Thursday, July 20, 2017

Trip to Okinawa in 2015 - Day 1



My auntie in Hong Kong was looking forward to travelling abroad with us including my mom, my brother and me. Since my mom was already over 65 and my auntie was over 75. I had to plan a trip that would fit their energy level ... hehe. Finally we decided to let our auntie have a relaxing vacation in the beautiful tropical island Okinawa (有東方夏威夷之稱的沖繩) J

It was from November 22 to 27. Since we travelled there by ourselves (自由行), lots of preparation and research needed to ensure the trip would be running smoothly! First was the flight which we decided to fly with Hong Kong airline (香港航) instead of Cathy Pacific (國泰航). Guess how much we could save by choosing Hong Kong airline? Both offered direct flights - Cathy was about $4000 HKD each while Hong Kong airline was $1500 HKD per person. 4 of us would save $10,000 HKD!!! Probably around $1700 CAD ...

On November 22, we departed from Hong Kong around 11:45 am and arrived Naha airport around 3:10 pm. Once we were in Naha airport, we were looking for the station to purchase our bus tickets as we would be taking shuttle bus to Rizzan Sea-Park Hotel. I could not find the station at first cause it was located in the domestic terminal but we were in the international terminal. Finally we were able to buy the tickets and it took us 1 hour 15 minutes to bus to the hotel. We paid 6400 yen (1600 yen per passenger), around $80 CAD.

Our hotel was in the resort in Onna 恩納村 (http://www.rizzan.co.jp/english/index.html). It was the largest and the most economical hotel in Onna although it was not the fanciest one. Staffs were very friendly and some of them especially the front desk people can speak English J


The room we stayed was for 4 guests with ocean view and it was extremely huge (over 530 square feet)! Here is the picture of a 4 person room from its webpage.





Here are the pictures taken by me:







By the time we checked-in and settled everything, it was 7 pm already so we had our first Okinawa dinner in Chinese cuisine Mandarin Court (中國菜自助晚). Service was very good since they automatically found a Mandarin speaking lady to serve us.






















Since Okinawa has tropical climate, we enjoyed the desserts a lot - almond tofu pudding, mango pudding, jello cups. Overall the buffet was quite nice and cost around $38 CAD per person. After we paid, we received coupons to use in the hotel's convenient stores, like a 10% discount.




After dinner, we passed by a show stage so we watched the traditional Okinawan dance as entertainment!




Just like all standard hotels, Rizzan provided hair brush, tooth brush with toothpaste, shower cap, etc. I always appreciate how hotels provide all the necessities, on the other hand it creates more pollution as the wraps and supplies will be thrown away when guests leave. Alternatively we can bring our own sets for each trip instead of using the toiletries offered by hotels.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Lunch at Shangri-La Hotel



Haven't written my blog for a while, time for update but I would like it to be a bit different from the past, more pictures less words to make my blog followers (if there are any?) have more visual pleasure J
Those from Hong Kong would know the above photo is the Kowloon Mosque and Islamic Centre in Tsim Sha Tsui (九龍清真寺暨伊斯蘭中), where I passed by when I was on a bus heading to Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel on December 2, 2015.
Looking at this photo reminds me of a Muslim friend who always supported me when I was very down in my life. Now he has already left Vancouver to his home country, I sincerely wish him safe and happiness forever.
















Invited by my friend Charles, we had an enjoyable lunch buffet in Shangri-La Hotel on a Wednesday afternoon J




Once we stepped into the restaurant, we saw mouth-watering desserts including mini cakes and Häagen-Dazs ice cream.





Since Christmas was approaching, we could see nutcrackers as part of the decorations.





Different sections provided different kinds of food - Chinese, South Asia and Southeast Asia, etc.






The ones that really grabbed my attention were the marinated salmon. These were something new to me - beetroot marinated salmon, wasabi smoked salmon and coffee marinated salmon. 




Have you seen the salt in different favours? Charcoal, lime, green tea, lavender and orange? I recall I had tasted green tea salt in Okinawa J










I guess this was South Asia cuisine. But the lemons made me think of Iranian food since I had lunch in a Persian restaurant in Vancouver downtown before my trip to Hong Kong.




Here were my dishes!!! The first one was a presentation of veggie garden with marinated salmon, second was fresh sashimi. Third one was a bowl of green noodle in  soup. Last one was Christmas dessert with fruit.  Some people might think the portions were too small, actually this was pretty good enough since the green noodle was super filling! Most importantly, I would be able to have an enjoyable chat with Charles in a relaxing and quiet environment J

It seems to me people in big cities like Hong Kong know very well how to taste the food, thus love to criticize the quality. Recently I  started to appreciate all the food I have every day no matter they are tasty or not. Let me tell you the trick, this good practice of appreciation is very easy to do. When you go to YouTube or internet and watch or read about the famine crisis in East Africa and Yemen, seeing more than 20 million people starving with no food and water. Then imagine Hong Kong has a population of 8 million, Vancouver has a population of 5 million ... together is 13 million, still much less than 20 million. After that, you will be satisfied with your meals.