About Me

I ramble about a number of things - but travel experiences, movies and music feature prominently. See my label cloud for a better idea. All comnments and opinions on this blog are my own, and do not in any way reflect the opinions/position of my employer (past/current/future).

22 April 2017

Monte Fort and Macau Museum

Located next to the Ruins of St Paul, Monte Fort is probably the highest point in Macau, and provides some amazing views of the city. The fort was a defensive installation by the portuguese, and canons are jotted around the fort. The top has an amazing garden also - and given the time of the year, lots of flowers!

In a recent renovation, the Macau Musuem was added to the fort - a a great exploration on the combined history of the West and China - starting with a short history summary, trade, construction, science developments and some cultural fusion. It's a great primer on the shared history.

St John's Cathedral

Close to the Peak Tram station in Central, St John's Anglican Cathedral has a few stunning stained glass windows in an otherwise plain and bork interior.

21 April 2017

Ruins of St Paul's

It's possibly Macau's most famous tourist attraction - the remains of the facade for a Jesuit church, on a hill overlooking the ocean. The facade is remarkably well preserved, and highly decorated when compared to other churches, including the cathedral, in the area. After archeological excavations, the crypt and a small gallery exhibiting Christian art and artifacts from the era are also accessible from the church grounds.

Macau Lights

Macau is well known as a gambling destination - the Las Vegas of the East. There are two clusters - a cluster of outlandish reports on the island of Cotai, and a cluster near the harbour on the "mainland". We landed on Cotai, and took the bus to the centre, so we saw the resorts during the day. The older cluster came alive at night, on our way back.

20 April 2017

St Dominic's Church

Just after the Senado Square, St Dominic's is a large Jesuit church with the stand out feature being the altar - showing the Virgin Mary and Jesus carrying his cross below the altar. As with many Jesuit churches, the decor itself is rather ordinary, but the strange altar is interesting ...

Macau Tarts

There are a lot of stalls selling Macau Egg Tarts; but this stall near the St Dominic's Church (on way to the steps) has it for a gat price and great service. Efficient process also - order with the lady, and pick up at the other window.

Ferries to Macau

There is a surprising volume of ferries to Macau - approximately 7 an hour for most of the day (the ferries effectively run a 24 hour operation). Given that each ferry can take about 250 passengers, it's a lot of people! The route itself is about an hour long (on the slower ferry), fairly cheap (approx HKD 350 return) and quite hassle free. There are higher classes of tickets promising more luxury, but I can't work out the value beyond more privacy.

19 April 2017

Hong Kong Maritime Museum

Perched on the edge of Central Pier, the Hing King Maritime Musuem is deceptively small from the outside. Located across three floors, the museum explores Chinese maritime history, the naval roots and history of Hong Kong, and general maritime topics (such as radar, containers, safety, etc). I found the Chinese maritime history most interesting tracing development of saling and marine exploration. There is also a big collection of model ships, ranging from the old to the modern container ships. 

17 April 2017

The Big Buddha

In my last visit to the Big Buddha, the weather was cloudy and cold, and the Buddha was enveloped in the mist. Today was a clear day with fairly good visibility, although not good enough to see beyond the airport. 

The Vegetarian Restaurant and Po Lin Monastery

The Po Lin Monastery, located next to the Big Buddha, has a fairly well known vegetarian restaurant. The menu apparently changes regularly, with two set course options of approx 5 items, comprising of soup, spring rolls and some vegetarian mains. The food is quite impressive and very decently priced (given the amount); the highlight being the pumpkin soup on today's menu - a gelatinous, noodle based soup that was very different to the usual smooth butternut/pumpkin soup from South Africa.

Fujiyama Mama

Hong Kong is full of interesting restaurants; perched in the shopping complex at The Peak, with spectacular views of the city, one could just open a normal restaurant. Instead, Fujiyama Mama is themed on Japanese Rock - complete with the memorabilia, looped playback of Japanese rock bands on the sound system and video screens; and great Japanese food. It is expensive - paying the tourist tax - but the food is excellent, and the views are spectacular - so it is worth it!

16 April 2017

Walking up to the Peak

The queue at the bottom for the funicular said 90 minutes; and that was not even accounting for the ticket office. So I managed to convince M that we should rather walk. There walk was described in a tripadvisor post as "easy" - the pathways are certainly well marked (mostly as Central Park Trail) and paved; but the incline is not easy. It's about 3.5km walk up a steep incline; the views are spectacular, the path is mostly shaded by the forest, and it was full of birdsong and flowers (could be a time of year thing). It's good exercise - and we did make it up in about 90 mins; so it beat the standing in a queue. The paths are not well lit, so we took the funicular back - and that's only because there was surge pricing on Uber - when we looked earlier; Uber was cheaper than taking a one way trip on the funicular.