I’ve just come back from a dream holiday.
My friends Nadine, Carol and Veronica and I spent 4 days in China (Macau and HK), laughing our heads off at everything and indulging in deep conversation.
Thanks to a really cheap flight promotion which we jumped on last year (RM139 return), we boarded the plane with a lonely planet iPhone app (which turned out to be pretty outdated), a few handwritten notes and mental notes of recommendations from friends.
I’d heard the stories from Hong Kong – of amazing shopping, fashionable folks and the happening places to hang out but unfortunately, my friends and I only had a day to explore this glorious metropolis.
We arrived in Macau, a former Portuguese colony on a Saturday and spent two days (ironically) not gambling.
Being party animals by nature, we were pretty disappointed that the only decent party venue we stumbled upon was the Lion’s Bar at MGM Grand Hotel (and casino).
Believe me, we took a long look around before deciding on Lion’s. Even receptionists at other venues recommended this place for a good night out, plus there was a live band called ‘Upfront’ performing a good mix of tunes for our entertainment.
Nursing hangovers the day after, we spent the day doing ‘wholesome’ stuff like visiting the ruins of St Paul’s church (ok yeah that was the only wholesome thing we did) and bonding , of course.
The thing you should know about Macau is that if you don’t speak Cantonese, its gonna be difficult to get around. None of us knew any Chinese (much to the surprise of our hotel receptionist, having not met Malaysians with this impairment) so we had to get him to write our destination down in Chinese to show to the taxi drivers.
Also, the language barrier proved an eating-cheap deterrent in both Macau and Hong Kong, but determined to save money on high-end English-speaking food outlets, we did our darndest to communicate via pointing and gesturing (and thankfully, many outlets had picture menus we could just point at 🙂 )
One definite hit foodwise is the pork chop burger, which seems to be a Macau staple dish. Its basically a grilled pork chop with bone attached, sandwiched between two pieces of burger bread and mmmm its delicious!
So on Monday, we took the Turbojet ferry (about RM100 one way) to HK – it takes about an hour and the ferry is really nice, its air-conditioned and they even have reading material onboard.
I must be the only one of my friends who has never been to Hong Kong, and eventhough I’d heard so much about it I didn’t want to expect too much.
Now, I wish we had made HK our main destination and Macau a day trip, because there is just TOO much shopping to do in HK.
We started the day at Causeway Bay, where we chanced upon several nice boutiques and an amazing shop called The Shoe Shop.
OMG… you know I love Aldo right? Well the stuff in this store is almost exactly Aldo quality but half the price! I picked up a pair of skin-coloured booties for RM150 ! My girls walked out with some great stuff too!
We had been told to check out Mongkok and that’s exactly where we went next, and we stumbled upon a boots shop selling boots (everyone seemed to be wearing boots in HK and Macau) at about RM30 each!!!! (provided you purchase two, we shared) Needless to say, we were there for about an hour gushing! sighh.. check them out:
Incidentally, we discovered there was a H&M nearby and so we headed there. Its in a mall called Langam Place and its Massive!! There was heaps of stuff to go through but the loooooong lines at the cashier and changing rooms are a little discouraging.
Finally, we decided to track down the famous Lan Kwai Fong street, where the pubs are. We weren’t disappointed as for the first time during the trip, we were spoilt for choice. We ended up at Lux bar and restaurant, where we spent the rest of the night drinking Erdingers and playing ‘Never ever’.
Despite the severe lack of sleep, endless drinking and aching bodies from walking so much I swear I would do this again! It wasn’t the shopping, the partying or the heaps of attention we got from the locals, it was just hanging out with a bunch of good friends who you know you can say anything to and start either a conversation that will have you laughing to tears, or rethinking our purpose on the planet and what we want out of this lifetime.
This just goes to show that you don’t have to go somewhere amazing to have an awesome time, you just have to go with the right people. Come on, a bunch of non-gamblers in a city filled with casinos while the shopping capital of Asia beckoned just an hour’s boat ride away? We made it work.
Tell us what you think!