Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Venetian Macau, Hotel Holiday and Senado Square

Touchdown Macau. Pretty impressive that most hotels and all big casinos provide complimentary shuttle service to/from the airport, ferry terminal and transit points to tourist places. 

Just a stone's throw away (5 mins travel) from the Macau Intl Airport is The Venetian Hotel & Casino. Marvel at the intricate ceiling replicating the beauty of renaissance Venice with ornate and lavish moldings.

Indulge in the finest all-suite accommodations, over 300 duty-free shopping, world-class entertainment and over 30 dining choices – all under one roof. Even non-guests get to frolic to their hearts content and enjoy free luggage holding service (west wing lobby) 

The cloud dappled soft blue sky mural reminded me of IBN Battuta Mall in Dubai. It entices anyone to shop among the best brands of boutique from New York, Paris, London and Milan and also enjoy heart warming gastronomic delights. 

While at the shops, you may safely change your currencies to MOP (Macau Pataca) at Bank of China. Here are the rates:
1 usd = 7.79 MOP
1 usd = 7.56 HKD

Experience the romance and grandeur of Shoppes at Venetian where guests are entertained by serenading gondoliers, performers with colorful antics of jugglers, living statues and musicians as they wander around.

Opposite The Venetian is City of Dreams. Rode the complimentary shuttle from COD to Grand Lisboa Hotel. Casino Lisboa's entrance lit up like a beacon at night. 

From here, one can reach the Senado Square in 10-15 minutes by walking. Opted to take a cab, but the queue was just impossible! It took us an hour to get one thereby losing our priceless dinner reservation at Alorcha (hailed as Macau's best Portuguese restaurant) 

Still teary-eyed, headed straight to our humble abode instead. We just needed the convenience of having a place to stay walking distance to Largo de Senado or Senado Square and The Ruins of St Paul. 

I suggest you print out the Chinese name of the hotel as most taxi driver does not speak English.

Spotted Wong Chi Kei while walking at Largo Senado. Famous for its noodles and congee, we decided to give it a try.

Braised noodle with wonton (MOP34)
Yang Chow fried rice (MOP58 )
Chicken wings (MOP68)

You can't go to Macau and not try these portuguese egg tarts ( 2 for MOP20) milk tea ( MOP20) and porkchop bun (MOP39)

Was craving a taste of Margaret's egg tarts but finding it was epic fail. Tried asking the locals but they only gave us puzzled looks. Settled for the one at the Senado Square.

A spectacular facade of Ruins of Saint Paul perched atop one of Macau island's seven hills. Picturesque both day and  at night.

We would have loved to visit the other side of Macau, Coloane island. But time is of the essence and HK awaits. Ferry ride is MOP161 and travel time is approx 50mins.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Din Tai Fung in Tsim Sha Tsui and HK Disneyland

Just because life is too short to just sleep on ze bffs birthday, we packed our bags and headed to an easy peasy Macau-HK weekend getaway with no itineraries in mind. 

Decided to book a hotel at Tsim Sha Tsui where merely taking a stroll and crossing the streets is an experience itself. Retail therapy at its finest!


Originally wanted to make a beeline for Tim Ho Wan in Nathan Road but was bitten by the lazy bug not to ride the mtr. Walked towards Silvercord instead. A 6-storey shopping center brimming with shops and restos. 


Saved our hunger pangs for Din Tai FungAwarded a Michelin star as well as ranked one of the world’s Top Ten Best Restaurants by The New York Times for its famous signature xiao long baos (steamed pork dumplings)

A heart-warming bowl of steamed shrimp and pork wonton soup HKD$64 and egg fried rice served with moist and tender deep fried pork chop HKD$75. 

With a wide selection of delicately hand made dumplings and enticing dishes, discerning diners are destined to tuck into flavorful creations with delight in each and every bite. 

Our introduction to eggettes, a classic Hong Kong street food. Tastes best seconds after they’ve been handed to you warm by the vendor. Soft, sponge-cake like texture on the inside and a crisp shell on the outside. 

Directions from Tsim Sha Tsui to HK Disneyland
  • Take about a minute walk to TST MTR station thru Exit B1
  • Take the red Tsuen Wan Line train and get off at Lai King Station
  • Interchange trains to the Tung Chung Line and get off at Sunny bay Station
  • Interchange to the Disneyland Resort Line train that will bring you straight to Disneyland station Exit A.

Travel time is approx 35-40 mins @ HKD$ 21. Standard park ticket costs HKD$450 per adult. Should you wish to double the fun, 2-Day tickets are at HKD$585.

Hong Kong’s summer from late May to the mid-September is extremely hot and humid. The hottest is in July and August when the mean daytime temperature often exceeds 32 C

HK Disneyland on a Sunday equates to scorching hot long lines at the rides and shows. Think 40 mins -1 Hr waiting time for each ride. We decided to skip the rides and watch the stage shows instead.

We made a beeline for The Golden Mickeys at Fantasyland and Festival of the Lion King at Adventureland.

Highlight is The Flights of Fantasy parade. Town Square in front of Main Street Station is usually less crowded for enjoying the parade. 

Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.

Disney souvenirs are the cutest! Must buy are t-shirts for the folks back home. Shirt prices ranges from HKD$185 above. For the first time in forever... my love affair with Elsa, Anna and Olaf was rekindled. 

You can also find these exclusive Disney merchandise at the airport departure east hall.