31 May 2009

Across the Canal and the Sea

May 1st, 2009

Today we're having breakfast at hotel. Ole London Hotel is nice, neat, clean, safe, simple, having free wi-fi and not too expensive. But tell you what, the foods are terrible. So if you're staying in this hotel, better get some foods outside.

First stop is Venetian again, because we hadn't tried the Gondola yet. It is located in 3rd floor Grand Canal Shop. They make whole things look real, such as decoration of European buildings on top of every shops, fake sky on the roof top that can be changed into sunrise or sunset, ancient Venetian street walk, and of course the canal with some bridges. The Gondola starts operating on 10 am until 10 pm (last departure is 9.45 pm), can take up to 4 people in one boat with 108 MOP for each person. There will be 1 Gondola man/woman who takes us sailing for about 15-20 minutes while singing Italian songs. Aside the canal, we can find world famous branded stores (some from HK) along the way, such as Tiffany & Co, Zara, Mango, Giorgo Armani, etc. These shops are opened until midnight.


At noon we're going back to Macau city, we planned to cross the sea to HK on the afternoon. We looked for Portuguese foods for lunch in Senado Square, found one near the fountain right opposite of Macau Tourism Center.

After lunch, we walked around Senado Square for a while (some are shopping, others are visiting St. Dominique Church), then by taxi went to Hotel. Btw, since the first day we got hotel's namecards in Chinese language of "Please Send Me To...", so we could just show it to the taxi drivers that mostly can not speak english.

On the morning we already packed all stuffs and checked out from the hotel (we can deposit luggages for a while), so we just stopped by hotel to take luggages then with the same cabs we went to Macau Ferry Terminal. We reached ferry terminal around 3 pm. There is Turbo Jet ferry Macau-HK every 30 minutes. Because the last check in is at least 30 minutes before departure, so we only could take the fastest Turbo Jet ferry on 4 pm. There are some promotions for Visa credit card. First one is buying 2 return tickets, get 1 return ticket free. The second one, can buy up to 6 tickets with 20% discount. Because we only have 2 Visa credit cards and there are 11 people of us, we took the second promotion. The trip to HK takes 45-60 minutes. And guess what when we reached HK ferry terminal... we got lost haha.

So there are 4 islands in HK: Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, Lantau Island and New Territories. Our hostel is located in Kowloon. We knew that there is ferry terminal in Kowloon, but we didn't check it again when we bought the tickets, we're just so sure that this ferry would go to Kowloon. Well actually it ended up at ferry terminal in Hong Kong Island, we bought the wrong ticket. Then because we're afraid it would be so expensive to take taxi, we bought Octopus card (minimum 50 HKD) for taking MTR from Sheung Wan to Mong Kok while carrying our big luggages.

Hopefully our hostel is quite near with Mong Kok MTR station. We're staying in Dragon Hostel, a famous backpacker hostel in HK. OK, the room is very small for 5 people inside, but I didn't care too much since we didn't have too much time in the hostel, and instead spending money on nice hotel I can save the money for shopping yay! After putting our bags, we directly went out to Avenue of Stars to catch Symphony of Lights show at 8 pm, where there would be lights flickering according to the music. To get there by MTR, alight at Tsim Sha Tsui Station then walk through Exit E. It will pass New World Center shopping center.

The show lasts about 15 minutes, unfortunately there's no fireworks that night. After it finished, we came into New World Center first looking for dinner then going back again to the waterfront promenade. It is very cold and windy, glad I brought my jacket. In Avenue of Stars, we could find printed hand and signature of HK movie artists like Jet Li and Andy Lau.

So this is it, our first night in Hong Kong.

(*)Courtesy to Arie for some pictures. Click the images for bigger view.

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