Friday Frolics: Tung Lung Chau, Hong Kong

I cannot lie. Sports is one of my greatest weakness. But early this year I was invited to join a camping trip, which because of the given reasons, I bothered to let my excitement make the judgement call. I was promised the hike would only be thirty minutes (It took 3x as much.), and that the view is worth it. The latter, on the other hand, is an understatement. It was very much worth the one and a half our hike. If you are the type, like the rest of the world, who loves getting more than what you paid for, try Tung Lung Chau. NOW. It is the perfect season!

Since it is my first time camping and had no clue about anything- from the basics as to what needs to be brought, to all the apparently savvy camping equipment nowadays… Tung Lung Chau is not a threat. Like most of Hong Kong, it provides convenience. There are three port-a-potties and basins with fresh water, roasting areas are pre-designated, signages to help you navigate, and of course, a family-owned convenient store half an hour walk down the campsite.

Here are some images from an amazing weekend.

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Serenity, calmness and fresh air.

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It seems like an ocean away, but some of us actually hiked up that direction. I, on the other hand, stayed on this side and consoled myself by taking an image for memory’s sake.

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What would you give to have this view everyday?

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A rare site in Hong Kong. A photographer or not, who won’t be captivated by this stunning beauty.

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We ended the night barbecue-ing and eating the last bit of dinner treat.

To get here, we took the route from Yau Tong and crossed the sea via a charming, quaint ferry. Round trip transportation cost no more than HK$100 and food (thanks to an amazing chef we had with us) was less than HK$100 as well! Now, if we had more places like Tung Lung Chau, us non-sporty, weak chested people would be spoiled!

And if those weren’t enough to entice, I’ve been saving the best for last…

Creation at its best. Simply Breathtaking, is it not?

Creation at its best. Simply Breathtaking, is it not?

Visit flickr for more updated images soon.

Friday Frolics: Wan Chai Art Distict

My friends and I took a stroll around Wan Chai last month (not that side of Wan Chai, by the way), this little district is filled with quirky, vintage stores that one could easily keep you coming back. If only I had loads of money to spend, I am sure I would have walked away with bags and bags of collectible antiquities. Another friend actually took me here months ago and as soon as the area sunk into me, I felt right at home. None of the items there belonged to my past but they were reminders of it. It’s the classic irony I am sure we all share somehow, someway. Plus, an artsy fartsy would not be able to help it, the facades of some store really speak about the interior character in one snap! Take for example my two favorites below:

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And of course, the interior has to pride itself too! Like we always hear and copy, “It’s all in the details!”

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Faucet for hand knobs? Upcycling just got fancier.

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If this is part of the décor, I love it! If it’s for sale, I’d love to have it.

So without anymore delays, on behalf of these quirkiness, I welcome you to a short summary of our “tour”.

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I think we’ve went it to approximately five boutiques. All of them had their own characters, it’s just like going into fairytales, and if you had listened closely, I am sure there were tons of stories in one book.

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This refurbished display cabinet is just teeming with plastic toys. The smell brought me right back to twenty years ago. It may be junk to some, but for some collectors out there. (Especially guys, you might find a treasure or two in here- there’s even a Superman poster somewhere in this store.)

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Here it is! (@ nlostnfound)

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This certainly reminds me of my grandma’s house and bedtime stories. (Ps. Gaaah. Adorable miniature rocking horses!!!)

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A feast for the eyes! It would be safe to say you could find any home accessories you might be missing at the moment, and more! And by the way, does this trunk not remind you of Mr. Bean? (Click here if it doesn’t.)

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Cat lover? You might be infatuated with these Japanese cat booklets. They are so adorable even in pixels.

Oh, and if you haven’t already been sucked in, this next capture might do the trick.

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Handmade?? Defined cuteness enough for you? ❤

I promise you, these snapshots do not give any justice to what lies in wait. Here’s a map, find yourself lost in this small little district in Wan Chai tomorrow!

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At Sau Wa Fong Street, there would be these twin staircases on the left, pick either and climb up, there you’ll find these quirky goodness.

And for us who’s been… here is a teaser.

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Happy Friday!

 

Friday Frolics: Cheung Chau (The Hidden Calm in Hong Kong)

Now, Cheung Chau is really not a hidden gem, but in some ways, it is and I would be selfish if I keep from sharing. I fell in love with Hong Kong for incalculable reasons, and Cheung Chau is on top of the roll. With a beach, a cycling track (and convenient bike rentals around the vicinity), random boutiques, good restaurants, massage parlors, and yet maintain the bucolic character, this is a paradise!

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Taking the fast ferry ($24) from Central, it takes half an hour to reach the island. Ordinary ferry for half the price takes you half longer, but the journey is worth it.

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Cone-shaped domes-it’s an added element for a fresh, quirky surprise.

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For a moment, it went out of my mind that I was in the perpetually busy, smoggy Hong Kong.  For this reason, moving to Cheung Chau might be a practical preference. Monthy ferry tickets are around $300 but flat/room rentals could be as low as $2,500. This is unquestionably something to consider.

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Cars are nowhere to be found, and residents cycle their way up and down. Of course, I got hold of a pink one. $30 for four hours is not bad at all.

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And look at this cute grandpa on training wheels! 🙂

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I know this is far from a Miami view but it somehow reminded me of it.

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This on the other hand reminded me of Canada. This is international living. 😉

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Look at this kid.

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He met new friends. Today, he learned befriending strangers is not always a bad thing.

Last but not the least: food.

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These are a few of what I chucked down. Those variant shaped fruits got me curious- I was a bit disappointed that they were just fruits, from afar they deceived my eyes of ice cream. You might also want to try their fishballs, they are probably seven times larger than the usual… Listing interesting foods would be all too many.

Streets are not only filled with snack vendors, tons of restaurants are all over this tiny island, and it’s not all Cantonese and local cuisines. They have Thai, some Western bisto, and of course, a number of restaurants for what the island popular of: seafood! Hefty amount of seating are available for all tourists without disregarding the locals!

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Spent the whole day there and being bored was not one of the status I have been in. (Why? Shopping is another option! You could even get unique local, and branded souvenir items.)

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Don’t be fooled from the larger part of my musings, Cheung Chau is still a busy suburb- a short proximity away from the pier anyway.

Ps. By the way, they have “hotels” too if you are coveting for a few days of paradise. A line of promotional kiosk would be waiting for you across the pier. 😉

* Images shot with an Iphone. More here.

Friday Frolics: Cheung Sha Beach

Cheung Sha Beach is a less popular beach in Mui Wo, but it definitely is another beach to enjoy if you’re not a fan of whopping crowds. If you’re curious you can either google or read this brief info! 😉

Mui Wo is actually part of Lantau Island.  From Hong Kong Island, it’s accessible within a little more than half an hour taking ferry #6 from Central (there are ferries from outlying island too such as the its sister suburb, Discovery Bay, or from the lovely Cheung Chau), but you can also opt to take the bus that goes to Tung Chung and transfer from there.

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“Sand veins” ?

I find this phenomenon strangely strange- tad creepy and tranquil at the same time.

I find this phenomenon strangely strange- tad creepy and tranquil at the same time.

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Doesn’t he make you a bit jealous? I miss being a kid at the beach.

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Although not part of the beach (it’s up the road within a five minute walk), I wanted to share this image. Passing by, I just couldn’t help but take a quick snap shot of the enchanting scenery. I say “enchanting” because, why not? This is not even edited. Look at how the sunlight touches the leaves and branches. It seemed like I stepped into some sort of fairy tale wonderland.

These are taken during Fall last year. Early Fall, to me, is the best beach weather- a purely random opinion, but it might make you think about when to visit the beach. :p

Have a restful and blessed weekend, everyone!:)

Friday Frolics: Shek-O

I have spent a grueling amount of time away from the beach, but now that summer is in the air, there’s no excuse to lock myself indoors. Shek-O is on top of my beach destinations. It is listed as one of the beaches in Hong Kong, and it is right smack in Hong Kong Island- on the south side, over looking South China Sea. Cost is less than $30 getting to and from there by bus (from the Island’s eastern district) and scrumptious meals are around $35 on the average. This pretty much is the total cost of spending an afternoon there. For miscellaneous necessities like renting a locker, it costs about $50 for three hours, while renting a bike is around $30 for an hour, and a parasol would be $100/day- if I am not mistaken. Various beach items are also sold in nearby shops in case you miss bringing anything. They cost a bit more but, hey, if you’re already there, what practical thing is left to do, right?

I would say it is really refreshing to visit these suburbs of Hong Kong. Such lovely, unexpected escapes considering they could probably be reached in less than an hour’s trip from the polluted, crowded cities. Here are some images to drag you there this summer:

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Went there around June 2012. I’d say it was a nice experience altogether. Water’s clear, obviously. Sand was fine. And on top of that, it was not so crowded, but it was not desolate either.

More of Hong Kong beaches and retreats in the following weeks to come. I am also expecting to read a lot more blogs on beaches around the world as the season’s calling for them. Although, I have to admit, as much as I love the water, I am sad cold season’s over.

Ps. Please excuse my shaky arms, I’m getting a tripod (or sturdier arms) soon!

Pps. Prices are in HKD. Click here  for currency conversions.

Friday Frolics: Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar

These shots were take a little less than two years ago- some favorites from my collection. What I love about them is the fact that most, if not all, of them are unplanned, unstrategized shots and they turned out to be more pleasant than expected.

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This last one looks kind of morbid and sad. Sorry. I took a picture cos this was my first time seeing a jellyfish (not constrained in an aquarium).

These were from  my short trip to Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar– they call it a “living museum.” A fitting description to the hotel/resort. The owner was more than thoughtful of salvaging these traditional Filipino architecture and congregating them together where locals and tourist could experience the beauty, charm, and artistry of the Filipino people collectively. They were working with a few more additions the last time I visited; hope to go back in the near future and see what they’ve done!

Ps. If you want a better view of what they have to offer, visit their website. 🙂 I promise the architecture and interior is breathtaking. Have a few shots of them myself here.