Thursday, January 28, 2010

Hoopla @ HongKong

Hongkong, Live It, Love It.

One year of our wedding and along with it 2009 - roller coaster year was  wrapped up with a vacation to this beautiful island of Hong Kong. The entire place was beautifully decorated with lights, flowers, Christmas Trees and what not! The pleasant climate added to the  pleasure. 

Own the Octopus. It spreads its tentacles to let you in the trains(MTR), buses, trams and ferry. Pull the dollars in your pocket while in a taxi. :). Octopus is a pre paid card used to make payment for all modes of public transport in Hong Kong.

The vast rail network  connects the islands and major places.The bus, tram and taxi service will help you move along further to reach your destinations. The ferry however is mostly between  the Kowloon Peninsula and Hong kong Mainland. The other major island being Lantau. 

Before we left Singapore, we(Harish) googled to narrow down on a few destinations, charted out an itinerary, booked the tickets and the rooms for stay.

After a  hassle free 4 hour travel we reached the Hong Kong International airport, one of the biggest and busiest on the Lantau Island.
Our first stop was the Disneyland

Disneyland has every possible space interspersed with Mickey. Its Mickey Everywhere.Be it chairs, the arm rest of the chairs, tables or towels. 

Micky is in the air at Disneyland Resort.  A  Mickey dancing on a water fountain welcomed us.At midday, a parade comes along, where all the Disney characters come to life, dance along during the parade. Beautiful music and an artificial snowfall adds to the magic.A day full of  lovely attractions closes with the grand display of  fireworks. And in between all these, we get to see more of the Disney cartoons in life moving freely, cheering our moods and spirits.

The worlds tallest outdoor seated bronze Buddha, is to be reached by an awe-inspiring 25 minute cable car ride the Ngong Ping 360 cable car. Panoramic views of the island, the airport and the trekking path during the journey was a refreshing sight while moving from Tung Chung Town Centre to the Tian Tan Buddha Statue. The Giant Buddha gazes serenly on the Po Lin Monastery  close by, which offers a tasty Chinese style vegetarian meal at a very reasonable price.

While the northern side of Hong Kong Island has the shopping, entertainment and commercial districts, the southern side has a collection of beaches, cafes and markets. Repulse Bay, Deep Water Bay, Stanley Market and Ocean Park are few of the attractions. Ocean Park which has a three storey aquarium(underwater world) is by far the biggest in the world. Panda habitat and the jelly fish spectacular are the other two places one must visit. A lot of fun rides and games cheers up the spirit of the visitors.For the foodies, there are restaurants serving you delicious dishes.

Spot the Panda below!

The Peak Tram is a major attraction and The Peak offers one of the best night views in the night, the amazing view of the Hong Kong skyline brightened up with the lights. 
Madamme Tussads wax museum is the other attraction for visitors to the Peak.

Kowloon area, is famous for its shopping, eating and cultural attractions highly comparable to the Hong Kong Island Indian restaurants, Bombay Dreams and Gaylord restaurant. The food is tasty and reasonably priced, but the expensive real estate makes the place look a little overpacked. 
Hong Kong also has the world's largest rail and road suspension bridge- Tsing Ma Suspension bridge.
Below is an apartment building in front of Repulse Bay constructed in the form of a wave, with anaperture, probably with respect to some reference of feng shui.

Major brands have set up shops there making it a shoppers paradise. A Hong Kong night starts with Symphony of lights. A sound and light laser show explained well at the link provided.

The Hong Kong Experiece. Live It. Love It. Relish it.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Bitter gourd Salad

As time passes by, I realise, I do not have varying seasons here. 
I cant talk of fall and spring and autumn like my friends in US. I cant think of wearing different clothes for winter and summer. 
Moreover I cannot write here, that it was bright and sunny last month, and snowy and cold now. I cannot take pictures to show of my stylish sweaters and jackets, tall boots and long coats.
But who said, it is the same always. We are also blessed with sun, rain and no show snow!
I looove the idea of playing in snow and I am jealous, when my friends mail me the pictures of the snowfall in their respective countries.

Since I have limited seasons I cook snacks for the rain and the shine.
Rain would let you have crunchy food, while what with shine?

The amateur cook is exploring various taste-bud-tickling dishes in this wonderful journey of culinary experience.
The dishes described here are learnt by me from my mom, mom-in-law, family and friends. Some of them happen to be accidents at work. The recipe would at times change its course, as per our instincts to suit our palate.

Below is MIL's  Bitter gourd Salad Snack for your taste buds when the sun is bright, son's favourite.

Clean bitter gourd.
Slice the bitter gourd as thin as possible.
Have oil ready to fry in a pan.
Deep fry the slices.

Cut onions and tomato, green chilli as required. Put salt. 

Mix the fried bitter gourd, onion, tomato, chilli and salt.

Simple and Quick.That's for the hot and bright evening.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Rejoice with ROYCE

Introducing the Rolls-Royce of Chocolates!!!

Forget love-- I'd rather fall in chocolate-- I wouldn't mind drowning either!!!

Am I in love in chocolates? No, not until I ate the heavily dusted with cocoa powder, smooth to touch and tongue,NAMA chocolate from ROYCE, Hokkaido, Japanese chocolatier.

An epitome of chocolate-ness.

If chocolates, then this is the one. The best of the rest. It is so creamy and soft in your mouth and it melts and slides down your throat. Its all over in a minute and you wouldnt even know. It is as if a dream, you pine for more.

Just right in the sweetness, subtle in the mouth, yet bountiful is the bliss.

My friend ate an icecream " Devil's Delight" and said " You can die after eating it"

I would say " You can die after eating this chocolate" . Its just too relishious.

The chocolate comes in a packaging of 5 layers apart from  a small packet of cooling gel, to ensure it stays strong until it makes way to your mouth, through a tiny plastic fork.

Thank you so much Kanika and Abhijeet for the delicious dinner and delectable chocolate!

Saturday, January 2, 2010


I was in the MRT.  The car was almost empty. I stood on one side of the door. My eyes were browsing through the whole of the car for a seat to sit. Suddenly I see a lady holding a pram, tears rolling down her eyes. I suppose she was a maid, since there was a family sitting with an year old baby diagonally opposite to her. There were a lot of people around the kid, and were clicking pictures and playing with the kid. She finally got out along with them at the next station.

I went through a tremendous amount of discomfort. Neither do I know the reason behind her tears, nor would I be able to do anything for her, to assuage her.

I was always at discomfort to see, tears in the eyes of the maids. Probably, the reason was their master. Maybe she was hurt.

Don't they have the right to work (here work is to take care of their precious children throughout, until they actually grow; almost being a mother) in  a harmonious environment. How can people who employ maids to take care of their kids let them cry and not even bother.

It pains, to see women , who have given up their home to settle some other homes  treated with pain. Money /Wages do not make everything. I am completely clueless if there were any reasons or were repurcussions. She might have been wrong, or it might have been the employer's mistake.

Someone, deserted, in a foreign land, with tears rolling down their cheeks, whimpering helplessly, silently - An agonizing sight!