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Visiting Cheung Chau Island by ferry! Hong Kong cute character stores, FoFo Spanish restaurant, Bindaas Indian.

nu goth fashion, disturbia shirt

Believe it or not… the above photo was taken in Hong Kong!

The city is known for its tall skyscrapers and hectic atmosphere. However, you can escape into nature — simply by taking the ferry to several nearby islands, including Cheung Chau and Lamma Island.

(My top is by Disturbia. More fashion by this Gothic brand below.)

cat ears headband

I’ll also show you some of the newest restaurants and kawaii pop culture in Hong Kong, such as this Sailor Moon makeup collection at SaSa. 

star ferry hong kong central

One of Hong Kong’s icons is the Star Ferry, this open-air boat that runs from Tsim Sha Tsui (on the Kowloon side) to Central Pier. From there, you can hop onto ferries that take you to the outer-lying islands.

hong kong skyscrapers skyline

The most popular islands are the beach-y Discovery Bay, and Cheung Chau (home to the annual bun festival, where brave or foolhardy participants climb up a giant tower made of Chinese buns). It takes about 40-60 minutes for the ferry to reach these islands.

As you sail, you’ll get to take in spectacular views of Hong Kong’ skyscrapers. However, be prepared for choppy waters that can rock you off your feet.

cat museum, lamma island

I recommend visiting the lesser-known Lamma Island, which has a relaxed hippie vibe. Lamma is home to a cat museum (or Mewseum), small seafood restaurants, and plenty of secluded natural spots for swimming and hiking.

cheung chau island boats

I also went to the larger Cheung Chau island for the first time. This is a popular day-trip destination for both locals and tourists, as it lets them escape the “Hong Kong hustle” for a fishing village atmosphere.

superman cat costume

When you step onto the boardwalk, you’ll see rows of little shops selling island specialties: dried squid, fish balls on a stick, and the famous stamped buns.

At this grocer, we spotted a cat in a Superman costume. “It’s a bird… it’s a plane… It’s Super-Maoo!”

bicycles cheung chau island

It’s possible to walk around Cheung Chau — but the winding paths around the island are made for cycling. There are plenty of stores that rent out bicycles and canopy-covered tricycles.

It’s a must do. I had so much fun zipping around and taking in the ocean views. With a bike, it’s easy to stop by landmarks such as the Cheung Po Tsai pirate cave.

miffy lamp, nijntje

I enjoyed my island getaways, as a way to slow down and relax in nature. However, there’s no place like Hong Kong to get your cute shopping on! 

little twin stars kiki lala statue

Causeway Bay remains the best neighborhood of Sanrio goods, and all things kawaii. (Here’s my comprehensive guide to shopping in Causeway Bay.)

exotic shorthair kittens in basket

Is there anything as cute as a basket of squishy-faced kittens? Whenever I’m in the Causeway Bay district, I stop by this cute cat store (more info and photos here.)

orange exotic shorthair cat sleeping

It’s the best concept ever. All of the cats inside this store… have flat faces!

grey scottish fold kitten

There’s always a Scottish Fold and Exotic Shorthair in there. You can say hi to them, and pick up cat toys or food.

laforet hong kong japanese mall

As you’ll recall from my Causeway Bay travel guide, this area is known for its Japanese malls.

Laforet always has changing themed displays. When I went, it was covered with pictures of Sanrio’s Little Twin Stars.

little twin stars sanrio statue

The pastel shades of the 1980s are back in style. Kiki and Lala haven’t aged a day.

my melody, sanrio clothing line

In Hong Kong, Sanrio characters are everywhere — and they’re not only for kids. You’ll find high quality purses, wallets, shoes and clothes with subtle designs featuring the characaters. ANS and KiLaRa are two Asian brands that often collaborate with Sanrio.

hong kong street signs

Kawaii is sometimes a bit twisted, in Hong Kong. Everywhere you go, there are cute-meets-weird signs and public displays.

cute faced mooncakes

You know I’m addicted to Miffy the bunny… Arome Bakery has dozens of location around the city, and this season, they carried Miffy moon cakes that came in tin boxes. 

dark chocolate miffy cake, arome hong hong

Arome has a new dark chocolate truffle Miffy cake with gold eyes and an X mouth. It’s scrumptious: layers of moist pudding and cake, spongy and not too sugary.

miffy stuffed toys

Isn’t it funny how Miffy, a character from the Netherlands, has taken over Hong Kong? In Japan and Korea, you won’t find nearly as many Miffy toys and products — and there are no such cakes.

Homeless design store hong kong

One of my favorite stores is Homeless, the interior design shop with locations in Central and Sha Tin. They sell lots of Miffy goods — I picked up “Nijntje” keychains (that is her Dutch name).

miffy 60th anniversary museum

In the Hung Hom mall next to Harbour Plaza Metropolis hotel, I stumbled upon a holiday display.

Since this is Miffy’s 60th anniversary, the bunny with the X-mouth is everywhere. (She currently has Miffy cafe and big displays at Hysan Place and other Causeway Bay locations.)

miffy backpack, lion

Every time I’m in Hong Kong, I stop by the Miffy TwoPercent fashion boutiques. I usually go to the Miffy shop in Causeway Bay’s WTC, but saw these backpacks in The One TST. (I’ll do a full report about this mall soon.)

miniso cute stuffed toys

Japanese kawaii designs are found in every part of Hong Kong — and usually for much lower prices. I couldn’t resist getting the fat mouse from the MiniSo store. Each toy is about $4 US.

minions theme cafe, lattes

Minions is currently the rage in Hong Kong, and I saw their smiling faces on lattes.

fortune cat statues, both paws raised

Cats remain popular as ever. You can find maneki nekos (fortune cats) everywhere for sale. These ones have both paws raised, for extra luck!

fofo by el willy chef

Another reason to love Hong Kong: the international dining. I had a magnificent dinner at the award-winning Spanish restaurant, FoFo by el Willy (address: 2-8 Wellington St). The smiling chef, Alex Fargas, skillfully designed the menu with influences from his native Barcelona and travels abroad.

I felt at home in the minimal space, decorated with rows of white penguins on the shelves and chandeliers. The server introduced me to a cute, round bull statue and explained that he is the mascot — since the word “fofo” means plump!

fofo spanish restaurant, paella

From the 20th floor window, we had a fantastic view of Central’s bright lights. Our server walked us up to the laid back rooftop, where people lounged and enjoyed cocktails. (I loved the rose sangria, with fresh cut strawberries and apples.)

The chef is a master at traditional Spanish dishes, which he delivers with a contemporary execution. We ate up every bite of the “bikini” sandwiches made with the finest cheese and Iberian ham, and juicy paella with seafood (above).

hong kong central spanish cuisine

El Willy gets especially inventive with its tapas, or bite-sized shareable plates. I popped a “Salmon Explosive Air Bag” in my mouth, and the pastry burst into a delight of truffle sour cream and smoked salmon. Also home runs: paella crackers with sea urchin, and scallop ceviche with avocado and crispy shallots.

fofo desserts, menu fine dining

The desserts hit the spot with a freshly baked apple tart, churros with dark chocolate dipping sauce, and a creative “mojito” made with mint, jelly and sorbet.

With a laid back atmosphere and exceptional cuisine, FoFo is now on my short-list of favorite restaurants in Hong Kong.

bindaas hong kong restaurant

My friends and I also went to the newly-opened Bindaas Bar + Kitchen, an Indian restaurant near the PMQ art center. (Address: LG/F, 33 Aberdeen Street, Central, HK).

The chefs recently came here from India, and brought their expertise to each dish. Nothing is heavy-handed: the ingredients are fresh, and the spices are a delight to the palate.

top indian food hong kong

At the same time, Bindaas is not afraid to get creative, and excels at fusion. Their naan pizza is a must eat: it comes with several varieties of toppings, and brilliantly merges two comfort foods into one.

Bindaas also serves wonderful original cocktails with Indian flavors, such as yogurt lassi. (Photos from this restaurant by Sniper Chau)

bindaas hong kong central pmq

The seafood curries and tandoori dishes are stand-outs, and the small plates are great for sharing with a group of friends.

Bindaas is brilliant at Indian fusion, and is a welcome entry to the Hong Kong food scene.

maneki neko largest cat collection

Do these food and cute cat photos make you want to visit Hong Kong? In the next post, I’ll announce my April destinations, so stay tuned…

SHARE & COMMENT

30 Comments

  1. Yuki
    Posted March 29, 2016 at 12:57 am | Permalink

    Great!

  2. Brian
    Posted March 29, 2016 at 12:57 am | Permalink

    HongKong! We were just there

  3. Sann
    Posted March 29, 2016 at 12:58 am | Permalink

    I love roaming around and visiting all the little shops too.

  4. anna
    Posted March 29, 2016 at 12:58 am | Permalink

    Was just there!!

  5. Mr Buie Lam
    Posted March 29, 2016 at 12:59 am | Permalink

    so hot and cool :)

  6. Valerian
    Posted March 29, 2016 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    I want to visit that island with the cats ~_<

    • lacarmina
      Posted March 30, 2016 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

      There’s a full on Cat Island in Japan, have you heard of it?

  7. yuko
    Posted March 29, 2016 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    Squee looks like Cuteness overload!!!

  8. Eimear ♥
    Posted March 29, 2016 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    I think I need to spend longer in HK, always discovering more and more to see! At least I have the excuse of in-laws there now :-) I wiiiiiish I could have seen those Miffy displays.

    • lacarmina
      Posted March 30, 2016 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

      Every time I go back, there’s something new and cute to see!

  9. LQ
    Posted March 29, 2016 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    I love this pics so much.

  10. Nicole
    Posted March 29, 2016 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    Looking forward to seeing you on the Travel Channel in the morning

  11. Faster Hat
    Posted March 30, 2016 at 1:24 am | Permalink

    Kiki and Lala❤️❤️❤️

  12. Catherine
    Posted March 30, 2016 at 1:24 am | Permalink

    Ur making me jelly

  13. Ella style
    Posted March 30, 2016 at 2:29 am | Permalink

    Love purple hair. it’s the best.

  14. Voodoo girl blog
    Posted March 30, 2016 at 2:29 am | Permalink

    Cool’
    Voodoo girl blog

  15. Food&WinefromSpainHK
    Posted March 30, 2016 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    glad you enjoyed the food in Fofo. The quality has been consistent through the years

  16. Beta
    Posted March 30, 2016 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    <3 <3

  17. Rein
    Posted March 30, 2016 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    so beautiful xxx

  18. Cat Cat
    Posted March 30, 2016 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    Liking it much

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