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!!!

 

Wednesdays in Hong Kong : Ladies Night

Free drinks for Ladies?

In Hong Kong, there are typically two places that people go to grab a drink (well, at least students / foreigners) – Lan Kwai Fong (LKF) or Wan Chai. I drink with my boyfriend, but I wouldn’t say that I am the type to go out and drink at bars and clubs. But, as I’m studying abroad… why not? I wanted to step out of my comfort zone and I am lucky that on Wednesdays.. Ladies drink for free! Make sure you check to see if ladies drink for free as some places start later or simply don’t do it at all! 

Now, I’ve only gone to LKF about three times… the first time was for an international student clubbing thing where drinks were free, and the other times were just to grab some drinks at the bars nearby. On other typical days, drinks in LKF will range about 75 bucks for a screwdriver… so I wouldn’t recommend that.

Now Wan Chai is cheaper, has more bars/choices and has a younger crowd depending on where you go. Just make sure it’s a wednesday and you come at the right time.

Queen Victoria

 If you’re in Wan Chai for a drink and it’s not a wednesday (or you’re not a female). I recommend the Queen Victoria; the bartenders are friendly and the drinks are super cheap. I was able to get a smirnoff for 35 HKD during happy hour, 55 HKD full price.

Tip* I’ve heard their shepherds pie is amazing? Haven’t tried it yet… but maybe it’s something that I’ll try in the future!

My favorite places in Wan Chai

(All on Lockhart Road)

1. Typhoon 976948_543531129022431_436067363_o

Great music, small dancefloor (but at least you can dance), pretty nice place.  

I was recommended this place on Geoexpat and it did not disapppoint. Sadly, I’ve only gone once… but hope I’m able to go again. This is far down the strip but last time we went… the crowd was so huge that it came outside and we were able to meet friends outside also. There is a 7-11 right across the street so that makes it pretty awesome.

Funny Story: My friends and I stayed at this bar until 3 am (missing the MTR) and we decided to just stay in Wan Chai until the MTR opens… at 6 AM. Now, I’m not a partier… but I mean, it’s Hong Kong & I’m here to have fun and “study” abroad. So, we met up at 9 PM, danced and drank around until we realized we missed the MTR (closes at 1) so we either had to take a cab home… or stay. We decided to stay and ended up having breakfast at The Flying Pan (mentioned below). After we got done, we walked around and went to Mcdonalds to kill another hour. 

2. Mes Amis

photo credit: The creativebull.com

I went here with Jim when it wasn’t ladies night and spent 300 HKD. Worst Mistake ever. Thankfully, I went last week and it was super fun. The crowd here is YOUNG and I met people from all over the place (it’s always nice to meet people your age). It’s a bit hard to dance here (so it’s number two) but the place itself is very fancy looking and nice. The drinks here are not for the weak…. they don’t go easy on the vodka. My friends insisted I drink their drinks for them :) So, it may be too strong for some. It was like I asked for a cup of vodka and they put a small squirt of orange juice in it. 

Sober up at the “Flying Pan”

81-85 Lockhart Rd, Wan Chai, Hong Kong

Open 24 hours and right above all the bars. Be warned though, it is a bit hard to find…  I have the funniest story about how I got to learn about the Flying pan. My friends and I were at “Queen Victoria” when we met two guys there. One of them was a pilot and the other was just someone he met at the club; the pilot was about 50 and his newly made friend was about 35. I mentioned that my dad also works at an airline.” Luckily the silence wasn’t that awkward and he showed us a place that “only a few people know about.” That place was the Flying Pan! 

It’s OKAY, but perfect for sobering up or just for killing time while waiting for the MTR to open. The food is pricey, but it is pretty empty most of the time with a few tables filled up… but I’ve only gone at 3 am, or at 1 am so I don’t know how it is in the morning.

Burgeroom – Causeway Bay

Burgeroom

7 Caroline Hill Rd, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong+852 2890 9130

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It was Jim’s birthday, so when presented with two destinations: Sheung Wan or Causeway Bay. Since Causeway Bay is closer to Chai Wan, I chose it… also having the F21 to spend time in while waiting for them to arrive was great also. The original plan was just to walk around and see what kind of food there was, but after a while of walking around we decided to just openrice something western. We decided on grabbing Burgeroom after seeing it be one of the only options on the menu.

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The menu was pretty huge, and they had a wide variety of burgers: Jim got the “Pineapple Cheeseburger” while I got the “Bacon Avocado Cheeseburger”. My burger was 80 HKD, while his was 84 HKD. The fries we got were just regular thick cut fries for 20 HKD (a bit pricey IMO but oh well) and the drinks were about 17 HKD (also pricey). I would like to mention that there is a 7-11 next door so maybe they might let you bring in your own drinks?

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Overall, I can’t wait to come back. We had a hard time finishing our burgers and next time… I’ll try their lobster burger!! Also, you order at the counter so don’t be like me and wait about 15 minutes until someone finally had to tell me. The place itself is pretty tiny, but there was no wait even though we came on a weekend? But, you can tell it was popular since we saw a lot of people come in and out… maybe we were lucky?

Anyway, happy birthday to one of my first friends here, Jim! 

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Creepy Hong Kong Adventures : Getting hit on by a landlord

Just a normal day in my life… I guess

Let me start my story from the beginning. I’m house hunting – I need to move out of this hotel as it is an hour away and into somewhere closer to my uni and friends. Prices run around 800 USD (seriously so much) for a single ROOM. So, I was excited when I found a place in Sheung Wan for 5000 HKD which is 664 USD. The room seemed pretty perfect – it was huge, had windows and looked nice. 

I ended up contacting the landlord and he asked me to message him my whatsapp to talk to each other. This is fairly normal as it’s an easier way to contact someone and I do not have a Hong Kong number. The conversation started off normal enough, he told me that the room wasn’t available for my MOVE OUT DATE, so he wasn’t able to help me then.

Then, he asked me where I was from : which I stated I was vietnamese – american ; and he mentioned he was going to Vietnam and we should go together. I told my friends but they just brushed it off saying he was just trying to be polite… this was when things got weird.

Landlord (LL): You are very sweet and nice. Also, your eyes are so beautiful.

Me: Oh, thank you lol. If your place ends up being open please contact me.

LL: I am not talking to someone who is trying to rent my place, but a friend.

Me: lol.

So, after he wished me goodnight I just shrugged it off. He was nice, but a bit creepy in my opinion but my friends didn’t see him as a threat so I let it go.

LL: I was able to find you a room with my friend, but you would have to share a room with a male is that okay?

Me: No thank you.

LL: I will look for places for you, because that is what friends do. 

LL: I found a place for you, near Central. It is within walking distance to my work, so I can visit you often.

Me: Oh, can I have the address? And the name of the contact?

He ended up not giving me the address but arranging an appointment with the landlord to view it the next day.

Why did I go to see the place? Of course, I was not going to stay there because he would have known where I would live ; but he had already gone through the trouble of setting it up and I didn’t want him to lose face by not going through with the appointment. There was the other landlord involved now, so I asked a friend to go with me. My friend ended up getting terribly sick and was not able to go with me last minute… so luckily I had another friend who was in the area at the time.

Day of the Viewing

He was much younger than I thought he would be and polite. I didn’t get any creepy vibes from him at all and we had a good conversation. We ended up seeing the place, which was nice but a bit small and too far from the MTR. I thought this would be the end of our meetup until it came time to leave.

LL: Oh, did you have lunch yet? Let’s grab lunch together.

Me: Oh, sorry I already ate… I am actually meeting my friend. He is taking me to another agent (a lie I made on the spot).

LL: *looks visibly upset* But I thought we would at least get lunch together… tell your friend to wait an hour or so. 

Me: I can’t, he went out of his way to get me this appointment.

LL: I am worried if we don’t hang out today we won’t have a chance to hang out at all. 

I tried to ask him to take me to a station so my friend could meet with me, but he kept on putting it off and I was worried that I would not end up at a station at all. I tried to text my friend but I didn’t know where I was and LL kept on looking at my texts so I was getting more scared by the minute. Finally, after some silence from him and me asking multiple times which MTR we were going to – he finally said C and I texted my friend to quickly come get me.

We arrived at the MTR, and when he saw my friend he said goodbye and left. After that, I blocked him. 

MASK OF MAGNAMINTY – LUSH

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MASK OF MAGNAMINTY – LUSH

My first real LUSH purchase! Oh, I was so excited when I was in Langham Place and was able to finally visit a LUSH shop after having extra money. As you know, I’ve only been in Hong Kong for about a week now and my skin has been pretty horrible. I blamed it on the airplane trip, and all the food I ate while in America but there seems to be another culprit: my vitamins. More on that later.

I was able to buy this for 100 HKD and was given plenty of samples. I was given all those cleanses and moisturizer samples along with three cleansing bars. My friend, Rachel, who didn’t even buy anything got the same amount of samples but they were shampoo and conditioners.

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Mask of Magnaminty isn’t technically a daily ‘facial wash’; it’s actually a deep cleansing face and back mask. China clay and fresh peppermint reach deep down to pull the debris from your pores, giving you that delightful tingly-clean sensation. We add loads of aduki beans to exfoliate flaky or dry skin, vanilla absolute to calm redness and honey to soothe. Our inventors created Mask of Magnaminty to be the ‘ultimate face mask’, intense but not harsh or abrasive on the skin. We recommend using Mask of Magnaminty weekly to keep the skin in good condition.

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I don’t have a working fridge so I was very happy to find that I didn’t need to keep it in the fridge. Also, it lasts quite a while so I was more than happy to shell out 15 USD for it. I love the peppermint smell, and the beans do such a great job at exfoliating. Also, it’s not overly drying for my skin and really helps to calm it down. IMG_0647 IMG_0656

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I like to watch a youtube clip or read something before I take a shower and wash it off. 

Fairmont Newport Beach Hotel & Resort

Fairmont Hotel

 As some of you guys may know, Brandon loves surprising me by having a “getaway” at a hotel. I think this is one of my favorites so far, particulary because of one surprise! We went here yesterday after eating dinner at Sake 2 me. As a tip, use express deals from Priceline – we love it! You don’t see what hotel you get, but you can choose the area and see how many stars it is and the price, def. worth it. The hotel was about 90 dollars, and parking was a whopping $30. They park your car for you… so I guess that was nice, but it made me very uncomfortable.

Also, it is located in Newport Beach! The hotel offers a shuttle to : Fashion Island, Balboa Island, and South Coast Plaza. It is also near the airport :)

Hotel Lobby

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Inside our room 

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My favorite part were the bathrobes!!! 

We’ve stayed at other 4 star hotels before, but this was the first one to offer bathrobes. Since they only gave us one, we called the front desk and requested another.

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The bathrobe was super long on me…

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I head back to Hong Kong tomorrow and will arrive on Monday at 10 PM.

Will be sure to update my blog with clothing haul photos, and other posts. 

Gifts from Hong Kong

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Of course, you can’t come home not bearing gifts! I actually bought these very last minute because of the protests in Hong Kong. Mong Kok was deemed dangerous (by my friends) and I was advised to stay away… but I made a last minute trip to Mong Kok and was able to purchase these goodies. Not pictured: I bought 3 selfie sticks + 3 mini purses, along with 1 universal lens for my phone. 

The clutches were so cheap, 100 HKD for 6! That translates to around 13 USD. These were bought at the Ladies Market in Mong Kok.  The selfie sticks are sold at Ladies Market also… but do not buy them there! They were about 80 HKD at ladies market, but I bought them for 55 HKD = 7 USD at Sinwo (a huge plaza nearby). 

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The amazing Selfie Stick!

I should have bought this earlier. Everyone in Hong Kong has a selfie stick and I was late to the party. I love the long reach, how easy it is to use, and how lovely the APP is! The app totally makes everyone look better… let’s hope I don’t get addicted to it. Also, it fits every phone! The blue tooth remote is a nice touch also.

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I love how long the reach is! I didn’t pull up it all the way because it would not have fit in the picture.

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To angle your phone.

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Some examples of photos taken with the selfie stick

Using the selfie stick is def a learning process, you have to know how to angle it correctly. We didn’t use the APP for these pictures, sadly. 

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