Hello Hong Kong! Breakfast on CX and Staying at The Mira

By , July 27, 2010 6:47 pm

The bloggers reach HKIA!
OK here we go with my Hong Kong post series! This rowdy bunch touched down at noon last Friday, ready to begin our four days of fun. Let me first do a quick intro of the Singapore Blog Award 2010 winners who came for the trip hosted by the Hong Kong Tourism Board. From left to right – Violet, Geck Geck, Gin, Pete, Darren, me, Lawrence, Sze Ping and Jerome. Elaine joined us the second day. Photo taken by Alvin of omy.sg, I think? I borrowed it from our HK Travellers Facebook page.

I love flying!
We did not come in this, of course.

Bright and early 8am flight on CX
We had a nice and very smooth flight on Cathay Pacific. Had to be bright and early at the airport – none of us got much sleep the night before, and some were still on Facebook excitedly saying, “see you in a few hours!”

But tired as I was, I could not sleep on the plane. Watched “How to Train Your Dragon” plus an episode of Scrubs or so.

Omelette breakfast set on Cathay Pacific
Breakfast omelette that was not too bad. The alternative was congee, and I just had a hunch this would be better.

The Mira is at 118 Nathan Road in Tsim Sha Tsui
We soon arrived at The Mira (118 Nathan Road in Tsim Sha Tsui), ranked among “Coolest New Hotels in the World” by Conde Nast Traveller. Love the vintage London cab parked out front with the licence plate “The Mira” – I hear it actually runs!

The hotel is named after a giant red star in the Cetus constellation. Mira also means “foresight” in Spanish and “perfect, peaceful and prosperous” in Latin. And by chance, my World of Warcraft main character is called Miraviel, and gamers there would always call me Mira.

Anticipation was high as most of us had seen its website which shows a really posh, stylish and modern hotel. Would the photos match what we would see?

The Mira is beautiful!
Oh yes! Pretty much. The dark glass doors belie a spacious entrance with wavy designer accents. Everything here looks new – it was renovated last year and reopened in Sept 2009.

While processing our group check-in in the privacy of the Room One lounge, we were treated to creamy cones
They ushered us to a secluded lounge area to process our check-in papers, and served us little cones of flavoured whipped cream, along with cold hand towels to help us freshen up.

Rooms are the epitome of contemporary chic, complete with original Arne Jacobsen egg chairs
The rooms are the epitome of contemporary chic, complete with original Arne Jacobsen egg chairs. Yes!

Sleek, modern and high tech
The hotel prides itself on being high tech – so at your work desk you have an array of gadgets including an all-in-one infotainment centre, and Bose speakers with iPod dock (it charges my iPhone too).

Every room has a Sony VAIO all-in-one computer and infotainment centre
This is the all-in-one Sony Entertainment Centre, Blu-ray DVD player, and personal computer. You can surf, email, go on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, anything online using the huge screen TV as your monitor. Best of all – with the wireless keyboard, you can do all this from comfort of the luxurious bed.

They give you a mobile phone that's cloned to your hotel room!
They even give you a Nokia mobile phone that’s cloned to your room phone – you can take it anywhere with you, and people can reach you by calling your room! That is freaking amazing. This feature is so new, most of us didn’t realise it until the second day when Violet demonstrated it to us at lunch.

But wait, the geek in me in getting ahead of one of the most welcoming features.

A boatload of sweet lychees, strawberries and trio of desserts greeted us in the room. We all felt so pampered!
A boatload of fresh, juicy sweet lychees, strawberries and trio of desserts greeted us in the room. We all felt so pampered! Surprise and delight the customer? Check!

The macarons (lemon and green tea respectively) are scrumptious!
I really liked the macarons (lemon and green tea respectively) too. Sweet but not sickeningly so, as some macarons tend to be.

Open the desk drawer in front of the TV!
Full set of cutlery and plates, some minibar snacks and drinks all loaded in the drawer in front of the TV.

Glass bathroom partitions not only tease, but make the room look even bigger
The room is really spacious by Hong Kong standards. The glass partitions between bedroom and bathroom adds an air of openness in more ways than one.

You can have the glass partitions shuttered for privacy as well
But of course, you can also have the silver shutters down for privacy if you wish. There are even controls for mood lighting, and a TV (I haven’t quite figured out where it is, but I’m not one to find TV useful in a bath).

Rainbath!
Rainbath! Nuff said!

Salvatore Ferragamo bath goodies!
The pampering continues via Salvatore Ferragamo “Tuscan Soul” bath goodies. These smell so divine!

Gorgeous mirrored vanity area - I learned too late that the top actually slides to cover the sink!
Gorgeous mirrored vanity area – I learned too late that the top where the supplies are actually slides to cover the sink! So you and your partner can share the grooming space if need be. Nice touch!

Luxury bathrobes - silky soft on the outside, and absorbent terry cotton on the inside
Loved the bathrobes – silky soft on the outside, and absorbent terry cotton on the inside. Wear them inside out if you prefer!

Oh yes, forgot to mention the award-winning MiraSpa, an 18,000 square feet haven with indoor infinity-edge pool and fitness centre.

Chili truffle
And in the early evenings, they give you a chocolate truffle as part of the turn-down service. The first night we had a black truffle (as in Périgord) flavoured chocolate truffle. I’d been wondering when someone would make something like that. Mushrooms and chocolate? It’s a little odd, and not everyone likes it, but I do think it works. The second night we had chili truffles and the third night, vanilla (very white chocolate-like) ones.

Look who snuck along for the ride!
Look who snuck along for the ride? Hubby insisted Yoda come along for company. Well, I did leave for Hong Kong on his birthday, and it was just too bad he couldn’t come along and ENJOY THIS STUNNING SETUP!

Oh well. OK, food posts will start after this. After my CNNgo deadlines (tomorrow!).

Can I just show you the luscious lychees again? These became my lunch. We were all describing how they spurt with juice each time you bite into them! It’s unforgiveable unthinkable to leave these untouched!

Can I show you the luscious lychees again?

Echoes of the Sheung Wan of the 1960s: Wing Lee Street and the ladder streets

By , July 27, 2010 6:33 pm

If you haven’t already noticed from my blog, The Long and Winding Road is that one of the things that I have a soft spot for is in old places which would be mixed with bits of nostalgia of those places in the days that have passed. While The Long and Winding Road isn’t so much a nostalgia blog as it has sometimes been labelled as – being about how I see what is around me, it does have a large dose of nostalgia for the Singapore that I grew up in, and when I am in a place like Hong Kong, I can also identify with the places and things that the local people have a nostalgia for. Hong Kong does provide a lot of that in some ways: the tramway and the Star ferry being some of the older things that are still around. There is another part of Hong Kong where it is possible to enjoy hearing the lingering echo of a forgotten past, which on this trip was introduced by Mr Leon Suen, a professional photographer who had kindly and patiently served as our guide for two hours in an thoroughly enjoyable walk around the Sheung Wan area of Hong Kong Island.

Down Shing Wong Street in Sheung Wan with Mr Leon Suen.

The highlight of the walk was the walk along the staircases and terraces of Sheung Wan around the area where Wing Lee Street is. Wing Lee Street is a terrace that was made famous by Alex Law’s award winning movie 歲月神偷, 岁月神偷 in simplified Chinese or when translated into English, “Time, the thief”. It goes by the title “Echoes of the Rainbow” in English, a reference to the double rainbow I suppose, that features in a scene in the movie. I guess the walk would probably have been more meaningful if I had watched the movie before taking it, but somehow, walking down the staircases and terraces did take me back to a time as the street that Wing Lee Street was used to depict was in, to the Sheung Wan of the 1960s, much like how my walks in some of the older parts of Singapore would bring me back to a time that I would have remembered.

A building from the past along Shing Wong Street. Many of the old buildings have been demolished and replaced by high rise buildings, altering the character of the area.

Wing Lee Street served as the set for the award winning movie 歲月神偷 or “Time, the thief” which goes by the title “Echoes of the Rainbow in English.

Wing Lee Street served as the set for the award winning movie 歲月神偷 or “Time, the thief” which goes by the title “Echoes of the Rainbow in English.

The building that served as the school on the set of the movie.

The building that served as the school on the set of the movie.

Ventilation and light openings in the stairwell were a common feature of the old buildings.

Ventilation and light openings in the stairwell were a common feature of the old buildings.

Wing Lee Street and the movie Echoes of the Rainbow provide a doorway into Sheung Wan's past.

Wing Lee Street and the movie Echoes of the Rainbow provide a doorway into Sheung Wan's past.

The movie, which I made a point of watching in the plane on the voyage back to Singapore, is filled with sights, sounds and images of the Hong Kong of the late 1960s. In watching it, I felt very much that I was back in that Hong Kong, back to a time when I had my own childhood in Singapore, with strains of music of the era that echo in the background of the many warm nostalgic scenes that fill the movie. I didn’t think very much of the plot though, while it may have centred around a heart wrenching tale of a family of a shoemaker struggling to make ends meet and desperately trying to save a favoured son in his prime diagnosed with cancer as seen through the eyes of the younger son finding hard to live up to the comparisons made with his elder brother. The story which is in a sense an autobiographical tribute to the director’s own brother who died of cancer in his teens, I felt was rather shallow and predictable, but still watchable for the poignant look of the Hong Kong of old. I understand that it was only after the shooting of the movie that a decision was taken to conserve the buildings along Wing Lee Street which would otherwise have been demolished.

A gate on Wing Lee Street.

A gate on Wing Lee Street.

Windows on on Wing Lee Street.

Windows on Wing Lee Street.

A wall along Wing Lee Street.

A wall along Wing Lee Street.

Grilled windows.

Grilled windows.

A broken pane on a window.

A broken pane on a window.

The terrace that is Wing Lee Street.

The terrace that is Wing Lee Street.

An interesting part of Wing Lee Street is at the corner of Shing Wong Street (one of the “ladder streets” – named such as they are literally staircases up from the lower reaches of the Central and Sheung Wan areas to the Mid Levels higher up), where the Wai Che Printing Co. is located. It is also interesting to note that opposite the entrance to the Wai Che is the building that was used to depict the school in the movie. Entering the printing shop through the half opened collapsible gate, you would immediately be transported back in time – more so because of the sight of old wooden racks of lead type against the wall and an old Heidelberg cylinder movable type printing machine, which although still being operated by the owner, the very friendly Mr. Lee Chak Yue who is in his eighties, has become obsolete. Mr. Lee, had been using this traditional method of printing which harks back to the days of ancient China in which it was invented (it is considered one of the great inventions of China), for some 60 years and was patient enough to explain how printing is done in this traditional way where typesetting can be a lengthy task. It is a shame to have to hear from him and Leon that the shop and the wealth of history that can be found in the lead type and machines is not something that the heritage body in Hong Kong is looking at preserving. It would certainly be nice to see that at least the shop and the contents of the shop be kept where it is and preserved as a museum, but from the sound of things, that is quite unlikely.

Wai Che Printing Company's entrance at Wing Lee Street.

Wai Che Printing Company's entrance at Wing Lee Street.

A sign at the entrance.

A sign at the entrance.

Mr Lee Chak Yue, the proprietor of Wai Che is in his 80s and has been doing movable type printing fro 60 years. It is with his kind permission that the set of photographs have been taken.

Mr Lee Chak Yue, the proprietor of Wai Che is in his 80s and has been doing movable type printing fro 60 years. It is with his kind permission that the set of photographs have been taken.

IMG_1586IMG_1593

IMG_1587

IMG_1585

The Heidelberg moving type press.

The Heidelberg moving type press.

At the other end of the terrace there is a charming old apartment block – looking somewhat dilapidated. If not for the evidence of clothes hanging to dry on lines and letter boxes stuffed with the mail, I would have thought that they were not lived in. A feature of buildings of that era can be seen on the façade of the building, which has slots to serve as ventilation openings on the stairwell and more importantly to provide a source of light, one that you will see on many of the buildings around Sheung Wan. Other notable sights in the vicinity are the old Chinese YMCA building – a red brick eclectically designed building that dates back to 1918 which served as the headquarters of the Chinese YMCA on Bridges Street until it moved in 1966 and the Man Mo Temple on Hollywood Road.

A dilapidated apartment block.

A dilapidated apartment block.

Old letter boxes.

Old letter boxes.

Signs of life ...

Signs of life ...

More signs of life?

More signs of life?

The former Chinese YMCA building on Bridges Street.

The former Chinese YMCA building on Bridges Street.

The Man Mo Temple on Hollywood Road.

The Man Mo Temple on Hollywood Road.

IMG_1654

IMG_1651

IMG_1642

IMG_1635

夏游香江 – 豪华日本晚餐 Busy Suzie

By , July 27, 2010 10:28 am

看完了精彩的香港龙舟嘉年华开幕典礼后我们便步行到尖沙咀广东道百年经典殿堂 1881广场(前水警总部)的 Busy Suzie 炉端烧(Robatayaki)

omy-hk_055.jpg

omy-hk_037.jpg

老板杨其龙先生(也是知名夜店 Dragon-I 创办人之一)特地请了来自巴黎 Gilles & Boissier Studio,充满活力的法籍夫妻组合设计师 Patrick Gilles 及 Dorothee Boissier 亲自主导整个室内设计。装潢流丽却不失禅味;尤其是洗手间的音乐和香薰,让我有一股想去 Spa 的冲动。

omy-hk_040.jpg

omy-hk_038.jpg

这是其中一间私人贵宾房,上方挂着的是国际灯饰大师 Isometrix 精致的日式灯笼,营造出了高雅别致的气氛。

omy-hk_039.jpg

弧形的坐台直接让你见证师傅们怎么调制你的料理。而师傅们就用了这个 Peter 拿着的木浆把料理送到食客的面前。

omy-hk_041.jpg

omy-hk_042.jpg

omy-hk_043.jpg

好啦,现在我们来看看香港旅游局善待我们的日式料理晚餐套餐的照片啦~

omy-hk_045.jpg

北海道鳕场蟹沙律

omy-hk_047.jpg

omy-hk_048.jpg

四款烧野菜

omy-hk_049.jpg

盐烧牛利(舌)

omy-hk_050.jpg

烧三文鱼

omy-hk_051.jpg

烧免治猪肉肠

omy-hk_052.jpg

照烧鸡扒

omy-hk_053.jpg

烧饭团

omy-hk_054.jpg

柚子者哩

风趣的岩上義明(Iwagami Yoshiaki)师傅在我们用餐的时候一直尝试与我们互动。而跟马新一带的日本餐馆一样,全体工作同仁在有顾客来到的时候都会大声招呼迎宾和送客,非常热闹。间中师傅还要我们全场起立并一起呼喊一些口号和击掌,好不开心~

这真的是一次趣味盎然的餐饮体验,真的感激香港旅游局细心地安排。


BUSY SUZIE

Shop 209, 2/F, 1881 Heritage,
2A Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2369-0077
Open daily
Lunch: noon to 3pm (2.30pm last order)
Dinner: 6pm to 1am (10.30pm last order)

View Larger Map

It’s hard to remain dry with a model in the tub!

By , July 27, 2010 8:25 am

I guess that was what Pete found out, much to the dismay of his cheering fans ashore in Sunday’s Media Bath Tub Race that was held at Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong, part of the weekend’s highlight, the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Carnival. The exciting race, which saw the team from the Philippines winning, also featured two teams representing omy.sg, one with Pete and model Ang Geck Geck, and the other with Darren and Violet, who eventually came in a close second to the team from the Philippines.

Screaming girls cheering for Aussie Pete?

Not cheering for Pete as Pete might have imagined. A face amongst the thousands of fans who had gathered to scream at the sight of the KBS dream team.

There were literally thousands of screaming fans gathered for the race, and as Pete would have it, they would have been rooting for him in the race. Having made all the necessary preparations in the run up to the race, the two teams from omy.sg were expected to do fairly well, and based on the strategies that were discussed by the repective teams, it seemed like the teams had everything worked out.

The race started with the blast of a horn, and from the vantage point of the media cordon amongst the very large numbers that had turned out, as it turned out, to greet the Korean Dream team from the KBS network which included U-KISS with the popular Alexander, who were taking part in an international media networks race (and not disappointingly for Pete, Pete and Geck Geck – although I must say that both have got star qualities). As the race progressed, the clumsily fashioned “bathtubs” laboured their way forward to the almighty efforts of the teams of two that seemed to want to have their bathtubs capsize with every stroke of the paddle, and midway through the race, spectators got more than what they had bargained for as with a big stroke of the paddle, Pete had put his weight to the starboard side and while not as graceful as the dolphins in Ocean Park, the sight of Pete and Geck Geck falling into the depths of the Fragrant Harbour appeared to be graceful and choreographed (hmm, maybe it was staged). The incident was greeted not in stunned silence, but with a big roar from the crowd … and any fears for the safety of the two was quickly proved to be unfounded by the quick appearance of the rescue parties (maybe it was the pretty damsel in distress that they were all concerned with).

The moment it happened, it did appear to have been a carefully choreographed move.

Into the depths of the Fragrant Harbour went Pete and the model.

The rescue.

I guess it was certainly a blast for the participants in the race, as it was for the fans who caught a glimpse of their KBS heroes, and for us bloggers to have had a chance to soak in the atmosphere of a dragon boating event in the very home of Dragon Boat racing as we know it today. The race also featured teams made up of breast cancer survivors and their supporters in which a team from Singapore, the Pink Spartans won.

Darren and Violet paddled their way to second place.

The soaking wet pair after being rescued from their bathtub adventures.

Even the buoys seemed to give Pete and Geck Geck a perfect 10!

与张教授会面 0725

By , July 27, 2010 1:59 am

感谢香港旅游局赞助,让我有机会到香港一游。

趁这次香港之行 空档时间,又正巧 张教授有时间,便与张连航教授会面。张教授,是我大学一二年级时,语音学和文字学的导师。

张教授热情招待,带我走香港。

也要求张教授给已毕业的同学们说几句话:

以下是一些和张教授出游时所拍下的照片。

维多利亚海港旁的雕像。

上前往香港岛的船之前,张老师请了我吃 Softee。这应是香港仅存的少数Softee快车。

其实,到香港岛,并不一定需要乘船。来往九龙城和香港岛,亦可乘搭快铁。但以乘船的方式过岛,迎着咸咸的海风,坐在陈年老旧的铁凳子,10分钟的旅程,毕竟是另一番独特的体验。快铁/MRT 新加坡多的是,香港快铁和新加坡的没两样,而我早厌倦了挤快铁。

换种交通方式,太好了。

抵达香港到了!

我们在香港岛走了好些地方,原先也想上山顶,但因为人龙而却步。

回到旺角、庙街逛了逛。

也在庙街看到了米上刻字的摊位,便让他为我和好友丽芳制作了两条项链。

张教授也很慷慨地请我到霸王山居吃了一顿尤其丰盛的晚餐。

我最喜欢的蟹肉蛋白!

Panorama Theme by Themocracy



本站部落格言论纯属作者观点,不代表本网站立场。