Monday, October 21, 2013

Hong Kong and Macau Revisited Part 3

walking towards the Peak Tram from our hotel, we passed by this church which looked so out of place amongst the towering buildings.

last time i took the Peak Tram, it took more than an hour to queue. and here i thought i would never submit myself to this torture again. but i was mistaken.

because the experience is worth it. and i would never get tired of this view.

last time i went for this view, it was in the evening. it's less dramatic during the day, i guess. but also, less crowded.

view of the ancient tram heading towards The Peak.

we headed to Causeway Bay for lunch and shopping afterwards.


i was a bit disappointed though. the items in the area are not really so much to my liking.

 we decided to take a bit of walk heading towards the direction of our hotel and passed by this market. i find it quite weird to have a market like this  open at noon.

since it was our last evening, we tried to make the most of our HK trip by club-hopping and eating out at Lan Kwai Fong.

the famous Fringe Club with a rooftop bar was under renovation. so we settled for a beer in this bar called Hong Kong Brew House which offered free peanuts and had San Miguel Beer under the Boring Beer category in its menu.

for dinner, we found this French-American restaurant somewhere along Hollywood Road. i had some seafood pasta and it was quite good. but a bit expensive.

back to Lan Kwai Fong for some mojito.

mood and mojito

we would've visited more bars or clubs but the peanuts from the first bar was taking its toll halfway through my first and last mojito, so we had to reluctantly go back to the hotel for an early night. i knew from the start beer + peanuts do not really mix well.

oh well... that concludes our HK trip. more travels next time.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Hong Kong and Macau Revisited Part Two (Macau Day Tour)

i remember when i have just arrived in Singapore back in 2007, the first country i visited outside of Singapore was Macau. but i had to wait until February of 2008 to do this. i considered it my sneak preview to Europe since i haven't been anywhere in Europe at the time.

i went to Macau with my friend, Jen because she wanted to jump off the Macau Tower. she was convincing me to do it with her then but i told her i was saving my money for shopping in Hong Kong. that was just an excuse because i was a bit scared to do it then. and still scared to do it up to now. jumping off buildings is not really my thing.

i wouldn't want to hang off the side of tall towers either... jumping off city towers is just not my style

my friend Jen, dangling like a key chain

now, i just got back in Singapore again (having lived in Toulouse, France for a couple of years), and this opportunity to revisit Macau just popped up during me and hubby's HK trip.

upon arriving in Macau, we headed off to the Venetian by taking the free service bus from the ferry port. we wouldn't have gone there had we known how far away it is from everything else. we just made a few bets at the roulette and off we went to the touristy area for lunch.

some old dilapidated buildings at the street where the Portuguese restaurant Alfonso III is located

 we had quite a bit of trouble with the cab driver going to Alfonso III restaurant. it was quite weird that he didn't understand the map and the address even when it was written in Chinese and located right next to the tourist spots. it was a bit frustrating. we just got off at an area close to the restaurant instead. so we had to take a bit of a walk getting there.

 outside, Alfonso III didn't look so appealing. and when we got inside it was quite dusty and small. but the owner is Portuguese and there were ONLY Portuguese people eating there, except for the two of us. the Filipina waitress, who i guess, is the owner's wife was grumpy and a bit nasty. LOL. she reminded me so much of the grumpy Italian waitresses when hubby and i were in Rome.

my lunch -- grilled cod with garlic, olives and olive oil overload, his lunch --- pork livers, potatoes and egg

i had some fish and hubby had the pork livers. he likes these types of food. we had some leche flan (although, they call it pudding, not leche flan) for dessert and then hubby had espresso. it made us feel like we were in Europe again.

then we were off to the usual touristy sites:

 last time i was in Macau, i wanted to see the Guia Lighthouse. but it was quite far away from everything else. and we ran out of time to see it. this time around, the taxi cabs were crazy, and scant. the ones that pass us by didn't want to take passengers (or maybe, just us, being foreigners).

cooling off in the shadows after a long climb to this fort

Macau makes him sleepy

Macau cab drivers are the nastiest things about Macau. they don't speak so much English and they are impatient to try to communicate with foreigners. they don't have a subway system and their buses get stuck in heavy traffic jams. so you are stuck trying to get a cab, which is impossible.

model-modelan! hahaha

view of the ruins from the fort


 after almost an hour of trying to get a cab to Guia Fort, we finally gave up and just headed off to the Grand Lisboa, the biggest and grandest casino in Macau for some refreshments and to try our luck with the roulette again. we took some photos outside and then headed back to the ferry going back to Hong Kong.

this was my merienda and dinner at the Grand Lisboa... i super like the refreshing lemon water with honey.

last sighting of the Grand Lisboa

i really enjoyed Macau the first time i was there because i mostly took the bus during that time. this time around, the taxi cabs annoyed me too much. and the invasion of the Chinese tourists made the small country much too much annoyingly crowded. i didn't like it so much this second time. still, i had a nice time with all the photo-ops with hubby.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Hong Kong and Macau Revisited Part One (Jose Rizal sites and Dinner with friends)

Since hubby was on a short business trip to Hong Kong, we took the opportunity to take a mini-break together and visit some interesting sites both in HK and in Macau.

Our room at Lan Kwai Fong hotel, it was quite old and maybe a bit dusty but it was very central
and the staff were nice and spoke good English.
this is our view from the hotel
It was hubby's first time to visit both countries, while this is already the second time for me. Our hotel was very central, located in-between Sheung Wan and Central MTR stations, and within walking distance to the Ferry Port.

On our first day, hubby was off to work doing a presentation to the HK branch of his company while I did the Jose Rizal tour of Hong Kong. From our hotel, which is close to Hollywood Road and Lan Kwai Fong, I had to take the escalator at Shelley Road to arrive at Rednaxela Terrace.

The escalator leading to Rednaxela Terrace, where Jose Rizal lived with his family while in Hong Kong.

this is the longest series of escalators in the world

 It was a good thing our hotel was situated within walking distance to all the Jose Rizal sites.