TV

HONG KONG

So we are going to Hong Kong to film the NY parade. Oh ok!  

So that was my not so excited reply when I found out we were going to be shooting our TV show in Hong Kong. Why? Well in my pre-conceived mind I assumed HK was a city of noise, traffic and business meetings. And yes that is partly true however, but it had so many more surprises waiting for me. 

Who knew that HK had 263 Islands…I know i didn't. Someone described HK to me as Manhattan next to Hawaii. You have the city lights and buzz of the city, right next to the tranquil chilled out islands looking out to the South China sea. Seriously, this is one impressive place. HK has markets, food, culture, beaches, hiking trails, history, nightlife, art. It's an electric mix of the old and new. 

So where do I recommend going: Well when it comes to food OMG you are spoilt for choice. But there is one place that truly stood out for me and that was M&C Duck at Harbour City. The food is chinese yet with a minimalistic twist. Every bite was a delight to my taste buds. 

As for fun why not check out Ocean Park where I was lucky to feed the local pandas there. We then rode up the cable car across the beautiful ocean (be careful if you are scared of heights). It's a place for all the family where you will find rides, animals and entertainment to keep you busy.

When it comes to markets, HK is full of shopping options. But for me I really liked the laid back Stanley Market on HK Island next to the sea. Shopping is done at a more relaxed pace. 

We were there filming the chinese NY, which happened to be the year of the horse. It was an experience that included parades, magnificent fireworks, and visits to the temple where people start of their NY with blessings. A great way to truly start a NY in my opinion.

One of my favourite things was making a wish for the NY, then tying it on to a piece of paper attached to an orange and throwing it high up in the air hoping it will land on a on a tree. It's known as the wishing tree, and for your wish to come true the orange must land on the tree. Mine did fortunately…as for the wish? I'm still waiting!

And saving the best for last, Hong kong isn't over until you meet the Big Buddha face to face. To get to him all you need to do is take a 25 minute cable ride over the mountainous terrain of Lantau Island, and then walk up 286 steps. Trust me, he's worth the effort.

I had no expectations of HK and thank goodness too because it completely blew me away. Would i go back? Absolutely. And by the way our flight there with Cathay Pacific was amazing! My first trip with them. I will be back!

Check out our trip here: 

HONG KONG VIDEO

 

 

 

 

KASAULI in India

If you want to escape the heat and the chaos of India's hectic cities, then head to the hills, just like they did during the reign of the British Empire. The various 'Hill Stations' are located along the drive up towards the Himalayas. I stayed in a small hill station called Kasauli in the state of Himachal Pradesh, which is a 2 hour drive from Chandigarh. Our resort was called Mahal Farms which contained several cottages set above each other, and each cottage has its own balcony and magnificent view. Breakfast, lunch and dinner is served whenever you like, and just a ten minute drive is the local market full of street food such as the famous 'Momo' dumplings and 'Somosa Burger'. You can also find a lot of gifts, clothes and unusual presents to take back home.

 

www.mahalfarmscountryhome.in

Raffles Hotel, Seychelles

One of the most beautiful hotels I have had the pleasure of filming and staying in was The Raffles Hotel on the island of Praslin in the Seychelles. If you want to spoil yourself and go all out this is the place to do it at. Set on a beautiful hilltop, each private villa has its own pool overlooking the Indian Ocean. The staff were amazing and went out of their way for us. And if you can manage to drag yourself out of the resort, Praslin has some of the world's most beautiful beaches that are just waiting for you. We had a lot fun filming there and also joined in with the celebrations of their annual famous event, The Festival Kreol. Click on the video to see some of the highlights from our trip.

 

www.raffles.com/praslin

 

Deira Fish Market

Nothing beats fresh food, and at the Deira Fish Market in Dubai, it doesn't get any fresher than straight from the sea. However, to catch the fish of the day, waking up early is essential, and from 8am the Deira Fish Market is heaving with customers ready to haggle and bag a bargain. You name it they got it, from Prawns, Lobster,  Hamour, clams, tuna, just take your pick. And, next door there is even a vegetable market so you can add your 5 a day to your seafood lunch. We had a lot of fun bargaining there!