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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