Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Shaved Ice

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- Karen

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Perrine Bridge

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- Karen

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Ruins of St. Paul's - Macau

This was the highlight of my day trip to Macau. I have seen so many photographs of the old St. Paul's Church, so I had to see it in-person.
The church was built by the Jesuits during the 16th century, but a fire resulting from a typhoon destroyed the building in 1835. All that stands since then through today is its facade.
In 2005, it was listed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Here is a link to a drawing of how the area looked in 1854 after the church was already destroyed.

According to Wikipedia, the intricate carvings on the wall were done by Japanese Christians in exile from their homeland as well as local craftsmen.

From the top of the stairs, this is the view you see. The tall structure on the left is the Grand Lisboa hotel and casino I mentioned in my previous post.

Instead of climbing the stairs and dodging the crowds that lead to the ruins, you can hike the steady sloped street on the side.

From the side, you get a different perspective.

I have often wondered what was behind the wall.
The stairs and balcony are modern additions to the wall for visitors look out of the openings. I am glad they are not noticeable from the front to hinder its beauty.

While on the balcony, previous visitors had left coins at each of the openings. I wonder why...
I think there is even a sign that says leaving or throwing objects is prohibited.

A worker stands on the balcony probably watching out for such violators.
By the way, the stairway leading to the balcony and the balcony itself are made of metal grates. This means you can see directly below you through the gaps which can be a little scary at first.

Turning around with the wall behind me, I can see the rest of the city plus the Museum of Macau directly in front.

As I depart the area in the afternoon, even more visitors have arrived.
There is someone taking her graduation picture with her mom on the left, a "panda" promoting his restaurant on the right, and a tour group on the stairs taking their group photo.

- Karen

Friday, May 18, 2012

Macau Streets

Since the 1850's, gambling has been legalized here. In fact, it is known as the Monte Carlo of the Orient according to what I read in Wikipedia. Quite a few of the casinos I saw here also exist in Las Vegas.
Casino Lisboa is one of the first casinos you will encounter if you arrive by ferry. It was first opened in the 1970's with a 12-story hotel tower you see in the background.

And, in 2006, the Grand Lisboa was added next door.

After walking away from the casino area, this is a typical side street mainly composed of locals or lost people like us.

I found lots and lots full of scooters such as this one. With limited parking, this is the way to go and be able to maneuver through those narrow streets.

After wandering for blocks and blocks, we eventually made it to the outskirts of the touristy area known as St. Dominic's Square. Lots of people and traffic.
Even though I was there a few days after Christmas, the decorations were still up. I am glad because they were adorable.

In the heart of St. Dominic Square is the St. Dominic Church. It was built in 1587 by three Dominican priests.
I am glad it still stands and still in service today.

This is its interior.

This sign outside outlines confessions are done in 4 different languages!

I was surprised & disappointed this historical square was surrounded by modern high-end shops.

A little further, the street narrows and people are bunched together walking pass souvenir shops, clothing stores, food vendors, and everything in-between.

- Karen

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Traveling to Macau

According to Wikipedia, the Portuguese first settled in Macau in the 16th century where China lent it out as a trading post. In 1887, it became a colony of Portugal until the turnover back to China in December 1999. Today, Hong Kong and Macau are the only two special administrative regions of the People's Republic of China. Each maintain its own legal system, monetary system, customs & immigration policies.
So, while traveling between Hong Kong and Macau, visitors will need their passport.
During our last trip to Hong Kong, we decided to visit Macau which is only an hour away by turbojet like this one. There is a turbojet leaving every 15 minutes so you can purchase your tickets at the ferry terminal. If there is room, you can catch an earlier turbojet even if your ticket is for a later departure.

This is the one we rode from Macau back to Hong Kong.
If you have never seen a "flying" boat, take a look at this video I found on Youtube.

Having never been on one, I did not expect it to look this luxurious with seats like on an airplane. They even sell food on-board.
But, don't let the fancy seats fool you. Each seat is outfitted with an airsick bag as countless riders got seasick during the short 1 hour "flight" as they were continually showing food programs on the large video screen in front of them.
It was not an enjoyable trip as I got queasy just hearing others get sick around me. My suggestion is to sit in the back of the boat which appears to be less bumpy.

However, once you get on land, there are many Macau delicacies to try such as this Portuguese custard tart.

Or, this pork chop bun street vendors were hawking by the tourist areas.

And, last, but not least, the countless meat jerky stores that lined a certain area of the city with free samples enticing passers-by to try and buy.

- Karen

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Hong Kong Nightlife

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- Karen

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Victoria Harbour Promenade

If you have visited Hong Kong or seen pictures of it, you probably have seen this famous clock tower by Victoria Harbour in Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon.
According to Wikipedia, it is 44 meters (144 feet) with a 7 meters (22 feet) lighting rod at the top.

Just to the right is Victoria Harbour and Avenue of the Stars.
During nice weather, tons of visitors come out to spend their day or evening here.
What you see in this picture is just a portion of the waterfront and it is packed with people from one end of the promenade to the other.

What can you see here?
Like Hollywood's Walk of Fame, you can walk the "Avenue of the Stars" made up of Hong Kong movie stars such as this statue and sidewalk star of Bruce Lee.

You can also see movie-related objects such as these.

As artists set up shop here, you can have your professional picture taken.

Or, you can have your portrait drawn.

There is no shortage of food in the area and one popular food booth was this one that sold something that tasted like hot dried squid or some kind of seafood.
Sorry, I can't read the characters on the sign. If you know what those Chinese characters say, let us know.
Yes, I did try some, it was warm, chewy, and very tasty.

- Karen

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Rules of the Sidewalk

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- Karen

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Shopping at the Peak

Aside from its scenic views, what else can you do at The Peak?
Shopping and eating...
This is one of the multi-story shopping complexes at the top.

I am not much of a shopper, but I do like the airiness of the place.

Across the way, is this strange shaped building known as The Peak Tower.
Here you can do more shopping, eating, and get the best view in town as shown in my previous post.

Like its outdoor views, the interior also offers a dizzying perspective while looking down from the top floor.

- Karen