Cryotherapy in Hong Kong

Way back in early March of this year I partially tore something in my left thigh playing soccer. The recovery had been taking a long time so I decided to try cryotherapy in August. I made the trek out to Causeway Bay to try the only facility in Hong Kong that I know of which offers cryotherapy, Polaris Wellness

Polaris Wellness is located on the 10th floor of Lee Theatre in Causeway Bay. The facilities are comfortable and the staff is friendly and professional. When I went in August, they were offering an introductory 2 sessions for a total of $900. After that, there would be a wide variety of packages or membership plans you could choose from. The options seemed quite flexible.

First, I had a chat with the administrative staff and then the technician. He needed to assess what I was hoping to get out of the treatment. I was hoping to stimulate collagen production in my joints. I had heard that it’s a possibility and that would help with my thigh injury and also a wonky left knee that’s been bothering me off and on. After some chatting, I got a little tour of the facilities and then began my first introductory treatment.

They’ve got two main treatments. One is for whole body therapy, where you get treated with super cold gas all over your body while you stand inside some sort of pod, and the other treatment involves much more focused treatment, where just a certain area of your body is treated. I assumed that’s more of a facial kind of treatment meant to improve your skin complexion.

I was there for the whole body treatment so I was led to a changing room where I had to strip down, put on some disposable undies, apply stickers (for protection?) to my nipples, put on some comfy socks and a cozy robe.

After letting the technician know that I was finished, I was led into the treatment room. Once there, he told me to put on some boots and gloves and then I was led into the booth. Coming from Manitoba, I was used to sub zero temperatures well below -30 so when I first got in, it wasn’t a big deal. The initial temperature was only -20. But over the next couple minutes, it gradually got down to -105. It stayed there until 3 minutes had passed and I was honestly relieved when it was done. I felt great after warming up and the second session a week later was much the same with the only difference being that I got to -120 by the end of the 3 minutes.

I’m still considering trying to carve out some time once or twice in my week to make the trip to Causeway Bay and do a 10 session package. It feels wonderful and if it helps rejuvenate my joints a bit, I’d consider it well worth the time and money.


Day 7 of South Korea Trip 2016

Early in the morning, I left my Taekwondo mates in Gangnam and took a taxi to Conrad Seoul on Yeouido Island to meet my wife, who had just flown in from Hong Kong earlier that morning. After meeting, we dropped off our luggage as it wasn’t time to check-in yet and then went for coffee and a bite to eat at The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. The egg, ham and cheese served in an English muffin was delicious! Also of note is that it seems to share space with a car showroom.

Next, we took a taxi to Myeongdong for some congee at Bonjuk. If you’re taking a taxi, get off at Myeongdong Cathedral and Bonjuk will be nearby. Congee is a great breakfast meal made of soupy rice and sometimes extra ingredients added. It’s kind of like oatmeal.

Myeongdong is probably the busiest and most vibrant shopping district in Seoul. It’s an amazing place that you really should visit at least once as a tourist even if you don’t care that much for shopping. At least go to experience the atmosphere. There are plenty of cafes and places to eat when you’re tired of walking around.

We eventually made our way over to Lotte Duty Free. It’s a big department store with lots of clothes and other items to buy. You might find a good deal there!

After a busy day of shopping, it was off to Doma in Mapo District. Doma is a great little bbq meat restaurant. I quite enjoyed the raspberry wine and the food was pretty good as well.

What I really loved about Mapo District is that there’s a lot of art in the area. After eating, you can casually stroll around and check out the street buskers or whatever art happens to be on display.

To cap off the night, we took a taxi to Noryangin Fisheries Wholesale Market. We picked our seafood in the market area and then went up to the dining area where they prepared and served it. It was an enjoyable end to a wonderful day!

Day 6 of South Korea Trip 2016

Sorry for the delay in posting.

Day 6 of my South Korea Trip 2016 was a wonderful day that I won’t soon forget. I started the morning with the final rounds of my two events, speed breaking and power breaking.

With power breaking, I attempted to break 14 tiles this time. I assumed there would be several masters attempting to break 14 – 16 tiles. I successfully broke 11 tiles out of 14. It felt great and disappointing at the same time. It felt great people my techquie was on point and everything felt right. It was disappointing because I also felt that I still held back a little bit. I wasn’t as explosive as what I knew I was capable of. It was a strange feeling. Overall, it was a great experience and I hope to come back and try again.

So did I win? In the end, someone else attempted 12, broke 12, and took first. That’s where the strategy comes into play. I’m short. The more I try to break, the higher the stack and the harder it gets for me. On the other hand, if I had been more conservative and gone for 12, maybe someone else would’ve gone for 13. That’s part of the fun though.

For lunch, we went to Noryanjin Fisheries Wholesale Market. This is an interesting site because they’ve recently opened a new building here that they’re trying to get all the vendors to move into. However, there’s resistance as many vendors consider the much older building (not shown in this photo) to be more appropriate for their needs. They consider the new building’s design to be somewhat ill conceived. It’s an interesting affair. Let’s hope the new building doesn’t persist as a half empty white elephant. 

Pictured below are various parts of the old market building. We first selected the seafood and then ate it in a dining area.

This served as a nice late lunch / early dinner. What can we call that? Lunner? Dunch? After eating, we took the subway back to our rental house in Gangnam and had a leisurely late afternoon. We picked up some groceries to prepare a late dinner and a few of us masters went for a short run around the neighbourhood. It’s a great idea to try and go for a couple outdoor runs in any new city you find yourself in.

All in all, it was a great day and wonderful conclusion to the Hanmadang tournament. As I layed in bed that night, I looked forward to meeting my wife who would be arriving in Seoul in the morning so we could have a few days of eating and shopping together before going back to Hong Kong.

Palace IFC Movie Theater

I saw Dr. Strange at Palace IFC on Saturday night and it was a fairly pleasant experience. The last time I’d seen a movie there was several years ago. There used to be an artsy kind of lounge right at the mall entrance, complete with a selection of art house DVDs for sale. Post-renovations, the mall lobby is basically gone. All that remains is a humble ticket booth featuring a traditional human cashier and a couple of Internet-purchased ticket dispensers.

Dr. Strange was showing in 3D for the time I wanted to see it. Usually I don’t care much for 3D but I was already there so I bit the bullet and got the 3D ticket. That meant paying an extra HK$10 for the glasses. I already had a pair at home, which I had previously sworn I’d keep in my bag for just such an occasion. Somehow that pair ended up in my desk drawer. When selecting a seat, you can choose between non-vibrating or vibrating. I chose vibrating.

At the entrance from the mall, there’s someone in front of an escalator leading to the theaters to tear the tickets. I handed my ticket to the guy, got my stub and proceeded to the concessions area. This is the area that’s been changed quite a bit. They now serve beer or cocktails and even have a bar for those who have time to kill.

The movie was enjoyable and the seats were sufficiently comfortable but nothing special. One more thing: when paying, make sure you ask the cashier if they have any special promotions going with any credit cards. For example, I paid with Amex and got a 10% discount. Cheers!