Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Hong Kong Trip '10: [PART 2] Casino-hopping in Macau

No trip to Hong Kong is complete, if you haven't been to Macau.
Since we did not visit Macau during our last visit,
we decided do so during this trip.
To us, Macau has always been featured in Hong Kong dramas as Asia's Las Vegas.
Since we are definitely not gamblers ourselves,
that does not mean that we will not visit the Casinos in Macau.
Most importantly, the casinos are the key reason to not having to pay a single transport fare in Macau!
Why so? Read on...

[Leaving HK in TurboJet]


Departing Hong Kong Island early in the morning to catch the TurboJet. We had bought our tickets from the HK-Macau Ferry Terminal the day before. There are two other jet foil operators: CotaiJet and New World First Ferry. You can either purchase a two-way ticket or purchase a one-way ticket to either Macau island or Taipa island, then buy the return-ticket from Macau.

[Arrival in Macau]
Travelling in Macau can be cost-free. You simply have to hop-on hop-off any any of the casino shuttle buses that ferries passengers from the ferry terminal to the casinos. Moreover, the casinos are located in close proximity, such that walking is possible. Major tourist attractions can also be reached by foot from certain casinos too. The currency in Macau is MOP. The exchange rates of HK currency and Macau MOP are very similar. Hence, you can basically use Hong Kong currency for everything, change will also be returned in Hong Kong currency. Using Hong Kong currency is also easier for tourists, since not much money-changers have Macau MOP.

[Casino Lisboa & Grand Lisboa]


Casino Lisboa (葡京娛樂場) is of the famous casino in Macau. The original casino and the 12-storey round hotel tower were built in 1970.

In 2006, the Grand Lisboa, an extension of Lisboa, was being built next to the original casino. This expansion is being done partly in competition with the newly opened Wynn Macau, located right next to the original Casino Lisboa.
Address: Avenida De Lisboa, Macau

[Glass Building]

This glass building is located in the middle of a roundabout on Praca de Ferreira do Amaral, near Wynn Casino and Casino Lisboa.

[Wynn Macau]

Wynn Macau is a luxury integrated casino-resort owned by Wynn Resorts Las Vegas.


One of the feature of the hotel is the ceiling that has carvings of the 12 Zodiac signs from the Lunar calender. At certain times, there will be a multimedia display at this spot, however, the attraction was under maintenance during my visit.
Address: Rua Cidade de Sintra, NAPE, Macau

[Fisherman's Wharf]
Fisherman's Wharf (澳門漁人碼頭) is the first theme park in Macau and is located next to the Macau Ferry Terminal.

The Tang Dynasty Fortress, a new attraction which is yet to open to public.


Vulcania is a 40-m tall replica volcano which 'erupts' every evening. Inside the vlocano, there are the 'River of Fire' white-water and 'Dragon Quest' roller-coaster rides. Along the exterior of Vulcania has a miniature Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet.


Aladdin's Fort, an attraction in the style of a middle-eastern fort which is home to a variety of funfair rides and military war games.


Roman Amphitheatre is an outdoor Colosseum with 2,000 seats serves as a venue for concerts and performances.

[Crossing over from Macau to Taipa]
We walked back from Fisherman's Wharf to the Ferry Terminal, where we hopped onto the complimentary shuttle bus ride to Casino Venetian.

[Venetian Macau]

Venetian Macau is a luxury hotel and casino resort in Macau owned by the Las Vegas Sands corporation. Venetian Macau is the largest single-structure hotel building in Asia and the fourth-largest building in the world by area. Venetian Macau is definitely one of the largest casino in the world. Venetian Macau operates in Taipa island of Macau. Getting there was not difficult with its well-connected shuttle bus network. Venetian Macau actually has shuttle bus going to-fro other casinos in Macau.



Immerse yourself in the Venice-styled shopping arcade. Take a ride down the 'San Luca canal' on a gondola and be entertained by a song from the gondolier. It is definitely a city brought indoors. Even if it is a replica, it is one at its finest.


The huge casino is further divided into 4 themed gaming zones: Golden Fish, Imperial House, Red Dragon and Phoenix.

The best time to visit the Venetian Macau can be anytime of the day, but the evening view of the Venetian exterior and its surroundings is impressive.

The hotel lobby and corridor is an inviting grand hallway that resembles a historical European palace.
If you only have time to spend time in one casino, Venetian Macau is the place. It will leave you impressed and lost for words.
There is no better way to depart Taipa, Macau, than catching the CotaiJet ferry from Taipa Temporary Ferry Terminal. CotaiJet is also owned by Venetian Macau.

Of course, casino-hopping and trying your hand on some games are not the only things you can do in Macau.
Stay tuned for more pictures from MACAU in the Part 3, where we find local food and sights.


Photography & Editing by William Tan 2010
Documented using Nikon D200 with Tamron 18-270 VC and Panasonic LUMIX-LX3

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Hong Kong Trip '10: [PART 1] A380 to Hong Kong

Late last year, we caught some real cheap air tickets from Singapore Airlines,
so we decided to re-visit Hong Kong early this year.
This time round, we are still flying by "SQ" (Singapore Airlines),
however its A380!
Flying in a jumbo passenger jet is definitely an experience worth it,
even if it was just for a mere 4 hour flight.

[Flying on Singapore Airlines A380]

When we were checking the flight schedules, we were surprised to see the visiting flight was on A380. Hence, immediately after confirming our flight agenda, we proceeded to book our seats. Flying on the A380 was an experience to behold, we had to go for the upper deck on this double-decker jumbo jet. The upper deck of the A380 houses the first-class, business-class and economy-class. Of course, my thin wallet could only afford me the economy class. Nevertheless, economy-class on A380 was quite comfortable for us. The 2-4-2 seat configuration meant that couples like us get to have our privacy. The passenger space on-board the A380 was not significantly any bigger than other SQ planes. However, we did notice the additional stowage space beneath the window.
Since it was our maiden flight on the A380, we had to do the "mountain turtle" thing, to take pictures on the plane! The air-stewardesses were understanding to help us with a couple of shots. What better way to tell its A380 than a shot on the staircase! As a matter of fact, I was not to impressed. I was expecting a grand staircase as that seen in Jodie Foster's "Flightplan".

[Airport Express]

No paid-for taxi rides this time round, so it was by Airport Express. We purchased a buddy tickets pack which was way much cheaper. Kudos to the efficient metro system in Hong Kong, we conveniently switched to the MTR at Hong Kong Station and connected to Mongkok. Remember to have some credit in your Octopus card though. We stayed in the same accommodation as the previous trip.

[KFC Egg Tarts]

First stop, visit the local KFC for some real good Portuguese egg tarts. Yes, the KFC over there sells them a-la carte with a beverage. Luckily, the KFC in Singapore decided to bring in them finally.

[臭豆腐]

Street food is something that I missed deeply. So the next thing is walk down Sai Yeung Choi Street for fried fermented beancurd or 臭豆腐 (literally translated to smelly beancurd)! This tasty treats are smelly indeed but the taste packs a punch especially when doused with sweet and spicy sauces! Shiok!

[Traditional Egg Tarts]

Third stop, egg tarts again! Yes! I have found no better egg tarts in Singapore. I swore never to let my tongue taste others than the best traditional egg tarts in Hong Kong! Nothing beats sinking my teeth into them and let the piping hot egg custard run down my throat, warming me up on the drizzling, cold evening.

[Modern Toilet Restaurant]

During my last visit, I missed out on visiting Modern Toilet, a Taiwanese theme restaurant. Needless to elaborate, the name already suggests that the restaurant is set in a toilet theme. I wonder how its like dining in a latrine! I had to scoot off to find a toilet since I could not use any of the many toilet bowls there.

Some really potent shit! Japanese curry bubbling on a toilet bowl hotpot.

Fancy slurping up ramen from a toilet bowl? How about cheese backed rice from a bath-tub?

The restaurant has many different bathroom themes.

That's a fucking enormous piece of shit!

Relax, dining in the restaurant won't give you the runs.
Unless if you chomping on some shit!


That's about it for Part 1.
Stay tuned for more pictures from MACAU in the Part 2.


Photography & Editing by William Tan 2010
Documented using Nikon D200 with Tamron 18-270 VC and Panasonic LUMIX-LX3