Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Fish Spa - Suck on This!

The locals love their 'creature' comforts in this part of the world.  Massages of every variety imaginable and some unimaginable - wink - wink - nudge - nudge!  Ah well sure - "All's well that ENDS well!" and sure don't we all love a 'Happy Ending' to be sure to be sure!

We went to a Fish Spa recently where the basic idea is, you immerse your feet in a large fish tank and the little blighters proceed to feast on the dead skin of your toes etc and give you a good 'foot cleansing'.  It was very ticklish and weird at first but somehow calming and therapeutic after a while.

We went as a group of four and some of our feet attracted more attention or seemed more appetizing than others - no idea why? - more toe jam perhaps?

The YouTube video below will give you an idea of how it all works. There's also a full body immersion version which made me squirm thinking about mini Parana nibbling on my private bits! - Ouch! ehhh.... no thanks!

In upcoming reviews I'll be commenting on my experiences of the following 'real life' Spa treatments.

Leech therapy: As the leeches bite the skin and suck away, their saliva is said to increase circulation and detoxify your system.

Snake massage: Relax clients’ aching muscles as six non-venomous snakes slip-slide down your spine, leaving you lulled into a reptile-induced slumber.

Bull-semen hair treatment: Aberdeen-Angus bull semen is mixed with Iranian plant root katera to create a hair mask alleged to improve thickness, strength and sheen.

Bird poo facial: Aestheticians apply UV-light-sanitised and powdered nightingale droppings, mixed with rice bran to the face.

... or I may just go for a pint down the pub - You decide which is next - let me know in the comments below?

Tags: ..Fish Spa..

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Sunday, 22 November 2009

Our Hong Kong Crib!

We moved into a new rental place a few months back.  I was very hesitant about moving off the main Hong Kong Island as we were literally in the heart of the city but it was a TINY one room studio apartment that you couldn’t swing a rat in it, never mind a cat. We lived above an old folks home and the the poor ‘blue rinse’ crew would be wandering the corridors with intravenous drips and every other day the ambulance would pull up and cart one away never to be seen again. Very uplifting this blog post eh?!

We relocated to the district of Hung Hom in Kowloon and the neighbourhood is definitely more local and less ‘expat’ which is better as it means more value for money, more space and less ‘gweilo’ exploitation. The difference in real estate prices is ludicrous but there are plenty of fat cat wealthy bankers (yes they still exist!) to pay the exorbitant rates the other side of the harbour.
The building complex is called ‘Harbour View’ for reasons that will become obvious from the photos and video.   DSC09390
It’s decked out with a large gym, swimming pool, 24 hour security and shuttle bus to and from the nearby subways and entertainment district of TST (Tim Sha Shui). Interestingly, we pay the same amount of rent for this 2 bedroom place now, as we did for a tiny 1 bedroom, 4 storey walk up, rent controlled apartment in ‘way’ upper East Manhattan 5 years ago.

Hong Kong can be an expensive city to live in, but if you look around enough and are prepared to avoid tacky ‘Expatville’ then it can be more than affordable.

P.S. Is it just me or do I sound a bit like Obama in the video below?

Tags: ..Hung Hom, Harbourview, Kowloon, Hong Kong..

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Thursday, 19 November 2009

Hand of the Devil

In case you didn't hear - Ireland got knocked out of the World Cup by a cruel stroke of 'cheating' last night - full story here -

P.S. Henry old chap - It's called FOOTBALL not HANDBALL! - Silly Boy!

P.P.S. As they say in Chinese Mandarin "Cao ni zu zong shi ba dai" = Fuck the 18 generations of your ancestors!

Tags: ..Thierry Henry handball..

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Monday, 16 November 2009

Hong Kong - Warning(s) in Force

This made me chuckle. I guess the term 'cold' is relative to the 'norm' - I suppose I better put some underwear under my shorts and tee-shirt for the hike tomorrow ;-)

 Hong Kong Observatory Logo

Warning(s) in Force

Cold Weather Warning
The Cold Weather Warning has been issued by the Hong Kong Observatory at 4:20 p.m. The Hong Kong Observatory is forecasting cold weather in Hong Kong tomorrow.
The minimum temperatures in the urban areas for tomorrow will be around 12 degrees Celcius.
It will be a couple of degrees lower in the New Territories.
As Hong Kong will be affected by a cold winter monsoon in the next few days, people are advised to put on warm clothes and to avoid adverse health effects due to the cold weather. You must also ensure adequate indoor ventilation.
If you must go out, please avoid prolonged exposure to wintry winds.
If you know of elderly persons or persons with chronic medical conditions staying alone, please call or visit them occasionally to check if they need any assistance.
Make sure heaters are safe before use, and place them away from any combustibles. Do not light fires indoors as a means to keep warm.
Whatever the temperature, please ensure that there is plenty of fresh air in your room when you are using an old-type gas water heater.

Dispatched by Hong Kong Observatory at 16:20 HKT on 16.11.2009

Original warning here

Tags: .Weather Warning..

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Friday, 13 November 2009

Hiking Sharp Peak, Sai Kung, Hong Kong

I'm always up for a challenge and like to push the envelope at least as far as hiking is concerned. This is what greeted me on my recent trek to the summit of Sharp Peak. Showing me this is akin to telling a fly to stay away from a freshly laid hot steamy pile of dog shite. I was not to be deterred.

This is the summit in the distance. It looks a tad intimidating but it's only 468 metres to the top.
As I turned a bend I bumped into a four legged hiker taking a break. There are quite a lot of these 'wild' cows in Hong Kong. This was to be my only encounter with a living breathing thing for several hours.
It's a tough but manageable trek on a steep gravely path to the top.
It's worth the effort however as the view from the top is pretty spectacular.
The walk back to the road is pretty darn impressive too.
How to get there: Take the MTR to Choi Hung - Exit C2 for green minibus # 1A to Sai Kung terminus - then bus # 94 to Pak Tam Au - Walk up the road and take Maclehose Trail Stage #2 - after an hour you'll see a sign for Sharp Peak on your left. Return the same way or head on to the beaches of Tai Long Wan

There's some good video and loads more photos below - Enjoy!

Tags: .Hiking Sharp Peak, Sai Kung, Hong Kong..

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Saturday, 7 November 2009

Hiking Stage 9 of the Wilson Trail, Hong Kong

How to get there: Stage 9 begins at Cloudy Hill. Outside Tai Po Market KCRC Station, take a taxi to Tai Po Tau and follow the hill trail to Cloudy Hill. You can also take a short cut by catching green minibus no. 52B for Hok Tau Wai at Fanling KCRC Station, which will take you to Lau Shui Heung Country Trail from where you walk to the Stage 9 starting point in Cloudy Hill. For your return journey, get on the main road that meets the end of the trail. This location is just south of Nam Chung. Turn right here and a half mile walk will take you to the village. There, walk down Luk Keng Road to catch green minibus no. 56K for Fanling KCRC Station.

Seems like I upset a few Irish peeps with my last blog post and I had some vocal (by way of email not comments) 'unsubscribers' for my apparent 'anti-Irish' stance. I hate to lose readers and I don't think I'm 'anti-Irish' but I'm certainly not singing Ireland's praises either - to be sure. Alas, so be it and onto the more important stuff.

So I realise I'm blogging a lot about hiking recently but I simply can't help it. Sorry if it doesn't 'rock your boat' but it does rock mine and this my mindless rant of a blog after all so I can do what I want. I'm discovering more incredible trails every week so there's more of this drivel coming your way shortly.

In fact, I plan to put together a hiking portal with links to my favourite hikes including marks out of ten and links to good hiking info websites etc - more to come on that soon. Any objections? Suggestions? Indifference? - Let me know in the comments pls.

Tags: ..Hiking Stage 9 of the Wilson Trail, Hong Kong..

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Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Ireland - Back to the Arsehole of Nowhere

My bloggy friend Thrifty posted a link on Facebook -

which is an article from the Irish Times about the recent HUGE exodus of Irish people from the Emerald Isle. I've ranted about my love hate relationship with Ireland before -> here. When I first read the stories I thought to myself, shite - this is identical to my own set of reasons for leaving Ireland in 1988. I felt sorry for the new generation who would have to retrace my steps to find a better life. Ireland is fucked yet again - despite being the strongest economy in Europe only a short time ago. Celtic Tiger me arse - Kitten in a sack drowning in the river more like it!

Irish Work Ethic - Celtic Tiger

What went wrong?
Who fucked up?
Where do we go from here?

Good questions - which need answers and certain politicians and businessmen to be held ACCOUNTABLE!...but fat chance given Irish history of apathy and tolerance of fuckwads and being fucked over! - Granted, it's a role of the dice as to which political party is more corrupt.

This may seem a tad harsh and inconsiderate but these new emigrants will have it somewhat easier than in 'my day' because when I was a lad there was NO....

  • Skype for cheap calls home
  • Internet for emails home or to contact peeps in the country you were visiting
  • Facebook for keeping in touch with friends and posting photos
  • Budget airlines for cheap flights home and away
  • Savings from when the economy was good
  • Network of established successful Mick /Paddys to welcome you with open arms
  • Exposure to foreign cultures - a black person in Ireland in 1988 was either a visiting diplomat or a Nigerian prophet

Most of these folks are walking into pre-arranged legit well paid overseas jobs and a welcoming reception from a network of established expats.

1980's expats walked into a black hole of uncertainty and frequent resentment from the local community with minimal and SLOW communication / travel mediums to home.

Don't get me wrong - I wish them much success and I wish they didn't have to leave home in the first place but they're actually half way up the ladder already. Get OUT of Ireland and you are better off - FACT! SAD! but TRUE!

So what's my point? - I'm horribly disappointed my country has fallen from amazing success, back into the abyss of poverty which drove me to leave my home in the first place. I'm glad I left and I'll likely never return to live there again - visit - yes sure, of course.

Even my parents told me tonight on the phone (Skype) they are glad I'm not living there and it's not because I'm an unruly delinquent but because it's a morbidly depressing place to be right now - suicide rates are sky high? - [Update: up 43% year on year - according to official statistics] - I hate to project such negativity about my place of birth but it's a frikkin' mess and I feel even more detached from it now. Am I alone?

Tags: ..Ireland - Back to the Arsehole of Nowhere..

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