Friday, December 19, 2014

Hong Kong & Macau: 5D4N Trip

So the day after our wedding, we went to Hong Kong.

Many, well, everyone assumed it was our honeymoon trip.  But it's not! It's a birthday trip because it was my birthday week, and I had planned this even before I knew was getting married this year.

We will have an official honeymoon trip. Someday. When the economy is looking up. Okay fine, I guess I can double this birthday trip as a budget adventurous city honeymoon.

Day 1

Taking a direct flight from KK, we reached Hong Kong 2 hours and 30 minutes later at about 7p.m.  We share the same time zone so there was no confusion with time.  A cousin of mine provided us with the Octopus card, which is a very handy card to be used when traveling using the MTR or buying groceries.  So after we topped it up, we took a train right to Tsim Sha Tsui station, where our guesthouse, Hao's Inn, was located.

However, when we reached the supposed location of the guesthouse, there was no sign of it existing there.  But when we asked around, they did point us to some direction.  But it was still nowhere to be found.  We then literally looked at the address and literally followed it.  Turns out the guesthouse was IN a building on the fifth floor.  And on that floor, there were a few more guesthouses.  Only there you can see a signage wtf.

And so when we reached our room, we were shocked and at how tiny it was.

For a RM180 per night room, this is what you get.  It's probably just 12ft long and 5ft wide. Space is not a big thing here.

After checking in our store room, we then went on a food hunt around the Tsim Sha Tsui area.

It looks like a tourist area, with lots of high end restaurants and bars.  We did manage to find a cafe that serves local food.

Hong Kong is famous for their roasted geese so yeah, it was incredible.

Still burned out from the wedding, we went back to our guesthouse for ants to recuperate for the next day's agenda.

Day 2

Day 2 was Disneyland day!

You can read all about it here.

Day 3

On our third day, our main agenda was to go to Madame Tussauds wax museum.  However before that, we wanted to go see the longest outdoor covered escalator system in the world at Central.  We took an MTR to Central and like, true blue tourists, we used Google map to help us find it.  We also managed to find a restaurant that serves gigantic crispy roasted pork.

Okay the noodles look like a lot like Maggi when I removed the veges (don't ask me why I removed the spinach) but it only tasted a little like Maggi.  But the pork was heaven sent.

After breakfast, we continued our little adventure and found it.

This goes all the way up! 

Actually there's nothing special about it, just another form of transportation for the people of Hong Kong.  It's just that it is 800m long and it's a 20 minute ride till the end!  The sights that we encountered:

The heart of Hong Kong


This cute Greek restaurant

SoHo - the upper class/expat area
 The escalator stops at a condominium.  To our horror, there was no escalator going down! So being the brave souls that we were, we just made the 800m journey back down by stairs.

Walking was a great way to experience Hong Kong.  Dead tiring, but worth it. Because we found a famous stall!

Apparently it is famous for its food, heck, there's a photo of Chow Yun Fatt eating there, but we were still full from breakfast so we just got ourselves their famous ying yong, a coffee milk tea something something drink.

And then we came across a market selling souvenirs.  Central is not the best place to buy souvenirs (Mongkok is), but the place was shut down at that time due to the student protesters.  We then decided just to buy stuff from here.

After we were done shopping for OTHER PEOPLE, we then headed to The Peak, where the infamous wax museum is.

There was SO MUCH WALKING just to go the tram station.  I think we walked for about 15-20 minutes from Central MTR just to get there.

The tram has this old skool touristy feel, yet it is a legit form of transportation here.

The Peak is a shopping mall waaay on top of a hill, and there lies fake celebs in it.  Once we got in the wax museum, we went crazy.

Good thing no one called security.  After exhausting our phone memory with silly photos, we went to the building's observation deck.

It was freaking chilly! We only lasted for like 10 minutes up there despite paying a fee just to see the whole of Hong Kong covered in haze.

Outside the mall, this is how the mall on the hill looks like.

Later that night, we went to the famed Avenue of Stars at Victoria Harbour.  Turns out it was just a 10 minutes walk away from our guesthouse.

It's basically the Chinese Hollywood walk of fame, with their palms printed on the plated cement.  And then there were statues we can fool around with.

And oh, at 8 o'clock every night, there's a light show you can watch.

Not as eyegasmic as in Disneyland, but pretty enough to watch.

After it was over, we continued adventuring finding our dinner and yes we found a place that apparently appeared in a newspaper review.  And yes it was delicious.

Day 4

Day 4 was our Macau trip! Which was also my bungee jumping day! Which was also my birthday! DOUBLE YAY!

So from Tsim Sha Tsui, we took a train to Sheung Wan station and after much walking, we reached the ferry terminal and bought our tickets.

It takes about an hour to reach Macau.  But just look at the people! Don't know going to Macau for what.

The ferry that we took was TurboJet.  It was comfy enough.

In Macau, we decided to stay at a better hotel as it is only for one night.  So we pre-booked Hotel Lisboa at  I was too dead tired to take photos of the hotel and too excited to go for my bungee jump, so here's a photo from Google.

It was a fucking palace, compared to our average toilet-sized guestroom in Hong Kong.

We were welcomed with chocolates!

Only in Macau it felt like a honeymoon.  If you catch my drift.

After checking in, we then took a cab and head towards Macau Tower for my birthday bungee.

Did I do it? AW HELL YEAH I DID IT. Read all about my glory here.

After the surreal experience of jumping, we took a bus (after asking the receptionist how) to a popular tourist spot, Senado Square.  Along the way, we were awed by the Portuguese-influenced structures all around us.  And it's Christmas in Macau as well!

Finally, after much walking, we reached the familiar yellow and black brick that I've seen on TV.

Also, amazing buildings everywhere.

Of course we had to stop by for lunch, and so we head to a Chinese restaurant that serves gigantic wontons.

And with guidance of the town map, we journeyed along the alleys to find the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Macau, the Ruins of St. Paul.

And then we found it!

Inside the grounds of the ruins, lay a crypt.  It's an awesome piece of history that I'm glad to be alive to see.

But just look at the people! The place was crawling with tourists, it's hard to get a good shot, ugh.

 The view from the ruins.  SO MANY PEOPLEEE.

After taking gazillions of photos, we then walked along the streets, wondering why there were SO MANY people in this one particular bakery.

Turns out they sell the best pastries in Macau.

And indeed, their Portuguese eggtarts are wicked.  Like, I'm never eating locally made Portuguese eggtarts again.

 We then continued touristing and found the Monte Fort.

Funny story, we walked for like 15 minutes uphill to find this mother.  Turns out it was just right behind the Ruins of St. Paul.

By night time, Senado Square came alive with lights.

In fact, the whole of Macau turned bright at night.  Macau IS the Vegas of Asia.

We also got to see a dancing fountain at Wynn Hotel (it was just next to our hotel).

We then took a shuttle bus to The Venetian Macao.  It is one of the most luxurious hotels and casinos in the Cotai strip of Macau.  Everything is just incredibly fancy.

As we entered the shopping mall, we were in for a surprise.

It was sunny daylight in there. The mall was also a clever replica of the real Venice.  According to our gondola rower (or driver)?

Being in 'Venice' of course we had to go on the fake Venetian gondola ride.

After that, we did try our hand in the casinos.

This was the minimum bet yet the only few tables that allow this minimum bet turned us away.  Like shit, you gotta go all out here if you wanna gamble.  Since gambling wasn't part of our budget, we just left like poor losers.  We did try a few computer based games, but luck was so not on our side.  I guess I used it all up during my bungee.

So we called it a day and got on the shuttle bus back to our hotel, completely exhausted.

Day 5

We didn't do much on that day, 'coz we were going to go back to Hong Kong.  But before that, we went back to Senado Square to buy some cookies and eggtarts to bring back home.  Also we managed to get a true blue Macau breakfast.  Pork bun sandwich.  It was delish.

Also, we stopped by at one of the MANY jewelry shops to buy us a wedding gift for ourselves, a pair of phoenix and dragon gold rings.  If you're planning to buy jewelry, then Macau is the place to be.  You'll be spoilt for choice.  And the price is not too bad as well.  Ok so maybe taking your significant other may not be a good idea...But I was just exercising my right and privilege as a wife.

We checked out of our hotel, took the next ferry back to Hong Kong, and went straight to the airport and voila, my birthday trip/honeymoon came to an end.

 NOW TIPS! Just because I went to a place once I'd like to think I'm an expert already lol.

1. Attire: Depending on the weather, be prepared for chilly nights.  And wear sneakers! Because you'll be walking the whole fucking time.  It's like a 5 day walkathon.  I broke my sandals by the fifth day.

2. Plan everything ahead.  Like, we planned to go for the cable car ride to Lantau Island, but funny story, I thought the hubs already bought our ticket together with the Madame Tussauds ticket (yes, we got the tickets at the guesthouse).  We still proceeded to the MTR to get there thinking, hey we'll just buy the tickets there.  But when we reached there, it was already closing! In retrospect I did google their closing time (in the train, on the way) and we only reached there like 10 minutes before closing time but they won't let us up already.  So what else could we do but just take a piss at their toilet and head back to our hotel.  It was the most expensive (and long distanced) piss we ever took.

3. Budget wisely.  Hotel and food are fucking expensive.  Just look at our hotel.  For a 3 star hotel, be prepared to spend about RM500.  Food on average is about RM25 per meal.  Drinks are RM8.  I'm talking about a plate of noodle and a cup of coffee.  But food is really good in Hong Kong.  It could be our luck, finding good restaurants, but I'd like to think that.

4. Get the MTR card.  It's so easy to travel by MTR.  You can go anywhere.  Download the map if you must.

5. The people there can be really rude.  Not because they hate you, but it's just the way they are.  Don't be shocked if you get shouted at and get bitchy stares when you enquire about something.  Or when they throw the bill at your face.  Oh and in Macau, we met so many cheaters and liars.  From the taxi drivers to the hotel staff.  Don't trust them.  Trust your instincts and Google.  For example, we were told that to get to The Venetian, we need to board like 3 shuttle buses from two different places, when in fact we only need to go to the ferry terminal and ride ONE shuttle bus to the Venetian. I don't know what kicks they get from lying, but that is so messed up.

6. It's cheaper to change your money in KK than in Hong Kong.  I don't really know the maths but you will lose a lot when you change in HK.  Also, you can use your HK dollars in Macau.

7. It is possible to go to Macau on a day trip, but bear in mind that the ferry ride is an hour long, and give yourself an hour for immigration clearance.  There'll be lots of people going in and out of Macau on a daily basis.

8. There are so many humans in the city, whether the working class or tourists alike, so just be careful with your belongings especially when there are potential body rubbings (like in the train).

9. Buy the cookies from Pastelaria Koi Kei in Macau! And other food/drinks that are not available at home.

Yup, that is lobster flavoured instant noodles and cola flavoured JD - perfect when you don't have a mixer.

10.  When flying back, make sure you get to the departure hall early.  See it's not just 'downstairs' of the airport.  You gotta go downstairs, wait for a fucking train, and then take a fucking shuttle bus ONLY then you'll reach the departure hall.  I almost had a heart attack when I found out the departure hall was not just 'downstairs' and we only had 30 minutes till boarding.  Luckily, boarding time concept is slightly different than the flights that I am used to.  If your flight is at 8 p.m., then you will board the plane at exactly 8 p.m.  No concept of gate closing 20 minutes before the flight.  THANK GOD.  Nevertheless, just get there early.

I hope you find this post useful someday and here's a photo of me grabbing David Beckham's crotch:

You're welcome.


Yue Rain said...

Nice trip =). Yeah, the same goes for China-lots of cheaters too. The food you got was quite cheap. Some got RM50 just for a bowl or horrible noodles.

Benedicta*C_J said...

Nice post, full of info! :)

Amanda Christine Wong said...

@Pui Looi: Lol. I guess we were lucky.

@Carol: Thanks! :D