How the Cookie Crumbles

Life and scribbles on the far side of SIXTY-FIVE


On to Hong Kong. Ding Dong.

Image Courtesy of Sally Cronin

We walked and I gaped. I’m sure I stuck out like a greenhorn tourist (not that I’m not). A jewelry store displaying sparkling diamonds drew my attention. I leaned in for a closer look and banged my forehead on the window. Ouch. The glass was solid as a brick wall and felt as thick. The interior lights bright, the glass gave the impression of absence. I felt stupid and hoped no-one had noticed. Why would anyone notice? There were all sorts of more interesting people around with bigger things on their minds. I couldn’t believe how young the fashionably-dressed, Asian women hanging on to boyfriends’ or husbands’ arms were. No shortage of Daddy’s money. Sigh. I don’t know why I assumed they weren’t young marrieds, but who knows?

Posted by:  ConnectedTraveler

One last look: Night Pictures in Macau

Worn out by all the excitement of our new day, a bed and pillow beckoned soon after supper. Before turning in, I noted another bathroom story. While I ran the sink tap, it didn’t sound right. I turned off the water; I turned it on again. The bathtub drain gurgled up water. I could not hear water going down the sink drain. Let me explain the layout. The foot of the tub was tucked lengthwise into the left corner and the sink and cabinet were perpendicular at the foot, like an upside-down L, the tub being the long end. A glass-doored shower shared a wall with the faucet end of the tub. Would you call that fancy plumbing? I can’t figure it out either. The biggest hotel in the world. Hm.

When I asked Sue about it, she hadn’t noticed the situation but wondered why the tub was wet with water, which neither of us had used yet. Nice. What’s the reason North American hotels don’t have a 13th floor? Oh! It’s not because of the plumbing?

 * * *

Wakeup call buzzed at 7:30 a.m., on Saturday, Day 22. Luggage had to be downstairs near the reception area by 8:15. Sue and I weren’t comfortable with this as a zillion people moved in and out around the nearby elevators and the casino. The bellboy assured us he’d stand guard until our suitcases were transferred to the bus.

Steam coming out of the chimneys early morning before leaving for H.K.

Upon arrival at the ferry terminal, we lined up and were given numbered tickets. We had to fill out Hong Kong immigration forms while on board the Cotal Jet Ferry. It was a deep blue fearsome machine and looked like an army tank on water. Walking past, at about a third of its length, I changed my mind. It looked more like a plane. Inside the layout wasn’t unlike an airplane: 3-seat rows x 18 seats long x 5 sections across (270 passengers from my rough count). The ride was smooth as silk; quiet as a hydrofoil, but that’s my guesswork. I’ve never had the experience before.

Our ticket said next departure at 10:30, but it felt like hours before we finally were allowed inside and took off. The trip took about an hour. Water sprayed the ferry as we flew across the black water into the misty weather.

More Images Cotal Jet Ferry

Muted T.V. screens were turned on in front of every row. The seats were supplied with belts no-one used. If there were rules, I saw no signs, nor did anyone come around to suggest the necessity of their use.

Upon arrival, we passed through roped off aisles with a zillion other people. I considered the process would take forever. I was wrong. After the experience in Macau, everything was so Chinese and foreign again. We craned our necks and gawked at expensive wines on display before the exit, but there was no opportunity or invitation to buy any at the duty-free.

Welcome to downtown Hong Kong

© Used by permission of RJ, a member of English 8. All Rights Reserved.

Next on December 29:  Hong Kong. Hang On! (with lots of pictures)

© 2017 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

FYI: This is a re-blog of the best parts of my trip in 2014

~ * ~

I am currently on an unplanned sabbatical. I hope to return but when is the question. Thank you for your supportive reading, reblogging, and tweeting. I DO appreciate your kind and continued follows far beyond my inadequate words.

 

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Holy Cow! So, this is Macau.

Image Courtesy of Sally Cronin

I tried multi-tasking: take pictures, scribble notes, and look around in an effort not to miss anything we passed. While taking pictures, I feared dropping my pen and losing it. Pens are not left in hotel rooms for guests as they are in North America and my gel pens were running low on ink.

We arrived at the hotel and were dropped off as close to the south door without scraping the building. The check-in area was jam-packed with humans of every stripe. Instructed to stand off to the side, our new local guide, Cheryl, and the French guide, attended to our registration and room cards. I was amazed at the speed and efficiency of the process. Our luggage, already in our room 1362, Tower 2, we freshened up, free to explore for the rest of the day. Unlike the Sheraton hotel the previous night and several others earlier, this one did not feature the glass wall between the bedroom and bathroom.

This was our view. Ugly. Cranes everywhere. While passing a site on the way to our hotel, I counted at least 10 Macau China State Construction cranes. Must be more hotels coming. The expanse of reclaimed land is mindboggling.

  • Sheraton Macau 3, 800+ rooms (the largest Sheraton in the world)
  • Has two towers: called Earth and Sky
  • Built on reclaimed land
  • Like a huge city inside
  • Huge reception area with a half-dozen counters at Check-in, each one roped off
  • Palm tree setting in sitting area off the check-in area
  • No passports necessary: this is visa-free territory
  • Huge casino across from check-in (behind a wall but evident: Tingtingtingtingting)
  • Huge Ralph Lauren Store, the first one off the lobby
  • Huge shopping mall off the lobby
  • Can convert money with local guide or at hotel (to Hong Kong money)
  • Steering wheel is on the right
  • Driving is on the left side of the road
  • Bus drivers have no problem making U-turns at will

Sue and I set off. The first escalator we came upon confused me. There were two side-by-side. Odd, I thought. Both were headed downward. The ascending ones must be on the other side. Sue laughed when I mentioned this. “Have another look,” she said. I had to concentrate. Not only do cars drive on the opposite side of the road here, and drivers sit on the ‘wrong’ side, the elevators run opposite as well. The up elevator was on the left where at home it would be the down elevator.

This is the first time we had to find our own dinner. We explored the Food Court on the third floor of the hotel.  Since we’d come across a couple KFC, MacDonald’s, and Starbucks in our China travel, we’d hoped to eat something North American (think burger or pizza). No such luck.

We decided to explore the Venetian Macau Hotel across the street. Taking an elevator in a different direction we crossed the street in an overhead, glassed-in bridge or walkway with a lookout.

 The street below the overhead bridge on the way to the Venetian.

The Venitian is massive. Brand name stores everywhere. Six hundred of them. Lots of people but few customers buying diamonds, exotic perfumes, or outrageous shoes. We were lost,then found a map, but it didn’t help. A sales clerk selling make-up, although she spoke good English, couldn’t help us. Upon sighting a gondola in a canal, it was tempting to whistle the gondolier over but we didn’t. Finally, we stumbled into the food court. All Chinese food. Wait. A place called Fat Burger. Better not after the raw pork incident. Is that a Pizza Pizza? Nope the logo wasn’t right but we settled for their pizza anyway.

The Sheraton is the largest hotel not only in Macau, but in the world, and the Venetian has the largest casino.

Breaking News: (sorry for the commercial)

Macau Slowdown

~ * ~

Next on December 22nd: On to Hong Kong and Wow!

© 2017 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

FYI: This is a re-blog of the best parts of my trip in 2014

~ * ~

I am currently on an unplanned sabbatical. I hope to return but when is the question. Thank you for your supportive reading, reblogging, and tweeting. I DO appreciate your kind and continued follows far beyond my inadequate words.

 


Zhahai to Magnetic Macau

Image Courtesy of Sally Cronin

I’m not sure when the bus switched to the left side of the road. I blinked as vehicles passed alongside on the wrong side. This was a huge surprise and a shock. First unexpected palm trees and then

First agenda item: a bus tour of the Macau. We gawked like children, at least I did and cannot say exactly how everyone else reacted. Cameras clicked in such rapid succession, it sounded as if a bomb might go off. We’d arrived at The Monte Carlo of Asia, the Las Vegas of the East.

Lunch Buffet:

Salad fixings

  • Red cabbage
  • Romaine
  • Baby corn
  • Tomatoes
  • Cukes
  • Chickpeas
  • Italian dressing

Main

  • Baked Ox Tongue with creamy cream cheese
  • Roasted Chicken with chili and white wine
  • Red kidney beans stewed with pork
  • Fish Fillet with beer batter
  • Sautéed mixed vegetables
  • Spaghetti with tomato sauce
  • Rotini with red pepper sauce
  • Fried rice Chinese style
  • Steamed white rice
  • Japanese Pork Curry
  • Pizza
  • Buns
  • Congee
  • Chocolate cake
  • Pound cake
  • Red Bean Pudding
  • Stewed pear in red wine
  • Finger sandwiches
  • Cold cuts (2 kinds)
  • Potato salad
  • Pork
  • Sardines, Portuguese style
  • Coffee, tea, water. Can’t recall if there was beer. (Maybe to order?)

(I couldn’t read several scribbled items due to my rushed handwriting)

The driver dropped us off in front of the Fireworks Factory. A new local guide, Cheryl, met us. Our luggage was taken off and sent ahead to our hotel as we scurried behind the guide in the opposite direction.

© 2015Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles. All Rights Reserved.

© 2015Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles. All Rights Reserved.

Up a hill, we followed the flag-carrying guide lost on the outside parameters of the French group. Next stop: Old Macau (a little history).

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Macau Quick Facts

  • 75% income comes from the casinos
  • Gambling allowed only in Macau, nowhere else in China
  • 29 million visitors to casinos in 2013
  • Run by Chief Executive (must be Chinese, local person, and local citizenship)
  • Runs for five-year term, only re-elected once
  • Only power of Parliament is bigger than Chief Executive
  • Can vote from 18-years of age
  • Port-based laws: have own police, laws, money, postage stamps
  • Is visa-free
  • Has three bridges
  • Status of Macau now 440 years
  • Macau Flower
  • Home of Macau Grand Prix. Circuit is like Monte Carlo (3.7 miles)
  • Macau Old Garrison
  • Watch your belongings. This is a tourist city.
  • Narrow streets
  • Comprised of two islands 29.5 square km

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

  • Before 1993, only 17.3 square km. Close to doubled now.
  • Language: Chinese (Cantonese).
  • Portuguese almost never spoken anymore
  • Schools teach Chinese, not Portuguese
  • Portuguese (about 2% of population) are Catholic, need children to be baptized
  • Chinese prefer to send children to Chinese schools and keep their own religion
  • Three major religions: Buddhist, Taoist, and Catholic

Video by: MichaelRogge

* * *

Next time on December 15th – Holy Cow! So this is Macau.

© 2017 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

FYI: This is a re-blog of the best parts of my trip in 2014

~ * ~

I am currently on an unplanned sabbatical. I hope to return but when is the question. Thank you for your supportive reading, reblogging, and tweeting. I DO appreciate your kind and continued follows far beyond my inadequate words.


68 Comments

Day 21 (cont’d): Zhuhai to Macau

I’m not sure when we changed to the left side of the road, but I did notice other vehicles beside us doing so. This was a huge surprise and a shock to me. I’d had no idea and it was a weird, unsettling feeling.

First agenda item: a bus tour of the Macau. We gawked like children, at least I did and cannot say exactly how everyone else reacted. Cameras clicked in such rapid succession, it sounded as if a bomb might go off. We’d arrived at The Monte Carlo of Asia, the Las Vegas of the East.

Lunch Buffet:

Salad fixings

  • Red cabbage
  • Romaine
  • Baby corn
  • Tomatoes
  • Cukes
  • Chick peas
  • Italian dressing

Main

  • Baked Ox Tongue with creamy cream cheese
  • Roasted Chicken with chili and white wine
  • Red kidney beans stewed with pork
  • Fish Fillet with beer batter
  • Sautéed mixed vegetables
  • Spaghetti with tomato sauce
  • Rotini with red pepper sauce
  • Fried rice Chinese style
  • Steamed white rice
  • Japanese Pork Curry
  • Pizza
  • Buns
  • Congee
  • Chocolate cake
  • Pound cake
  • Red Bean Pudding
  • Stewed pear in red wine
  • Finger sandwiches
  • Cold cuts (2 kinds)
  • Potato salad
  • Pork
  • Sardines, Portuguese style
  • Coffee, tea, water. Can’t recall if there was beer. (Maybe to order?)

(I couldn’t read several items because of my handwriting)

The driver dropped us off in front of the Fireworks Factory. A new local guide, Cheryl, met us; our luggage was taken off and sent ahead to our hotel.

© 2015Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles. All Rights Reserved.

© 2015Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles. All Rights Reserved.

Up a hill we followed the flag-carrying guide lost on the outside parameters of the French group. Next stop: Old Macau (a little history).

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Macau Quick Facts

  • 75% income comes from the casinos
  • Gambling allowed only in Macau, nowhere else in China
  • 29 million visitors to casinos in 2013
  • Run by Chief Executive (must be Chinese, local person, and local citizenship)
  • Runs for five-year term, only re-elected once
  • Only power of Parliament is bigger than Chief Executive
  • Can vote from 18-years of age
  • Port based laws: have own police, laws, money, postage stamps
  • Is visa-free
  • Has three bridges
  • Status of Macau now 440 years
  • Macau Flower
  • Home of Macau Grand Prix. Circuit is like Monte Carlo (3.7 miles)
  • Macau Old Garrison

 

  • Watch your belongings. This is a tourist city.
  • Narrow streets
  • Comprised of two islands 29.5 square km

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

  • Before 1993, only 17.3 square km. Close to doubled now.
  • Language: Chinese (Cantonese).
  • Portuguese almost never spoken anymore
  • Schools teach Chinese, not Portuguese
  • Portuguese (about 2% of population) are Catholic, need children to be baptized
  • Chinese prefer to send children to Chinese schools and keep their own religion
  • Three major religions: Buddhist, Taoist and Catholic

Video by: MichaelRogge

* * *

Next time on May 15th – Day 21: Macau (continued)

For more related posts, click on China tab at the top of the page

© 2015 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles. All Rights Reserved.