A Travellerspoint blog

Is there anything apart from casinos and 7-11 in Macau?

A very quick careless look-around in Macau before heading over to Hong Kong again....albeit, WITHOUT the kids this time!

semi-overcast 12 °C

macau1.jpgAs mentioned earlier, before I left for Macau-HK, my kids were suffering from a major flue and cough virus thing. On the day I left, their temperatures were still heaving up and down the scale. When the plane landed in Macau, there were two things that I felt that were very intense. One, the cold. Two, a headache. The temperature was somewhere between -1000 to –1,000,000! I don’t know…that’s what it felt like because my sinus was acting up, my nose was blocked and there was a massive fridge lodged inside my Medula Oblongata (part of the brain, in case you’re curious).

I had a massive and old luggage which was inherited from my in-laws. It was a sturdy thing but it was massive as well. I mean GIGANTIC. It wouldn’t fit into just any normal car booth, OK and when every taxi I had to fit the luggage into went like, “Give me the giant one first!” or “Wah….who’s one is that?” It’s big for a very good reason….it’s pretty damn tough. But it takes Air Asia staff to put a dent into it and topple everything inside of it. By the time I reach Macau airport, and I had to look into the luggage for my antibiotics and meds, I couldn’t find it….everything was upside down! Can sue or not?

There’s really nothing and I mean NOTHING to do in Macau at night unless you’re into gambling or just cam whoring. I suspect that this is the kind of place my father would love….casino everywhere. According to one taxi driver, the kids in Macau don’t even have to dream very far. All they have to dream about is becoming a croupier in a casino! He told us that a croupier can earn up to HKD$16,000 a month and went like WAHLAU-eh!! Sure or not???? Like dat I train my sons to be croupier from now lah. Maybe in twenty over years time, they will make it in Macau. Not too bad what! We had dinner in an OK restaurant with a name I cannot remember then walked around a bit.

Shops selling dried stuff and....more dried stuff

Shops? Nothing. Gold watches. Money changers. Gold watches. Money changers. 7-11s. so we walked and walked and walked. Slept at about 1-something lor….nothing to do. in the morning, we took a cab to visit the one and only historical (I think) place in Macau which is the ruins of St. Louis or St. Paul….or St. Something. Dry and boring. But as we walked down the sloping streets, we haggled and bought some dried stuff for home and the old folks back home. Kinda interesting since this isn’t exactly up my forte, if you know what I mean! All kinds of seafood all wrinkled up and sun-dried. I remember seeing stuff like that in my in-laws’ home and I guess this would make the perfect souvenir for them. Who knew the bloody dried stuff would cost so much. Thankfully, we bought in bulk and the owner gave us a discount.

Conclusion, apart from the casinos and the number of 7-11s in Macau, it’s not very different from…..say, Penang Island in Malaysia. Small roads, nice people, food, seaside, a little bit of shopping, old and historical buildings. Yup. That’s all I saw of Macau. But after lunch, we were going to hop on the ferry to cross the divide to Hong Kong. First time….so, it was pretty interesting for me.

macau3.jpgTo prove that we have been to Macau, we (me and my sister, Karen) HAD to take a picture in front of a casino even though we didn't even go in!

Interesting because I had a luggage the size of a truck and there are no lifts at the terminal. Interesting because there are no gentlemen in Macau or in Hong Kong even when they see a damsel in distress struggling with a huge luggage (maybe I am not pretty enough, that’s why!). Interesting because I found out a fact later on that chilled my blood.

macau4.jpg7 of us went. One using the camera....which is Cynthia. From left under....Ann, Ivy, Karen, me, Sharon, Vivienne.

Posted by Marsha M 23:16 Archived in Macau Tagged women Comments (0)

Marsha in Hong Kong: Day 1

What an eye-opening day today as we arrived in Misty Hong Kong

overcast 11 °C

Wow, can’t believe 5 days went by just like that – how come work days seem so long wan? Sigh….

The trip in Hong Kong was splendid! Tiring, mind-zapping, leg-breaking but smashing! There’s nothing quite like taking yourself out of your normal ordinary life and into another place where their culture is different from yours. Your senses perk up because you’re picking up all these signals that they’re sending. In short, although Hong Kong people are Asian, like us and Chinese, like some of us, the culture is different and that was the eye-opener…for me, anyway.

Day 1[u]

Flew with: Cathay Pacific
Hotel: Marco Polo Hong Kong Hotel (Kowloon)

Flight started early around 10am and reached Hong Kong International Airport almost four. Spring time in Hong Kong is cold and a little misty and I think the pilot needed a little bit of help landing. Flew with Cathay Pacific (EXPENSIVE!!!!) and each of us had a TV screen in front of us. We can watch TV or watch the TV underneath the airplane – can watch take off, landscape and also landing. During landing, I felt the plane descend rapidly but saw nothing but clouds. Within 5 seconds of seeing the lights along the runway, the plane landed! So, you can imagine what the pilot can see lor…apart from the radar. The whole airport was misty white – not totally covered in smog or anything, just very….hazy without the haze. ???

We waited for ages in the airport for a bus to take us to Marco Polo and the kids wanted to die…they were literally sprawled across the airport floor and we didn’t even bother to stop them. What else can we ask them to do?

Misty condition in Hong Kong airport

In the bus, for the first time, I witnessed what Hong Kong skyline is like. Tall buildings….one after another….sea….BUILDING BUILDINGS BUILDINGS. Apart from the highways, all the streets were tiny and the vehicles were huge (double-decker buses are popular modes of transportation).

Tall buildings in HongKong…one after another. Packed like sardines.

Marco Polo Hong Kong hotel is located right smack in the city of Kowloon….very near the backbone of Kowloon called Tsim Tsa Tshui and Nathan Road (popular travel destinations). In fact, I heard more Korean and Japanese than Cantonese in the streets! Strange. But I like the place – during the weekend (Sat and Sun), the place was buzzing with shoppers from other countries….tourists like me. Marco Polo Hong Kong Hotel is also adjacent to Hong Kong’s largest shopping mall, Harbor City (nothing you should buy there unless you’re into Gucci, LV, Emporio Armani….etc) and also Star Ferry where all the ferries stop and drop passengers. Sounds simple? You’ll just have to walk out of the back door of the hotel and come face to face with a thousand-over-ton ship to feel the magnitude of this experience! I just stood there and gapped at the super sized ship that was docking right under my nose!

I am standing near the rear entrance of Marco Polo Hong Kong Hotel. And this ship is just…..there.

Like typical lost tourists, me and my in-laws headed out onto the streets of Tsim Tsa Tsui and Nathan Road looking for some place to find (hopefully good) food. As luck would have it, we ended up paying HKD609 (RM300+) for lousy dinner in a place that looks like the pantry of a restaurant! Sheer torture! The wan-tan-mee was nothing but a heap of dry noodles topped with salty concoction that will make even my stomach churn in disdain (I can take salty food)! Good news is…the kids didn’t seem to notice. Furthermore, the waitress was totally awful. She scared off a Korean couple who tried to order char-siew-farn. The Korean, asked in her broken Cantonese how much a plate of char-siew-farn costs, the waitress (with bored expression) said that it was HKD28 (RM14+). The Korean wanted to know where it was on the menu and the waitress said this “Here….char siew. Here….farn. Together, char-siew-farn. $28, ok?” After discussing it with her Korean man-friend, she said, “Mm hou yee see” and left! The waitress slammed the plates around and cleared the table. How terrible!

Guys, we’re talking about Jalan Alor material with the price of Hilton Hotel pricing here. Sigh….blind tourists that we are.

Anyway, made it back to the hotel ON FOOT (our first expedition of this kind) back to the hotel and then to the Arena of Stars to watch the Symphony of Lights. I’ve heard a lot about this event and they say they carry out it every night unless the weather is bad. Although on that night, the weather was misty, windy and cold, the Symphony of Lights was carried out THANKFULLY. The Symphony of Lights is unique to Hong Kong – something that you can’t find anywhere else (something like the pyramids to Egypt). During this nightly performance, sponsoring buildings will dance to music with their lights and pyrotechnic effects for about 10-15 minutes. We braved the chilly cold weather to watch this and I have to say that it’s very unique. It wasn’t awesome as I wanted it to be, but what can a few buildings do? Dance? It was a unique experience and special. They made a lot of effort to do this – and it was terribly memorable for me.

And here’s a tip that my sister passed to me – keep the kettle boiling! This is what I did cause a bottle of Evian in the hotel room costs HKD68 (RM34)!!!! And it’s ON PROMOTION, friends!!!! I don’t want to know how much it costs when NOT on promotion. Water, folks! Damn. Anyway, I was safe since I boiled enough water to feed a small Somalian kampong. I was forewarned mah. Outside, in Hong Kong’s 7-11, not so bad. A large bottle of coke costs about RM5 while a bottle of water costs RM10+. Go figure why water is more expensive than Coca-Cola. Beats me as well.

Hong Kong folks are always rushing somewhere. In Tsim Tsa Tsui, there are more foreigners than locals

Hong Kong folks are generally quite....erm.....busy with their lives and that is their culture. That’s what I thought on the first day. They don’t look you in the eye, don’t smile at you, pretend you’re not there (even service staff) and walks around busily with their earphones stuck in their ears all the time. This is a little strange to me because in Malaysia, we fall all over ourselves when we see foreigners. Apparently, Honkies don't take the same stance. Ah well....I'll adjust.

Overall, Day 1 was enjoyable, fun but quite tiring. Toodles...

Posted by Marsha M 13:38 Archived in Hong Kong Tagged family_travel Comments (0)

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