Monday, June 9, 2014

Macau / Zhuhai 5-8 Jun 2014 (Part 2 - Zhuhai)

Hotel: Silver Art Hotel

After a good night's sleep in Macau, we waited for the transport to bring us to the airport for our trip to Zhuhai.  I heard from friends that there really isn't much to see in Zhuhai so don't plan for a long trip.  Kept my fingers crossed throughout the entire flight.


We checked into Silver Art Hotel. It looks like a studio apartment that comes with a little kitchenette near the entrance of our room.  The hotel is within walking distance from food, malls and cheap massage.  Didn't stay too long in the room after check in coz the tourguide was waiting for us at the lobby.  The sad thing about booking a tour package from a small travel agency is that we don't get the luxury of having big groups.  It's just the 2 of us and the tour guide as well as driver. Yes, the service is very personal but we prefer big groups.  We were told that we would be merging with another group when booking the package.  We are ok with it but well....


Our first stop was the Coast of Xianglu Bay where you can find the Fisher Girl Statue.  According to the tourguide, there's a sad love story behind why the statue was there.  I did some google search and found the write up here.


I took a picture of them coz I thought they wanted their photo taken by me.  I mean, I stood there for the longest time waiting for them to vacate the place but they were still posing away. I gave up and left after taking this shot.  So if you are the owner of the faces, please contact me for the hi-res photo.


Next up on the itinerary was a visit to Mt. Jingshan Park. Instead of walking, you can ride the cable cars up..which we did.


Didn't really have the time to walk around the park and the weather wasn't too pleasing...it was drizzling. So it makes the walking around rather difficult as the rocks got quite slippery. But on the whole, the view was spectacular!  Lots of souvenirs available but I wouldn't recommend. It's a touristy place with touristy price.


Saw this little statue (looks like Guan Gong) on top of a big bolder. Not sure why it's there...there wasn't any write up anywhere.


A few steps later, there is another more interesting bolder where visitors place locks over it.  The wishing rock has, over the time, collected tons of locks. I didn't bring one.  Or else, I would have put my mark there as well.


There are 2 choices to go down besides taking a long walks.  You can take the cable car or the car slide thingie.  Since we got the return tickets for cable car, we are only left with one choice. 

 


The Museum of Tibetan Medicine wasn't really a good visit at all.  Besides Chinese medicine (you can finish the exhibition in less than 5 mins), there was really nothing much. We were led into a room where this supposedly famous TMC doctor would perform the touching hot metal chain stunt and then use their magic cream to instantly heal his hand. We thought it was quite cool.  So bought 1 bottle of it. The "doc" kept telling us to buy more coz it will not be available elsewhere and even if there is, it will be more expensive.  He also insisted on doing a "free" analysis for us and true to what we believe, we all have problems with our bodies and need their few hundred dollars medication. We didn't buy his story.

After this, we were brought to the silk museum. No photos allowed. As with any other Chinese museums, you are required to buy something. We were followed by this young chap who kept persuading us to buy something.  We wanted to leave but the tourguide told us to sit and drink tea. While we sit, the young chap kept on persuading. We realised that if we don't buy something, we will not be able to leave. So we bought a silk pillow (convertible to blanket) for RMB100. Only after we paid, the tourguide decided that he has enough tea.

We were also brought to purchase "water goods". The bags are suppose to be from genuine branded factory but illegally brought to Zhuhai that's why no tax was involved and thus, the price is cheaper. The shop is in a little alley with no shop name.  The moment we walked in, they lock the door with huge heavy lock. Don't be fooled by the cheap price, the items are not genuine. They are, instead, AAA grade imitation.

The tourguide brought us to Gong Bei port plaza.  Things there are not cheap and of course, imitations can also be found in a little room behind the shop....just request for it.

On the whole, wasn't a very worthwhile trip.  We definitely will not visit again.

More photo here.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Macau / Zhuhai 5-8 Jun 2014 (Part 1 - Macau)

Hotel: Grandview Hotel

Booked a Zhuhai & Macau package through a small travel agency in People's Park Centre. As none of us have been to these 2 places, we decided that it's safer to follow tours.   Should have gone for larger agencies but...oh well.

Woke up really early on 5 Jun to catch the 6.05am Tiger flight which will allow us to touch down at 9.55am.


Had a quick bite before boarding because, well....budget airlines don't serve food except instant noodles and expensive food. The food served in Tip Top (Terminal 2) is not really that pricey and selection is reasonable.


If you wish to charge your laptop or tablets or phones or any other electrical appliances to keep yourself entertained while on the plane, there are loads of power points at Terminal 2 (departure) near Starbucks.  They come with international heads so you won't need to bring along your international adapters.


After a short couple of hours flight, we finally arrived in Macau. People in Macau speaks Mandarin and Cantonese with Cantonese being the main language spoken. Currency accepted for purchases is Macau dollars and Renminbi.


Checked into Grandview Hotel in the heart of Taipa which is quite near the Venetian. We tried walking and it took us approximately 30 mins (including wrong directions).  Better to hop onto a cab.  Grandview has a little Casino in the hotel on it's own.  Basically, the entire Macau is made up of Casinos so it's not surprising to find Casinos in most hotel. And of course, I became a member of the Casino *grin*  This room is the interesting in that you can choose to let your spouse watch you shower. Ok...abit R-rated here. The wall linking the bed area and the bathroom has a glass panel where you can opt to lower the blinds or simply lift the blinds entirely so that your partner can watch you shower.  I'm not so daring though. The room is quite comfortable in terms of cosiness and size.


Yep, that's where we snoozed....


Since the first day happens to be our free and easy day, we took a walk around our hotel vicinity. Prices in these shops are not cheap.  Since this is a touristy place, expect touristy price.


A trip to Macau wouldn't be complete without a bite into the Portuguese tart. The egg tart is really yummy but had to stop myself from eating more coz I need to reserve my stomach for proper food.


After a long walk of what seems like forever, we finally reached the Venetian.  Massive building with lots of very expensive shopping from the exterior look of it.


Many Venetian mini buses greeted us.  These buses are available at the Macau aiport and they provide free transport to bring you here.


The interior looks amazing!  The clear blue sky is fake. It's actually ceiling painting. But I thought the entire deco looks almost like mini Venice.


Yeah! Saw a really massive Manchester United shop!


Our Macau tour started with a trip to St Paul church....or whatever is left of St Paul.  This is iconic and if you have not been here, you have not been to Macau!  This magnificent fa├žade is what's left of the few hundred years old church building.  There are Christians giving out free gospel literature.  Do approach them if you want a set...they are in Chinese though.





These are some of the exhibits at St Paul's.  Not a lot as the exhibit area is really tiny. Don't really need to spend a lot of time here except if you want to take good picture of the fa├žade. Coz there are forever people hanging around taking pictures so if you do want good shots, you have to be really patience and wait for the opportunity.


The tourguide dropped us here for some local delicacies.  He said that this is one of the more famous and traditional cake shop.  I can see that it is dating back to 1918.


There is this interesting looking Goddess of Mercy statue not very far from St Paul.  What so special about this status is that she has the face of Virgin Mary. I kid you not! The tourguide said that the reason for this unusual likeness is because the statue was actually the work of non-Chinese.  Being in non-Chinese community, they could only imagine her compassion and features to be the likes of Virgin Mary.


Next on our tour itinerary is the Macau Tower.  Just like all other towers you see in other parts of the world, the Macau tower overlook a beautiful view.  We got in for free coz it's already included into the package.


 The feeling of being on top of the world prompted me to take the "shoe" picture.  Yah...not exactly to show you my dirty shoes but to show you what I see from way up there.


And oh...we were told to beware of falling people.  Coz there are quite a lot of people waiting to fall.  Sadly, I am not up to the adrenalin rush kind of activities even though the tourguide kept encouraging us to try.  Sorry bro, as much as I wanted to...I still prefer to complete my trip in one piece!  


And here's where all the tall buildings with falling people are...



Next destination on the itinerary would be the famous Ma Zu (Ah-Ma) Temple.  The temple was built in 1488 and dedicated to Ma Zu,  the goddess of seafarers and fishermen. The name Macau is thought to be derived from the name of the temple.There is this hundred years old husband and wife trees where devotees would buy a wishing charm ad hang on it. Next the tree is an entrance to another part of the temple where devotees give their offerings to Ma Zu.  It is super crowded thus you might want to remind yourself not to hold your joss sticks too low incase you start scalding visitors in the not-very-big enclosure.


Saw this really interesting rock at the temple premise!


The temple stands right infront of the Barra Square where visitors can sit and relax.


Ended the trip with a visit back to The Venetian. Saw huge transformers figures on display. Went back to the hotel to prepare for our flight to Zhuhai the next day.

More photos here.