Hong Kong March 2012

I love Hong Kong, we hadn’t been to Hong Kong since 2007 so we were looking forward to seeing if anything had changed.  We stayed in a boutique hotel called Butterfly on Prat, a strange name until you realise it’s on Prat Street.  For the price the room was quite spacious, not 5 star spacious but you could walk around the bed, which we’ve not always been able to do in hotel rooms in Hong Kong.

I picked up a new camera in Hong Kong on the first day.  A Canon PowerShot S100, I’ve fallen in love with it, it appears to be as flexible as a DSLR, with some pretty cool features.  There will be a post dedicated to a mini review of the camera at some point.

Photos here are of the light show on Hong Kong harbour each night, plus something new for us 1881 Heritage where the police HQ used to be.

Macau March 2012

I had the opportunity to fly to somewhere in Asia, so off to Hong Kong we went.  High on the list of things to do that I hadn’t done before was a ferry to Macau.  The trip to the ferry was uneventful, a pleasant walk from our hotel to the ferry terminal.  Arriving at the ferry terminal we take a little bit of time working out where to go as it’s buried in a shopping centre/office building.

We got off the lift and started walking towards what looked like several very long queues, as we were trying to work out which queue to join someone accosted us asking “Macau? Macau?”.  Yes we said, and we were hurried to a table between a couple of queues.  Prices were given to us, money handed over and we had tickets in hand, as we were almost pushed through a door and that was it, we were now headed to immigration.  We looked at each other with “What the hell happened there?” looks on our faces.  It felt like we got scammed, but the tickets we had were correct, the right price, the expected time, immigration was a breeze and within 5 minutes of getting off the lift we were waiting for our ferry.

The ferry takes about an hour, we arrived basically at the Macau airport, unfortunately our Hong Kong ferry terminal arrival was not replicated as we joined the end of a very long immigration queue.  I can’t remember how long we queued, but it felt like an hour, then we were through.  Free shuttle buses to the Macau equivalent of Las Vegas, a collection of 4 or 5 absolutely huge casinos.  We picked the Venetian to see how it compared to the Las Vegas version.  As with the Las Vegas version there is a replica of the Venice canals and plazas, with lots of shops.  After getting lunch and seeing what up market shops there were, we caught a free shuttle bus to the Macau tourist area.

We walked from the shuttle bus stop towards the middle of the tourist area, stopping to grab a couple of gorgeous portuguese tarts (little baked custard dessert).  It was a lovely sunny day but not too hot, the streets weren’t busy….. that is until we turned 1 corner and started to head towards the remains of St Paul’s Cathedral.  We were met with a mass of people milling about in this street.  It felt like every tourist on the island was here.  We made our way towards the remains, which are basically just the facade.

After taking a couple of photos we decided to just head out in a direction and see what we found, which turned out to be not much.  Several shops that looked like they were selling antique furniture and wooden sculpture and eventually a really small square or plaza.  Seeing a small bus we checked our map and realised that it was most likely going to give us not only back to the ferry port we needed (strangely our return ticket was at a different ferry port), but also would give us quite a tour of Macau.  So after double checking with a very friendly and helpful off-duty bus driver, we hopped on the bus and spent an enjoyable 30-40 minutes of riding through the streets of Macau.

Arriving at the ferry port, after a longish day we were looking forward to getting back to our hotel.  Immigration was nice and easy at both ends.

Expect some additional photos to be added once I sort out the editing.