Monday, September 30, 2013

Weekend Getaway in Twelve@Hengshan

Last weekend, daddy and mummy celebrated their 13th wedding anniversary in a hotel. They do this every year and it has sort of become their "anniversary tradition"... a "habit" that is hard to break because they we love staying in good hotels :)

For this round, it was a free stay that daddy earned from his SPG (Starwood Preferred Guest) membership. Given a long list of luxury hotels to choose from, daddy and mummy picked this...

Twelve at Hengshan, a luxury collection hotel. It was an excellent choice indeed because the hotel was impressive in every aspect and their services were impeccable!  

Simple elegance

The hotel building is a rather unique oval-shaped low-rise

The bedroom... we were given a room upgrade plus late checkout time at 2pm by simply being an SPG member :)

The spacious bathroom equipped with a tv plus other high-tech and fully-automated gadgets

My favourite spot in the room

I enjoyed swimming in the indoor heated swimming pool too

These submerged stainless steel deck chairs were actually jacuzzi chairs

Waterbaby me played here for more than an hour!

While daddy and I were "swimming", mummy lazed comfortably on this poolside chair

The best part about hotel stays... I could do all the things that are never allowed at home like having a TV dinner on bed. Bliss!! :)


Sunday, September 22, 2013

When My Folks Ignore Me...

... I learn to do things on my own, for myself! 

There are days when daddy and mummy are too busy to entertain my request for something, like that day when I asked mummy to teach me to play a new piece on the piano. Mummy was busy cooking and I couldn't wait for her to finish so I learned to play it by myself... and I did it! I learn to play all new pieces on my own now... it is a good way to improve my sight-reading! 

When (I think) nobody is watching, I sit like this while playing the piano @-@

Recently, I had a shaky tooth again. I pleaded with daddy (my personal "dentist") many times to help me pull it out but he kept saying "later". He felt that the tooth was not loose enough for manual extraction (with his bare hands). Desperate to end the pain, discomfort and misery caused by the dangling tooth, I pulled it out on my own! *proud*

Shaky and painful tooth no more, thanks to... myself! :)

Friday, September 20, 2013

Mooncakes

Mid-autumn Festival is definitely more happening in Malaysia than in Shanghai. We are not sure about other parts of China but over here in Shanghai, it is a very quiet affair and lanterns are a rare sight. They are not sold in shops, hypermarts or anywhere else. The city is not decorated with lanterns. Nobody plays with lanterns. Mid-autumn is certainly NOT associated with lanterns over here. However, I brought one back from school on the eve of the festival...

I made (actually just decorated) this in my Chinese Culture class :)

The only thing that made the festival "felt" here was the public holiday that we enjoyed, and of course - the mooncakes! Mooncakes are available in abundance. We see them almost everywhere we go. Hypermarkets, bakeries, restaurants and even roadside shops and stalls sell them too. 

Some of them are sold by weight...

... while the rest come in attractive gift packs. Prices start from as low as RMB9.90 (RM5) for 4 pcs in nice metal boxes. Unbelievably cheap!!

On the other extreme, these gift boxes can also cost hundreds or even a thousand plus yuan (those sold in specialty shops).

Flavour-wise, mummy thinks they are rather "boring" as they only come in very selected and ordinary flavours like lotus paste, red bean and mixed nuts. Salted egg yolks are also rare and uncommon. Malaysian mooncakes are definitely better in terms of quality and assortment of fanciful flavours. Since we aren't really into mooncakes, mummy bought only a few to try...

Plain lotus paste

Plain red bean... "kuaci" in mooncakes must be a Malaysian thing because the mooncakes here do not come with that.

Snow-skin mixed nuts

Pineapple... tastes like the pineapple jam in pineapple tarts

Black sesame seed

The very popular coconut filling (coconut milk aroma with traces of grated coconut)... our favourite!

And lastly, we tried one of their savoury mooncakes... meat mooncake in flaky skin. Not bad! 

Something different... Beef mooncake? No, mummy did not (dared not) buy this to try :p

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

New Ikea and a Birthday Dinner

Last Saturday, we celebrated daddy's belated birthday. His actual birthday was on Friday the 13th but he only wanted a simple home-cooked dinner on that day (it was late when he came back from work). We made up with a belated dinner celebration the following day (Saturday the 14th) but before that, we also did what we enjoyed the most... mall-hopping!

We went to the latest and newly opened Ikea in Shanghai. Opened just last month, this Ikea is said to be the biggest in Asia. Since it was accessible by subway, we added this to our "to go" checklist after reading about it in a local daily.

The large 4-storey building. We love its spacious interior... although there were many shoppers on that day (the usual busy weekend crowd), it didn't feel crowded at all.

The entrance was adorned with huge and pretty lanterns (mid-Autumn festival coming soon)

With my favourite veggies... broccoli and carrot :)

Ikea's ice-cream is a "must-eat" too... very cheap at only RMB1 (RM0.50) each!

Eating ice-cream the Chinese way... squatting! >.<

After Ikea, we hopped over to another mall nearer to home. As usual, daddy and mummy had difficulty deciding what to have for dinner. They finally picked a restaurant based on its nice ambience and decent crowd. We had rice with dishes and the food here was not bad. Total bill came to RMB123 (RM60+) and we were so stuffed to the brim that we "dabao" some leftover home...

Nan Xiang Restaurant

With the birthday boy :)

上海熏鱼 Smoked fish...a popular Shanghai dish that can be found in many restaurants

高山花菜炒培根 Alpine cauliflower with bacon 

香辣牛蛙 Spicy bullfrog

美极杏鲍菇 Some dunno-what tough and chewy mushroom

鲜肉小笼 Soup dumpling (given FOC) because we made a minimum order of RMB100 (RM50)

紫薯南瓜团 Pumpkin and sweet potato kuih for dessert

Friday, September 13, 2013

Shanghai Sight-seeing With Our First Guests from Malaysia

Backdated post: June/July 2013

Just before we went back to Malaysia for our month-long holiday, we played hosts to 2 special guests from Malaysia... Mah-mah and Koo-koo, who came over for a 10-day visit. Although we were still not very familiar with the city and the places of interests in Shanghai, we managed to bring them to some of the famous and must-go tourist attractions like The Bund, Nanjing Road, Yu Yuan Garden, Xintiandi and Qibao ancient town. 

Here are some photos of our "revisited" places with Mah-mah and Koo-koo. We hope they had an enjoyable stay with us although on some days, we just stayed at home and did nothing :p

We took the City Sightseeing bus for the first time with them... It was a convenient way to see the city without too much walking (ideal for Mah-mah, who couldn't walk far).

It was a hop-on-hop-off bus and every time we boarded the bus, I would dash to the upper deck to enjoy a better view :)

A different view of Nanjing Road
With Mah-mah and daddy

At another part of The Bund


A wet evening at the Bund

A beautiful junk boat sailing along the Huangpu river

Night crowd at Nanjing Road

An evening in Yu Yuan Garden

Giant soup dumpling, anyone?

Shopping district of Xintiandi

Look what's on that white building!

Along one of the many Shikumen-style antique walls in Xintiandi

Qibao Ancient town

I went on the boat ride again...

A striped puppy?

Bought some crayfish to try... and of course we also brought them to try out many other local food around town

Loved this HUGE 1000cc (1 litre) chocolate pudding drink *slurp*

The Wonderful World of Ruoyi

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