Chinese New Year preparations

Chinese New Year is in two days and this time I actually prepared a potential blog post to lead up to it (applause please since Christmas and New Year were a big fail). We celebrate the new year in Singapore (mandatory, no questions asked) but we bring half of Hong Kong’s food products back in our suitcases.

Being “self-employed”, I decided to follow my mom on her rounds of Sheung Wan for the best lap cheong (cured sausage?) and other random things.


Then I got distracted taking random pictures of things…


Like this.

I like Sheung Wan for its old school charm which still has the feel of a Hong Kong that wasn’t Asia’s biggest finance centre. Before all the IFCs and ICCs and whatever Cs came in. As someone who couldn’t be a foodie if she tried, I can’t even begin to name the stuff in the pics I took (useless I know) but at to be honest I was mainly taking pics for the feel of the place. Most of these places are along Des Veoux and it’s a great area to walk around and take a look at (though don’t actually go before Chinese New Year, it’s hectic!)


Fish maw…?


Dried fish…and stuff


Tea! Right?


Old jars on display

Wishing everyone a happy year of the water snake. For those of you like me who are Roosters, apparently our luck’s pretty good this year particularly if you’re self-employed. No health issues to worry about BUT if you have female colleagues/bosses, be wary of them. Just something I read in a random horoscope book. Never hurts to prepare!


Spa Review: Chuan Spa at Langham Place Mongkok

Chuan Spa -  EntranceChristmas really is the time of giving and I’ve been fortunate to have been given not one, not two but THREE awesome spa opportunities while back in Hong Kong.

This review is really more of an ode to a therapist at Chuan Spa. The first time I went, I tried their Dermaheal facial as part of a machines-treatment-based story. The therapist, Jessie, was awesome, especially considering the facial was paaaaainful, mainly because it involved lots of little needles. Ouch.

This time I went to try their signature Chuan Yu Facial. Chuan Spa is inspired and based around Traditional Chinese Medicine concepts and so before each treatment you fill in a form to determine what element you are. The first time I did this in Shanghai at the Langham Xintiandi for an article, I was metal (the weather was changing), this time I was water (which I put down to being severely congested and as a result, probably dehydrated).

I sat in the waiting room for a bit and coughed so badly I think they hurried me into my room just to stop my hacking from tearing through their zen (I totally don’t blame them, I was so embarassed).

I’m not saying that the Chuan Yu facial cured me of my tuberculosis (ie. really really bad cough/cold/flu) but it definitely helped. A week later in Singapore, I now feel almost totally fine. Going to a spa while you’re trying to hack out a lung is definitely not ideal for you (or your fellow spa guests!) but maybe that extra nurturing and kindness you get from an expert therapist is the best medicine haha.

Chuan Yu Facial 01

Jessie put up with a lot of coughing through my facial and I felt extremely bad for potentially sending germs directly at her. She kept assuring me this wasn’t an issue and even brought me chamomile tea after which she said was known to be good for cough. The facial was really soothing, and involving a lot of massage and pressure points. It also included the use of jade in the treatment designed to stimulate circulation. I drifted in and out of sleep but I definitely felt the cool jade being pressed into my palms and on certain points of my face. It was actually really nice.

After the treatment, I was resting in the relaxation room, gazing out at Hong Kong’s smoggy scenery when Jessie brought me a cup of chamomile tea, supposedly good for the respiratory system but I was already feeling much better and hacking way less after the treatment.