Monday, August 31, 2015

No Chill, Hong Kong: Day 2 - City Tour & Macau

City Tour
We had to take a boat from Hong Kong to Macau and we left early morning. Okay so allow to me share with you one incident that happened during a boat ride that made my jaw dropped:

We were already in our designated boat seats when one of the crew members from the boat reprimanded a passenger that was seats behind me in a surprisingly loud and intense voice. I didn't know what he was being reprimanded about, because he was speaking in a different language. I was just so shocked because only my family and fellow Filipinos who were with us aboard on the ride caught our attention, and the rest didn't seem to be bothered at all, like it was just a normal occurrence to them. 

To any Hong Kongese readers, is this a norm? It made me really believe that Hong Kong has no chill. Well, this incident, that is. 

Back to the tour, we had an itinerary all allotted for our day and night trip in Macau. The weather was wavering: sometimes it rained, then for a few minutes later the sun will peek. The first stop that we went to was the Macau Tower, which was built in 2001. The tower is famous for its height (338 meters, that's around a thousand feet!) and its activities such as bungee jumping, wall climbing and skywalking!

I didn't get to take a picture of the tower because it was pouring rain at that time! We got to settle by the deck though, and it did give us a great view of the Sai Van bridge, a cable-stayed bridge in Macau: 

(from afar) Sai Van Bridge. The Macau Tower is just right beside us!
Macau street food
Macau souvenirs!
Ruins of St. Paul
Visiting another country's landmarks and famed architectures were my favorites part in our itinerary. Yes, theme parks are just as awesome, but it's nice to gain even just a brief historical knowledge about the country that you're visiting. 

One of the places that I enjoyed during our visit in Macau was to be able to see the Ruins of St. Paul which was constructed in the late 16th century. The church was burnt down thrice and once escaped a horrific typhoon during the 19th century, unfortunately only sparing the church's fa├žade.

Outside the church
Back of the church
A-Ma Temple
After visiting the St. Paul church, our tours bus then headed of to the A-Ma Temple which is situated in the southeastern part of Macau. It was around a fifteen-minute ride, and the sun was already at its peak by the time we went there. We alighted at a communal parking area for buses, and we had to make a five-minute walk to the temple. Only my mom, my two brothers and I went, as my little sister was exhausted from the ride, so she and my dad didn't follow and decided to stay inside.

Inside the temple!

A-Ma Temple is one of the oldest Taoist temple in Macau. I believe it is also one of the popular temples too, since the volume of the people were so high! I didn't really get to enjoy it here though, mainly because it was too crowded inside, and we only had twenty-minute stop here. This is probably one of the disadvantages of joining a guided group tour—we have no hold of the time. It would be nice to explore the place with no time restraint. Nonetheless, to be able to see it is quite enough! 

Outside A-Ma Temple
Just eating ice cream on a bright, sunny day in Macau
The Venetian Macau
Our last stop was the Venetian Macau. This was our last stop, and it's all up to us to catch our boat ride back in Hong Kong, as our tour guide already left us and the rest of our group on our own. (They charge you for tip: around HK$50 per passenger) 

The Venetian is an upscale, Italian-themed casino and resort, filled with lots of luxurious accommodations and entertainment. We spent around FOUR hours in this place, and we ended up buying at McDonald's because it sure ain't cheap here. I mean, the look from the outside was intimidating enough! Oh and no, it's not that picture below. It's just one of Macau's grand buildings in the making. I didn't get a clear shot of the outer part of The Venetian, sadly.






We entered the place and I was in awe. It was quite snazzy and really, really big. There's half a chance you'll get lost in the place if you're a first-time visitor, so to all families who are bringing a child with them—hold them tight!

The first thing that you will see once you go past the the first floor is the casinos. Mind you, there were hundreds people flocking over here and there, mostly headed by tour groups. We all rode the escalator and I was scared it'll give in!

Fortunately we reached up to the second floor in one piece. We headed to Little Italy and once you're there, you will be welcomed with colorful buildings and detailed architectures, linked bridges and ceilings that are painted with bright skies, giving the effect that you're just strolling outside Venice. There was also a replica of a grand canal, and it accommodates gondola rides with matching singing gondoliers as well!

Felt like I was in Venezia!
Hong Kong At Night
This was my last shot after we have just arrived from our hour-long boat trip from Macau back to Hong Kong—a blurry picture of Hong Kong's skyline. The city was pretty much alive but I sure wasn't. It was a tiring but fun adventure, but more of it still awaits on our third and final day in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong at night
On a further note:

I Have A Travel Question!

Which do you prefer—joining a guided group tour or traveling on your own?

Let me hear your thoughts! 

Shots fired with: Canon EOS 550D

See you on Day 3!