Hong Kong, Macau & Shenzhen; stories & pictures

Category: , , By panda_eyed
So I finally got round to loading all the photos that I took on my trip. It took me the best part of a day, what with renaming, sorting, and loading the best ones onto Flickr. Then I realised that blogger won't let me link from there for some reason, and so I had to find an alternate way of publishing them : However, I have now found a way! Don't worry, I won't subject you to all 266 of them, you guys have the highlights.

So, the trip. I stay at my grandma's house in Sheng Wo Hang Village in the New Territories area of Hong Kong for the best part of the trip, but I also visited Macau and Shenzhen. I'll separate my trip into parts - Macau, Shenzhen, Hong Kong, and then a Food photostory, since food is such a big part of my trips to the Southeast! I shall post the respective photostories at the end of each part. Don't worry if you can't open the photostories, you can see the full set on my Flickr.

Macau
Macau is a portuguese colony, an island about an hour from HK by hovercraft. It is famed for it's casinos and has been described as a mini Las Vegas. Macau is small and very polluted, but it's people are friendly, and they make they BEST portuguese nata tarts - crispy, flaky pastry, and a hot, melty sweet custard filling - yum!

I visited a couple of casinos, of course, mostly just to satisfy my curiosity, as I'd never been in one before. I wasn't planning on gambling, firstly because I don't know any of the games or rules and secondly, I didn't want to get ripped off. The layouts of these places are very clever - no windows and no clocks, so you can never tell what time is it, and everywhere looks the same. There are no signs towards the exit, which is cunningly hidden. In fact, it was a long time before we found the way out, circling round three times! It was a shame though, to visit a casino city, and not have a bit of a flutter, so I put $50 (about £3.30) on a game of computer roulette. Imagine my delight when I won 3 times in a row and tripled my money! I wasn't going to get sucked in after that and lose it all, so I, wisely I think, collected and left!

I stayed in the 5* StarWorld hotel (and casino) in Macau, and was met in the foyer by a VERY sexy concierge named Nino. He couldn't have been more than late 20's, and my eyes fell out on sight, because here was a face (not to mention body) that should have been gracing the covers of magazines. It was all I could do to stop myself melting at his feet (and imagining him naked ;). This was the highlight of my trip to Macau, lol. Tis a pity that I didn't get a picture for you girls to drool over..

Click here for Macau photostory

Shenzhen
Shenzhen is a town in Southern China, just across the border of HK. We came here for a day trip to have some great dimsum, manicures/pedicures, massage, and of course, to buy cheap DVDs (70p each). Everytime I come here I'm surprised by how much cheaper everything is. Dim sum cost £22 (HK$340) for 5 people in a nice restaurant, and we ate a fair amount at that. Manicures cost about (wait for it) £1.30-£2 (HK$20-30) for the works (shaping, buffing, a design and paint), whilst a 3 hour massage (1-hour foot & leg and 2-hour full body massage, including snacks and drinks) only cost about £13 (HK$200) per person, including tips! If I lived here, I'd probably spend all my time in the massage parlour :)

I was a bit disappointed by the full-body massage this time. The last time I came, I was in heaven and almost fell asleep because it was soooo good, and so naturally, I had high expectations. This time, the masseur was awful and inexperienced and I came away with bruises on my back, despite constantly telling him to ease up and move away from the 2 spots he kept concentrating on. My first bad massage - I didn't think it was possible to be in so much discomfort during one! Still, the foot rub was heaven :)


Hong Kong
HK has all you can possibly need: a bustling city that literally never sleeps, a varied range of shopping (from designer to market chic), beaches, beautiful countryside, fabulous food, mountains, you name it, HK has it. I love HK! Christmas day was spent sleeping in, lounging in the sun in 23 deg C heat, and then eating the freshest seafood in the seafood district. I ate snails! They were actually really nice, not at all squidgy like I imagined.
I did the usual mostly - visited family and family friends, spent time with my gran in her picturesque village, visited the city, the markets, the seafood district and favourite restaurants. In fact, I mostly shopped and ate. I spent possibly a quarter to a third of my waking hours shopping whilst I was there. On coming back, I had to sit on my suitcases to shut them, and once shut, could not lift them.. I think I spent another quarter of my time eating, but you'll have to see the food photostory (below) for that :)
I did the touristy thing and visited Lantau Island too, but I stopped short at Disneyland (blugh). Lantau has a giant 134ft tall statue of the buddha and is such a pretty place. It used to be only accessible by ferry, but they recently built a cable car system that takes 25 minutes and gives you the prettiest views of the sea and mountains.
I realise I'm not really doing HK justice, but you'll just have to Click here for the Hong Kong photostory..

Food
HK is all about the food, baby! I ate out every day, possibly even more, but restaurant food is much healthier over there than in Europe, so it was impossible to feel too stodged-out. I couldn't do it justice with just descriptions, so c-lick here for the Food photostory.

I hope you enjoy the photostories - do view them, just to honour my hard work, since it took me so long to actually find a way of publishing the photos! I might not be around much after this, as I seem to have lost my way somewhat, in terms of blogging, but I'll still be around and will visit your blogs.
Ta-ta for now! Love muchly,
Panda xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
 

15 comments so far.

  1. nikkipolani 6:33 am, January 18, 2007
    Oh my stars. I can see that I'm going to have to reserve more time to peruse your entry! In the mean time... *waves hello*
  2. Flighty 9:38 am, January 18, 2007
    Like Nikki I'm going to have to come back later on to read this and look at your photos.
    Anyway welcome home!
  3. Olivia 4:09 pm, January 18, 2007
    Wah! They stole the word "Pandy" from me. But it's soo cute. OK now I will read and comment again.
  4. Olivia 5:10 pm, January 18, 2007
    WOW!!! Good job on the photostories.

    Macau - omigosh, are there blinds to pull down in the bathroom so your roommates don't see?

    And unh! Can't believe, no pics of Nino. I bet he's used to posing for pics with gaping girls!

    ***

    Shenzhen - what a lot of money you have to carry around. I have never understood this. Where do you put it all???

    My aunt in Canada had a manicure like those from The Nail Doctor.

    ***

    HK - You SO make me want to go there!!! I love good food and scenery, you know that.

    What a tangled wilderness lies outside your gran's village!

    The third bum is yours. Red bag. Ner ner!

    Does HK have anything like winter or a rainy season?

    ***

    The roast neck of pork with chili sauce looked most tender and yum. After all that tasty food, chocolate cake looks incongruous.

    Thank you for sharing and all your hard work ;)
    xoxox
  5. Olivia 5:11 pm, January 18, 2007
    Darn, I wish I had taken a pic of my Mum's crab curry...
  6. PinkPanther 1:59 pm, January 20, 2007
    I drop by here just was attracted by your animation panda. Lovely and cutness.
    On the other hand, I fancy in reading some opinions from tourists who have been visited Macao here.

    Wow...you stayed in that NEW hotel (STAR WORLD) *O*, so envy. I still haven't been walked around inside there up till now . :-(

    Have you tried those typical food in here? e.g. Sadine Fish, Spicy African Chicken..etc..
  7. panda_eyed 4:26 pm, January 20, 2007
    *Waves back to Nikki* Hi! It is a long one :) sorry!

    Thank you Flighty! Hope you're having a good weekend!
  8. panda_eyed 4:42 pm, January 20, 2007
    Livster! Yay, you're back!

    Yep, they did, they stole your word, Liv! Hehe.. Glad you like the photostories, not as good as Diva's yet, but I'll work on it ;)

    Re the bathroom - yes there was a blind!
    Re Nino - I know, it's a damn shame..
    Re Shenzhen/money - huh? It's all in notes, so a wallet..
    Re HK - you soooOO have to go there! Everybody should! (plug plug) :)
    Re Bums - Yes the 3rd bum is mine! Damn, you're good :)
    Re HK weather - winter there is like late spring here. Summer's are unbearably hot, so Sept-March is a good time to go. There are typhoons in the summer, so it's not a good idea to go during typhoon season, you might be trapped inside for a week!

    Glad you enjoyed the post :)
  9. panda_eyed 4:50 pm, January 20, 2007
    Hello PinkPanther! Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment :)

    So you're a resident of Macau? That's cool, I love what I've seen of your little island, although I would like to have spent a bit more time exploring it.

    Yep, the Star World hotel was very nice! I felt like a princess in there :)

    I haven't tried the food that you mentioned, but I definitely will, next time I go back! Thanks for recommending it. I did have a porkchop sandwich whilst I was there - a famous Macau dish, isn't it? I also had sharks fin soup, amongst other things, and bought back loads of hot ginger sweets and almond cookies - yum!
  10. Olivia 6:36 pm, January 20, 2007
    well, I am sure I remember those sparkly jeans, and of course like I said, the red bag :P

    My mum got me a pair of sparkly jeans in canada, I have to wear them next time.

    Yes, I have promised friends in Tokyo I'd visit one day, and I'd love to see Thailand, and of course HK, so it seems a few visits to the Far East are on the list before I grow old and decrepit.
  11. nikkipolani 4:59 am, January 21, 2007
    Well, I finally got some time to read your terrific descriptions and flip through the photos (couldn't quite access the photostories, but did look through flickr). Love all the lushness of the first few photos - I'm assuming that's your grandmother's village. And was that crab curry I saw in one of the food pics?
  12. PinkPanther 11:58 am, January 22, 2007
    Bingo!!!! I am a Macao resident.

    Except gambling, there isn't enough time to drop by Macao for one day only. Hundreds of sightseeing spots worth to explore. ;-)

    See you next time.
  13. Flighty 8:32 am, January 23, 2007
    I loved reading through this entry and looking at all the photos.
    You obviously had a great time and will retain it as a treasured memory.
  14. panda_eyed 4:12 pm, January 23, 2007
    Liv, can't fool you, can I? :)
    My family went to Thailand without me a couple years ago :p I'd love to go there too. I have a cousin in Tokyo who I'd love to visit. I was looking at courier flights out there, but they aren't the most convenient!

    Nikki, sorry you couldn't access the photostories.
    Yep that's my gran's village, isn't it pretty? I can almost feel the sunshine on my back when I look at them! And yes - crab curry - yum! You just don't get fresh seafood that easily in London (without paying a fortune for it).

    PinkPanther, next time I'll definitely explore more of the city, and I shall be asking for your advice on where to go! :)

    Hi Flighty! Glad you liked the photos! It was worth the work then, if someone liked it :)
  15. redzuan 7:59 pm, April 08, 2007
    good stories. i wish i could go there too and get full body massage. nice pictures too.

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