Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Our upcoming trip to Japan

It was scheduled to happen between 15 - 24 April (9D8N). Spending 3 nights in Osaka, 5 nights in Tokyo.

We wanted to travel on Dec 2010 and spend my birthday/christmas in Japan. But it was pushed back due to limited resources after our 2nd HK trip in 6 months.

Finally managed to book air ticket & accomodation early this year. Been working on the perfect travel itinerary since. He took charge of Tokyo & Osaka, and me, just Kyoto.

Its so unfortunate that this catastrophe have to hit Japan. I am not saying this because it have affected my wonderful holiday. I am saying this because of the deaths and damages brought by this Black Monster. Real footages of the disaster on Facebook and news everyday is so painful to watch & heartbreaking.

Right now, in the midst of all uncertainties after the devastating earthquake, we are not 100% sure if we will be gg ahead as planned, but we both agreed to keep our fingers crossed & hang on till the last minute, unless things are not getting brighter. but so far, things seems to be recovering well.

Right now, the main concern for me is food. those great food places we have been so looking forward to. There are reports about cafes and restaurants now only serving food that are easy to make due to limited food supplies.

Will we still get to eat fresh sushi? curry katsu? ramen?

These aside, how about the places we intend to visit? are they closed? or will these places close early to save on electricity etc?

All these concerns derived from news reports & rumours spreading on social media platforms. We certainly hope that things are not as bad as we perceived, although we are already very positive abt our trip. Now we can only pray that everything gets better in 3 weeks time.

Also, it may also be a rather sensitive period for tourists to visit Japan. Not sure if we will be welcome since everyone is down in the dump but we are going there for merry making. :/

ahhh, dilemma dilemma.

it may sounds juvenile, but we do hope that everyone can go ahead as planned (given that there is no life danger) & contribute to Japan's tourism? Pretty sure if everyone starts to avoid this country, it will be harder for them to stand back up after the crisis.

My heart goes out to everyone affected.

Will update here again when things are brighter! I m sure tomorrow will be better for everyone!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

5D4N F&E HongKong - May 1 - 5 2010

Bento goes to HongKong! DAY 3

After drinks at LKF the night before, we went back to the hotel & had some beer. end up staying up till 6 am!

Behind schedule, we woke up near noon, got ready real fast and headed out.

Grabbed some snacks at the stall opposite Comebuy drinks stall.

Beef mix + braised duck breast. 4/5. Its awesome, but not for those who cant take organs. its abit mushy. can try the duck breast tho. HKD 20~ for this.

鸡蛋仔 . Hit & miss. i have tasted better ones during my first trip. perhaps cos its not freshly made. freshly made ones are crunchy and fragrant. do take note! HKD 8.

Tired. so didnt take much pics when we make our way to Shenzhen..

but before we head for the shopping trip, he insist that we stop by this place for roast goose. He saw the introduction of this place on Youtube and he swear he will have to make a trip there.

I was quite dubious and didnt know what to expect. never had roast goose before. and this place is located at somewhat ulu Taipo Market (大埔墟). like far eh? wonder if its worth the visit.

It is somewhat like our Bedok - residential area.

We departed from Mongkok, to Taipo for lunch then to Lowu, which is the custom to enter Shenzhen.

If u are having a day trip to Shenzhen, you may want to check out this place since its along the way. i guarantee its worth the stopover!

It can be quite a challenge to get to this place, took us about 10 mins walk to get to the area, and another 5 mins or so looking for the restaurant.

Turn right once u exit from the station, just follow the people and keep walking. you will see a Taipo Market which is a double storey building on ur left, but that is NOT the market that we are talking about. Continue walking straight. Then u will see this place which looks like a market. That will be it :)


i supposed durian in hk is rare. let alone HUGE ones.

fruit stall.

tadah! this is the place which i highly recommend!! its called 一乐烧鹅皇 . u can see how happy he looks even with only his eyes showing.

tea served are meant for washing ur utensils.

Lemon Pomelo Tea.柠檬柚子茶. Refreshing and not too sweet. Perfect! 4.5/5

just looking at the pic makes me drool. slurps. this is a quarter goose. succulent but not too oily. tender meat. its orgasmic! 5/5.

Roast pork rice. Dont bother. i rather u order a larger portion of the goose or pigeon. 3/5. HKD 42

Roast pigeon! The skin is well fried and crispy. A bit dry for my liking. i prefer goose, but he prefer pigeon. Both's nice, try both. HKD 45 for one whole pigeon.

He. eats. the. head. try if u dare. its really crispy. i dont.

It was nearly 4 when we are done with our lunch. so late to start our "day trip" to Shenzhen. lol.

Didnt take us too long to arrive at Lowu station.
Just like my first time to Shenzhen, he got abit antsy abt the safety. not an issue to me, in fact i think it "feels" safer than gg to JB. Just mind ur own business, keep ur belongings close to you & ya, its safe. :)

It is also very easy to get to ShenZhen. We cleared the custom within half an hour. there will be clear signs in both English & Mandarin, and there is no way u can get lost.
Do remember to fill up the immigration forms before u queue at the counters, otherwise, u will be wasting time cos without the immigration form they wouldnt let u thru. What u can do is to take the form and fill it while u are queuing up, took less than 3 mins to fill mine. :)

Once you clear the customs, u will arrive at the commercial centre. There, u can find this 5/ 6 storey building high selling almost everything that you want & need. u can easily spend 2 3 hours there, no issues.

But for me, i usually like to venture out further.
We will take their local MRT, to this station called,老街. 2 stops from Lowu, RMB 4 one way.
I find that it is a better place to shop simply because it is not so touristy so the things will be cheaper. :)

Their trains are super clean. i find it even cleaner than HK & SG. Prob because locals usually drive or ride bicycle. =D

Over at 老街, there are tons of shops & malls for u to shop. u can easily spend the entire day there!
one of the shopping place.

Tips to shop in Shenzhen:
1. Always, always bargain. Slashed 30 - 50% of the price straight away. If they are not willing to relent, walk away. You can always find the thing somewhere else. But make sure u really like the item before u bargain, otherwise, don waste their time. they will scold u if they are having a bad day! But the pple there are generally nice and friendly.

2. Vendors are less keen to take HKD nowadays. (they use RMB in Shenzhen). And even if they do, they will quote a high exchange rate which will not be beneficial to us and give us change in RMB. So, do change some RMB, and only use HKD when $$ not enuff.

3. Do check your loots before u leave. Sometimes u may be overwhelmed by getting a good deal that u may not notice the defects on the goods.
4. Most of the shops closes at 10pm & the last train departing back to HK leaves at 12 am. But i advise not to shop till very last minute, in case anything crops up at custom causing u not able to head back to HK. Buffer about 1 hour at night since alot of people will be heading back to HK as well.

Headed back to hotel straight after a few hours of shopping. tired. lol.

lets share our loots!

my most prized buy! luggage with moomoo prints! ~40SGD. hehehe

30+ SGD~

After unpacking, our stomach started protesting and then we realised we were so obssessed with shopping that we have not taken dinner!
Walking down the street to find food in 18 degrees night is shiokness.

Came back with the these! (Cant remember the exact place we got these, cos we walked aimlessly, there are just too many late night eateries in Mongkok)

Beef ball noodles soup. 4/5. Bouncy meatball! 10HKD only!!!
Yummy grilled jumbo beef ball! 4/5.
Huge veggie dumpling. not too bad. 3/5

They say, we should never go to bed hungry. i agree, especially when we are in a land where theres SO MUCH good food.

its a sin if we don go to slp, full.