busy streets, casino glamour and temples in hong kong and macau (2016)
I visited the former British colony Hong Kong and former Portuguese territory Macau in April 2015. I have visited many countries in Asia, but I felt the most comfortable in Hong Kong. This is mainly due to its similarities to the UK and its cultural diversity as an international hub in Asia.
1. Man Mo Temple
Man Mo Temple is one of my favourite places in Hong Kong. It was built in 1847 in tribute to the God of Literature (Man Cheong) and the God of Martial Arts (Mo Tai).
It is located on Hollywood road in Sheung Wan, Hong Kong Island.
I felt a sense of serenity at this temple, with the quiet footsteps of tourists the only sound in the building. The smell of burning incense fills in the room as you walk around to see the ceramic figurines, wood carvings and plaster mouldings.
More information: http://www.lcsd.gov.hk/CE/Museum/Monument/en/monuments_96.php
Walking along the harbour at Aberdeen is a way to see Hong Kong without worrying about bumping into someone. It is generally quiet here as it further away from the main tourist attractions. The area feels more relaxed with local people going about their daily lives.
Next to the harbour lies Aberdeen square, where you can visit for shopping, food and drinks.
3. Walk along Nathan Road towards the Avenue of Stars
The main focal point of Kowloon is Nathan Road. You can start from Prince Edward underground station, and walk down the linear road past Mongkok station, Jordan station and Tsim Sha Tsui station to get to the Avenue of Stars. The view at the end of the walk is magnificent, and a great photo souvenir of your time in Hong Kong.
Along your walk you see meet many shops, from electronic stores, restaurants and fashion brands. Be warned, Nathan road is incredibly crowded, so please watch your possessions.
4. Temple Garden between Wong Tai Sin temple and Diamond Hill
An unplanned visit, unfortunately so that I could not find the name of this temple. It is in between Wong Tai Sin temple and Diamond Hill. It was a beautiful temple garden, and was nice to smell fresh grass and rest after visiting the densely populated Nathan road.
5. Streets of Hong Kong
A common theme of Hong Kong was its crowded streets, colourful advertising, and neon glow at night. My favourite street in Hong Kong was Star street located in Wan Chai. Star street has many bars and restaurants, which is perfect for an evening drink.
Macau is essentially split up into two parts connected by bridges. One side is the Macau peninsula, and the other side are islands connected by landfill (Cotai, Taipa and Coloane).
Taipa ferry terminal is where I entered Macau from Hong Kong (Sheung Wan ferry terminal). The area of Taipa also hosts Macau’s airport.
Once outside the ferry terminal, directly in front of you will be a row of coaches each named by their corresponding casino. These coaches are free; you simply wait in the queue to board one. They will take you to a casino of your choice, and is the first step to getting away from the ferry terminal.
It is a great feeling to be able to travel for free in the comfort of a luxury casino coach.
1. Casino glitz of Macau
If you love the bright lights of casinos, you will feel right at home at Macau. There are so many choices of casinos to visit, each with their own enticing glow of colour and outstanding architecture and design.
I visited a few casinos including the Venetian casino, which was my favourite. Every casino is well equipped to keep you there as long as possible, from free bottled water on the casino floor, to shops and restaurants with great food.
2. Senado Square
After all the gambling at the casinos, you must take some time to soak up the culture in Macau.
Located in Macau peninsula, Senado Square is where the former seat of Portuguese Macau’s government lies, at Leal Senado building, now used as the Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau governed by the People’s Republic of China.
Walking along the square you will come across one of Macau’s main shopping streets, where you will find many shops, bars and restaurants.