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Experience A Hong Kong Christmas, No Matter Where You Are in The World

A couple of weeks ago, the highly anticipated Hong Kong-Singapore travel bubble (initially set for November 22) was shelved after a surge of cases in the region – much to the disappointment of many. Some hotels and shopping centres, had, in fact, tailored special holiday experiences – ready to welcome their first leisure travellers after over a year of travel restrictions. 

While that obviously hasn’t worked out, that doesn’t mean Christmas has to be canceled. Hong Kong retailers, businesses and artists alike have banded together to bring an immersive and innovative festive season to people all over the world – using the power of technology.

Take a 360-degree virtual tour of Hong Kong’s festive Central Business District 

Hong Kong’s Christmas celebrations are widely considered to be some of the best in the region, with vibrant Christmas markets, stunning displays, fun activities and more. The Hong Kong WinterFest, an annual fixture organised by the Hong Kong Tourism Board, has been a major tourist draw each year – and although visitors might not be able to attend physically this year, they can still expect a veritable wonderland through their screens. 

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Go on a tour of Christmas Town – a snow-kissed virtual CBD based on Hong Kong’s very own Central Business District – which ‘starts’ off at Statue Square, a historic public space in the heart of Central. From there, visitors are free to choose their own adventure: you can learn how to make festive DIY crafts such as aromatic wreaths, ornaments, pop-up holiday cards or candle holders via video tutorials, download holiday-themed Whatsapp stickers designed by famous Hong Kong illustrator like Din Dong, Dustykid and Messy Deck, or tune in to beautiful Christmas carols. If you prefer to just soak in the sights of the CBD’s iconic skyscrapers (which will be all decked out for the holidays), a towering tree and festive Christmas lodges, let Uncle Siu – a popular English educator known for his charming voice – lead you through the innovative 360-degree experience, and make fun, interactive stops along the way. 

The virtual tour of Christmas Town is part of the 2020 Hong Kong Winterfest, which will run until 3 January 2021. 

The world’s first “AI Butterflies Illuminating Interactive Art”

Enter a playground of light at Lee Tung Avenue in Wan Chai, where a seven-metre-tall, stained-glass butterfly and over 350 little LED butterflies have taken up residence. Dubbed “Butterflies of Hope,” it is the world’s first AI-powered butterfly art installation,  created to inspire, uplift and remind visitors of the hope, love, beauty and positivity we have in this world.

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If you are in Hong Kong, afternoon is the best time to visit, as the glass installation refracts natural light onto the ground, painting the boulevard in a myriad of colours. Evenings are a magical affair, with a music-and-light symphony that sees the butterflies taking flight as they ‘dance’ to the sound of music using artificial intelligence.

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The Lee Tung Avenue atrium is also home to a stunning, 12-metre-tall Christmas tree, with some powerful special effects. Combining touchless interactive technology and a special shadow projection technique, the tree projects butterflies onto the clothes of visitors – a feat of art and technology. 

Enjoy the festivities at Lee Tung Avenue until 10 January 2021.

Get lost in the Asia debut of Globoscope, a light showcase from France

K11 MUSEA, a new cultural-retail destination and arts hub on the Tsim Sha Tsui promenade, has turned up the Christmas spirit this year with A Very MUSEA Christmas Village. The village spreads joy and wonderment with a roster of artistic cultural experiences, including the Asia debut of Globoscope.

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Globoscope debuts in Asia at K11 Musea

Created by Collectif Coin, a renowned French art lab, the site-specific immersive light show stretches across the Bohemian Garden, a roof-top open space. A 20-minute private experience can be reserved to enjoy the surreal, sensory light exhibit with family or friends. It’s a sight to behold: Glowing spheres dance and swirl in choreographed light movements, while the dramatic Hong Kong skyline shines in the distance.

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Adding to the festive vibes is K11 MUSEA’s gorgeous Christmas Forest, featuring glistening golden trees in the mall’s atrium. Also not to be missed is a special Santa Muse Parade and a Christmas Market.

Experience A Very MUSEA Christmas Village through 3 January 2021. 

“Christmas Every Day” goes high tech with virtual Santa Meet & Greets

For the past 50 years, Harbour City has marked the holiday seasons with larger-than-life Christmas installations and festive surprises. This year is no different: it’s “Christmas Every Day” celebration once again promises unforgettable holiday memories, complemented by a roster of online experiences. 

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Take a virtual tour of the incredible decorations throughout the mall and “check-in” on social media or share your Christmas wish list with Santa during a virtual Meet & Greet. For the little ones, Harbour City has created an interactive online colouring game, where children can dress up their “Monster Friends” – adorable 3D cartoon characters illustrated by Dutch artist Eva Cremers – and then watch their masterpiece come to life!

The holiday extravaganza continues in person. At the “Christmas Lighting Garden” on the Ocean Terminal Deck, you can wade through a sea of illuminated LED clovers and dandelions and enjoy the “Christmas Lighting & Music Show” every evening with the stunning Hong Kong skyline as a backdrop.

Enjoy Harbour City’s “Christmas Every Day” online and offline experiences until 3 January 2021.

*Photos courtesy of Hong Kong Tourism Board.

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Ocean Park Hong Kong Is Having A One Piece Summer Bash – Check Out The Adorable Food Items!

Hey guys! 

I’ve been following the Japanese anime/manga series One Piece since my teens, and while I haven’t been updating myself religiously (blame it on how long and draggy the series is – they first published in 1997 wtf), I’ve always loved the art, characters and great storyline.

This summer, the iconic Ocean Park Hong Kong is having the Ocean Park Summer Water Battle, in celebration of One Piece’s 20th anniversary.  Running from 13 July to 1 September 2019, this is a One Piece fan’s mecca – with exhilarating water battles and setups, exclusive memorabilia to take home and items inspired by the comics/anime. The Waterfront Plaza will be transformed into a water battle zone, and there will be seven encounters and photo spots, such as the Thousand Sunny Ship by the Park’s lagoon, wanted posters, a super-sized fountain in the shape of Luffy’s signature straw hat, and many more.

Of course, being a foodie, what really drew my interest is the unique Instagrammable food creations for the One Piece Summer Adventure Feast at The Terrace Cafe, which is available for a limited time only. Luffy would have gobbled them all up in a second!

Departure from Grand Line

Departure from Grand Line – creamy seafood chowder

Fresh Fruits Jelly with Strawberries Marshmallow

Fresh Fruit Jellies With Strawberry Marshmallows

Gum-Gum Devil Fruit Dried Fruits Butter Cake

Gum-Gum Devil Fruit Dried Fruits Butter Cake

Luffy Crispy Puff with Cookies and Vanilla Ice-cream

Luffy Crispy Puff With Cookies and Vanilla Ice Cream

Mini Devil Fruit Macaroon

Mini Devil Fruit Macaroon

Mysterious One Piece Snacks Combo

Mysterious One Piece Snack Combo

One Piece Snacks Treasure

One Piece Snacks Treasure

One Piece Summer Journey Bento Box

One Piece Summer Journey Bento Box – (can I get Sanji to make this for me?) 😀

Powerful Franky

Powerful Franky – Franky’s strong punches have left a deep trench in the tomato seafood risotto!

Soul King - Brook

The appetizer Soul King – Brook features a crispy deep-fried shrimp cake with Brook’s face on top and greens arranged in the shapes of music notes.

Sunny Boat Snacks Combo

Sunny Boat Snacks Combo

Supernovas Luffy

Supernovas Luffy – Luffy’s signature straw hat has morphed into a potato croquette atop tender and juicy wagyu beef cheeks braised in red wine.

Wanted Butter Cookies

For desserts, Wanted posters of the character made with charcoal chocolate mouse cake served with butter cookie.

Chopper Raspberry Cupcake

Chopper Raspberry Muffin

For more information on Ocean Park Hong Kong, visit oceanpark.com.hk/en.

Macau – Hong Kong

This is my 2nd post about my trip to Macau/Hong Kong.
I looked at the time after I finished uploading these pix and wtf, already an hour?
Woke up quite early to catch the shuttle bus from the hotel to the ferry terminal. Had breakfast at the hotel cafeteria.. buffet style – American Breakfast. People here love to eat meat, especially pork and beef. They put it in almost every dish.
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My hearty western breakfast: 2 of everything – bacon, nuggets, sausages, ham, a big dollop of scrambled eggs. What diet?
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The weather did not improve on the second day . Still cloudy, cold and misty. This is the exterior of the ferry terminal.. the blurriness is not due to my cam
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Check out this cool massage chair! You have to put coins into the slots for it to work.
The ferry was delayed for half an hour coz of the fog, so it was too dangerous for the ferry to move. We waited.. and waited… and waited…
zzz..
40 minutes later: ” Dear ladies and gentlemen, we are still experiencing bad weather, will be delayed for another 20 minutes” *groans from the crowd*
20 minutes later.. ” we will be delayed for another hour…” WTF!!!! We wasted two hours waiting for the ferry. Roars.
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When we got to Hong Kong it was already 1230. There goes our plans to visit all those places.
So we decided to go see the Big Buddha statue at Lantau Island. No tour guide to take us around so we had to take the MTR ourselves.
And you can’t buy tickets at the counter, unlike in Malaysia!
It was so funny. Mum and Dad went to the counter to buy tickets. The guy changed coins for us. Then my parents were like “Er, where’s the ticket?”
He gave us this weird look. We later realised that we had to buy the ticket from the machine, which is why they give you small change.
I noticed that the people here don’t walk – they jog. Unlike Malaysians who take their own sweet time. Even when they’re on the escalator, they don’t stop. They’re also pretty rude, as I got bumped into several times and nobody said sorry -_-
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Finally we reached! It’s very convenient to take the MTR if you know how to, coz all the stations are interconnected. You don’t have to buy different tickets to change to a different line, unlike in KL where you have to change from STAR to PUTRA and buy the tix all over again.
And of course, no mumbling announcements whenever the train pulls in to a station.
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To get to Ngong Ping village where the Big Buddha is, we had to take a cable car! I think it is one of the longest rides in asia.. took us 25 minutes to get to the top. It’s not as steep or as scary as Genting though.
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*shuts eyes*
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Unlike the tropical rainforest and jungles of Malaysia, the hills here are short grass and undergrowth. Well, the upside is you’ll never have to worry about not getting spotted if you’re lost.
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Hooray! After the long ride, we reached Ngong Ping 360 village. It’s touristy, with the attraction being the Buddha statue. They have many shops selling souvenirs, food and a few temples around the area.
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The Big Buddha statue.
You have to climb a few hundred steps to get to the top.
Not as many as Batu Caves, but still tiring for little old ladies like me. Haha
After panting and wheezing for a couple of minutes, we reached the top.Too bad it was so misty, or else it would be much more beautiful. The buddha is made of bronze, if I’m not mistaken.
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Joss sticks for prayers. Nearby are shops selling souvenirs, handicrafts, charms, etc.
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Outer temple
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Inner temple, decorated with fresh flowers. Isn’t it gorgeous?
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The flowers here are really pretty. Probably becoz of the cool weather that they can thrive in. It’s 18 degrees Celcius (mid winter)
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Inside the temple. Golden statues of the gods are surrounded by various types of flowers, fruits and other offerings.
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Place where devotees can kneel and pray.
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Ornate carvings of dragons and phoenixes adorn the stone pillars.
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And I saw this guy!
I wonder if it’s the temple pet, or if it’s a manifestation of a God, or whatever ~ but it was just sitting there like, “I don’t care less” type of attitude. I stroked it on its back and it didn’t even flinch. It just sort of mewed at me and yawned. lmao.
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More flowers
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A real cow. I was only inches away from it xD
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We decided to leave the place at 4pm and guess what? the queue to the cable car was freakkkinggg long.
Tired of waiting, I got myself an ice blended caramel frappucino. Nothing beats having a freezing cold drink in cold weather – it’ll freeze your brain. Ever had that sensation?
Even on the mountain top one can get Starbucks – I guess there really is no escape from commercialisation.
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The sky was already darkening when we got to Tsim Tsa Shui , where we planned to visit the Avenue of Stars. This is a Hollywood-like Boulevard where celebrities have their hands imprinted on the walkway (and get stepped on by hundreds of visitors everyday)
It wasn’t anything special. They do say it is very pretty at night (if it wasn’t for the freaking fog!) coz you can see part of HK island lit up from a distance.
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Sorry.. the pix here are kinda blurry coz my phone didn’t have night mode and it was so dark.
But its a pretty good place for couples to have a romantic stroll at night .
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Can’t believe it! My hands are the same size as Eric Tsang’s. (you know, the short bald guy in “zheong mun yan” game show?)
I dunno whether to smile, or just run screaming away from it.
Why cant I have same size hands as Charmaine Sheh or Myolie Wu? 😦
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It was late by the time we left so the subway was empty by then.
We took a ferry back to Macau, and thank God the fog had cleared up.The sea was rather choppy though and I got a massive headache coz we were sitting on the upper bunk.
Well, so far, I’ve almost tried every mode of transport imaginable.
Bus, taxi, cable car, ferry, MTR… lol.
Will be going back to hometown for grandpa’s birthday tomoro, so I’ll update my final holiday post when I come back. ^^
till then.