Sunday, November 4, 2012

China part 3- Hong Kong and Macau

I was pretty excited to go to Hong Kong, we decided to do a little splurging and stay at a hotel on the beach. It was a big room, a grand view of the water and a comfy bed and out own shower! Oh and did I mention there was also a large swimming pool?

The arrival to the airport was a breeze and when we made it through, a gentleman in a suit greeted us in perfect English and asked which hotel we were staying at. Unsure of how to respond, ( we were used to scams by now in China) the man whipped out an iPad and started looking at all the hotels. We told him ours the gold coast, and he told us that although there is no direct route the easiest is to get to the bus station and pick up our shuttle there. He gave us some maps and sent us to the main express train queue. We bought our tickets using a credit card and realized we needed to exchange money. We asked the guy again and he told us that there was a exchange center through the doors. Ge also told us in case we miss our shuttle which bus to take.

When we went to exchange our money, the woman told us that she didn't take commisson and that she could exchange Czech money! I was so excited! I had a lot left over, so I quickly pulled it out. We then asked about Mongolian dollars and she was confused that theydidnt take RMBs, but they did not. She was also confused that Beijing couldn't exchange them either. We told her we were too.

But we got to our hotel via train and bus, and well it was super nice.

There was a shuttle to the main city from our hotel that left every hour, it was about 35 hkd or about 5usd one way. And it was usually a nice shuttle bus too. Once we had an older one, but compared to the bus we had to get from the train station to the hotel, it was still nicer.

Hong Kong city is a busy place filled with lots of people, hawkers, and fancy shopping areas, like Dolce & Gabbana, Coach, Prada etc on every rd. I bought some clothes at H&M, a cheaper fashion store.

We went to the river one night when they were doing an organized light show on the building to music. It was really remarkable and impressed many people. During our time there, we also took the tram up to Victoria peak, visited the Walk of Stars and relaxed.

We had dinner with one of Tom's old business worker and his friend and did we feast! We had a hot pot with spicy and clear broth and so much freaking food! It was so delicious and we were super full! Afterwards, we found a small store/shop where we had dessert- gelatinous turtle shell. You add a bit of honey on top and it was sweet, earthy, pungent, and a bit bitter. My stomach was overwhelmed but we survived.

Hong Kong was expensive though and we burned holes in our pickets without even knowing it. Dinner would usually end up 100 usd for both of us- including one night when we had 4 beers, fries, onion rings, wings, and a Caesar salad. And with guesthouses being expensive and in noisy locations, we opted for another hotel, closer in the city, to stay at. It was wonderful though, called the Mini Hotel, it was a tall building but with only 3 rooms to a floor. The rooms were large considering where we were. But you could tell we were in a nice area as the Bently car shop was across the street from us.

We also visited the botanical/zoological garden which had monkeys and birds, alligators and herbs all around the park. We also saw the big Buddha which was another tram ride to a different part of the area. It was really cool as you could see on the side of the mountains were grave sites.

There was also a giant freaking spider that was eating a butterfly. When we came back 45 minutes later it was eaten. Gahhhhhhhh! Gross.

We took the ferry to Macau, an hour by speedboat. We waited for our shuttle for about 45 minutes- as we had just missed the previous one- and got to our next hotel. It wasn't the cleanest, but it got the job done. We walked around, ate egg tarts, drank cheap portugese wine, saw a broken down cathedral, watched live international music, got drunk with phillipininos, walked around some more and of course gambled. I lost all my money, but Tom was winning, then losing, then he won again! Needless to say he bought dinner that night.

But that's all I'm gonna write about for these two places. We spent a LOT of money, but enjoyed ourselves. I really liked Hong Kong and wouldn't mind trying to get an expat job there. :)

Next up Thailand, the land of smiles!

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