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Old 06-09-2012, 06:38 AM   #1036
ehsmum
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Did you go to Stanley on Easter Sunday? (I've lost track of your days!) We went on a Sunday and it was ridiculously busy. I did wonder whether it would be quieter on a weekday. I agree with you (or your DH!), I wasn't that impressed with the markets there. We much preferred the ones in Mongkok and Kowloon.

I did however love the drive out to Stanley. I would love to stay at Repulse Bay one day. Just beautiful!
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Old 06-09-2012, 09:16 AM   #1037
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do we get a picture of the jade?
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Old 06-09-2012, 04:34 PM   #1038
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmedina View Post
You had another busy day. I am in awe of how much you got done. The lady pushing the wheelchair makes me wonder if access was a problem there, which is why she was out of the chair. Otherwise, why didn't she stay in it? Your bargaining skills are quite impressive. You got the price down to almost a fourth and were disappointed that you did not get it down to a sixth. Remind me to go shopping with you. I have never negotiated a price in my life. I cannot wait to read about why the waffle picture on the smoothie machine.
I wondered the same thing when I saw her. Maybe she was pushing the wheelchair for someone else? Or maybe she lived in one of those buildings and had just gotten downstairs.


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Originally Posted by ehsmum View Post
Did you go to Stanley on Easter Sunday? (I've lost track of your days!) We went on a Sunday and it was ridiculously busy. I did wonder whether it would be quieter on a weekday. I agree with you (or your DH!), I wasn't that impressed with the markets there. We much preferred the ones in Mongkok and Kowloon.

I did however love the drive out to Stanley. I would love to stay at Repulse Bay one day. Just beautiful!
Yes, it was Easter Sunday. I thought it was busy around Stanley but not more so than any of the other markets we went to. The Ladies Market was the busiest of the lot!


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do we get a picture of the jade?
I'll have to see what I can do....
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Old 06-10-2012, 04:39 PM   #1039
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The Yee’s Have It – Central and MidLevel Escalators at Night



We’d spent the better part of 4 hours at Stanley when I got a call from our TA friend regarding dinner. At first I had been reluctant to go join the Party@∞ but the more I listened, the more I thought we would not be able to refuse to go along.

So, we headed back to the meeting spot and caught a 6X bus back to Central.


Those of you that followed the PTR will know that we got Hong Kong SIM cards sent to us by a comparative stranger – the nephew of our TA friend had mailed them out. He had been out of town for the last week or so and had only arrived back in HK today. And the first thing he had wanted to do was have dinner with us. DH and I figured we needed to go and sort out payment for the SIMs.


Nephew had arranged for us to meet at the ifc mall and we had decided that a little mall shopping was in order after Stanley.

For the shopaholics – I did get myself some tops from Zara at the mall on this night. The retail price in Hong Kong is about 25 – 30% cheaper than the price in Melbourne. I suspect that it may be about the same or a little bit more expensive than pricing in the US.

Nephew had chosen the spot for us to eat tonight….and that was the other reason why DH and I decided to go along. We were eating Japanese.

The location?





Kumatei Japanese restaurant is located in Wellington Street, at the corner of Cochrane Street.





Anyone else recognise where we are?





Yes, the Yee’s Have It! We’re right bang smack next to the Mid-Level Escalators; and right bang smack in the middle and on the edge of both Lan Kwai Fong and SoHo. I was to have the opportunity to eat in or close to the two areas known for restaurants and bars.









The restaurant is located on the 2nd Floor of the building. I don’t think I would have even noticed it or found it in any top 50 restaurant list for Hong Kong but Nephew seemed to like it. I suspect that the main draw card was because Kumatei was an all you can eat.





The interior of the restaurant was typical Japanese utilitarian.





We could see the chefs in the kitchen from the dining tables.





Our table was suitably dressed.





Whilst dinner tonight was an all you can eat, there were little pieces of paper or order forms on our table for us to order what we wanted to eat. I was sitting near the window and at least 4 persons away from the order forms.

So, I really had no say in what we ate at all.

But one thing did amuse us all….





I guess the restaurant was trying to minimize the amount of food wasted and whilst amusing, we all took the intent seriously.




(Continued in Next Post)
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Old 06-10-2012, 04:44 PM   #1040
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(Continued from Previous Post)


A little Japanese in Hong Kong



Tonight, we were changing out routine from being stuffed with too much Chinese food to being stuffed with too much Japanese.

The food? It didn’t take long for the kitchen to prepare the food.

I’d seen enough of the order forms to know that there was a different type of order form for the different groups of food. And whilst I’d like to try to group the pictures based on the groupings of the order form, I’m pretty sure that I’ll be grouping some of these incorrectly.

I think these were from the Starters form. We ordered multiples of everything.

Agadashi Tofu – it was delicately silky and the coating was crispy without being oily.





Harumaki – I didn’t care for this much. I thought they had skimped on the filling so I mostly only tasted the wrapper.





Chawanmushi – This was lovely. Nice consistency and the egg custard was perfectly steamed.





Tempura – beautifully done. We had multiples of this.









Gingko Beans – believe it or not, this was wonderful.





There were items from the Sushi and Sashimi form. Again, we ordered multiples.

Salmon and Tuna





I think this is Yellowtail with Salmon





More salmon and tuna, with uramaki sushi





More sushi!





Temaki sushi









All the sushi and sashimi were really fresh and well presented. We had no complaints.




(Continued in Next Post)
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Old 06-10-2012, 04:50 PM   #1041
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(Continued from Previous Post)


Rice and Noodles and the general miscellaneous form



We ordered the Japanese fried rice and it was tasty enough but I think we only got the initial order of 2 bowls.





Japanese Congee – just so wrong on so many levels for my taste buds. One serve of this was enough for the table.





Sukiyaki – delicious! I think we ended up getting 3 of these serves.





Stir Fry vegetables – DH ended up finishing this plate. One was enough.





Fish broth – wonderfully flavoursome. We had multiples of this.





Salmon broth – delightful with a fishy taste and smell. For the Aussies lurking who might have been watching the latest series of Australian Masterchef, you might remember that George Calombaris doubted whether a salmon broth would work or not. Salmon broth does figure in Japanese cuisine a bit.





From the Grill order form – we had multiples of everything!

Plate of mixed everything! The beef was overdone on the first plate. It was not too bad on subsequent plates.





Grilled Chicken. Crispy on the outside and tender inside.





Grilled Fish Cake. One of my favourites for the night.





Grilled eggplant, which was surprisingly good. We ordered two or three of this serve.





Yakizakana – We had three types. Grilled Ocean Trout or it could have been Salmon,





Mackerel,





And I’m not sure which fish this was!






The Dessert order form only contained ice cream.





Chocolate – do yourself a favour. Stay away.





Green tea





Red Bean





We couldn’t decide if the green tea or the red bean was nicer. They were both delicious.



With adults priced at HK$208 (about $28 in our money), this was not a cheap dinner for us. DS was classified as an adult – aside from the age limit, there is a minimum height guide inside the restaurant and he did not meet either criteria. Drinks were extra. I think we paid HK$220 per person all up, including drinks, for this meal.

There were a lot of good dishes in tonight's dinner. The fish was fresh and most dishes were done well. It isn't a stellar meal but it was good honest food and after all the Chinese banquets we had eaten, it was a refreshing change to have Japanese.

We didn’t waste a single thing and every crumb was eaten. Needless to say, we rolled ourselves out of the restaurant, thankful that there was a bit of walk to go back to Central station.



(Continued in Next Post)
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Old 06-10-2012, 04:55 PM   #1042
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(Continued from Previous Post)


More Yee’s Have It – Central Star Ferry and 1881 Heritage at Night



We were heading back to our hotel after the Japanese dinner. DH and I spent a bit of time walking with Nephew to thank him for the SIM cards and also to sort out payment. I had named that post “the kindness of strangers” and was to find out how true that was turning out to be! Nephew refused to accept money for the SIM cards. After debating the point a little bit, DH and I looked at each other and thanked him for the generous gesture. Afterall, Nephew does head to NZ a bit to visit his parents (we met his father, BiL, on the first dinner we had in Aberdeen) and he does swing by Australia on the way back to visit our TA friend. We figured we would wait for his next visit and reciprocate with a meal or something.


We chatted some more as we walked back. I had franandaj on my mind tonight and asked Nephew about disability or handicap access in Hong Kong. Turns out that the Hong Kong government had been taking steps towards improving “equal opportunity” since the late 1990’s and a lot of the buildings, public transport and tourist attractions were stepping up their efforts to welcome guests with disabilities. Nephew said that the issue for disability access was now more around the small streets and alleys in Hong Kong; which is pretty much hard to address given the steps and limited space for retrofitting ramps and the like. I also gathered from Nephew that the Hong Kong tourist bureau was trying hard to make sure that Hong Kong was working towards being a tourist destination for people with disabilities. Nephew finished the conversation by confirming that whilst major steps had been made, the improvements were inconsistent and there was still a lot of work to be done to bring Hong Kong up to the standards that would be acceptable for the disability group.


Sometime during this walk, we headed up on to one of the overhead walkways that the Central district is known for.

During our time out and about, I had noticed that there were scores of women sitting in packs around the place. My parents and our TA friend had told me that these were Filipino maids that gathered on their non-working day to socialise and catch up with their friends. We had particularly seen them around Central and the ifc mall; and despite being late, there were still a few of them out. I swiped this shot from DH’s collection.





I found them noisy and completely oblivious to anyone else around them. Nephew told me that there were over 100,000 Filipino maids working in Hong Kong. Most got one day a week off, normally Sunday, and the Central area was one of the few areas that tolerated their presence. Just imagine that space in the picture completely full of women on both sides, sitting on cardboard, chatting at the top of their voices….and that would describe the scenes we saw on Ching Ming day, Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday.


We kept walking past some rather familiar scenes and I took the opportunity for a little night shooting. Yes, some might think that I was a little fruity!





But then I might consider that I have lofty goals for improving my photo-taking skills.





Afterall, looks – and night lights – are everything!





Before too long, we got to the Central Star Ferry terminal.





Yup. Our second – or yee – time on the Star Ferry; this time at night.





The buildings on the Central and Wan Chai side of Hong Kong Island, as the ferry drew away.









Our view from the ferry, looking towards Tsim Sha Tsui with the Clock Tower and the Hong Kong Cultural Centre.





The ferry crossing never seems to take long but with waiting for the next ferry and the boarding and unboarding, it seems to take us about 25 minutes to get from the outside of one ferry building to the outside of the other.





I hadn’t yet shot this clock tower so I made the most of this opportunity.





The others in my party were keen to head back to the hotel so we kept walking along and passed the Hong Kong Cultural Centre.





We were heading towards the back of the Peninsula Hotel and needed to use the MTR underground walkway for part of this walk. DH liked this musician…I thought it just showed that Hong Kong city was just like any other city in the world.





This walk takes us past 1881 Heritage and it looked beautiful at night.





That display with angels filled up the entry courtyard area.





I was pretty glad to have taken these shots tonight. We were to pass by here in a couple of days and it had been removed and taken away.





I just think that the façade of 1881 Heritage is just so beautiful, particularly at night.





But I still can’t afford to shop here!









I’d pretty much pushed my luck and time had run out. We were close to our hotel shuttle pick up point as well as close to the time of the next service. I joined the others and within a very short period, we were back at the hotel and saying our goodnights.

By this stage, I was feeling the effects of the cold. And my cough had gotten worse; not better. Despite this, it had been interesting to finally get to some of the markets that Hong Kong is famous for. And I’d had a very enjoyable dinner and night.



But then....Tomorrow is another day!



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Old 06-10-2012, 06:14 PM   #1043
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I am glad you enjoyed your dinner. One cool thing about eating with large parties is how much food you get. It looks like you ordered everything on the menu. Other than the sushi (I will not even eat cooked fish), everything looked good. TA's nephew seems like a nice man. Hopefully, he drops by and allows you to treat him to dinner. I've heard people mention how loud Filipinos are, but a large group of my family puts my husband's to shame with noise. They cannot touch us! Now put our families together, and I will have some stories to tell. Let's see how lunch goes next Thursday.
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Old 06-10-2012, 08:57 PM   #1044
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Finally caught up...
Macau still doesn't inspire. It all just seems so....fake?
The "ruin" always make me chuckle because it literally is a facade. It's all rather bizarre. I've never seen a "ruin" quite like that...and while I haven't see it in person my mother has. And she thought the whole place was strange too...
The parts that are still in good condition are nowhere near as ornate as one would find in Europe...and I think ultimately for me...it's not Portuguese architecture that I appreciate most. It's the Italian and French and English.

But I'm ever so grateful for your photography of the places you visited despite being unwell.

As for the comment about going to HKDL rather than DLP first??? I guess it would make France look even better when you did get there. If you want to experience European Architecture....go to Europe....


Back in Hong Kong LOVING the photos and Danke for the Orchid photo
Given my arrival in Hong Kong prompted getting my forehead 'scanned' by what looked like a supermarket scanner for temperature I wouldn't have dared go near birds...but it was cool to look at

My favourite photo is this one. AWESOME shot....

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Old 06-11-2012, 04:04 AM   #1045
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I was going to say - we walked past 1881 Heritage several times and I never saw those angels, so glad you clarified that they disappeared before we arrived!

Did you see any weddings at 1881? We saw several wedding parties posing for photos there and it was really lovely .
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Old 06-11-2012, 03:11 PM   #1046
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The red bean ice cream, I have always wanted to try but I have never done it? So what does it really taste like?

The photos are gorgeous!!!
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Old 06-11-2012, 03:15 PM   #1047
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Other than vanilla bean, red bean ice cream is my favorite!!!
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Old 06-13-2012, 05:18 AM   #1048
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmedina View Post
Let's see how lunch goes next Thursday.
Hope your lunch goes well. Not long to go!


Quote:
Originally Posted by queenie82 View Post
I've never seen a "ruin" quite like that...and while I haven't see it in person
If you've never seen it in person, it completely explains why you've never seen a ruin quite like it.

It wasn't too different from some of the English Heritage Abbey facades I saw in England.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ehsmum View Post
I was going to say - we walked past 1881 Heritage several times and I never saw those angels, so glad you clarified that they disappeared before we arrived!

Did you see any weddings at 1881? We saw several wedding parties posing for photos there and it was really lovely .
Sadly, I don't remember seeing any weddings. We were there over Easter. I'm not sure that there were many weddings in progress.


Quote:
Originally Posted by dgbg100106 View Post
The red bean ice cream, I have always wanted to try but I have never done it? So what does it really taste like?

The photos are gorgeous!!!
Red bean ice cream is really lovely. I love the colour more than anything else and most of the red bean ice cream I've had is sweeter than strawberry. I think strawberry can add that bit of tartness to the icecream.

I'll be interested to find out what you think when you do try it.


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Originally Posted by kmedina View Post
Other than vanilla bean, red bean ice cream is my favorite!!!
Red bean is one of my favourites. My all time favourite still has to be mango ice cream.
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Old 06-14-2012, 04:14 AM   #1049
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Sometimes it is Easy being Green – Jade Market



Day 9 of this vacation and I was ignoring the cough and cold. Thankfully, shops only open around 10 am in Hong Kong so I did stay in bed for as late as possible.

The Angels were heading off for the Mainland today and we had said our goodbyes last night. I have still to catch up with them in Melbourne but hope to do so sooner rather than later. They had been great travel companions.


My mother and our TA friend had decided that they wanted to do a little shopping in Yau Ma Tei. Nephew had wanted to catch up with us again and was happy to meet us somewhere for lunch, he didn’t mind where. I was really glad that our TA friend had something in mind for today.


Our destination? Catch the Tsuen Wan line (red line) and get off at Yau Ma Tei station. Take exit C and walk down Nathan Road to Kansu Street. Take a right at Kansu Street and keep walking to the Jade Market. It will be at the corner of Kansu and Battery streets.





The Yau Ma Tei Jade Hawker Bazaar is an indoor market on two adjacent sites, Zones A and B, on either side of Battery Street. Combined, there are over 400 stalls in Zone A and B.





Jade is one of the most popular gemstones in Asia steeped with deep traditions and religious associations. Jade is considered the “imperial gem of both Heaven and Earth” and has always been empowered with magical properties, at least in the minds of the Chinese.
  • Chinese art, culture and history have links to jade stretching 9,000 years back into the ancient Chinese empire.
  • Taoist alchemist believed it to be the Philosopher's Stone, and drank elixirs of powdered jade.
  • Jade was also considered a guardian against illness and evil spirits, which is why even babies in China are given a tiny jade bangle to wear to ward off bad luck.
  • In the Han dynasty, emperors were buried in jade gowns and jade cicadas were placed on dead kings' tongues to prevent decomposition and safeguard chi or energy.

Culturally, jade stands for beauty, grace and purity. It is often referred to as a live stone due to its propensity to change colour. The most popular Jade colour is green and is usually mined in China, Myanmar, Russia and South America.

Many Chinese believe that if the stone likes the wearer, it will grow a deeper, darker shade of green. Many pieces of jade jewellery do change colour over time, and believers who wear it for protection and good luck attribute this to the absorption of bad qi that would otherwise have affected the wearer. Jade is also supposed to improve blood circulation and calm the mind.


There was a huge range of jade products at the market. I saw loads of jade jewellery….





…of all shades of green.





The figurines tempted me and I did buy a small souvenir trinket for my printer’s tray at home.





There were beads, rings, bangles, necklaces…all shades of green and then some!





…at prices that put the Stanley Market to shame!





I did see my Chinese horoscope animals here as well. Starting price was HK$12. I KNEW I should have stuck with $10 at the Stanley Market.



As with most markets, the shop keepers will try and ‘pushy’ sell their products, particularly when they realised that I was interested to buy a small trinket. Just be aware that there is a range of jade quality here…..from the lowest to the best. I don’t know my jadeite from my nephrite at all and a couple of the shop keepers did try to sell me jade based on these two sorts; and the classification/type. I figured I wasn’t in the market for a top notch jade piece so I was happy with only the tourist trinkets.

Aside from the jade, there are other types of items to be found at the jade market.





I found a number of stalls selling carvings made from an interesting looking nut!









I wish I had bought a piece home now. One of these would have been a great souvenir on my printer’s tray!









My mother and our TA friend had a specific stall in mind. They had been here previously. I don’t know how….but the shop keeper remembered them and the 3 of them seemed to be more like long lost friends than anything else.





Stall number 387 at the Jade Market sells pearls!





And other semi-precious stones.





Now that I come to think of it, I need to check with my mother on what she purchased here that day. She and our TA friend spent the better part of 30 minutes here and I think they bought stuff.





Do you see the suede leather ropes hanging in the front with the beads of pearls? I ended up getting about 6 or 7 of those strands…one in every colour of suede. They cost me about HK$60 each, about $8 or $9 in our money. You can wear them as long necklaces, short chokers and even as bangles. At the time, I thought they were really versatile and would make great presents for my nieces.




Since I’ve come home, I’ve had second thoughts. I’m keeping them.




NOTE: The Kowloon Tin Hau temple is right nearby. We didn’t go as we’d pretty much gotten our fill of Tin Hau temples by this stage.





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Old 06-14-2012, 04:18 AM   #1050
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(Continued from Previous Post)


Sometimes it’s NOT Easy being Green – Yau Ma Tei Wet Market



When we finished our shopping at the Jade Market, we headed on back down Kansu Street towards Nathan Road. There was a rather interesting building that I’d been keen to head into earlier but decided to go to the Jade Market first instead.





In the Asia of my childhood, I remember going to wet markets with my mother almost every other day. In those days, prior to preservatives, it was best to buy your meats, fish and vegetables fresh so that they wouldn’t spoil or go off in the humidity and heat. The wet markets of my childhood were busy, noisy and smelly places.

DH and I walked in (DS stayed outside with my dad) and the smell immediately transported me back to my childhood. But I was shocked at how quiet and dead this wet market was.





The wet market is where locals buy most of their food, especially produce and meat. Where were the locals? Few and far between!





I took a couple of shots of the produce.









And found the source of the part of the smell.





The seafood stalls had live tanks.





They also sold fish the way I expect to see fish sold in Melbourne wet markets....on ice.





Judging from the eyes, the fish sold here was very fresh.





The meat and poultry section was upstairs, but I declined to head up the stairs. The smell was already overpowering from downstairs and I didn’t need any further reminders of my youth.


I found that some of the stalls had live frogs. This was the only picture I took …..





Poor Bufo! It really isn’t easy being green. I only took one picture because as we were standing there, we heard T’Chop! T’Chop!

This woman had bought 3 frogs and the butcher literally chopped off their heads in front of us. I have seen such things in my childhood; but DH had not. He was rather shocked by it all and just wanted out of the market….quick. Hence why the one and only photograph.



Outside, around the side of the main building, we did see a bit more market activity.





We also found shops that sold dried stuff that the Chinese love to use in their cooking.





A number of dried food items are fish or seafood based. The smell can be very strong if you're walking close to these shops. But it is interesting to look at.










Our TA friend told me that wet markets were dying in Hong Kong. Most of the younger generation prefer to shop in supermarkets rather than head to a wet market. Such a shame – as they are an amazing experience to walk through and I will be sorry to see them die out. They add to the character of a place.



It really isn’t easy being a wet/green market in today's world!




(Continued in Next Post)
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Last edited by PrincessInOz; 06-14-2012 at 04:32 AM.
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