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!

Rachel

Our Hong Kong-style Christmas

Several people from back home have asked me what Christmas was going to be like for us this year. So this is what we got up to…

We knew that Christmas would be very different to normal, since we usually spend it at either my parents’ or Tom’s parents’ house with family, lots of food (usually including the roast turkey dinner with all the trimmings) and lots of laughter. This year there would only be the two of us, and as we lack an oven (as most HK flats do) the roast turkey would be a bit difficult to achieve! (the laughter may or may not have happened, depending on how good Tom’s jokes were on the day)

So we decided to go out and treat ourselves to a slap-up western-style dinner. After looking around a bit, we chose the ‘brunch’ at the Parlour at Hullett House in Tsim Sha Tsui. (I say ‘brunch’ because it was really more like lunch as it was at 12pm)

Hullett House is a boutique hotel in a colonial building converted from the Marine Police Headquarters. The building itself is beautiful:

Hullett House, Hong Kong

However, the decorations in the shopping area directly outside were a little less tasteful…

Heritage 1881 Christmas decorations

Hullett House certainly put on a good spread. There was an enormous buffet selection of seafood, breads, cheeses, cold meats, soups etc for the starter (I didn’t take a photo of this – just too embarrassing!). We had a couple of smallish plates of food each, but decided not to go too far to leave room for the main course. We had a number of delicious-sounding options to choose from for our mains but we both went with the venison. When it came, it was beautifully cooked, but perhaps a little smaller than Tom was hoping for.

Main course at Hullett House

However, it wasn’t a total disaster as there was another buffet for dessert with a large range of small puddings to choose from. We both made good use of this :)

Dessert at Hullett House

So all in all, whilst it was quite pricey, I would definitely recommend the brunch at Hullett House – the service was excellent, the food was beautifully cooked and presented and the setting was lovely too. Oh, I may have forgotten to mention the free-flowing champagne too (our glasses were constantly topped up!)

After our lunch we were feeling pretty full so we had a nice walk along The Avenue of the Stars, which makes up the seafront on Tsim Sha Tsui. I really love this view of Hong Kong, it always reminds me what an awesome place this is.

View from The Avenue of the Stars, Tsim Sha Tsui

We walked along the length of the waterfront to Hung Hom and got a bus home. We spent the rest of the day opening presents and Skyping our families back home. We treated ourselves to bacon sandwiches for tea – the first time we’ve had bacon since we moved here, it’s just so expensive here!

It was a very different Christmas to usual, but good fun nonetheless. I hope you all had lovely Christmases too! Merry Christmas!

Christmas greetings from Hong Kong

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