China

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Mind Blowing Chocolate Mooncakes From Pierre Hermé Hong Kong (IFC)

Pierre Hermé Hong Kong opened its doors in May 2013 and so much buzz generated on that side of the world that it made me a bit envious, frustrated and lamented that Chef Hermé still hasn’t opened a boutique in the U.S. On the bright side, since Hong Kong was my first city on my long trip in Asia that I get to have my hands on the vibrant, jewel-toned macarons and chocolates. (Unfortunately, all of their HK locations do not sell the beautiful, delicious pastries like its Paris and Tokyo locations.) Entering its first location in Hong Kong at..

Amazing Week in Beijing, China

Tienanmen Square Back in September, my family and I went to Beijing, China for a week. We had an amazing time at the capital city from shopping for teas and souvenirs, sightseeing the landmarks like Tienanmen Square, Temple of Heaven, and a day trip to The Great Wall of China. We stayed at the gorgeous, luxurious Grand Hyatt Beijing that was in the heart of the city and in walking distance to the main attractions like Tienanmen Square. The public transportation is very efficient and clean (unlike New York City). We also ate very well. We had very good to..

Lots of History and Delicious Food at Xi’an

The Drum Tower When I was traveling in China this past September, the third city we stopped at was Xi’an. This capital city of the Shanxi Province is located about 744 miles southwest of Beijing. When we got off our plane and take the long cab ride (about 45 minutes) from the airport to our hotel, we saw the rich loess farmland, Xi’an (Western Peace). This was home to the ruling houses of the Qin, Han, Sui, and Tang dynasties, when it was known as Chang’an (Eternal Peace). The city reached a peak during the Tang dynasty (618-907), when it..


Old World Elegance and Luxury at Waldorf Astoria Shanghai (上海外滩华尔道夫酒店)

The Waldorf Astoria Shanghai is an elegant historic (the original portion opened in 1911) hotel has restored the heritage Shanghai gentleman’s club to its former glory, located in the heart of The Bund. This is the most glamorous hotel in town. Lovingly-restored in Neo-Classic style, the hotel decor is opulent but understated with trembling crystal chandeliers, lots of gleaming marble, and a working antique cage lift. (more…)

Fantastic Stay at Grand Hyatt Beijing (北京东方君悦大酒店)

When mt family and I were traveling in Beijing, we stayed at the fabulous and centrally located Grand Hyatt Beijing (北京东方君悦大酒店). This hotel has 825 rooms and Suites with a view of Chang An Avenue (one of the major streets in Beijing) or has a Courtyard View. It’s right next to Wangfujing shopping street and connected to a huge and luxurious Beijing Oriental Plaza commercial complex. The Club Oasis has a 55-meter (180.45 feet) indoor swimming pool that’s fashioned to look and feel like a jungle with its humidity. There’s also a 24-hour fitness center and a spacious heated pool..

All About the Hairy Crab at Wang Bao He Restaurant (王宝和酒家) in Shanghai, China

One of our most expensive dinners while we were in China was at Wang Bao He Restaurant (王宝和酒家) in Shanghai. What makes the place expensive? They specialize in the coveted hairy crabs (大閘蟹) ever since the Qing Dynasty (around 1640s) and they are primarily shrimp. Hairy crabs are a seasonal delicacy only found in Asia. The small window of time when the female crabs produce the coveted roe (during the 9th and 10th months of the lunar year, meaning during the autumn season). We ordered a feast just all about this delicious crab, from whole steamed hairy crab (our raw..

Very Good Omakase Dinner at Okra (Beijing, China)

Okra is one of those few restaurants in Beijing where you have to find your way to your meal. Not too far fetched like going to Temple Restaurant Beijing (TRB) but instead of walking down the somewhat sketchy, old school hutong, you would be walking around a maze of slick glass, steel and concrete skyscrapers that look like corporate businesses. When you do find a security guard right outside sitting on a corner of an entrance to a walled entrance to what may be another cluster of buildings, that is where you should be — The 1949 Hidden City Complex...

Dinner at Made in China at Grand Hyatt Beijing (Beijing, China)

Our other Peking duck-centered dinner (and it was our last meal in China) was at Made in China at the Grand Hyatt Beijing (where we stayed while in Beijing but more on that in a near future post). We arrived to dinner at 7 PM with a reservation for a table and the Peking duck. (You must reserve a duck ahead of time or you’ll never have one that evening.) The dark wood and steel eatery; floor-to-ceiling shelves stocked with Chinese knickknacks and a stylishly exposed kitchen behind glass set the atmosphere inside this 126-seat glitzy space. Dumplings and stir-fry..