I met Rebecca at Hong Kong Station the morning of Tuesday, July 5th and we made our way to the Macau Ferry Terminal. Macau is also a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, but differs from Hong Kong in its Portuguese heritage rather than English. With an estimated population of around 652,500 living in an area of 30.5 km2 (11.8 sq mi), it is the most densely populated territory/country in the world. We arrived on the island of Cotai after our 145 km ferry ride and grabbed a taxi to our hotel on mainland Macau. Macau is known for its gambling and huge hotels, but we opted for a quiet hotel on top of Mong-Ha hill. We started the afternoon with a tasty dim sum lunch and later walked through the Macau Sands Casino. We stopped at the Statue of Guanyin before walking through the MGM Macau, Mandarin Macau, Wynn Macau, and Grand Lisboa casinos. Becca resisted the urge to show off her Sic Bo skills she demonstrated in Singapore. That brought us to the historic Portuguese centre of Macau and we checked out the old government and cathedral buildings. Getting caught in the rain, we made our way back to the Grand Lisboa for an early dinner.
The next morning, we caught a taxi to The Venetian Macao on Cotai Island. The 10,500,000-square-foot (980,000 m2) Venetian Macao is modeled on its sister casino resort The Venetian Las Vegas, and is the seventh-largest building in the world by floor area. The Venetian Macao is also the largest casino in the world, and the largest single structure hotel building in Asia. Thank you Wikipedia. We did some shopping in the mall that resembles the open-aired streets of Venice. That evening, Bec lead us on a culinary tour of the nearby village of Taipa which included a Macau pork chop bun, a traditional Portuguese crab dish called Sapateira Recheada, and some gelato (Bec had the delicious sawdust gelato and I had the love-it-or-hate-it durian gelato). We walked off our dinner with a stroll through the Galaxy Macau casino.
On Thursday, we caught the ferry back to Hong Kong and found our hotel in SoHo, part of the Central District. We headed over to Wan Chai and had lunch at Din Tai Fung, a chain of dim sum restaurants we discovered in Singapore. We checked out Victoria Park, Tin Hau Temple, then jumped on the double-decker tram back to the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre where HK was handed back to the Chinese in 1997. We walked back towards our hotel stopping in the entertainment area of Lan Kwai Fong and had dinner at Yung Kee Restaurant. One of its popular dishes is the century egg…I quite enjoyed it, but Bec was not a fan.
Friday’s humidity was over the top, so we did as the locals do and headed for the hills. We caught The Peak Tram which opened in 1888 up to the 428 m Peak Tower on Victoria Peak. After getting a good look at HK and across the harbor to Kowloon, we did the 1 h, 3 km walk along Harlech and Lugard Roads around Victoria Peak. We decided to walk down from the top along the former footpath called Old Peak Road. We underestimated the walk in such weather and had to cool down in the hotel for the rest of the afternoon. That night, we set out to find a couple of hidden bars in the neighborhood. One of which was Fu Lou Shou where you have to enter a passcode to get in a rundown looking building and go up an elevator. Then you enter into an amazing rooftop bar in the middle of SoHo.
Saturday was our last full day in HK. We hit some of the curio and antique shops along Hollywood Road and visited the Man Mo Temple. We walked through Blake Park and cruised through Western Market. That night, we crossed the harbor and had a cocktail in the InterContinental Hotel in Kowloon and enjoyed the views of the HK skyline as the sun set. We had made a reservation for T’ang Court in the Langham Hotel and the chef’s tasting menu did not disappoint.
On Sunday, we did a little shopping in Central before checking out and heading for the airport. We both really enjoyed HK and left a few stones unturned for the next time we’re there.