All Things China

A China Resource for Smart People! Or at least Damn Lucky People!

SOHO Western District Hong Kong

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An incredible advantage for living in Shenzhen China is access to Hong Kong. One of Hong Kong’s great places to explore is the SOHO district located in Central. The SOHO district includes great restaurants, night life activities, antique shopping and health food stores. If you are in the market for a new apartment in Hong Kong, then SOHO is the place. You have easy access to the busy Central Hong Kong and the casual atmosphere of SOHO.

One Long Escalator

SOHO is also home to one of the longest recorded escalators in the world. Here is an excert about this escalator from wikipedia:

One of the easiest ways of getting to Soho is through the Central-Mid-Levels escalator, which was built in 1993. It is said that the very existence of now vibrant Soho is attributed to the creation of the escalator system, which at the time was the longest escalator system in the world, and in fact prior to the escalator the area was populated by many elderley locals, old go-downs and porcelain shops.

The cost of the Central-Mid-Level escalator cost a total of HK$32 million and stretches 800 meters, carrying 34,000 people daily. The direction the esclalator takes changes, going down before 10:00 am and up after 10:00 am.

The bottom of the escalator to SOHO. This can help you find it!

The bottom of the escalator to SOHO. This can help you find it!

Getting to SOHO

SOHO is located south of Hollywood Road, and  extends up to and including Robinson Road.

MTR Map for SOHO area.

MTR Map for SOHO area.

Here are some points of interest for in and around the SOHO district:

SoHo

When riding the Central-Mid-Levels Escalator, be sure to sample a little “SoHo”-style wining and dining! Hong Kong’s newest culinary hub, the “South of Hollywood Road” area offers you a world of exciting wining and dining choices. From Mexico to Malaysia, from New Orleans to Nepal, from Portugal to Provence.

MTR Station

Central Station Exit D2

Feeder Service

10 minutes walk from station

Location Map

Please click here to view the map

Lan Kwai Fong

This delightful L-shaped cobblestone road between D’aguilar Street and Wyndham Street is home to an inviting collection of lively restaurants, delicatessens and bars. One of Hong Kong’s trendiest nightlife areas, LKF remains a magnet for both tourists and locals, attracting thousands of visitors to its regular Halloween, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve street carnivals.

MTR Station

Central Station Exit D2

Feeder Service

5 minutes walk from station

Location Map

Please click here to view the map

Hollywood Road and Upper Lascar Row

Nestled between Sheung Wan and Central, Hollywood Road or “Antique Street”, is a treasure trove of curio and antiques shops. Here, you can find everything from tiny perfume bottles to elaborate, Mandarin-sized antique Chinese furniture. And don’t worry about getting your purchases home! Many shops will happily deliver overseas.

MTR Station

Sheung Wan Station Exit E2

Feeder Service

15 minutes walk from station

Location Map

Please click here to view the map

Get Smart about SOHO

You can browse SOHO like I do, but I have found that there are great shops on and off the beaten paths in alleyways and down the street. Get smart about SOHO and go to the official website for the SOHO area.

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On the “I Love SOHO” district website you can find a great map with lists for all of the venues to check out.

Here is a shortlist of the restaurants I can atest to. Give them a whirl your first trip out and let me know some even better finds!

Fat Angelos

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BocaRated in wordsbestbars.com - Check this place out in Macao (the food is even better!)

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Pizza Express

SOHO Square

21 Lyndhurst Terrace

Central

Hong Kong

Tel: 2850 7898

Fax: 2122 9748

Sunday to Thursday: 11:45am to midnight

Friday, Saturday and Public Holiday’s Eve: 11:45am to 00:30am

This restaurant is extremely well situated in the centre of the city and around the restaurant and bar districts of SOHO and Lan Kwai Fong. Three floors high and each with a view over the bustling streets, this restaurant is the perfect venue for your family gathering, party, business meeting or a relaxing bite after a hard day shopping!

SOHO Square is situated next to the Mid Levels escalator, on the corner of Lyndhurst Terrace and Cochrane Street. There are a number of car parks nearby which are depicted on the map below.

If you are coming by taxi tell the driver, “Bye Fah Guy”

Taco Loco

LG/F, 9 Staunton Street Central, Hong KongPhone: +852. 2522 0214

El Taco Loco’s warm and cheerful decor has established it as a favorite eating place and watering hole in Soho, Central. Conveniently located right next to the Central escalator, this cozy corner cafe presents the perfect spot for people watching while enjoying the wonderful Mexican treats.

The best thing about El Taco Loco is that everything is affordable! There are specials on drinks every evening and one thing is certain, guests can drink and eat up a storm without having to worry about the bill! El Taco Loco is great value for money – value at its best!”

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Written by allthingschina

2009/03/29 at 14:09

Overseas China Town (OCT) East

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China is a wonderful place, full of curiosity, bustling cities and good food. It’s centrally located to many different parts of Asia, including Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Korea, Japan, etc. You will save those trips for the week long Chinese holidays you have throughout the year. What about the weekends? About an hour from the Shenzhen’s city center is OCT (Overseas China Town) East, a ‘Swiss Mountain Resort – centered around the 5-star Interlaken Hotel and Village. Here is an except from a Time Magazine article about this Swiss haven in China.

Shenzhen’s Interlaken offers Chinese tourists a little taste of Europe closer to home. Its developer, Shenzhen OCT Sanzhou Investment, has sunk nearly $450 million into the park’s 2,200 acres (890 hectares). Located on a crystal-clear man-made lake, the centerpiece is a 300-room, five-star hotel with a Gothic cathedral lobby and an Austrian chef. The drive for authenticity is relentless: last summer an alpine songfest even brought yodelers to the resort. You can tour the property aboard an antique railroad that circles it, or view it from the highest summit–some 50 ft. (15 m) above–before plunging down the slope on the gondola cum roller coaster. Says hotel event manager Selina Liu: “All of our guests say they forget they’re not in Europe.”

That’s Time Magazine’s take on OCT East, now let me give you my first hand account. We went with a group sponsored by Shenzhen Daily newspaper so we received a special tour, seeing a little bit of everything.  First, the property is incredibly beautiful and includes great European architecture, a botanical garden with a seemingly ocean sized area of sunflowers, picturesque wood walking bridges overlooking long reaching green landscapes, old Chinese type villages, hotair ballons and horse riding stables. Instead of a vineyard that you would expect in Europe, OCT East features large tea groves. I thought this was a interesting change. They also feature a “Tea Show” (hard to explain, except it is like a play having to do with Tea). OCT feels like a Chinese Disney Land. There are characters from the tea show walking the streets. Different areas to the park, Swiss European town and ancient Chinese villages. While I went to OCT East expecting a great European meal I couldn’t find any. Possible the hotel features some, but most of the European town areas have great buildings with Chinese gift shops and restaurants. Everything is Europe on the outside and  little on the inside.

OCT East Blog Tour


I feel it necessary to start my blog tour of OCT East in a similar fashion to my own: OCT east features live entertainment on the streets of their Swiss Village. Today there are a bunch of Jamaican sounding guys singing Backstreet Boys. The video is not so good because of the crowd, but the audio is funny!

Entrance to OCT East and the Swiss village

Entrance to OCT East and the Swiss village

Upon entering OCT East you are greeted by characters from the Tea Show

Upon entering OCT East you are greeted by characters from the Tea Show

Midway through the park is the ancient Chinese village with people working in the tea fields on the mountain. They will break out in song and dance soon. Look closely.

Midway through the park is the ancient Chinese village with people working in the tea fields on the mountain. They will break out in song and dance soon. Look closely.

Extremely long walking bridge.

Extremely long walking bridge.

Tea making area. This was an opportune time for photographers encouring some poses with the tea.

Tea making area. This was an opportune time for photographers encouring some poses with the tea.

The main event, Interlacken Hotel overlooking a man made lake.

The main event, Interlacken Hotel overlooking a man made lake.

Botanical Gardens with Butterfly habitat

Botanical Gardens with Butterfly habitat

Forget the Oscars, OCT has the Tea Show!

Forget the Oscars, OCT has the Tea Show!

Now let’s talk about the OCT East Tea Show. This show defies words so I will explain via pictures and video. Yes I know, you aren’t suppose to take pictures, but this is China.

Tea Show Theater.

Tea Show Theater.

Tea Show Videos

Here are some videos from the Tea Show!



Written by allthingschina

2009/03/27 at 07:41

Best Pizza Joints in Shenzhen

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At the end of some long days in China, you need to go back to your roots. You need the comfort food that makes you feel like you are home, you need pizza. Buyer beware, almost any Chinese Western restaurant will serve pizza, but you risk getting two things: frozen pizza with low quality ingredients (and I don’t mean Tombstone pizza from the local supermarket) including the wrong type of cheese or pizza with corn, shrimp and other strange toppings. I have even seen a Tuna pizza with “special sauce”. If you are in Shenzhen, here are a list of the places you should frequent!

NYPD Pizza

Not only is this the best pizza in town, but I would match it against  most of your local pizza parlors back home. Truly incredible. The owner is a Papa Johns alumni and knows how to create a great pizza with the right kind of crust and imported California tomatoes for the sauce. If you are not from the Futian District then finding this gem can be a challenge. It is located at the Central Walk shopping center, with an outside entrance beside the new Xpats Lounge and down from The Spaghetti House. Drop in there for a drink with local owners and have your pizza delivered. If you are based in Shekou, then standby, a location is going up soon in the Sea World area.

Phone外送电话: 8887-NYPD(6973)English: 13798471160
CBD: FL-1015 Store, Central Walk, FuHua 1 Rd., Futian Di
st. 福田区福一路中心


Grissini

An upscale decored italian restaurant featuring high quality pizza pies you would expect back home.  Prices are exceptional for Western food in the city. Located in Shekou, Sea World area.

Shop No 103, Haibin Commercial Center, Sea World Square, Shekou, Nanshan District, Shenzhen (opposite Starbucks)
深圳南山区蛇口海上世界海濱商业中心103

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Trattoria Italiana da Angelo in Shekou

This is one of the restuaruants that you save for that special date night once a month. Aside from the Pizza, which is extreme thin crust, the food here is some of the best in town. True Authentic with ambieance.

No 12, Taizi Plaza, Taizi Rd., Shekou, Nanshan District, Shenzhen
深圳市南山区蛇口太子广场G12号

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American Brands

Don’t forget there are always the American brand pizzas here in China, Pizza Hut and Papa Johns. They have call centers, but you must know some valuable information for delivery: your street intersection and apartment complex name. Don’t worry they have English representatives in the call centers, just ask.

Written by allthingschina

2009/03/26 at 06:32

Posted in Shenzhen

The Best Schools in Shenzhen

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Moving to China is all about relearning how to accomplish rudimentary tasks that we take for granted back in our home countries. A simple run to the grocery store might require seven of your best friend’s assistance and take 3 hours. All that can be said is, That’s China!  It’s important to take any advice that can get you to your goals in China faster. After all, how long have you been here compared to everyone else, they have already learned the ropes.

Perhaps you have moved to Shenzhen, China, about 45 minutes by jet-boat ferry from Hong Kong and want the best education for your family. Here is a list of some of the best choices from someone that knows.

There are two primary school systems that exist to choose from in this city, SIS and QSI. Each have a student body consisting of about a thousand students with classroom sizes ranging from 10-16 per teacher. Campuses are spread out in the city encompassing old-world relaxed mountain-side environments away from the bustle of the city to ocean view schools within walking distance of your home to modern facilities with high technology, plasma screens in multi-level buildings.

SIS [Shekou, Shenzhen International School - China]

Established in 1988, Shekou International School is dedicated to meeting the needs of the expatriate community in the Shenzhen and Hong Kong area. The school was founded by oil companies working in the South China Sea and is managed and governed by International Schools Services (ISS). We offer an excellent academic program to meet parents’ high expectations. Shekou International School is the only school in the Shenzhen area that is fully accredited by Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

QSI [Quality Schools International - Shenzhen China]

QSI International School of Shekou, a fully accredited (Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools) not for profit international school. QSI Shekou offers a warm environment and rigorous education in English for students from two (2) years of age through eighteen (18) years of age. The school offers a complete secondary program, including a number of AP courses (2007-08).

The school features 60 classrooms, new science labs, library (10,000+ titles), three computer labs, an outdoor play area, basketball courts and gymnasium. Additionally, there is a large soccer and play field area adjacent to the school. Our campus is located in a convenient location for international families in the desirable Shekou community of Shenzhen. Door to door busing is available, as is a hot lunch program (Western, Korean and Japanese) for families. Class sizes are small .

Written by allthingschina

2009/03/19 at 11:45

Posted in Shenzhen

Tagged with , , , ,

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