Hello Hong Kong! Star Street Precinct, Monocle Shop, King-Tak Hong Porcelain Co., Wanchai (星街小區)

Information: Star Street Precinct, MTR Admiralty Station Exit F, follow the subway signs to the Three Pacific Place Link, which leads directly to the Star Street Precinct.

After my professional development workshop,I had just a little bit of time in Hong Kong for a short holiday.  Unlike previous visits, where I had detailed lists of places to go, sites to see, and desserts to try, this time, I decided to take it easy, and just schedule a short trip to see the “Star Street” area in Wanchai. Hong Kong Electric’s power plant used to be located nearby, but now it is home to a selection of eclectic shops, chic restaurants, and the Monocle shop.

The Star Street precinct is easily accessible by MTR.  Take the blue line and get off at Admiralty Station, and find Exit F.

It’s a pleasant walk in the Three Pacific Link. ( PS- If you need to stock up on snacks, the Admiralty MTR stop has a Marks and Spencer’s shop, a 7-11 convenience store and a Pret a Manger.  It’s definitely one of the better equipped MTR stations)

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Hello Hong Kong! Tap Mun (Grass Island) New Territories, Hong Kong 香港塔門一日遊

As I mentioned last week, I was in Hong Kong during the first part of August for some professional development workshops.  At the end of the workshop, the coordinators arranged for us to take a field trip out to Tap Mun (also known as Grass Island). Tap Mun (塔門) is located in the northeastern part of Hong Kong territory.  It’s an island that is 1.69 km in size, and consists of gentle rolling hills and grasslands.  The island is only accessible by ferry, and the workshop organizers were kind enough to charter one for our large group (of around 100 people or so).

We arrived at Tap Mun and one of our first sights was of the port, and some small fishing boats.

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Hello Hong Kong! I See, i See (Handcrafted Icy Desserts)

One of  nights during our trip, we were wandering around the streets of Causeway Bay, when I realized that everyone passing by me in the streets had a delicious looking popsicle in their hand.  We followed the crowd, and happened upon this adorable shop called “I see, i See,” which sells handcrafted popsicles!

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The interior is airy and bright, and you can see the menu right when you walk into the shop. There are basic flavors, and also special seasonal flavors, which are written in chalk.

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Hello Hong Kong! What to do besides shop! (Visit Hong Kong Central Library, Journalize, Swindon Books, University of Hong Kong)

Earlier this spring, I was able to discover a whole new side of Hong Kong.  We stayed in a regular neighborhood in Causeway Bay, that was away from all the typical touristy spots.

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I had the chance to eat at everyday restaurants, such as this one that served piping hot congee and Chinese fried donuts, and this dessert place that had delicious mango and sago pudding.

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Hello Hong Kong! My Travel Tips

I always want to know two things before taking a trip: what do I need to pack?” and “what should I wear?” In this post, I thought I would share with you some personal travel tips I’ve picked up during my trips to Hong Kong these past 2 years.  I’ll make some quick comments on what to wear, what to bring with you when you’re out and about, and about where to stay.

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Hello Hong Kong! My Favorite Foods

During one particularly tedious day at work, a message popped up on my phone saying “Hong Kong, this weekend, yes or no?”   After glancing at the teetering stack of papers on my desk, my first impulse was to say no.  Just then, my office phone rang, and in the process of picking it up, I (accidentally) knocked the entire stack onto the floor.  Right then and there, I took that to be a sign from the universe, and messaged back “YES!”  So that’s how this spontaneous trip to Hong Kong came to be.

It’s not really in my personality to take spur of the moment trips. During my previous trips, I would always make meticulous plans about what to do.  This time, I just went with the flow, and was pleasantly surprised at how most of the trip unfolded.  For this trip, I’ll do a quick series of posts on my favorite eats, and some travel tips I’ve picked up along the way, and what to do if you don’t feel like shopping.

I realized that whenever I go to Hong Kong, I tend to eat a lot of the same things, because I love them, and because they don’t taste the same anywhere else. I’ve included my top 4 food items, and number 5 as a bonus tip.

Number 1: Hong Kong Style Milk Tea 

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Hello Hong Kong! LOG-ON, Midori Traveler’s Notebook Hong Kong Tramways Edition and Simply Life

Information: Simply Life  Shop A,C&D, G/F, 13-15 Cleveland Street, Fashion Walk, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong |銅鑼灣Fashion Walk加寧街13-15號地下A,C&D舖 | Log-On Fashion Walk, Level 1 Causeway Bay, Hong Kong.

When I was in Hong Kong, I made time to visit the Log-On Store to see the「Traveler’s notebook and Hong Kong Tramways」special edition. The Log-On store that carries this line is located in the Fashion Walk shopping complex, in Causeway Bay. (I went to the other Log On Store in Kowloon Tong, and they did not have them there)

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In case you are wondering, Log-On is a branch of City Super, which is a chain of grocery stores that sells a combination of local and imported products. I think the City Super chain originated in Hong Kong, and now there are several branches in Taiwan too.  In Hong Kong, Log-On houses all the lifestyle, homeware and stationery products and is in a completely separate section from the groceries. In Taipei, there is some stationery in the City Super Stores, but the layout is not very user friendly. It’s sort of squished in the same section as the sweets and personal care products.  While it’s convenient enough to do some impulse shopping, while you are popping in to buy milk or something, I think it would be better to have  a separate section just for stationery and lifestyle products.

Back to the Log-On store in Fashion Walk, which was really very pleasant to shop in. The layout of the store is clear, and there is plenty of space for you to browse. Naturally, the first thing to catch my eye was the washi tape display.

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The Traveler’s notebook and Hong Kong Tramways special edition display is located a little further into the store.

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I seriously wish it was my job to design these bulletin boards. Love everything on this board, and the way it was laid out. So many fun details.

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Hello Hong Kong! Up in the Air for Breakfast at Cafe Grey Deluxe

Information: Cafe Grey Deluxe| Address: Level 49, The Upper House, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Hong Kong | Phone: +852-3968-1106| Email: info@cafegreyhk.com

A few weeks ago, I was lucky to have a short holiday in Hong Kong.  Unlike my previous trip, where I had planned every detail down to the last microsecond, this time I was much more relaxed (ok, to be completely honest, aside from booking the hotel in advance, I was basically doing research for the trip on my way to the airport).  But since the main point of the trip was for relaxation, I kept reminding myself not to get too worked up about anything and to just go with the flow.  You might be wondering, why choose Hong Kong for a relaxing experience?  Wouldn’t a more serene location be a more obvious choice?  There is method to my madness. One reason that I chose Hong Kong was that it’s incredibly convenient. It’s only about an hour and a half away by plane, and public transportation is incredibly convenient once you are on the ground. Those two factors are ingredients for a relaxing vacation already.  And you can find little pockets of serenity in Hong Kong too! Last time, my little slice of peace and tranquility was while wandering around Lugard Road.  This time, it was breakfast on the 49th floor of the Upper House, at Cafe Grey Deluxe.

I arrived quite early in the morning, and the entire place was empty, save for a few business meetings here and there.  I felt a even stronger sense of being “in holiday mode” when I overheard some of the wheeling and dealing going on in those meetings!

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