Monday, February 24, 2014

Hong Kong and Macau.

Hello guys! So some of you might have already known that I was intending to blog about my trip to China for a while. Yes. I have been want...

Hello guys!

So some of you might have already known that I was intending to blog about my trip to China for a while. Yes. I have been wanting to do this. Since December. But you know, I tend to procrastinate.


(Via Cheezpops).

Haha no but really, I've been very busy recently so I haven't managed to sit down to do this post because I wanted to do review the HTC One max alongside this post, and I wanted to post a video together with my review. So you see, all interlinked, chain effect, blah blah blah, excuses excuses, this is why it's so late.
(Via We Know Memes).

So let me tell you more about my trip to Hong Kong-Macau-Shanghai-Beijing apart from what was previously covered in this post here or here.

I travelled with Edwina. She's great! I've known her for 8 years. Since I was in JC. Fuck I'm old.
(From left to right: Jas, Jac (me), Edwina, and Qing).

She's very spontaneous. Let me tell you how this trip was conceived.
Jac,"Edwina I want to go bungee jumping in Macau."
Edwina,"Ok steady. When? I help you take photos."
Yeah. Edwina is one of them #YOLO people you always read about. Happening event you want to go to? Ask Edwina. Activity you want to do? Ask Edwina. It's because of Edwina that I got a Sentosa Islander card and went tanning every Saturday (a few years back), that I go for dance class every week, and also that I have insurance under NTUC income (if you want a good insurance agent, please feel free to ask me for Edwina's contact ok).

Anyway! Our itinerary went something like this:
Yes. Time maximisation. Apparently something you can do only when you're younger and reckless carefree.
(Via Twicsy).

Anyway, here's a lowdown on what we did in Hong Kong -
We ate. A lot. 
We touched down at 5+ am because we were too cheap to pay more to arrive at a more reasonable time. And wandered around before we found our first meal in Hong Kong at 8 am. I'm sorry. I do not know where this is. It's somewhere in the Jordan area. (After scrutinising my photos and squinting at the menus in the background, I have concluded that this place is Mei Sun Restaurant).
And later on we had dinner in Tim Ho Wan! I was quite excited ok. I had never been to Tim Ho Wan and I had heard so much about it.
And we also wandered over to the Ladies' Market over in Mongkok to eat like, random street food and some supposedly famous mango thing at this place called "許留山Hui Lau Shan Healthy Dessert". I do not know if it was really healthy, but it made me feel better than eating food that was not labelled as "healthy".
We also Googled for the "best egg tart in Hong Kong" and found "Honolulu Cafe". Yes we are aware that Tai Cheong Bakery is highly recommended but I prefer the flakey-crusts the cookie-crusts. So Honolulu it was! I am also very confused as to why the cafe is called "Honolulu". It does not sell Hawaiian food nor does it remind me of a beach. Not complaining though. The egg tarts were awesome and I doubt the Hawaiians can do much better.
Also, on our first day in Hong Kong, before stumbling into Mei Sun Restaurant, we passed this place called "Australia Dairy Company". We didn't think much of it because you know, it was called "Australia" when we were looking for "Hong Kong". And also because there was no queue outside. But when we walked past after our breakfast there were hoardes of people queuing up outside this place. 

Later on, we discovered that "Australia Dairy Company" was an authentic Hong Kong cafe which was highly recommended on numerous travel blogs and sites. So we went there for our authentic Hong Kong breakfast fix.
The night before we left, Edwina Googled for good congee joints in Hong Kong. I vividly remember this. We had a conversation which went something like this.
Edwina, "Jac do you like to eat congee?"
Jac, "Yes. I love congee."
Edwina, "Ok. I find good congee to eat."
*5 minutes later*
Edwina (very loudly and agitatedly), "EH EH EH EH EH EH."
Jac (feeling excited at the thought of awesome congee), "WHAT WHERE SHOW ME."
Edwina, "EH SINGAPORE GOT RIOT LEH."
"HUH?!"

more or less summed up my thoughts when she told me that. However, after many flustered Whatsapps and Facebook messages to our friends and family back home, we went back to searching for good congee places. And Edwina identified "Mui Kee Congee" located in the "Fa Yuen Street Market". The congee was very smooth and good. I loved it.
I also must also add that because it's in a wet market, the more princessy people might not like to go there. It's on the 4th floor and the lower floors which sell produce and such. So you know, if you're not tough, brave and cool enough (read: Edwina and I), walking through slippery aisles of raw fish and meat might be a little disconcerting. 
And that's more or less what we did in Hong Kong actually. I'm sure we ate a bit more than what I posted but I think I already covered most of the more epic stuff. Anyway, MACAU! We took a ferry there and headed straight to Macau Tower just so that I could cross an item off my bucket list.

$400+, 233 meters, and 10 minutes later, I was able to say that I jumped off the world's highest commercial bungee jump. Argh. Seriously man. At that moment, I decided that I had to find cheaper things to add on to , and cross off my bucket list. (And I did! Which I will blog about soon. I hope.) Anyway, here are some of my bungee jumping videos. If you haven't watched them already.





The next day we headed to Macau's Coloane Island to see "Hac Sa Beach". And here I would like to take the rare opportunity to show off some of my very limited Cantonese skills. "Hac Sa" is Cantonese for "黑沙" in Chinese. Which literally translated, means "black sand". I Wikipedia-ed "black sand" before going to Hac Sa Beach. And I would like to share what the first line of the page says.
"Black sand is sand that is black in colour."

- Wikipedia, 2013.
(Via Imgur).

Anyway, here are some photos of the beach. 
I know you might be a bit skeptical because the sand doesn't look as black as you might imagine it to be, so here's a picture with my gray sneakers. To prove that the sand is really darker than my sneakers, and that they gray tones in the picture is not due to an overcast sky.

Hac Sa Beach is located in Hac Sa Bay Park, so you can actually wander around the park after gaping at the black sand. There's nothing much to see. But they have quite a few sculptures of soft drink bottles hanging around the park which you may choose the climb up and camwhore with.

(Of course, what you see here are only the sucessful attempts, and not the unglamourous failures).

We also found out that Coloane Island is also home to two Giant Pandas who reside in the Giant Panda Pavillion in the Seac Pai Van Park
I would like to share some photos of the park.

IKR?! WHERE ARE ALL THE PEOPLE?!!! Oh. Here they are. All congregated at the Giant Panda Pavillion, fighting to get a good look of Kai Kai and Xin Xin. 

Yup, that's right. All four of them. It's really fortunate that I even managed to get an unobstructed view of the pandas at all.
I must warn you that you might want to think twice before purchasing a park admission ticket to gain almost private visitation rights to the Macao Giant Pandas (Yes, Macao. I did not typo). I mean, it is MOP$10, which is equivalent to maybe SGD$1.60? This is in comparison to River Safari's $35 admission fee for you to see Jia Jia and Kai Kai. So you know, I strongly advise you to spend some time deliberating before making the hasty choice of visiting the Macao pandas. 

(Sometimes my sarcasm is lost on people so I sometimes feel that I have to be more blatant).

While we were on Coloane, we also tracked down the famous Lord Stow's Bakery to eat their famous Portuguese egg tarts.
"It was opened in 1989 by Englishman Andrew Stow, often said to be the inventor of the Macau version of the Portuguese egg tart."
- Boh, 2013
I would like to add that I got this quote from MyPaper, from an article written by my friend Samantha Boh. So it's legit and good. Anyway, here are some photos of the egg tarts! They were really good.
We were talking to the receptionist at the hostel that we were staying in, and she mentioned that the egg tarts from Margaret's Cafe e Nata were famous/well-known/better/etc. So we made our way down to try them.
I personally thought that they were better than the ones at Lord Stow's, but Edwina didn't agree with me. However, both of us agreed that the Portuguese egg tarts from either stall are waaaaay better than any Portuguese egg tarts you can find in Singapore. So just close your eyes and pick one! It'll be better than what you get back home anyway.

And that's basically what we did in Macau! Yeah. I know there are casinos. But you know, when you've seen one, you've seen them all.
And then we moved on to Shanghai! Shanghai's pretty similar to cities like London in a sense that you get a good mix of old and new. So on one side of the Bund you can see things like the Pearl Orient Tower with its modern-futuristic feel, and on the other side, you get things like the HSBC building with its 20th century neoclassical architecture. It is important to note that I've never studied urban development or architecture. So all the building descriptives that I've just used comes from a flyer that some guy gave me in the Shanghai metro.
Anyway, when we reached the extremely modern and bustling city of Shanghai, we realised that unlike Hong Kong and Macau, the Shanghainese aren't really very generous with their WiFi. Which is a problem. So that night, we ventured out to a few 24 hour convenience stores in the cold to find a data SIM. We eventually found one. But horror of all horrors, it didn't fit into my spare phone, the HTC One max. And here's how I resolved the problem while Edwina was taking a bath.



I was so proud of myself. I immediately called The Awesome Friend and The Handsome Friend to rave about my accomplishments. DID YOU SEE THE SCISSORS I USED?! I did not even know that such medieval contraptions still existed.
Okay, anyway, I am very sleepy now and I would like to sleep. But before I do that, I would like to say that all the photos in this post were taken with the HTC One max. Oh, and the video was filmed using my HTC One. So, I promise that, my review will be out, in the next post. Yes.

Cheers!
❤ Jac.

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