Saturday, December 9, 2017

Trip to Okinawa in 2015 - Day 2

Second day we didn't go outside the resort. We decided to stay in the hotel and browse around since it is huge! From one end to another end takes at least 10 minutes to walk. I'd better have my mom to be familiar with the hotel since she would stay there by herself on the third day ... hehe!

Let's take a walk along the beach in the fresh morning, there is a chapel next to the hotel. Although it is not the spectacular crystal church, I found it adorable and a good option for couples who love to have a wedding in an ocean view chapel within budget 🙂

Now walk back to the other side ... the view of our hotel in the middle of the resort:

When we kept walking along, there is an open-air Japanese pub where guests can see the performance of Okinawan folk songs every night.

Here's the view of the other end:

When we looked out into the ocean, we saw a lighthouse. It looks not too far hey! According to Google map, the distance is 14.6 km which takes 3 hours to walk from Rizzan to the lighthouse!!!

Rizzan has several restaurants including Seaside Restaurant for Western breakfast buffet, Shichifuku for Japanese and Ryukyu (Okinawan) buffet, Blue Lagoon for Western lunch and dinner buffets, Mandarin Court for Cantonese cuisine (that's where we had dinner buffet on the first night!), Churahama for charcoal-grilled yakiniku at the outdoor seats in front of the beach, Prashanti for homemade sweets and Coral View for wine or cocktail.

Guess which one we went to on November 23, the second day? Because we could have either free breakfast or free lunch buffet, we picked the later one. It was in Blue Lagoon, I recall the choices were good, food was decent and the ocean view made the ambiance very relaxing and enjoyable 😊

Here's the picture of Blue Lagoon lunch buffet from Rizzan website:

After lunch would be a good time for walking to burn calories ... hehe. Even just wandering around inside the hotel was fun! It has convenient store where we purchased our dinner there (less expensive than going to a restaurant plus we got a 10% discount coupon from first night's dinner buffet in Mandarin Court that we could use in the convenient store 😉 ), it has some souvenir shops too. I recall the 10% discount coupon could be applied to both convenient and souvenir stores.

There were chairs that we could sit to watch the ocean through the window glass. Since nobody was there, it was totally quiet and meditated to have a seat facing the endless ocean.

After a while, we went back to our room to have an afternoon nap. Just a very short one but very good sleep 🙂

I also went through their safety guide briefly.

We were looking forward to our sweets buffet in Lounge Prashanti since the mini cakes and desserts looked very attractive and delicious on their website!

Oops ... it was a bit disappointing as we didn't see the ones that matched these fancy pictures. The mini cakes were very limited,most of the desserts were ice cream and chopped fruits. I recalled we could make our own pancakes, which was a bit fun.Their cups were cute, was the buffet more for kids?

Anyway, I enjoyed this place with ocean view more than the sweets. When we checked in, the hotel gave each of us a welcome drink coupon for Coral View. Since we didn't use them for the drinks, we redeemed the coupons at Prashanti as cash value for the buffet.

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 ( 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.