Friday Fun Suspended Coffees and Look Mum No Hands!

One of my favourite parts of London is the South Bank. Whether I’m visiting the same place over and over again, I can always take away something new. The last time was no different because: Look mum no hands!

Look mum no hands!

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Friday Fun :: The Best Roast Duck in London

Word of mouth travels fast. Especially when the words of that mouth make your own mouth water…

The Asian Destination :: The Best Roast Duck

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Afternoon Tea at Asia de Cuba

I visited the wonderland, that is Asia de Cuba, once before.

But this time, we were on a hunt for tea…and lots of it.

The Asian Destination :: Afternoon Tea at Asia de Cuba

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Chalo Chalo – Yalla Yalla!

What language are you speaking Ana?!

The Asian Destination :: Yalla Yalla

I’m glad you asked that one. The language of FOOD.

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Friday Fun:: Let’s Sushi Samba

 It’s been a year since I first went to Sushi Samba but let’s just say my head might still be in the clouds…

The Asian Destination:: Sushi Samba

and with a view like this, can you blame me!?

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Friday Fun|Pentolina in Brook Green

I can now say: ‘I know this great little Italian place..’


(Image Source: Pentolina Restaurant)

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When Spain Came to London

Everyone loves a good old Bank Holiday Weekend, right? Especially when it means you get to travel…without jumping on an aeroplane!

When Spain Came To London Continue reading

Dinner at Criterion

Central London is the hub of musical theatre, comedy clubs and music events. A thrifty tourist’s dream is to find a great pre-theatre meal or evening out without the sometimes extortionate price tag.

Enter Criterion.


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Time to RumBungo…

The Rum Kitchen is a great little place to meet for casual drinks after work or to warm yourself with some tasty helpings of jerk chicken and forget about a cold and rainy London town!

The Rum Kitchen

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Are you a member of The Club?

Are YOU a member of The Club…or are you a Scaredy Cat?

The Breakfast Club

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Cake at Ca’Puccino

Whether it’s after a long week at work or just an opportunity to catch up with friends, there’s always time for tea & cake!

This week, visiting Ca ‘Puccino has made me smile.


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It’s Wednesday! You know you’re Asian when…


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Destination: China

Destiantion China


Come visit China as Gimi takes us on her travels and we learn what Ana & Emily miss about living in China!



Whynn Resort and Casino, Macau - Photo by Ana Magarida Morais

Whynn Resort and Casino, Macau – Photo by Ana Magarida Morais

Areas of the country I visited:

G: Hong Kong, Hainan, Sichuan province (in particular Chongqing), Guizhou province, Yangtze river for 2 weeks.

E: Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, Hai Nan, Macau, Xi An, Harbin, Tibet, Xin Jiang.

A: Lived in Macau.

Photo by Ana Magarida Morais

Photo by Ana Magarida Morais

Favourite monument/place that I went:

G: Three Gorges area of Yangtze river.

E: Kashgar (in xin jiang).

A: My favourite palces are: Porto Interior, Largo dos três candeeiros – A more traditional part of Macau, untouched by casinos and the modern world. You can find quirky shops with handmade artifacts and unique items of clothing and decorations.

Photo by Ana Magarida Morais

Photo by Ana Magarida Morais

Café Esplanada at the Wynn Resort and Casino is one of my favourite places to unwind and enjoy afternoon tea. Caravela is a Portuguese restaurant/cafe in the center of Macau, staff and owners are really friendly and you get to experience a bit of Portuguese cuisine in China!

Photo by Ana Magarida Morais

Photo by Ana Magarida Morais

Photo by Ana Magarida Morais

Photo by Ana Magarida Morais

Describe the country in 3 words:

G: Contrasting, cultural, colourful.

E: Exciting, international, diverse.

A: Dynamic, multicultural, and exciting.

Café Esplanada - Photo by Ana Magarida Morais

Café Esplanada – Photo by Ana Magarida Morais

I wasn’t expecting to find:

G: Boiled chicken.

E: So many western shops.

A: The Batmobile!

The Batmobile - Photo by Ana Magarida Morais

The Batmobile – Photo by Ana Magarida Morais

My favourite part of the culture was:

G: The beautiful paintings and scriptures.

E: The language.

A: Learning about the different superstitions they had. For instance, for the first 15 days after the Chinese New year, people don’t cut their hair because ‘hair’ is a homophone for ‘prosperity’ so they believe they might be ‘cutting’ their wealth away!

Photo by Ana Magarida Morais

Photo by Ana Magarida Morais

I would describe the people as:

G:  Curious and friendly.

E: Talkative/friendly.

A: Very friendly, warm and hard-working.

Photo by Ana Magarida Morais

Photo by Ana Magarida Morais

I was surprised by:

G: I was surprised that people would want to take pictures with me because I seemed to be the only white person they had ever seen!

E: How few old areas of beijing are left.


Something I miss about the country now:

E: The food.

A: I miss everything about it, the food, the people, the places!

Photo by Ana Magarida Morais

Photo by Ana Magarida Morais

Any (new) words/phrases of the native language I picked up:

G: I learnt some symbols like entrance and exit, but I can’t replicate them on this keyboard!

E: Chu zu che. (Mandarin)

A: Relax, don’t worry-‘Fong sum’, Thank you – ‘umh goi sai’, You’re crazy! –‘Chi-sin’ (Cantonese)

N.B. Standard Chinese, also known as Putonghua, the official language of the People’s Republic of China (mainland China) and the Republic of China (Taiwan) where it is known as. Mandarin Chinese is the branch of Chinese dialects which includes the dialect of Beijing. The official languages for Macau are Portuguese & Cantonese.

Photo by Ana Magarida Morais

Photo by Ana Magarida Morais

Strange or memorable experience:

E: being asked to take pictures with Chinese strangers!

Would you go back?

G: Yes, but to different places, not Chongqing! It was too big and claustrophobic.

E: Yes!

A: I will most definitely be going back.

 Picture 19

A misconception people may have of the country:

G: It is so diverse, people think China is all the same, but it really depends on where you go within China.

E: It’s not as chaotic as people may think.

A: Macau isn’t just about gambling; it has a long and rich history. The Portuguese occupied Macau from the mid 1600 until 1999 so there is a heavy European influence and feel to the city. If history interests you, make sure you visit the many museums and exhibitions on going. It is also a very multicultural city, you get all nationalities and religions living together in harmony so you get to experience the best of many cultures!

Photo by Ana Magarida Morais

Photo by Ana Magarida Morais

One thing the guide books don’t tell you:

E: Taxis are cheaper in Beijing, but don’t seem to like to stop for potential customers.

A: Traveling by bus in Macau is next to impossible because the busses are always so full of people. You are better off walking, Macau is a small city anyway.

Picture 163

Do not be afraid to stand your ground in queues, people will try to cut in front of you!

Make sure you don’t just visit the hotels/ casinos or the tourist parts. As tempting as it is, at the end of the day you will miss out on all the culture and history the city has to offer.

Photo by Ana Magarida Morais

Photo by Ana Magarida Morais

Other advice I would give to those planning a visit:

G: Take lots of hand sanitizer!

E: Fly out with an empty suitcase!

A: If your stay is short don’t worry, you can experience Macau easily as it is a small city. If you plan it right, you might even be able to visit Hong Kong (which is a 1 hour boat ride away) and Zuhai (mainland China). Make sure you get a visa ahead of time if you want to visit Zuhai though as it takes a couple of days to issue. Overall have fun and make sure you visit the Macau tower for the world’s highest bungee jump!

Photo by Ana Magarida Morais

Photo by Ana Magarida Morais

If you liked this post, you may also like to read:

Destination: India, Destination: Vietnam, Destination: Bangladesh and Destination: Japan.


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Would you turn a blind eye?

To commemorate 100 years of Rotary, this hand painted cover by Nirlay Kundu is available in both limited edition cover as well as printed version. Please get in touch for further enquiries.

This commemorative philatelic cover is available in limited edition of 40 hand painted as well as printed editions. Please send me an email or get in touch with the artist, my uncle: Nirlay at

Would you turn a blind eye?

Imagine eating without being able to see your food.

No, your eyes aren’t closed.

You’re eating in pitch black and being looked after by blind guides, ushering you in and out of this surreal experience they are so accustomed to.

For a few hours, that was exactly what I was doing a couple of weeks ago. I had the unique opportunity of eating at one of these ‘Dans Le Noir’ restaurants. The complete absence of one sense, my sight, not only heightened my other senses to provide a unique culinary experience but also increased my awareness, respect and empathy for those with any sort of visual impairment.

Naively I had thought that my eyes would grow familiar to the darkness and be able to focus after a while. I was wrong. For a couple of hours, my eyes were rendered helpless and I was left feeling around my plate in an attempt to ascertain how much food was left. Simple tasks like pouring water into a glass were made that much more difficult; not only did I not know where my glass was…I could not tell when to stop pouring!

As Edouard de Broglie, president of the Ethik Investment Group, which owns the restaurants says: “When you see disability as a difference, but not as a problem, then it brings you to very interesting concepts and ideas”. He believes corporate social responsibility is the root of the company, and more than 50 percent of the staff has a disability.

I have such a greater appreciation and awareness of those that do have a visual impairment. The blind guides that waiter for the evening wear T-shirts displaying a quote from Twelfth Night by Shakespeare: “There is no darkness, but ignorance”.

As I entered to eat ‘dans le noir’ I was apprehensive about the dining experience that awaited. Yet as I emerged out of the dark into the light reception area, I left knowing that the blind guides had opened my eyes to a different world.


For some, blindness may be unavoidable. Organisations such as Dans Le Noir, with a great level of corporate social responsibility, offer hope and increase the level of awareness surrounding such visual impediments.

However, there are some forms of blindness that can be prevented. So many poor people across the world suffer unnecessarily or seek medical assistance too late to prevent irreversible damage to their eyesight.

The Guildford Rotary Eye Project aims to prevent and cure avoidable blindness across the world. The charity was founded in 1998 by a Rotarian & Guildford consultant ophthalmic surgeon with a vision for restoring the sight of 1 million people.  Originally, the Guildford Rotary Eye Project focused on Kolkata, in West Bengal in India, providing training for eye surgeons, equipment, buses to transport patients to and from hospitals to their rural villages and mobile eye screening camps amongst other facilities. Today, the Rotary Club of Guildford Eye Project carries out more than 40,000 operations per year in the Indian sub-continent, Africa and other developing countries.

This is why, the 10K run I’ll be doing on the 6th July, 2013 will be in aid of The Guildford Rotary Eye Project. For those of you that know me, the fact I’m volunteering to run a 10K will surprise you. If you would like to sponsor me or find out more about how and why I’m doing the July 10K race, please visit:

£5 could buy you: 5 x McDonald’s Big Macs

£5 could buy you: 2 magazines

Or you could donate £5 and give someone the gift of SIGHT.

Which gift would you rather?

Are you are interested in the commemorative philatelic cover (Above) available in limited edition of 40 hand painted as well as printed editions?

Please send an email or get in touch with the my uncle, Nirlay at

A donation of £10+ to the Rotary Club of Guildford’s Eye Project will get you your own copy!

The Asian Destination Links

Follow The Asian Destination on Twitter: @theasiand

‘Like’ us on Facebook:

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