{Travel Diary} Hong Kong (Feb. 2017)

Took a weekend trip (kind of?) to Hong Kong recently! I don’t think I’ve ever taken such a short trip to Asia before – it was 4 days, 3 nights? Basically landed Friday morning (Feb. 10th) at 7am and flew out at Monday night (Feb. 13th) at 11:50pm. It was a quick (and stressful!!) weekend but totally worth it since I got to meet up with some of my international friends that I haven’t seen since summer (lol not that long I know but still!).

Took this trip with my friend A. It was a direct red-eye flight on Singapore Air. I had a little confusion when I went back and really looked at the details of my flights (because the dates I booked it for looked perfect at first glance so why not?). First, I thought we were flying out on Thursday night and landing on Friday at 7pm. Then when I looked closer, I realized we were landing at 7am; I am not used to the 24hr clock. I got confused because how can I leave on Thursday night and land on Friday morning?! The math didn’t make any sense considering the flight was 14hrs long! (Omg I wanted to die!) I soon realized my mistake (after like an hour of head scratching lol). The itinerary for the departing flight was at 00:50 aka a little after midnight and because it was after midnight, it’s technically Thursday when in minisaurus time, it’s still Wednesday until I sleep and wake up. (Or at 6am). I set up two alarms after that to remind me when to head out to the airport because I couldn’t trust myself not to get confused again.

Anyways, got home at about 4pm after work on Wednesday. Finished packing some last minute stuff, showered, did my nightly skin care routine, then ate dinner before leaving for the airport around 9pm. Checked in and got through security with about an hour and half to spare.

Luckily there weren’t that many people that night so going through the TSA screening took about 5-10mins. But oh my god, as I was in the TSA line, an alarm went off and everyone was like wtf? I didn’t catch exactly what the alarm was for but all I heard was please evacuate to the nearest exit and I’m just thinking to myself, holy shit what the fuck is happening?! The guy in front of me asked the TSA agent but the guy was chilled and said to ignore it. Okay…none of the security people seemed fazed so I figured it was harmless but still…what the fuck. No one wants to hear an alarm like that when at an airport.

Finished without any other incident and headed to the gate where my friend was. I asked her about the alarm and she said she didn’t hear anything but she too thought it was strange.

Since the two of us had just gotten the CSR, we wanted to give the priority pass lounge a try. Unfortunately, the lounge was on the opposite side of the airport from us and would require us to get out and go through security again. Didn’t think it was worth it so we just went back and sat by our gate and talked.

We sat separately on the flight since we booked our tickets separately. I had an aisle seat in the last row by the galley/restrooms. I’ve read in a lot of blogs and forums to avoid these seats but I honestly prefer them because 1.) I can recline my chair without having taking up someone else’s legroom (I used to recline my chair as soon as I can on a plane regardless of where I sit but I’ve come to realize this is being inconsiderate to the person behind me and try not to do it anymore if I can help it) or 2) being woken up when its meal time; on long-haul flights, I like to sleep the whole way through. It’s an achievement if I can sleep through the whole flight without waking up once.

Anyways, I usually prefer window seat for long-haul flights since I can sleep better but this flight was pretty full when I booked my ticket so I went for an aisle seat instead of the dreaded (and plenty) middle seat. Other than the fact that people would constantly use the top of my seat as a crutch when trying to squeeze into the restroom, I was pretty satisfied. The jolts from people touching my chair woke me up occasionally but I always managed to fall back asleep immediately.

Took two motion sickness pill and knocked out for most of the flight. I woke up after about 8 hours of sleep and tried to watch a movie but I kept getting sleepy and falling asleep after 10 minutes so that was moot. Went pee a lot too…it was weird since I didn’t drink that much liquids beforehand and I usually don’t have to pee on flights. My bladder was extremely small that day though lol.

Ate a little bit of the breakfast served. Slept for the majority of the flight because I just could not stay awake! As everyone was exiting the plane, the old lady next to me asked what I took because I was out cold for most of the time lol!!

After getting through immigration and grabbing our luggage, my friend got her wifi egg and I got a sim card. Then we headed towards the arrivals lounge to freshen up and just…chill since it was still super early.

The sim card I got was the Discover Hong Kong Tourist SIM 5-day by CSL. It was $88HKD (~$11USD) for 1.5gb of data. (Calling is unlimited too but I only cared about data.) It also gives you unlimited access to the CSL wifi. I don’t use much data so this was plenty for my four day trip. The CSL wifi is kind of everywhere but it was a bit annoying to use because you had to browser log in every time and I got logged off when I turned off my phone screen so I just stayed on data.

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You can get sim cards at 7-11’s at the airport but I got mine at the telecommunication store 1O1O. They have a store at the airport. It’s on the same floor as the Arrival Halls. The store is bright yellow so it’s easy to spot.

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Looks kind of like this but the one at the airport has this red queuing tape outside.

You can get more information on different sim cards in Hong Kong here: HK Travel Blog: Best 2017 Tourist HK Prepaid SIM Cards Guide. (This is where I got my information from too! ^^)

We were staying at the Marriott SkyCity hotel since it’s right next to the AsiaWorld Expo (the venue of the concert. Did I mention this trip was for a concert? Yeahhhhh) but check-in wasn’t until 2pm. The plan was to head to the hotel to drop off our luggage with the concierge and then hang out in the city until check-in time.

There’s a free shuttle from the airport to the hotel but I can never remember which gate/door to wait at and the map with the info is always so freaking hard for me to find! So I’m gonna post it here just for my own future reference~

Transportation and Vicinity Map(LOW)

Got to the hotel and decided to see if we could check in. I had requested early check-in when I did the hotel reservation just to see if it was possible and they delivered! The staff mentioned my request for early check-in and told us that our room was ready and we could go in now. It was only 9am! We couldn’t believe it but wow, that made everything so much easier! I honestly didn’t think it would work lol.

So we dropped off our stuff then headed into the city for some breakfast ^u^

Got food at this popular restaurant Australia Dairy Company (澳洲牛奶公司). Supposedly they’re famous for their eggs but I just had eggs on the plane and was craving something more Chinese so we didn’t get it. There was a line when we got there (and when we left too!) but it was only a 10-15 minute wait? The restaurant is small and cramped and so popular that it’s no surprise that you’ll be sharing a table with strangers. They work really fast too! Not even five minutes after we ordered, the food was out already. I got this beef macaroni soup and we split this steamed milk pudding (炖奶). We finished eating pretty fast and left.

Then for the rest of the day we walked around and I got my shopping done. Picked up a few makeup/skincare products and cleaned out every Circle K we came across of their Sour Mentos lol. (You can only get them at Circle K in Hong Kong!!)

It was about 4pm when we finished and headed back to the hotel. We chilled and napped for a few hours until my other friend V. landed in Hong Kong. By the time we returned to the hotel, my legs were killing me. I wore a pair of boots because I wanted to look cute but oh my god those shoes didn’t have the proper support for my feet because after a half day of walking around, not only were my feet in pain, but so were my legs – especially my knees. I felt like a cripple. Thank god I packed a pair of regular running shoes. Wore those for the rest of the trip. Screw trying to look cute.

Anyways, V arrived and we went out to get dinner with her friends in Central. Had Korean food. It was alright. After dinner we parted with her friends and just headed back to the hotel since the three of us were shit tired. (Side note but this was the day where someone caught on fire on the MTR at Tsim Sha Tsui. Thankfully we weren’t there but it was crazy watching the videos and hearing about it!)

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The next day I woke up at 5am, despite sleeping at 1am, because of jetlag. I refused to wake up though so I forced myself to go back to sleep. Managed to sleep until 8am when I woke up again because the sun was shining into our room. (We didn’t really close the curtains.) Our other friend M. arrived at midnight the night before but I feel asleep before she got here so I didn’t see her until this morning. For brunch, the four of us headed into the city to eat dim sum with some of M’s friends. I’ve never had dim sum in Hong Kong before so I was excited. But we went to one of those restaurants where they push carts around. I hate them with a passion. They’re so annoying. But we managed and had an enjoyable time.

Yum yum dim sum

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A secret meeting of porcupine baos

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After brunch, the four of us went around because M and V had to do some shopping. A and I were done with ours the previous day. Shopped for a few hours and then returned to the hotel to get ready for the concert. The concert was amazing and we all had a lot of fun since we were all sitting together~! After the concert, caught the hotel shuttle to the airport to get McDonald’s since the hotel was in the middle of narnia (aka nowhere) and airport restaurants were the only places near us. Thankfully MCDs was open 24/7. Took a taxi back and slept at 1/2am.


We got dim sum again the next day because we can lol. Actually, there’s this dim sum restaurant that I wanted to go to because I’ve been seeing it’s cute baos posted on instagram since forever! I just had to go! The restaurant is called Yumcha. (This name confused our taxi driver because the name is literally the term for going out for dim sum. And lo and behold, he took us to the wrong place but it wasn’t too far away from where we wanted to be so we ended up walking the rest of the way there.)

Anyways, Yumcha has two location – one in Central, and one in Tsim Sha Tsui. I think the one in Central is more popular but they didn’t have any open reservations for that location so I went with the one in TST. I was worried we wouldn’t be able to get a table (or have to get up super early) since it was a Sunday morning and most people like to go out for dim sum on weekends. Luckily, I found out you can do reservations online when I was looking for their phone number. Managed a reservation for 11:15am on Sunday~! When we got there, we were seated immediately. Proceeded to order all the cute shit lol.

Cute baos to nom on\(^▽^@)ノ

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I think I'm feeling a little sick 😷

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In terms of taste, the the green tea custard baos (pictured above) tastes so much better than the orange custard baos lol. The rainbow shrimp dumplings were really good too! And pretty~ they looked like sea shells!

Cookies and green tea cloud

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You can make reservations for Yumcha here: Yumcha Online Reservations – direct link taken from the Yumcha website~ Good news to those who can’t read Chinese too! They have English on their menus~hehehe

After lunch, we went to the Sehun spot to take pictures. (Lol I don’t know what that spot is called exactly but it’s the place with two rows of palm trees) Spotted many fangirls there >///< lol

Got some cup noodles to eat after the concert before heading back.

Then it was Day 2 of the concert!!

Didn’t sleep until 3am because of packing. Luckily I got us a late check-out (for 1:30pm) so we don’t have to wake up early and rush the next day.


A and I’s flight back to the states wasn’t until 11pm Monday night. We hung out in the room until our check-out time and then said goodbye to V since her flight was at 3pm. (M. had a 5am flight and left when all of us were still sleeping ><) We went into the city and ate at this noodles place. Another speedy meal – in and out in about 15 minutes lol. The noodles were good though~^^

Then we checked out the mid-level escalators (I’m not sure if that’s what it’s really called but it’s those endless escalators going up, up, up~) because I’ve seen them in dramas and wanted to check them out lol. It was fun and interesting~ and it only took us 15 minutes to walk back down so it wasn’t bad.

Afterwards, we went to chill at this vintage Starbucks for a few hours. Went back to the hotel around 6pm to pick up our luggage and head to the airport. We checked in early, walked around the airport a bit, then went through security to go chill at the airport lounge for a few more hours. It was basically a chill day. Lol we were both just too exhausted and lazy to do anything else.

Goodbye Hong Kong. Until next time

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On the flight back I had a window seat thankfully but I couldn’t sleep that well. Was too uncomfortable. But anyways it was strange because the pilot said the flight back would only take 10 and a half hours but coming to Hong Kong took 14?! I’m just like…what…? It didn’t make sense to me but I’m not complaining if you can get me home faster~

hkg-mm

Landed back in SFO and thanks to a tip we learned from r/churning about mobile passports we got through customs in five minutes!

(Digressing a bit but here’s some quick information about mobile passports. Check out the website here! It’s an official, free app that let’s you cut through the customs and passport control line when returning to the U.S.! There’s only a handful of participating airports though so make sure you check if your airport is on the list. Also, I think this is only for U.S. citizens.)

It was an amazing feeling to be able to walk past that long ass line lol. We managed to get our luggage and leave before even a quarter of the people on our flight got through customs. You guys should take advantage of it if you can before it becomes more mainstream~! \^o^/

This was a serious wall of text lol. If you made it down this far, congrats and I’m sorry for making you read so much T__T Btw, after going through what I wrote, I realized it seemed like I was promoting this or that. Nothing on this page is sponsored lol I wish I was sponsored ^///^ Just wanted to provide some useful information along with my experiences so that this wall of text doesn’t become too useless and stupid.

Thanks again for reading and comments are much appreciated. ^^

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{Travel Diary} Seoul, South Korea (Aug. 2016)

Told myself I would never go back to Asia in the summer but lo and behold, I went mid-August this year. (Only because summer was the only time V. was free and we have been talking about taking a trip together for years already.) It was so fucking hot omg I thought I was going to melt ◝(๑⁺᷄д⁺᷅๑)◞՞  I was literally sweating right after coming out of the shower ugh

So to begin, my trip started with Air Canada. It was a super early flight (6:30am!) from SFO, with a short stopover in Vancouver. I purposely chose the flight with a layover in Vancouver instead of Seattle because I wanted Tim Hortons – specifically an ice cap. o(≧∇≦o) I had been debating if I should even get it before the longer leg of the flight because caffeine makes me go poop (haha sorry, that might be too much info (ᕑᗢूᓫ∗)˒˒) but it didn’t matter in the end because they closed down the Tim Hortons on the international side (╥﹏╥) The security guard pointed me in the direction of Starbucks instead. No thank you.

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Since that was moot, I just headed towards the lounge I had access too. Can’t remember the name right now but it was fairly empty. The snack and drinks selection wasn’t bad. I just had some orange juice and plain congee (that I put too much salt in!) while I complained about the lack of TH on my twitter lol.

The flight to Seoul was uneventful. I slept, watched a few movies, and played pokemon on my DS. It was about 3pm when I landed. Immigration took a while. After I grabbed my luggage, I went to the bathroom to freshen up. I had this uncomfortable feeling in my chest the whole day – like something was jabbing me. I finally checked and realized the wire of my bra popped out and has been stabbing me for the past 14-15 hours. No wonder I was uncomfortable as fuck (¬_¬ ) I didn’t want to open up my luggage and pull out a new bra to change so just waited until I arrive at the airbnb.

Took me another hour or so before I was finally able to leave the airport because the simcard I bought wasn’t working with my phone and had to go around trying to get it fixed and even then afterwards, it didn’t work too well.

Anyways, finally reached Hongdae where my airbnb was located and found out our apartment we got through airbnb had shitty building ac aka practically nonexistent. It was hot and the fan the host left in the apartment didn’t help much. Amenities wise, the apartment was pretty minimal. Oh wells. Just really needed a place to sleep. I changed, fixed my makeup, fixed my simcard and went out with V. and L. to meet up with the rest of their friends to watch The Secret Life of Pets.

The movie was pretty good. I was worried I would fall asleep since I literally just got off the plane but I didn’t so that’s a victory! \(^o^)/ I think we got bingsoo afterwards and then it was the end of the day.

Jet lag hit hard the next morning. Went to sleep at midnight but ended up waking around 5am, super hungry. I love korean convenient stores because they always have such nice snacks to eat for cheap~ and luckily for us, there was a 7/11 right downstairs. So I threw on a hat and scuttled down for some triangle rice balls (oh how I miss you ( ̄﹃ ̄)) and juice.

Besides my first and last day, everything else was a blur lol. I was sharing the apartment with V. and we ended up not leaving the apartment until noon every day. Most of the time we just ate, shopped, and hung out with friends. This was a pretty chilled vacation. V. wasn’t too big on doing touristy stuff so that was awesome.

Some of my food pictures~

At the dog cafe! The corgi was so cute but oh so anti-social (๑´╹‸╹`๑)

Other stuff we did:

V. left a day before me. On my last day, I was a bit sick so I didn’t really do anything. Just went out to get the dumplings for my sister and then headed to the airport.

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Was super excited for the flight back because I managed to get a business class seat! o(≧∇≦o) Checked in and then decided to do a little duty free shopping hehe (*≧艸≦) Got some Laneige stuff that wasn’t available in the states/slightly cheaper.

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After my short shopping trip, I headed to the Krisflyer Silver lounge (?) forgot the full name but something like that. It was pretty nice and spacious. Definitely better than the priority pass lounges I’ve been in haha. Anyways, since I had a few hours to kill, I did some exploring in the lounge, took some pictures, snacked on the food, and just be a peasant in general lol.

The lounge was pretty empty. After my little exploring trip, I just sat around catching up on some of my dramas. At one point, there was an attendant coming around with a try of mini ice-creams! I was ecstatic (and also texting my sister like crazy) and got a green tea one. It was so yummy~(*^▽^)/

There was also a shower room and I was pretty fascinated with that too lol.

When I finally got on the plane it was just a sense of relief. I was just excited to get my meal and then sleep because I was exhausted. The seat was amazing though! So big and cushiony. I swear it could fit two of me! Lol. Seriously, I cannot go back to peasant class after such an experience!

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My pre-departure drink~

The food was alright but I didn’t eat much because I think I had motion sickness (?) My head was hurting and I just felt sick; had no appetite at all. After my meal was cleared I just went straight to sleep.

It was noon when I landed back in the states. Managed to get through immigration quickly and was picked up. Thus, another ending to another adventure. Sadly, I won’t be able to ride SQ to Seoul anymore because they discounted the route from SFO > ICN in October. Gotta find another preferred airline to get to Seoul now.

{Travel Diary} Shanghai, China (Oct. 2015)

Honestly, everything is so freaking sketchy about China (heard horror stories from my friends) that I had to get all the essentials (exchanging money, wifi, directions to everywhere, etc.) done in Seoul before leaving. I usually wing it but this time I was super prepared.

So if I found China so scary, why was I still going? To attend a birthday fanmeeting of my favorite celebrity/idol of course! σ(≧ε≦o) Hehe, he’s the only reason why I would ever step foot in China (seriously the internet there sucks so much!!) Please check out my photos from the fanmeet event here! (Warning: extremely image heavy!)

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