Macau (+Hong Kong) Trip Report

Laziness strikes again!

So last month we traveled to Asia with friends — first stop was Hong Kong where we took a day trip to Macau.

I should back up and say that I enjoyed my last couple of visits to Hong Kong but it was a challenging experience this time. Not only was it incredibly crowded (expected due to Chinese New Year), we also encountered quite a bit of rudeness — from pushing and cutting in lines to terrible customer service. I’m usually a pushover so my personal tendency is to ignore things like this but it’s harder to brush off when you’re in a group and want to make sure everyone is happy. It wasn’t so bad that I’d never go back… ask me again in a year. 🙂

On our first day together we decided to take a day trip to Macau. None of us had ever been — yay for new travel destinations! we took the Turbojet ferry to get there from the Kowloon side of Hong Kong.

The group! Bright-eyed and bushy tailed! Hehe.

The trip over to Macau was only an hour long. Upon arrival, we were immediately targeted by crazy aggressive people trying to convince us to book tours. One lady kept following my friend Rob even though he kept saying we had plans. YIKES! We also had the worst customer service at the information desk when we asked for directions to the hotel shuttles. The day wasn’t exactly getting off to a good start.

We took one of the hotel shuttles to the central area of the Macau peninsula. From there, we walked down the main drag to Senado Square, which is basically a town square/meeting place. Above is the City Hall. I loved the blend of Portuguese and Chinese architecture found in all the buildings in the square.

That’s us in front of a Lunar New Year display! I got stuck holding the selfie stick.

I’m sure Senado Square would be so beautiful at night when all the lanterns are lit up.

I wanted to see the ruins so we continued along the pathway (and made a pit stop at McDonald’s so we could all share the Prosperity Sharing box of chicken nuggets & wings – so good!). It’s lined with bakeries and souvenir shops and is absolutely crowded with people.

Ruins of St. Paul! This landmark is what I envision when I think of Macau. Very cool to see it in person.

Obsessed with selfies, lol.

Randomly while we were at the ruins, I ended up getting interviewed by some local high school students. Initially I tried to say no but they misunderstood me and I can be a pushover like that. I didn’t know they were going to videotape me though! At least they were nice. They asked where I was from and what I thought of Macau and the ruins and I couldn’t really think of anything else to say except that I liked the experience and it was nice. LOL. I can’t think under pressure. Oh well.

Lunch was at The Eight, which is a Michelin-starred restaurant in the Grand Lisboa hotel. This meal was one of THE BEST dim sum experiences ever.

We shared 9 of their signature dim sum dishes plus fried rice at the end. The shrimp dumpling above was my favorite.

Everything was amazing and presented so beautifully. And we received these complimentary egg tarts for dessert! YUMMY.

Unfortunately our time in Macau started going downhill after such a wonderful lunch. We tried to go to the Venetian over on the Cotai side by using the hotel’s free shuttle but one of the porters yelled at us when he saw that we didn’t have tickets. He didn’t even try to help us figure out where and how to get them (apparently from gambling at the hotel). So rather than deal with that mess, we attempted to take a cab but some guy cut in front of us at the taxi line and that was the last straw.

We decided to forgo the Venetian and walk to the Wynn which was across the street. Sadly, not even gambling could turn our day around. The atmosphere in the casino wasn’t very welcoming at all. Surprisingly, they don’t even serve alcohol at the tables or slots. We played some of the electronic games like roulette but after a short while, we just wanted to leave.

Luckily the Wynn had a shuttle heading to the ferry terminal and we were able to get on the next ferry back to Hong Kong rather than wait until our planned ferry at 10:30p (obviously I thought we’d be there much longer than we were — I think we left in the late afternoon).

Back in Hong Kong, I love this view of the harbor looking towards Hong Kong Island.

A less than stellar day is always made better in the company of good friends. 🙂

Up next — 5 days in Tokyo!

For more pics, check our Flickr here.