Category Archives: Hong Kong

March 20, 2014

Macau, And Everything Else That’s Flashy

Who knew the gambling capital of the world is not Las Vegas or Atlantic City? Wait, are you sure you’re reading that correct?… Yup! Most of you probably did not know that but yes, Macau is the center of it all when it comes to the gambling world. According to CNN, Macau’s gambling revenue in 2013 is $45 billion USD — 7 times more than what Vegas can put on the table. Pretty ridicurooous right? Them Chinese folks love them bling blings! $$$$$

Getting there. The size of Macau makes it super convenient to see the necessary places in only a few days. I visited Macau quite a few times and I usually only stay for a day or a whole weekend each time. You can fly into Macau International Airport if you’re coming from super far away but since I come from Hong Kong, I usually take the 55 minute ferry to get there. To get to the Hong Kong-Macau Ferry Terminal, take the MTR to Sheung Wan Station and take Exit D. TurboJet is the favorite company offering trips to and from Hong Kong-Macau.

Macau IMG_2345 IMG_2623 IMG_2645 The Portuguese ruled over Macau for more than 400 years, making it the first and last European colony of China. Until now, the very strong Portuguese influence can still be seen on the streets, the architecture of the buildings and some popular attractions like the Ruins of St. Paul and Senado Square. And guess what else? Portuguese is still the official language.  IMG_2451 IMG_2458 IMG_2497 IMG_2560

When I was there, I also jumped off the A.J. Hackett Macau Tower, the World’s Highest Commercial Bungy Jump at a distance of 233 meters (764 ft). I got a Guinness World Record Certificate because of this! One of the happiest and shakiest moments of my life!AJ Hackett MacauIMG_2381DSC_0022 DSC_0031 DSC_0037 DSC_0049AAAH! I HAD SO MUCH FUN! It was one of the most exhilarating experiences of my adult life! If pure adrenaline rush is what you are seeking and dying for then I suggest you to go ahead and do the world’s highest commercial bungy. But if jumping off sky scrapers is just not your thing, there are so many other ways you can do to entertain yourself. Head to City of Dreams for The House of Dancing Water created by Franco Dragone himself. Trust me on this and get ready to be mind blown!!! For information regarding this “spectacular extravaganza”, to purchase tickets and watch the trailerclick here.

I do not own this photo, I just found it online.

I do not own this photo, I just found it online.

And of course, you’re here to experience what Macau is actually here in our world for– gambling and indulging yourself in the Chinese Casino Empire. Catering to the taste of the most prestigious citizens of China and the world, Macau is one of those places where you can look around and think to yourself “Damn there’s so many powerful, wealthy m*&#$f*%@!$ in this world!” There’s no denying it, they love all that flash and those fanny packs. The Venetian Macao is easily the largest casino in the world! Obviously, I could not take photos inside the casino, so I only have photos of the shopping area, etc. This is how The Venetian looks like from the outside and the inside. IMG_2663IMG_2605 IMG_2611 IMG_2613And of course, one of the all-time winners on my list: Galaxy Macau. Ugh, this place is so bomb. It’s so incredible, everything on the inside shines with the intensity of an exploding star! It is totally normal to feel overwhelmed by the grandeur of this place. Everything’s flashing in your eyes, you might as well wear sunglasses when you step foot in this dreamland. But here’s the catch- that’s not my favorite part about Galaxy. ZOMG. Galaxy Macau’s Wave Pool is just about the best thing that ever happened to this place! IMG_5525 IMG_5536 IMG_5528IMG_5531IMG_7373 IMG_6673IMG_7176 IMG_7171 IMG_5515

Yes, these flyers were all over Macau. And no, they’re not concert tickets for Christina Milian or Christina Aguilera.Macau flyersAfter all this glitz and glamour, is Macau’s party scene comparable to what Vegas has to offer? The next thing I’m going to say might probably disappoint you but my answer is, I REALLY DONT KNOW. A lot of girls are dressed up and look like they’re going clubbing, only to realize that’s totally normal. I did not bother to check out the party scene, and if there was any. But personally, it does not even come close to Vegas’ standards. Vegas can keep its title and reputation for having the crazy, wildest parties. You’re not in Macau to party anyway. You’re there to experience the fusion of Portuguese and Chinese cultures, and how it affected and shaped Macau to what it is now.

Other Places To Visit And Things To Do: Go to City of Dreams and walk around and find the big crystal ball. Macau Fisherman’s Wharf to explore some man-made ruins (yup!) and play arcades at The Underground. Learn how to play Sic Bo in the casinos, bet Big and win $$$! Count how many men you see are wearing Louis Vuitton or Gucci fanny packs (a lot). Fisherman IMG_1108 IMG_1137

Getting around. The great thing about Macau is its small radius. It is easy to get from one place to another because you don’t have to go far to see tourist attractions and the big casinos. Most hotels usually offer shuttle services to and from any casinos, but if that’s not your thing, cabs are readily available. Macau’s currency is the MOP, but they also take HKD. If you give them HKD, it is normal to receive your change in MOP. The rooms in major casinos like Galaxy and The Venetian can go for at least $300 or more per night. What you can do is to find some boutique hotels with great service and atmosphere like Hotel Lan Kwai Fong, and just take the shuttles to the other casinos to spend the day in.

Special promotions, like the one Galaxy Macau has now is for $1510+ HKD ($195 USD). You can use two consecutive nights and other services with it. Click here for more details.

Click here to watch as I take over the Highest Commercial Bungy In The World!

Enjoy your stay in Macau! Have fun, be safe, and try not to lose a lot of money $$$ Thanks to the Chinese community for the fun and unforgettable Macau experience!… And one last thing, it think it’s so cool that they serve Milk Tea while you gamble your night away! #awesome

“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail”.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

wanderlustrycopy

March 14, 2014

Hong Kong 103

Yes. We crossed out the basics, we crossed out the tourist traps. We are finally on the third post about Hong Kong! (If you missed Hong Kong 101 and Hong Kong 102, click here and here).

This city, unique on it’s own: there’s no denying that I fell in love with it. So much that I decided to skip a full season just to stay there! So while I was busy trying to pretend I’m a local, here are some of the other places I visited during my stay.

Ngong Ping 360. When in Hong Kong, one should hop on the the MTR from Central to the Tung Chung Station. From here, take Exit B and walk for around 5 minutes to the Cable Car Terminal….. Yup! That’s just about to happen. You’re about to get on the Terror Machine of Death! HAH. Just kidding! The cable cars are pretty cool and you get to be in it while being suspended by very thin wire hundreds of feet above ground. But don’t worry because you are here to enjoy the scenery and the scenery alone for the next 20 minutes. Don’t forget to take photos!!! But one must wonder, where is this Machine Of Death taking me exactly? Fear not! Because on the other side is the Ngong Ping 360 Village where Hong Kong locals can fulfill their need of shopping and dining. Round-trip for the Standard Cable Car is $150 HKD (around $19 USD) for adults and $75 HKD (around $49 USD) for children. If you wanna be ballin’ out poppin bottles in the club, you can ride the glass-bottom Crystal Cabin Cable Car for $235 HKD (around $30 USD) for adults and $150 HKD (around $19) for children. You can check out and buy tickets here.

Ngong Ping 360

Hong Kong Ngong Ping 360 IMG_0035 IMG_0036 IMG_0047

Hong Kong Pia DomoTian Tan Buddha. Indulge in what the Village has to offer while making your way to the The Big Buddha and the Po Lin Monastery. Located around 5 minutes from the Ngong Ping Station, this attraction is a great place to visit because of the great size of the Buddha and the views of the hills surrounding the place.Hong Kong Big Buddha IMG_0108 IMG_0121 IMG_0130 IMG_0135 IMG_0136 IMG_0137 IMG_0142

Lan Kwai Fong. Also called “LKF”, is a street found in Central district. Very easy to get to by MTR or cab. It is lined with clubs and bars and is frequented by expats. This place gets really packed on the weekends! Here’s some insider tip: before getting super wasted in the clubs or bars, be sure to stop by one of the two 7-Eleven’s in LKF. Here, you can buy liquor, beer and all sorts of alcoholic beverages for a fraction of the price you will pay in the clubs. A bottle of alcoholic beverage from 7-Eleven is around $7-$25 HKD ($0.90-$4 USD), while a beer or a cocktail from the bars and clubs is around $60-$100 HKD ($7-$13 USD). And since drinking on the streets in totally legal in Hong Kong, you can take that 7-Eleven drink you have and walk around LKF, where the parties extend and take place on the streets! Find a good spot with your cheap drink and great music from one of the bars and you’re good to go! Also, LKF is a hill so I don’t recommend girls to wear heels, unless you want to die. Lan Kwai Fong IMG_6560 IMG_6569OZONE. Now is the time to head over to the Kowloon side to visit the Ritz-Carlton Hotel. On the 118th floor is where you will find the highest bar in the world. Yes, the whole wide world! Getting here is super easy. From the airport, you can hop on the Hong Kong Airport Express and get off the Kowloon Station. If you’re coming from Central, you can take the MTR on the Tung Chung Line and get off the Kowloon Station. From here, Exit C1/D1 will lead you to the fancy Ritz-Carlton. What I love about the Kowloon side is you can have amazing views of the Hong Kong skyline. There’s also something about being very high up that excites me. It was so high up that there was fog when I was there– I was literally drinking my cocktails in the clouds!

IMG_6859 Ozone Bar

This does not belong to me. I got this photo from the website of Ritz-Carlton website. It was night time when I was in OZONE, so I couldn’t take a good photo to show how great the interior of the bar looks like

This does not belong to me. I got this photo from the website of Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong. It was night time when I was in OZONE, so I couldn’t take a good photo to show how great the interior of the bar looks like

Victoria Peak aka “The Peak” is the highest mountain on the island. The Peak is easily accessible by cabs or bus, but I got there the traditional way. Take Exit J2 in MTR Central Station. From there, walk to Garden Road to find the Peak Tram Lower Terminus where you can purchase tickets for The Peak Tram Sky Pass. $80 HKD ($10.30 USD) for adults and $39 HKD ($5 USD) for children gives you access to the tram (round-trip) and the Sky Terrace 428 (where you can view Hong Kong from the mountain top). From here, your Peak experience begins! The tram will take you up on the mountain and will give you views of Hong Kong as you ascend to the top. Once you get to The Peak, you will be surprised by how many restaurants, spas and shops there are! I went to this place called Wonderfish Spa where they use Garra rufa, a species of fish that feed on dead skin cells. It could have been an awesome experience, but I’m very ticklish so the whole time I was there, I was just laughing my ass off. Anyway, after exploring the shops, proceed to the Sky Terrace 428 where you will be given the opportunity to have a view of Central, the other surrounding islands, and some of Hong Kong’s most expensive real estate. I went there twice- the first time when it was bright out, and the second time at night.IMG_2241 IMG_2265WonderfishIMG_6827 IMG_6777It’s been two years since the last time I was in Hong Kong, and I definitely miss this city. And finally, after 3 entries about HK, I am finally done talking about it! Well probably not because I intend on having a separate post dedicated to all the food I had there, but that will come in later. I love Hong Kong, and one day I will be back to shop for more ridiculous, novelty items and eat until I can’t no more. One thing I can guarantee you is that there’s always something for everybody here- from shopping to dining to partying to rugby to horseback riding to bubble teas and whatever else you can think of. It’s a very modern city with a great history. I definitely recommend everybody to see this place at least once in their lifetime. IMG_5418

“Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in an office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain.”

-Jack Kerouac

wanderlustrycopy