Monday, April 20, 2009

Thai Food in HK

We arrived at HK mid-morning and settled into our hotel around lunch time. We contacted a relative who is based there as flight stewardness. She told us to meet at HSBC, near the Central MTR and she will bring us to a Thai restaurant. While waiting, an old college classmate of my sister who works at HSBC met us to chitchat. She tells us that the world financial crisis is affecting everyone, jobs are being cut and any time, one can lose a job. But my concern was my growling stomach! When I'm hungry, I am like a two-year old, ready to throw a tantrum!

We went to this food alley where different international cuisines are being served. People eat there at 1pm so we were lucky that we arrived early. My relative tells me that the area is sometimes called "rat alley" because of the obvious reason, hehe.
We settled in Good Luck, a Thai resto. One of the best Thai restos in Manila where I always visit is People's Palace. I discovered it with my cousins when it was first holed up at Malate so many years ago. Now, it is located at Greenbelt 3 and a favorite meeting place of my best friends.
Here are the food pics from Good Luck in HK:

Chicken Pandan

Pomelo Salad

Chicken Satay

Pad Thai

My fave soup of all time: Tom Yung Goong!

After eating, my take on this resto: "Burp!"

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Art of Animation

Welcome to Disneyland's Opera House where the Art of Animation is housed. For animators, it is a place of "worship." You see your favorite animated films in their "infant" stage. I have always been amazed with artists. Their "baby" all started from an idea and through their creativity and greatness, blossomed into the "real" thing.

Here are some characters from Disney and Pixar's animated films that have entertained us from childhood to old age :)

Mickey and Friends


Snow White


The Incredibles


Beauty and the Beast


I love animation. I remember my dad bought me a Fisher Price film projector where I can watch 8mm Disney films like Snow White, Cinderella, etc by cranking it by my bare hands. It was my fantasy world. Maybe that is one reason why I went into moviemaking. Whenever I travel abroad, I always try to look for that toy but cannot find a similar one. My toy just got lost during my childhood years and cannot remember if we gave it away :(

I saw the IMAX version of "Beauty and Beast" on New Year's Day in Canada years ago. It blew me away watching it on an eight-story screen size. It was also a sweet screening because every woman was given by a plastic red rose (which looked real) at the cinema. I still have it until now. I also got a big picture of Belle framed in my room. I think all girls dream of being a princess someday, waiting for the right guy to sweep them off their feet hehe.

One of the oldest animators I met was Ray Harryhausen (responsible for the animation in Mighty Joe Young, Jason and the Argonauts, The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad, Clash of the Titans) in a festival in Hiroshima, Japan. He is the "father" of stop motion animation. It was an enlightening trip. I saw his passion discussing his films. He lectured to a large crowd and no one is allowed to take pictures of his creations or record his demonstration. Even at an old age, he breathes and lives animation. He would tell stories on how he used his parent's garage to make his films. He is quite an inspiration. (If you watch Monsters Inc, there's a place called Harryhausen--a homage to a great man!)
Animation is a long and tedious process. It is also a lonely job. Most of the time you are alone doodling your craft. I have always admired animators and artists for they bring us back to our happy and carefree childhood years with their heartfelt and entertaining imagination.

Hail to the animators!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Welcome to HK Disneyland!

My first trip to Disneyland was two years ago at Los Angeles and I was into my early 30s! I spent the whole day touring the place and checking the fun rides. It was a moment I would never forget for it brought a lasting "adult" experience in a kid-at-heart like me. I vowed to visit Hong Kong's version and it happened last month.

Guys playing the drums...

Our HK sojourn was a family trip. My sister and dad were more concerned with shopping at the Causeway Bay than seeing the sights so I forced my mom to come with me. It was a good decision though. We bonded together and we were both like 10-year-old little children enjoying our big playground.

We arrived at lunchtime so the first thing I did was to look for a map and the schedule of the shows so I can plan our iterinary. Our first stop: the Starliner Diner. Our stomachs were growling so bad that we had to pacify it by ordering Cheeseburger and Chicken Wings (HK$ 104).

After a delicious fatty meal, I had to look for my favorite ride---the Space Mountain! We were so lucky that there were no long lines! I have always looked forward in repeating this space blast experience since I enjoyed this thrilling ride in LA. Since I also wanted to check out some talents in the theater, I made sure to catch the show, "Festival of the Lion King." The show was entertaining and very commercial in nature.
We cruised over the river to visit "Tarzan's Treehouse." We learned about Tarzan's history and life in the jungle. We saw his things just like any esteemed hero erected in any museum. This is not an "exciting" adventure so you can pass it for some important magical tales.
A great discovery is "The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh." I was clueless about this place. I just saw children and adults lining up so I also lined up. Boy oh boy, it was a "live" storybook experience! I totally enjoyed it. The ride is so simple yet magical! If you have a kid, make sure to visit Pooh here.
Exactly at 3:30 PM came "Disney on Parade." All Disney characters were showing their "acting skills" to the crowd! Below are Mickey and Friends, The Little Mermaid and the gang from Toy Story.

After the rides, I took a break, sat on a bench and ate a Mickey Head ice cream (HK$18). See my band aid? Got it when I was in the NAIA restroom on my way to HK. The lock is so old, got a deep cut when I closed the door :( Blood poured out of my finger and it was so ouchy!
Here is a video of the carousel during its test run. My mom and I didn't let this pass. We happily picked our own horses and rode the carousel!

At 7:30PM, all guests were on the Main Street to savor the evening's fireworks---the last magical presentation of the day! After the fireworks, we went to our respective bus coaches and went back to our hotel. I will never grow tired of visiting theme parks even when I'm 60! :)