A Travellerspoint blog

a long time ago in a land called Happy Valley. . .

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lived an feisty little Shanghainese girl (who I now call Mom.) So we had a great time in Hong Kong, staying on the Kowloon side in Tsim Sha Shui. I still can't pronouce it properly. It rained almost every day, but remained sunny most afternoons. We mostly got around by airconditioned bus anyway. I'd been there with my friends before, but never with Mom. It was funny to see her constantly commenting about all the new buildings and how in the 60s it would take all day to travel the distance you can now traverse in 10 minutes.

Stuff we visited:
Happy Valley (where mom grew up)
Aberdeen Fishing Village
Stanley Beach (market was disappointing)
Victoria Peak
Jackie Chan's house (just drove by)
IM Pei's Bank of China building
Lan Kwai Fong
Wynn Hotel in Macau

Also had a chance to catch up with Autie Darling, my cousins Carolina and Stella, and of course Anastasia (a.k.a. Baby).

The racetrack near Mom's old house in Happy Valley
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Caught in a downpour
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I think we look alike!

Posted by AGN22 06:17 Archived in Hong Kong Tagged family_travel Comments (0)

Chili Crab Hunt

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Finally able to track down a battery charger for my digital camera in Singapore so photos are on the way.

After Hua Hin Mom, Mary Anne and I spent a day in Bangkok to regroup We visited a friend's wedding boutique, called Aunchalee Couture (her name!) located off of Sala Daeng and later ate at my Uncle Robert's house.

The next day we took off for Singapore using Air Asia. Imagine Southwest Airlines but with a bunch of pushy Chinese people who have never heard of standing in line. Plus, we had to load into a bus to get from the gate to the plane. They also only allow 15 kg/person check in. We learned the hard way and bought a carryone suitcase for the return trip.

Back to Singapore. So whenever I ask locals about this place, they always tell me to try Chili Crab. I tend to imagine something between an american chili dog and chinese chili sauce, which of course taste completely different from each other. Anyway, at every meal I tried to find this chili crab but was foiled by more enticing food. The food courts had to be the highlight. Sorry no pictures! And for those wondering, i never ate Singaporean noodles. =P
I Started with Colo Mee the first night at Suntec City mallnear the Pan Pacific. Noodle soup, Char Kwe Tieu and a mix of Malaysian/Indonesian Satay the next day while exploring the food courts interspersed along Orchard Road between Takashimaya and Tangs. Finally, on the third day we visited Marina Square, Vivo City and the Esplanade Mall where I finally got a great view of the skyline and found my Chili Crab. Since I was the only one with a healthy stomach, most of that crab belonged to my plate. I have to say delicious, but not something I could eat repeatedly. Sort of the way I feel about Philly cheesesteaks but not that extreme. It really does taste like American chili to me, but with the consistency of a gravy containing bits of minced crab. At least I hope that was crab. Also managed to squeeze in a movie (Flashpoint w/ Donnie Yen and some other guy).

It's really insane how many shopping malls they can pack into one city. While it wasn't too hot and humid, the major benefit for me was the air con. I also found Clarke Quay to be a great place to walk around at night, and I would have loved to spend more time there. Overall, I liked Singapore and could probably see myself visiting often. I still can't stand the accent when locals speak Singaporean English, but I guess that's where the Mandarin is supposed to come in handy.

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Oh yeah, this building really looked like a giant durian to me. Mom found a durian stand inside a food court. The funny part was that there were two chinese women in front of her who purchased over $200 USD worth of durian products. I feel really sorry for the passengers on their plane. They actually had to buy foil bags for the durian pancakes so it wouldn't stink up every place they went.

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Posted by AGN22 02:31 Archived in Singapore Comments (1)

Finally, No Schedule

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Morning: 7am Golf Lesson with Jorgen at Palm Hills, followed by buffet breakfast.
Afternoon: Lunch at Hua Hin Market Village, then digested at the Holiday Inn (former Regent Hotel) with a beachside massage
Evening: Dinner at MK Restaurant with Thomas, our unofficial tour guide.
Yum. . . HOT POT!

Holiday Inn, Cha-am
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Posted by AGN22 08:28 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Resort Relay

Hua Hin to Cha-am

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Monday was the start of the resort and spa motherload. We moved from the site of Michelle's beach wedding, the Sofitel Central, to the Anantara which is more of a traditional Thai style resort. As a graduation present, Mary Anne treated myself and Mom to an afternoon massage at Asara. Thailand is the mecca for spas and massage, and Asara is a high end resort that just opened for operation two months ago. Since it was still at the pre-opening stage, the grounds were nearly empty apart from staff. One of the most amazing spas I've been to. We actually spent the entire afternoon there - touring the pool villas, hanging out at the spa, and eating some pretty good thai food just before the monsoon downpour slammed into us.

Tuesday, we met up with Thomas, Eddie, and Mag (all friends through my cousin Dennis) around midday at the construction site for Eddie and Mag's new resort in Cha-am. By coincidence, Mary Anne had interned for the architecture firm for the hotel back in the summer of 2005. It's difficult to describe the construction site. Everything was enormous in scale, from the monumental entrance to the Yao Ming sized doors everywhere. Each suite has something like 11 ft ceilings. Crazy! The pool villas were also amazing, constructed right up to the beach. I can't wait to see the finished product, which will be under hotel management by the Indonesian boutique hotelier Alila later this year.

For lunch, we ate at the Veranda, a beach resort in Cha-am with a modern touch. Great Thai food again. Then had a quick tour of the Sheraton (something like 2.1 billion Baht construction) and the Boathouse condos which are still under construction. Ended the afternoon with a golf lesson with Mary Anne at Palm Hills Golf Club. Pretty good time actually, despite the intermitent afternoon downpours which seemed to have returned since this past Thai holiday weekend.

Anantara, Hua Hin
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Asara, Hua Hin
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Construction Site, Cha-am
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Posted by AGN22 05:31 Archived in Thailand Tagged lodging Comments (0)

Safari Time

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Sofitel Central, Hua Hin
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Not really sure where to put this post, but for those of you out there fond of hedge animals - and I don't know why you would be - this is for you. Not much to say, except that the hotel is over a 100 years old so that explains how they got so ginormous. There's also a hedge elephant the size of a 3 story house but it was just too big to upload. The bird like things are actually supposed to be sea turtles. Don't ask why they have reindeer.
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Posted by AGN22 19:01 Archived in Thailand Tagged animal Comments (1)

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