London Trip 2017- part II

Chinatown

One of the main highlights of my London trip is experiencing the Lunar New Year in Chinatown. This is special to me because it was my very first time to visit a Chinatown in Europe.

My friend and I got there by foot from Primark store at Oxford Street on the western side. I think, we walked for around 15 minutes. When we arrived, the dragon dance just started.

We had a plan of eating at one the restaurants there, but because it was Chinese New Year, all of the restaurants were packed of people! People had to fall in line and wait. We did not wait because we’re starving and running out of energy, luckily we found a small place that sells steamed rice buns. So the main lesson here: “The early bird catches the worm”. However, we’re still grateful though because the steamed buns are good.

 

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Chinese red lanterns everywhere!

 

 

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Roasted duck in the window.

 

 

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Charm vendor and customers.

 

 

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One of the dragon dances.

 

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Moving on, a tour to the Chinatown is not complete without visiting a tea shop or a Chinese pharmacy. As a tea lover, I made sure that I would not miss the chance of getting myself at least a pack Chinese tea.

The tea shop’s name is Beijing Tong Ren Tang and is located at Shaftsbury Avenue. I only found the tea shop accidentally on our way out of the China Town.

So, what to find inside? Well, of course lots of teas and teawares! They got everything, from dragon tea, oolong, pur erh and you name it. I got myself a pack of pu erh, a pack of black tea, a clay teapot and a gaiwan (will write a separate post later).

 

Anyway, I can say that I had fun at Chinatown. I’ll definitely come back here again on my next trip to London.

 

 

To be continued.. 🙂

 

London Trip 2017- part I

London is one of my must-see cities. So on my birthday week, I went to London with my friend who also has the same birthday month (January) as I am.

I flew directly to London with British Airways from Bergen. The airfare was not the cheapest (but has one of the cheapest fares) but I prefer it than SAS and Norwegian because it was the only direct flight to Heathrow. The SAS flight have a layover in Stavanger, which I really hate because it only means chaos in the airport and tax-free. While my friend flew with SAS because she was taking the flight from Stavanger.

When I left, the temperature in Bergen was approximately 10 degrees Celsius and to my surprise, it was colder in London! It was zero degrees! Good thing that we have brought our good warm jackets with us. It was freezing cold! When we arrived at the hotel, it was already dark so just stayed in the hotel and relaxed.

Our first day in London’s spent in sightseeing and exploring the nearby parks. Since we stayed at Byron Hotel which is in Queensborough Terrace, we were just a couple of minutes away from Hyde Park and the Kensington Palace.

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Inside the park. Lots of trees!
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Yes. That’s me. A tree hugger!
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Swans on the pond.
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The statue of Queen Victoria. In the background is the Kensington Palace.

The next park we visited is the Holland Park. Actually, we were looking for the famous Filipino restaurant in London, but we have decided to take a walk in the park first on the way to the restaurant.

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The famous red double decker buses!

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Kyoto Garden

Inside the Holland Park, you can find the Kyoto Garden. I would call this a gem because it captures not only our attention but also our senses. It is indeed unique in this place. Kyoto Garden was created by a Japanese designer to celebrate Japan Festival in London in 1992 according to rbkc.gov.uk. My friend and I spent at least half an hour here to unwind.

After a couple of hours walking in the park, we were off to find Romulo Cafe, the famous Filipino restaurant that I mentioned earlier. I’m sure some of you will ask why eat in a Filipino restaurant when you’re in London. Our reasons are because my friend and I were craving for Filipino food and there is no Filipino restaurant in Bergen and Stavanger.  So this was our chance to satisfy our cravings!

 

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Waiting for our food at Romulo Cafe.

 

After our dinner, we are on the move again! This time, to meet our friend in the Royal Victoria and Albert Museum.

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Here we are!

 

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Tea time! Thanks for the chat ladies!

My friend and I were on a budget trip, so as much as possible we went to places with either free entrance or with cheap entrance fee. We were lucky during our visit to this museum because there was a free concert too. So it’s like hitting two birds with one stone! 🙂

 

 

 

Continuation on next post. Click here.