Tag Archives: Guides

5 Hidden Cafes in Hong Kong with Great Coffee!

Common Ground

common ground

 

common grounds coffee

Tucked away amidst the busy roads of Shing Wong Street, this rustic cafe is a quiet spot to chill out while escaping the hustle and bustle outside. Once you’re at Shing Wong Street, find the stairway that runs from Caine Road to Hollywood Road and you’ll be able to spot this hidden gem.

Read more on Common Ground here >>

 

Mansons Lot

mansons lot

mansons lot coffee

Named after Sir Mansons, the first to import cattle to Hong Kong to provide fresh milk whom he felt was key to a good cup of coffee, you can expect fresh and delicious coffee concoctions at Mansons Lot. If you’re in Wan Chai, keep an eye out for this unassuming coffee shop along Swatow Street and hop in for a drink.

Read more on Mansons Lot here >>

 

Opendoor Cafe + Courtyard

opendoor

 

opendoor coffee

Next to a high-capacity traffic route opposite Sun Yet Sen Memorial Park, you’ll discover this peaceful haven of a cafe where you can escape the busy roads. Plus, they have a book sharing concept where you can donate or borrow books while you’re there. What better way to spend a lazy afternoon than with a book and a cup of coffee, right?

Read more on Opendoor Cafe + Courtyard here >>

 

The Cupping Room

the cupping room

 

cupping room coffee

When there’s a two-time Hong Kong Barista Championship winner at the helm, you can be sure the coffee at this cafe will be exceptional, from their house blends to single origin espressos. The cosy wooden setting makes this a great spot to relax and hang out with friends as well.

Read more on The Cupping Room here >>

 

Amical

amical

 

amical coffee

This is perhaps the most ‘hidden’ of all these coffee spots. Located above street level along the trendy Star Street Precinct, the only thing you can spot this cafe by is a small overhanging street sign. Other than great coffee, they also boast a variety of latte art (think cute animals and mustache faces) and a beautiful al-fresco balcony to chill out at.

Read more on Amical here >>

 

Visit travelog.me for more information on places to visit when next in Hong Kong.

Images courtesy of (from top to bottom): pinterest.com, yelp.com, goodcoffee.me, cremedelacash.wordpress.com, openrice.com, nofoamplease.com, openrice.com, hkmagazine.com, tripadvisor.com.

4 Historical Structures to visit in Beijing

1. The Forbidden City
4 Jing Shan Qian Jie, Dongcheng, Beijing, China

The Forbidden City

Recognised as a World Culture Heritage by UNESCO, The Forbidden City is one of Beijing’s most well-known historical attractions. It was home to 24 emperors throughout Chinese history, along with countless other royal subjects. Join a tour or explore on your own to see this majestic structure, and get a sense of how the Chinese royals lived back in the day.

Read more about The Forbidden City here >>

2. The Great Wall of China
Yanging, Beijing, China

2A well-known historical treasure, The Great Wall is a must-see for history buffs. Built over 2000 years ago, this is perhaps the most extensive construction project the world has ever seen. Explore Badaling section of this historical site while in Beijing; it’s the most popular section of the Great Wall amongst travellers. Climb on for amazing views at the top!

Read more about The Great Wall of China here >>

3. Ming Tombs
Changchi Rd, Changping, Beijing, China

Ming TombsNot far from where the Badaling Great Wall is located, the Ming Tombs are another historical attraction you should visit in Beijing, where the emperors of the Ming dynasty were buried. There are 3 tombs that are open to public- Dingling, Changling and Zhaoling. While visiting the Ming Tombs complex, walk along the Sacred Way, historically believed to lead to heaven, this path is lined with statues over a hundred years old.

Read more about the Ming Tombs here >>

4. Summer Palace
19 Xin Jian Gong Men Lu, Haidian, Beijing, China

Summer PalaceSaid to be the most well-preserved royal park in the world, the vast compound is a collection of lakes, gardens and palaces located at the northwest of Beijing. Take a boat ride to see an island temple, enjoy a traditional performance at one of the restored theatres, and relax at one of the airy pavilions in the Garden of Restful Peace. Other popular spots to visit include the path known as the “Long Corridor” and the Longevity Hill.

Read more about the Summer Palace here >>


Visit travelog.me for more interesting & unusual things to do when living in or visiting Beijing.

Images courtesy of (from top to bottom) Strategieavc, Digitalhint, China Tour Guide, U Texas

Themed Cafes in Seoul – Part 2

If you’re done exploring the Seoul cafes introduced in the previous Travelog article, here are some more unique themed cafes to visit while you’re in Seoul!

Cafe’ra
Address: Incheon-si, Yeonsu-gu, Songdo-dong 18-1
Closest Subway Station: Central Park Station (Line 1)

cafe'ra

With the rise of Instagram, it seems everyone can be a photographer nowadays. For photography buffs and photographer wannabes, this is one cafe you’ll have to visit. The cafe is decorated with photographs on the wall and other knick-knacks on the shelves. P.S. if you bring along your own DSLR, they’ll let you have a go with their lenses too! After having fun taking pictures around the cafe, relax with a cup of coffee while picking out your favourite snaps of the day.

Thanks Nature Cafe

thanks nature cafe sheep

Cat cafes are cute and all, but for more novelty, why not visit this sheep cafe instead?This is probably the only cafe where sheep can be seen roaming around the cafe freely. Do note that the fluffy animals can only be seen during the cooler months of the year as the owner sends them back to the sheep ranch when it gets too warm, so be sure to plan your visit according to the season! Sheep aside, the cafe also offers well-loved sweet treats like waffles and ice-cream.

Read more about Thanks Nature Cafe here >>

Cafe Oz

cafe oz games.jpegReminisce about your childhood or just spend a lazy afternoon playing at this board games cafe. If you have no plans for the day or would like a break from exploring Seoul, this is a great place to be. Chill with your friends at Cafe Oz with a cup of coffee and tea, and play away. Be warned: time flies at Cafe Oz when you’re engrossed in your games!

See more about Cafe Oz here >>

Hanbok Cafe
Address: 249-24, Jangchungdan-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul,South Korea
Closest Subway Station: Dongdaemun History Culture Park subway station

hanbok

Envision yourself as an actress in a Korean historical drama in this cafe. With beautifully coloured hanboks, the traditional Korean dress for women, have fun choosing your hanbok and getting dolled up. The cafe has many backdrops that depict the Korea of the past, providing many photo locations for you to snap a picture!

Princess Diary Cafe

Here’s another one for the girls- those who dream of being a princess would love this cafe. Live your dream and be a princess for a day at Princess Diary, where racks of dresses and shoes await you. From the interior to the dresses to the drinks, everything is pretty in this cafe! This is where playing dress up is completely acceptable for grown women, so rent a gown, spend time taking pictures and feel pampered like the princess you are.

Read more on Princess Diary Cafe here >>


And if you missed it, here’s the first Travelog article on themed cafes in Seoulclick here to view.

Visit travelog.me for more information on places to visit when next in Seoul.

Images courtesy of (from top to bottom) jhtn38.blog.me, Thanks Nature Cafe Facebook,  Aclipse, 5 Flower, blog.naver.com.

10 Festivals to Check Out in Asia This March

If you are spending time in Asia this March, and you’re not quite sure what to do or where to go, you’re in luck. We’ve rounded up the best things to do in Asia in March, so you can arrange your itinerary around festivals, concerts, events and celebrations in the area.

Bali

1. The Bali Spirit Festival

The Bali Spirit Festival is in Ubud, and it’s an annual celebration of dance, yoga, and music. The festival runs over 4 days and 5 nights in the cultural centre of Bali, and will have an interesting mix of both local, indigenous Indonesian culture, and international performances.

balispirit

The festival also includes more than 95 workshops, so you can meet teachers and gurus from a bunch of different fields. This is the place to go if you’re hoping to “find yourself” in Asia, and you’ll be rubbing shoulders with 4,500 other people who are hoping to do the same.

Find more things to do in Bali >>

Vietnam

2. The Perfume Pagoda

theperfumepagodaThe Perfume Pagoda is located about an hour from Hanoi, and the site itself dates back over 2,000 years, to when a Buddhist Monk decided to meditate in the area. The site is now where this religious festival is held, and the festival officially begins on the 15th of February, continuing through the whole month of March.

Expect to see hundreds of thousands of pilgrims making their way to the festival, which is the most famous Buddhist site in Vietnam.

China

3. The Shanghai Peach Blossom Festival

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China has an overwhelming amount of festivals, especially early in the year. The Shanghai Peach Blossom Festival is celebrated from the 26th of March to the 20th of April, and has been running since 1991. Chinese music is played by local ethnic folk musicians, and there are plenty of other entertainment options such as pig races, acrobatics, picnics, and of course the chance to take photos of the gorgeous peach trees-the main draw to the area.

Find more things to do in Shanghai >>

4. The Zigong Lantern FestivalFestive-Chinese-New-Year-Lantern-Design-2015-With-Zigong-Lantern-Festival

The Zigong Lantern Festival is also on, and runs for around a month, from early February to mid-March. The festival has been going strong since the Tang dynasty, and tourists are drawn to the thousands of traditional lanterns made of silk, glass, paper, porcelain, and bamboo.

5. Baiyun Temple Fair

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Visitors to Beijing will want to check out the Baiyun Temple Fair, which runs from mid-February to early March. You’ll get to try plenty of local snacks, browse the folk handicrafts, and enjoy the painting exhibitions. This is an important fair for Taoists, and has become increasingly popular with locals, who play games and watch the Peking opera, dragon dancing, kung fu shows, and stilt walking.

Find more things to do in Beijing >>

Hong Kong

6. Hong Kong International Film Festival

00221917dec40ed68f1c07If you’re stopping over in Hong Kong in late March, be sure to check out the Hong Kong International Film Festival. The festival is also a big deal to the Chinese, who have the opportunity to show films that they wouldn’t be able to show in China.

7. The Hong Kong Arts Festival

HKAF 2012 2 The Hong Kong Arts Festival also runs throughout March, and includes numerous performances from China and overseas, including ballets, operas, and symphonies.

See more things to do in Hong Kong >>

Thailand

8. Pattaya Music Festival

PATTAYA-INTERNATIONAL-MUSIC-FESTIVAL01If you’ll be down south, be sure to head to Pattaya for the Pattaya Music Festival, which will feature every type of music that is at the front of the Thai Industry. Music fans will love this festival, and Pattaya gets crazy at the best of times.

9. The Bangkok International Jazz Festival

7eee4ecb6595160eaaad14e90adf3The Bangkok International Jazz Festival also draws jazz lovers from around the world, and you’ll usually find it in CentralWorld Square, over six days. Enjoy world-class artists, and take some time to do some shopping in the city while you’re there.

Find more things to do in Bangkok >>

India

10. Holi Festival

Holi-Images-Holi-Celebration-Holi-Festival-Of-Colors-Holi-Colors-Holi-Colours-Free-Images-3During the full moon in March, Holi is the festival of colours, and is when both children and adults welcome Spring by throwing coloured powder at each other. Dyed water is also thrown from buckets, shot from syringes, and poured into balloons and tossed at people.


Article contributed by Stacey Kuyf, onetravelsfar.com.

Visit travelog.me for more information on things to do when living or traveling in Asia.

Need more information to help you find the best things do this  month in Asia?

Images courtesy of (from top to bottom) Festivals of Colour USAUltimate Bali, Event-Carnival, Travel Chinesecio, Jenniferrana.comBeijing Tourism, China Daily, PR Web, All About Jazz, Wikipedia.

Top Places to Party During The Hong Kong Sevens

This year, The Hong Kong Sevens are held on the last weekend of March, 27 – 29 March, at the Hong Kong Stadium. Once again, the city is bracing itself for an influx of tourists from all over the world. 28 teams will be participating in the 2015 tournament, and  here are some tips on where to party (and how to survive) the Hong Kong Sevens weekend.

Hong-Kong-Sevens-2015
Hong Kong Stadium

While the South Stand is hard to get into, this is the place to be if you want to party throughout the Sevens. It’ll be loud, colourful, and crazy, and you’ll see plenty of awesome costumes so be sure to dress up. The seating is unreserved, so try to get here early to grab a seat.

The Sevens will usually finish between 7 and 9, so you’ll have plenty of time to explore Hong Kong by night.

Here are some of the best places to party:

Wan Chai

Wan Chai used to be Hong Kong’s red light district in Hong Kong and these days is bursting with all sorts of pubs and bars, which overflow onto the streets.

wan chai
Wan Chai

This area is close to the stadium, and the streets are sure to be packed with people still in their costumes. This is where you’ll find the cheapest drinks in Hong Kong, and a lot of character which makes Wan Chai an interesting and exciting place to explore.

Take the outdoor public escalator to the top of the district, and pinball your way down, hitting the best bars.

The most boisterous and busiest parts of Wan Chai are “The Corners,” which are two intersections on Lockhart Road, one by Fenwick Street, and the other at Luard Road. These are where you’ll find the less sleazy bars, and it’s the place to go for a slightly more upscale drinking experience.

Mes Amis
Mes Amis

Mes Amis is an open facaded bar, and is usually considered to be the centre of Wan Chai. The central location is on the corner of Luard and Lockhart, and it’s a good place to meet friends, with crowds spilling out onto the streets. Walk a little further up Luard Road until you get to Jaffe Road, and you’ll find the Delaney’s The Irish Pub as well as Bar Amazonia, both popular choices in this area.

Delaney's Irish Pub
Delaney’s Irish Pub

See more on Mes Amis, Delaney’s and Bar Amazonia.

While the Fenwick-Lockhart junction isn’t quite as central as the Luard-Lockhart corner, the nautically-themed Typhoon is a must-visit, and is famous for giving out free shots whenever there is a Typhoon warning. Typhoon is a place that gets crazy during the Seven’s and is known as one of the best places to party.

Typhoon
Typhoon

When the booze hits, and you’re ready to dance, head to Carnegie’s, which has installed brass railings on the bar since dancing on top of it is so popular. This place generally draws a younger crowd with a mix of tourists, university students, and international school kids frequenting it regularly. It’s sure to be a huge hit during the Seven’s.

See more on Carnegie’s >>

Read more about Wan Chai here >>

Carnegie’s

Lan Kwai Fong

Lan Kwai Fong is one of the other main drinking districts in Hong Kong, and the bars here are some of the best in Asia, which has earned it the nickname of party central. It’s not as close to the Hong Kong Stadium as Wan Chai, but the area is still well worth a visit.

Dublin Jacks is an Irish bar, with a friendly atmosphere and a great deck to chill out on, and Irish pub-style food. Grab a bite to eat here, before heading to The Hong Kong Brew House for the best selection of beers in Hong Kong.

See more on The Hong Kong Brew House >>

Hong Kong Brew House
Hong Kong Brew House

When it’s time to really party, head to Stormies (LKF), which is where hundreds of people inevitably end up spilling out into the street. There’s a surprisingly good restaurant upstairs, serving excellent seafood.

 See more on Stormies (LKF) >>

stormies-lkf-3

For something a little different, head to Sub Zero Temp Bar, a Russian restaurant, where patrons can hang out in the freezer and drink multiple types of vodka. Don’t worry about being underdressed, as they have plenty of fur coats for you to wear.

The Seven’s is a great excuse to go out, and with the amount of amazing bars and clubs on offer in Hong Kong, you’ll be spoiled for choice when you go out after the games.

Discover more about Lan Kwai Fong >>

Lan Kwai Fong
Lan Kwai Fong

 See more on Hong Kong nightlife here >>


Article contributed by Stacey Kuyf, onetravelsfar.com.

Visit travelog.me for more information on planning a trip to Hong Kong.

Need more information to help you plan for your trip to Hong Kong? Check out these useful links for more ideas:

Images courtesy of (from top to bottom) Events.com.au, Romainjl.deviantart.com, The Creative Bull, Asia BarsMad Buzz HK, Blogs.wsj.com, Asia Pub Guide, VenueHub.hk.

Countdown to Valentine’s Day With These Six Romantic Getaways in 2015

We are popping the question on Valentine’s Day Getaways in 2015!

Whether you are a fan of beach, countryside or city destinations, hotels and resorts across the globe offer exceptional escapes that will make your romantic retreat memorable. The most cherished Valentine’s Day gifts come not only in heart-shaped boxes but also in unforgettable experiences.

Choose from any of these exotic destinations and make this Valentine’s one to remember.

6.  Bali, Indonesia

bali

Bali, meaning “heaven”, evokes your dream of the most splendid sights: towering volcanoes curled in a deep canopy, long white sandy beaches, and green turquoise water along curving coastlines. Ranked as one of the ‘World’s Best Islands’ according to Travel & Leisure Magazine and Lonely Planet.  Bali is exactly what you are looking for on your voyages of love. Spend time together lying on the pristine sand seashores or participating in watersports and beach activities to makes your trip more active and interesting. Rafting, surfing, cycling while savoring this beautiful island, the friendly, open locals and the stunning sunsets are among the best things you can do to warm-up your love on the Valentine’s Day.

See all Bali >>

5.  Inle Lake, Myanmar

inlelake

Inle Lake is the iconic destinations for couples looking for a quiet but charming getaway on Valentine’s Day 2015. Float on the small boats on the tranquil water, watch the splendid sunrises and sunsets reflecting the red-yellow waterway or slowly contemplate the exceptional floating gardens and floating homes of the Intha people. The feeling of take-back-time indulges your love into the slow rhythms of life, simple yet unique. The one-leg rowing technique of Intha fishermen is beyond your expectations and will complement this amazing Valentine’s Day Getaway in 2015.

4.  Bangkok, Thailand

bangkok

Defining the essence of a superb Valentine’s Day, Bangkok, the busy but charming capital of Thailand offers you a retreat of peace and comfort with a romantic twist. You will definitely want to take a canal tour to see the enchanting Chao Phraya River and beautiful canals of the city. Most of these extraordinary boat trips start at the eastern bank of the river, through the backwaters of Thonburi, the glorious Royal Barges National Museum and a unique floating market. Don’t forget to reward you and your loved one with a traditional Thai massage at least once during your visit to Bangkok. Reach the sky and walk in the clouds at the 61st rooftop of Banyan Tree Hotel, kindly recommended by our friends at Exotic Voyages.

See more on Bangkok >>

3.  Maldives

maldives

If you’re looking to celebrate Valentine’s Day in an intimate and significantly beautiful setting, the Maldives is the world’s best destination for all these things. Spoil yourselves with a dinner under the millions of stars with candlelight and natural wind, relaxing in a bungalow to watch the endless green turquoise water, doing beach activities such as surfing, fishing or even diving to see the vivid underwater world. A boat trip as if nature plays with the colors of the setting sun just to ensure that you remember each moment and this love for the rest of your life. Velassaru, Maldives, one of the most romantic Valentine’s Day Getaways in 2015 offers one-of-a-kind exclusive dining experiences.

2.  Hanoi, Vietnam 

Hanoi, Vietnam

Visit enchanting Hanoi and welcome Valentine’s Day with a true Vietnam experience and the best that Hanoi has to offer. Take a morning or evening cyclo along Hoan Kiem Lake, through 36 old Quarter streets to watch the daily life of Hanoians. Seeing Hanoi come to life in both its ancient and modern ways. At Exotic Voyages, we highly recommend you try a café in Hanoi. The unique décor and exceptional quality of coffee in each shop will give you a true taste of Vietnam. Walking along the Long Bien Bridge and watching the sun slowly sets behind the Red River presents the perfect end to any day. You are definitely in for a retreat as you visit Hanoi with your loved one in some of the luxury hotels at the centre of Hanoi.

1.  Shanghai, China

shanghai

Tianai Lu or Sweet Love Road in Hongkou District is the ideal place to take a romantic stroll. Here young couples often look at walls adorned with well-chosen love poems and aphorisms from famous poets of love. Ride the ferry wheel at Jinjiang Amusement Park and observe Shanghai from a birds-eye view. Shanghai is not only a place steeped in history but also a charming destination, good enough for even the most hard-to-please dates for Valentine’s Day 2015.

See all Shanghai >>


Still not sure how to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year? Check out these useful links for more ideas:

Images courtesy of (from top to bottom) Bali Island Experience, BookingYourTravel.com, Girls See the World Travel Club, Top Viral Media, China.org.cn.

More interesting posts on celebrating Valentine’s Day with your loved one:

The Essential Guide to Celebrating Chinese New Year in Hong Kong in 2015

Chinese New Year this year begins on February 19, and what better place to experience it than in Hong Kong? Chinese New Year is a huge celebration of food, festivities and Chinese culture across Chinese countries and cities. Hong Kong has it all, from the bursts of colour in the streets to delicious Chinese New Year goodies begging to be eaten. Join in on their annual Chinese New Year street parade, the dazzling display of fireworks and the raucous nightlife that is sure to keep the festive buzz going for the traditional 15 days of celebration. Street markets, banks, public utilities and government offices will be closed from February 19 to 21, but everything else is open for the revelers in Hong Kong. Who said that the city shuts down during the Lunar Festival? In Hong Kong, Chinese New Year is when the party begins.

1) 19th February : Tsim Sha Tsui, Chinese New Year Parade on 1 cny parade

Position yourselves early along Nathan Road, Canton Road or Haiphong Road for a prime view of the annual Chinese New Year Parade. It’s a glorious mess of floats, lion dancing and even pyrotechnics, traversing down the usually traffic-laden road of Tsim Sha Tsui. Plunge right into the crowd and join in on the revelry!

Click here for more information on Tsim Sha Tsui >>

2)  20th February : Victoria Harbour, Chinese New Year Fireworks Display
2 fireworks

Very much like their New Year’s Eve fireworks display but just as opulent and astounding, if not more. Join the merrymakers along the sides of Victoria Harbour and prepare to be amazed by the fireworks, guaranteed to add a bang to the already-exhilarating celebrations. The dazzling show starts at 8:00 p.m. but as always, go early to secure the best view!

Get more information about Victoria Harbour here >>

3) Disneyland
3 disneyland

If you fancy a move away from the hustle and bustle of the city for the day, pay a visit to the Chinese New Year themed Disneyland! You may very well meet the same excited faces that you met at the parade or the fireworks display, but only in Hong Kong Disneyland will you see the iconic Disney festooned in the traditional burst of red and gold. Grab a pair of Mouse Ears and spend a day celebrating a different sort of Chinese New Year. With one-of-a-kind Chinese New Year-themed food and souvenirs, remember to drop by if you want a unique Disneyland experience.

Click here for more information on Hong Kong Disneyland >>

4) 5th March : Lantern Festival
4 lantern festival

The Lantern Festival marks the end of the Chinese New Year festivities, but rest assured the same amount of effort has been put into this festival to make sure the celebrations end off with a bang! Happening on the 15th day of Chinese New Year, Tsim Sha Tsui will be adorned with lanterns of all shapes and sizes, adding even more light and colour to the already-vibrant Hong Kong. Head to the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Piazza for the Lantern Exhibition, where you can admire the myriad lanterns for free. Also at the Cultural Centre is a lantern carnival, where lively performances by folk dancers and acrobatic performances are the order of the day.

Learn more about Hong Kong Cultural Centre here >>

5)  Party at Lan Kwai Fong or Wan Chai 5 lankwaifong

For the night owls, the party hubs at Lan Kwai Fong and Wan Chai are sure to tickle your fancy. There are a variety of bars and clubs to suit your preferences, be it a wild night out partying or a relaxed sit-down with your friends. Just remember to keep that hangover in check for more celebrating the next day!

Still not sure what to do when visiting Hong Kong for this year’s Chinese New Year?  Check out Travelog for more useful, up-to-date information on things to do and places to visit in Hong Kong.

Click here >> 


Images courtesy of (from top to bottom) Discover Hong Kong (1 and 5), New Years Eve Blog (2 and 4), Hong Kong Disneyland.

Still not sure where to celebrate Chinese New Year in Hong Kong in 2015? Check out these useful links for more ideas: