Olá and 再見

I recently spent a week in Hong Kong and Macau for a work gig. It’s good to be back. I’ve always liked Hong Kong. Back in the day when I was just starting my career, I’ve always gone there often on business trips and ultimately build some friendships and fond memories.

One thing about small countries is that its is so packed you can accomplish many things in a couple days. Yes, no need to remind me that they are prefectures of China yada yada.  I still consider them a country of their own.

First off, Macau has been designed to be the Las Vegas of Asia. So all the big hotel/casino names are here in all their grandiosity and glamour. Much of what you see here is a replica of The Strip in Vegas.

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My day time is usually full so I only get the chance to walk around at night. The crowd of holiday-ers are noticeably less than Vegas so you could walk around with much less weaving in and out. Also majority of the visitors are from mainland China so they tend to be in groups and only come out at day time (they spend the nights in casinos).

It is relatively safe to walk around alone. Of course you don’t leave your wits and street smarts in your hotel room safe. If you want to get away from the fancy restaurants in the hotel resorts Taipa Village is the place to go. There is a smorgasbord of restaurants and stalls offering Portuguese and Chinese delicacies. Ah yes, and the famous egg tarts. And slabs and slabs of jerky. Pork, Beef, Stuffed… they have it. And the best thing is they offer you slices as samples. Next stop to sample are the pastries. Macau is also known for their pastellerias. There are also hawker type stalls for your street food fix.

Funny thing is I came across the only store that has people lining up. When I checked it out everything was written in Chinese. Also most of those lining up where from the mainland so yeah there was some lost in translation going on.I joined the cue for a bit but then decided since I don’t really know what are they buying and no pricing in Arabic numbers, I decided to bail out. Needless to say I was curious.

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What are you guys lining up for?

So most nights I would walk around this area, occasionally stopping for  food or beer. Amidst the Portuguese designed buildings are small pockets of restaurants offering a fusion of Portuguese and Chinese food.

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There is no shortage of restaurants – Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese, French, etc. Oh yeah and a pub. How can I forget the pub!

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Going beyond the main tourist area, it is lovely and peaceful.

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street art

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Next stop, Hong Kong

The ferry crossing to Hong Kong was uneventful. Well except some girls loudly discussing the season finale of Game of Thrones which I haven’t watched it at the time. Talk about spoilers!

It was raining when I arrived in Hong Kong. That basically set the tone for the remainder of my stay. So instead of planning for a beach day I spent some time reacquainting with my old haunts. Needless to say I did a lot of walking. And crossing streets.

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Hong Kong is so jam packed I like weaving in and out between the main and smaller streets to get to your destination faster.

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Oh yeah and Victoria Peak just because I was close by the Peak tram station.

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The off and on rains prevented some quality beach time. Oh well.

Then its time to have the reunion with friends. Just like any other major city hub there is a vibrant night life   that needs to be taken advantaged of. Needless to say, there was a lot of fun along with consumption of copious amounts of alcohol.

Then off to catch a plane with a hungover. Yeah tell me about it. I’m getting too old for this shit.

So long Hong Kong and Macau. Thanks for the good time.

 

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Serendipitous Thanksgiving

The moments of happiness we enjoy take us by surprise. It is not that we seize them, but that they seize us. – Ashley Montagu

This being my first Thanksgiving in the US of A, my friend decided to drag me out to Grand Lake in Grand County, Colorado for the Thanksgiving week. Yes, a week! Since most of this trip I haven’t touched any guidebook or done any advance reading like I always do when doing a trip, I had no idea what was in store for me. Well, what can I say, I fell in love!

We made our way to Grand Lake at night and even then aided by a full moon the drive up was very scenic.  The next morning was a nice weather and so we did what respectable half-sober people would do – play in the sun and the snow. Suffice it is to say that that was the pattern for the remaining days – wake up, drive up to the bar for some bloody mary’s and mimosas for breakfast, power up with snow mobiles, wander around and retire to the bar. Pretttyy good if you ask me.

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view from the bedroom

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fine day indeed!

During our down times, we would pause to admire Grand Lake.

The locals tell me that this is the deepest, natural lake in Colorado. All I can say is it is beautiful.

I do have a penchant for small towns. And this town is as small as can be. You can tell when you walk into our watering hole that everyone knows every one including the nitty gritty details of everyone’s lives. “Hey Dixie, was that a new puppy you were walking this morning?” “Hey Ricky, everything fine with your new blinds?” Bless.

downtown Grand Lake

we’ve spent too many hours on this bar

Now the greatest challenge comes at night. See, we like to go out and party. However we also like to be responsible and not drink and drive. That leaves us leaving any kind of transport (car, snow mobiles, boards) and walk to the town. Now what happens when it’s time to go home?

This.

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Walking up the hill to head home at 3AM. No, it’s not enjoyable at all. But, as you’ve assumed correctly, this did not stop us from doing the same thing. How else are we supposed to enjoy Thanksgiving week?

‘Til next time!

HELLO LOVELY PEOPLE!

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It’s been a while huh? Yeah, I know.

Well, let’s just say the party has really started. I’m talking about the little project that me and my friends has been planning for some time in between sessions of mojitos, rum cokes and margaritas. I may have mentioned it here. Well, it is now up and running.

beach time is a must regardless how sleepless and busy I am

As usual I was given the task of researching. Suffice it is to say that I have been making the rounds along the party circuit here in the city and in Boracay (the party island). It’s a tough job I tell you but somebody has to do it. As a result I am not able to spend some time around here.

I miss the days when you simply put your feet up on the table (I do, so sue me), open WordPress and read witty articles and/or admire photos while enjoying a bottle of wine. Instead every second I can get for myself, I spend it catching up on sleep.

I am not complaining much. Our little project is making leaps and bounds considering the challenges we’ve met. And I will get some me time very soon! Meantime I will now put my over-danced feet up and catch up on what you guys have been up to.

down time

They Call Them Supertrees

That’s exactly what they are called.

If you find yourself looking at some massive tree-like, Avatar-ish architectural structure in the middle of a buzzling city, you probably landed in Singapore.

So Singapore, is one of those places where they like to build stuff to draw out the tourist. Because let’s face it, compared to their neighbours that have various attractions like cities built from centuries ago, amazing natural wonders, exotic religious/cultural practices and whatnot they got nothing much to offer. Sooo…. yeah they decided to have some garden of another kind.

At some point in the evening, these ‘trees’ become part of some light and sound show but  it’s nothing to write home about. However, one has a nice restaurant at the top. A friend and I decided to check it out.

a blue tree, yay!

Of course who else but us will take notice of this:

 Naturally, our sense of generosity kicked into action.

We made sure to have several of them just to  make sure our contributions are significant.

Our view while doing our best to contribute for a good cause:

Marina Bay Sands

I’m not usually a fan of these made-for-tourist attractions but I would have to say this wasn’t so bad. Not bad at all.

Aha! It’s My First Anniversary in the WP World

There is a downside to having too much of a good time sometimes. You tend to enjoy being in the moment and nothing else; not bothering to take photographs or document anything. Then there were times when things were too hazy that lifting a finger would be a chore. Anndd of course, there are those ‘what happens in Vegas’ thing that don’t need a write up.

Later on you remember you have no material for a blog post. Oops.

I’m a visual person so photographs are my main thing.  I do tell the occasional tale when I’m feeling a bit chatty but I’d mostly let photos tell most of the story.

Anyway, I mentioned that because so many things happened in the past weeks and guess what, my camera is sitting there almost empty even if I had it with me all those times. There were last minute trips to chase the remaining waves before the water becomes flat, a music festival, reuniting with my island friends and bringing the crazy in the city, watching friends in their gigs, the list would go on. Oh yeah, there is also spiked activity in the work situation. I feel like I could sleep for a week as a result of all that.

The most recent was going to the Malasimbo Music Festival in Puerto Galera. You might have heard that Joss Stone and Jimmy Cliff performed there along with various  local talents. Yup, they did.

These was all I had to show for it:

waking up to the view of Puerto Galera Bay after an all night party is really swell.

when you couldn’t climb up the hill sleeping in stranger’s yachts is in order

monkey business it is!

i wasn’t kidding about climbing up a steep set of stairs

So there you have it folks!

Oh yeah I got this too:

Happy Anniversary!
Yipey yay!
The WP world is full of so many interesting stories. I’m flattered to be in the company of very talented bloggers (I can only dream of being in the same league as you lot are). To all those who visited and to those who stuck around, THANK YOU.