizzed us up there in no time. Unfortunately, we initially weren’t able to get a window seat, but were soon moved after our soup when a table was cleared ๐Ÿ™‚ It was just really strange looking out of the window, as I’m used to views in London being littered with skyscrapers and cranes everywhere, whereas here, we were in the tallest building and everything else was very flat and low! Quite surreal in a way!


DSC03239

We opted for the set menu which provided us with a massive amount of choice! We had a choice from two soups, then a million starters, and then a large selection of delicious looking main courses. Both mum and I had the mushroom soup which was lovely and we got some really soft focaccia bread and dip too which was plus! For starter I chose the calamari rings and mum had an aubergine and courgette dish in a cheesy tomato sauce. For the main course, I was highly tempted by the lobster or duck, but after much deliberation, opted for the fettucine pasta with seafood and mum had the pasta with crab.

We had just about began eating our starters when mum really wasn’t looking well at all. To be honest, I’m not really up for reliving it here, let’s just say she ended up passing out several times and was rushed to hospital. Scared doesn’t even begin to describe how I was feeling. You never really think things like that would ever really happen to you, so when it does, it’s even more terrifying. Being in a foreign country where I don’t speak the language made it even scarier as it made it harder to communicate with the staff at the hospital and to understand fully what was going on. Thankfully a waiter from the restaurant came with us and he did a great job of making sure I was alright and stayed with us for hours! So thank you Mr Waiter, whoever you are! After a ridiculously long 6 hours of being monitored in hospital and a few more horrible episodes, the doctors thought mum would be okay to head back to the hotel to rest. They thought it was vertigo, but it seemed a hell of a lot more severe than that! So yeah, not the best day I’ve ever had!

0

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, andย 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 goingย pretty much every dayย does make the novelty wear off after a while ๐Ÿ˜› I always feel like the amount weย 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 ๐Ÿ˜› 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

1

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 ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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!

0

Oxford, Bath & Bristol – Day 4

Since there was no 8am breakfast to wake up for, we had a bit more of a leisurely start. However, the morning was very active as we took a six mile walk on the Bath Skyline which is apparently the most popular National Trust walk ๐Ÿ˜€ We made our way along the river to the start point.

As soon as we started, we were greeted with amazing views over Bath. The whole city just seemed so white, as in all the buildings were basically the same colour and it looked quite cool.

Bath Skyline walk

The walk was really fun as we were walking along all different types of terrain ranging from grassy cow fields, forest, roads, and paths ๐Ÿ˜› I was actually quite glad that it wasn’t a boiling hot summer’s day otherwise I think I would have probably melted from all the climbs we did! We reached a part of our walk which met a road and were slightly confused and a kind man helped us on our way. People are so friendly and helpful when you’re not in London, it’s like a whole different world!

We sat down to admire the views over Bathampton before heading on our way. We then somehow ended up in quite a large, eerie field that was filled with odd looking wooden contraptions. As we were near Bath University, I wondered whether this was a weird part of their sports team initiations ๐Ÿ˜›

We then got to Sham Castle and took some photos before the sky started looking rather dark and scary, so we headed back down to the main road and the end of our walk!

We then headed into the centre of Bath for a well needed lunch. Afterwards we had a wander through the area to look at the main sights. We passed Bath Cathedral (not another cathedral I hear you cry!), the Royal Baths, Pulteney Bridge, the Circus, and the Royal Crescent. The day was finished off with a lovely dinner at Cafe Rouge ๐Ÿ˜€

The Circus

The Circus

Royal Crescent

Royal Crescent

Bath

0

Oxford, Bath & Bristol – Day 3

It was a very bright and sunny morning so after we’d filled our stomachs with a lovely breakfast, we explored the college grounds a bit more. I still find it mad that every college has its own grounds and cathedral! It’s like a whole new university in itself!

The speediest checkout ever then occurred and a casual hand waved over to the wall to show us where we could leave our suitcases.

We headed up to South Park which was on a bit of a hill so we had nice views over Oxford that were filled with many cathedrals!

South Park

The wind was picking up so we came back down and had a peek at a few more colleges. I really liked the Queen’s College front quad! Everything was just so symmetrical and perfect – definitely satisfying my weird OCD!

Queen's college

Queen’s college

A trip to the Ashmolean museum was next and we had a brief look inside at all the artefacts and old archaeology before exploring the Oxford University Parks which were very well kept.

Our last stop in Oxford was the Pitt Rivers museum which I vaguely remembered visiting when I was 11! It was full of interesting old fossils and some rather scary dinosaurs!

We then returned to Wadham college and were relieved to still find our suitcases there and not stolen ๐Ÿ˜› We grabbed lunch on the go and caught the train to our next city, Bath!

Our hotel overlooked the river and they were very accommodating in giving us a water view room which was really lovely!

We were staying there for three nights and didn’t want to ruin the rest of the holiday by exploring the city too much in the first afternoon, so we had a bit of a meander west along the river before heading to dinner at Prezzo. I opted for two classic pastas and the honeycomb cheesecake which is my absolute favourite ๐Ÿ˜€ The restaurant was in an old railway arch and looked pretty cool!

0

Oxford, Bath & Bristol – Day 2

Breakfast was included as part of our stay at Wadham college and was served at the rather bright and early time of 8:00-8:30! We woke up refreshed and were the first to arrive in the breakfast hall. We were both pretty impressed with the hall and it reminded me of the Great Hall in Harry Potter! The places were set along the long table in the middle and after choosing our food, we came to the rather hard decision as to where to sit – did we sit in the middle next to other people and increase our chance of awkward conversation? Or right at the end and seem really antisocial?! And would we sit opposite each other or next to each other?! Oh the dilemma! In the end we chose to sit opposite each other near the middle of the table so that other people could choose whether they wanted to be antisocial or not ๐Ÿ˜› The breakfast itself was plentiful with a lovely cooked selection plus cereals, fruit, and croissants. The waiters and waitresses were so attentive, taking your tea and coffee order immediately, replenishing your toast as soon as you’d finished, and they were all so friendly and polite too! I had quite a funny mental image of my old University halls kitchen staff waiting on us hand and foot – no chance!

Wadham college hall

The great thing about having breakfast so early meant that even after filling our stomachs at a leisurely pace, it was still before 9am which left the whole day to explore the city! The plan for the day was to explore as many of the University colleges as possible as well as all the bits and bobs around the city. Many colleges weren’t open yet, but we wandered to Mansfield college and St Catherine’s college which were just behind Wadham college. Mansfield college was pretty small and we were only able to walk around the front area.

Mansfield college

St Catherine’s college came at a bit of a surprise since it looked so modern and totally not Oxford! Don’t get me wrong, the buildings were all very nice and shiny, and at any other University I would have been very impressed, but for Oxford I was more used to the old and grand buildings, not a big metal monstrosity!

We then headed back to the city centre and passed the Bridge of Sighs, Bodleian Library, Sheldonian Theatre, and Radcliffe Camera which all looked rather striking!

Christ Church college was then next on the agenda as it’s probably the most famous Oxford college since the stairs were used in Harry Potter and its hall inspired the film’s Great Hall. It was very nice inside and we visited its cathedral too which was rather large and impressive.

When we left the college it was only midday so we were in a bit of a quandary as to what to do next as the majority of the other colleges weren’t open until 1 or 2pm! We decided to visit Trinity college as it was open now and looked quite inviting every time we passed it on the way to and from Wadham college. We both liked how their gardens had deckchairs which was a bit different!

After lunch, we explored many other colleges in the surrounding area – too many to name them all! They all looked amazing and by the end of it we had become quite the experts at identifying which doors were the college entrances as they were sometimes quite concealed.

Exeter college was one of my favourites and we were shown in by a random old man who was passing by who we theorised must have been a tour guide of some sort as he seemed very knowledgeable about the place. The college grounds overlooked the Radcliffe camera, and as I was taking photos, a tour group passed by and the tour guide asked us if we wanted a photo together. It took us both a few moments to realise what he had said, probably because we’re both so used to everyone in London keeping to themselves so much and being so antisocial!

By the end of the day I think we had grown quite tired of cathedrals! As beautiful as they all are, I think there’s a limit to how many you can see in a day ๐Ÿ˜› We decided to check out the Oxford Castle and investigate its random mound a bit more!

We had a bit of a rest before heading to Slug and Lettuce for dinner. I had a massive burger with pulled pork, chicken, mozzarella cheese, and chips, plus an amazing cookie cup explosion for dessert which definitely left me rolling back to our room! I was stuffed ๐Ÿ˜›