When we visited Hong Kong & Macau we were there for approximately 1 week. From memory, we spent 4 days or so in Hong Kong then went to Macau for another 2 – 3 days.
Hong Kong was one of the busiest cities we had visited so far. The constant hustle and bustle to an absolute extreme level were pretty incredible to experience. Before we arrived in HK a friend of ours gave us some notes and he particularly pointed out that in HK the biggest premium for anything was…space! Real Estate! The cost per m² was (and still is) ridiculous.
Well, being backpackers on a budget, we opted for some cheap accommodation and “braced” ourselves. We arrived at the room (not going to call it a hotel, as it certainly wasn’t!) and was shown in. The bed itself sat against 3 out of 4 walls and to move around the room/down the side of the bed required a side shuffle type movement. The bathroom was a literal cubical which included a toilet, power shower and sink. But due to its design, if you used the shower the entire cubical was soaked, meaning using the toilet afterwards resulted in a wet bum!
Oh, and there was zero storage. We kept our backpacks underneath the bed as there wasn’t anywhere else for them!
Anyway! We knew this was the case for everywhere unless you’re on a significantly higher budget than us…something to consider when visiting HK in the future.
During our time in Hong Kong, we did a lot of typical exploration on foot, we took the central mid-level escalator which is an escalator in the middle of the city. We took a ferry across to Hong Kong Island to explore through here, to top it off we took a day trip to the Tian Tan Buddha!
One thing to note, the view of the Harbour in the evenings is beautiful and definitely worth visiting.
It is difficult to remember all the specifics of what we did and where we did it (which was the way we would write our previous posts) browsing through the photos brings back lots of fun and happy memories (along with making us want to go travelling again…sigh) however…2 years later, going from memory we can certainly tell your our lasting impression of the place.
To us, Hong Kong was an extremely busy & crowded working city, coupled with high temperatures and high humidity we felt that after 4 days (or whichever it is) it was “enough” – we are glad we went…but not in any rush to return. It is definitely a place anyone who is remotely interested in going to should pay a visit. But for us, it emphasised our preference for being more disconnected from big cities! It has a lot of attractions such as the worlds cheapest Michelin star restaurant and is a dream for those who like to explore big busy cities!
Macau was of particular interest to us. As it used to be under Portuguese administration until 1999. With Ana being Portuguese, it was very interesting to see how Portuguese Macau would turn out to be!
We arrived by ferry from Hong Kong and made our way to the Hotel Royal where we were staying. This was somewhat of an upgrade from our residence in HK. Originally we planned we stay for 1 night but ended up extending for an extra night making it a 3 day / 2-night trip.
Walking around Macau we felt far more at home. Much less craziness compared to HK. We were eager to explore so we quickly set off on foot. Instantly we noticed hints of Portuguese architecture in many places. The styles of buildings, white tiles on the floor, they even had a Pastelaria! (Portuguese bakery/patisserie of sorts) – also, we noted that road/street signs were distinctly Portuguese. It felt quite surreal to be this far away from Portugal but to be so reminded of it.
One area, in particular, had a row of houses which were built and decorated, each in a different style to represent the different ages of Portuguese residency design. Within one of them, was a glass cabinet with small shields & flags representing the different areas & regions of Portugal, Ana found the one from her hometown, Seia.
Aside from this, let us not forget that Macau is often referred to as a “mini-vegas” we did not really delve much into the Casinos and surrounding night-life as it isn’t really our thing. However, we did visit the casino inside the hotel just for fun, lost a few $ and then scuttled like shy sheep!
Thank you for reading, thats all for now. The next post is Vietnam!
Jake & Ana