The Little Koo blog turns 3!

Wow, I have been blogging for three years now, can you believe it? This little blog started off with the intention of promoting the Little Koo Etsy shop (don’t forget about the closing down sale btw, only 5 more days!) but I enjoyed writing about Hong Kong so much that it ended up being mostly about the things I see and do here, with a bit of craft stuff thrown in.

So, in celebration, I thought I’d recap some of my most popular posts over the last few years. Maybe you haven’t seen them yet, or maybe you’ve just forgotten! On the topic of Hong Kong, here are some of the most-seen posts over the last few years:

Nan Lian gardens

Nan Lian Gardens and Chi Lin Nunnery

 

Shau Kei Wan typhoon shelter

Hong Pak – a walk with a nice surprise at the end

 

Shroff sign

English usage in Hong Kong

 

Wide view from Jardines Lookout

An uphill climb to Jardine’s Lookout

 

Chek Keng 3

Maclehose trail stage 2: hills, beaches and lots of rain!

 

Shek O beach and headland

Life’s a beach in Shek O

 

I hope you’re enjoying my Candid Hong Kong series too, where I post random photos I’ve taken around Hong Kong to show a snapshot of life here.

Outside of Hong Kong, I’ve also blogged about some of our travels around Asia. My posts about our holiday in Malaysia where we stopped off at the Cameron Highlands, Georgetown (Penang) and Langkawi have also been pretty popular.

On the craft side, my post about buying craft supplies in Hong Kong has been by far and away the most popular post I’ve ever written. I’ve tried to make it a really useful resource, and I’m constantly updating and adding to it. However, I do love to make things myself with the supplies I find, and these have been some of my most popular ‘makes’:

Fabric covered shell handbag

Covering a box clutch purse – a no sew handbag!

 

Handmade wire button heart

How to make a wire button heart

 

Moravian star mobile

Making a froebel star mobile

 

Hand decorated jars

Hand decorated jam jar luminaries

 

Woolly pompoms galore

Two ways of making woolly pompoms

 

Ok, so that’s it for my round up. What’s your favourite post? Have you ever tried any of the crafts I’ve featured on this blog? I’d love to hear from you!

Thanks for reading!

Rachel

Advertisements

Life’s a beach in Shek O

I’ve said this before, but one of the best things about Hong Kong is that it’s not all built-up busy city life, it’s really easy to get out of the city and enjoy the surrounding hills, beaches and islands. Shek O is a great example of this. It’s a laid back small village with low rise buildings and a great beach that feels miles away from the city, when it’s actually just round the corner.

The best way to get to Shek O from central Hong Kong is to take the MTR Island line east to Shau Kei Wan. Exit the MTR station at exit A3 and you’re right next to the bus station. Hop on bus 9 and 20 minutes or so later get off at the last stop, which is on the edge of Shek O. You get some great views of the coastline on the bus journey too!

When you get off the bus, in front of you is a small roundabout, by which is a Thai restaurant. I can’t actually remember the name of it but it’s pretty good and has a massive menu! It actually makes it hard to choose what to eat as there is too much choice!

To get to the beach, turn right at the roundabout. This takes you into a car park and the entrance to the beach is on the left hand side of the car park. If you go in summer or early autumn you are likely to be trailed by a lady who will rent you a sun lounger and an umbrella. The umbrella is really a ‘must’ in summer! The prices are pretty reasonable too.

The beach itself is wide and generally pretty clean and well managed. There are toilets, showers and changing areas, and also lifeguards, rafts and a shark net in summer (April to October). The water quality really varies though, I have been both when it’s been immaculate and when there’s been lots of plastic in it, it just depends on what’s carried on the currents at the time. Also, on a sunny dry day in summer, the beach gets REALLY busy. I would suggest that you visit early or late in the summer season if you want a bit more space.

This photo was taken on a weekday afternoon in late May, as you can see, the beach was pretty quiet.

P1030739

There are public BBQ pits next to the beach too, which would be a fun way to end a day on the beach. I don’t really know how they work but I guess it would just be chance whether one is free when you want to use it. I heard that you can book private BBQ pits for a slightly pricey HK$400 (approx. £35) too at Liu’s Barbecue nearby, but then you are guaranteed your own pit for the whole night, plus it comes with charcoal provided.

Shek O village is worth a little wander round too. The headland on the north side of the main beach is apparently home to some of the priciest real estate in Hong Kong – and as they are massive houses with great views, I’m not that surprised! You can see some in the background in this picture:

Shek O beach and headland

By contrast the rest of the town has a more laid back, hippy style to it. It’s a maze of small alleyways and mostly 2 storey buildings, many of which have large windows, porches and balconies for enjoying the summer weather. In true Hong Kong style, I think even these buildings are split into an apartment on each floor – it’s a real luxury to own a whole house in Hong Kong!

Door in Shek O

Shek O is a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, especially off-season or during the week. If you want to see a different side of Hong Kong without leaving the island, it’s definitely worth a visit!

Thanks for reading!

Rachel

Hong Kong likes & dislikes – part 2

So after being a little negative about Hong Kong last week, let me tell you about some of my favourite things about this place. So with no further ado…

1. Climate

Whilst I will admit it is ridiculously hot here in summer, I am one of those people who would rather be too warm than too cold, so I have been very much enjoying the warm climate here! Even now, whilst the weather has turned a bit grey and wet, it’s still in the mid-teens so a jumper and a jacket is sufficient to keep me toasty. (This photo is of me in warmer times after climbing Jardine’s Lookout!)

2. I am tall here

In the UK, at 5’4″ I am pretty much bang-on average height for a woman (ref), and I generally feel quite short. However, here sometimes I feel like a giant! I especially notice it when queuing behind a line of little old Chinese ladies for the toilet. Maybe this means I will be able to see more at concerts now?

3. Chinese tea

Those of you who know me will know that I don’t like tea or coffee. However, in a lot of Chinese restaurants here (especially the smaller ones), they plonk a glass of Chinese tea in front of you as soon as you sit down, and often they don’t charge you for it. So I’ve started drinking it! It’s actually quite refreshing, with a much weaker taste than the tea back home. The Chinese have a very specific procedure that they go through when making tea, which involves tiny teacups, a tiny teapot, a larger kettle, a jug and a strainer – we had a go ourselves in Taipei recently, with mixed success!

4. Views

Hong Kong is such a vertical city that there are amazing views wherever you go. Whether it’s looking up…

…or across…

…or down

5. City and countryside

I think a lot of people don’t realise that the city of Hong Kong makes up only a small proportion of Hong Kong SAR. It is amazingly easy to get out of the city into the amazing hills, forests, islands and beaches that surround. I can be on Repulse Bay beach or on top of a hill overlooking the city in less than 15 minutes from the heart of Wanchai. There are so many places to explore around Hong Kong, and Tom and I have only just scratched the surface. I’ll be telling you all about some of the places to go in future posts.

So, that’s almost it for my favourite things about Hong Kong. However, Tom will berate me if I don’t mention the food! There is every kind of food available here, especially Asian food (as you would expect) and most of it is very yummy indeed. I’ll talk about this in more detail in a future post!

What are your best and worst things about Hong Kong? I’d love to hear from you!

Thanks for reading!
Rachel