{Phuket: Island-Hopping, Tom Yum & Chill Vibes}

Having been bitten by the globetrotting bug, I headed to Phuket, the mecca for beach lovers, over my summer break. I’d only ever visited Phuket during cruise vacations, so this was the first time I had the opportunity to explore more of the beautiful beach town. It was also my first trip abroad with the squad (4/6 of us!), so I was even more hyped for this trip.

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The trip was extremely spontaneous, having only planned it 2 weeks in advance when our schedules miraculously lined up and gave us a 4 day window for a vacation together.

Our Itinerary

Day 1//Sun Flight from Singapore to Phuket

Phuket Weekend Market

Day 2//Mon Island Hopping with JC Tours: Phi Phi Island + Maya Bay + Khai Island
Day 3//Tue Patong Beach

Shopping at Patong

Day 4//Wed Flight from Phuket to Singapore

Read On: Our Adventures

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{Shanghai-HK, Part 5: Food, Sights & Shopping in Hong Kong}

Part 1 |Part 2| Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

This is the last instalment in my Shanghai-HK series, but I’ll be back real soon with a post about my Phuket getaway! Anyway, this will just be a quick listicle featuring my must-visit destinations in Hong Kong, whether it’s your 10th time there (it was, for me) or if you’re new to this city. From sightseeing, to eating Michelin-starred food and of course shopping, this list has you covered!

Citygate Outlets

Nearest MTR Station: Tung Chung

This is a great way to kill time if you still have a few hours to your flight, as the outlet mall is just a shuttle bus away from Hong Kong’s airport. It offers mid-range luxury brands like Kate Spade, Coach, I.T and Samsonite, etc. at outlet prices (10-50% cheaper than in stores), and there’s no shortage of food options to satisfy your post/pre-flight cravings!

The fastest and cheapest way to the city from the airport is also via a shuttle bus from the airport to the outlets/Tung Chung station, from which you can take a train straight to the city area.

Langham Place

Nearest MTR Station: Mong Kok

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You might remember the viral video of an escalator malfunctioning, and tens of people tumbling backwards/downwards…well, this is the very escalator featured in that clip. Langham Place certainly doesn’t deserve a bad reputation from just a one-off incident; I’ve been to this mall a few times during my prior trips, and I love shopping here! Its spaciousness and modern design are already a huge wow factor, not to mention the hundreds of tenants that include major chain brands, beauty shops and eclectic design shops.

Argyle Street

Nearest MTR Station: Mong Kok

For Singaporeans, this is basically the Bugis Street of Hong Kong, with the trendiest clothes going at dirt cheap prices ($5 for shorts anyone?). All the clothing I bought in HK was from this mall. It’s conveniently located near Langham Place and Ladies’ Market, and you can find walking directions in the Mong Kok MTR station.

Scouring all 3 floors of this mall could take a few hours, so budget enough time and cash for this stop!

Sino Centre

Nearest MTR Station: Yau Ma Tei/Mong Kok

For K-pop and anime lovers, this place is nothing short of heaven. There’s 3 storeys of retail heaven small beaten up shops stuffed from floor to ceiling with albums and merchandise. The main demographic of customers to this mall are males, who throng the place in search of anime merchandise, which include replicas of their favourites characters and manga books as well.

As a K-pop fan, I’ve visited this dingy mall on every trip to HK, because it has all the albums, posters, fan merchandise and Korean magazines that you could possibly dream of. The prices are reasonable, and the selection is considerably wider than what can be found in Singapore.

Ladies’ Market

Nearest MTR Station: Mong Kok

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Street food, replica handbags and gaudy touristy tees – Hong Kong’s busiest night market has it all. Stalls open as early as 5pm and last through the night, but it is considerably less crowded if you go earlier, as tourists and locals tend to descend on the place after dark.

When my family was there, we overheard a store owner offering Caucasian tourists a shawl for HKD$100 – the very same shawl she had tried to sell us for half the price. They do mark up their goods to target non-Chinese/Asian tourists, so make sure to bargain for the best prices!

Harbour City

Nearest MTR Station: Tsim Sha Tsui

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On the way to Harbour City, you’ll walk past some grand-looking hotels and museums that overlook the harbour, though it’s almost always foggy. There’s also a nightly light show at Victoria Harbour which starts at 9pm, so be sure to watch it at least once on your HK vacation!

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Harbour City is by far my favourite upscale mall in HK, not only because it offers a stunning view of the city skyline (and the adjacent cruise terminal), but also because it has a massive duty-free shop for all the top international & Korean beauty brands.

Personally, I went slightly overboard at the Innisfree shop, because the deals and freebies they offered were insanely attractive, and the prices of all their products were significantly cheaper than in Singapore. If you’ve used up all your HK currency by this point, not to fret, you can easily swipe your credit card here (as opposed to in the smaller malls or markets)!

Times Square

Nearest MTR Station: Causeway Bay

Give this mall a miss if you’re short on time, because it’s just 13 stories of high-end luxury brands and some overpriced art galleries. If you’re looking for more affordable shopping in the area, try taking the MTR to Admiralty, where there’s a massive SOGO department store, as well as Forever 21, Ikea and Korean beauty stores.

Kam’s Roast Goose

Nearest MTR Station: Wan Chai

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If you want to try Hong Kong’s only Michelin starred roast goose, then Kam’s Roast Goose Restaurant is the place to go. Be prepared to shell out a fair amount of cash to dine at this place, and make sure that you go there early to avoid the hours-long line that forms around dinner time. My family and I headed there at around 4pm, when there was thankfully still no queue for a table.

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The roast goose was succulent and tender, but it was too oily for my liking. Well I guess I’m not cut out to be a food connoisseur, because I wouldn’t have given this restaurant a Michelin star; their goose was good but not spectacular.

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IFC Mall

Nearest MTR Station: Hong Kong

IFC Mall lies on the opposite side of the harbour from Harbour City, and is located in the central financial district. The mall offers mid to high-end luxury brands, as well as many floors of unique (and expensive) dining options.

If you want to take the Star Ferry from this side of Victoria Harbour to Tsim Sha Tsui, the jetty is just walking distance from this mall.

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And so we’ve come to the end of my Shanghai-HK series, but I’ll be back soon with all the latest details of my recent Phuket adventure, so stay tuned! Be sure to follow my blog and like my Facebook page so you’ll stay up to date with my latest globetrotting adventures!

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Part 1 |Part 2Part 3 | Part 4| Part 5

{Shanghai-HK, Part 4: Hong Kong Disneyland}

Part 1 | Part 2 |Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

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I’ve been to HK Disneyland 4 times, but I’ll probably never get bored of visiting the ‘Happiest Place on Earth’. Anyway, this post will be pretty short since most of you would’ve been to HK Disney before…and it’s far smaller and less crowded than Shanghai’s Disney so there’s no need for any tips on how to make the most out of your day here; you can easily sit each ride multiple times, since the queue times are non-existent. So let’s jump right in!

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You can easily take the metro from any part of HK to Sunny Bay station, and then transfer to a Mickey-themed train on the Disney Resort Line, which brings you to Disneyland directly.

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Be sure to plan your trip the day before, so you know what time to set off from your hotel – you don’t want to be late for the park opening!

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It’s another 5-minute walk from the station to the park entrance, and there’s many good photo-taking spots even before you enter the park!

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Read On: Exploring Disneyland

{Shanghai-HK, Part 3: Shopping in Shanghai}

Part 1 |Part 2| Part 3 | Part 4Part 5

Shanghai is undoubtedly a shopping and food paradise, with good bargains to be found in every store, and all the food you could possibly indulge in. So in this post, I’ll be covering all the best shopping spots in Shanghai for travellers on any budget, as well as highlights of food we found in the city.

West Nanjing

Nearest metro station: Nanjing Road (West)

This area is shopaholic heaven for those of you who love fashion chains like Uniqlo, H&M, Marks & Spencer’s and Zara, and you could easily spend the whole day there. The first thing you’ll encounter when exiting the metro station is an entire lane selling street food and assorted desserts, so you’ll be spoilt for choice!

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Read On: The Best Places to Shop in Shanghai

{Shanghai-HK, Part 2: Shanghai Disneyland & Disneytown}

Part 1 |Part 2| Part 3 | Part 4Part 5IMG_6576

Visiting all the Disneylands in the world is on my bucket list, and so far, I’ve conquered all but 2 – if anyone wants to sponsor flight tickets to LA or Paris, I’d be eternally grateful – anyway, fair warning, this post is going to be chock full of pictures, given that I’m an extreme Disney addict and am trigger happy.

My family are Disney veterans, so we planned our trip such that we would visit Disneyland on at least 1 weekday, so we could enjoy taking the rides with no queues. Ideally, if your schedule permits, plan your Disney trip on Tues/Wed/Thurs as opposed to other days, because the queue times will always be significantly shorter (10 minute wait time on average vs 40 minutes on weekends/Fridays).

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And in typical ‘kiasu’ fashion, we showed up at 7.30am, although the park only opens at 8.00am. But it turns out that everyone else had the same idea, as there was a massive crowd waiting at the gates by the time we made it there. There were a lot of queue cutter – this is China after all – but the crowds were cleared very efficiently once the park opened.

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People began sprinting in the direction of their favourite rides, strollers and all; it was a rather terrifying sight, because in the other Disneylands I’ve been to, people were more chill and just brisk-walked to their rides instead of running the way these people did. It was drizzling intermittently our first day, but we didn’t really care for the rain, because honestly Disney >>> rain???

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Read On: Follow Me Around Disneyland + Tips