Zi Xia Cave 紫霞洞, Gua Musang, Kelantan

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A trip to Gua Musang brought me to visit a temple in this cave. Its Kuan Yin statue was the main attraction that was published in the newspapers a long while ago.

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Its entrance welcome you with a nice fish pond with an old uncle statue fishing. You can either sit around the pond to a little rest or move on to the high flight of stairs next to the pond.

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Looking forward to visit the temple, my determination and small little breaks got me through the long flight of stairs.

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It’s amazing how this Kuan Yin is carved directly from stalagmites. As I was told, it was once a stalagmites that looks like Kuan Yin. It’s then someone did some touch up to today’s beautiful form. Now I see how it became famous.

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This is the original stalagmites form in another area of this cave. Interesting~~~!

Location:

Kampung Pulai, Gua Musang, Kelantan, Malaysia.

Green Tea Restaurant, Hangzhou 绿茶餐厅

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Being in Hangzhou, many local and foreign visitors will visit this famous restaurant many delicious local dishes. This is the first shop at Longjing Road, Hangzhou but has many outlets around Hangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai, Suzhou and Ningbo.

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As it’s a famous restaurant, be sure to be prepared to queue and wait for 20-40 minutes. You will first need to get your queue number at the entrance. Take a order form and a pencil, then start filling the form with your orders. They have the whole menu on the form and pictures on the wall to help you decide. You can also observe what others order and ask which dish they recommend. Some are actual frequent customers.

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Depends which table you are allocated (you have no options to choose your seats), you may get to enjoy your meal by the small lake beside the wooden structured building. However, as it was crowded, it was a little warm inside. It is best that you could get a table by the window for some fresh air.

Here are what we ordered.

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BBQ Lamb Chop 香烤羊排 (RMB68) [Menu indication: One-star recommended dish]

It smells good when this was served with a nice BBQ smell but it wasn’t a dish that I would want a second bite because of the very pungent meaty taste that lingers in the mouth. In chinese we call it 骚 (sao). However, for those who loves lamb and can take that taste, you will love it.

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Green Tea Crisp Cake 绿茶饼 (RMB12) [Menu indication: Two-star recommended dish]

I love this very much. I can have it again and again without stopping. It’s yam inside layered with green tea crispy cake and topped with roasted sesame. The crisp of the cake and the fragrant sesame go along very well. It was highly recommended by others and now I highly recommended it to you. ^_^

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Bread Temptation 面包诱惑  (RMB28) [Menu indication: Signature dish]

Yes, it looks plain and unattractive but you can see this on many tables. Vanilla ice cream on toasted thick bread. The top and sides were toasted to a fragrant bread smell and crispy too. It’s nice for tea. I prefer the bread skin than the bread itself. ^^

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Ice Peach Pulp 冰镇桃浆 (RMB10) [Menu indication: One-star recommended dish]

On a warm day, a cool dessert is always welcome. Have you tried Aiyu dessert before? It’s similar to that. It’s peach jelly in shaved iced with a few red dates to accompany. It’s another drink option to the rather sweet syrup beverage. Look for this under  “Cold dishes” and not “Dessert”.

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Fish Head Temptation 鱼头诱惑 (RMB55) [Menu indication: Signature dish]

As it’s name says, “Temptation”. This plain steam fish can keep you wanting more, especially the sauce, goes very well with rice. It doesn’t look at all spicy but it quite spicy. It is topped with green chili and also comes with a small plate of noodle, to either dipped it in the sauce before you eat or just add in. Although it’s fish head but there’s rather good portion of meat to share around. However, you will need to be very careful will alot of bones.

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Tofu and Thousand Year-old Eggs 皮蛋豆腐 (RMB10) [Menu indication: Two-star recommended dish]

It’s a multi-layer tofu and century egg. I’m not a fan of century eggs but the tofu is soft. It’s rather normal tofu with soya sauce if it’s not for the century eggs. However, for century eggs lover, there is not much of century eggs taste that you can enjoy. Not an attractive dish on our table.

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Choy-sum Stir Fry 客家小菜心 (RMB18) [Menu indication: One-star recommended dish]

If you are one who normally prefers vegetable leaves to its branch, you will be disappointed, but don’t lose hope. It’s a crunchy pieces of branch. From all the meat you had, you would want to balance your meal with some greens to clear your taste buds.

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Green Tea Roast Pork 绿茶烤肉 (RMB32) [Menu indication: Signature dish]

Meat lover would love this dish. It tasted similar to char siew 叉烧 with a nice roasted fragrant. For girls, the meat is has too much fats. We could enjoy less of the meat, unless you wouldn’t mind high proportion of fats.

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Green Tea Roast Fish 绿茶烤鱼 (RMB28) [Menu indication: Signature dish]

Ah yes, yet another Green Tea roast dish. It does not have the green tea taste but has a nice roast fragrant similar to the other roasted dishes. It has less bones from the other spicy fish but also has less meat. 🙁 Can I have more?

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Tea Tree Mushroom Stir Fry 芭蕉茶树菇 (RMB25) [Menu indication: One-star recommended dish]

Thin long mushroom stir fry with spring onions, dried chili and a little minced meat. It’s a little spicy chewy mushroom but I think the portion is rather little, especially the amount of mushroom you can eat.

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Mussel and Bacon Stew with Bamboo Shoots and Wintermelon 炎菜咸肉笋干煲冬瓜 (RMB18) [Menu indication: One-star recommended dish]

As the name states, it’s all those ingredients’ soup. ;D I love it. The taste is concentrated enough to enjoy with rice or drink it on its own. One more bowl for me please! ^^ However, I didn’t take the bacon. It’s more of fats than meat.

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Fire shrimp 火焰虾 (RMB38) [Menu indication: Two-star recommended dish]

Fire shrimp! Yes! This dish is served with real fire, for demonstration purposes only. The fire is not used to cook the prawns. Inside, is already cooked prawns with a nice grilled fragrant. Many has recommended this dish too.

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Organic Cauliflower Stir Fry 香锅有机花菜 (RMB18) [Menu indication: One-star recommended dish]

Nice crunchy cauliflower stir fry with flavourful spicy spices. I think it’s sitr fry with pork oil that makes it very fragrant. Another enjoyable vegetable dish.

 

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Napoleon 拿破仑 (RMB38) [Menu indication: Signature dish with Two-star recommended dish]

Being a signature dish, also a highly recommended dish and you see it on many tables, won’t you be eager to try? So we did. *haha* It’s cripsy layered puffs with different types of fruits on each layer, there’s mango, kiwi and strawberries. The crispy puffs is so crispy that it just breaks into pieces once you bite it. You won’t have much to bite other than the fruits. Nice to enjoy with tea.

A very satisfied scrumptious meal.

Overall rating: 9/10

Visit them at,

83, Longjing Road, Hangzhou.
杭州市龙井路83号

Tel: +86 571 87888022 / 87998725

Operating hours: 11am – 10pm daily

Train tickets online booking service in China

To travel around China, you may want to opt to take the train, whether high speed or normal train. For foreigners, we would have to purchase the tickets at the train station, either before or on the day of departure. You will need to plan this into your itinerary.

If it’s not the Chinese holidays or festival, I think that it’s ok to purchase your ticket on the day of departure. Depending on your luck, you may only need to wait about half to one hour before the trains departs. There will be restaurants to rest or eat and some retail shops for you to look around. Otherwise, if you read Chinese and have Unionpay credit card or any China bank’s credit card acceptable by the website as shown below, you may book your tickets online here.

china train

 

 

You will need :

a) Passport

b) Unionpay credit card or acceptable China bank’s credit card

 

Procedures :

1) Register as a user. Please make sure your name and passport number is correct as you will need your passport for verification.

2) Login with your registered account.

3) Search for your journey.

4) Confirm your ticket date, time and departure and arrival stations.

5) Go to “uncompleted transaction” 未完成订单 to retrieve your tickets.

6) Proceed to pay through the following acceptable banks / method.

CC

7) Once completed, you will see your ticket booking under “completed transactions” 已完成订单.

8) On the day (2 hours before time of departure) or before your departure day, exchange your ticket using the booking confirmation and your passport. You will need an actual ticket that looks like this to board the train.

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For more information, you can look through the FAQ page here.

Have a safe journey! 🙂

 

Where is the IT mall in Shanghai?

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In Kuala Lumpur, there is Lowyat Plaza. In Singapore, there is Sim Lim Square. In Shanghai, you have Buynow 百脑汇. It sells a wide range of products and brands, such as computers, mobile phones and accessories. The are original dealers and also individual sellers with non-original accessories. Be prepared for being overwhelmed with the proactive sellers asking about your shopping list.

 

Main location:
339, Caoxi North Road, Xuhui District, Shanghai, China.
上海徐汇区漕溪北路339号百脑汇二期徐汇店

Xujiahui Metro Station, Line 1,9 or 11, Exit 3 or 4

Another building:
1F-3F, Metro City Shopping Mall,
1111, Zhao Jia Bang Road
肇嘉浜路1111号美罗城1-3楼

Xujiahui Metro Station, Line 1,9 or 11, Exit 10

You can visit their website at www.buynow.com.cn/

 

Buynow building at Exit 10 is connected to Metro City Shopping Mall. So, if your partner is bored with shopping at Buynow with you, he/she can spend his/her time at Metro City. Metro City has restaurants, food court, fashion retailers, book store, karaoke and many more. Metro City Shopping Mall is also one of Shanghai’s attractions with big LCD globe.

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Vienna cafe, Shanghai

 

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Early Sunday morning started with a little stroll from South Shaanxi Road Metro Station. I was told that there are many cafes around this area but not many opens early.

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It’s a warm European feel of the cafe with indoor lights seating or natural lighting seats. It is a rather small cozy place. If you are going in a group, you can call to make reservation to ensure to get a seat.

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Coincidentally, when we visited, it was Easter day. They had European Style Easter Brunch Buffet for RMB198. As the board says at its entrance, it comes with 1 coffee and a selection of breads, ham, jam, cereals, fruits, etc. Many came with pre-booking. We were lucky to get a seat on that day. We didn’t try the Easter brunch but went for the coffee, toast and cakes.

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They have a wide range of Twinnings tea and coffee. First time being in Vienna Cafe, it’s a normal attraction to try their Vienna Melange, a typical Vienna coffee. It is somewhat similar to cappuccino, where it’s one shot espresso served in large cup topped with milk and milk foam. It’s coffee suit my taste, not too bitter.

 

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There are a varieties of breakfast choices but grilled toast was our choice. Crunchy toast with a choices of cheese and ham, with or without sunny side up. I love the toast.

Being welcome by cakes at the entrance, keep me wanting to try them.

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Cheese cake – A baked soft cheesy cake topped with almond crisps. It’s baked fragrant top brings out the nice taste of the cake. Its butter biscuit base kept the cake taste mild. For me, I prefer the biscuit base to be a slightly more salted biscuits like the Digestives.

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Plum cake – It’s like fruit cake topped with loads of nuts. The plum is not too sweet. A delicious combination, although the first impression when it’s served was a little mashy. You won’t mind the mash after you tasted it.

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Chocolate cake – Chocolaty and not too sweet but I feel it’s a little dry. You will need to have it with the chocolate ganache on top. Otherwise, you will feel dry after 2-3 bites.

Average price range RMB50-RMB100 per person. For more prices, please check out their website below.

Overall rating: 7/10

Location:
25, Shaoxing Road, Shanghai.

Tel: +86 21 6445 2131

Operating hours: 8am – 8pm

Website: http://www.viennashanghai.com/