Idyllic summer: Kyushu

When I told my friends that I’m about to visit Japan again, none of them looks surprised, “Where is your destination this time, uh? Tokyo? Osaka or Hokkaido?” To be honest, I didn’t have any idea where I should go to this time even though I have planned this trip for a long time. I only knew that I have to go to japan and seems like it has become something ritual and routine for me hahah. At first my friends and I were planning to visit Hokkaido for the summer festival, but then after checking our schedule and the flight, we decided to visit Kyushu, the southern part of Japan which is famous for the mountains and the spectacular landscape. Due to the active volcanos, Kyushu is also renowned for the hot spring villages such as Beppu, Kurokawa and Yufuin. This time we were basically travelling around the mountains of northern Kyushu: from Fukuoka to Kumamoto, then from Aso to Yufuin.

 

Aso & The Kurokawa Hot Spring 阿蘇&黑川溫泉

The first time I noticed Kurokawa was in 2016 when I was planning my winter Japan trip. There was a local Japanese website recommending all those “secret/hidden” hot springs around the country, and Kurokawa, a small village with over 20 hot spring ryokans hidden in the mountain was highly recommended by the website. However, to those who cannot drive in Japan, those hidden hot springs are definitely not easy to get to. There are only 2 buses travelling from Kumamoto to Kurokawa a day and the journey takes 2 hours. On the way to the hot spring village, the spectacular landscape emerged with the summer green, during the whole trip we were surrounded by the endless greenery of the mountains.

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The spectacular mountain view of Aso. (@Fashionmimo)

 

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In the Kurokawa Onsen area, there are ryokans, restaurants and souvenir shops alongside. (@Fashionmimo)

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Taking half-board stay in Ryokan Sanga with multiple hot spring options (outdoor, indoor, private & public), a hidden wonderland in the mountain. (@Fashionmimo)

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Yufuin湯布院

A small town located at the Oita, here has the most fascinated & peaceful country view I have seen . Also, Yufuin takes a good balance between the flourishing tourism and local community, so it’s a common scenario here that lots of tourists walking along the street during the day time, but when it turns to the evening, the town shifts back to a local area where people chatting and drinking in the Izakaya (japanese bar).

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Peaceful and idyllic, just like any Japanese village in Haruki Murakami’s book. (@Fashionmimo)

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Family-style Izakaya, everything is designed to be tiny in order to fit in the space, tiny but tidy 🙂 (@Fashionmimo)

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We met a lovely local lady who took us to her friend’s 60s retro-style Whisky bar, a very-tiny space where everyone sit by the counter and sing Karaoke together. (@Fashionmimo)

Photo Journey:Melbourne

I’ve made a trip to Melbourne last month. Believe it or not, I’ve spent nearly 20 hours on the plane in total but turns out my stay in this awesome city/country is just 4 days long. 4 days are definitely not enough for exploring Australia, but it is quite sufficient to have a quality city tour 🙂 The early-spring time in Melbourne is much cooler than in Hong Kong hence you can expect to have a sneak peek of my winter collection! Enjoy! haha!

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HELLO! The City of Coffee!!

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Coffee and brunch.(@Fashionmimo)

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At the University of Melbourne, one of the colleges I applied when I was in high school and 4 years later I finally can manage to pay a visit. (@Fashionmimo)

I bought this ultra-long trench coat years ago but didn’t have much chances to wear it out, this time I chose to wear ankle boots with heel so it’s time to show off my coat 😉

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@ St Kilda Beach

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Post-Yoga Feast/Coffee Break

Yoga is not new to me, I went to yoga studio when I was 10. Back  then I was just a  kid (was flexible) curious about the stuff everyone’s talking about and didn’t have any idea about meditation and relaxation. But 10 years later when I came back to Yoga, it totally means different to me. I need yoga to save me from distress, insomnia and neck pain/ stiff neck… ughhh I’m so old.

But trust me, I’m not the only person living here having such problems, everyone seems to be stressed out here. Hence it’s so precious for me to have a quiet place at the heart of the city that could let me breath!

Yoga Bambam is one of the coolest yoga studios I’ve been, located at Sheung Wan, the heart of the city but keeping you away from the hustle and bustle. It’s surrounded by small vendors, cafes and restaurants. Since it’s on the ground floor, you can enjoy the street view while stretching your body.

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Internet Source

After an introduction course, I joined the Hatha Yoga course every Sunday afternoon. My instructor Melanie is a friendly and energetic lady, her class could be really dynamic and interactive.

Usually my yoga class finishes at 4:30, snack time! Fortunately Yoga Bambam is in between Sheng Wan and Sai Ying Pun, so I’d never worry about where to eat!

Nosh

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I put this cafe at the first place because I DO LOVE THEIR STRAWBERRY MILKSHAKE! Before I thought I would never like something in strawberry flavour cuz it’s too sweet, but Nosh obviously know how to blend the sweetness of fruits into the freshness of yogurt! Besides, their brunch are also my fav. It’s a good place to chill at and you should pay more attention to their interior wall murals.

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Address:11 Upper Station Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong

3rd Space

This one is just next to Yoga Bam Bam, renowned for its pancake. I only tried once because this restaurant quite popular and is always full…  I tried its pancake all day breakfast, honestly the pancake is really soft but the whole dish is too heavy for me, which means from another perspective you don’t need to worry about the portion.

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My Sportswear fashion… LOL

Address: 22 Po Hing Fong, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong

Oldish

Even though I’m not a British cuisine enthusiast (are you?) , I think Oldish is still worth a try. One of its selling point is the vintage interior design, and also the food quality is good too. Don’t miss it out when you pass by! (@Fahionmimo)

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Source: Openrice

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Address: 53 Tung St, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong

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Photo journey: The last week in Lion City

Still can’t believe that I’m already flying back and about to have my half-year internship. I don’t know how to conclude my 4-month exchange life (or say 4-month vacation) but Singapore has been treating me so good. I won’t forget all those crazy but awesome things happened here 🙂

Even though I always grumble about how boring the life here is (I’m sorry haha), I realized there are still lots of things haven’t done when I was about to leave. So I used my last 7 days here to explore more great spots in the Lion City.

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So regret that I’ve just discovered Bukit Timah at the last moment! Those restaurants, the saddle club and the floral market… and I spent a really good night at Tin Hill Social last Friday. They have several indoor/outdoor areas for dining and bar. It would be so relaxing to chill at the outdoor area with live band at night 🙂 (@Fashionmimo)

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City Hall is another great spot that I didn’t explore much before. Especially the Raffles Hotel and the Chijmes: historical buildings with fine restaurants. If you are a tourist and are looking for something about the “old” Singapore, you can’t miss it! (@Fashionmimo)

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Singapore Restaurant Week

Before we start, let me have a self-celebration: woohoo! I’m having 600 followers! (For those who hasn’t subscribe me, click the button at upper right corner on my homepage then you will see how to follow)

Frankly speaking, I love eating, but I’m not fastidious about food. First, appearance of the dish is totally not the thing I would consider. Before using Instagram, I didn’t even take any pics about what I have had (and I’m such a bad food photographer ). Second, I always believe that dining is not only about the food, but also the environment and the mood of yourself. Therefore, to me, rather than giving detailed comment of a dish like a food critic, I only focus on those “Ah-ha” moments when those magical chemical reactions happen in my mouth.

Singapore Restaurant Week (March 19th to 26th)

When I firstly  heard about this term I was like “What is this for? Is this a promotion by some restaurants or it’s a traditional festival for SG people to dine out?” Don’t laugh, sometimes I really find it hard to understand the dinning culture in Singapore. After a while I realized that this is an event held by Dinning City  , some selected restaurants (usually those fancy ones) will show their special Restaurant Week menu in a discounted price than usual.

Then I laughed. To be honest I have dined out a lot in Singapore over these months but I never get any “Ah-Ha” moments sadly. Seriously I get confused and I can’t tell why. Sometimes I try to convince myself: maybe that’s because the restaurants you have been to are not expensive enough (I don’t get the logic behind this tho haha). But dinning in those fancy restaurants in Singapore gives me the feel like having a feast on the airplane. Perhaps the meal is really good, but the place and the vibes, or the whole feeling gets wrong 😦

Ok never mind, I still booked some restaurants through this event though. Why not? So let’s check them out.

The Clifford Pier@Fullerton Bay Hotel

Yep, my first stop is of-course Fullerton Bay Hotel. In spite of those recommendations I’ve received from my local friends, the reason why I choose here is quite simple: the environment.

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The restaurant is famous for local cuisine, which is a fusion of Chinese food and southeast asian flavour. But it’s a pity that my friends and I we all think that the curry is too plain. The only highlight is the icecream I think…

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(Sorry I really donno how to take food pics…)

BOCA

People say it’s the most authentic Portuguese cuisine in Singapore. Since I haven’t tried Portuguese cuisine, I can’t compare. But one of our crew is from Portugal and his comment is: you could find all these dishes much more cheaper in Portugal. (Well the only rule to survive Singapore is NEVER thinking about the price lol)

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Sources from the Internet (@Fashionmimo)

Based on what we’ve ordered, I guess Portuguese cuisine is mostly about seafood? And the mussels tastes pretty fresh 🙂

Salt Grill & Sky Bar

“When you’re elevated 55 floors above ground in the middle of town, it goes without saying that the view is nothing short of magnificent.” -Cleo Magazine

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Bangkok

Hi hi wish you all having a great start of April. I told myself I should have updated more in March but obviously I failed again. (have been busy preparing for my job interviews ) Actually plenty of funny things happened around me last month and I really need to deal with my wordpress backlog:(  After this bloody week maybe I could write more about the Singapore restaurant week review or about the return of my Street Snap Monday Series lol (was too lazy to take pics)

Well, I’ve just flied back from Bangkok this afternoon so I think now it’s the best time to record my journey before it gets blurred. First, it’s an impromptu trip and I just decided to join my friends and booked the tickets at the last minute. I have no idea how Bangkok would be like and didn’t do any research before I departed. But thanks to my luck, everything went well and even the congestion didn’t bother us a lot 🙂

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Street Food Haul  (@Fashionmimo)

My main purpose this time is to have a vacation rather than travel, so it’s a pity that I didn’t explored a lot in Bangkok. I have been to the night markets in Khao San Road and Siam, and… that’s all. And the craziest thing we did is spending 3 hours on taxi and 20 mins speed boat to Koh Samet…Despite the taxi fee, it’s really risky to try the BKK-bound highway at weekends (I wanna thank GOD once again for no traffic jam)

Koh Samet is a small island near Rayong. To those who live in Bangkok, it’s an ideal destination for a getaway from the hustle and bustle. And the highlight of this tour is Parasailing!! I was turning ecstatic when flying above the sea and saw the spectacular view with the breeze 🙂 I wish I had a Go-Pro with me.

 

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If you are looking for travel tips, I need to say sorry in advance cause I am not the one who planned this trip. But I’ll try to donate some advices:

1. Taxi is an ideal transportation in town, I mean, you can go anywhere by taxi with an affordable price. We rent a car to Koh Samet and taxi back, the price is quite acceptable. Tuk tuk is fun, but in Bangkok somehow it could be really dangerous cause every car is just cutting each other off and the road could be such a mess :/ However, most taxi drivers don’t use meters; and you won’t know how the traffic would be like when you are in a hurry. So sky train could be a good substitute.

2. Put Thai pants on the must-buy list, this is the only souvenir I’ve bought this time cause I do need a loose and comfy pants for my flight. (Wearing shorts on flight is totally a nightmare for me) Besides, although this blog is no longer “fashion” anymore (lol), I still wanna recommend the loose pants with special pattern cause they provide you the perfect laid-back vacation mood!

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Thai Pants: your best travel/lecture/office companion 🙂 (@Fashionmimo)

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Monocle Cafe

It’s been a week since I arrived in Singapore, and after I settled, it’s time to check my bucket list.

If you haven’t heard about Monocle, it’s a fast-growing media company established by a Canadian in 2007. The affairs include lifestyle magazine Monocle, 24hours radio, online/offline shops and cafes. To me it’s just like a miracle under the shrinking magazine industry that they are building up a lifestyle brand so quickly while they are also developing things more than Lifestyle.

Despite the largest headquarter in London, they are also setting up their new office in Singapore now. It’s a two-storey town house where the ground floor is for cafe and shop and the second floor is the office. So let’s go and have a look!

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Holland Village, where the cafe is located is famous for those white townhouses and countless restaurants & bars. (@Fashionmimo)

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The shop selling products of Monocle produced in different countries.(@Fashionmimo)

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My tropical outfit 🙂 (@Fashionmimo)

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Life of Tranquility: Hangzhou

My mom called me before I departed: “Are you going to Hangzhou in December? Well I don’t think you will enjoy the weather and views there.”

Emm…maybe she’s right. Because Hangzhou is in the southeast part of China, very near Shanghai, so you could expect the winter there would be windy/rainy, super cold (sometimes under zero celsius) but with very few snow. However, I didn’t have time to consider this cause my poor winter break just started a week before and Hangzhou, especially the Lingyin Temple has been on my travel Wishlist for over 5 years.

The Sights

I only visited a few sights this time so I couldn’t tell much about it but  I would strongly recommend you to chill at the Lake Xihu area. You got the most famous lake Xihu and  Lingyin Temple. And also you could enjoy the nature with some nice teahouses, bars and luxury hotels in this region.

The first time I noticed the Lingyin Temple was 5 years ago when I saw the print ads of Amanfayun, a luxury resort in Lingyin temple by Aman group. The resort reserves the Chinese and Buddha elements and it just looks like an old Chinese village. It’s the exact right place to slow me down and to be more “Zen” I think.

 

Near Lingyin Temple, there are some tea houses for you if you want to try the famous Longjing Tea from Hangzhou.

After visiting Lingyin Temple, just go down the mountain then you see the Lake Xihu.

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The Hotels

There are so many good hotels in Hangzhou but here I just wanna recommend those successfully blend the Chinese culture into their service and design.

Amanfayun

A luxurious Aman resort reconstructed from an old village and located right next to the Lingyin Temple, attractive enough. The only problem is the location may not be that convenient, and, it is just EXPENSIVE 🙂

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Four Seasons 

We struggled a lot between Four Seasons and Pins de la Brume before, and finally we decided to stay at PB and to take an afternoon tea at the garden of Four Seasons. I think it’s a right choice cause the garden in Four Seasons seems a little bit desolate in winter. However, if you are coming in summer or spring, I think the view here would be awesome 🙂

 

Pins de la Brume

Another French resort located near Lingyin Temple, it’s not that big compared to those two but I prefer its excellent location and environment.

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Dashe

A local small hotel in Hangzhou’s old style. In the room you could see the bricks and the wooden beams just like the old buildings 200 years ago.

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After all, it’s the end of 2015 and I want to thank you all for supporting my blog since May. Wish you all a very Merry Christmas and see you in 2016! 😀 (@Fashionmimo)

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Endless Summer

Keep wondering what’s going on with the weather, it’s already mid-November but in Hong Kong you still feel like in summer. So every time when I see a long coat, I tell myself “Ok I will bring you home next time, if it gets cooler.” But I still haven’t got the chance LOL

Last Sunday I have visited Peng Chau,  a small island near Hong Kong with no traffic on.  The only way to get there is to take a 20 mins ferry from the Central in Hong Kong. Basically it’s a small village surrounded by the ocean and mountains (there’s a popular hiking trail called Peng Yu Path btw). My art teacher Mr. Yeung is a Peng Chau based art guru and he has a gallery here. Thanks to his invitation, I have the chance to explore this tranquil place with strong local culture.

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Since there’s no car on the island, bikes are necessary for both tourists and residents.(@Fashionmimo)

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Jacket from American Eagle Outfitters, Sleeveless top from Topshop and A-line skirt from Outstanding Ordinary. (@Fashionmimo)

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Have to say this island is really an ideal place for photo shooting, thank you Nana Wu for modelling this time ❤ (@Fashionmimo)

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It was tea time when we entered the restaurant. In Peng Chau, afternoon tea is never a highbrow thing. Just to grab some milktea with a sandwich, life should be easy isn’t it? (@Fashionmimo)

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The pines, the cloud and the fog

Last week I have been to Huangshan, one of the most famous mountain ranges in China. It took me 2 days to climb up those peaks and to watch the sunrise. Personally I really enjoy hiking, especially that sudden cool feeling when you reach such an altitude.

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In summer, there are 3 most famous sights: the pine trees, the clouds above and the sunrise. (@Fashionmimo)

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The weather was so nice when we climbed up the peak so we missed the clouds. However, in the morning we could enjoy another mysterious scenery when the fog was not yet dispersed. (@Fashionmimo)

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The Villages

There are 2 old villages near Huangshan, one called Hong Cun, another called Xi Di. Both of them thrived in the Ming Dynasty. In An-Hui Province, most people who thrived their business would help to develop their own villages.

Hong Cun (@Fashionmimo)

Hong Cun (@Fashionmimo)

Xi Di (@Fashionmimo)

Xi Di (@Fashionmimo)

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