My Hong Kong holiday diary day 5

Hiya!

Summer is really here now, and when you think of summer, you think of holiday so here is the rest of my travel diary from my first trip to Hong Kong.

Wanna travel back with me?

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So on the fifth day, we decided to go to Macau. I had no plans whatsoever. This trip was really just whatever happens,happens πŸ™‚ I should have organized it better, but I didn’t have time before, but it ended well so it’s all good.

To Macau…

To get to Macau, you first need to go to the harbor : from Yau Mau Tei, take the metro until Central and change to the blue line, direction Kennedy Town, until Sheung Wan stop.

Take the exit and go up the escalator until you’re inside the Shun Tak Center. If I remember correctly the ferry counters can be found on the 3nd flour, as the 2nd floor is where you’ll find shopping stores and 1st floor is where all the food places are.

From what I could find online, ferry tickets to Macau were about 150 HKD per trip, but boy was I wrong.

We decided to opt for Turbojet ferries and out ticket going to Macau cost 164 HKD each. We bought our tickets and headed to the gate, thinking we would still need to go through customs and that usually takes time. Our trip was in one hour so we walked calmly to our destination.

When we got to our gate, a man asked for our ticket, spoke in Chinese, so we did not understand anything.Β  When we got our tickets back, we noticed he switched it with other tickets that was departing in 20 minutes. We started panicking and thinking maybe we got conned before our very eyes… stressssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss

But then we thought, they wouldn’t would they? We passed the gates and they accepted the tickets. So I guess it’s just how these companies work. To fill up the ferries, they would always switch tickets to have a full ferry instead of leaving half empty.

There was actually no one so we went to Customs directly and completed our paperwork. Then a the actual gate of the ferry, we had to show our tickets and the controller stuck stickers to it. Turns out those stickers were our seating numbers!

 

We went into the ferry : this was my first ferry ride. I was so surprised to see how spacious in was inside. The seating was like being in a plane, but the space around like a train.

I do not handle boat rides very good, but surprisingly, the ferry ride was alright! The only bad parts was when it would slow down, as it felt like “turbulence” and then my head and stomach were urgh. I fell asleep on the and after an hour we were there!

 

 

We’re here!!!

Finally Macau : we went through customs pretty easily. The visa given was just a piece of paper. I would have wished to have a stamp instead. Oh well.

Once we were out of Customs, we headed to the Tourist center as we were completely lost and didn’t know how to get to the center. But there were too many people and we started walking around and we found ourselves in front of a casino.

We decided to go back to the Tourist center and we asked our way: they told us to take the Bus 3 in front. We know knew what to take but didn’t know which stop 😦

We saw two Filipinas in the bus and asked if maybe they could help us. They said they didn’t know, despite living there for more than a year… like how is that possible?!?

We just stared at the places we were passing by and decided to get off the bus where we saw a crowd, and it worked out for us.

Small tip, you can use HKD in Macau and the bus ride was less than 4 HKD and you had to give the exact amount as they do not give the change back.

We arrived at the Senado Square and just started following the groups of tourist, as there were so many of them and saw the signs so we then followed the signs.

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Colorful city

First impression of Macau was I felt like I was on a movie set : the buildings looked so colorful and you just feel you’re back to a colonial era. But then taking the little back streets reminded you’re back in Asia as it was dirty, old and run down like Hong Kong. But this doesn’t mean you’re not going to find something interesting!

We got hungry and didn’t know what to get. The first place we saw was Mcdonalds but we didn’t want to be the typical tourist and walked a bit more until we saw the sign.

There was a sign saying to taste the authentic pork chop bun. We decided to go there and when I saw the price, my budget said yes! They even had pictures of Nicholas Tse endorsing them, so it must be good. I thank my teenage years to liking HK celebrities lol.

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We order the buns and some extra things to taste, but they weren’t that good. I ordered a milk tea, becauseΒ  I loved it so much, but they gave me a milk coffee. I didn’t like it, but oh well. They didn’t speak English as well so I let it be.

After filling our bellies, we walked a bit more and found this fountain and next to it the cathedral of Macau.

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We went it and made our prayers. I saw that they had candles that we could offer so I was trying to see where I could pay for one and lit it, but the stupid security guard started calling me out, as if I was doing something wrong. He must have though I wanted to go to the restricted area. He just gave me a really angry stare and kept waving his arms around. Again he spoke to me in their language, but I didn’t understand a word. So I just pretended not to see him and decided to leave the cathedral… seriously I know how to behave in a church. I just was looking for a candle.

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After that we took another small street and it was full of food to try. We just went for egg tart with durian. You know it wasn’t that bad, it was like eating some sort of vegetable but with this aftertaste like fish… Good I tried it once, but I would not buy it again.

We walked a bit more and the streets were getting busier and busier, more groups of tourist coming from all directions.

It was also their commercial streets where we found lots of beauty store like Sasa and many Korean brands like Innisfree, Etude House, It’s skin, Skinfood but the biggest and most imposing was Nature Republic.

They did not have the most recent releases and the prices were quite expensive, even compared to shopping online. I did however see some products I wanted to buy at Nature republic, because it’s usually expensive shipping wise so bought some items there.

Discovered that they are not as generous with samples there, I got a free mask and 2 mini bottles with toner and lotion when I spent 200 HKG.

Something that also shocked me is that in the Nature Republic stores in Macau, OT12 was still alive and kicking! Seems I cannot escape EXO wherever I go. They are like “don’t forget me”. Or maybe I’m just being a paranoid fangirl.

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After all the beauty stores, it was now a street full of biscuit and souvenir places. It was Koi Kei bakery every 5 stores! At the end of it, the most touristic spot of Macau

The Ruins

The most representative building, well ruins to be exact, of Macau was finally in front of us. It was so hot that day, that before climbing the stairs, we decided to cool off inside the Forever 21 store on the right side.

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We walked up the stairs and looked inside the ruins. It was so weird to be there are there is really nothing left but that facade. We went back to the stairs and ,I must say it was the place where I saw the most people taking selca’s, group picture all at the same time.

After that, we didn’t really know what to do with the time left, so we walked on and decided to turn left from the ruins.

 

 

We then found ourselves inside the Macau Museum. This was a pretty nice place to visit to discover about Macau a bit and it’s history. Plus we were inside where it was nice andΒ  air conditioned. The exit of this museum is on the last level and you are there on top of the museum, where you can clearly see the skyline.

There was also lots of greenery around, so it was really a relaxing place to be, there were even some grandma’s practicing, doing radio exercises. They were super cute to watch. If you go a level down, there was a small room explaining the fortress of Macau.

 

 

We then went down and starting making our way back to the harbor, but of course not forgetting to buy souvenirs and Macau cookies. We of course made mini food stops, a trip would not be complete without these. Well that’s how I travel anyway.

 

 

WeΒ  again did not know our way back to the station, so we tried looking for someone who might be able to help us. This time we were pretty lucky, we saw other Filipinos who looked like local and asked for their help. They really took the time to help us and a guard from one of the building helped us, showing where the bus stop was! I was really thankful to that couple we met! From our whole trip, they were the nicest people we met, along with the Korean group of ahjussi’s and ahjumma we met at the Peak.

Going back

There we were waiting for our bus, who did not seem to want to show itself. We had to wait for at least 10 minutes and I was getting worried again. But finally the bus came and it took a different road than the first bus we took. We started seeing the casino’s lighting up one by one from the bus. It was completely different from the Macau we had just visited, but I don’t gamble, so this view was enough for me.

At the harbor, we looked for the ferry counter and it was on the 2nd and 3rd floor. We again opted for Turbojet and this time the tickets were a bit more expensive, they cost 189 HKD per trip.

Because of all the shopping done, I now had a lot of Pataca and I knew it wouldn’t be accepted in Hong Kong. I used my money in a vending machine and the change was in HKD so my problem was solved.

 

 

This time there were no weird man standing in front of the gate so I kept my actual ticket. Again they put a sticker on my ticket for the seat position. For some reason, the ride back was a bit longer but it was all good as we were pretty tired from all the walking.

 

 

Once we arrived back in Hong Kong, we had dinner at the Sheung tak center and tried Ajisen Ramen.It was such a well deserved dinner. We headed back to our hotel, and got more street food before going to bed!

Lesson of the day

It was another eventful day, where nothing was planned and had some surprises here and there.

What I learned :

  • have a bit of money extra for tickets, as prices differ from the moment you buy it, and what was shown on websites
  • you MUST DEFINITELY TRY THE PORK CHOP BUN, just saying
  • English will not help you that much in Macau
  • have coins as they only accept the exact amount, unless you’re good with not getting the change back
  • do not expect finding the latest Korean beauty products in Macau at a cheaper price. It’s not going to happen, plus samples are only given if you spend for x amount and they are not generous anyway.You’re better off buying online
  • if it’s too hot outside, just go inside a shopping store πŸ™‚
  • expect swarms of tourist, so you’ve been warned
  • shady people are not that shady, if you can understand what they are doing at the ferry gate
  • Pataca = Hong Kong dollar so no need to change money to the currency in Macau
  • Macau is like a mix of Hong Kong and Europe : the building reminded me of Europe, but the skyline is exactly like Hong Kong. It’s foggy, lost of old buiding and skyscrapers.

 

Was Macau worth? I think it’s nice to visit it once, but for someone that lives in Europe, it just felt a bit like home, because of the ancient building. And then you’re back in Asia, as there is so much that can be found cramped inΒ  a very small place.

I can’t really say if people are nicer in Macau than in Hong Kong, but I did feel there were a lot more Filipinos here… all the guards in the museum were Filipinos and I was listening to their conversation, they were so random it amused me. But I didn’t say anything, and they never realized I understood them.

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I would have wished to try more of their local specialties but I got to taste the main ones, so no regrets there.

Aaaah my week long holiday was almost over by then, just one more full day left and it was almost time for me to go back home.

 

Do watch this space for the next entry of my Hong Kong holiday.

 

See you next time.

 

 

 

 

 

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