Posts Tagged 'Macau'

Macau Trip!

Recently, a few friends and I went to Macau for the weekend. Macau is the SAR next to Hong Kong, about 1 hour’s ride away on the jet ferry from Hong Kong, and at a pretty affordable price.

We went early on the Saturday morning for our trip, with the feeling of really going abroad when going through customs when we reached there. The free casino buses were eager to take us to their casinos, but people just use them to get around the city for free! We boarded one to take us to the Old Town part.

There we did a lot of photography and sightseeing, particularly looking at the Façade of St Paul’s Cathedral, the only remaining wall of it. We grabbed some lunch from the stalls around that main tourist hub, including some traditional Macanese pork chop bun.
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As it got later, we headed to the night-life sector where all the brand new, huge super-casinos are. Having never been to Vegas, this place gave me that awe-inspiring ‘Vegas-feeling’ and more! Brightly lit up in the dusk, and later, night sky, they were amazing.

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We headed to The Venetian first, which had a mock-style canal similar to Venice (complete with gondolas!). We tried out a few of the casino games there too, only a few bets though. It’s a shame we did not get to see a show this time round, but will try and come again soon.
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After a long night of checking out the casinos, we headed to our hotel. With this being a weekend trip, we stayed at a hotel we found through Hotelclub.com for the night. A much needed rest after the long day we had!

The Sunday, being our last day, we headed out again to check out the Macau tower. This thing is huge! The views were amazing from the top, and, even though we were too chicken to do the skywalk, that looked amazing too. You can actually walk around the outside of the highest point of the tower (safety harness on, of course). This would make a great birthday/Christmas gift for someone who is an adrenaline seeker for sure.

With our last few hours, we headed back to the old town to explore some more and walk the streets. We went past the Lisboa, the most famous and one of the oldest of the casinos there. With it being time to head to our ferry port, we caught an evening ferry back to Hong Kong, ready for work on Monday morning.

All in all, I thought Macau gave the tourist everything they would want. Great food, a new culture to experience, many modern and old places to visit and a great atmosphere. With the price of a ferry from Hong Kong, it is definitely worth a visit if you’re around Hong Kong and have a couple of days to spare.

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Asian Vegas

On Saturday we headed to the Vegas of the East – Macau. I’d heard a lot of things about Macau – obviously you picture the Ocean’s 11 scene of Las Vegas for the casinos but also the beautiful Portuguese historical influence – but it was quite different to what I imagined it to be. We got a Groupon for $395 which included tickets for the Turbojet there and back, a meal at the Galaxy casino and hotel, an open-top tour bus ride and entry to Macau Tower’s observation deck (absolute bargain).

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We didn’t get time to go to the old historical sites, but did see the old town – the bit you never see when James Bond’s there. The main bit is definitely the Casinos though, and these really are MEGA Casinos. The famous ones like the Lisboa, we didn’t get to visit this time, but will definitely hit them up next time. We went to the supercasinos on Taipa island (the one with less Portuguese old buildings) and hit the Galaxy Hotel and Casino for some food, then met Tommy and Flintoff at The Venetian. This one had canals inside the place, with gondolas,  a sky with stars on the ceiling like the Trafford Centre, St Mark’s Square imitation etc. We even sampled some ‘Macau’ lager as we hit the casino in the City of Dreams. In total, I lost about $700 despite being a few hundred up at one point but proper enjoyed the trip and the time we spent there. Can see how some people become really addicted to it too, no windows or clocks makes time a weird concept when you’re inside.

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We had planned to stay during the night instead of book a room to stay over, so ended up getting the 3am ferry back to Hong Kong. Was a great weekend with the lads and we’ll definitely be hitting it again soon.

 

New Year’s Eve in Hong Kong, Fireworks and Temples

Not done a blog post in a while – the 2 weeks since we got back from the Philippines have been pretty quick but also nothing really interesting has happened. Apart from New Years Eve.

The day we got back from the airport, we had literally an afternoon to recover before we were off celebrating the New Year. At 8pm we met the group at the Harbour piers and got on our Junk Boat (massive shout to Ian once again for organising it). Cannot think of a better place to bring in the new year really – Hong Kong’s fireworks rival Sydney and London’s for expense and beauty and we would be yards away from them in the middle of the harbour (made better when I heard the crowds in Tsim Sha Tsui on the Kowloon peninsula were HUGE and couldn’t see most of them). Drinking dangerously high levels of gin and 12% Bear Beer, and in the company of great people we saw in the new year with a massive countdown…

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Don’t remember much after that…

Anyhow, getting back to work was not welcomed after more than a week in a beach paradise. Our students had exams so we were pretty under-utilised but Chatteris had prepared training for us after a few days in work, so we went to the office for a few days. I saw it as a much needed mid-term injection of TEFL training and ideas-sharing, which was made better with a ten-pin bowling trip on the Thursday.

Inbetween this, Nat and I went to the cinema twice to finally see The Hobbit and also Les Mis, which were very good films. It’s weird how British Hong Kong can be – film and popcorn for a couple of hours, I could have been in Ashton rather than Mong Kok, so it’s times like these when it’s great to get a feel of home again. We also booked our tickets to go to Taiwan for Chinese New Year, which should be great.

On Sunday we also headed to the Che Kung Temple near Sha Tin. It was fascinating to see all the worshippers doing their thang with incense sticks, the drums and chanting. And the design inside the temple was amazing, with this big bronze statue of a general in the middle:

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We also headed to the Hong Kong Heritage Museum after that, but got to say it was pretty naff. It struck me as a way for Chinese-nationalist Hong Kongers to be like ‘Remember how Chinese you are, so let’s stick a load of Chinese art, robes and Buddha statues that are loosely related to Hong Kong in a big building’. Overall, not really exciting but for $10 entry (80p) it wasn’t too bad. Kept us kids off the street anyhow.

We had Friday off work for claiming compensation leave, so me and Adrian had a great day testing out his new camera around TST and the island. We met the girls for Martinis and steak sandwiches in a place called Morton’s Steakhouse in TST, which was sweet because our hours don’t usually let us go there for the drink offers. Steph Carter’s mum was in town so we met her, headed to Erin and Sandy’s place for more drinks and then Aqua Bar in Yau Ma Tei before an early night on account of our big weekend trip. To the Vegas of the East, Macau.