Dublin & Galway, Ireland

For just five days from December 9th to the 13th, my buddy (Jason) and I went on a short trip to Ireland.  Originally Alicia was supposed to come with us but because life happens, she couldn’t make it.  Thus, I am stuck with traveling with a male partner again… All jokes aside, Mahesh and Jason were definitely great traveling companions and I was lucky to have them on my journey.  Jason and I flew from Birmingham to Dublin via Ryan Air for £35, which was a little more expensive than the average flight to Dublin because we booked quite last minute (so always book at least a month ahead for super cheap flights).  For the first day, we landed in Dublin and took the Aircoach (Route 700) from the airport to the city center which costed €8.50 per person and we arrived within half an hour.  For the first night in Dublin, we stayed at the Latchfords Townhouse Of Baggot Street, which is a hotel that looks like residential apartments.

Since it was a Saturday night, I got to experience the party life of Irish people with Andrew, my friend here in Dublin.  We went to a couple of spots and I finally had my first proper and authentic pint of Guinness.  Although Irish people drink a lot, I’d say that the party life in Ireland is very similar to what I’d seen in Vancouver or New York City.  There were a lot of people, dancing, talking, laughing and doing crazy things that it didn’t feel completely different to the night life in other cities.

I did notice, however, that there were less Asians in Ireland so I felt like I was the center of attention wherever I went.  I had a couple of people who came up and asked to take photos with me… I also had men who approached me and talked as if they’ve never seen an Asian woman before.  I have to be honest and say that I did feel slightly uncomfortable being out that night because I was approached constantly and a guy even forced me to take a photo with him.  Nevertheless, I didn’t let that ruin my night and continued to visit different spots with my friends and met new people.

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The next day, we were heading to Galway.  But before that, we had a little bit of time to explore Dublin while waiting for our bus to arrive.  So first we walked around Temple bar where we saw different traditional Irish pubs and there were just a lot of tourists there taking photos of these pubs.  Since both of us were peckish, we found a Japanese restaurant near our bus station, which was called Banyi Japanese Dining.  We both ordered the Chicken Katsu don with Onsen Tamago and it was absolutely and ridiculously delicious.  We both got desserts as well which was a matcha fondant and we were mind-blown that it existed.  I couldn’t get over how cool the matcha fondant was because it was like a chocolate lava cake, except in matcha.

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Banyi Japanese Dining
3-4 Bedford Row, Temple Bar, Dublin 2, D02 HD77, Ireland

We took the bus with Citylink, which was located at Aston/Crampton Quay, to Galway for €21 per person (round trip).  It took about a good 2.5-3 hours to get across the country since Galway is literally on the opposite side of Dublin.  Our accommodation was close to Salthill, which is a seaside resort on the northern shore of Galway Bay, and is also where the Northern Atlantic Ocean can be seen.  We stayed in Galway for two nights at Galway Bay Sea View Apartments, which was affordable and super comfortable to stay in.  The reason we chose to stay in hotels instead of hostels was because we found that accommodations in Ireland were quite cheap in general and thus we found great deals through Expedia.  We paid €160 for two nights at the Galway Bay Sea View Apartments, which meant it was €40 per person per night.  We were given the two beds apartment and thus Jason and I had our own bed room and bathroom! The apartment also came with a large living room with a TV, two sofas, a large dining table and a fully equipped kitchen (they even provided us with pots, pans, knives, and other cooking utensils).  We also had a large balcony where we got to witness the prettiest view of the Atlantic Ocean.

We got there pretty late in the evening so we decided to try Irish food and went out to hunt for a restaurant.  After walking for awhile in the cold, we found The Galleon Restaurant. I got a traditional Irish lamb stew; it didn’t look that great, to be honest, but it tasted pretty darn good!  We also stuffed ourselves with desserts and we couldn’t even finish them… we were greedy pigs.

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The Galleon Restaurant
210 Upper Salthill, Galway, Ireland

The next day, we woke up early to enjoy the view of the Ocean.  We headed out to take photos of the ocean and I can still remember how cold and windy it was that day.  There were so many times I had to stop taking photos because my hands were in so much pain from the cold.

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We had our brunch at Lana Asian Street Food, which had mainly Thai food on the menu.  We ordered Drunken Noodles and Pad Kra Pao and I was surprised to see our food being served in to-go boxes even when we were dining in.  As a matter of fact, on our first night in Dublin, we actually went to a Thai restaurant called Kanum Thai, where they also served food in to-go boxes.  I’m not sure if it’s a trend in Ireland but I can definitely see a pattern here.  We also got the same order at Kanum Thai, as well, since Jason was digging some Thai food I’ve been introducing to him.

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Kanum Thai
77 Mespil Rd, Dublin 4, D04 VN26, Ireland

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Lana Asian Street Food
224 Upper Salthill, Galway, Ireland

After food, we had enough energy and warmth to explore the rest of Galway outside Salthill.  We first went to The National University of Ireland Galway and then walked all over until we ended up in Eyre Square.  We took the bus from Salthill to the city center for €2.40 per person.  The journey took just around 20 mins.  After we got off the bus, we walked to the University, which took about half an hour to walk to since we kept getting lost and saw other things along the way.  I must say, Ireland was quite flat and ordinary.  From Dublin to Galway, I mostly saw small houses and very little attractions so there’s actually not that much to do in Ireland besides drinking or seeing some ancient buildings.  Despite that, I still found Ireland to be quite lovely.  I mean, I was getting used to big cities; especially growing up in one, so being able to appreciate Ireland’s nature and getting away from the hustle and bustle of a city, I was quite grateful.

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When we got to Eyre Square, we took a small break at a small coffee shop.  We were both very tired from walking the whole day and so we concluded our excursion in Galway that night and headed back to our apartment.

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Because we have a fully equipped kitchen, I told Jason that I had to cook.  I also wanted to save money as well since we were eating out almost everyday so he gave in and said yes.  We ran down to a market nearby and bought a couple of items that would costed us less than €10.  I made us chicken pesto pasta that night and Jason did not regret letting me cook.

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On our final day in Galway, we woke up early to catch the bus back to Dublin.  We were both quite upset that we had to leave since we were appreciating the quietness of Galway, our large apartment and the view of the ocean.  Nevertheless, we were also excited to head back to Dublin for a final night of being in Ireland.  Prior to boarding our bus back with Citylink, I have to mention the little cafe near our apartment.  It’s called Coco Cafe and it serves amazing and affordable breakfasts.  I think it was also Coco cafe that we had our break in Eyre Square because they had the same menu.  I ordered french toast and a hot chocolate and it was definitely the best way to start my day.

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Coco Cafe
Salthill Rd Lower, Galway, Ireland

When we got back to Dublin, we checked in at the RIU Plaza The Gresham Dublin just for one night.  It is located right in the heart of Dublin city center and so we had the pleasure of walking around quite a lot during our last night and managed to go shopping and eating some mean food.  One thing that we ended doing a lot while being in Ireland was eating a lot of Asian food.  We ate Thai food the first day in Dublin and the third day in Galway and for our last night in Ireland, we had a really good meal at M & L Szechuan Chinese Restaurant.  We somehow ordered the Pecking Duck because I never tried it before and we also got this Szechuan fish that was just plain delicious.  Jason and I laughed at this because I had my first Pecking Duck in Ireland… Although I do regret not being able to eat as many Irish dishes as I could, I also knew that Jason and I missed Asian food tremendously since there were less variety of Asian restaurants in where we were staying in the UK.

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RIU Plaza The Gresham Dublin
23 O’Connell Street Upper, North City, Dublin, D01 C3W7, Ireland

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M & L Szechuan Chinese Restaurant
13/14 Cathedral St, Dublin 1, Ireland

After our dinner, we got the chance to visit Chinatown and discovered a cute little bubble tea shop called Mosa Tea Restaurant.  Growing up from a city that pretty much specializes in different types of Bubble Tea, I was quite hard on Mosa’s bubble tea.  I ordered the original milk tea with pearls and, unfortunately, it wasn’t up to my standard.  It tasted a little too sweet and I wasn’t a fan of the pearls but Mosa’s bubble tea is probably going to be the best and only bubble tea shop in Ireland.  However, Mosa offers more than just bubble tea; they had different Asian cuisine on their menus and even desserts.  We didn’t get to try their foods or desserts because we were stuffed from the Chinese restaurant but we did notice that Mosa was quite popular among younger people and a lot of people were ordering food.  I’d still recommend you to visit Mosa because it has one of the cutest interior design I’ve ever seen.  I was surprised to see it in Ireland, to be honest, because it was super Asian and super kawaii; plus the staffs were super friendly and we even had a small chat about traveling with one of the server.

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Mosa Tea Restaurant
139 Parnell Street, Rotunda, Dublin 1, D01 E738, Ireland

Despite not being able to do much in Ireland, I enjoyed the good food and drinks here.  I appreciated how friendly people were over in Ireland and I got to appreciate nature and saw such a beautiful view of the ocean.  I hope in the future to explore different parts of Ireland and get to go hiking, like the Cliffs of Moher (we didn’t have enough time to do this) or going up to Northern Ireland and checkout Belfast.

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