Travels: Hong Kong + Macau

With the blistering heat in Cebu, it’s hard not to reminisce about the sweet, sweet coldness in Hong Kong and Macau this time last month.

I’ve always cherished traveling, and while I’m grateful work provides me with numerous opportunities to do so, it’s been quite some time since I’ve gone away for an actual vacation. An invitation from the great people at the Marco Polo Hotels in Hong Kong was the impetus of such a getaway.

It’s been a good five years since my first and only trip to Hong Kong. The photos are on social media, but the memories have started to fade. Loosely planning an itinerary (I was traveling with friends for the first time, because #adult) made me anticipate the trip like it was my first time.

After being harassed at the International Departures in Mactan-Cebu Airport (seriously, I’m considering a career at being an immigrations officer because I think my RBF is on point), AJ, Joanna, Fiona and I were finally off.

Upon arriving in Hong Kong, we immediately went to look for a local restaurant for our first meal. A random noodle house in Tsim Sha Tsui was serving these delicious noodles. That’s what they called a small serving (!), hence my face.
After checking in, we went straight to the China Ferry Terminal and hopped on a fastcraft bound for Macau. But first, a selfie.
Historic Centre of Macau. While Macau is now an SAR of China, it was colonized by the Portuguese for the longest time.
The iconic Ruins of St. Paul’s Church, which was once obviously a church but has since been ruined after it burnt down. What remains is the stone facade, which tourists flock to.
Striking a pose at Senado Square. We went sometime after Chinese New Year, but festive decorations were still all over the place.
Macau at dusk.
Back in Hong Kong and living the suite life at the Gateway Hotel. With so much to explore, a girl needs her good night’s rest. In my case, I slept well knowing I was right above Prada and Fendi.
The living room inside our suite.
The view from our room. It had a decent view of the harbour, but unfortunately it was also obstructed.
My favorite amenity from our stay at the Gateway Hotel is definitely the Handy, a free (!) smartphone that lets you have data connection and make phone calls to various countries including the Philippines.
Tsim Sha Tsui on a Sunday morning
Travel buddies AJ, Fiona and Joanna waiting for the train at the MTR station.
Nan Lian Gardens in Diamond Hill. This particular building is the Chinese Timber Architectural Gallery, which housed scaled timber models of existing landmarks.
The adjacent Chi Lin Nunnery, or what little we could photography anyway. It’s a nice break from buildingsbuildingsbuildings, even though you can see some behind it.
Mong Kok, ultimate shopping destination. While wandering around, we saw this lovely old couple dancing out in the streets.
Wining down for the night with a bottle thoughtfully given to us by the Marco Polo team
A late dinner at Din Tai Fung (!!!!). Look at our excited faces.
Xiao Long Bao!
After dinner, a quick stroll to nearby Victoria Harbour to see the city skyline.
Lunch the next day at Three on Canton at the Gateway Hotel. Upon asking for recommendations, I was given a bowl of their specialty, laksa, made extra spicy.
Marco Polo Plaza Cebu has the renowned malicious cookies. I asked Gateway if they had those; unfortunately not, but they DO have a signature dessert as well. This special chocolate cake oozes melted chocolate when sliced (yum), and it’s best paired with Movenpick ice cream.
Hitting the other side for the afternoon. AJ and Fiona walking along Jackson Road in Central (that’s the Old Supreme Court Building behind them) on the way to the Peak Tram Terminus.
Victoria Peak. Hair on point thanks to curls by AJ and a new darker blonde hue by Philip of Salon Lohas. Also, looks sunny out, but it was actually pretty chilly when this photo was taken.

It’s good to be home, but heck the heat definitely needs to chill out.

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