Tian Zi Fang, Shanghai, China 田子坊,上海

田子坊 detailscafes in Tain Zi Fangfrench macarons + china vogue + soy latteDreaming in Tian zi fangcafe signDSC09467田子坊 alley detailsdiscovery 中国tainzifang mailboxes bowls and incense zen plants at tian zi fangBuddahfake food tian zi fang
Shanghai, China is my favorite city in the entire world (I know – big statement). The reasons why I love Shanghai are: fashion, historic/international architecture, multinational cultures, world renown restaurants and Shanghai’s culture itself.  My favorite spot in Shanghai is Tian Zi Fang 田子坊. Tain zi fang consists of old alleyways and houses that have been converted into cute boutique shops, art galleries, cafes, and bars – the past four times I have been to Shanghai, I have visited this adorable space. Tian Zi Fang is always my number one place to go when I visit this city. I apologize for my stack of photos for this post, but I am seriously in love with this little spot. You can find souvenirs,  expensive lattes, and perfect photo opportunities in this cute, cramped space. I recommend coming to this tourist destination on a week day, and not on a crowded weekend. I had the opportunity to come here on a Wednesday afternoon, and it was pretty much empty. If you get the chance to visit Shanghai – Tian Zi Fang must be on your places to visit! x

Pretty Things: Hong Kong

Passport to Hong Kong
Yeee a “Pretty Things” post! This post focuses on my trip to Hong Kong. My Tangerine Tote and I were ready – passport + airline tickets in hand, Starbucks black tea, Nike+ FuelBand, and colorful accessories (ready for an adventure)! Starting from Portland –> Seattle –> Beijing –> HONG KONG! I know the multiple flights weren’t ideal, but who cares – it was worth it! I got to see my wonderful, other half, Winnie and my two lovely sorority sisters, Hana and Jamie.
Victoria Peak Hong Kong
I was well rested and ready to get moving after my long flight to Hong Kong. My trusty Sony NEX and I made our way to Victoria Peak to take in the view and capture some photography. I love walking around Hong Kong and exploring Hong Kong’s neighborhoods, even  if it’s by myself. I used to live in Shenzhen, China, the next city closest to Hong Kong, and I used to venture to Hong Kong all the time to shop, see friends and eat amazing food.
 High Tea at W Hotel Hong Kong
I love the high tea culture in Hong Kong. This was my second time trying this tasty east meets west high tea at the W Hotel Hong Kong. See my exclusive post here about the food, tea and amazing company.
Kowloon Lights!
After high tea, Winnie and I were on the hunt in Kowloon for “hot spicy noodles” (my favorite). I love Kowloon’s neon lights and lively atmosphere.  We finally found my favorite noodle soup dish on a street corner. We ate like  locals – sitting on a stool on an outside table, enjoying this noodle soup I can’t find in the States. I loved it.
Last Night in HK Lan Kwai Fong!
One of my favorite things to do at night in Hong Kong is to venture at night to Lan Kwai Fong (LKF), Hong Kong’s bar street. It’s truly unique. LKF’s is a steep and windy, narrow street with small alleyways venturing off offering small bars, cafes, hookah lounges and dance clubs. You can stay up and party as late as you want or you can relax on a weeknight at a small cafe and have a glass of wine. My first LKF night on this trip was crazy – we danced the night away and ventured up and down the cobbled stone streets in our heels. Amazing.
Hong Kong from Victoria Harbour
I couldn’t have asked for clearer skis in Hong Kong during my stay. I will be back next year, Winnie! I can’t wait to see my best friend again, shop and eat amazing food. Maybe one day I’ll get to live in this dynamic, multicultural city. Until next time, Hong Kong. xx

Playing in Hong Kong

 

Hong Kong from Kowloonnight view from Victoria Peak, Hong KongHong Kong fun via @TediTsuruda instagramHong Kong central SoHopicturesSohofriends have arrived!Victoria PeakHong Kong from Victoria Peak

I am trying to decide the best way to describe this Asian urban jungle. Every moment I was in Hong Kong it felt like I was a kid in a candy store – everything and anything are possible in this compact city. I am in love with Hong Kong’s urban culture, it’s architecture, and multinational inhabitants. People say that New York never sleeps and I say the same for Hong Kong. Time doesn’t matter in this magical city – restaurants,  bars and clubs are open until no one is left inside – that being said I had no problem adjusting to the 14 hour time difference.

My Tangerine Tote and I arrived two days before my two other girlfriends and sorority sisters from the States arrived. It was so unreal being in Hong Kong together with them and Winnie. One of my friends, Jamie (right; blue shirt), had traveled to Hong Kong several times before and studied abroad at Nanjing University at the same time I was in Beijing. It was our other friend, Hana (left; tan shirt), who had never been to Asia before. As Hong Kong being her introductory city to Asia, I don’t think she could have picked a better one. We laughed, danced, drank Tsingtao beer and experienced all the wonders of this amazing city. Hong Kong’s Soho, Victoria Peak and Victoria Harbour are truly unforgettable. I can’t wait to come back next year. Next, I’ll be posting about Shanghai and Nanjing! More travel diaries to come. xx

Hong Kong: W Hotel High Tea

W Hotel High Teal

If you have never experienced high tea then you MUST go. Every year/time I go to Hong Kong I try to make it to high tea. This was my second time trying the W Hong Kong’s  afternoon tea – and I must say, the atmosphere is spectacular and this high tea is unordinary and lovely. I think how the food and drink are presented are definitely at the crossroads of where East meets West.  The interior is inviting and the art found throughout this international hotel is fantastic, odd and bit over the top – but it works! Check it out!

W Hotel Wood Bar

Butterflies and mirrors reflect the walls and shows of the interior’s high ceilings. The high tea is located in the W’s WOOBAR . If you decide to experience this Kowloon high tea, I recommend calling a day in advance to make a reservation.
Interior at W Wood Bar

Winnie's VIP Hong Kong W Card

Winnie’s VIP Hong Kong W Card

My best friend Winnie always seems to find the best deals in town – she’s super savvy. She signed up for Hong Kong’s W VIP card which allows her to receive 25% off the restaurants, spa and amenities (excluding room rates); she also received 1500 HKD coupons at the W Hong Kong . We ordered the high tea’s set menu for two (for the three of us). See what I mean when I say “east meets west?”

DSC09059

east meets west: savory treats on top

east meets west: savory treats on top

east meets west: sugary treats on the bottom

east meets west: sugary treats on the bottom

pineapple raspberry: delicious

pineapple raspberry: delicious

Hong Kong meets British style scones

Hong Kong meets British style scones

soy latte and sugar rock sticks

soy latte and sugar rock sticks

Enjoying my new purchases from Mong Kok at High Tea

Enjoying my new purchases from Mong Kok at High Tea

We had a lovely time at afternoon tea. I miss my friends so much. I love hearing them speak Cantonese together (I hope to learn one day). Winnie and I speak Mandarin together sometimes and we talk about the days we lived in Beijing together. I can’t wait to see her next year and hopefully this summer in LA. The W’s high tea is one of the best in Hong Kong. My two friends, especially Lam Lam is definitely a food critic and knows her “stuff” being a baker herself. Even if she may disagree with me about the W’s high tea being one of the best in Hong Kong, I can’t wait to see where she suggests to go next!  Winnie and Lam Lam get ready for next year! Love you both so very much.

perfect date with my two Hong Kong friends, Winnie and Lam Lam

perfect date with my two Hong Kong friends, Winnie and Lam Lam via Winnie and Lam Lam’s instagram

Travel Diary: Mong Kok, Hong Kong

Mong Kok

Hong Kong is amazing. I was so happy I got to spend time with one of my dearest friends, Winnie Tsui (check out her blog here). One of my favorite places to shop and eat is Mong Kok in Kowloon. I love everything about it, especially the neon signs, food stalls, and street vendors. It makes this place truly unforgettable and unique.

mong kok selfiewinnie

I am so lucky to have a best friend in another country, especially one in Hong Kong. Winnie and I met while we studied abroad together back in 2009 at Peking University in Beijing. It was “friendship at first sight.” Thanks Winnie for always being an amazing tour guide and friend! xx I have promised her to return to Hong Kong next year, and the year after that! In my opinion, March – April is the best time to visit Hong Kong because the weather is perfect. I couldn’t have asked for more clear, perfect weather! It was amazing.

mong kok food

mong kok food

fish balls and shui mai

spicy fish balls

Food stalls line the streets of Mong Kok. You can find a variety of dim sum or “yum cha” (in Cantonese) selections. My favorites are fish balls, shui mai, BBQ pork buns and har gow (shrimp dumplings).

 funny USB characters! So cute!

funny USB characters! So cute!

The day and night market in Mong Kok has everything and anything you can imagine. The stalls range with fake goods, USB characters, accessories, I Love HK T-shirts, phone cases and Chinese trinkets. I fell in love with all these USB characters above. If you need a good gift or a few souvenirs to bring home, come check this place out! You’ll be sure to find what you need, but also remember to bargain (not too low, but a tiny bit lower).

Bargaining Tip: after living abroad in China and traveling to Hong Kong quite frequently I developed some good bargaining skills. First, take a look around and see what everyone is selling. If you see something you like, such as a bracelet or handbag, ask for the price. If you see another vendor with that same object ask for it’s price. Compare. Think in your mind what it’s worth to you and how much you are willing to pay for it. In China rebuttal with a price that’s less than half, but in Hong Kong, see if you can go down at least 20 HKD less than the original price. If you see the same object in a lot of places, chances are that object is already at a standard price set perviously by all the vendors. Also, if you speak the language it’s a plus. In the end you have to feel like you got a good deal.

I love HKwinnie looking at luggage tagswrap braceletscosmetic cases

Need faux TOMS or Loubs?

Need faux TOMS or Loubs?

cookies

cute decorated Hong Kong cookies!

bubble tea time

bubble tea time

tea
The first thing when I go back to Hong Kong and China, is to find a milk tea stand. I love all the crazy and wild flavors they have for tea and all the different types of tapioca “pearl” flavors your can add. Winnie chooses some interesting flavors when it comes to bubble tea and I am always drawn to lemon/kumquat/more sour flavors. We bought these two drinks before we made our way into one of Mong Kok’s huge garment malls. I bought so many cute things that I can’t find in the states. I can’t wait to go back! I’ll continue to post more photos and travel diaries. More of Hong Kong and Shanghai to come! xx