Travel Tip Tuesday: 04.26.11

Chickennugget

Image via Wikipedia

McDonald’s Chicken Nuggets taste the same in Toronto, Chicago, Paris and Hong Kong.


Day trip to Macau

If you’re in HK, you must take a day trip to Macau.  Getting there is pretty easy. You take a ferry from the Hong Kong Macau ferry terminal in Sheung Wan.  It costs about $276 HK ($36 CDN) for a round trip ticket.  Make sure to have your passport with you as well because you need it to enter Macau.  Be prepared for the crowd and be prepared to stand while you wait for you ferry. It takes about 1 hr to get to Macau, so just sit back, relax, and take a quick nap on the ferry.

Hong Kong Macau Ferry Terminal

Hong Kong Macau Ferry Terminal

Arriving in Macau

Before you exit the port, there are a bunch of taxi drivers asking you if you would be interested in a private tour of Macau.  The first gentleman approached me and I said, “No Thank You”.  A second gentleman approached me and I said the same thing, “Not interested”.  I was a bit hesitant because being the cautious person that I am, I wasn’t sure if I would really get a tour and wasn’t sure if I could trust these people.   You always hear horror stories about people getting scammed and my mother always told me not to talk to strangers :P (side note: if you’ve seen the movie Taken, you know what I’m talking about).

At this point, R (my husband) decided to go to the bathroom so I was waiting around and the same gentleman kept asking me if I was interested.  He kept reassuring me that he is a real taxi driver and started giving me brochures.  So since I was waiting, I figured I would ask him how much.  He said his price (I can’t remember how much it was) and I was thinking, that’s a bit much.  He kept lowering the price, and I started to think, okay maybe this isn’t such a bad idea after all (I’m cheap, so he was starting to speak my language).

So after talking to him, I told him I wanted to discuss it with R. We figured we don’t really have a plan of what to do in Macau, it would be a 2 hour tour, and we’ll get a nice tour of the city.  Plus, after talking to Hong (the driver) I was getting a good vibe from him.  So we decided, why the heck not.  If you’re wondering, we paid $930 HK for a private 2 hour tour, which is about $117 CDN – $58 CDN each, not bad if you ask me.

A-Ma Temple Macau

A-Ma Temple

Taking this tour was a great idea!  Not only did we get an amazing tour of the city, our taxi driver was also our personal photographer.  Macau is the only place on our Asia trip were we have many photos together.  He knew where to place us in the photos, it was great!  Hong was so friendly and very knowledgeable about Macau.

Macau Museum

The View from Macau Museum

St. Paul's Ruins. The main facade and the foundation was left standing after a fire in 1835

Senado square, chinese new year, macau

Senado Square. Look at all the decorations. So pretty!

Macau is a beautiful place.   We were lucky to see the decorations from Chinese New Year, it was beautiful!  In Macau, you can see the Portuguese influence in the architecture of the buildings and then you have these massive Casino/Hotels that would probably swallow some of the hotels in Vegas.

macau casino mgm macau

MGM Casino

Portuguese Egg Tarts - these were AMAZING! We ate them so fast we didn't take a picture of it.

If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle in Hong Kong, take a day trip Macau.  It was well worth it!  Don’t forget to try the Portuguese egg tarts…mmmmm…sooo good!! (p.s. if you notice from my previous post, and this post I love egg tarts!)

fun fact: Macau is also spelled Macao.


Lofty Living in Hong Kong for a week

image from Airbnb - I realized I didn't get a full shot of the apartment so here it is!

I love renting out apartments on my vacay as opposed to staying at a hotel.  You have more space and you get to feel like a local for a short period.  This was my second time renting out an apartment for my vacay (if you remember, I had rented out an apartment in Paris).  This time, I used the website AirBnb to book the loft in Hong Kong.  The process was smooth as Jiffy’s peanut butter, and I couldn’t have asked for a better host, Candace.

Candace is the owner of the loft and she was just amazing!  We were going back and forth with our emails for a few months, mostly me because I had a million questions since this was my first trip to Hong Kong.  Candace answered all my questions and was very quick at responding to my emails.  I didn’t think we were going to meet in person, but the universe made it happen and we finally got to meet face to face when we checked in.  She really helped make our Hong Kong experience amazing.

So let me tell you how beautiful this loft is.  Well just look at the pictures.  Seriously, who wouldn’t want to stay here!  It looks like all the pictures on Airbnb (all pictures in this post, taken by me except for the picture at the beginning of this post) and it looks like it’s from a design magazine.  Well it has been in a few design magazines, and I’m not surprised since Candace is also an amazing interior designer.

The Kitchen - I love the wooden ladder!

The open closet/Office Area

The details - the pile of magazines, the vintage luggage, the magazine pictures over the desk

I love the placement of the photos over the couch.

The Bicycle in the corner

I loved the black and white theme, the vintage luggage, the concrete floor, the big wooden table (I’ve always wanted one!), the bicycle, the huge black and white photo over the bed, the many black and white photos over the couch, the open walk in closet, the many design magazines on the floor that just go with everything.  I know if I were to do the same, it would just look like a pile of magazines on the floor, but the way Candace did it, it just goes and makes sense.  I loved it all…can you tell?!

I’m not also a lover of travel, I also love interior design and the way the loft was designed, has inspired me with some new ideas for our place.  So thank you Candace!

I really felt at home and didn’t want to leave.  Mr. Leung, the doorman was also great help.  We bumped into him on the street and it’s a good thing we did because we were going the wrong way!  He guided us to the right direction.

The location of the loft is close to Man Mo Temple and walking distance to Soho, Sheung Wan Metro, and Central.  You won’t go hungry in this neighborhood with all the restaurants around.  Plus, the world famous egg tart pastry shop, Tai Cheong Bakery, is 5 mins away from the loft.  We ate lots of egg tarts during our stay :)

Man Mo Temple

If you’re traveling to Hong Kong soon, I recommend staying at Candace’s loft. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed!  Why wouldn’t you want to stay in a stylish loft?!


Airbnb Makes Searching for a Vacation Rental Easy!

If you remember from my earlier post, I wrote about my experience renting an apartment in Paris, as opposed to staying in a hotel.  I remember how much I loved it, so I wanted to see if I could find an apartment for my trip to Hong Kong.  Enter – Airbnb.

Airbnb is a site that allows travelers to find vacation rentals, private rooms, entire apartments, bed and breakfasts, boutique hotels, castles, and non traditional accommodations like the Fuselage Home in Manuel, Costa Rica.  That’s pretty cool!.

Fuselage Home in Costa Rica - Image from Airbnb

You can search by city, price range, and room type.  Airbnb has lots of listings for Hong Kong apartments.  The booking process is super easy.  If you have questions prior to booking, you can contact the host by clicking “Contact Me” next to the profile photo of the host.  There is also reviews and the response rate of the host.  Once I confirmed my dates, I booked it through the site using my credit card.  Everything about this process was super easy and I would highly recommend this site to anyone looking for a place to stay on their next vacation.  Also, if you want to rent out your place or room for travelers, you can do that on their site as well.  Click here to see how you can rent your place.

So which apartment did I choose?  I will keep that a secret for now.   You’ll just have to see when I get back. heeehee…I know the suspense is killing you!!


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