Ni hao from Macau!
Most of the week was spent in Hong Kong, but a few days were spent in Macau as well. I joined a dodgeball team, practiced my Portugese and gave blackjack in Asia a shot. I’m also now the proud owner of 10 year, multiple entry visa to China. What a week.
The best part of it was that I was so lucky to have time overlap with Brad and Bre, friends from Arizona. As much as I love traveling alone and all the benefits that offers, it was so nice to have a slice of home to explore Hong Kong with.
We wandered the streets of the city, checking out darts bars and as many Club 7s as we could find. The first night out, I met a girl in a dodgeball league, so that Wednesday, I was on the team. Brad and Bre came to cheer us on. I may have gotten two kills, but also got myself out. If I’m going to pursue my dodgeball career, I just need to put a little more into it.
We also checked out the Ngong Ping village by cable car, which is where the Big Buddha is located in Hong Kong. You can also hike it, but the weather looking as cold and damp as it did, that trail looked super sketchy from our ride above it. On the cable car it became clear that Hong Kong is more than just the concrete jungle you might expect and while I’m still sorting out visa stuff, I look forward to checking out more of the hikes.
We finished the week in Macau, which is a surprisingly stark contrast to Hong Kong, despite being just an hour boat ride away. While Hong Kong is a former British territory, Macau was run by the Portugese and the difference is quite clear. Everyone told us to be sure to try “Macanese” food while there – Macau/Portugese blend of styles. We did and it was amazing. Flavorful chorizo, chicken and steaks. Though I’ll admit, I couldn’t sign up for the variety of meat sheets I saw on the street the next day (they looked like squares of thick meat paper and I just couldn’t do it).
The Portugese history in Macau remains evident with cobblestone streets, forts and ruins scattered throughout the city. Though it is a strange contrast to be standing at the ruins of St. Paul and marveling at the architecture, with a towering casino in the background and an Adidas, Nike and Dairy Queen to the side. Macau is also known as the Vegas of Asia, where you can enjoy casinos and resorts (unless you’re on a budget because then you probably need to catch the ferry ride back to Hong Kong).
Whether you choose to stay there or not, Macau is DEFINITELY worth the visit on a quick ferry ride over [passport required]. Wander the streets, enjoy the food and just don’t bring a roller bag because you’re going to be on bricks and cobblestone.