Street Art, Paratta and Coffee in Penang

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Another public holiday, another trip!

Joel and I had been trying to sort out a destination that was both close (but far enough away for a 4 day weekend) when my colleague suggested the island of Penang, Malaysia.

Our hotel of choice was Seven Terraces – a set of shopfronts turned boutique hotel with a beautiful central courtyard. The rooms were large and full of antiques. I especially loved the delicate blue-and-white porcelain at every meal and the incredible local breakfasts of roti paratta.

We spent the weekend wandering though uniquely tiled archways and alleys in search of eclectic and newly accepted street art within the UNESCO world heritage site of Georgetown. I mean c’mon – world heritage site/history and art? Nerdy Sharon’s dream.

My favorite street art was ‘Little Boy with Pet Dinosaur‘ – I loved the contrast of the realistic little boy holding on to the dinosaur with a leash where the dinosaur looks as if it was drawn by that same little boy.

The street art ranged from cats – lots of cats or all shapes and sizes – to Marge Simpson, to people on swings to Minions.

To round out the heritage feeling, the area of Georgetown is filled with tin line sculptures which give an animated history of Penang. Once again – nerdy Sharon was right at home.

Being 1000 degrees, we noticed a trend of coffee shops open more so in the afternoon to late evening. We heart us some coffee and tried as much of it as we could, including cardamom coffee.

Last and certainly not least was all of the wonderful food. As vegetarians, Joel and I can find it hard to discover some local Asian foods but not in Penang! Indian cuisine is our favorite and it was not in short supply. Paratta, curries, otak otak, oh my!

We also tried (several times) the Penang Asam laksa. It is definitely different from the Singapore laksa. Penang laksa is light – as it is free from coconut milk, but sour and sweet from tamarind and full of incredible (but not overwhelming) fish flavors from mackerel.

We loved Penang – the food, the hotel, the art – and would highly recommend it for a brief artistic and cultural getaway from Hong Kong.

2016 – Year of the Squid? Part 1

For me, yes.

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I booked my session in 2015 and waited for what seemed like forever, but was really only 9 months.

The incredible (and worth the wait) Wang  brought to life exactly what I had been imagining in my head for as long as I can remember.

Part 2 is in mid-March to continue adding on to the ocean creature I love and am fascinated by. Here’s to the ‘Year of the Squid’!

Year of the Monkey… And Maldives

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It is no surprise that Joel and I spend our time and money traveling. So when it came time to figure out how to spend the longest bank holiday of the year – CNY – and celebrate our (long) overdue 5th wedding anniversary, we wanted it to be a big deal.

Enter, The Maldives.

And this terrible view.

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After a 6 hour commercial flight, a 35 minute prop flight and a 25 minute speed boat ride, we arrived at Six Senses Laamu.

We spent 6 days floating on a hut in the Indian Ocean’s superbly clear, turquoise blue, fish and turtle filled water. The water, the sun, the food (cheese – every day – cheese), the daily ice cream trips, the bikes and the reefs were everything you would imagine them to be – perfection.

This once in our lifetime trip was exactly what we wanted and expected. And after 10 years traveling together, including a honeymoon in Hawaii and many, many ocean filled vacations – Joel finally got me to snorkel!

 

 

 

Ohay 2016!

Fishmix is back!

Wow, it’s been a whole year since I’ve documented our explorations. Could I possibly recap 365 days worth of travel, work, fun food, etc. in one post? Let’s give it a try!

First, we continued to explore Hong Kong with each other and friends from near and far –

 

Joel and I have stuck with our plan to travel somewhere, at least once a month including –

Sydney

Tokyo + Kyoto

Beijing + Shanghai+Shenzhen

Bangkok

Milan

 

Ho Chi Minh City+ Hanoi

Singapore

Taipei + Tainan City

 

And finally – Cambodia for Christmas

Aside from travel, we hiked Lantau Peak! After 6 hours of hiking, this is the best I could do –

 

I started a new role that I absolutely love at Loewe as Head of Visual Merchandising.

 

We took the 16 hour flight back to America to visit family – including the adorably sweet Nina

 

We watched our friends get married in a beautiful and classy New York wedding

 

We also celebrated 5 years of marriage!

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With so many more travel plans, big work projects, tattoos, family and friends visits as well as some sister wedding planning – 2016 is looking good and it just started!

Happy New Year!

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It’s 2015 and we are back!

Updates on our travel and global explorations to come but in the meantime, here’s where we spent Christmas –

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And New Years –

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We missed spending the holidays with family and friends in America, but were able to ring in the new year with new friends here in Hong Kong, ON A BOAT.

2014 didn’t suck — however, we are ready to see what this year brings! Itinerary so far: travel across Asia, beloved friends’ weddings, Joel and I’s 5 year anniversary, me having been out of high school for 15 years (wow) and living another year abroad.

Woot!

Mini-Holiday in Taipei

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When I was invited on a brief holiday out of Hong Kong to Taipei, Taiwan and I immediately jumped at the chance. Taipei is a quick flight away, a place I’ve never been and cheap (good news for someone not working!).

While it was only 3 days, we packed as much in as we could, all the while, feeling out the city. Taipei is much more spread out than Hong Kong so we did get lost. Often. If you know me, then you know how good I am with directions, especially when Joel is not around.

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The weather was also not on our side – chilly and rainy – but we did still spend most of our time outside. Highlights include a visit to the original Din Tai Fung for incredible dim sum, a day at the Beitou Hot Springs (beautiful and reminiscent of Japan!), a trip outside the city to the old mining town of Jiufen and an afternoon at Eslite Spectrum where I was able to purchase amazing bread to bring home.

Quick, but exciting first trip in Asia!

Island Hopping

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One of my favorite parts of Hong Kong is the many day long adventures you can take via a 20 – 30 minute ferry to one of HK’s many islands. So far, we’ve visited three of the islands and each one turned out to be more interesting than the last.

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First up was a day trip to Lamma Island. Lamma is considered more of a ‘hippie’ island, so I was of course very much at home. Local seafood is caught on the shores and served super fresh. Joel and I enjoyed several dishes of spicy and garlic coated local fare including the mantis shrimp. At this point however, I think I’ve gotten that out of my system. Especially since they seem to be some smart, albeit asshole, crustaceans. After all mantis shrimp can detect cancer; Best to stop eating them.

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After a 2 hour long hike through Lamma, we ended in the main village with some great NZ and California craft beers and views of the dock and local fishermen. Not a bad Saturday.

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Next up was Lantau Island, the largest island and home to Hong Kong’s airport and The Big Buddha. Joel’s cousin, Steve, was in town and we went together to see the Big Buddha as well as the ground and adjoining monastery. The long trip up on a gondola over the mountains and water was quite breathtaking. And while quite busy and touristy, The Big Buddha itself is actually pretty incredible. And, BIG. We went mid-week so it was not as crowded as I imagine it could be. I have been told to avoid it, but I think the contrary. It’s an impressive sight when visiting Hong Kong.

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Finally, our island hopping journey thus far has commenced with Cheung Chau. Cheung Chau is also a fishing village with picturesque docks filled with boats. We wondered the tiny streets, ate fresh fish balls, hiked the “mini great wall“, saw some (apparently) well known rock formations and enjoyed the scenery and people watching.

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Lamma turned out to be my favorite island. Fish followed by hiking and ended with beers and a view sounds like a great way to spend a Saturday away from home. Better yet, only a 20 minute ferry ride away!