Hong Kong & Macao
It was my first time to go to Hong Kong and my trip was really due coz my whole family has been there on many occasions since I was small..
I knew the scenery very well from all the books and postcards that my dad used to bring home but I did not expect all those dense tones of steel and concrete packed so close together creating in some bizzare way such a beautiful eye sight.
I was impressed! I took a ferry from Kowloon to see the city line in sunset and then climbed to Victoria Peak to see the city from the top – it was so beautiful! The wind was crazy there too – have no idea how Hong Kong celebrities live in such heights or even drive a car there. We took the tram that dragged us up at a 40 C angle, it was pretty scary.
Since Hong Kong’s such a small country, they only way to expand for them is to either go mainland China or dry up some part of lagune and create a land out of sand and stones around Central area which is exactly what they do right now. We witnessed massive land creating construction right in front of Ferry terminal.
Hong Kong has remained some of its British heritage in terms of architecture and lifestyle.
They still call first floor – a ground floor, Watson’s and H&Ms are everywhere, double deck buses and trams are everywhere and street names make you feel like you’re in some British town!
We also tried as many restaurants recommended by travel guide as we could including famous Hong Kong noodles with shrimps, Mexican, Portuguese, Greek and some other fusion restaurants.
On Second day we went shopping looking like very stereotypical foreigners with mobiles phones in their hands calculating price difference. Some prices were good especially British import but the rest of the stuff was cheaper on the exact amount of VAT which is still better than shopping in Tokyo. I did some shopping in Vivienne Westwood and Marc Jacobs but we couldn’t find any home decoration shops or outlets that Hong Kong is so famous for…It’s hard to travel unprepared especially to the places that are far from the midtown, less English speaking crowd and very disorienting signs that won’t help you find the place you’re looking for even if you understand the meaning of some characters..
On second day we also visited Hong Kong expo – a huge and legendary expo center that my dad used to go to every year. The current electronics exhibition was the reason for my brother to come and I just tagged along even introducing myself as a buyer. hehe ^-^
The money in Hong Kong are issued by different banks with different looks , which is pretty unique I think. Some of the banknotes didn’t even look like money to me..^-^
Our hotel was located on the corner on Knutsford terrace – famous for its many restaurants and open cafes. When I first heard of it I imagined a French style street with many white tables and food choices but Asia is Asia – we couldn’t even walk there without being dragged for some drinks by loud Chinese waiters…Don’t they ever get it ? Im more scared to enter when they scream at me and flash menu to my face…Anyway on our last day when it was pouring rain and we walked all day in wet shoes we went there for some drinks and even with some consideration which place was better we ended up in some foreigners’ trap pub with outdated techno remixes and 51 shots that you couldn’t fire up…I mean we had a great time because who wouldn’t when my brother is in town but Knutsford terrace is a really overstated place!
On our fourth day we went to Macao – former Portugese collony. The arcitecture was amazing – my favourite collonial style – white stone buildings with wooden dark green shades on windows, columned facades and plazas.
The mixture of old and new, Chinese and Portuguese, locals and tourists was amazing. Macao is a true East meets West city.
Of course with our one day trip it was almost impossible to stare at one building for more than 10 seconds but nonetheless the unique atmosphere of the city could be captured within minutes.
I particularly liked this small street coz it reminded me of St. Petersburg..
And this is one of those unique sceneries that I often see in Asia. A building murdered with endless air conditioner boxes and laundry strings.
We tried local custard cakes and almond taste sugar, went to see the symbol of Macao – St.Paul’s ruins and then with our cleared conscience ( that yes, we did sightseeing ) we hit the tables at Venezia casino and then later at Wynn’s playing or rather see our friend David playing ( and winning ) roulette and then poker.
This is some sort of smoked-pressed-pickled(??) meat of different sorts. They even sell vale. We didn’t have enough courage to try it. ^-^
St.Paolo’s very unique facade with angels, Chinese dragons and skeletons as decoration.
Steven Wynn is famous for his “free” attractions such as this one – fountain parade running every 15 minutes!
My very own prohibited picture inside of Wynn’s casino.
On our last day we went to buy presents and souvenirs for everyone we knew ( and liked ). I couldn’t believe not only the sizes of Hong Kong department stores but also they way they were located right in front of each other all in one location with absolutely same shops! They would go bunkrupt in Japan faster than my boyfriend’s mood when I try to visit every single Marc Jacobs shop in town. ^-^
How many Louis Vuitton shops do you really need in 5 km radius? In Hong Kong you’ll meet at least three..And that’s not even in center!
Overall I really enjoyed the city with its over the top everything and I think I would like to go again! ^-^