My Time Capsule: May 2012


Hong Kong: Food Porn

Warning! Don't read this post on an empty stomach. The risk is all yours.

I spent roughly half my childhood living in Hong Kong. Dad used to visit Hong Kong & Taiwan every 3 month for business and stayed in both countries up to one month each visit. I've always tagged along since I was 1 year old. Therefore Hong Kong kinda feels like home to us. Nowadays we don't visit Hong Kong that often, only once a year to indulge our taste buds with scrumptious Hong Kong food.

These are some of my favourites:

BBQ Suckling Pig
Very tender and juicy meat with crispy skin. YUM! it's difficult to express how delicious the dish is. You really have to taste it yourself. Take a bite and you will see a unicorn flies over the rainbow. Wait, OK I think I exaggerate but believe me, it's beyond yummy !

HK Salt Steamed Chicken
Salt steamed chicken (pak cham kee), this is the must try menu when you visit Hong Kong. It may looks like Hainanese steamed chicken in Singapore but this one is more tasty. Maybe because the cooking method is different, this one tastes more salty and juicy. And despite it's steamed, the skin is crunchy.
When I eat this, I see 2 unicorns fly over the rainbow :p

Sweet & Sour Pork

Meat Feast !
I love going to Causeway Bay traditional market in the morning and buy some food from this stall. The choices are Char Siew (BBQ pork), Siu Yuk (roasted pork), honey glazed fried pigeon, roasted duck and steamed chicken. They tastes heavenly.  I'm drooling now by looking at this picture. Gosh ! I really need to book my ticket to Hong Kong soon :p

Panda Custard Bun. Too cute !
I ordered this one in a dim sum restaurant in Ocean Park. Actually I'd much prefer BBQ pork bun or crispy egg tart over custard bun. But when I saw how cute they were, I couldn't resist to get one :p
It tasted quite nice though. The texture of the bun was a lil bit spongy and the custard was creamy and not overly sweet.

Crispy Egg Tart in Sky100

Cherries in Causeway Bay Market
I know cherries are not specially from Hong Kong. But we don't have fresh cherries here in Bali. So I can only get them when I go abroad. I love cherries so much,  I wish I could grow them in my backyard. Anyone who's coming to Bali, please bring some fresh cherries for me, OK.....tee hee hee :p

Durian Mochi

Mango Pudding with Bird's Nest

Mango Combo

Hui Lau Shan, the mango heaven. I've heard about this for quite long time, finally I got the chance to taste  their famous mango pudding. They have several outlets in Hong Kong and I visit the one opposite Times Square Mall. Actually I'm not really a fan of mango pudding but I was just curious what's all the hype about this place. There are so many to choose from the menu. I ordered Mango Pudding with Bird's Nest which was served with fresh mango chunks, bird's nest and ice cream. While the Mango Combo was served with assorted fresh fruits. The pudding was light and n sweet with a hint of mango. It's quite nice but actually I'd prefer jello which is more chewy. I love the durian mochi though, the durian filling didn't taste too strong. Just lovely!

HK Street Food

Hong Kong street food always makes me crazy. Too many yummy items to choose but I only have one stomach. How to decide? They offer wide variety of light bites from sausage, meat balls, squid, curry fish balls, deep fried goodies to some soups and drinks.
But my most favourite item is.......

HK Egg Waffle!
I love egg waffle since I was a kid. I would run and squeal with joy every time I saw the egg waffle stall and waited patiently while the seller was baking my waffle. The piping hot egg waffle was then put into brown paper bag, it smelled so soooo good and sweet. The outer part is thin and crispy while the "balls" are spongy.
Ohhhh heaven ! Hong Kong you will always be in my heart stomach :D

Gingy Latte

What's your favourite food in Hong Kong?


Poland: A heartbreaking story about Nazi Death Camp

Poland, September 2011

Visiting Auschwitz Birkenau is definitely the most heartbreaking experience I've ever had during my trips around the world. Even now after 8 months, I still feel deeply sad when I review my shots from Auschwitz. It took so long for me to finish this post because the facts that I've learnt there was too cruel, I often lack of words to re-tell the story.

Auschwitz has become a symbol of terror, genocide, and the Holocaust. It was established by Germans in 1940, in the suburbs of Oswiecim, a Polish city then its name was changed to Auschwitz.
More than 1 million people were tortured and killed in this Nazi camp from 1940 to 1945.

entrance to the camp

row of barracks buildings

feeling devastated while listening to the audio guide

 the sickening facts !
9 out of 10 prisoners were Jews who were deported to Auschwitz in 148 trains. Upon arrival, the Nazi divided the mass into 2 groups. The SS were conducting the infamous "selections," in which incoming Jews were divided into those deemed able to work, who were sent to the "right" and admitted into the camp, and those who were sent to the "left" (children, babies, women, elderly and handicapped) will be immediately gassed.
SS officers would told the victims that they have to take a shower. The victims would undress in an outer chamber and walk into the gas chamber, which was disguised as a shower facility, complete with dummy shower heads. After the doors were shut, SS men would dump in the cyanide pellets via holes in the roof or windows on the side. When it was done, they would shave the victim's hair off and sent the corpses to be burnt in crematorium. In Auschwitz, more than 20 thousand people could be gassed and cremated each day.

Besides forced to work, some of those prisoners from the "right" group were put into pressure chambers, tested with drugs, went through some experimental surgeries without anaesthesia, frozen to death and exposed to various traumas.

this is how they deported the prisoners

some of the victims :(

model of the gas chamber & crematorium

During the tour, I entered some of the barracks which have been transformed into museum with glass display cases. In Block 5, there are displays devoted to the "Material Evidence of Crime". There were piles of shoes, clothes, suitcases, eyeglasses, and a lot more - belonged to the prisoners.

pile of more than 40 thousands pairs of shoes

 the prisoner's artificial limbs and crutches 

In Block 4, there was 1 room which is named "Exploiting The Corpse". Really.....I've got goosebumps all over my body when I was inside this room. Specially when I looked at an enormous glass display case filled with mounting pile of....

do you know what are those inside ?

Still no idea yet ???
OK, I'll show you a picture with closer look to explain what the huge pile about....


Those are more than 7 tons of human hairs, mostly from female prisoners. And mind you, those are not all the hairs that have discovered in this camp, just the left over. Because most of the hairs had been sent to another area to be processed into felt and thread. Hair was also used to make socks for submarine crews, ignition mechanisms in bombs, ropes and cords for ships, cloth and stuffing for mattresses.
It was even discovered that the Nazis had experimented using human skin for lampshades. Isn't that crazy ? :(

map of Auschwitz Birkenau

there's no way out....please release me

It was really an eye opener experience for me. I feel very grateful that I don't have to go through their desperate situation. My life is not perfectly happy but at least I still have the chance to live it and experience a lot of things. Unlike them........they were not given any options to live. They were forced to give up their life and were punished just because they were born as someone they didn't choose to be born as.
It makes me tear up every time I think about those cute and innocent kids queued in front of the gas chamber.
They had no idea that their life would be turned into nightmare soon. If only it was just a nightmare, and everything will be fine when they wake up in the morning. Unfortunately they will never wake up again......


Dubai: Desert Safari

Dubai, March 2012

I had been curious about desert safari for quite sometime. It looked really fun that I had to put it on my bucket list. So before I went to Dubai in March, I spent my days browsing about desert safari. There were so many operators to choose from. Honestly I was kinda worry after reading all the reviews.  Because some people had quite unpleasant experiences dealing with tour operators in Dubai. While browsing I came across to Grace's blog, Sandier Pastures. Grace has been living in Dubai for couple years, so I thought I would ask her suggestion about which tour operator is liable. She was very kind and friendly to reply my email with a list of some trusted operators in Dubai. After comparing the list and the reviews, I decided to choose Orient Tour. The staff, Vaseem was very helpful during the booking process which was easily done after some emails. I requested a soft dune drive to avoid getting motion sickness (Yup, "Motion Sickness" is my middle name :p). And he offered an exclusive 4WD for a good price, so I could have the whole car for my family. Such a great deal !

our 4WD and the best desert driver, Hasef
On that day, Hasef, the driver picked us up in our apartment at 3 pm sharp. Then he took us to the desert area which was around 1 hour from Dubai city centre. We stopped at a gas station for about 15 minutes for a toilet break while waiting other groups to gather. It's the tradition to drive in a convoy to the desert.
Before the dune bashing, Hasef deflated some air out from the tires to improve a vehicle's performance and handling in the desert. And then........Buckle up and let's enjoy the bumpy ride !Woohoo !

4WD convoy 

my favourite Oakley sunnies

looks like a cactus in the desert, tee hee :p
The ride was so much fun and scary at the same time, felt like riding a roller coaster ! Our car went through sand dunes, climbing dune mountains, driving across sand dunes in a 45 degree angle. I lost count how many times I screamed from the top of my lung when the car sliding down the sand dunes. Please remember not to eat or drink too much before the ride. Otherwise it's gonna be a messy ride :p

thrilling ride !!!

Dubai desert safari

We made a photo stop at a camel farm before headed to the camp where we could enjoy some activities such as camel riding, sand boarding, henna painting, shisha (Arabic water pipe) and had delicious BBQ dinner while watching belly dance and Tanoura dance under the starlight.
They served plenty of food for everyone, some salads, chicken tandoori, BBQ meats, potato, rice, dessert, drinks, coffee and etc.
In my opinion the belly dance was just OK but the Tanoura dance was amazingly great.

Camel farm

the camp

shisha booth

can you smell the mouthwatering aroma? :p

sand boarding (sand surfing)

camel riding

 sunset in the desert
Tanoura dance is usually performed by Sufi men from Egypt wear long colourful skirts, where each colour on the skirt represents one Sufi order. The dancer kept spinning and spinning non stop for more than 20 minutes while doing some moves with his hands and removing each layer of his costume.
Nope, not doing a striptease. Please don't get the wrong idea, OK ? :p
It was simply so beautiful, I couldn't take my eyes of the dancer. Such a great highlight to end the wonderful adventure in the desert.

Tanoura dance

keep spinning
Look! the light bulbs in his costume

I would  recommend everyone who visit Dubai to do the desert safari. It's really a unique experience. I'd love to do that again next time. Would you ???


Hungary: One Day in Budapest

Hungary, September 2011

Wow, such a photogenic city ! That's what crossed into my mind when I walked around Budapest. Beautiful architectures were everywhere I turned my steps to. I was lucky that the weather was perfect, because I only had one day to explore the city. I wouldn't have seen much if it was rainning.

The name "Budapest" is the composition of the city names "Buda" and "Pest", since they were united (together with Óbuda) to become a single city in 1873. Buda and Pest are separated by Danube River (Duna) and the city preserves the distinctive character of each side.  Pest lies on the flat terrain of the Great Plain while Buda is rather hilly.

These are some of my favourite shots of Budapest:

Hősök tere, meaning " Hero's Square" in Hungarian

St. Stephen's Basilica

pretty Hungarian dolls

the view from Fisherman's Bastion

beautiful Budapest

St. Mathias Church

Fisherman's Bastion

cruising Danube River

Parliament House

Parliament House at night

Hungarian Goulash Soup

interesting cafe at Gellert Hill

the view of Buda and Pest

Erzsebet (Elizabeth) Bridge over Danube River

the statue of Liberation Monument on the Citadella

So which one is your favourite photo?


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