Weekend Getaway – THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MACAU MADNESS.

Like every Hong Konger, you will have either been to Macau or have heard of it. Situated only an hour away by catamaran and coined ‘Asia’s own Las Vegas‘, it is no wonder that it’s a popular destination for anyone over the age of 21.

My boyfriend and I were sitting on the couch one morning discussing how to spend our weekend and within 10 minutes we had booked 2 nights in Macau on a last minute website. We were looking to take a break from responsibility for a couple nights and Macau was the only place that didn’t require either a flight or a visa. So, within an hour we were on route aboard the Turbojet.

GOPR0688_1455522352573_low

We arrived at the Grand Coloane Resort and the rooms certainly didn’t disappoint. The hotel was located around 10 minutes from the Cotai strip and 25 from the ferry terminal.

GOPR0738_1455454621956_lowGOPR0737_1455454626358_low

To our surprise the hotel was situated not far from one of Macau’s favourite restaurants; Fernando’s. This Portuguese restaurant is considered a ‘must do’ and attracts locals, tourists and celebrities.

We ordered the garlic prawns and sea bream which were accompanied by french fries. We had heard that Fernando’s did a good sangria to which we were asked if we’d like red, white or green sangria. Yes, you read right. GREEN SANGRIA. I had never heard of this concoction so of course we had to order it. It turned out being sparkling wine with sangria mix and was rather tasty!

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 preset

The next day we woke up just in time for breakfast at the hotel. I can’t say I was expecting much, but we were delightfully surprised! For HK$170, the buffet provided such a wide variety of foods from dim sum, to vegetarian curries, to on request omelettes and pancake stations. There were cereals and pastries, cheese, fruit platters, bacon and sausages.

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 preset

After breakfast, we decided to delay the casinos and see what more Macau could offer. We bought an open bus sightseeing ticket for HK$150 and hit the road. The first stop was Macau Fisherman’s wharf, which was pretty much a tourist trap. Some built roman architecture with an attached mall of shops and souvenirs. Never again.

GOPR0711_1455522284525_lowGOPR0704_1455522299939_low

Our second stop was the Macau Science Centre. I wasn’t particularly interested as I didn’t see how it was considered a sight to see, but once we were in there, we ended up having a pretty good time.

 

Our third stop was probably the stop I had been most excited to see, The Ruins of St. Paul’s and Leal Senado Square. It was probably the most cultural area in Macau yet, despite the Portuguese influence, it was overrun with commercialism and more SHOPS.

GOPR0718_1455522262601_lowProcessed with VSCO with c1 preset

For lunch, we found a hidden Dai pai dong offering a range of Vietnamese dishes. We both opted for Pho and my goodness, it was delicious. That’s what I LOVE about Asia! Sometimes the best meals are dirt cheap and are found in makeshift ‘restaurants’. 

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset20160214_132039

When in Macau, do as the Macanese do and end your meal with a Portuguese egg tart! Fresh out the oven, these bad boys are only priced at $9 and according to my boyfriend, can be eaten by the dozen.

20160214_130912

Our last stop was the Macau Tower. By this time, we had grown tired of sightseeing and were desperate to hit The Venetian. However… After loosing more money than we had hoped on the blackjack and Sic Bo tables, we ended the day with drinks at the Bellini Lounge which is always a great time!

GOPR0723_1455522236389_lowGOPR0731_1455522226383_lowIMG_20160214_210351

I have been to Macau many times and have had great nights out and comfortable stays, but it seemed that the more I saw of it outside of the casinos, the more I started to dislike it. I’m a believer that beauty can be found anywhere, even in the darkest of places. Whether it be crystal clear beaches or grimy, smelly back alleys somewhere in mainland China. There is always an element that stands out, whether it be the energy/atmosphere, design or culture in every place I visit. However, I cannot say the same for Macau. I feel like I spent the whole time thinking what it lacked. Sure, it had some gigantic casinos and super clubs where you could experience a couple hours of thrill but the novelty soon wore off. Macau lacks that energy and thrill that it should possess given its comparison to Las Vegas. Macau could have had such potential, but unfortunately 90% of the place looks run down, dirty and ghost town like, purely existing to empty your pockets at tourist traps and gambling.

All in all, I had a great weekend in Macau and at The Grand Coloane Resort but I think that was purely down to the person I was spending time with and what we made of it.

What are your thoughts on Macau?

 

Advertisements

18 things to do this summer when it’s overcast!

When I think of Hong Kong Summers my mind casts back to Junk Trips filled with retarded drinking games, beach BBQ’s and sweaty nights dancing on Carnegie’s bar. However, it’s easy to forget that 60% of are summers are often made up of overcast days and typhoons. Here are 18 things to do when the weather is just as shite as the programs Star World plays.

1. Hike! Hong Kong has SO many beautiful walks to suit every level of fitness out there. If you’re looking for something light but scenic try Chai Wan to Big Wave Bay or Nim Shui Wan (Discovery Bay) to Mui Wo. If you’re looking for something a little more strenuous , try the MacLehose Trail or Sunset Peak.

Image

2. Fishing in Yuen Long. It’s not the most easiest of places to get to but its great fun spending a day at one of the many fish farms (girls, give it a go!) and very affordable. All the equipment is available to rent for around $40. Take the MTR to Yuen Long Station and then a taxi to one of the many fishing farms. (Explain you want to fish and the taxi driver should know where to take you).

Image

3. Get friends round for a night of nachos & margaritas. Very easy to make, great for sharing and delish!

4. Get away from the Island and visit Cheung Chau. Take the ferry over from Pier 5 and go exploring. This tiny little island is home to the best seafood I’ve had in Hong Kong, scenic beaches and trails, cute little handmade shops, pirate caves and much more.

Image

5. Weekend in Macau – Can’t make Splash or Hed Kandi? Macau is always awesome, any time of the year. Find a cheap hotel deal and go crazy! Gamble at the Venetian and then hit club CUBIC at the City of Dreams. And for all you horn dogs, Adult Asia Expo will be held in Macau over the 17th-19th of August. (http://www.verticalexpo.com/eeditor/index.php?expo_id=5&article_id=13)

Image

6. Hit the driving range. Improve your golf swing at one of the driving ranges in either Tuen Mun, Tai Po, Kowloon, Ma On Shan or even on Hong Kong Island. (http://www.golfinhongkong.com/instruction/driving-ranges.php)

7. Dolphin watch tour. You aren’t a true Honkie until you’ve witnessed a pink dolphin. $380 for Adults (Around 4 hours) and $180 for children. (http://www.hkdolphinwatch.com/index.php)

8. Go see the wild monkeys in Kam Shan. Do not bring food with you unless you want to experience an attack similar to young girls catching a glimpse of Justin Bieber.

9. Ice-skating at Tsing Yi or Festival Walk. I don’t care how old you are, watching your friends fall on their asses will always be fun! Prices range from $55-75 depending on times. (http://www.glacier.com.hk/fun/fun_index.html)

Image

10. Visit the tallest bar in the world. Ozone Sky Bar. Very pricey but the view makes it totally worth it. (http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/Properties/HongKong/Dining/ozone/Default.htm)

12. Champagne brunch at Top Deck. Jump aboard the Jumbo Kingdom Restaurant to experience a brunch buffet with everything including jet fresh seafood, open grills, fresh baked pizzas, Peking duck, tandoori stations, and desserts. $258 for adults (with unlimited champagne and soft drinks); $98 for children. Saturdays, 11am-3pm; Sundays and public holidays, 11am-4:00pm, $448 for adults; $198 for children.

Image

13. Shop in Mong Kok. Flying back home this summer? Get stocked up on your fake Hermes, Fendi & Marc Jacobs and trick your old uni friends into thinking you’re doing REALLY REALLY well.

16. Kayak in Sai Kung. Visit some of HK’s stunning geology, including collapsed volcanos and caves. Kayaks and lifejackets can be rented for around $50 an hour. (http://saikung.com/kayaking-in-sai-kung/)

17. Watch the Olympics!

18. Indulge in some DIY Crafts. Look on Pinterest for some inspiration.  (http://pinterest.com/celebrations/fun-diy-crafts/)

Cork Coasters 

Image