Hong Kong and Macau

6 03 2012

Last weekend we had a four-day vacation due to Memorial Day in Taiwan. Paul, Scott, Rachel and I spent it exploring Hong Kong and Macau. The trip started with some bad news. The airline randomly deleted Scott’s ticket, and after much work, he was able to get another ticket. Unfortunately, it also meant that he had to spend the entire day in the airport and meet up with us about 13 hours later.

Once we all were there, we took the famous Star Ferry across the Victoria Harbor to the central area. The area is flooded with fortune 50 companies, high-end shopping, and a huge variety of food and bars. We stayed out late partying, before beginning our true exploration of the city the next day.

Our hostel was located in Mongkok, an awesome area in Kowloon and one of the most densely populated areas in the world. Sunday morning we managed to get up and make our way to a dim sum restaurant for brunch. It was good food and just what we needed to fuel our day of sightseeing. From there we headed to Victoria Peak by a tram. Insane line, but the view overlooking Hong Kong was one not to miss.

Dim Sum!

View from the peak

Us at the Peak

We strolled through Hong Kong Park for the better part of an hour. It was a beautiful park with a huge variety of things to see and do. An aviary, ornamental lakes and a waterfall packed between giant trees made you forget you were inside a major city.

HK Park

Seemed like a good idea, we were all drenched afterwards...

After we walked through some older neighborhoods, and finally back to the Kowloon side to watch the Hong Kong Central Light Show and walk along the path of stars.

Yay for closed eyes! Hong Kong Skyline

The next morning we took the ferry to Macau. Upon arriving we took a shuttle to  Casino Lisbon, Macau’s largest casino. After finding our way out of the labyrinth, we visited the ruins of Sao Paulo. All that is left of a Jesuit church is a large flight of steps and the face of the church showing the fusion between Christian symbols and Chinese characters.

Casino Lisbon

All that's left

YUM!

We snacked on Macau’s famous natas, or egg tarts from Lord Stowe’s Bakery before heading up to Fortaleza do Monte, a Jesuit fortress. It was a pretty impressive strong-hold and had a good view overlooking the city.

Inside the fortress

Bye Bye Casino Lisbon

The rest of the evening was spend being depressed and realizing that none of us had enough money to actually gamble at any of the casinos. We had dinner, played a little roulette and then headed back to Hong Kong.

We spent the last day gradually leaving Hong Kong. All of our flights were spread out. Rachel, Paul and I went to a beautiful nunnery. Following Rachel’s departure, Paul and I went to a famous walled city and then to the Po Lin Monastery and the big Buddha. Located on Lantau Island, it is the world’s tallest outdoor, seated bronze Buddha. It was pretty cool to see, unfortunately it fog swept in right as we arrived. All in all it was a good way to cap off our trip before heading back to Taiwan.

Just chillin

Nunnery

More of the nunnery

Nunnery

Big Buddha