Welcome to my new home – Cozy Loft , Mong Kok

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I moved to the big city!

It’s been a good month since I’ve moved from Chai Wan to Mong Kok. Also, I have my hardest final tomorrow morning so pardon me if this is a horrible and quick post! I was not happy with my living situation in Chai Wan, I mean sure it was a nice hotel and everything was great… but it took me an hour to get anywhere decent. So, after two months I called it quits – went on airbnb and found a hostel to stay at temporarily before I was going to move to Yau Ma Tei. I found a studio for 5500 HKD = 708 USD (pricey) and was set on staying there. 

I went to go view the studio with Tom and it was horrible. The entrance looked like it had been riddled with bullets as there were bullet holes everywhere (okay, I’m exaggerating – but you get the gist). There wasn’t an elevator so we had to walk up 6 flights of stairs; the stairway looked disturbingly dirty and we finally approached my studio. It wasn’t what I expected to say the least; it was like a huge house that someone had decided to make small rooms out of. She opened the door and it was a small room as big as my bathroom back at home. I. AM. NOT. KIDDING. 

But still, I was happy to find a place that I could call my “own”. So, Tom and I thanked her and went to my hostel (studio wasn’t available yet). Turns out, my hostel is amazing. 

Cozy Loft

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Of course, it’s amazing. Not only is it right in the middle of Mong Kok (literally, I am right next to Ladies Market!) but it is so clean and super new. I liked it so much, I canceled on the studio and am now staying here UNTIL I LEAVE.   

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There are so many rooms! I am staying in the room with two bunkbeds.

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Sure, I don’t get my own room… but for the price I pay I don’t mind. Plus everyone is super nice and usually I get to room alone!

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Pros

  1. It is very safe.     When you reach the entrance of Cozy Loft, there is a security guard and an elevator (no need to take the stairs… thank goodness). After that, you’ll approach the door where there’s a keypad to press in the “Security code”. You’ll go through the “living room” and then to your room. To enter your room, you will need an electronic keycard. I love it!
  2. Everyone is super friendly. I mean Pearl (she has amazing reviews on AirnB and everyone loves her – including me), and the other people at the front who take care of the guests. Pearl is super friendly, I had trouble finding Cozy Loft so she called and directed us to the correct location. Also, Simon gave me his card so everytime I locked myself out he was able to help me. There were times where I was sleeping and they came in to clean… they were really sincere and apologized and waited until I left before they came in the room. Very polite of them! 
  3. Location. Mong Kok to me is like Time Square in New York! It is filled with everything and is close to everywhere! It only takes me 10 minutes to get to school… and funny thing is: I’ve been saving money on food because there are plenty of food places around. 
  4. Clean & comfortable. Yes, I have a bunkbed, but this bed is pretty big. I have no complaints! Also, it is cleaned everyday and all my friends have approved of Cozy Loft. 
  5. Not crowded. My favorite part – sometimes I have the room all to myself! I think most of the time I get to stay alone, which is awesome; maybe 4/7 days I have to myself and the weekends get pretty busy and I have roomates. But, my roomates are so nice and friendly! They always say hi to me and I make sure to make them feel welcome.

 

Price

I pay about a little cheaper than I would for the studio because I have a small discount for staying a month. The prices are available on AIRBNB ; I think 23 USD for the bottom bunk (please get that one… I hate going to the top bunk) and cheaper for the top bunk .

 

 

Wish me luck for my test! Will be back soon to update. I leave Hong Kong in a few days!!!

Taipei Zoo

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Welcome to the Taipei Zoo

We decided to go to the Zoo because it was seriously so cheap, only 60 NT = $2 USD. We got to ride the Cable Car on the way down, so that was fun. Actually, I’ve rarely gone on a cable car so I was very excited but a bit disappointed because we were only on there for about less than 15 minutes, but you can choose to prolong the journey by paying a bit more and taking it all the way down to the MTR station. I forgot the prices of the Cable Car, but I think it was around 50 NT ? 

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I was very sick throughout the day – I had a runny nose and a headache… so I didn’t enjoy it as much as I would have liked. 

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Hooray for the halloween tree? 

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Drinking at the highest bar in the world

Ozone – Ritz Carlton

118/F, The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong | 1 Austin Road West, Hong Kong, China (West Kowloon)

One of the items on Janes bucket list was to go to the highest bar in the world, so having only three weeks left… we decided to go on Wednesday. The Ritz Carlton’s Ozone bar is the highest bar in the world and is located on the 118th floor. The funny thing is, Jane and I didn’t know how to get to the Ritz Carlton so we took the AUSTIN MTR exit instead of the KOWLOON exit – by taking the Austin exit we had to walk about 20 minutes in heels…. so please, take the Kowloon exit. 

When we got to the Ritz Carlton, it was so stunning – we all kept exclaiming how nice and fancy it was. We followed a group of people who were looking for the bar and had to switch elevators twice before arriving at our destination. Outside seating was plentiful, but it was sprinkling so we decided to sit inside (missing the view). Sitting at the bar is free, but in order to sit down on the couch the minimum fee is = 2,000 HKD. So, we sat down at the bar instead but as it was too crowded we were only able to get two seats while two of my friends had to stand. 

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Dressed for the occasion! 

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Drink Prices - I was expecting the drinks to be more expensive but they were quite decent. My drink was 180 HKD = $23 USD. I don’t remember some of the menu prices but I saw some beers for about 90 HKD, and there were 10 shots for 1000 HKD. 

I ordered the Sweet Life (Tequila, Aperol, Passion Fruit, Lime Juice, Pineapple Juice, Bitters), while my friends had the Aria 118 (Orange Vodka, Sake, Coconut Rum, Passion Fruit, Lychee) & Blackberry Mojito (Rum, Blackberries, Lime, Mint, Sugar, Soda).

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Afterwards, we headed off to Wan Chai to grab some drinks. I thought the bar was great and would love to come back with Brandon but I wouldn’t go there regularly. I am glad we got to cross it off our bucket list though! 

Travel Diary – Taiwan Day 1

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{ First Day in Taiwan }

I love Taiwan! It reminds me of Vietnam, only more modern. I love the motorcycles mixed in with the cars – the cheap food and all the night markets. I actually prefer it over Hong Kong, but I do think the weather is a bit too humid for my taste.

Tomai took me to one of her favorite breakfast places near school. Our meal was only 2 dollars combined! I had the green onion pancakes, and she had the ham and cheese pancake. She had tea while I had orange juice. I loved my green onion pancake, it was so crispy and wasn’t dry at all! I was surprised to have it with egg, because I’ve had it at some korean restaurants but haven’t had the Taiwanese version before so that was a good touch.

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Getting Our Hair Shampooed.

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Usually in Vietnam, I always get my hair shampooed. It usually only costs about 2-3 USD dollars, and it lasts about 30 minutes or more because it comes with a facial and scalp massage. Since we had some time, we decided to get our hair shampooed. Tomai couldn’t find the previous place she got it done at so we did it at a new one.

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The shampooing process took about 20 minutes and cost us 200 NT = 6.50 USD. Sadly, we did not get a facial so I would recommend going to another place… Overall, it was an OK experience but could have been better. 

 

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—– Edit—–

I’m back in Hong Kong right now, preparing for Finals so I can head home! Sorry for the late updates and also for the lazy writing… hopefully I’ll be able to step it up a notch.

Happy Family Hostel – Taipei

Stay at the Happy Family Hostel 

After browsing around online, I found that most hostels in Taipei were booked such as Rainbow Hostel (recommended to me by Tomai). I went online and Happy Family Hostel was the first place that popped up. Upon looking through the prices, I found it was very affordable compared to other hostels. Other hostels are about 13-15 USD and it’s a shared dorm.

  • Dorm – NT$400
  • Single – NT$700
  • Double Room – NT$1000 (total price$ for 2 people) – $33 USD
  • Stay 1 week get 1 day free
  • Air Conditioning is available for most all rooms for a small extra charge
  • Air Conditioning is free in dorms

I have to admit, I am a horrible planner… don’t trust me for any trips. I just chose this place without looking at the location; I was just so happy to find a hostel that lists the price and have it show up on google search. I was a bit worried to find that they don’t have an online booking system… you just email the place. Don’t worry, I got a reply within a few hours!! 

The Room

This wasn’t my room (sorry, I don’t know why I didnt take photos of it???). But the room we had was HUGE. It was meant for three people originally, but we ended up staying there because there weren’t anymore rooms? Or John Lee, was very nice and gave it to us haha. For the price, it was def worth it. 

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The room we had had a bed that was probably queen/king sized and a smaller bed. You could see the smaller bed in the background, and we had two desks. I would have to say it was a bit bigger than my room in the States. Rachel and I were both very surprised. Everything was very clean and the AC was super cold, so we loved it. We also had quite a good view. A tip for those staying: there is a closet filled with extra blankets and towels that John should show you, I grabbed two blankets and about three towels. All of them were very clean.

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The Hostel

The whole place was very spacious, it was like a HUGE apartment complex with each room or lounge decorated differently. The bathrooms were quite large for a hostel and I loved exploring it. There is no elevator… so if you have a lot of bags you’ll have to struggle a bit. Overall, I was very happy. 

Plus!!!! This is a major place to stay at! It was literally next to one of the Largest MRT stations – the Taipei MAIN STATION. Did I also mention that it is right across the street from the bus station?  Basically, after you buy the bus ticket to take you to Taipei from the AIRPORT, you get dropped off right across the street from Happy Family Hostel! How great is that? My friend said I was so lucky to have chosen such a great place.

Wifi is very fast here, and there is always someone watching TV outside in the lounge area.

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Overall, Rachel and I enjoyed our stay and will recommend this hostel to others! 

Dinner : Street Food in Taipei

 

Taiwanese Street Food

In Hong Kong, I really haven’t had the chance to try street food but of course in Taipei, I had to at least have some octopus balls! Tomai took me to the night market and we were able to eat dinner there – while walking around and looking at clothes, among other things. Our first stop were the squid balls! 

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Only 40 NT for about 8 pieces – that translates to about $1.30 cents!! 

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It was quite good, but as you can see theres wasabi on it… it was hard not to eat one without wasabi.

Hong Kong Style Pancakes

I love love love brick toast with coconut butter spread on it , so when I saw it as one of the options for the filling I had to buy it. I forgot the price, but I’m sure it was less than 2 USD.

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Banh Mi Thit

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For 2 USD, it wasn’t bad but it was quite plain and needed more sauce. Also, we thought it would come with a little bit of each meat (as displayed) but it only came with one option (maybe since we didnt specify?)and that meat was the worst one.

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Cubed Beef

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I wasn’t able to try this… but doesn’t it look great? He cooks it right in front of you! The line was super long… so maybe I will have another chance to try it tomorrow.

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I’m in Taiwan!!

 

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Taiwan Travel Diary – First Night

I made it to Taiwan! This was def a spur of the moment decision and I couldn’t be happier. Rachel and I decided to go to Taiwan – I left on Wednesday and arrived at the Taipei Airport at 8ish, got on a bus and finally made it back to the Taipei Main Station! And of course who else picked me up other than Tomai? She visited me in Hong Kong, so I thought I’d return the favor!  Because I actually got to the station pretty late, we decided to look for food but everything was pretty much closed since it was almost midnight. We settled on this Italian place… which I had four hours ago in HK; but oh well. 

The trip to Taipei was only 233 USD from HK and the flight was only a hour and 30 minutes. For both of our meals we got a set meal for 380 NT = $12.50 !!!! Taiwan is so cheap compared to Hong Kong. Our meals came with: Soup & Bread , and a free coffee. I got the macaroni with spicy chicken and she got the mixed veggies with meat sauce. And of course, we took the pictures with the selfie stick!

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 All of this for just 12.50 USD!!!