Hi.

Welcome to my site. Here you will find exciting mashups of my very own recipes for the everyday home cook. I draw influences from my days working as an Executive Chef at my own Chinese restaurant in Downtown San Francisco, as well as inspiration from various cuisines I experience from all my travels. 

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Chef Kathy Fang
The Perfect Zika Free Babymoon Destination 2018

The Perfect Zika Free Babymoon Destination 2018

The Perfect Tropical Zika Free Babymoon 

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For all those pregnant mamas or couples who are trying to conceive, I have some good news for you! If you’ve been feeling limited these days by beach/tropical options for babymoons or honeymoons, I’ve got just the perfect place for you to escape to. I have to admit though, it wasn’t easy for us to find the perfect spot. Mostly because we wanted to escape to a tropical beach locale, where we could relax in privacy and be surrounded by sheer beauty and nature in a luxurious setting. We didn’t want any agenda other than sleep, relax, eat, and enjoy each other’s company…the last bit of, one-on-one time before the baby enters our lives. The only problem is at that most of the tropical beach locales are all located in areas that are listed on the CDC’s list for Zika Watch. That meant, all of Southeast Asia was off the list for us, all of the Caribbean, South America…you catch my drift here? So it came down to Hawaii, Australia, and New Zealand for us. Australia didn’t have that tropical beach locale ring for us so that went off the list and not to mention it’s rather far to travel to. Hawaii was not exotic or remote for us and we were just there for our wedding anniversary, so that got taken off as well. Not really decided on New Zealand, I did a little more digging around and kept my eye on the CDC list..then one of my girlfriends brought to my attention that Bora Bora was Zika free. It sounded almost too good to be true. I thought, impossible, a tropical island that is zika free?! I researched it and it was TRUE! Jackpot!!!! And from that point, it was an easy decision for us. We scratched New Zealand off the list which was unlikely anyways and quickly booked our trip to Bora Bora. It’s the perfect place for us, checked all the boxes…clear beautiful warm waters, luxurious overwater villa huts, a plethora of water sports/activities, quiet island away from city life, sunshine for days, and not exhaustingly far. 

Easy decision right? This is the private beach at the Hotel Conrad Bora Bora, where we stayed.

Easy decision right? This is the private beach at the Hotel Conrad Bora Bora, where we stayed.

So without further do here are the top 5 reasons why Bora Bora should be the perfect tropical zika free babymoon destination for 2018. Note: all photos I post here in this blog entry are all photos I took with my Iphone, no edits, no filters, what you see is what you get. 

1. Some of the most beautiful waters you’ll lay your eyes on. 

After you arrive in Papette, Tahiti, you will take Air Tahiti into Bora Bora (45minute plane ride) and once you land at Bora Bora Airport, you walk right out to this breathtaking view 

Bora Bora Airport: Take a deep breath, smile and be grateful this slice of a paradise is a reality

Bora Bora Airport: Take a deep breath, smile and be grateful this slice of a paradise is a reality

Hop on your hotel boat shuttle and then be prepared to ooh ahhh your way to the resort. You'll want to record and take photos so I suggest sitting or standing outside of the boat to get better views. And keep your phone handy and accessible for shots like these, as they can pass by rather quickly.

I think blue is now officially my favorite color:)

I think blue is now officially my favorite color:)

The Conrad Bora Bora: Our home for a week!

The Conrad Bora Bora: Our home for a week!

I'm not sure I need to convince anyone from these images so far that Bora Bora should be the top babymoon destination for those of you who want the exotic tropical beach locale. I mean just look at that. 

When the concierge offers to give you a tour of the resort on a buggie before going to your room, take him up on it. I know you are tired and feeling gross, but the short drive in the buggie is refreshing and gives you a great overview of where everything is on the resort. Something you can skip doing after you settle in, so you can go straight to relaxing. Besides don't you want to see what awaits you for your stay?

Check out the aerial view of the resort from the SPA

Check out the aerial view of the resort from the SPA

Be sure to look down when you pass by your neighbors, there is usually a lot of fish swimming in the lagoon below each villa. The water is clear enough for you to see the bottom if relatively shallow

Be sure to look down when you pass by your neighbors, there is usually a lot of fish swimming in the lagoon below each villa. The water is clear enough for you to see the bottom if relatively shallow

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The drive to our villa, literally feels like a dream. Words can't even describe how special a place like this is, with the clearest waters below you, beautiful rays of lights and these fabulous huts just floating above. 

2. Luxurious one of a kind accommodations with top notch resorts to choose from that offer stunning rooms, facilities with excellent Food and Beverage programs.

Tahiti, Maldives, and Seychelles are one of the few places that offer overwater villas. These are not that common to find when you look at tropical beach locales. The overwater villas are really key here as it makes you feel like you are floating out in the middle of the water. Everywhere you look, whether it's laying on your own deck 

our deck

our deck

Laying on your own hammock off the deck to take a nap 

Grab a good book, take a nap or just enjoy the view from your own hammock with the water right below you in the privacy of your own villa

Grab a good book, take a nap or just enjoy the view from your own hammock with the water right below you in the privacy of your own villa

Or outside your windows, there is this beautiful water with fish swimming beneath you. It's a different experience from staying in a room on a beach. 

A panorama shot of our villa and my husband sitting on our deck.

A panorama shot of our villa and my husband sitting on our deck.

As I mentioned, the overwater villas are key, so splurge for these rooms and skip the ones on the beach or the hillside if you can fork over the $$$. It's absolutely worth it. We opted for the deluxe overwater villa with a private pool but that's a personal preference, I wouldn't say that's crucial. We just preferred having the option of lounging in our own space, in our own pool if we felt lazy and didn't want to venture out too far that day from our room. It's also the perfect spot to end your day, cooling off in your own pool, listening to your own music that you can play off their sound system in your room off bluetooth. Another perk of the high end resorts. Everything is connected so you can pipe music in the bathroom, bedroom, and deck.

Ending the afternoon in the comforts of your own pool

Ending the afternoon in the comforts of your own pool

Enjoying the last bits of sun before the sun sets from your own pool

Enjoying the last bits of sun before the sun sets from your own pool

Or take a dip right off your own villa deck into the clear waters for a morning swim

Or take a dip right off your own villa deck into the clear waters for a morning swim

You will find that Bora Bora does have a few options for luxurious accommodations like Four Seasons, St Regis, Shangri La...They all come with a pretty hefty price tag in the realm of $1200/night to $1800/night with some being less. I think it really comes down to personal preference when choosing which resort is worth the bang for your buck. While I'm a huge fan of the Four Seasons and would almost always opt for them for a safe bet with accommodations and service as it's always very consistent no matter what country you are in, I did find that most of these high end resorts had some pretty dated looks. My taste veers towards more modern and since the Conrad just went through renovations on their property in Bora Bora to modernize and improve their facilities, it was super appealing to me. Their property seem to have the most modern and chic rooms 

Having a large beautiful and clean bathroom is always a huge plus and oversize tub for those mama to be's who need a little pampering

Having a large beautiful and clean bathroom is always a huge plus and oversize tub for those mama to be's who need a little pampering

Modern open spaces for you to play games in when you want to escape the heat

Modern open spaces for you to play games in when you want to escape the heat

Stunning infinity pools with loungers that plunge in the cool pool water so you can tan and cool off at the same time. 

Stunning infinity pools with loungers that plunge in the cool pool water so you can tan and cool off at the same time. 

Modern zen bar/lounges where you can grab a mocktail, some lite bites while waiting for the sun to set, staring at the best view ever. @upaupaloung

Modern zen bar/lounges where you can grab a mocktail, some lite bites while waiting for the sun to set, staring at the best view ever. @upaupaloung

Ok so I mentioned the design of the place as being modern, clean and chic which is a big plus for where we chose to go with. But you can honestly find something you desire from the other resorts based on your preferences that will fit the bill. The options are  broad in Bora Bora. The other thing you can appreciate and pay attention to when selecting from the high end resorts is their food and beverage program. Since you are spending most of your time at the resort and not leaving much, you want to pick a resort where you see good options for dining and cuisines that you like. Most of these places are going to have French cuisine since your are in French Polynesia and with the French Colonizing these islands, you can expect some stellar croissants, crepes :) and more and of course a lot of uses of vanilla. The dining facilities at the Conrad were also redone so their French Restaurant Iriatai, Chinese Restaurant Bayan, and their afternoon grill spot, Tamure Beach Grill were all very nicely done with great food.

The bar connecting you to Iriatai

The bar connecting you to Iriatai

Request a romantic table on the terrace with a view of the water at night at the Iriatai

Request a romantic table on the terrace with a view of the water at night at the Iriatai

Switch it up and have some Chinese Food at Bayan Restaurant

Switch it up and have some Chinese Food at Bayan Restaurant

Iriatai Wine Bar

Iriatai Wine Bar

Their food and beverage team were all very accommodating which was a huge plus. We opted to sit at the Iriatai wine bar one night because we wanted something casual but still with a view looking out. We asked to get the food served from Bayan at the wine bar and they were more than happy to do it. 

Tamure Beach Grill: The lunch spot was always spot on and the space was gorgeous with white sand beneath each table and a beach chic whitewashed look

Tamure Beach Grill: The lunch spot was always spot on and the space was gorgeous with white sand beneath each table and a beach chic whitewashed look

Our favorite spot were the couch seatings as you can lounge and relax during lunch

Our favorite spot were the couch seatings as you can lounge and relax during lunch

And then there's breakfast buffets every morning at the Iriatai

And then there's breakfast buffets every morning at the Iriatai

There's also an a la carte menu you can order on top of the buffet. My personal favs were the waffle sticks shown here as well as their crepes. The savory ham and cheese ones with eggs were divine. They also had pain au chocolat and croissants of all sorts:)

There's also an a la carte menu you can order on top of the buffet. My personal favs were the waffle sticks shown here as well as their crepes. The savory ham and cheese ones with eggs were divine. They also had pain au chocolat and croissants of all sorts:)

3. Just the right amount of activities for a mama to be

This is important as we didn't want to find ourselves in a place that had too many things to do. The last thing you want is to have jam packed itineraries because you want to do and see everything. The point is to rest and relax while enjoying your time away. You also don't want to be bored either. Being on an island with nature around you and a ton of water activities made it easy for us. Did I mention swimming is a great exercise for pregnant women, so that's a huge plus. Then they offer these boat excursions, snorkel adventures, and various water sports like paddling, canoe-ing, hobie cat riding, etc. Just avoid the more extreme activities like Scuba Diving, Underwater Scooters, and Jet Skiing. 

The bevy of color canoes you can choose from to paddle out and explore with 

The bevy of color canoes you can choose from to paddle out and explore with 

Ride out on a Hobie Cat and enjoy this incredibly clear water for miles and miles and miles

Ride out on a Hobie Cat and enjoy this incredibly clear water for miles and miles and miles

We brought our own inflatable lounger which was very soft and comfy. I used it to float around and paddle to explore

We brought our own inflatable lounger which was very soft and comfy. I used it to float around and paddle to explore

Snorkel with rays 

Snorkel with rays 

4. Being remote and in nature

There is something really therapeutic about being on water and it makes it even more special when you are out on water and in a remote area. You feel far far away from the hustle bustle of normal life and city. You notice and look forward to seeing each sunrise and sunset, something you barely notice when you are at home. You look up and admire the stars at night. You lay out and hear nothing but birds, waves, and the occasional fish swimming or jumping to feed. When you step back and become more aware of nature around you, you tend to unplug from other daily distractions which means more intimate time together as a couple. My husband and I would enjoy every sunset and sunrise together with no distractions like work, television, phones, or computers. 

You wake up and rather than checking your phone in bed for emails, you want to step outside and watch the sunrise because you don't want to miss it.

You wake up and rather than checking your phone in bed for emails, you want to step outside and watch the sunrise because you don't want to miss it.

You notice everyday when it turns 5pm and drop whatever you are doing to go outside and watch the sunset.

You notice everyday when it turns 5pm and drop whatever you are doing to go outside and watch the sunset.

What comes along with being somewhere remote is privacy. The resorts essentially have their own beach and area for their guests so you don't see many people other than the hotel guests which aren't that many usually. This means, overly crowded restaurants where you have to wait to be seated or to eat, no rush to claim loungers or cabanas by the beach and enough equipment to go around so no one has to ever wait to use anything. So you can do what you want, whenever you want on your own time.

5. A picturesque setting that allows for memorable and beautiful photos that you can cherish forever. 

Maybe this is just something I care more about than others...But when I think about being pregnant and how special the time is for the mom experiencing the growing bump, you want to keep track of it. You want to take photos of the changes and remember it. Mom's also feel the best during their second trimester which is the best time to go on the babymoon. I would say you feel the sexiest and the strongest during this time frame and what better way to show off this new found appreciation for the new body you have than in a swimsuit? And with the beautiful backdrop of Bora Bora, you really can't take a bad photo here. 

Evenings are stunning here..so snap away

Evenings are stunning here..so snap away

Even on a cloudy day, it's gorgeous

Even on a cloudy day, it's gorgeous

All smiles together because why wouldn't you be out here

All smiles together because why wouldn't you be out here

Walking back to our villa, a walk you wish was longer.

Walking back to our villa, a walk you wish was longer.

Sandals and stretchy dresses were my staples when I wasn't in a bathing suit: Something form fitting that's breathable, leaves you feeling sexy and comfortable.

Sandals and stretchy dresses were my staples when I wasn't in a bathing suit: Something form fitting that's breathable, leaves you feeling sexy and comfortable.

Morning to day time staples: bikinis! 

Morning to day time staples: bikinis! 

Embrace the bump!

Embrace the bump!

Don't wanna leave:(

Don't wanna leave:(

So this concludes my rather comprehensive summary of why I think Bora Bora should be the spot to go for those wanting a babymoon in 2018. It's a slice of heaven, so go ahead and take a slice with you hubby and bun in the oven. You'll need it to look back on, when the baby comes and you are overwhelmed with the role of parenting and a newborn. Hope you enjoyed this post and as much as I enjoyed going through all my pics and memories.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pasta Shells with Ricotta and Leftover Turkey Bolognese

Pasta Shells with Ricotta and Leftover Turkey Bolognese

Happy to share that I'll be expecting!!

Happy to share that I'll be expecting!!