Monday, November 30, 2015

Maker Faire Hong Kong

Sunday, we went over to the Hong Kong Polytechnic University's Maker Faire, which was held over the weekend.  The Maker Faire was a sort of inventor's fair or science fair.  There were booths from various different interest groups:  promoting 3D printing, robotics, sustainability, architecture, pottery and embroidery.

You could go up to the booths and check out what everyone was inventing, what they created, and what their inspiration was.  Some memorable booths were the Livin Farms booth, where we got to sample some roasted worms; the 3D pen workshop, where we got to draw a little four leaf clover as a souvenir; and Underwater Robotics Test Drive zone, where we could watch a competition to see who's creation could make it through an obstacle course.

It was pretty cool to see what people had created.  There were a lot of areas for kids to learn about different things and trial them out.  There was even a talent show running on campus where the Fashion/Textiles corridor of Poly U.  

***Pictures from the day***

It was such a fine day to be out learning new things!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Stocking Stuffers

Christmas is one of my favorite holidays.  I just love putting up our faux tree, buying a new decoration to symbolize another year as a family, baking holiday cookies, listening to the holiday music at the grocery store, and looking at all the wonderful Christmas decorations around the city.

Though I'm quite far from home, I still really do love spending Christmas here in Hong Kong.

As a way to ease into the Christmas shopping spirit, I started looking for stocking stuffers for my friends and family back home.  I always try to find something fun and different.  So, this year, besides some Kinder Egg Surprises and Cadbury chocolate bars, I decided to get a bunch of fun toys from one of the many toy gum ball machines around Yuen Long.

You can find these machines at most 7-Elevens and also at some of the Jusco Living Plaza shops around the city.  There are also some specialty shops that are comprised solely of these toy gum ball machines.

I love how random some of these toys are.

There are two kinds of these toy gum ball machines:

1.  The ones where you pop 5 HKD coins into

2.  The ones where you can use your Octopus Card

Today, I was at one of the ones that I had to use my Octopus Card.  The first thing that you have to do is select which toy that you want.  Then you push the silver button that says "Push to Purchase" to figure out how much it costs.

Most of the stocking stuffers I got were in the 15 - 20 HKD range, which is superb for a little bit of Christmas Day fun.

The price will be shown right above the Octopus Card payment collector.

Then all you have to do is tap your Octopus Card against the collector, it'll make a doot sound, and the machine where you selected the toy will light up around the turn dial.

The last step in getting one of these stocking stuffers is to just turn the dial and the plastic "egg" will come out.

 It's a pretty easy process.  And it is actually quite fun to see all the randomness that comes with these types of toys.  The "eggs" themselves are frosted over, so you don't really know what each person will get…which is the SURPRISE factor!

Stocking stuffers down…!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


Rarely do I go to Yoho Town or the Sun Yuen Long Center these days.  Ever since they closed the Park N Shop superstore, I haven't really found much use in traveling to the other side of Yuen Long just to visit the mall.  

But, today, thought we'd take a walk down to the other end of the town to see if there were any new places to eat.

Our first stop was the Sun  Yuen Long Center, which is now called YOHO MALL (Phase 1).  I had periodically, over the summer (and past years) seen this place under construction, but I didn't realize how upscale it literally has become.

I mean, the Starbucks, which I have been two only a few times, seemed like the only good thing this mall had for awhile.

But, with all the Christmasy decorations up, it seem alike a right proper mall when we walked through…though they are still going under construction at the top level and other parts of the mall.

 YOHO MALL Phase one has pretty average shops, like a little beauty zone, where you can find Origins, Jurlique, Loccitane and Toly Moly…

Some boutiques with trendy clothes, shoes, and accessories…

A legitimate service counter, where you can get information on public transportation…where shops are located, etc…

A zone for sports gear, sports wear, and trendy clothes…

And a zone where there are cafes, restaurants, and the like…

Down one of the corridors, there is also an area exclusively for travel agencies, which is quite convenient…

And good ole Fusion Supermarket is also found inside here…

From Phase 1, you can walk the sky bridge over to YOHO TOWN Phase 2.

This section of the YOHO MALL COMPLEX is actually my favorite.  It has most of the shops that I love and a really good selection of eateries, which I also LOVE!

They have Collection Point, which is a grouping of some of the trendiest clothes around town :  Niko and…, Global Work, and Lowry's Farm.

This side of the mall is less crowded than the other side, but it did seem like mostly the younger crowd were hanging out here.

…I wonder if it is because the H&M, ZARA, Jack Wills, and Victoria's Secret are on this side!

Dotted around this side of the mall, there are shops that are more international and also a bunch of restaurants that are more upscale than the usual Yuen Long eatery.  It's actually a really great place, which I sort of feel the people of YOHO MIDTOWN might frequent more than the locals around Yuen Long town.

It was such a nice surprise to see how nice this mall was.  It makes me feel like I don't have to go all the way down into Central to shop for things or get some good food on a good occasion.  I'm pretty stoked that YOHO MALL opened up.

I'm not sure if I like how Yuen Long is developing into a more upscale type of town, but I do appreciate the shops that are coming in…it does make life a bit more convenient…and it makes it seem more like home instead of Yuen Long!!!

Monday, November 23, 2015

10 Minute Haircut

We were in Tuen Mun this past weekend and decided to catch the light rail into Siu Hong MTR Station. When we were coming up the escalators, we ran into the QB House. 

I remember the QB House all over Tokyo's Train stations.  It was like a barber shop where you could get a 10 minute hair cut for 10 dollars…or something like that.  I remember thinking how it was a great way for guys to get a haircut on a busy schedule.  

The Yuen Long Plaza also has a QB House!

I actually never thought about trying it out, but I thought that, since it was (1) empty and since it was (2) interesting, I was going to do it!  Life should be full of first times!

There were two guys in the barber seats and two guys waiting for haircuts when we got there…it was around 1 pm when we did run into QB House.  

There was some sort of special going on, which I need someone to help translate for me!

So, when you first enter the shop, you have to go to the auto pay machine and tap your Octopus Card against it.  Each hair cut is 60 HKD.  

I wasn't going to really cut my hair, but I did need a trim around the bang area, so it was a good time to test out how a little trim would be.  And 60 HKD is a really good price for a quick trim (MAYBE!)

Usually a hair cut for me (with long hair and side-sweapt bangs + shampoo + blowdrying) comes out to around 300 - 500+ HKD in the Yuen Long area.  It really depends on where I go and who does my hair.  There are junior stylists and senior stylists to choose from.  The people with the most experience are obviously the ones who charge more, but they are totally more trustworthy, in my opinion!

So, I thought the 60 HKD price of QB House, at that moment, could have been either a brilliant price or a crumby price. 

After paying, a receipt will pop out of the machine.  Take the receipt and head on to the waiting area, which is a long bench that marks who the first person is and everyone else afterwards.  It is quite Japanese to have so much order, for sure!

Each hair cutter had their own little station.  The hygiene of this place was pretty average.  I mean, the combs were in a hygienic heated box.  But, the capes they put over you to protect your clothes from falling hair were reused.  And, after each session, when the hair cutter cleaned up the fallen hair, they would sweep (as best they could) the hair into a little vacuum box at the base of their station. 

There were still particles of hair around the base of each chair, but that's quite common in Hong Kong, I think.

Each haircut seemed to be around 10 minutes or less.  It goes to show that cutting/shaving/trimming a guys hair may, in deed, be easier than cutting layers into a woman's hair.  But, it took only about 10 minutes for me to get to the 1st position spot!

So, at around 1:30 or so, I found myself being the only person in the shop.

When I got up to the chair, (no photos at this point), I used all the body language that I could (and images from my phone) to show the woman that I just wanted a trim on my bangs.  It was easy enough.  She cut my bangs once, then asked if it was all right.  I asked for her to cut it a bit Bit BIT shorter to be out of my eyes.  Then she asked if it was all right.

After 10 minutes, I was done.

My bangs were fine.

And I had a great experience in the chair with my lovely hair cutter.

She cleaned up my face with a facial tissue and bid me farewell.

 I really liked my experience at QB House.  I think, if I am ever in desperate need of getting a trim, I would probably check out the QB House at the Yuen Long Plaza, but for a full on hair cut, I doubt they'll be able to do as well of a job as the salons around town.

But, overall:
1.  This was fun!
2.  It was nice to try something new!
3.  The price was right for a bang trim!
4.  The shop was all business (as you can see from the image above)!
5.  And the hair cutters were both so lovely!