Seoul Day 8: Nami Island (Halal Drama Cafe)

Finally we hit Nami Island aka Republic of Naminara. Looked forward to eat at the Drama Cafe on the island. We had trouble reaching there a few days ago, due to the shutdown of the old train services. A new line had in fact just opened on that day, and we did not understand the whole situation till we went to the tourist information counter. Even then, the counter was not able to print out a map of the new rail. We got a hand drawn one. We were hoping to go Nami in the old train. Can you imagine, we missed it by just a single day?? Such luck!!

Anyway, day 8, we took the new train system to Gapyeong Station. It was like only the 2nd or 3rd day in operation. Everything fresh and sterile.

Walk out of Gapyeong station, there will be a line of waiting cab and just say,”Nami Island Ferry Terminal”.

Bought “a VISA” to enter Nami Island. It was basically a ferry ticket, but as Nami Island prides itself as a Republic, they have their own passport and you will need “a VISA” to enter. I was wondering if the current UN president had a role in this, but this island was around even before his appointment.

Marketing itself as a UN ambassador or UNICEF of some sort, the global UN spirit is all around, the ferry that took us there was also full with an array of international flags.

We had lunch at the Drama Cafe a Halal certified Vegetarian restaurant.

The order came in 2 metal tins, 2 metal spoons and 2 pairs of gloves in a metal tray. Took a quick look around they were all shaking the tin vigorously. We were a bit apprehensive as it felt like playing with our food.

Single hand shake
Double handed shake

The Kimchi pancake. Egg, onion, cabbage, vege and kimchi.

Animals seem to roam freely here. Absolutely lovely. Pretty chicken.




Hong Kong Day 2: Ocean Park + halal Dim Sum

We arrived last night by Cathay Pacific took the A21 City Bus,alighted at Nathan Road just opposite Masjid Kowloon. It was like a 50m walk and we checked into Hotel Benito. Since, it was late and we were only in the mood to stroll, we decided to check out the Avenue of Stars. The sky was hazy, smoggy. The smog created a certain kind of mist though, felt like I was in a cool European city like London maybe. Oh yes, Hong Kong used to be under the Brits, just like Singapore and Penang.
Took a few pictures of our top 3 HK idols. Hail Jackie Chan & Stephen Chow for the endless laughter and for being a great ambassador of cantonese films. Aaron Kwok? For the legendary centre parting hairstyle, all the rage back in our school days. He totally owned it!

Ocean Park

Next morning, it was Tsim Sha Tsui station as we bought our Octopus ticket and Mrs. Field’s cookies. We  then took the train down to Admiralty Station.There was a counter selling both the Entry and CityBus(629) Ticket.


There was quite a crowd of tourist starting to build, but we did not wait long for our bus. Ocean Park was hot when we arrived. Summer indeed. With the weather, the 1st stop had to be somewhere with AC…off to the pandas. The Giant Pandas were brunching (breakfast + lunch) when we arrived, munching non-stop. JiaJia meanwhile was in the ladies or bedroom?, so we don’t get to see her outside in the viewing area. Only on the TV screen.

The Ocean Park cable car ride was long. I liked the open windows, feeling the breeze and such. Felt like a bird in a cage moment. 2 birds. Wife was panicky as usual, holding onto the rails real tight throughout. I felt like jumping around in this cage.

It was hot summer, and extremely crowded. There was the Hot Air Balloon, Sky Tower and many more. I bumped into 1 of my workplace canteen stall owners there at the Giant Panda Souvenir store. He was with his family, what a small world. Oh yes, the pandas wer extremely adorable. Most were busy eating and munching non-stop. The red panda was elusive though. We did not manage to see it, only the tails, as they were lying in the their tiny caves. 

We somehow managed to walk our way to the mosque. I have included the map below. We were not sure if Wan Chai or Admiralty would be better, but it the Causeway Bay route seems pretty short and it was mainly underpass. We met some muslim ladies along the way too, so it should be alright.

The canteen was located in the masjid. There was a notice pasted in the elevator; “The elevator buttons have been disinfected every 2 hours.” Having found the canteen we proceeded to eat. Little did we expect that we will be eating here for many days to come. Highly recommended for muslims! No Hong Kong trip will be complete without a halal dim-sum meal here.

Prayer Times
Masjids in HK here
Halal Listings in HK

Islamic Centre Canteen 5/F, Oi Kwan Road, Wan Chai (website)
Wai Kee 5, Bowrington Road Market, Wan Chai.
Ma’s Restaurant Cheung Sha Wan Road
Ebnezeers Kebab our life saver due to its various location and, because we can both have the delicious briyani and pizza for every meal. It is good.