After traveling around Southeast Asia for almost two months, arriving in Hong Kong felt like Singapore: way more Western than like for example Vietnam where we just came from. We stayed in Hong Kong for five days, leaving the day of Christmas Eve.
Two of the major highlights of Hong Kong are taking the Star Ferry accross the river from the Hong Kong to Kowloon neighbourhoods, and taking the tram to Victoria Gap. Needless to say, we did both. Apart from that, Hong Kong has a lot to offer when it comes to shopping. We never saw so many Rolex, Gucci, or Prada stores. And they’re big, too. It looked like all residents went all out with their shopping, spending their entire income in a day. Maybe because Christmas was approaching, or maybe that’s just how it works here.
For around 22$ (one-way), one can take the TurboJET ferry from Hong Kong to Macau. As with Hong Kong, Macau is a “Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China”. It is also often called “Vegas of the East”. So, we were expecting quite a lot.
Macau consists of two major islands: Taipa in the south and Macau in the north. We started in Taipa. The free shuttle bus of the Venetian Casino brought us to … the Venetian Casino. It looks very similar to the Las Vegas one, except that there is way less glamour: no music, slotmachines ringing, or shows. Just plain old gambling machines. Not very attractive to us, but it seemed to work well to the mostly Chinese customers.
We had seen enough, so took another free shuttle to the Macau island. Here, there is more to see. Apart from more casinos, the city center is worth seeing. Dating back to the Portuguese colonial days, it felt like a cozy European city. On top of the hill, parts of the city wall and castle still remain. A nice conclusion of a fun day full of disappointing casino experiences.
Our stay in Hong Kong and Macau was short, but a lot of fun. We did not shop or gamble, but these cities are all about it. For us, it was time to move on to the mainland of China.
We, Mark & Herta, are currently backpacking through Europe, and eventually planning to settle in London. Beyond that? The possibilities are endless.Read Mark & Herta’s full story.