These are snippets of what I’ve experienced living in Hong Kong over the past years: from the funny to the weird, and everything in between. I’ll continue to update this post as I come across more strange and wonderful things around the city.
Quin Woodward Pu is celebrating the launch of her new book, Settle Down, right here in Hong Kong where quite a few juicy stories found throughout her book take place. You can meet this “straight-A Asian-American extrovert from Georgia with a penchant for vodka, designer shoes, and older men”, have your book signed, enjoy a glass of wine (or three), and check out some featured photographs by Will Thierbach at ethos in Kennedy Town on Monday September 7th, 6:00 – 9:00 pm.
Now that Hong Kong has been blessed with two of Jamie Oliver’s restaurants; one on the island side in Causeway Bay and one on Kowloon side in Tsim Sha Tsui, how are we to make the decision of which to go to?! Fear not my fellow Hong Kongers, I’m here to offer you an unbiased (well, mostly) overview of the Jamie’s Italian branch in CWB and in TST, in terms of location, decor, atmosphere, and food.
When most people think of Hong Kong, they picture an overpopulated city filled with skyscrapers and too much traffic. While they wouldn’t necessarily be wrong, this city has much more to offer visitors and expats alike. If you happen to be or was an expat in Hong Kong, or are just curious about what life might be like living in this beautiful concrete jungle, then Frank Wingate’s tale of 22 years of expattery in Hong Kong might strike a cord. He shares his funny, bizarre, and often relatable stories of life in Hong Kong in the book “Poxy Chicken”.
Given that living in Hong Kong as an expat isn’t that difficult to adapt to thanks to the city’s magical convenience and western influence, one would think that getting a gym membership and going to the gym wouldn’t be such a struggle.. Wrong. If you have ever frequented the popular gym chains throughout the city, this list will be all too familiar (and just might bring back some haunting memories). For those that have yet to experience the frustrating and downright bizarre antics that occur at one of these gyms, here’s a peek into what you can expect before joining a gym in Hong Kong.
After two trips to Thailand within a month of each other (and not doing a single grocery shop in between), I felt like I had developed a Buddha Belly from eating far too much Pad Thai and meals on the go. In lieu of that, I decided to do a three day juice cleanse to give my body a healthy kick in the butt! I had never done a cleanse before, but I eat fairly healthy and exercise regularly, so I figured this would be a walk in the park (with perhaps a bit of a limp). So there I was, ordering a Genie Juicery Intermediate Cleanse, not thinking too much into it. Unfortunately, I was naive enough to think that my biggest struggle would be me wanting to shove a burger down my throat after the first day.. Boy, was I wrong! So. Very. Wrong.
One of many common tourist activities to do in Thailand is to ride an elephant. Unfortunately, many of these elephant camps found throughout the country treat the elephants very poorly – I had a horrible experience two years ago when I was in Bangkok and I swore I would never go to an “elephant camp” again. Thankfully, however, there are also many Mahout elephant training centers, mainly found in Northern Thailand, that provide a much better experience. I had heard about how great these elephant encounters were in Chiang Mai, so on my trip to the north, I figured I would splurge (because these proper camps and sanctuaries sure aren’t cheap) and spend the day with some elephants in a safe, friendly, and comfortable environment. Our guesthouse recommended Chiang Mai Mahout Elephant Training Center and it turned out to be a great day!
Koh Lanta is a very relaxed island where you can spend your days island hopping, lounging on the beach, diving, volunteering at Lanta Animal Welfare, or slinging back a beer while watching the sunset. This island is the perfect getaway if you’ve just spent a few crazy nights on neighbouring Koh Phi Phi. You might be able to easily keep yourself busy during the day, but at night the island really winds down (unless, to your surprise, you stumble upon a “half moon” party on the beach!). When we were staying close to the ferry pier in the northern part of the island, we were wandering about the town one night after yet another delicious dinner of Pad Thai and we found a night market. Now, this wasn’t just any market – the Koh Lanta night market is going down in the books as one of the most bizarre markets I have ever come across during my travels..
When you hear someone talking about cafe and coffee culture (in other words, a group of people with a mild obsession with drinking coffee and going to inevitably overpriced cafes), what comes to mind? Probably somewhere in Europe sipping an espresso on the patio of a quaint cafe overlooking a busy side street. I bet you probably wouldn’t have thought that there is a massive cafe and coffee culture in South Korea! In Seoul and other cities alike, you will find cafes of all sorts: small to big, chain to independent, unique to mainstream.
If you’ve ever traveled anywhere in Asia, you know the snack culture here is huge (how are they not all obese? Actually though..). You’ll find the delicious, bizarre, and down-right gross on popular streets of any given Asian city. South Korea is no exception to the influx of snacking options every which way you turn. Fortunately (or perhaps unfortunately) for me, the street-side snacks and other restaurant delicacies available in Seoul and Busan were cheap and oh-so good. This only meant one thing – I ate my way through this trip and in doing so, put on 10 lbs in only 10 days thanks to the food in South Korea.