Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Macau: Part One

It is already the 27th day of the first month of 2015?  Time flies ha? I've been keeping my mind busy, writing reviews of all the films I've watched since September last year on my other blog. I am still in the month of October so I have a long way to go. But I'm happy because I get to write again as opposed to just posting pictures and adding captions to them.

Physically, I have not done anything to get healthy as I sit on my fat butt all day writing entries. I should probably stop wondering why my waist line is still as bloated as a blow fish when I don't make any effort to slim down, no? Although sometimes, I get too engrossed in composing reviews, I just eat a small bowl of soup with rice. You'd think that would help in my effort to trim my waist line?

So enough whining about doing nothing 'healthy', let's get on with the ubiquitous post about Macau. You are probably wondering why we always have a side trip to this tiny state when we visit Hong Kong. Philippine passport holders can enter HK visa free for 14 days. This means upon entry they automatically give you 14 days regardless of the length of your stay. They advise travelers who plan to stay beyond 14 days to go to their nearest consulate and apply for a visa. 

Magastos po yun at matagal ang processing, tapos marami pang documento ang kailangan. Minsan pa hindi nila i-aaprove so bakit ka pa magpapakahirap, di ba? 
Kaya ang ginagawa namin at ginagawa na rin ng madlang pipol ay lumalakbay kami sa kalapit na bayan na ngayon po ay sakop na rin ng malaking lupa ng bansa may isang sanggol policy. Doon ang binibigay nila ay 30 araw na visa upon arrival din po.

Nakakapamasyal ka na sa magagandang tanawin, mag eenjoy ka rin sa mga casino (paborito ni Ma!) at pagkatapos ay makakabalik ka ulit sa pamamagitan ng ferry na isang oras lang biyahe at ipatatak ulit sa passport mo na 14 days. Ayos, di ba?? Kaso halatang halata po yun kaya ang ginagawa namin ay nag checheck in sa isang hotel ng isa o dalawang gabi (depende po sa budget) dahil sa totoo lang ay kulang ang isang buong araw sa dami ng magagawa doon. 

Now allow me to regale you with some sights and sites of Enchanting Macau.

The Galaxy Macau
Galaxy Macau at night

Lobby of City of Dreams Macau

The Venetian Macau

Sands Cotai Shoppes

St. Francis Xavier Church in Coloane, Macau

Coloane City - a fishing village

The Combatting Pirates Monument is dedicated to the "Coloane Incident". In 1910 pirates took a dozen pupils hostage and were held for ransom. Portuguese soldiers launched a military operation to free the hostages.

Sands Cotai

Swarovski Store in Senado Square

Post Office

Senado Square

St. Dominic Church

Cathedral de Se

Manger at the Plaza de Se

Road Signs

The Archbishop Palace

Peek a boo with Grand Lisboa Casino

West Lobby of The Venetian Macau

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Stanley, HK

In August 2011, my sister found a stable job in HK. During the year, she would come home during long weekends and holidays because it is just a 2 hour flight. So by the end of the year, she'd have only a few leave days left. We decided it would be better if we spend the Yuletide holidays with her. Good timing too as D has his Christmas break from teaching. This also gives me time to save as much as possible during the entire year for our airfare and expenses. 

The first couple of years we stayed in HK, we basically walked our feet off visiting numerous tourist attractions like Disneyland, Ocean Park, Ngong Ping (The Giant Buddha), Stanley, The Peak, TST, Avenue of the Stars. The trip also entails eating at all the places that my sister wants to dine in but cannot since she does not like dining out by her lonesome self. So weight gain is naturally expected.

2014 being our fourth time in HK, we felt it was time to revisit some of the above mentioned sights. Since her open surgery was barely two months ago, my sister is still in the healing process and has difficulty climbing stairs and walking long distances.

Stanley is a town located in the southern district of the Hong Kong Peninsula. A quaint town aligned with bistros, restaurants and a promenade along the Repulse Bay. You can also visit the Murray House, the Stanley Market (a bazaar type shopping center), the more modern mall Stanley Plaza and just soak in the serenely peaceful environment.

Fortunately, Stanley is just one long bus ride from my sister's flat. The best way to enjoy the ride is to sit on the top deck of the double decker bus and be sure you are not squirmish because the ride entails navigating zigzag and sharp winding ascending roads. But the view is worth it!

Upon reaching Stanley our first stop was the St. Anne's Church.

Then it was time to head for the Stanley Market for some shopping and have a light snack along the waterfront promenade.

We were having such a great time bonding over lively conversation and hot drinks. Evening had set in and was getting quite chilly out in the open.