Little Koo blog posts now on GPSMyCity!

I am very excited to announce that some of my Hong Kong and travel articles will soon be available through the GPSMyCity app!

GPSMyCity is a new type of travel app which really takes into account the needs of travellers. For a start, it has a massive free catalogue of high quality travel articles written by a great team of bloggers, covering over 700 cities worldwide. The articles are easy to search and download, making them invaluable for planning your travel.

However, there is another benefit of this app, because it takes into account the fact that once you are on your travels you may not have ready access to data on your phone (without racking up a massive phone bill). For a small fee you can upgrade your favourite travel article to become a GPS-guided article. This means that the place (or places) listed in the article are downloaded to an offline map, and you are guided there using your phone’s GPS, which doesn’t use data. No more getting lost!

There are two ways to access article apps on your IOS device. You can either click on the link at the end of a blog post that has been turned into an app (if you haven’t already downloaded the free GPSMyCity app you will be prompted to do so). Or, once you have the GPSMyCity app, you can browse by city to see what articles are available. You can then download the article for free or upgrade for offline use and GPS tracking.

And as a little incentive to check out the app, my following two articles will be available for free upgrades through GPSMyCity for one week (until Sunday 20th November 2016):

Eating Chinese Food in Hong Kong

multi coloured xiao long bao at paradise dynasty


A Weekend in Guangzhou

Guangzhou Opera House

To get your free upgraded app you need to click on the link for the article(s) you are interested in. Then follow the instructions to download the GPSMyCity app. You will then be taken to the page for the article app – click on Upgrade and the app will be automatically linked to an offline map and the GPS navigator.

Please also check out my other articles currently available on GPSMyCity!

Places to Visit – Chiang Mai

Xi’an – More than just the Terracotta Warriors

Places to Visit – Hoi An, Vietnam

Note: when you pay to upgrade one of my articles I will receive a small commission

Thanks for reading!



Correct spelling in Hong Kong

I’ve mentioned several times on this blog how good the level of English is in Hong Kong (although I did point out a few of the idiosyncrasies that I saw here), but on my travels around Hong Kong I’ve noticed a few times where the English has been not-so-good, but then corrected! I like to think that those Hong Kongers who do have excellent English may enjoy pointing out mistakes where they see them :)

This first example was on a sign next to some roadworks. The pedestrian crossing had temporary lights on, so the sign is telling pedestrians to take note of where to cross. I had a little chuckle the first time I saw the sign because the English wasn’t right, but clearly someone was on the case and the next time I saw it, this had happened:


Another example is on a restaurant sign in Jordan. I have to admit that it looks like I’ve photoshopped this picture, but it is a genuine photo – someone has stuck the A and the T onto the sign to correct it. Clearly someone didn’t use spellchecker when making the original sign…


I’m sure the Hong Kong English language police are keeping their beady eyes open for any other signs they can correct!

Thanks for reading!


Ma On Shan Promenade

If you’re looking for an easy, flat (and stroller friendly) walk to pass an afternoon, then Ma On Shan promenade may well fit the bill. I’ve done this walk a couple of times with my kids and the views are lovely. However, it is very exposed so I’d recommend avoiding this walk in the height of summer!

The Ma On Shan promenade stretches from Tai Shui Hang all the way up to Ma On Shan itself. We’ve only done the walk this way round because it then finishes at a park and by a lot of restaurants but you could do it the other way too! To start at Tai Shui Hang, take the MTR to Tai Shui Hang station and leave at exit A (I think, Google Maps isn’t very clear!). Turn right out of the subway, take the first left down Hi Tai Street, then walk one block and cross Ning Tai Road to reach the start of the promenade. It should look something like this:

Ma On Shan promenade at Tai Shui Hang

Looking across the water you are greeted with this view down the river estuary towards Sha Tin:

Sha Tin from Tai Shui Hang

(apologies for the gloomy pictures, it obviously wasn’t a sunny day!)

Turn right and start walking! Along the way you come to a little playground, which kept my children amused for quite some time…

Ma On Shan promenade playground

…and about halfway along there is also a handy set of public toilets.

The view changes as you walk along. As you near the end of the estuary, you are greeted with views across the Tolo harbour to Tai Po…

Tolo Harbour and Tai Po

…and then as you round the corner towards the end of your walk you are facing the Seven Sisters and at the end of them the dam across Plover Cove reservoir (which can just about be seen behind the sailing boat).

Plover Cove reservoir dam

The promenade itself doesn’t change much:

Ma On Shan promenade

Keep going until you come to a large park, which is Ma On Shan Park. If your children have the energy by this point, there are lots of things for them to do in this park. Or you might want to just sit and enjoy it for a bit!

Cross through the park and take the nearby bridge across On Chun Street to reach a shopping mall where you can grab some food or just head home from Ma On Shan MTR.

If you like the idea of a promenade walk but Ma On Shan is too far to go, then I can also recommend the promenade along the waterfront from Tai Koo to Sai Wan Ho on Hong Kong Island. There are a couple of nice stops along the way, such as Quarry Bay Park and Fireboat Alexander Grantham, and you can finish your walk at one of the restaurants in Soho East!

I hope these have given you some ideas for easy short trips!

Thanks for reading!




Candid Hong Kong – not so appetising seafood

Every fortnight week I share a photo that shows a little insight into Hong Kong life. Sometimes they are things that made me smile, classic Hong Kong sights or just really unusual things.

Tom mentioned in his recent blog post about Chinese food that seafood that seems to us Brits to be a bit weird features quite highly in high end Cantonese restaurants, and many less high end ones too! Things like abalone do not appeal to me at all, but the ones pictured below have to be among the least appetising things I’ve ever seen. They are called geoduck, and I’d never even heard of it before we came to Hong Kong but it’s available everywhere here. These ones are in a fish market waiting to be sold but you can also see them in some restaurants’ seafood displays (like this one here). I never tried it and I hope I never do!

160809 Candid Hong Kong geoduck

Thanks for reading!


Candid Hong Kong – cruise ship or war ship?

Every fortnight week I share a photo that shows a little insight into Hong Kong life. Sometimes they are things that made me smile, classic Hong Kong sights or just really unusual things.

This photo was taken from the Star Ferry one day. It was quite a surprising sight to see a war ship at the Cruise Ferry Terminal by Harbour City in Tsim Sha Tsui! Normally there are massive cruise ships parked up there. Is this a new take on the cruise ship industry?!

160802 Candid Hong Kong war ship

Thanks for reading!


Hong Kong Government posters

One thing that surprised me when I first lived in Hong Kong was the amount of advice there was on the street, on buses and in the MTR. I feel like people are told a bit less what to do in the UK, or maybe there are just different ways to disseminate information!

One of the first ones I noticed was in some toilets, giving the correct etiquette for washing your hands. This worried me a bit that people don’t know how to do this! But Hong Kong is very preoccupied with hygiene after the SARS outbreak in 2003. Following a similar theme, there are lots of posters around about what to do when you cough:

Hong Kong maintain cough manners poster

Sometimes posters are more about looking after making sure that people look out for themselves and others, such as watching out for thieves (although Hong Kong is one of the lowest crime cities I’ve ever been to!)…

Hong Kong beware of thieves poster

…or being careful when it gets hot in summer…

…or being careful on escalators (these ones are everywhere!)

Hong Kong escalator safety poster

Posters are also used to inform the general public about new schemes, such as the plastic bag charge…

Hong Kong shopping bag charge poster

…or slightly less well-known, the penalty for the late payment of wages

Hong Kong government employer poster

But this is my favourite one of all, as seen on an ATM machine, urging the user keep their integrity intact and not to steal any money that may have been left behind by accident!

Hong Kong keep your integrity notice

I hope all these exhortations have a good effect on the citizens of Hong Kong :)

Thanks for reading!


Candid Hong Kong – Victoria Harbour sunset

Every fortnight week I share a photo that shows a little insight into Hong Kong life. Sometimes they are things that made me smile, classic Hong Kong sights or just really unusual things.

I do love riding the Star Ferry – it’s a very quiet, peaceful place in the busy-ness of Hong Kong. And one evening about a year ago I was treated to this beautiful sunset as I looked out west to the end of Victoria Harbour and the islands beyond. Bliss!

160628 Candid Hong Kong Victoria Harbour sunset

Thanks for reading!