Monday, September 30, 2013

Preview: Inner Mongolia

It's been 2.5 months since I am back from my trip and I am still processing my pictures.  I am still stitching the panoramas for the most part... I normally don't spent this much time post-processing my pictures but Inner Mongolia is too beautiful and I want to make my pictures look as close to what I saw when I was there...  (and I have iPhoto problems again...)

Here's a preview of some of the pictures I took from the trip.  All of them on this post are panoramas as it's the best way to show the beauty of Inner Mongolia and its vast landscape!  Hopefully I will be able to get to my blog posts on the trip soon!!!

Beautiful canola fields in Inner Mongolia
who would have guessed!
I know I wasn't expecting this!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Qianmen Street (前門大街)

I wasn't familiar with Qianmen but it was a place my mom wanted to go.  As soon as I arrived at the station, I remembered.  "I've been here", I said.  "Yes, you were", my mom answered.  It has been 20 years since I was last in Beijing and I still remembered... amazing!

Qianmen Station @ 2013

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Lama Temple (雍和宮)

To be honest, Lama Temple was not in my original itinerary.  Yet, since it was on the same subway line as the Temple of Heaven, we decide to make a stop.  After all, as a true fan of the Chinese television series "Scarlet Heart" (步步惊心), I cannot skip a chance to visit the resident of Emperor Yongzheng when he was still Prince.  By the way, I can't wait to watch the sequel - "Scarlet Heart 2" (步步惊情)!


Friday, September 13, 2013


家家寶 is a relatively unknown Thai restaurant in my neighborhood.  It's been around for a while but it's my first time visiting.  (My friends suggested this place for a dinner gathering recently...)  Most Thai restaurant offers a similar menu so I wasn't expecting much until I tried their deep fried water spinach (炸通菜)!!!  This restaurant immediately entered my "keeper" list...

醃炸通菜Thai Style Deep Fried Water Spinach

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Australian Dairy Company (澳洲牛奶公司) and Nam Ping (南屏雅敍)

Australian Dairy Company (澳洲牛奶公司) is another restaurant that has been on my radar for quite some time.  It's like Hong Kong's version of Nam Ping (南屏雅敍), which is one of my favorite cafes (茶餐廳) in Macau.  I finally had the opportunity to try their delicious set meal (常餐).  The eggs were so smooth and creamy and the milk is rich!  (In other words, it was delicious!!!)

The regular set comes with a glass of hot milk,
2 scrambled eggs / sunny side up and 2 slices of toast

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Cafe Deadend

Sunday brunch is almost a must every time I visit my friends in Hong Kong.  This time, our choice was between Azure and Cafe Deadend.  In the end, we picked "deadend".  hehe~


Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Boqueria is a transplant from NYC and I have wanted to try this place for quite some time now.  Finally, my friend and I went during this year's restaurant week.  


Monday, September 9, 2013

Shing Lung Hong (成隆行 蟹王府)

It's almost that time of the year!!!  Time for mooncakes and hairy crabs!!!  Hairy crabs are native of Yangcheng Lake and considered an autumn delicacy in Shanghai cuisine.  The best time to enjoy this crab is between the ninth (female) and tenth (male) lunar calendar month.  Due to over-fishing and pollution, the yield of this delicate crab has been declining steadily.  Most crabs sold these days are no longer from the Yangcheng Lake.  On the other hand, these crabs were spotted all the way in Germany when they are considered an invasive species there!  (Just send a few Chinese hairy crab tasting tours and we will take care of the problem.)


Friday, September 6, 2013

Temple of Heaven (天壇)

I don't know why I am so fascinated by this place.  Perhaps because it's used to be so restricted that only the Imperial family and his highest ranking officials can walk the grounds of this temple?  As the name suggests, this is the place where the Emperor worships the gods for good harvests in the ancient days.

Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests (祈年殿)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Donglaishun (東來順 北京大柵欄店)

Donglaishun (東來順), another century old brand from Beijing, is famous for its lamb hot pot.  Just like other century old brands, the story of their beginning is humble and inspirational.  (Click here for their story, Chinese only.)  However, it is always harder to keep a successful enterprise running and Donglaishun is no exception.  Fortunately for them, they were the better ones among the lot...  Please keep up the good work!

A bronze statue of the founder

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Tianjin Goubuli Baozi (天津狗不理包子 王府井總店)

Tianjin Goubuli Baozi (Go Believe) earned its fame from the Empress Dowager Cixi from the Qing Dynasty.  Maybe the buns were exceptional in her era but the buns nowadays have a disappointing reputation.  Everyone who went there returned with a frown on their face.  I wonder what "Dogy" (the creator of the original buns) would say is he ate these buns... 

The famous buns from Tianjing.  The shop opens early and closes late.  The Empress Dowager Cixi endorsed it too.  I think she needs better chefs... 不吃後悔,吃了更後悔。

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Fly by Knight Courtyard Hostel (夜奔北京 四合院客棧)

I have always wanted to stay at a traditional courtyard residence - siheyuan (四合院) - when I go to Beijing.  I finally have my wish fulfilled in my recent trip to Beijing!


Hometown Glory

Note:  Consider yourself warned.  This is a rant.  It originated from my 1 hour commute this morning.

If you ask people about Macau 10 years ago and now, you will get very different answers.

10 years ago, people will tell you Macau is a very laid back town.  A town where you will want to retire in.  People maybe loud but they are friendly and have their hearts in the right place.  Now, people will tell you "Oh! The Las Vegas of Asia."  Gambling was, is, and will always be the bread and butter industry but it has blown out of proportion in the past 10 years, after the government increased the gambling license from one to three.

Senado in 1985
Senado now

Monday, September 2, 2013

Hilton Beijing Wangfujing

Location, location, location!  The Hilton Beijing Wangfujing is located in the heart of Beijing and is extremely convenient if you want to stay close to popular tourist destinations such as the Forbidden Palace, Tienanmen, Wangfujing, Jingshan Park and more.

Thank you WM.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

36 Hours in Beijing

If you only have 1.5 days in Beijing, where would you go?  What would you do?  It was a tough choice since Beijing has so much to offer.  I have been to Beijing many years ago (when the sky is still blue) but the memory has faded.  I am so glad I get to visit this cultural city again after so many years~

There is blue sky still in Beijing
but you will have to see it on a plane.


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