Monday, December 29, 2008

China: The great Shantou tour fiasco

Around Westerner new-year (as opposed to the Chinese one), my mother-in-law booked us all on a all inclusive "tour" our Shantou, a city about 6 hours bus drive from Hong Kong.

Those tours cost next to nothing but there a reason for it (and that's the catch); there are mandatory visits of tourist shops selling all sorts of junk ("special" tea, herbs and other things that you can find pretty much anywhere in China. I.E. Not special at all). The tour company gets a kickback from the store owners and can then sell the tour cheaper. And I do mean cheap: the tours are usually around CDN $150-$200 for 3-4 days, all meals and hotel included. But, make no mistake about it, it is cheap, because it is crap! It is a bus race between more or less relevant places, with little time to spend at any of them.

Oh, the highlight of one of the nights, which required us to pay an additional few bucks? A visit to the local Walmart!!! No friggin kiddin ya!

And, well, it was sold as a "gourmet" tour... well. The food was barely edible. In fact, the main reason why we ate that food is that when the bus stops, we eat, and there are no other options. And provided that lack of food ultimately results in death... we ate!

Bottom line, avoid those cheapy tours.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Hong Kong; Applegreen

To change a bit from the Chinese food routine, we went to Applegreen (we also wanted to have some salad). Nice surprise actually, food is quite decent, although pricier than our daily Chinese fare.

Fries trashcan.

Quesadillas 'a la' Applegreen

Good addition to our list to 'go to' places when we're tired of 'same old, same old'

Panini HKD $58 (Very good. Great sauce, good bread...)
Fries HKD $22 (Very spicy but good fries... served in a mini trashcan)

Shop 713-715, Level 7, Grand Century Place, Mong Kok, Kowloon