Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Day Trip to Macau by Ferry. #HIasia #FB

Day Trip to Macau by Ferry. #HIasia #FB

Yesterday morning we departed from the Hong Kong Ferry Terminal at about 9am to head over to Macau for an island tour and overnight stay. 

The ferry ride takes approximately an hour and has assigned seating in a climate controlled cabin.  At first I was hoping to be able to walk around and explore the deck area to try taking some photos, but I realized quickly why that wasn't a good idea.  About half way into the voyage, the opposite side (from where we were sitting) of the ferry was getting drenched by the crashing waves.  If we weren't in a sealed cabin, everyone on the ferry would have been soaked, if not totally washed of the boat!  Anyway, taking photos through the salt crystallized windows doesn't show well at all.

Upon arriving to the Macau Terminal, we go through the immigration check point.  This terminal makes it a point to get their message across that waiting (for others in your party) is not allowed!  The result of not waiting meant Kelli and I, the first of our group of five, exited immigration in under 5 minutes from disembarkation.  We then located our tour guide, "Danny" and ended up waiting almost another 30 minutes for the rest of our group to exit.

Our tour began immediately upon departure from the terminal.  The island is very small (only about 7 square kilometers), had a population of 550,000 residents and had approximately 23,000,000 visitors last year.  It is an amazingly crowded island, yet it doesn't feel that way when walking around.

Our guide, Danny Ieong is an excellent guide.  He speaks 6-8 languages (claims he's still learning languages 7 & 8).  He is a Macau local who has lived in Belgium and other areas of Euro for 20 years.  He speaks Cantonese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Spanish, English, French fluently and is practicing Japanese and German.  He has travelled all around the world and is also a part time professor that teaches up and coming aspiring tour guides (tour guides require licensing in these areas).  I highly recommend hiring his services for a very informational and entertaining introduction to Macau.

Our room for the night was at the Rio Hotel and Casino.  It's not the greatest place in the world, I'd say comparable to a Downtown Las Vegas casino.  We walked over to the MGM to make our deposits and ate at the Wynn.  I will confess, I am not comfortable with eating at most of the places I have seen around this island that is why we headed to the "Las Vegas" environment.  This has brought a whole new understanding to me about the success of "touristy type restaurants" in Honolulu (my home town).  I have travelled around Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong without difficulty finding restaurants to dine in, but in Macau I was stumped.

My dining experience in Macau started with lunch at the Rio Hotel's buffet.  First of all, I'm not a buffet type of diner.  I despise most buffet meals.  I don't like eating food that dozens or sometimes hundreds of other people have touched the serving utensils and possibly inappropriately handled the food or the utensils.  It just grosses me out.  Anyway, I took a few pics of the stuff I tried at the Rio.  I'll do a post on the "Las Vegas" style areas separately to avoid confusion of the noodle photos.  :P

Macau is definitely an interesting place to experience the culture and learn about their history by sight seeing with a good guide.  I can't see returning here for the casinos.  It's just a little too out of the way and not to mention confusing with the currency conversions.  I would like to return for the Macau Grand Prix some day!  Apparently I am a few weeks early this trip. 


Sent via Nexus One Mobile.

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