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A Postcard from Hong Kong

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A shrine in Soho, Hong Kong

This is like the postcard that you find in the bottom of your handbag, when you have already been back for a bit and your memories have faded. You want to send it anyway, but never do. Sometimes you may even find some in your storage unit. I found some letters that I wrote on a ferry in Corsica when I was 19 last week.

Well, this is the internet, and so I can send it, and I really want to. The letters, well they were actually lovely to read and will remain mine, never seeing a post box or another pair of eyes. Even if they were written in silver pen.

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The view of Hong Kong from Tim Lung Heen at The Ritz Carlton

Hong Kong buzzes. Like one of those joke buzzers that kids use, it catches you by surprise, sometimes you are not sure, but it always makes you smile. Hong Kong has a brilliant energy, people seem very positive and everyone is very busy doing lots of stuff, all the time. It never seems to stop. There is fantastic food too, from super cheap and fabulous to 3* michelin. I love it. When I was booking my flight back from Tokyo, I made sure that I had a Hong Kong stopover too.

Some photos for now, as is my postcard way, with lots of detail soon.

Hong Kong, February 2013

Random splashes of colour and delight on a footbridge over a motorway in Hong Kong

Hong Kong, February 2013

The chef at michelin * dim sum Tim Ho Wan – spotted my camera and insisted on a photograph :)

Hong Kong, February 2013

Dim Sum at Tim Ho Wan

Hong Kong, February 2013

Late Night Eating in Hong Kong

Hong Kong, February 2013

Street food in Hong Kong

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A slightly blurry star ferry, taken from another star ferry that I was on

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Through a Soho window in Hong Kong

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The private rooms and wine storage at Tin Lung Heen, Hong Kong

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Yardbird, yakitori bar in Hong Kong, now on Asia’s 50 Best list too

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Yardbird, Hong Kong

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Chicken meatballs with egg yolk and sauce at Yardbird, Hong Kong

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This is a malteser martini from a random bar in Hong Kong. It was wrong, but I had to show you it.

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Gorgeous stuffed crab at 2* Tin Lung Heen at The Ritz Carlton

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… and terrific desserts at 2* Tin Lung Heen at The Ritz Carlton


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Breakfast dim sum at The Ritz Carlton

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Giant teddy bar in Hong Kong

I visited Hong Kong under my own steam on the way back from Tokyo, but stayed at The Ritz Carlton as a guest.

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Dim Sum in Hong Kong: Luk Yu Tea House

Luk Yu Tea House, Hong Kong

December trip to Hong Kong, Day 2. Lunch is at the Luk Yu Tea House. Not Michelin starred like some of the other places I visited but it is in the Michelin guide.

Rumoured to be a favourite of local celebrities – I wouldn’t know one if they slapped me in the face, although this probably applies in the UK too – the Luk Yu Tea House offers an all round solid standard of dim sum in a very traditional setting. Very enjoyable and well worth a trip. Just try not to stand in the kettle plugged in on the floor by the stairs. You have been warned.

Dim Sum at Luk Yu Tea House, Hong Kong

Dim Sum at Luk Yu Tea House, Hong Kong

Dim Sum at Luk Yu Tea House, Hong Kong

Dim Sum at Luk Yu Tea House, Hong Kong

Dim Sum at Luk Yu Tea House, Hong Kong

Dim Sum at Luk Yu Tea House, Hong Kong

Dim Sum at Luk Yu Tea House, Hong Kong

Dim Sum at Luk Yu Tea House, Hong Kong

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Hong Kong: Staying at The Upper House and that Breakfast

Hong Kong

How could people not love Hong Kong? I just don’t understand it. Some people think it is too smoggy (it can be), too humid (it definitely is) or too busy (depends on your viewpoint, but I live in London so I can cope very well). It is all cramped and busy but this is one of the best things about it. The buzz, the infectious positivity, the passion and determination that seems to drive the very core of Hong Kong.

Hong Kong

I love it, I really do. So much so that when I was coming back from New Zealand recently, I stopped off for a few days for a last minute little fix. More on that later. I should first write about my previous trip to Hong Kong last December.

Upper House hotel room

December was a terrific time to visit. It can be quite grim in our part of the world then, so a hop to the other side of the world for some sunshine and fantastic dim sum can be very appealing. I stayed at The Upper House (who had arranged my visit), a beautiful hotel on Hong Kong island, right in the middle of the action. In fact, shoppers, it is right next to a huge mall if that is the focus of your visit. Hong Kong folks love to shop.

Café Gray Deluxe

The devil is in the detail here, it is very well laid out. Large spacious rooms (an unusual feature in Hong Kong), tv in the bathroom mirror so that you can watch it in the bath (while you look out over the Hong Kong skyline too), a toilet bag full of Ren products and the mini bar where all non alcoholic drinks are free. Dangerously the snacks are too. Café Gray Deluxe, the restaurant on the top floor, looks out over a shiny chirpy Hong Kong.

Breakfast dim sum

Breakfast congee

The biggest highlight of the stay, room aside, was the dim sum breakfast which is utterly addictive. I had it every single day. Pork bun, dim sum and congee with abalone and toppings. Served with a fresh juice and a cup of tea. I had to have a coffee too, to feed my addiction. It was an early morning love affair that I look forward to renewing. Next time, I will order it to my room using the iPod in every room with the room service application. Such geekery, perfect in Hong Kong, and I loved it.

The Upper House, Hong Kong

http://www.upperhouse.com/
http://www.cafegrayhk.com/

I stayed and dined as a guest of The Upper House

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A Reprieve from Festivities & Indulgence: Some Photos from Hong Kong & Beijing

Beannachtaí Lá Fhéile Stiofán – Happy St Stephen’s Day (in Irish :)! We don’t have Boxing Day here in Ireland, but St Stephen’s Day or the Day of the Wren. Wrenboys will be wandering down Ireland’s roads or lanes, travelling from house to house, with an effigy of a wren on a stick singing “The wren, the wren, the king of all birds, St Stephen’s Day got caught in the furze”. You don’t see it everywhere anymore but in my mothers home county, Cork, it is an active tradition. The rest of us will spend the day visiting family, and I am just about to do that.

Before I do, my favourite books of 2011 and random-other-stuff are due, but I’ve spent the morning, and a lot of last night, reliving my Hong Kong & China trip. I finally found some time to edit the photos and am now madly craving Peking Duck & Dim Sum. Here are a few photos with proper details on everything soon.

Sunset at the Forbidden City, Beijing

Snack Seller, Beijing

Beijing Rickshaw & Bicycle

The Forbidden City, Beijing

Sidecar tour of Beijing

I love these dinosaurs - Chinese art that is sadly way out of my price range

Another piece of Chinese Art in Beijing

Snowman in Beijing - with a deodorant can nose!

Dumplings near Wan Chai Market in Hong Kong

Luk Yu Tea House in Hong Kong

Peking Duck at Duck de Chine in Beijing (roasting in a wood fire as is traditional)

Peking Duck at Duck de Chine

Mustard Goose Webs - the web of a goose foot cooked in mustard - curious and crunchy

Duck Soup at Duck de Chine

Beautiful dim sum - made with Chinese turnip

Perfect Xiao Long Bao - dumplings with meat & soup inside - at Duck de Chine in Beijing

Glorious milk and yolk buns - stuffed with an egg yolk custard - now one of my favourite things