Hong Kong & Macau Trip (12 October 2013 to 19 October 2013)–Day 4 (continued) to Day 8

Day 4 (continued from the previous entry): Macau city and sights

The following pictures were taken from the shuttle van from the Macau ferry terminal, so please excuse the quality of the pictures if they aren’t up to ordinary standards.

Depending on the hotel which you are staying at, it is possible to actually board a shuttle van which goes directly to your hotel doorstep. Best of all, these rides are free. Actually, you could even just board any bus or van that you want, then hop off at your discretion. There’s so much to see at Macau too!

Remember that these pictures are a painful and concise summary of the actual trip, which I’d carry out a thorough individual review of the restaurants and other places of interest when time permits.

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The black/yellow fences that you could see are for the Macau Grand Prix.

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We stayed at Hotel Royal. This hotel is close to the city centre so all our trips are fairly quick and easy.

We only made use of the taxis when it is not feasible to wait for the hotel shuttle van to come around, e.g. when we were pressed for time. The taxis aren’t very costly but the drivers are quite rude. It’s the same for the hotel bus drivers as well, so just stay out of trouble and you’ll be fine.

The Hotel was a welcome change from the Kowloon serviced apartment we had stayed at earlier during the trip. I mean – we finally had a proper shower which doesn’t leak while we sleep; a decent view of Macau and also a much more hygienic place to sleep in.

The weather was mildly warm when we arrived but it was definitely better than the gloomy weather we experienced at Ngong Ping village a few days back.

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Senado Square (entire dedicated blog entry soon!)

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Ruins of St. Paul’s (Ruínas de São Paulo). This is probably the most photographed building in Macau.  

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Fortaleza do Monte, which overlooks the Ruins atop Mount Hill. Numerous cannons (most dating back to the early 19th century) maintained a silent sentry behind the fortress walls. The fort itself is well-maintained and has been thoroughly modernized for tourism purposes. (More pics of the fort coming at you soon!)

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Sunset at Senado Square – historical centre in the foreground, sin city in the background.

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A closer look at the impressive Hotel Lisboa. The casino inside is probably the largest in Macau, spanning close to three floors, if I’m not mistaken.

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Day 4 was spent mostly at Senado Square, taking in the sights and savouring the old charm of Macau. The ex-Portuguese colony is more attractive for its rich history and the slightly more relaxed pace was a distinctive feature from our previous stay at Kowloon. 

Day 5: More Macau city

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We are visiting the famous Venetian Macao, and these buses would take you straight to its doorstep.

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Inside Venetian Macao

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It is sacrilegious for me to enter this Man Ure store, but I took this pics for my dad (who’s a fan) 

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Artificial sky or not, this place is serenely beautiful

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There are people enjoying the gondola ride in the canal. Some of the gondoliers would sing ‘O Sole Mio’ while propelling the gondola gracefully down the artificial waterway.

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Day 5 was spent mostly in casinos and gambling. I won HK$200 gambling at the slot machines (HK$100 at Venetian Macao and another HK$100 at Hard Rock Hotel).

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But that’s not all – there are more visual candy coming too, as far as food is concerned!

Overall, I regretted thinking to myself earlier before this Macau trip that I won’t like this place very much because it is backwards than Hong Kong and all that nonsense.

Actually, Macau’s splendour lies in its historical architecture, bustling and colourful streets as well as its magnificent yet unpretentious casinos which border on the ostentatious and the extravagant. The food here is also excellent – the pork chop buns and the various tasty pastries which you won’t mind indulging even if it adds to your waistline a little bit more.

Day 6: Hong Kong island again

We bade a fond farewell to Macau and travelled by jetfoil to Hong Kong again:

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Believe it or not, the water may seem still but it was actually quite choppy. The announcement made on the boat confirmed that there was a monsoon phase in southern China on the day that we returned to Hong Kong. As a result, the jetfoil, while usually very stable, was rocking so badly that most passengers felt like throwing up.

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This was the TriCat jetfoil that we took to return to HK. It’s more spacious than the earlier jetfoil we took to travel to Macau.

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After checking into the Metro Park Hotel near Tin Hau MTR station, we explored some of the best areas of Hong Kong is simply wonderful, including a visit to the Man Mo temple, which we just barely managed to do so before closing time. In fact, I was the final devotee for the day before the retainers closed the doors. My apologies for the lack of pictures of the temple – there are renovations taking place there.

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Waiting for the tram to arrive…

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This is another great experience – taking in the city lights atop a creaking, wooden tram which was created as transport for a period far behind our current time. It’s pretty comfortable too, and you could use the Octopus Card to check out from the tram instead of fishing for coins and small change to pay the driver before you alight.

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Times Square, Hong Kong. We went to the bookstore, ‘Page One’ which is located at one of the upper commercial floors of the complex. 

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Day 7: Free and easy

Hysan Place and shopping

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This is the entrance to eslite bookstore. Consisting of three floors full of books, music and stationery, any booklovers should not miss this!

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We had lunch at the food court of Hysan Place. This is a ramen vendor by the name of ‘Ganpachi’.

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Not bad stuff, this. It’s just that the portions are small and the price is a bit steep (HK$55). There’s also only one piece of the pork belly which doesn’t quite cut it in terms of taste.

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Day 8: Goodbye Hong Kong!

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We’ll be back soon! You’ve been kind to me! There are one or two rude idiots but that did not deter me from seeing the beauty of this place.

I love Hong Kong and Macau – there’s just so much to see and do!

 

 

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