Living in Ireland – Weekend Destinations
Nobody likes a crowded weekend.
Endless line ups, packed streets, sweaty passerby… all the things we have accepted as normal in Hong Kong doesn’t even exist in certain cities around the world.
With no weather extremes and the lowest temperature at just 4 to 7 °C, the friendly climate is only one of the many great things you can expect when living in Ireland. Instead of diving into the tourist aspect of the country, let us look into the regular weekend life in a city like Dublin.
Time to visit the Grocery Store
While delivery services of groceries, provided by companies such as HKTV Mall in Hong Kong have boomed in recent years, similar services have been enjoyed by Irish residents for quite some time. Chinese markets in Dublin also offer the service, such as the Asia Market. Known as “Ireland’s Premier Supermarket Since 1981”, they are the country’s largest Asia food importer, and a retailer that sells products ranging from condiments to fresh vegetables. With three branches across the areas of Dublin 2 and Dublin 12, you will immediately recognize it by its big, yellow door. Another great market is the Oriental Emporium, which sells classic Chinese ingredients, as well as ingredients from other countries (they have a Mexican corner too, so if you are into exotic food, this is where you need to visit!). Not to mention, their rich selection of sauces can ensure you in finding your favorite teriyaki sauce.
If you are a frequent shopper at the cooked food section, visit the Han Sung Korean & Japanese Market on 22 Great Strand Street, where they serve homey Chinese stir fry, 2-dish or 3-dish rice, and other Asian delights such as bibimbap and gyoza.
Of course, there are also the big local chains, including SuperValu (just like any of our major supermarket chains in Hong Kong) and Dunnes Store (similar to Marks and Spencer in Hong Kong). Just like Hong Kong, remember to bring your own bag!
3:15 Tea Time
Living in Dublin does not mean you have to forfeit your favorite time at the local cha chaan tengs. Hong Kong-born chef Kwanghi Chan opened the perfect place for your noodle, rice, or even bao craving. Located right in the heart of Dublin, the restaurant, Bowls by Kwanghi Chan, has earned the name of Ireland’s 100 Best Restaurant 2019 from McKennas’ Guide by The Sunday Times.
How about some siu mai and har gow? There is Yang’s Chinese Restaurant who serves lunch until 5 pm on Sundays, perfect for the night owls who prefer to have a late munch on their day off. Winner of The Irish Asian Food Awards 2019, I doubt we have to explain much about the quality of their food.
Spots for the Shopaholic
Get some fresh air and shop at one of Dublin’s principal shopping streets – Henry Street. With shops including Clarks, Boots, Pull and Bear, Lush, and even a Three store (yes, the mobile and network store we have here in Hong Kong), the street is perfect for the family. This is also where Christmas lights and Halloween parades are held.
Across River Liffey is the other principal shopping street – Grafton Street. Here, you have brands like Victoria Secret, Pandora, Levi’s, Ted Baker, and more. Looking for designer brands? The Brown Thomas Dublin department store is located right on the same street. This chain flagship store at 130,000-square-foot sells both prêt-à-porter and haute couture clothing and accessories.
Consider Arnotts, Jervis shopping center, Dundrum shopping center, Liffey Valley Shopping Centre, and Blanchardstown Shopping Centre if you prefer indoor malls. All of these places are great to spend a relaxing afternoon in, similar to malls like Festival Walk and Elements in Hong Kong. How can we miss the outlets? There is the Kildare Outlet Village 45 minutes away from Dublin, which is a great day-trip option for you and your loved ones.
Trek and Hike
A lot of Hong Kong people deliberately fly to Nara to see the wild deers. In Dublin, you are just a short drive away! Interact with the wild deers at Phoenix Park and bring your pet along to enjoy the large green field. There is also the Malahide Castle & Gardens with a playground and a Fairy Trail for kids, just 30 minutes from Dublin. If you are a hiker, then the 3-hour walk up Killiney hill park is great. It is not a very difficult trail, and the ocean scene on the top is golden. There is also the Wicklow Mountains National Park, a recreation and biodiversity conservation site with a campsite.
The list of natural scenery in Ireland is endless, so there are countless explorations to go on.
Learn about the country with your kids on the weekends. Housing a range of 14th to 20th-century European art, the National Gallery of Ireland regularly hosts different children-friendly activities and workshops. For small children under the age of 9, Imaginosity, Dublin Children‘s Museum is definitely the place to be. Encouraging discovery and a ‘hands-on, minds-on’ philosophy, the place offers party rentals as well, so you and your family can celebrate birthdays and other special occasions there. For older children, there is a lot to learn at the EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum. This place is uniquely dedicated to the stories of “Irish emigrants who became scientists, politicians, poets, artists and even outlaws all over the world”.
Of course, due to COVID-19 restrictions, the hours of these institutes are affected. Do visit their websites first to make sure they are opened!
Ireland may not be the first country that comes to mind, but there are countless worthwhile explorations to be made there. Learn more about the opportunities this 5th wealthiest country in the world offers, and speak to one of our expert advisors to find out more about Bartra Wealth Advisors and the Irish Immigrant Investment Programme by completing the form below!