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Macau & Hong Kong 2016 : Part 9 – The Venetian & Taipa

Published by on April 22, 2016

This is part of an ongoing series. To start at the beginning, click here.

After our walkabout in Coloane, we took the same bus back to Cotai. It was time to visit Taipa village. Taipa is just on the other side of the Venetian Hotel. So we took a shortcut through the Venetian, at the same time took a quick look around.

The Venetian is truly impressive. Before coming to Macau, I have heard about this mega resort / casino / hotel / 16th wonder of the world, but to see it, wow. You have to see it with your own eyes to appreciate it.

This ceiling fresco is leading to the one of the many gambling halls. Here was the only place I took a walk into the gambling hall. The hall was too big to take in in a short while, but from what I can see, most of the gamblers (Chinese mainlanders) like to gamble either baccarat or the traditional big / small.

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Another part of the resort that is often featured in ads is the shopping arcade. This two storey arcade is lit to look like the open day time sky 24 hours a day. And for a hefty sum, you can take a short gondola ride by a Chinese guy / girl dressed like an Italian.

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Anyway, after awhile, the crowd and bustle of this place can get a little too much. Exit on the other side of the Venetian (it can be a little tough to navigate this place without having to ask), and you take a overhead pedestrian crossing over the highway to Taipa.

There’s a stretch beside a park where there are travellators. Only in Macau. Travellators outdoors.

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Taipa is a slight bigger and more urban town compared to Coloane. At the fringe of the town there are newer shoplots where you can find a wide variety of pubs and eateries, but the most popular tourist street is in the centre of the old town. Here you can find the usual biscuit shops, restaurants, and the more traditional cafes.

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(workers at Koi Kei making their famous almond cookies)

We stopped by here for a tea-time snack.

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Walnut and almond muffins straight out of the oven.

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Pork chop noodles.

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After walking back to the bus stop, we took another bus all the way back to the peninsula an back to our hotel.

That night, we took a walk to MGM, located next to Wynn.

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(a fleet of Rolls Royce)

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(the entrance foyer to MGM Macau)

There are two main attractions in MGM. One is a free art gallery on the 1st floor. The other is the giant cylindrical fish tank.

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Outside, guarding the hotel facing the sea, is the iconic lion of MGM.

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Next – Lung Wah Teahouse and our last day in Macau.

Macau & Hong Kong 2016 : Part 8 – Coloane

Published by on April 17, 2016

This is part of an ongoing series. To start at the beginning, click here.

Day 4 in Macau, and we are going to Coloane and Taipa. These are two small islands south of the main peninsula. The straits between the two islands have been reclaimed and is called Cotai (Coloane + Taipa = Cotai, get it?). It is now home to a strip of luxury casinos like The Venetian, Sands, City of Dreams, Galaxy, etc.

First we took the free shuttle bus from the ferry terminal to Sands Cotai (same one we took 2 days ago, but this time to the Sands Cotai instead of Sands Macau). From Sands we stepped out into the cold to see the Venetian across the road, and it really is very impressive.

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On the other side of Sands is City of Dreams, which was no less impressive, but slightly smaller. They are currently doing some renovation works, so we didn’t go in to have a look see. Behind City of Dreams is Hard Rock Hotel, hardly visible among the mega hotels / casino.

Sands itself is pretty impressive, housing 4 world class hotels, shopping, DreamWorks Experience, etc.

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(the fountain inside Sands)

Anyway, we’re just passing through here. We took a public bus from Sands to Coloane. Both Taipa and Coloane are really small villages, quite detached from the excesses of the rest of Macau. If you walked around the town, you can circumnavigate the town in less than half and hour on foot.

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(the local post office)

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(locals having breakfast)

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(a local nursery selling bonsai)

In the densely packed town centre, the main attraction is the Chapel of St. Francis Xavier, built by the Portuguese in 1928. It is fronted by a small square and faces the straits with the peninsula across.

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(Alyssa in front of the square. Sporting all black look today)

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(one of the attractions of this chapel is the painting of Madonna and child in a very Chinese style)

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(I’m guessing this is St Francis himself)

the main reason most people visit Coloane is to buy Portuguese egg tarts from Lord Stow’s Bakery. His original shop is right in the middle of town. We had many egg tarts in Macau, including from his ex-wife and main competitor, Margaret, but Lord Stow’s is undeniably the best. Between the 4 of us, we shared 12 tarts.

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(super yummeh)

Next – We explore the Venetian and on to Taipa.

Macau & Hong Kong 2016 : Part 7 – Tim Ho Wan & Tai Cheong Bakery

Published by on April 9, 2016

This is part of an ongoing series. To start at the beginning, click here.

So after some serious shopping, we reached the end of the Sham Sui Po. It was 2.30 pm, and time for another meal at the famous Tim Ho Wan. We’ve tried the KL branch (in 1 Utama) of the Michelin-starred restaurant, but there’s nothing like eating at the original. There are a few other branches in HK, but this is where it all began.

The shop is pretty small, much like most dim sum places around here. Since it was off peak, we didn’t have to line up for a table.

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Since we had just eaten at Australian Dairy Co, we only ordered three dishes including tea.

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We had the (from left) lor bak gou (pan fried turnip cake), baked bun with BBQ pork and lor mai fan. we’ve tried the chee cheong fun stuffed with pig’s liver (one of the other heavenly dishes here) in KL before.

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After that, we walked back towards Shum Sui Po Station along one of the parallel streets (Cheung Sa Wan Street). Here, they had many shops selling toys. Very interesting to look-see, they have lots of unique items, and not crammed with generic China-made stuff like the shops here. Bought a cool Darth Vader / stormtrooper for my pal Boone.

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Along the way back, we also made a pitstop to buy another snack. See the line forming? Want to guess what is it?

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It’s egg waffles, or gai dan zhai.

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Next up, we took a ting ting tram. Anyone who’s watched HK movies would know about these iconic legacy tram system, that serves as a cheap transport for locals as well as a tourist attraction. Most of the trams are modernized, but some are outfitted to look like the old wooden trams of the olden days.

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Seating is quite limited.

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Oh look, Patrick!

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We got off the tram at Central near the escalators. We took the escalators and came down somewhere near the Midlands to find Tai Cheong Bakery. After some trouble, we found it! Fortunately it was still open at 7pm.

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The reason we came here was for their egg tarts. Different from the Portuguese variety, this is yummy in its own way.

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Directly across the bakery I saw this bookstore. They used to be in Malaysia too, many years ago.
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Went in for a quick browse. Books are slightly more expensive here due to our weak currency.

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We wanted to have dinner in a char chan teng, so the bakery folks recommended this place a few blocks away. A little trouble finding it, but it turned out to be quite a famous place that’s more than 50 years old, but recently refurbished for a modern look. And surprisingly, they seem to have a Malaysian flavour to some of the dishes in their menu like laksa and rendang. Anyway, we stuck to the HK classics.

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Then it was back to the ferry terminal to catch a ride back to Macau. At the last MTR station, we didn’t forget to buy the almond finger puffs!

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Anyway we made it just in time for the 8.30pm ferry. I actually ran out of HK dollars, short of HKD100 but the guy selling tickets accepted MOP100 instead. Phew! Then it was a rush to make the ferry!

We made and slept all the way back to Macau…

Next – Coloane.

Macau & Hong Kong 2016 : Part 6 – Day Trip to HK!

Published by on April 9, 2016

This is part of an ongoing series. To start at the beginning, click here.

On our third day, as the weather forecast predicted a rainy day in Macau but clear in HK. That was the plan, but actually it hardly rained on the days it was predicted to do so. Which worked out very well for us.

Back in 2007, we had come to HK for a family holiday, and had done all the popular tourists spots, like Aberdeen, Repulse Bay, Ocean Park, the Peak, etc. We even spent a night in Disneyland. So basically, our agenda for today was very simple:

1. Eat brunch at Australian Dairy Co.;
2. Eat dim sum at the Michelin-starred Tim Ho Wan;
3. Buy egg tarts at the famous Tai Cheong Bakery;
If We can still eat some more, wife wanted to eat gai dan zhai (egg waffle);
4. Ride the ting ting tram;
5. My wife and kids want to shop for clothes in Sham Shui Po.

Lots of eating, but hey, its Hong Kong for goodness sake.

Getting to HK from Macau (or the other way) is very simple. Go to the Ferry Terminal (use underpass from buses) and buy tickets at the counter. This ferry terminal is also called ‘Outer Harbour’, there’s a newer but smaller ‘Inner Harbour’ for ferries to mainland China. To avoid any further confusion, there is also a third ferry terminal in Taipa.

The Ferry Terminal is very modern and spacious building with many counters for your convenience. The fastest boat across is TurboJet, which goes to 3 destinations in HK (Tuen Mun, Shuen Wan, and Kowloon) so make sure you know your destination. We planned to take the Kowloon, but the next ferry was in an hour’s time, so we changed our plan and took a ferry to Sheung Wan which was leaving in 15 minutes.

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(Our tix)

TurboJet takes just under an hour, and its really comfortable, but the ferry is a bit old. They have slightly unreliable free wifi on board. Due to choppy waters, the ride can be a bit uncomfortable for those with seasickness (well, there’s always the helicopter option).

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(Our ferry)

Sheung Wan is on the island, whereas we wanted to go to Kowloon, but its only a few MTR stations away. Once disembarking the ferry, there’s a quick immigration check. Then its on to beautiful Hong Kong! The bustling ferry terminal and bust MTR station is so much different from the laid-back counterpart in Macau.

First thing in the terminal, we saw Maxim’s Cakes! We love their almomd finger puffs, and they have branches in every MTR station. Anyway, we’ll buy them on the way back.

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(Here we are waiting for the subway at Sheung Wan)

Out at Jordan Station.

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As per the our list, first stop is Australian Dairy Co. This is actually very near the hotel we stayed in during our last trip here. But back in 2007, not sure why we never heard of this eatery, even though its kind of a big deal. Maybe back in 2007, internet and blogging wasn’t as comprehensive as it is now. But no matter, we here now!

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In addition to good food, this joint is famous for 2 things – long lines to get in, and rude waiters. Well, they’re not actually rude, just a little sarcastic and impatient, just like you see in those old HK TVB serials.

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Even though we reached just before noon, we were fortunate that the line wasn’t long, and it moved quite fast. The place is really small and cramped with tiny tables, so if you’re alone or with a small party, expect to share tables with other people.

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In about 10 minutes, we were in! And we got a booth seat! Again, even with 3 of us able to read Chinese, we were struggling with the menu. After some (snarky) recommendations from the waiter, we went with the set lunch. It comes with macaroni soup, ham & eggs with toast, and coffee or tea. Since we have a full day of eating ahead, the four of us ordered only 3 sets (you can guess what our waiter commented).

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We also ordered milk pudding.

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(A coffee and 2 nai cha or milk tea)

After brunch we are back out on the streets. Even though its lunch hour, somehow today HK isn’t crowded. We chose a good day to come, weather is crisp, clear and not too cold.

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Next up is an MTR ride to Sham Sui Po. This place is well known for cheap clothes, electronics and toys. We spent quite awhile shopping for clothes, HKD 220 for 7 tops and dresses, very worthwhile!

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Oh look! The iconic double decker buses have mostly been replaced with modern ones.

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Next up – Tim Ho Wan & Tai Cheong Bakery.

Macau & Hong Kong 2016 : Part 5 – Senado Square and Ruins of St. Paul

Published by on April 6, 2016

This is part of an ongoing series. To start at the beginning, click here.

After dinner, our very long day was not over yet. Since Restaurante Escada is very near Senado Square, we took walk there even though we had earlier planned to come on a later day. But as we kept saying, throughout the trip, “everywhere is near in Macau”.

Most people come to Senado Square and the ruins of St. Paul in the day time for the photo ops, but coming here during the night has some benefits. For one, it isn’t crowded. During the summer you can’t even squeeze through the throngs. Secondly, the lighting is quite beautiful.

Senado Square is basically a … ummm, square. Not much else, besides the fountain and shops around it.

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(Let me guess… Holy house of ummm, er, Mercy?)

The square is covered with this porcelain like tiles you see all over the place. Along the sidewalks they make patterns / motifs like fish or boats.

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On the last stretch of walkway before reacing St. Paul, there’s a narrow strip packed with shops selling local confectionery, beef jerky and souvenirs. Everyone comes here at least once if you are in Macau. On the way back we bought some Portuguese egg tarts for tomorrow’s breakfast.

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At the end of the street is none other than the ruins itself. judging from the facade, the original church must have been huge during its heyday.

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The old church is also on a hill site, affording a good view of the city. Can see the Grand Lisboa clearly.

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While we were there, they were shooting something some documentary or promotional feature, something about commemorating Macau’s return to China rule.

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Time to go back. On the way we stopped by Wynn to catch the music fountain again.

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This was the egg tart we bought. Doesn’t it just looks yummy?

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So ends our first full day in Macau. No doubt we had a good sleep that night.

Next – Hong Kong, baby!

Macau & Hong Kong 2016 : Part 4 – Fine Dining at Escada

Published by on April 4, 2016

This is part of an ongoing series. To start at the beginning, click here.

After a long first day out and about in Macau, we went back to the hotel in the afternoon for a rest. In the early evening, we went out again for dinner. For tonight’s dinner, we planned to eat at Escada, a fine dining restaurant service authentic Macanese-Portuguese cuisine.

It was drizzling very lightly, but light enough for us to walk all the way from our hotel. On the way we stopped by to buy some Portuguese egg tarts from Margaret’s Cafe e Nata, but by the time we found the well hidden shop, it was already closed. Apparently it closes at 6 pm and we just missed it by about half an hour. There are two famous Portuguese egg tart shops in Macau – Lord Stowe’s in Coloane and this shop run by his ex-wife, Margaret. And also according to news reports, Margaret sold the recipe to KFC for a multi-million dollar deal. But no worries, we’ll be passing by here very often, and just a few doors down is another Macau favourite, Tai Lei Lok Kei. They’re famous for the pork chop bun.

This is the shop, they have many branches all over Macau.

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And THIS, my friends, is the pork chop bun. A slab of pork chop (either on the bone or not), marinated in spices and then grilled, then served on lightly toasted buns. During our stay in Macau, we probably had the buns 6 or 7 times, with prices ranging from MOP 18 to MOP 37 (RM 9 to RM 18). But this was the biggest, best and most expensive. We ended up buying two of these.

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After the rather heavy pre-dinner snack, we continued on walking on to Escada.

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It was quite a walk to findour dinner place. Here we are Resting awhile at Cathedral Square next to Igreja da Se. The square is quite nice, although walled in by apartments on two sides.

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Finally, we reached Restaurante Escada. It occupies a very old and small shoplot on a wide pedestrian walkway between two main roads.

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Inside, it is very rustic with old world charm, with timber paneeling and yellow lights.

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There were two famous dishes in Escada, this is the baked duck rice.

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This was the African chicken.

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Some beef dish i cant’t remember the name. We didn’t expect the portions to be big, so we actually ordered 3 and it was quite a lot for all four of us.

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Our dinner turned out to be wonderful and a slight change to all the other meals we had in Macau and HK. The atmosphere is really great, I would highly recommend anyone to try out this place for the authentic cusine if you can. Its pricey though, for the four of us the bill came out to be MOP 642 (RM 320).

Next – Night stroll to Senado Square and Ruins of St. Paul.

Macau & Hong Kong 2016 : Part 3 – Lai Kei Sorvetes & Guia Lighthouse

Published by on April 4, 2016

This is part of an ongoing series. To start at the beginning, click here.

After lunch of noodles and rice, we walked on further up the road. The next stop on the agenda was Guia Fortress, but before that was a visit to a famous dessert shop in Macau.

Lai Kei is a ice cream parlour located in a old row of shoplots on a very narrow main road.

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If you walk along the road, its hard not to miss it, as the signs are prominent in English, Chinese and Portuguese.

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The menu is chockful with different types of old style ice creams.

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I think in the 60’s ice cream parlours like these were popular even in Malaysia, there even one still surviving in Bentong. But the ice cream here is really good.

This is their most popular product, ice cream sandwich in a box. Very nice.

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This is how it looks like inside.

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Hannah had the banana split. When I was a kid I used to eat banana split at the McDota. Back then my small town didn’t didnt have KFC or McDonald’s yet, so McDota was the coolest joint in town. And Chicken Delight, too, if I may add.

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After refreshing desserts (weather was about 15 degrees), we continued up to Guia.

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The walk up Guia is not very steep but the climb actually starts from the shops below. There is a bus you can take that drops you near the top, next to hotel Guia.

The whole Guia Hill is a medium sized park that, in addition to the historical complex, also has jogging trails, exercise stations, and other recreational facilities. At 3pm in the afternoon there were lots of people of all ages running around the hill.

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But for tourists like us the attraction is the Guia Fort, being the highest point here affords a wondrous view of the whole city.

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At the very top is the Guia Fort, where there is a famous lighthouse and chapel. This site has been featured in many movies, most recently in the romance anthology Guia in Love. Beside the chapel there is also a small visitor information centre with a very cute scale model of the fort, plus excellent free wifi. The centre also has a very interesting pictorial history of the fort and surrounding areas.

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Phptography is not allowed in the chapel, so i couldn’t take a photo of the chapel. I could only sneak a pic of the fresco.

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Much like St. Paul’s Hill, you can tell how much land was reclaimed in recent years by looking at the cannon and shoreline.

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Newly-weds taking pics in front of the chapel. It was so cold and windy the bride had to slip on a jacket in between each shot.

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I can see some similarities between this fort and St. Paul’s in Malacca, but of course this one is about 200 years later and much better preserved. But of course, the view alone is worth the walk and climb here.

Next – Fine Dining at Escada.

Macau & Hong Kong 2016 : Part 2 – Fisherman’s Wharf

Published by on April 3, 2016

This is part of an ongoing series. To start at the beginning, click here.

Day 2 is our first full day in Macau, so we were up bright and early. So after our quick brekkie of coffee and buns, we were outdoors again. It was a crisp and cold morning. Peak hour traffic before 9am is quite sparse and relaxed – there hardly is any traffic jam.

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First item on our itinerary was the Fisherman’s Wharf. In order to get there, we took a free shuttle from Star World to the Ferry Terminal, and there we boarded another free shuttle to Sands Macau. There are two Sands Casino here, one on the peninsula (called Sands Macau) and the newer one in Cotai near the Venetian. Their shuttle bus loops the 3 stops so make sure you get down on the right hotel cos they’re very far apart.

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(this is their shuttle bus showing the three stops)

At the Ferry Terminal, you can find free shuttle buses to every major casino, although some have a 21 year age restriction as they drop directly to the casino.

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(this particular booth is for Galaxy)

Sands is actually very near, bus ride hardly took 5 minutes (gives you the idea how big the city centre is).

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(Another casino across the road from Sands)

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(Finally we reached Sands)

We briefly walk through Sands to use their restroom, but there isn’t much to see inside compared to Wynn or The Venetian. There is a huge chandelier, though. There were a few shops selling cookies, gold and watches, but the main attractions were the gambling halls.

Fisherman’s Wharf is supposed to be a seaside dining and open air shopping plaza, but i guess we were there too early in the morning to see anything. Also, part of it was closed for renovations.

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But the main attraction was this replica of the Coliseum in Rome. I wonder what Italian tourists think of it.

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Everything around that area was decorated with a faux Greco-Roman theme. Including the shopping plaza. There were some interesting shops inside, but nothing worth buying.

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The other end of the Wharf had al fresco dining restaurants, where it ended with a casino and hotel facing the sea. Since it was cold and we were looking to eat so early, we took a free shuttle back to Star World Hotel.

From there were wanted to walk to Guia Fortress, with lunch en route.

We didn’t have any lunch place in mind, so we tried this tiny char chan teng in a busy office district.

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It was really small, with space for only 5 tables but the owners were really friendly. Half guessing with our limited reading skills, we managed to order our lunch.

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(stewed pork rice)

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(Pork chop noodles).

Hannah had the breakfast set with toast, ham and eggs. The noodles were for the two parents. Lunch was really refreshing since we hadn’t had much to eat since morning. If i remember correctly, it cam up to just under RM 100. Food here is very similar to but slightly more costly than HK.

Next – walking all the way up Guia Lighthouse.

Macau & Hong Kong 2016 : Part 1 – Arrival

Published by on March 27, 2016

This is part of an ongoing series. To start at the beginning, click here.

So off we go on our itinerary! We landed in Macau International Airport just before 7pm. Checking out of immigration was pretty quick, probably one of the fastest i have gone through in my years of travel. It was drizzling lightly outside, but we soon realized over the next few days that spring rain in Macau falls really, really light – tiny tiny droplets that seem to float light snowflakes. So even if its drizzling, its still comfortable to walk outdoors. Its nothing compared to the torrential rains here in Malaysia.

Anyway, once out of the airport, turn right, past some dodgy looking construction hoardings (airport is going through some extensive upgrading works) and you’ll come to open air bus station. We found the bus to Wynn Casino just about to leave. Our hotel is walking distance from Wynn, so its we’re taking the free shuttle service. If you can’t find the free shuttle bus, take a town bus to the ferry terminal, the bus station there is bigger and have more choices of free hotel shuttles and town buses.

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(This is our free hotel shuttle)

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(it was only us and this couple from mainland China)

Since we were out of the airport past 7pm, it was dark already and our first impression of Macau is all the neon-lit casinos and hotels.

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From the Wynn Hotel & Casino, we took some directions (ironically, from the lady working for Wynn). Our hotel was Beverly Plaza (we booked two adjoining rooms) which cost us RM414 per room per night. Room is big and spacious, especially compared to HK standards. It comes with all the standards like coffee making facilities, but no swimming pool or gym.

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Once we checked in dumped our luggage, we went out looking for food. As we mentioned in the previous post, cheap food is tough to find after 7pm. most eateries are closed, except for a few expensive restaurants. But fortunately for us, just next to our hotel is a 24 hour Taiwanese restaurant. From the pic below you can see there’s also a Shanghainese restaurant next door, but we didn’t try it.

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This Taiwanese place is apparently very popular with locals – even went we passed by late at night, its packed with customers.

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(I had the pork chop noodles. Came with generous serving of minced meat or yuk sui)

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(soya milk with leong fun and yau char guai. And my milk tea. Must have milk tea at every meal in Macau / HK)

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(My daughter’s zhar choy pork rice)

After dinner we took a walk down the waterfront behind MGM and Wynn Hotel. It’s a nice cooling (or cold, depending on you) walk to take in all the sights and lights.

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(That’s the bridge to the airport)

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(The bank of China in the middle and the iconic Grand Lisboa on the right. Don’t know the left one).

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(hotels and casinos light up the sky)

For our first half day, we didn’t arrange any itinerary. But we caught the fountain show at Wynn performance lake (throughout our stay we caught it 4 times). It happens every 15 minutes at night and the songs are different each time.

We also watched the Tree of Prosperity light show at Wynn casino. If you are in Macau, do not miss this show. its free but it is AWESOME. This minute show happens every half an hour at the entrance to the casino. Pictures do not do justice to the show.

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That was the end of our first day. Next – Fisherman’s Wharf.

Macau & Hong Kong 2016

Published by on March 26, 2016

Back in 2007, my kids were just out of the toddler ages, and we were beginning to plan for overseas family holidays. We started in 2006 (when my younger kid was just 3) to Singapore, it was manageable. So in 2007 we decided to go for Hong Kong, with the then newly opened Disneyland one of attractions to visit. But more than that, Hong Kong was a culmination of years and years of watching TVB serials on TV and video. Well, far more for my wife than for me, but when I was small my mom used to watch on the telly, and also borrow the videos every week religiously from the video rental shops.

So that trip, we did all the tourist spots – the Peak, Aberdeen, Disneyland, Ocean Park, Tsim Sha Tsui, Repulse Bay, etc. All those places we had only seen on telly or on those old Chow Yuen Fatt movies. After that trip, we told ourselves, oh lets do Macau next. Macau, although slightly different than Hong Kong, is very much an extension of Hong Kong but with different attractions of its own.

That was in 2007.

Fast forward 9 years later, we still hadn’t gone to Macau. In the interim, we went lots of other places, but somehow Macau never seemed on the cards or had the right timing. But finally, last year I booked ourselves 6 days in Macau for March.

And last week, we finally packed our bags and flew to Macau for another short family holidays. We had six days, but actually had 4 full days only due to our flights. But thanks to AirAsia, we had another day of holiday free of charge (and with insurance money to cover most of our trip! But more on that later).

So after spending almost 7 days in Macau (including a day trip to Hong Kong), here are some quick tips and useful stuff we learnt:

1. Macau is really small. You can see the whole of it in 2 packed days. That’s why most people do Macau as part of a Hong Kong itinerary, or vice versa (as we did). Some people do day trips to Zhuhai (a short bus ride away) or Shenzhen (across the border from HK).

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2. You’d think that Macau is basically the few big glitzy casinos, but that where you’re wrong. There are many, many casinos – not just the famous ones. There are more than 30 casinos in total, most of them having been around for decades. There are big casinos, small casinos, old-timey Chinatown casinos, you name it. In the city centre of the peninsula, you can’t walk two streets without seeing a casino with their neon lights.

3. Macau is famous for their food like Pork chop bun and Portuguese egg tarts. But when it comes to dining, its a little tough. Most eateries and cafes close around 7pm, except a few expensive dine in restaurants. if you are on a budget and its late, it tough to find food even in the city centre.

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4. I’m sure you’ve heard this, but Macau has free public transport. Well, its not really public transport, its actually the free shuttle bus provide by the major hotels to and from key locations, like the airport, ferry terminal (which doubles as the bus station) and border gate to Zhuhai. Public buses also run the streets, and its cheap and efficient – costs MOP3.20 (within the island / peninsula) and MOP4.20 (if you cross to and from the islands) flat rate and no change is given.

5. There are lots of taxis across the island. Just walk to the nearest major hotel and they’re lining up. But as in HK, they’re expensive. I took a taxi from city centre to the airport and it cost me almost RM70.

6. Speaking of money, their currency is the Macau Pataca (MOP). I couldn’t find any money changer who sold it here in KL even in 1 Utama, due to its unpopularity. You can change RM to MOP in Macau Airport, but the rates are poor. So I changed HK dollars and brought it there, and changed some to MOP at the airport. Across Macau, HKD and China Renminbi is readily acceptable at 1:1 rate. HKD is actually more valuable at 1:1.03, so if you use HKD as Macau currency, you are losing 3% each time. MOP isn’t accepted in HK, so make sure you finish your MOP before going back to HK. However, when I was at the HK ferry terminal coming back to Macau, they actually did accept MOP because I had run out of HKD.

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7. Phone signal – I didn’t get any sim package since some hotels give free wifi (most without registration). Across the island at popular tourist spots there is also free wifi provided by a company called CTM.

8. Macau in March was cold! I had expected it to be around 16 degrees (as Internet weather sites predicted) but it was bitterly cold! Some days it went down to 11 degrees in the mornings.

That’s all I can think of now. And I think we’re ready to go off on our itinerary! The following are the posts in the series:

Macau & Hong Kong 2016 : Part 1 – Arrival
Macau & Hong Kong 2016 : Part 2 – Fisherman’s Wharf
Macau & Hong Kong 2016 : Part 3 – Lai Kei Sorvetes & Guia Lighthouse
Macau & Hong Kong 2016 : Part 4 – Fine Dining at Escada
Macau & Hong Kong 2016 : Part 5 – Senado Square and Ruins of St. Paul
Macau & Hong Kong 2016 : Part 6 – Day Trip to HK!
Macau & Hong Kong 2016 : Part 7 – Tim Ho Wan & Tai Cheong Bakery
Macau & Hong Kong 2016 : Part 8 – Coloane
Macau & Hong Kong 2016 : Part 9 – The Venetian & TaipaMacau & Hong Kong 2016 : Part 10 – Lung Wah Teahouse
Macau & Hong Kong 2016 : Part 11 – An Extra Day in Macau

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