bonjour celine header


By The Sea

I want to be there


self serve

seafood stall by the sea


Kom bei!

Jin's sister's family and his parents took us away to Jeju-do for a weekend, which is an island just south of Korea. It was nice to get out of the city and see another part of the country.

When we got to the island, Jin's brother-in-law took all of us to see a rock that looked like the head of a dragon, but Jin found something far more interesting down by the waters edge.

Ever since we watched this video from Bizarre Foods, we put eating San Nachi (live baby octopus) high on our priority of things to eat in Korea. Jin has had this before when he was growing up but this was a totally new experience for me!

I know the idea of eating something while it is still alive is unsettling to some people, but in a culture that is fresh obsessed about their produce, this is really as fresh as it gets (in a civilized way).

Eating seafood caught by these ajummas, sitting right beside the ocean on these pink and turquoise plastic stools, washing our snack down with Soju, was definitely a highlight for me on Jeju-do.


street sweets

street vendor

mmm red bean pastry!


sweet heart


snails and worms

silk worms

Jin always talked about growing up with amazing street food in Seoul so we tried as many different types of street food we could find when we were there! I am sure it was a little trip down memory lane for him.

I really liked red bean pastries, and that waffle had four scoops of ice cream sandwiched inside! We had some weird street food too, by far the weirdest was the boiled silkworms in the last photo. They were sort of sweet, but mostly weird, but I had to try it!


Finding our way

finding our way




kettles and soju

We landed in Seoul and we oriented ourselves to the new-to-us subway system. There are a lot more subway lines in Seoul than in Hong Kong! We were never quite sure how to get anywhere without staring at the map for at least 5 minutes!

But even if we got lost, there was always a lot of interesting things to eat in Seoul. In the end, eating well is all that matters to us when we travel.


Farewell Hong Kong

hong kong style breakfast

stairs and walkways

going up



entrance guardian

gentle little guy

fast food

street signage

It is hard to believe I came from this place.

Hong Kong, you stole my heart in unexpected ways.

Farewell, but you will see me again soon.

(now, off to Seoul!)


Dim Sum Anyone?

dim sum at Lin Heung tea house


'dap toi'

tea refills

dim sum card

tea pot

Of course we went to dim sum in Hong Kong! We went a few times with family, but on one of the mornings we had to ourselves, we made a special trip to this 50 year old establishment in Central for a taste of old Hong Kong.

My friend Ian told us about this place Lin Heung Tea House, and it is famous because it feels like what I imagine 1962 was like when you step inside. It was loud and crowded and you always had to watch behind you because you were blocking the lady with the dim sum cart – and she wants to pass you.

After circling the restaurant, we finally found two seats in a large round table shared by old men reading their daily news, not giving a second glance at Jin and I. I ran up to one of the cart ladies and came back with 5 dishes of dim sum, forgetting that it is only Jin and I eating all this!

I enjoyed that dim sum so much. The food and atmosphere felt authentic. This is the Hong Kong I imagine my parents grew up in.

Lin Heung Tea House: 160-164 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong 852-2544-4556


song birds

lunch time

beautiful birdcages

hello there

bird street hong kong

bird street

for sale


I had an unexpectedly busy week away from the computer! I cannot wait to show you what I have I been up to in a little bit, but in the meantime, I'd like to continue to take you through our experiences in Hong Kong.

Jin and I spent a day going through the interesting market streets of Mong Kok. There is a 'goldfish street' and a 'flower street' where an entire street has stores dedicated to selling everything you need to start an aquarium or a garden. My favourite market street was 'Bird Street'. I loved looking at all the colourful song birds and the beautiful wooden birdcages. We were highly considering shipping one of these intricate birdcages home. Maybe we will on our next visit...

Bird Street is also where men come to show off their song birds to other bird owners. I never questioned why some men carried birds in cages around with them wherever they go, I just accepted it from a young age. I like that these men pamper and treasure their little song birds.


Antiques & Treasures


Cat Street Souvenirs

dog on Cat Street


treasures on Cat Street

cat street vendor

hello mao

Jin and I had some days to ourselves when my family was at work. On one of those days, we went to Hollywood Road in Central where there are some Chinese antique stores to see, and Man Mo temple. The inside of Man Mo temple was amazing. Unfortunately, they didn't allow any photos inside.

While the antique stores were interesting to see, I had more fun looking through the market stalls on Upper Lascar Row (aka Cat Street). These vendors carried items that were perfect as souvenirs because they were small and affordable. Some items were new, some were old, and some were just made to look old! It is a short pedestrian street, but every time I turned my head, there was something colourful that caught my eye.


visiting our ancestors

up the mountain


red paint

burnt incense

visiting ancestors

My aunts brought us to pay our respects to my other grandfather and my great grandmother up in the mountains, not far away from the city. The sights truly blew me away.

My great grandmother rests in an older style cemetery where they all sit pretty close together and the headstones are all shaped this way. We asked someone to repaint the words on the stone as part of keeping her resting place clean.

This is one of my most favourite places we visited in Hong Kong. It was so peaceful there.