Cheung Chau with Kids – Hong Kong Oct 2016

With the typhoon just passing Hong Kong a day ago, I was closely monitoring the weather just to make sure that there was not going to be any residual rain that was going to spoil our plans for Cheung Chau. Being the avid TVB drama fan, I always wondered what it would be like in Cheung Chau, Lamma Island and the likes. So we decided to do something a little less city-ish and try out Cheung Chau with the kids.

We took an MTR from Jordan near our hotel and reached Central MTR in less than 15 minutes. From there, it was a short walk to the Central Ferry Pier where different lines/ routes departing from different pier numbers. We headed towards Pier 5 where the ferry would take us to Cheung Chau. We left our hotel at 745am and were at Central Pier 5 by 825am. In fact we made it just in time for the 830am ferry. Do check out the ferry schedule beforehand though because there are 2 types of ferry..the fast express one and the normal one which leaves at different time slots. We were initially targeting for the 9am Express ferry but figured the extra wait time at the ferry terminal versus the longer journey time on the 830am ferry would have us reaching Cheung Chau about the same time anyway and we preferred to be on the move. 


We quickly purchased our tickets and ran for our ferry just as the bells were ringing (haha a familiar sound that I often hear when watching my tvb dramas :p)

We got to Cheung Chau nice and early and most shops were either still closed or just opening up. I had planned for us to have some authentic hole in the wall dim sum breakfast so we headed in search of 漢軒茶樓 (located at 58 Hing Lung Back Street). It is located in the right side of the next alley which runs parallel to the Main Street. You have to know what you are looking for because the looks from the shop front will send any sanity loving parents of young children running in the opposite direction. :p It is a really small cramped shop with a stove full of dim sum basket at the front of the shop and tables cramped up inside. The owner was very nice when I said I needed four seats and found us a table with empty seats immediately but of course we had to share it with a couple of uncles leisurely reading their newspaper and enjoying the morning tea. We were abit uncomfortable at first and were worried that we or the kids were disturbing them but they silently move the utensils and pots or cups around and it almost felt like a silent acceptance and their way of looking out for us. I was hungry and determined to have my breakfast there and I suppose a part of me stubbornly wanted my kids to get through this and be tossed out of their comfort zone if only for awhile. We ordered the food from the stove in the front and the aunties there were very nice to give us recommendation so we just ordered some stuff which tasted really good and was really good value too!


Now this may seem random but parents with potty trained kids would know why this is important..we were almost through our meal when Jah decided that this was a good time to need the loo. Nope not the kind of need where mummy equipped with a pee bag was ready for. Joel had this look of horror on his face! Where are we going to find a toilet on this island! Luckily I remembered seeing a toilet sign while we were searching for the restaurant and I immediately took off and started backtracking with Jah (wonders of a mother’s subconscious mind haha) Needless to say we found the toilet and Joel’s fears were unfounded because it was really really clean! 

For those with older kids, there are lots more to do on Cheung Chau like hiking and visiting the Po Chai Cave. However we didn’t think the kids would be able to handle a hike of that distance and then make their way back (which usually calls for an entire day trip). So we focused our time within the few alleys of the main street, basically in search of different types of snack and food. We had planned to visit a lot of shops but Joel would complain to you that he wasn’t expecting it to be an eating expedition and really wasn’t ready to stomach so much.

We tried Giant fishballs which were available at almost every corner. Kind of wished I had waited abit longer for the ones that sold the curry ones to open. We also stopped at a shop for shaved ice, mango mochi and fried chips with your choice seasoning. Although I have to say the chips were rather hard. But the kids were really happy so…:)

Joel needed his coffee fix and was surprised to find a little shop selling freshly brewed coffee.

I wanted to try some ping tang hu lu (candied haw) and put zai kou (red bean cup ‘jelly’..honestly I felt abit disappointed because the ping tang hu lu in this instance was really iced fruits and the put zai kou was kind of tasteless. Looks like I will have to head to Taiwan for the real ping tang hu lu?


After all that snacking, we decided to head for lunch (yes Joel was about to kill me ahha) but there was no way we could have done any hiking in those sunny humid conditions as you can see from my kids going on strike in one of the above photos. (Probably should have brought our carriers for this) 

We headed to New Baccarret (one of the many seafood restaurants) on the main thoroughfare. Most of them would come with standard sets that you could order or you could do it ala carte. I asked for an English menu and then started to wonder if there was a difference in pricing hmmm but I really was too tired and hot at that point to bother. We ordered fried rice, some prawns in garlic sauce and fried calamari. The prawns and the sauce was ohh so good! 



We made it in time for the 1pm ferry after that. Half glad to be making it back to city life and an afternoon nap but also half glad that we tried this. I would come back with the kids again especially when they are abit older and ready to do alittle more exploration of the island. But it was a good experience for what it’s worth 🙂


JahBella’s Mummy

Hong Kong Oct 2016 – Victoria Peak, Madam Tussaud’s and a little transportation tip

We made our recent Hong Kong trip right on the tail of 2 typhoons in the region. In fact we nearly had to call off our trip due to that uncertainty. But I was pretty insistent on taking the trip and yes some would have called me mad, given that flights were cancelled the morning before our departure due to a Signal 8 raised in Hong Kong and we didn’t really know what kind of weather we were getting ourselves into once we got to Hong Kong. The upside, I became quite the typhoon tracker expert after this trip :p

In any case, the airport reopened and flights resumed and we got to our destination safely and landed in dry and sunny conditions! Phew!

We decided to stay at Nathan Hotel on Nathan Road this time around. Given that it was going to be a really short trip, we wanted somewhere very central for food as well as a short walking distance to an MTR (3 mins walk to Jordan MTR). 

We were fortunate than our room was ready for us at 11am despite check-in being only at 2pm. Apparently many guests checked out the night before or in the wee hours of the morning before our arrival because they were able to get on their newly timed flights. We comfortably settled lunch in the vicinity and then the kids got their much deserved nap time, after enduring a 3am wake up call from their parents. 


We were still pretty tired at about 5pm but we didn’t want to waste the night so we got everyone up and about and decided to head to Victoria Peak for dinner.


How difficult could that be right? We took a train from Jordan MTR to Central MTR (10-15mins ride?) and it was a relatively simple 10 mins walk from Central MTR to the Peak Lower Terminus where we would take the Peak Tram up. 

That is until we turned the corner and saw how long the queue to purchase a tram ticket was. I didn’t take a photo because I was absolutely shocked. I’m honestly not sure if this is the usual weekend crowd or it was a result of people being trapped indoors for the last 48 hours due to the typhoon. Well we had 2 options – turn around and run for the hills (no pun intended) or queue (it looked like a 2-3 hour queue at least). It was 6pm..kids were pumped up for a tram ride which we probably oversold to them and we were too hungry and still tired to recalibrate.

Luckily we saw a sign that said express tram ticket but it involved us purchasing a package that included a ticket to Madame Tussaud’s Wax Musuem. Well at that point, anything to beat the queue and get out of there so we paid 10x the price literally and were on our way.

Well almost, we had to queue another 30-45 mins or so to get on the tram because they were alternating entry between big groups and independent travellers. Well ok still on track for dinner at 7pm at least…


The kids were intrigued by the tram going uphill so steeply (like a rollercoaster they say) though I would say that a day time tram ride would probably have been better for them visually. But that’s a toss up between the visual impact of going uphill and seeing the lights and the skyline which pops out at you in the night.


We got to the peak station and managed to settle dinner at Bubba Gump Shrimp Company before the crowd started thickening..honestly the food was rather disappointing and everything just well tasted fried..I mean I know it’s fried food but it was tasteless and just tasted like oil..really different from what we remembered from the US.

We were quite fortunate that we ended up buying the package because the kids were pretty keen to check out Madame Tussaud’s (who would have thought). We moved through the exhibits pretty quickly (spent about 30 mins or so?) but the kids were quite happy to pose for most (some) of the photos :p

We made the customary trip to the viewing area but ended up leaving within 5 minutes. The droves of tour groups up there, was pure madness! Guides were screaming and waving, and people were crowding walkways to pay, to get their photos taken. Not to mention that the vents from the restaurants seems to be spewing smoke out into that ‘confined’ space. Really a far cry from what I remembered it to be almost 15 years ago when we were up there for a school trip.

We finally made our way down to the peak station (our package came with a return ticket) at about 930pm. A sign told us that the wait time to get onto a tram to lower peak terminus was about 1 hour. We decided to forgo our ticket and walk over to the cab stand which also looked about an hour Long 😦 and didn’t seem to be moving at all. But we were kind of stranded at that point and had to just wait in line for a cab. 

So here’s a little tip 😉 while waiting for our cab queue to move, I started googling for a taxi app and found one that was in English! The app is called HK Taxi and it is a bright red app. You could indicate the extra tip you are willing to pay to entice a cab to take your booking. I eventually up my tip when no one was taking my booking after trying for 5 minutes and scored a cab rather quickly. The app is best used if you have a local phone number which we did because we got a local Sim for data and it came with some free call credits. The driver called us immediately to tell us that he was 5 minutes away, asked us to look out for his cab number and hop in because he was not allowed to stop in that area to wait. I spoke to the cab driver in Cantonese but I’m sure they would be able to cope with some English, given that they ask you what your preferred language is when making the booking. We managed to get out of the area by 10pm phew! and thank goodness the kids were all still in good spirits when we got back (especially because Jah caught his first Haunter Pokémon while we were driving down the peak) :p

What a wild 18 hours we’ve had so far! 

Stay tuned for more of our Hong Kong 2016 trip!

JahBella’s Mummy

Perth, Western Australia Itinerary August 2016 – Day 6 – Journey back to Perth (Margaret River Roadtrip)

As the first half of our 2016 Perth holiday came to a close, we were busying ourselves with getting back on the road to head back into Perth. Our initial plan had us leaving Margaret River by 8am so that we could move at a more leisurely pace and have the kids take a nap at the new accommodation by 2pm. However that didn’t happen due to some last minute laundry/ dryer issues (we had to wait almost 2 hours for the kids winter pants to dry). 😦 For once, mummy the control freak wasn’t too fuss about the delay in our plans because I was seriously under the weather and moving at sloth pace myself. In fact I was wondering how I would make it through the day as the human GPS in my state. Thankfully the pharmacies in Australia are superb! We made a stop on our way out of Margaret River to get some meds and the nice pharmacist sold me their ‘home mix’ cough syrup and even poured me a glass of warm water to mix it on the spot! The meds work wonders and I was much much better by the time we got to our lunch stop.


We made a slight detour for lunch at Rockingham because we thought the kids might enjoy a boat ride over to Penguin Island to visit some Happy Feets. But with me being under the weather and us leaving Margaret River so late, we decided not to visit Penguin Island and settled for lunch at the jetty café. Simple fish and chips, the kids going crazy from chasing very hungry and persistent birds around (Bella was petrified and Jah was just angry :p) and catching our first Ponyta made for a nice afternoon.

We reached our Perth accommodation at about 330pm which meant the kids didn’t settled down until almost 5pm. Thankfully our plans for the night were rather simple too. Just good ole Chinese food at Northbridge. Yes after days of western food, my kids and husband needed their Chinese food. Kids really appreciated their hot plate tofu and Salt & Pepper Fish however note to self, please remember to order chicken in future especially after all the fish and chips!! The good thing about the Chinese restaurants are the fact that they open till late (who says you can’t find anything open in Perth after 5pm). We had our dinner at 8pm and even squeezed in a bubble tea each after. 😉


Looks like a 4 hour road trip to and from Margaret River isn’t that hard after all. We survived our first long road trip in Perth! You know what they say…what doesn’t break you, only makes you stronger..I can’t wait for more roadtrips with my 3 favourite people in the world! 🙂

JahBella’s Mummy

Perth, Western Australia Itinerary August 2016 – Day 5 Ngilgi Caves, Canal Rocks and Laurence Wines (Margaret River Roadtrip)

Ask any little boy if he would like to visit a cave and his answer would probably be yes. However I wasn’t too sure if a cave visit would live up to the expectations that Jah had about what a cave really is like. So given that Margaret River has several caves to offer, I really had to research and think it through quite a bit before we finally decided that we would give Ngilgi Caves a shot.

Joel and I had visited a cave in Margaret River once and I remember that it was a long long walk down and back up. We had joined a Caves Tour and that meant that we had to keep up and move at a certain pace. Totally not ideal for the kids. We decided to go with Ngilgi Caves because its tour was a semi-guided tour.

There were tour slots available every half-hourly so we decided to go for the 1030am slot which allowed us to make a breakfast pit stop at Margaret River Chocolate Factory enroute to the caves. Yes who has chocolate for breakfast right? Well we do! :p

We got to the Cave about 10 minutes before the tour slot started. We were advised to bring the kids to the toilet first as we would probably spend about 45 minutes or so in the cave. We met our guide at a pre-designated spot (above ground) where we read about the story of the cave. The kids loved the story about good versus evil and it was a really good start to their ‘cave adventure’.

Our guide brought us underground into the cave and explained the direction that we should walk in and some ground rules. We essentially went down some steep stairs to get underground but the kids were ok with that. We were told that we would have to walk 500 steps down and then 500 steps to get back up. I started to get abit worried but was comforted by the fact that we brought our toddler carriers around in case the kids needed to be carried mid-way. Thankfully we didn’t need it because our 2 troopers were more than happy and excited to finish the 500 steps up and down. Jah was so busy counting stairs but yes eventually lost count!

Most of the steps were well-built and paved except for certain low hanging areas or some areas where proper in-built steps were not possible and the steps had to be carved out from the rocks/ walls. So I would advise for 1 able-bodied adult to handle 1 child and make sure they don’t lose their footing or lean to one side (as the stairs can be very narrow). Give very specific instruction to your kiddos and if they can’t follow the instructions that you might need to carry them. Recommended in a carrier because you also need your hands free to hold railings while climbing or find your balance. We finished our walk in an hour and the kids were absolutely elated and pleased with themselves. Excuse our really dark photos. 🙂


Because we had finished at 1130am and still had abit of time to spare before lunch (we did have a really filling breakfast at 930am), we decided to pitstop at Canal Rocks which is a 5 minutes drive away. I’m so glad that we took that stop because the view at Canal Rocks was absolutely wonderful! I have this thing for the oceans and magnificent crashing waves as you may have noticed by now. So this place was an absolute gem! We were wondering why we had never been here in all our years of visiting Margaret River. We could have stood there in awe all morning. Videos can be found on our Instagram account.


We headed to Laurence Wines for lunch after that breath of fresh air. Honestly I don’t quite remember much about the food or wines there but the reason I am mentioning it, is because there is a pretty decent playground right next to the outdoor tables. Decent enough for the kids to play and expend their energy while you do your wine tasting at your own table. Yes, Laurence Wines allows you to purchase a tasting paddle and you can taste 6 different wines at your table. So no need to stand at the cellar door while worrying what the kids are up to. That being said, I would advise you to keep a look out for the kids as the playground is not enclosed and they might run in the direction of the open lake which is about 500m away.


We truly had a very relaxing Day 5 (our final day at Margaret River on this trip) and everyone was really happy! 🙂

Now for our 4 hour drive back to Perth and the second half of our adventure!

Click here to read more about our red eye flight into Perth 🙂 

Day 1 – Day 1 Rockingham, Busselton Jetty (Margaret River Roadtrip)

Day 2 – Wonky Windmill Farm and Orchard Picking (Margaret River Roadtrip) 

Day 3 Margaret River Farmer’s Market and Yallingup Maze (Margaret River Roadtrip)

Day 4 Whale Watching Cruise and Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse (Margaret River Roadtrip)
JahBella’s Mummy

Perth, Western Australia Itinerary August 2016 – Day 4 Whale Watching Cruise and Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse (Margaret River Roadtrip)

We were really excited about Day 4 of our Margaret River Roadtrip and to be honest also alittle worried. We had signed ourselves up for a whale watching cruise but there was a chance that we would all go home disappointed. In fact our whale watch cruise company contacted us on Day 3 to ask if we would be available to bring our cruise forward by a day because the weather forecast for our original booking wasn’t looking good. Given that we were on the tail end of the whale season in Margaret River before the whales move towards the waters in Busselton, we weren’t feeling very optimistic.
The weather had been gloomy on and off for the past few days so we were surprised to find it bright and sunny at the Augusta Jetty. We waited around for everyone to arrive and noticed that there were a few operators, each operating their own boat/ yacht/ ship.


We had picked our whale cruise operator because it was clearly stated on their website that they had kid life vests onboard and also the fact that the yacht that they operated looked a lot bigger than the others and had an indoor section. We figured if the cruise was going to last approx 2 hours and there was a chance that it would get really cold, at least the kids would be able to find refuge in the indoor section of the yacht. However the weather was so good that we didn’t have to stay inside and all and spent the entire 2 hours on the upper deck.

Though a bigger yacht was really a lot more comfortable and safe for the kids especially as they got alittle restless towards the end of the 2 hours. Honestly after spotting a whale or 2 and hearing the story of Little Pearl and Mother of Pearl, every Mother and baby whale that we came across, started to look the same to them :p But yes we were fortunate enough to spot quite a few Mother-baby pairs and while we didn’t see any fantastic stunts out there..it was quite something to be out in the ocean amongst these magnificent creatures.

We returned to the jetty at about 12noon and headed to the town of Augusta for a quick Fish and Chips before making our way to Cape Leeuwin which was just around the corner.

Cape Leeuwin was the lighthouse where Joel proposed to me 9 years ago and it was surreal to be back there with 2 kids in tow. Things were very familiar but yet so different. We even bought tickets to climb the lighthouse (Jah’s request) but we decided otherwise as we approached the lighthouse because Jah had a little fall and wasn’t feeling up to it. Thank goodness though because it started to storm just as we were finishing up our own tour around the base of the lighthouse. But it was truly well worth a trip! Simply amazing to be surrounded by the ocean and to be right where the Southern Ocean meets the Indian Ocean…the power of the Mother Nature in all its glory!

Absolutely love this place..is it any wonder why we can’t get enough of it 🙂

Click here to read more about our red eye flight into Perth 🙂 

Day 1 – Day 1 Rockingham, Busselton Jetty (Margaret River Roadtrip)

Day 2 – Wonky Windmill Farm and Orchard Picking (Margaret River Roadtrip) 

Day 3 Margaret River Farmer’s Market and Yallingup Maze (Margaret River Roadtrip)

Day 5 Ngilgi Caves, Canal Rocks and Laurence Wines (Margaret River Roadtrip)

JahBella’s Mummy