Gourmet Travels in Shenzhen – Day 17: The Return Home

Friday 13th July 2018

My last day on this holiday! (I’ve really missed the foooood since I’ve come back).

Couldn’t resist another bowl of abalone and pork congee! Yeeeee… Have to wait for another time to eat this!! It’s always worth the wait!

After check out that morning. I took the Airbus all the way to the airport. I was a tiny bit early, so I went around. MummyGeek told me I should find an elastic band thingy for my suitcase in case it gave way to the zip… I didn’t bother buying one in the end. They were too expensive! 
Before checking in I decided to weigh my suitcase on the free weighing scales – yes, you can find them near the check in desks, and they’re basically on the floor. Mine was over 2kg, so I decided to take a few things out… 
After check in (the queuing was better than the queuing in France!!) I went and sat in any space I could to take a deep breath and relax… Trying to find something to eat was hard. The Chinese food section was under renovation, so I had to settle with a chicken burger. 😣 Maybe another time I can eat the Chinese food at the airport… Boooooo!!

The weather was still bad outside which caused a delay with our flight time…

It was well after 2pm before we could board our flight, I think one of the typhoons or heavy rain was on its way into HK…

I queued quite diligently with an old couple flying into London to visit friends. I just knew when to queue before the flight happens. LOL! I used the Cathay Pacific app to board the flight whereas a lot of people seemed to use paper boarding tickets. I’m trying to mordernise here! 
I sat next to an New Zealand couple at the very back of the plane and talked to them briefly about our lives… They had travelled for a long time before getting onto the London flight… Tiring!
The flight was probably one of the best I’ve been on. Food was ok. No babies screaming. No children running off. No Chinese people doing bad things except for one man just being nosey! I watched a lot of foreign stuff… And I tried so hard to doze off… so hard…
Well I arrived in London on the same day in the evening… It was still Friday… I wasn’t in a hurry to get off the plane after landing, and since I have a British passport whereas the majority of the people on the flight were foreign… 
It looked like I had left the airport before most of the people. Took a black cab home who kind of got lost, but anyway, I tipped this person.
And that’s the end of this holiday trip to China. 😆
End of Day 17!!
Next holiday booked for March-April 2019 … I feel lucky coz I quit my job in the right time before my next holiday!

Gourmet Travels in Shenzhen – Day 16: Back in Hong Kong + 17th Floor Hotel Review

Almost pain free from my wisdom tooth extraction! And I’ve managed to quit my job in the public sector! Yay! OMG, it’s been such a palava in this past year, I think it’s time for me to gooooo…. Go, go, go!!

Thursday 12th July 2018

Gosh it rained in Shezhen on my last morning. There was no way it was going to stop and it looked like there was going to be major floodings (which I think there was).
First thing in the morning was to eat brekkie, and I can’t remember what I had… Mrs Travels mother bought a few things for to take home, but I think I would have outweighed my luggage allowance. LOL. One of the things she got me was a big bag of lychee and I came across this bunny shaped one. So cute!
At the very end, they booked a taxi for me, but the driver didn’t even attempt to help me put my luggage in the trunk, I hugged Mrs Travels goodbye. No tip for the driver she said. Hahahahah.

I got to the border within half-an-hour I think. It felt forever because of the rain. Again the driver didn’t even attempt to get out and help with my luggage! Definitely no tip for this man!! I followed the people going into the border part but I had to find a way to get to the next floor down… Whilst I was attempting to go down the stairs… the zip (already broken) fell apart and my luggage spilled. I had to quickly re-arrange everything… Mrs Travels had already warned me that I should sew up the ends when I get to Hong Kong. SIGH 😢 It was tough work… where was the frigging lift!!
Anyway, I crossed the border in no time. Bye bye Shenzhen! This was the longest time I’ve spent in Mainland China. See you again in the future!
So at Lo Wu Station (the Hong Kong side), I topped up my Octopus card and I off I went to my next location! I took the train to Shatin, I stood the whole journey by the way… So many travellers coming back into Hong Kong that day. Then from there I took a taxi to my usual hotel, Regal Riverside… For some reason I tipped the driver, I just wanted to get in the hotel and relax…

Luckily the reception was able to give me a room before check in time, so first things first find the room, go and eat, plus buy lots of snacks for the night!

I’ve missed eating this abalone congee… Can’t beat it!

Swiftly moving onto the snack snack section. I think I have missed 7Eleven a bit!!! I wanted to try any new-ish snacks… Like the Doritos Wasabi flavour – that was an awful mistake. There was hardly any wasabi flavour… Had a lot of drinks… and had a few sweets. I reserved my stomach for dinner that evening…

After snacking I went out again to the New Plaza and did some HK Shopping… into the old and new buildings… I bought a lot of Aji Ichiban stuff for my parents – they’re almost finished. I needed it to make the most of my luggage weight of 30kg! 😉

Unfortunatly my hand luggage decided to collapse into pieces. I think I’ve had it for two decades, so it was time to throw it in the bin. Well luckily MummyGeek told me over the phone (WeChat and WhatsApp are the most useful apps at this point) to go and buy one of these storage bags in the local stationery shop… I even found needles and thread to fix my suitcase. So lucky I have a mother who nags me a bit in such circumstances. 😅

Dinner was roast pork and char sui with rice from the usual place BBQ King. I think the workers remembered me, they probably thought why I was alone. Hehehehehe.

So the main reason I couldn’t buy a lot of snacks was because I had a big bag of lychees to eat… Mrs Travels sister-in-law showed us a way of how to peel without having to use your fingernails to dig into the fruit. If you look closely at the fruit, there’s a line, and that’s where you push and pull against to open it. So clever!

I ate a whole bag of lychee!! They were so sweet!!

That’s practically the end of the food section…

Hotel Review – On the 17th Floor in Regal Riverside Hotel

Regal Riverside Hotel is just one of those hotels that I’m used to staying in… I decided to book directly from their website. It was a bit expensive for the one night, but I hadn’t spent much in China… So it was worth it….
The receptionist put in a double room on the 17th Floor. When I was close to my room, I thought there was an invisible wall I needed to get through in the hallway! It felt like there was a reflection of the corridor that I couldn’t pass… extraordinary!
All was good with the bed, bathroom, wardrobe etc. Even the TV being on the ceiling was fine. The view was ok. Pretty amazed compared to the superior rooms! I had a small fridge I could use which was well hidden in the wardrobe.

The nice wet view outside…

The only problem I had with the room was the loud aircon noise in the evening… It was so loud. I probably only slept for 5 hours. Less than what I had done in China. 😦

So tired… I think I missed my sleep on this holiday… It’s the only thing I really missed.

End of Day 16.

Gourmet Travels in Shenzhen – Day 15: The Last Shenzhen Supper

Wednesday 11th July 2018

I decided around two or three days before I leaving Shenzhen, I wanted to go back to Hong Kong for a day… So this was my final day in Shenzhen. Mrs Travels and family were off to the suburbs of Guangdong, and I didn’t want to really be left alone in a big home. I felt happy that I reconciled with the girls. 
So for breakfast, Mrs Travels and I went out with mischievious Missy A. She reminds me of Baby B a lot, a spitting image of her behaviour.🤣 We went around a few streets just looking around and deciding what to eat… Missy A was a little fascinated with the processing of soya bean milk. I love fresh soya milk!

So I had a lot to eat! As well as fried dough and soya milk (and from memory Mrs Travels bought cheung fun as well), I had a couple of steam buns. One char siu and the other was a veggie one.

They look so doughy from the outside and a little meaty on the inside. My breakfast was inexpensive… take me back to Shenzhen…!

The last night in Shenzhen meant I needed to eat my last lot of midnight snacks.

This is black stinky tofu. It didn’t stick as much as the one in Hong Kong. I ate the whole lot… there were so many pieces!

Black colouring on the outside.
White and tofu looking on the insid.
I didn’t realise I had to eat these noodles too… 

And some pan-fried bread… So stuffed!!

Goodnight to Shenzhen!

End of Day 15.

Gourmet Travels in Shenzhen – Day 14 – BOOK City Store 深圳書城店

Tuesday 10th July 2018

The girls had a photoshoot on this day, and I think Mrs Travels felt bad, like not being a great host, to be honest I was ok apart from the two eldest girls still being mad at me. Oh well. That’s life.

Mrs Travels told me to find this Chinse bookstore called BOOK, which is one of Shenzhen’s biggest bookstores. So I took a bus. Mrs Travels sister said, when I see the Gucci store, get off…  And I found it!

From here, I had to use Google Maps to find my way…

It was basically where those cars below were coming from and it’s across the road.

This is actually the back entrance… I took one of the lifts and went from top to bottom. The top floor is basically a calligraphy section. Don’t go to the top floor. Just go down to the next floors. There’s about 3 or 4 floors and a basement. I think this store is about 3 or 4 times bigger than Foyles. And probably much bigger than the Waterstones in Piccadily.

This is the front of the store… 😆 So shiny from the front. I actually came from the basement at this point – there’s a whole stationery section, and I was trying so hard to find some cute Kumamoto things for Mr Bear…

I think I spent roughly around 2 hours in the store rummaging for some books to read, but didn’t find any good novels. Their English section wasn’t great, they had some really old classics, and very cheesy looking ones that I wouldn’t want to even read! I found some Japanese-Chinese books to help me with my studies. I bought them so that I can understand the Chinese sentencing of Japanese grammar… I haven’t got round to studying them yet. I just need to stop watching Korean variety shows. LOL!
To help reconcile with the girls, I bought some English books for them so that they can try and not look at their phones and tablets all day long – Even I get tired of looking at computers and phones! The girls will find out one day that it’s not fun once they start working… Also bought this funny book – 我的爆笑英文书:幽默生活么么哒 (Translates to: My English Book – A Humorous Life) which tells some jokes, but tells people the philosphy behind those jokes. I really want this book, but the English is kind of bad. Hahahahahah. I hope the girls learn the philosophy behind those jokes and learn to respect one another (as well as us adults).

Address of the book store: 5033 Shennan E Rd, CaiWuWei, Luohu Qu, Shenzhen Shi, Guangdong Sheng, China, 518010

So midnight snack ended with this spicy hot pot!!

And fried wasabi snap peas from Aji Ichiban – I couldn’t find these in any of the Hong Kong stores… so sad! They were so niiiiiice!!

Plus lots of bubble tea to end the night.

End of Day 14!

Gourmet Travels in Shenzhen – Day 13: DIY Trip to Dongmen

Had a wisdom tooth taken out on Friday… in pain, can’t eat much too. Such a sad geeky life at the moment. 

Monday 9th July 2018

Breakfast time! I love traditional Chinese breakfasts! Mrs Travels was craving food that her sister would buy her first thing in the morning … and so we ended up going through the back streets to find this place called 石磨坊 Shi Mo Fang which means “stone mill”. They traditionally grind soy beans with an actual stone mill (you will see this in a later post). 

I got a meat “flat bun” but it’s like a pasty, however they aren’t baked, they’re pan-fried… Do you get what I mean?

They taste good. I wonder if I can find these in China Town.

Next part of the breakfast were these… This bottle contains hot soya milk. I actually thought it was cold, but in fact it was a little hot. There was no condensation at the top, so didn’t even notice it was hot. I also had fried dough. It’s so different to the Hong Kong version. This tasted more bready and less oily. Really different texture! (Missing these breakfast foods already!).

Mrs Travels said I should go out by myself today, so she told me to get which bus and get off at another bus stop. I think I missed my stop and had to walk to my destination. 😖 The Geek almost got lost again, but thankfully I was somehow able to use Google Maps. I really recommend you using your own foreign number as you’ll be able to use certain apps that the Chinese can’t even use. 

So whilst using Google Maps I took a few pictures… Looks like Deng Xiaoping is still being remembered in the back streets of Shenzhen. 

This part of Shenzhen is like a quieter version of Hong Kong City… Streets were really quiet…

Finally I reached my destination! It was a good walk, although still hot even with the clouds out.

It actually started raining whilst I was shopping. Luckily I bought an umbrella beforehand.

Walked all around Dongmen, I entered some shops here and there… I think shopping without children is the best thing ever! I say that because I feel like I’m not judged by the children whilst I take my time deciding. Plus I can spend a little bit freely… 😉

There were lots of modern styled clothing and it’s actually quite difficult to try and find any type of traditional wear.

Mr Bear asked me to buy some Kumamoto stuff in China for one of his friends. I never thought I would see this Japanese café in China! 😆

Then off I went back to Mrs Travels home. I went back via the long walk and then into another shopping centre and then took a bus back… Looks very quiet on a weekday!

By the end of the day I think all of us were a bit tired… The girls were playing with a ball, which I think should be banned once in the house. Balls need to be played outside. Well I seemed to be the target of their fun. So they hit the ball… they said it was by accident… but I kind of got angry at them. To me, I think it’s ok to be angry at children once in a while (not every day like Mrs Travels, but she’s used to it). Thankfully Mrs Travels took my side and the girls got the shock of their lives. LOL!! Don’t mess with family friends. 😛😜😝

From that shocking telling off, Missy I and Missy S weren’t talking to me… Missy A didn’t get what was going on… They were all naughty. It’s ok, I thought to myself. It would happen to them in their working lives one day…

Lunch was wonton and a bit of everything in a nearby food shop. I added the food to some already made spaghetti (I can’t eat much right now and I’m sulking with a small hunger pang. 😢).

Right now I’m huuuungrrrrrrry!!!

End of Day 13.

Gourmet Travels in Shenzhen – Day 11 + 12: Dim Sum, Durian and Dining

Have paused my driving lessons for the moment. I’m almost there. Just need to kickstart my confidence and add a bit of oil, then do the test… But for the moment I have some time to do some blogging!

Saturday 7th July 2018

Woohoo! It was another weekend in China, and time for a spot of dim sum dining. It’s such a common activity and I’m so used to it by now! But the only thing I can’t understand is when everyone orders a lot of the same foods… The table just kept getting filled. So much food that my poor stomach couldn’t take anymore. I seriously don’t eat that much, I just don’t exercise. 😛

I saw these gluten butterflies and thought they were quite pretty. But tastewise, they were quite plain. The design was the only nice thing about this. 😑

Can’t remember what these were but there was prawn stuffed inside. Missy S was about to kill me with her glare when I said to Mrs Travels that she already 2 or 3 har gaw… Uh oh. I must not mess with Missy S and her foods. 

I was quite happy everyone got together. Family visits and being together is important in Chinese culture. 
It rained for the rest of the morning and afternoon, so we ended up staying in. I don’t mind. 
Later in the day, we ended up eating a lot of durian. Yep. Stinky durian. The taste is hard to describe, but it’s like mango/pineapple with a smooth cheesy texure and the smell of very stinky cheese… Talking about it makes me want to eat some. The bad thing about durian is that it makes you go to the toilet if you eat it with different combos of food… like don’t drink beer with durian which I had done. Not nice. 😱

Mrs Travels used some of the durian to make a pizza.

It actually tasted ok, but probably needed a bit of mature cheese as it was a little too sweet. But not bad! I want some now!

Uh hm. Yeah we had a bit of late night snacking with a beer… Excellent! There’s noodles at the bottom of this. ^_^

Mrs Travels had this… I think she had some cravings…

Sunday 8th July 2018

Short post. I can’t remember why we went out shopping again. It was one of those random things we were doing. Anyway, we ended up dining in KFC! The KFC in China feels a little different. Feels like they take in frying these chicken. 

And here’s just a random drink I bought from the shop… If only the British could be cuter with their food packaging. ^_^

End of Days 11 and 12. ^_^

Gourmet Travels in Shenzhen – Day 10: Window of the World 世界之窗

Are you thinking why I’m lazy these days at blogging? I wonder at myself as well! TBH, too many dramas to watch. Netflix, Crunchyroll and other various sites have taken over my Internet time. LOL!

My friends have asked me in recent days, do I still blog? Yes, I do… I’m not planning on quitting! Just being lazy to type. Sometimes I get writer’s block in the middle of a post too and it takes me a while to get back into the post…

Friday 6th July 2018

An adventure day!

Ready, set and go! Time to spend a whole day in hot China. We had planned to go to this theme park a few days earlier, but because of the weather and just getting into the swing of things in China, we didn’t go until this day.

So after breakfast, we made our way to the metro station. Missy I and I already had the training and kind of knew how to use the Chinese metro system. I think it was ¥4-5 (~£0.45-0.55 😒) per person. Chinese commuters are lucky. Tourists must persevere on looking at how things are inexpensive in China, although it might be expensive for those living in China. We had to change once to get onto another train… I think the girls were exhausted as the journey took an hour, and people were staring at them. I guess they were wondering if they could speak Mandarin, or where their father is from. Curious Chinese peeps. 

And so we ended up at the Shennan Boulevard South Side Station where the tourist site Window of the World attraction site is. It’s called 世界之窗  in Chinese (Mando: Shìjiè zhī Chuāng; Canto: sai gaai ji cheung).

First stop, McDonald’s! The food at the Window of the World mainly consists of pot noodles and other things so it was good that we found a McDonald’s.
I chose the World Cup special with a tropical juice.

It’s called the Gold Goal McSpicy Chicken Burger 金球麦辣鸡腿堡 (Mando: jin qiu mai la ji tui bao). That’s a mouthful name! … Forgot the price of the meal but it was worth trying!

Now off to this famous copycat attraction. 😅

Even the station is shaped as Paris’s Louvre Pyramid!

So my ticket cost me ¥200 (~£23). Quite expensive, but it’s the same as getting into a London attraction.

And now off we go! Just keep scrolling as I took many pictures on this day…

Hahahahahahahaha!!! I love this sign!!!

Oh! How did Grommit get to China?!

This Egyptian tomb is quite scary!! Make sure you have a torch with you!!

In love with the fake Niagra Falls!!

We cooled off in this building… I would have liked to be in here for a bit longer before braving the heat again…

I think I got a little heat stroke towards the end… It was a very tiring day. Even the girls couldn’t take on this attraction!
When we returned to our station, it was bucketing with rain! I didn’t bring an umbrella, but I was lucky to have bought a hat at the attraction which protected my head from the rain. Very lucky! 
That evening, I had the Chinese version of black bean noodles 炸酱面 (Mando: zha jiang mian; Canto: ja jeung min). Unlike the Korean version, this is more savoury. The Korean version is quite sweet. Thumbs up for the Chinese version! Plus I really like the noodles!!!

End of Day 10.

Gourmet Travels in Shenzhen – Day 9: Day Off with Fried Chicken

Thursday 5th July 2018

It’s my day off! Day of just doing nothing, watching Korean dramas and looking after Missy I and Missy S whilst Mrs Travels had to some errands.
Mrs Travels brother ordered some food… And we got this big fried chicken! Wow… I’ve never seen fried chicken like this! It tasted ok. Very hot when it came. Not spicy as well. 😋

Mrs Travels brother ordered this chicken burger for me… this was a bit spicy and I was ok with it! … Never heard of Mr Burger before. Tried to search for the franchise online, but I don’t think it’s very, very popular worldwide… 

Ah, I do like my crisps… I found these in the either the supermarket or a corner shop… I shared the Lay’s Lime flavour with Missy A. It tasted refreshing, slightly citrusy, and Missy A liked it a lot! Missy S tried to tease her to say it’s not nice but I convinced Missy A that it tastes really, really nice. Hahahahah. The Lay’s Wasabi flavour wasn’t too hot… 😦 I need to find a company who would stick to the hot wasabi flavour for crisps! 

End of Day 9.

Gourmet Travels in Shenzhen – Day 8: Dongmen 东门 (East Gate) / Laojie 老街 (Old Street)

Wednesday 5th July 2018

Woohoo! Weather permitting, we were able to go out and explore, and be tourtists for a few hours.

We took a taxi to one of the tourist shopping sites. Dongmen 东门 (東門) East Gate a.k.a Laojie 老街 Old Street. According to Wiki, the area is around 300 years old, so I’m guessing there were a lot of businesses there in the past.

First off was a local theme park for the girls. They went on a few rides, and I even went in a bumper car just to make sure my driving was up to scratch… the cars went too fast!! 😓

The goldish area was very fishy smelling.

They just seemed to follow the human scent, probably thinking we were going to feed them… Ah poor koi fish…

Missy I really wanted a turtle, but we kind of convinced her not to get one. Who was going to look after it? Who will take it after we left China? How can we take it to France when it would be illegal to take live animals aboard a flight? Do you want to get Mr and Mrs Travels fined and pay a hefty price? Uh… So I took a picture for Missy I to remember them… 😩

Back to tourist sites! This is what I like… Market stalls inside the buildings – in all areas, underground, above ground and in the middle, looking for bargains and things suitable for sovenirs. Well, I definitely bought a lot of things! 

Have to admit, it is hard shopping with three kids with you… Two adults and three girls. Heheheh.
When w came back we ate some large dumplings. Can’t remember what the filling is but I think it was sticky rice, mushrooms and something else…

Missy I was very generous! She bought us all an ice cream!! Thanks Missy I. 😋

Here’s our late night snack cooked by Mrs Travels brother… They’re like whelks or snails. You have to suck them out. I’m ok with these! Look weird though. 😱 LOL! 

End of Day 8.

Gourmet Travels in Shenzhen – Day 7: Food Exploring

Tuesday 3rd July 2018

A slightly longer post… of mainly… food… 😇
I think we all had a lot of food in Shenzhen after four and half days. Hahahah. Even looking at the food now, it makes me want to return to eat a bit more. 
Well, it seems we were lucky to eat dumplings made by Mrs Travels’s family. They made quite a lot. It made me think I should just make my own when I got back home – but there’s a lot of frozen ones I can just buy and cook it then. Heheheh.

It looks like they also know how to make the Korean style mandu. Mixed cultures in this plate of dumplings. 

I can’t remember why we went out, but we took a bus and then went around shopping, and looking at shops.

Mrs Travels’s mother told us to eat out. She was tired of cooking for us. 😅 I would be the same if I had a massive family… They’ll just be eating mostly take outs. Hahahahah. Only joking!

We ended up at this kind of new restaurant Zhi Shang Wei Dao 陟上味道. The interior and exterior looks amazing!

I think we got there too early as the staff were resting around the restaurant, so the kids played and we sat around. Looks like a dream cafe / restaurant. 
After a while, the staff had their daily get together meeting outside the restaurant. I don’t get to see this often!

Well the place is nice, but I’m not sure of the food that was ordered by the family… hmmmm… It’s Hunan cuisine. Can’t describe it. If you like eating slowly this might be your choice of place to eat, as it’s all kind of chopped too finely for me. I prefer big chunks of food and mixing it with my rice. Apart from the courgettes and I had one piece of fried chicken, this was kind of not my style of food dining…

Total cost not known… Thanks Family!

My geeky rating: 4/5 (mainly for the deco)

Address: 笋岗 展艺路35号艺览中心六楼601室
(Room 601, 6th Floor, Art Gallery, 35 Art Road, Sungang, Shenzhen)

So I had a choice, go on the Metro with Mrs Travels brother and family or walk and get a bus… Mrs Travels said I should get the Metro. Hahahah. It was one stop!
This single trip token cost ¥2 (~£0.20). If only London could follow the cheap fares of Shenzhen. I complain as us Londoners pay ten times more for a single trip on the Metro! The only difference is that the Metro in China is like an airport, they must check your bags especially with liquids. With the world going crazy with attacks, acid attacks and whatnots it’s not surprising that they’ve upped their security. 

We went from Hongling North…

And ended up in Sungang Station – where Mrs Travels family live. Then it was just a short walk after this…

Yep. Late night snacking again. We ended up eating Korean Fried Chicken whilst watching one of the World Cup matches. 
This cost less than the Korean food in London. The chicken was a little oily but it tasted a little sweet, it was also covered in mustard mayo. I haven’t had that sauce for a while. The sides were delicious… I actually liked the purple sweet potatoes. 😋

Somehow a second round of chicken was ordered. 😆 I guess lunch wasn’t great then!

My geeky rating: 4.5/5!

Name of restaurant: KO韩国炸鸡 (KO Korean Fried Chicken)… Can’t find the location of the place online.

End of Day 7.