Archive for the 'Hong Kong' Category

Cool things of 2010 – No. 15, 16, 17, 18, & 19

I couldn’t do a proper “Cool things” listing without including the awesome countries we visited in 2010 (sorry Japan…you don’t make the cut since it was 2009).

#15.  Thailand!

We spent about one week exploring the crazy, chaotic, and awesomeness that is Thaliand.  From Bangkok to Ko Phi Phi to Railay.  It was fun adventures and absolutely fantastic feasting!  Recap here. 

#16. Australia mate!

Two weeks in the land down undah.  This trip was a mixed bag.  We both got violently (and that’s putting it nicely) ill at the start of the trip.  And everything was ridiculously expensive.  But we ended with an amazing stay on Moreton Island where we fed dolphins and lounged on the beautiful beaches.  Recap here. 

#17. Hong Kong!

So…this is where I have to admit to a breakdown in my otherwise fairly good blogging efforts.  Yeah…never blogged about our summer vacationSad smile  And it’s now been so long ago, that I can’t really muster up the energy to do it. But maybe I will…maybe.

We picked out our dinner for the night. 

But…just know that Hong Kong was amazing!  When we got there, it was ridiculously hot – but also a place where we could envision living (should we decide to go abroad again).  It became one of our top places we visited…that is, until….well, you’ll see soon. 

We traveled the world’s longest outdoor covered escalator system.

Saw the famous light show.

durian in hong kong

And ate some durian desserts (the stinky fruit)

#18. The Philippines!

Again…no recap of this 2nd leg of our summer vacation.  Bad Lisa, bad Lisa!  But the Philippines…well, it was love and hate.

Love: The outer islands…we stayed on the island of Bohol.  Keep in mind, the summer there is the low tourist season as it’s also the rainy season.  We chose this island because it was more insulated from adverse weather conditions.

We stayed on this little part of the island called Panglao in a really nice (and super cheap) resort – The La Pernela Beachfront Resort.  It was so surreal – not only was the landscape so beautiful, but the resort was COMPLETELY empty.  Micah and I had the entire place to ourselves. 

Our resort…just for the two of us.

Got to do a lot of lounging and reading at this pool…and got some SERIOUS sun.  Tan lines that even months later I’m still trying to get rid of.

Delicious home cooked meals and fresh-blended drinks every day on our outdoor patio.

And the beautiful beach and water right at our footsteps.

We stayed for three days on the island and took an all-day island excursion…which was just ‘eh.’ 

The highlight of our excursion was seeing these little guys…tarsiers. 

CUTE!!!! And teeny tiny.

Hate: The capital, Manila.  Gross, dirty, dangerous.  We stayed only one day here, and that was quite enough.  Keep in mind…we aren’t looking for 4 star experiences…some of that dirt and grime is part of it all.  But literally, there’s nothing to do in Manila except shop.   And even shopping, you have to go through the security points at each door to make sure you don’t have bombs or guns.  It was hard to figure our way around using mass transit and after a few hours of walking the streets – we were covered in grease and grime. 

Chinatown.  The craziest, dirtiest one we’ve been too.  (Yes, I have a fascination with visiting Chinatown wherever we go)

I did score a great deal on some Haviana flip flops…about $1 US.

Hey…wait a minute.  There’s no Nordstrom in the Philippines!

We walked and walked and walked…so we could see the famous Manila Bay. 

Where there was of course, lots of clamming and fishing going on.

Oh…but wait.  That’s the area where they are clamming and fishing.  Nice.

We rode one of these to…pretty much the biggest tourist attraction of the city.

The SM Mall of Asia.  Oh…please leave your bombs at the door.

We met up with some familiar friends.

And saw some interesting items in the grocery store.

And waited in this ridiculous line at the airport.  This was to even get INTO the building.  And when we finally got in…we were apparently dropped off at the WRONG TERMINAL!  Back to the taxi.

The line at the correct terminal.  Ah…couldn’t wait to get outta there!

#19. Finally…our last stop…Singapore!

(Sorry for this long blog post…I guess it’s turning into a sort of mini-recap of our summer trip)

This was our FAVORITE country (officially a Republic and not a country), we visited…of all the places we have ever traveled

Hello Singapore!  The official mascots of the Youth Olympics being held at the time.

A few reasons why we love this place:

  • Friends: Our friends from back in Seattle were living in Singapore when we visited.  It was perfect.  We got to see them, stay with them, and get personal guided tours by them.  Easiest foreign traveling we’ve experienced.

Jodie and Kai.  Our amazing tour guides and hosts.

  • Clean: Having just come from the super filthy Manila, it was so refreshing to be in this super clean place.  Yes, the government may play a role in this – but it was sure nice.

Watch what you do…the govt is watching you.  Actually, we never once felt intimidated or fearful of doing something bad.  P.S. Durian fruit really is stinky.

  • English: Most Singaporeans speak English (as well as Mandarin, Malay, and Tamil).  Yay…we could easily get around and understand people.  Granted, sometimes the language barrier can make for a fun traveling experience…but keep in mind, this was the last leg of our two week trip.  Easy peasy was fine with us. Smile

So…it’s Singlish…but you get the point. Smile

  • Culture: Singapore is such a MASSIVE melting pot of so many cultures and countries.  They have the cleanest Chinatown I’ve ever seen, plus an Indian neighborhood, Malaysian, Indonesian, Thai, etc. etc. 

  • Attractions: Tons of things to do here.  And it goes way beyond just shopping (although they have endless malls and stores).  Lots of parks, museums, architecture, tours, and we had the added benefit of being there during the inaugural World Youth Olympics (Olympics for kids).

One of the shows at the Night Safari – they picked Micah out of the crowd and he joined the guys for some flame throwing.  So funny to watch.  Micah totally got into it.

One of THE BEST museums EVER.  The Singapore National Museum…a MUST for anyone going there. We could have stayed for hours and hours and hours.

Time to get our Chinese massage on.  OUCH!  Hurt like hell.

  • Food: This is by far one of the best things about Singapore.  The food is freaking incredible here.  Tons of choices.  And tons of new types of food – flavors and dishes I’d never seen or heard of – and tasted incredible.  Plus, the food was SOOOOOO cheap (as long as you eat at the super cool hawker stalls).  It was mind-boggling how much food you could get for just $3 or $4 US. 

One of hundreds of hawker stalls (aka big outdoor covered food courts) in Singapore.  The ONLY way to go.

Stingray.  SOOOO good.

One of Singapore’s most famous dishes: chicken and rice.  Looks bland as hell, but it’s one of the MOST delicious things I’ve ever eaten. 

These dumplings…also one of the most delicious things I’ve ever eaten.  Trust me!

Fried stinky tofu…one of the WORST things I’ve ever eaten…but a Chinese favorite.

Chili crab…uh-mazing!!!!!!!!!!

If you think all we did was eat…well, that’s true.  But eating is such a HUGE part of this culture, so what better way to experience the real Singapore? Smile  I could go on and on about our love for Singapore.  I’d definitely go back…and I’d definitely consider living there too, although real estate is ridiculously-priced.

Oh yeah, I turned 30 there too!  And to help me celebrate, this magician showed off his semi-decent skills.

Where in the world…

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