Sunday, August 31, 2014

Tuen Mun Beach: Butterfly Beach

The first time I went to Butterfly Beach was when we were really into camping a few years ago.  It was a great novice campsite because it sat right along the beach, where you had shower and changing facilities.  And there was also a big park and supermarkets in walking distance.

Because the summer is slowly slipping away and the weekends will probably get crazier in the near future, we headed out to Butterfly Beach to enjoy a beach day and relive old memories.

How to get there:
1.  From Yuen Long MTR station, walk down to the Light Rail Terminus
2.  Jump onto Light Rail No. 615 (heading towards the Tuen Mun Ferry Pier)
3.  Get off at Melody Garden (which is one stop after Butterfly)

Off of the Light Rail Platform, there will be a Circle K.  Cross over to Circle K and walk right along towards Butterfly Beach Park.

This park is huge.  There are so many rest areas and nooks to have private gatherings.  There are also a few public restroom facilities, snack kiosks, and barbecue areas.

Butterfly Beach sits along the waterfront of the park!  There is a lot of area for shade.

Beach Review:
1.  The sand was rocky
2.  The water quality was fair
3.  The shade was beautiful (and today had a delightful breeze)
4.  The water was choppy because of the boats that were going by in the distance
5.  I like this place

Like most of Hong Kong's beaches, you can always expect :
1.  Changing room facilities
2.  Shower facilities
3.  Public restrooms
4.  A snack kiosk
5.  Clearly marked swim area
6.  Lifeguards on duty
7.  Rubbish bins
8.  Grassy areas for picnics

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Biking Yuen Long - Tuen Mun

Awhile ago, I mentioned that Yuen Long was THE PLACE for bike riding because there are loads of trails that lead to other places in the New Territories.  The trails go through old villages, past places like The Wetland Park, and runs along rivers, the Light Rail, and industrial's a great way to explore the New Territories (West Side).

Because the weather is getting cooler, I asked my friend to go on a bike ride with me.  I thought I would go along the Light Rail from the Shui Pin Wai stop towards the general direction of Tuen Mun.  

If you don't have a bike, there are various places in Yuen Long to rent a bike.  We rented bikes right under Long Ping MTR Station.  They were $50 HKD for the day and we just had to return the bikes by 8pm.  We also got a complimentary bottle of water for our ride.

A safe ride out, in my opinion, is to follow the Light Rail.  

The bike path is as smooth as it can be.  I tried skateboarding out here and it wasn't the most pleasant, but there were smooth patches along the way.  The bike paths were quite free from bike traffic, which made it great for us.  We took our time and snapped a few shots of "Yuen Long - Tuen Mun 2014".

"Yuen Long - Tuen Mun 2014"??

Explanation:  I always get sentimental over the changes in life.  A lot of the time, I see old photographs of Hong Kong and am just in awe at how much changed.  Anyhow, today was one of those days when I felt like being one of those people to capture Yuen Long - Tuen Mun in the late summer/early autumn of 2014.

Stream near Hung Sui Kiu

Cool paintings along the path

Bike shop

An abandoned building along the path

The Miu Fat Buddhist Monastery

The NEW Miu Fat Buddhist Monastery right next to the old building

Our bike ride ended at the Monastery.  It was a good two hours out though.  I think, my next bike riding destination will be out to The Wetland Park.  That ride is smoother and also ends in an air-conditioned "Park".

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

TapaZ Luncheon

Today, I found myself back at Langham Place in Mong Kok.  Because it's that time of year when everyone is going back to school, I thought it would be great to shop the sales, plus, I met with a friend for lunch.

I used to work in Mong Kok and used to head over to Langham Place a lot, but never tried TapaZ.  So, I thought it was a great place to taste test.  

TapaZ info:
13/F Langham Place
8 Argyle Street, Mong Kok
Mong Kok MTR Exit C

Langham Place is connected the MTR station, which makes it such a convenient place to meet with friends and avoid walking the crowded streets.  The only bother is that the elevators to the 13th Floor take ages to catch.  I think the best way to get up to TapaZ and the other restaurants at the top of Langham Place is to ride the elevators and walk up The Spiral.  It is a good bit of exercise, a fun ride, and gets you hungry for lunch/dinner.

Add caption

Sample of the menu

Peach tea and Lychee Soda
We opted for tapas because we were eating at Tapaz.

Mini Review
Presentation (4/5)
I like minimal, but minimal with some effort.  The dishes were clean, the food was clean, and we got funky dishes in the square family.  I'm not so picky with TapaZ's choice of presentation.

Taste (3/5)
I've had better, but it was good because I was starving.  My friend had lived in Barcelona for awhile and also noted that nothing beats the authentic thing.  The food was a bit dry, tough to chew, and the sauces a bit flavorless.  The crab croquette was my favorite of the three tapas we ordered.

Ambience (5/5)
I felt like we were special guests because we were the only two up there at noon.  This makes me want to eat at noon more often because the lunch rush came after we left!  We got to sit on an indoor patio, which is always fun.  Music was playing in the background, the wait staff gave us mondo privacy, and the decor was fun.

Price (3/5)
This place is pricey.  But, if you are looking for a treat with your friends, the price WOULD be all right...IF THE FOOD tasted better.  I think that I might have not ordered the best of the best, from my first impression, the food wasn't worth the price.

Fried Cheese

Crab Croquette with Aioli Sauce

My friend and I shared the same feelings about the meal, but had a great time none-the-less.  I thought I would leave this blog post with a photo from the top of Langham Place and also the fabulous mall decorations.  Whilst walking down through The Spiral, we noticed that a NEW little restaurant just opened.  It was a My Melody and Kuromi Pop-up Cafe...That's something I have to make a point to visit in the near future!

Looking down from the 13/F

Walking down The Spiral

Catching a ride down the escalator

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Yuen Long Park

In every district in Hong Kong, you can find a park of some sort.  Out here, in Yuen Long, we are blessed to have the Yuen Long Park.  This park is beautifully covered in green grass and gorgeously glorious green trees!  There is also an awesome pagoda/bird aviary at peak of this park.  It's a wonderful place for a late afternoon chill out.

Inside the aviary
I literally just tripped over this and realized this was a time capsule (after walking past it for 4 years...).  You learn something new everyday, eh!
The sitting area at the top of the hill
There is also a pet area, children's play ground, court areas, and walking paths throughout the park.  During the summer and weekends, it gets really crowded.  I remember, once I was out here and a tour bus actually dropped its tour off at the park to rest for the afternoon.

One of my favorite times to visit the Yuen Long Park is during the Mid-Autumn Festival.  At night, groups of people set up picnics under the stars to view the mid-autumn moon.  It's so incredibly fun to see children walking around with their lantern...families eating moon cakes and drinking tea...friends playing truth or dare in candlelight...just a really great time to visit the park.