In addition to my earlier post, I want to share some of the experiences we’ve had when we visited Macau and Hong Kong during winter.
Our ever reliable planner, Gaye made the itinerary for the trip. She even called travel agencies, hotels, transportation companies, etc. to make sure that the spots we’re visiting will fit our schedules. As I recall, the trip actually started with a joke when Gaye asked Diego if he wanted to travel abroad. Surprisingly, we ended up booking one of our hotels on that same week, and our plane tickets for the 6-day trip a week after.
We rode a hotel bus from Macau airport, situated at the eastern end of Taipa island, to Macau Peninsula, then walked all the way to Ole London Hotel during the first night. Exploring a new city in a foreign country is awesome. You get to discover things, and meet friends while getting lost.
Ole London offers affordable Standard Double and Standard Twin Rooms, free WiFi, private bath with amenities, and Western cuisine. It is located in a historical district of the Macau Peninsula, which is very convenient if you plan to walk to Senado Square, Ruins of St. Paul, hotels and casinos, and other areas.
Ruins of St. Paul, also known as Sam Ba Sing Tzik, is the remaining façade of St. Paul’s church that was built during the 16th century. It was destroyed by fire along with the fort buildings in 1838. Now, it stands beautifully on top of the grand stone stairs, allowing tourists and locals get an excellent view of the surrounding landscape.
Senado Square, on the other hand, is a paved town square and part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Macau.
The secret to getting the perfect photo of Senado Square and Ruins of St. Paul is visiting them between 6 and 8 in the morning, since the market and most of the activities start an hour before lunch.
You should try the local jerky and egg tart near the ruins. Hawkers would offer you their beef and pork jerky by giving you small samples they cut off. The jerky is salty and sweet at the same time. I think we ended up having those two as breakfast.
We also explored hotels and casinos like Grand Lisboa, StarWorld Macau, Wynn Hotel, MGM Grand, Four Seasons, Sands, Venetian, etc. before transferring to Galaxy Hotel. It was so huge! We enjoyed exploring the shops, and restaurants of the complex. The rooms are big, nice bath, and they have friendly staff.
The buffet lunch at Macau Tower's 360 Café Revolving Restaurant was flavorful. It is the same tower where we enjoyed a breathtaking 223 meters above ground, unobstructed panorama of Macau. If you’re more adventurous, you could even try their famous bungee jump. Although dining while seeing someone jump off the building is not for the faint of heart.
Visiting Taipa Village and Fisherman’s Wharf were also included in our plans. Even though some areas at the Fisherman’s Wharf were underway, we had fun taking photos of building façades and exploring the streets.
After 3 days in Macau, we took a ferry ride to Hong Kong. I really love their train system because there’s always a station near a tourist spot and it is connected to their airport.
When traveling around Hong Kong, don’t forget to purchase an Octopus Card. It is a stored value card that you can use in convenience stores, fast food restaurants, and modes of transportation. You will be asked to deposit a refundable 50 HKD to get one, on top of the value that you’re loading to the card.
In Hong Kong, we stayed at Rainbow Hotel. Again, we chose a hotel that’s in the city center where we can easily do shopping, sightseeing, and try some local food. Their accommodating staff is also notable.
Before heading to our most anticipated bar experience, because we don’t usually drink as a group, we went to the Clock Tower, Victoria Harbor, and the rest of the malls. Luckily, when we went back, we got a good spot during the Symphony of Lights.
When I first went to Hong Kong in 2014, my family were able to see The Avenue of Stars, which is in front of The Hong Kong Museum of Art and the Victoria Harbor. However, during this visit, the area was under construction.
After a day of walking, we finally got to the highest bar in the world, Ozone Bar at The Ritz-Carlton. On the 118th floor of the International Commerce Center, this glitzy hotel bar and lounge offers city views, iconic cocktails, Asian tapas, curated music, and when we were there, a special menu by an international chef. I also remember giving praise to their kind of luxury and service from a hotelier’s perspective. It was a night to remember because we were able to unwind in the company of good friends in a sophisticated nightspot.
A day in Disneyland has always been part of our schedule. I guess you can’t really resist the magic of the place. Since Hong Kong Disneyland is celebrating their 10th year anniversary, some media were present to cover a chosen family’s experience. Booking our trip ahead saved us time for some exploring. We actually covered the areas earlier than expected because we started at the farthest spot. The advantage of doing such is always being first in line. Thanks to some encouragement, I even tried rides that I thought were scary when I first visited the park.
Carrying a map and checking show schedules will also help you plan your day. In between rides, we got some freebies like stickers and photo opportunities with Disney characters.
Another good thing about the celebration is seeing Disney’s Paint The Night Parade. It features floats, special effects and characters in LED costumes. Kids cry when they see the fireworks show, but this is something else. It was just spectacular to watch.
Our last whole day started with a trip to Ngong Ping Lantau Island where the Big Buddha is located. You can take The Ngong Ping 360, an aerial tramway in Hong Kong to get there. The trip is long, but you’ll enjoy the view.
We went to The Peak in the afternoon. The Peak Tram is a 120-year old funicular railway in Hong Kong. When going uphill, stay at the right side of the train as the city view is only seen from that end. The train usually fills up quickly so if you end up standing, just make sure that you can maintain your balance.
The Trick Eye museum and Madam Tussauds, a part of a renowned chain of wax museums, are also located at The Peak. If you want to enjoy the skyline from Victoria Peak, you can visit those aforementioned establishments after sunset. Some tourists also like having their photos taken with the sea of city lights as backdrop.
Before going back to the hotel to get our luggages, we went to IKEA. A lot of people enjoy buying furniture, and as I love staging spaces, visiting that store was like going to a little heaven for me.
This trip was really tiring because we were always walking for hours, but I can say that it is one of the best ones I’ve had so far. Truly, good company makes the difference.
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Thanks for reading! #StayInspired
Layering: When In Macau and Hong Kong
Niguel is an experienced creative and marketing professional pursuing his dreams while growing with infinite possibilities.