Tag: china

OU MUN CAFE MACAU

Here’s the last of my Macau trip – lunch at Ou Mun Cafe on our final day. The night before, the Pinay who worked in this cafe was chatting with the servers from Restaurante Platão (it’s just across) after closing hours and her bubbly personality won us over. After some last minute shopping in the morning, my mom and I popped on by to try their set lunch which was reasonable and quite tasty. Would definitely recommend this Portuguese cafe to guests visiting Macau. It’s well reviewed and it’s centrally located – just a few steps from Senado Square.

Ou Mun Cafe is located at 12 Travessa de Sao Domingos,Macau Peninsula, Macau, China

For more on my visit to Macau, click here.

xx

MORE OF THE MACAU PENINSULA

Honestly, I preferred the Macau Peninsula over the Cotai side. The peninsula, I felt, had more character. Where else in the world can you find neon Chinese signs starkly contrasting the Portuguese inspired architecture it’s hanging from?! It perfectly illustrates how Chinese and Portuguese influences have blended into a totally distinct Macanese culture. And okay fine, I am biased. I looove cobblestones and baroque architecture. It reminds me of eras past and how I am part of such a colorful lineage that is the human race. These Old Towns are living monuments of our art, history and achievement. Imagine, these have been standing for several centuries. Not only is it testament to man’s artistry, but also to its craftsmanship (nevermind they’ve probably restored these through the years). I mean look at that arch of St Paul’s Cathedral. So much attention to detail and it withstood fires, earthquakes, and time. Can you spot St Ignatius? 😉

For more on my visit to Macau, click here.
xx

THE STEREOTYPICAL MACAU CASINO POST

Rightfully dubbed as the Far East’s Las Vegas, Macau boasts a variety of big name casinos and then some. Not only are these one stop hotel and casino establishments huge, they’re also literally everywhere. In fact, when we were there, a bunch of new buildings were being constructed – and mind you, they were as big as, if not bigger than, the existing ones. In disbelief, I asked my mom how the hotels – both current and upcoming – were ever gonna fill the rooms up. Needless to say, I got my answer after observing the throngs of tourists at any given moment inside the casino halls. The casinos are very accessible with hotel shuttles from all major points of entry. You can also take advantage of inter-hotel shuttles available to selected chains. All these for free, so it’s no surprise that they can attract the crowds. I’m not really a gambler (by luck and not by choice) but I enjoy visiting these themed casinos for their architecture and interiors. It is definitely worth a visit especially if you’ve never been to Vegas. From what I remember, the standards are quite comparable and we get to save on airfare too. Now if only we can find Elvis… kidding!!! 🙂

For more on my visit to Macau, click here.
xx

RESTAURANTE PLATÃO IN MACAU

We actually passed by Restaurante Platão on our first night. My mom and I were like, “aww we should’ve eaten here instead of McDonald’s” upon seeing the huge maroon umbrellas, warm yellow lights, and the groups laughing and enjoying their food at the restaurant’s alfresco area. That night, I decided to Google and Foursquare where to eat in Macau – so we wouldn’t end up in McDonald’s again – and Restaurante Platão popped up enough times for us to be certain that we had to dine in that eye-catching enclave.

Restaurante Platão offers Portuguese food and to be honest, I knew nothing about Portuguese food other than their super yummy egg tarts. Good thing the servers were Filipinos and they were able to recommend dishes and even advise us if we’re ordering too much. Did you know that there are more than 30,000 Filipinos in Macau?! I didn’t!

Poppy Seed and Cashew Nut Rye Bread

Squid Ink Pasta. This one was actually quite a treat since normally, squid ink pasta dishes mean normal pasta and squid ink sauce. This one was black pasta, with cream sauce and seafood. Yummm!

Baked stuffed whole cauliflower with minced meat. It’s literally what it is. Haha! I ordered it either because there was an icon beside it or it was under the portuguese specialties. I can’t remember which exactly, but I knew I ordered it because it was recommended and the concept was so foreign to me. Good for diet except maybe for the layer of yummy cheese on top.:))

Do try this at home 😉
Me and mama after our first Portuguese meal with excellent Filipino service 🙂

 Restaurante Platão is located at 3 Travessa de Sao Domingos, Macau Peninsula, Macau, China


**Please note that it’s currently under renovation.

xx

MUSEUMS AND EXHIBITS IN MACAU

I made a conscious decision last 2011 to include more gelleries and museums in my life. It has been one of my better calls. During our second day in Macau, we managed to visit three! It’s not really a lot considering the other 2 are rather small exhibitions, but still, three! I’ll go give you a tour. 😉
1) Museu de Macau
No. 112 Praceta do Museu de Macau 

We stumbled upon Museu de Macau when we were strolling along Fortaleza do Monte, the fortress next to the Ruins of St Paul’s. It was set up in a such a way that equally presents Macau’s Portuguese and Chinese roots side by side, encapsulating its unique traditions and culture in this permanent exhibition. I especially enjoyed the recreation of houses and living spaces as you get to see how the different influences have blended into something distinctly Macanese. For the museum of entrance of 15MOP, you also get access to the rooftop which provides an unobstructed view of Macau.

2) Museu de Arte Sacra e Cripta
Ruins of St. Paul’s, Macau


I don’t think much people go beyond the facade of the Ruins of St. Paul’s. If you go further in, you’ll see the foundations of the original church. Go a bit more in, and you’ll notice a queue to downward staircase. Being typical tourists, my mom and I followed the crowd and were led to the basement crypt and Museum of Sacred Art. Ok, fun fact, this was one of the biggest Cathedrals in Asia. It was built in the 1600s by (my favorite order!) the Jesuits, together with exiled Japanese Christians and Chinese craftsmen. I’ll elaborate more on the arch on my next Macau pose, but for now, let’s go back to the Museum of Sacred Art. It’s a small room that contains “objects of high historical and artistic value from different churches and convents of Macao”. Personally, I like looking at religious artefacts because of its detail and craftsmanship. Antique pieces are highly elaborate and ornate making it not just a religious relic but also a work of art.

3) MJ Gallery
2/F Sofitel Ponte 16, Rua das Lorchas e Rua do Visconde Paço de Arcos, Macau 

The MJ Gallery was advertised in the city map my mom and I took from the terminal. As Sofitel was just across our inn, we figured we’d drop by. It was a rather small exhibit with mostly autographed memorabilia. I found it interesting to see pieces of his actual costumes – I mean, never in my life did it cross my mind that I’d be inches away from Michael Jackson’s bejewelled socks – and his doodles. The thing that made my jaw drop however, was seeing Stevie Wonder’s autograph. Not to sound like a disrespectful ignorant or anything, but I was really amused by this. The MJ Gallery was not bad for something free but I don’t think it’s something you’d want to go out of your way for.

So those were the three exhibits we saw in Macau. Upon doing my blog research, I found out there are actually a lot of museums to check out if you have time. Full list can be found here. So the next time you say there’s nothing to do in Macau – or any other place for that matter – make sure to do your Google-research. 😉

xx

FIRST NIGHT AT MACAU

Hello, Macau! My mom and I wasted no time upon arriving in this little island. Chucked our bags in our cozy inn and spent our first evening strolling through Senado Square, eating some good ol’ Mc Donald’s, and “trying” as many Portuguese egg tarts as I could. It was an affirmation that I made the right choice because prior to booking, I spent a huge chunk of time deciding if we should stay in the Macau Peninsula or the Cotai side. For one thing, Cotai is much more modern, boasting of the city’s newest and latest, but my inner-European sensibilities got the better of me. Cobblestones? Intricate architecture? I’M SO IN! 

xx

HONG KONG DAY 2: VICTORIA PEAK AND MADAME TUSSAUDS

Our second day in Hong Kong was reserved for Victoria Peak. It was actually my first time to go up! Navigating from Jordan to the peak and seeing more of Hong Kong is what made me want to immerse deeper but unfortunately, it was also our last half day as we were sailing off to Macau that very afternoon. I know, I know, people normally stay longer in Hong Kong and visit Macau for a night but I thought since we’ve been to Hong Kong before and have never been in Macau, it would be okay. I was wronnnggg! Not that you can do away with time in Macau but that Hong Kong deserves more than a night. Next time, next time. 🙂

We started our day with breakfast at Oak Tree Ristorante, the in-house restaurant of Hotel Rainbow. The spread didn’t look like much but!!! my mom and I really enjoyed it! We loooove salami and cold cuts, and although we quickly wrote this one off upon seeing it, the first bite was wow. The fresh jam was also very good. It was 99% my type of breakfast, with the missing 1% attributed to the lack of croissants.

We then took the MTR from Jordan to Central, and then walked our way to the Tram Station. I’m so proud of my mom for being so game with this! 🙂

We arrived considerably early at The Peak Tram yet there was already a queue. It wasn’t as long and wild, and we were able to get into our carriage and ascend roughly 15 minutes upon arrival. The knickknacks on the side were quite interesting too.

First stop, Madame Tussauds! Here’s a tip –  buy a ticket for the day’s first time slot online. It’s cheaper, you save yourself the hassle of a long tram queue, and you get the museum pretty much to yourself. I booked the 10:00-11:00 time slot for HKD144/pax as compared to the 11:00 onwards time slot which is HKD192/pax. If you can save HKD48, why not right!? Not to fret though, the time slot is actually the time you’re supposed to arrive, and you aren’t limited to an hour. Heck, you can stay as long as you want. So yes, my tip for Madame Tussauds Hong Kong – go for the earliest time slot! Save money and save time. 🙂
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Quite obvious how my mom and I enjoyed, noh? Haha! It was actually my first time to visit Madame Tussauds. Nice to have gone with Ma coz I first learned about the museum’s existence when I saw ticket stubs in her old photo albums. 🙂  Saw this super cool booth outside too. Basically, these cubbies are for specific dates in the coming year. You put a post card inside and they will only mail it on that day. It’s like a physical future me letter. 🙂 Who said postcards are dying!? YES TO MORE POSTCARDS AND SNAIL MAIL! 

Next up was Pacific Coffee. I’m so glad I read Tripadvisor prior to going because it lead me to this spot with killer views that don’t cost a fortune. The iced coffee was okay, perfect for the warm weather. But the view, oh the view.😍

We did a quick stroll around the Peak before heading down. The peak tram has gone a long way! 100 years to be exact. It was nice to take part in such a long standing tradition and testament of the city’s technological advances. So glad we came early coz the lines going up to peak were loooong and it was much warmer in the waiting area too.

A seasoned traveler knows that there’s always a point of interest in every corner. She knows that she can’t plan everything, thus, she maintains flexibility in her itinerary. This is a case of that. 😉 My mom and I stepped inside St. Andrew’s Cathedral for a bit on our trek down. It was such a pretty Anglican church that boasts of an airy architecture.
We then continued back to our hotel, grabbed a quick dimsum lunch, and headed to the ferry terminal for the second leg of this trip.
 Til next time, Hong Kong!!!
xx

CAFE GRAY DELUX AND THE STUNNING HONG KONG HARBOR

Like I said here, my mom and I went to Hong Kong and Macau for her birthday. To be honest, what I looked forward to the most in our itinerary was her surprise birthday dinner because I did my research and booked a window table waaay in advance. The anticipation killed me, bro. Haha! Here’s why: Cafe Gray Deluxe. It’s one of the top rated Hong Kong restaurants on TripAdvisor and upon looking at the photos and the reviews, one would expect it would cost a tooth and an arm to dine at such a posh restaurant. Fortunately for this working girl’s budget, they offer a 3-course Early Supper Menu which was significantly less pricier than dinner (HK$355++ vs HK$725++). Early supper begins at 6pm and you must turn over the table by 730pm. The “time limit” may seem daunting but believe me, I did not at all feel rushed and we had more than enough time to enjoy our meal – coffee and chitchat included. Best of all, you get to see the harbor in both its daylight and night time glory. 🙂 
The food was alright (looove my dessert!), but more than anything, I think it’s the experience you pay for. The stunning view together with the excellent service makes this restaurant top notch. The wait staff was very attentive and they really took care of the diners, ensuring every detail was carefully attended to. When the manager came to check how our meal was, my mom gushed and enquired about the dipping sauce for the bread. She was already pleased with knowing what the ingredients were, only to be delighted further when the waiter brought over an additional serving. The chocolates at the end of the meal was also a nice touch, perfect ending for meal that was deluxe indeed. Will definitely go back the next time I’m in Hong Kong. 🙂
Cafe Gray Deluxe is located at Level 49, The Upper House, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Hong Kong

xx

AROUND HONG KONG

One of the highlights of 2014 was the Hong Kong – Macau trip I planned for my mom’s birthday weekend. You know how some people treat Hong Kong like its the extension of their backyard? Coming every so often, staying for days on end, and developing an understanding of the city’s ins and outs? I’m not one of them. Although I’ve been there before, this trip was the first time I felt that I’ve never had a complete grasp of the city. Knowing this made Hong Kong all the more attractive for me. The old and the new, the cosmopolitan and the traditional, the British and the Chinese… it’s a melting pot of contradictions that I cannot wait to immerse deeper into.
Why this realisation all of a sudden? Maybe it comes with age, but it was also the first time I actually took to the streets and explored places aside from the Mongkok night market, Ocean Park, and Disney Land. I can’t wait to go back!!! But first, let me pass on the HK bug and share with you Day 1 of our trip. 
I booked Scoot to Hong Kong and it has easily become my favorite budget airline because of the spacious seats which are comparable to commercial airlines’ making it waaaay roomier than the standard A320s.
Bye for now, Changi!
I waited 2 hours inside the HKIA Terminal parked in a bench, watching Scandal, as I waited for my mom’s flight to arrive (which arrived later than scheduled, what’s new Cebu Pacific?) 

Modern structures
Breakfast at Deli France
My momma 🙂

From the airport, we took the Airport Express which connects to the public MTR stations. Hong Kong’s public transport is quite navigable and well connected, and it was easy getting from the airport to our hotel. 
We stayed at Rainbow Hotel, upon my colleagues recommendation, which is reasonably priced for HK standards. It’s near the Jordan MTR station making it very accessible. By luck, we got to check in as soon as we arrived and it made life so much easier!
The busy streets of Jordan. Why Jordan? Because it was where my Rodriguez side stayed during my last visit and I remembered it was so convenient and you can even walk home from the Mongkok Night Market (which we didn’t do this visit because of the protests at that time)

We went to this BBQ pork restaurant just behind Jordan Street for lunch. And mmmm, so good. The staff didn’t really speak much English but contrary to stereotypes, they were still really nice and accommodating. 

The menu has pictures so even non-Chinese speakers can order with ease. The pork was soooo good. So much better than anything I’ve tasted in Singapore and Manila ✌️

Me and my mom all-smiles after our meal and posing with our food, haha

the mandatory Hong Kong street pose (which I’ve used in this post on Counter Indifference)

Cute their public bus, noh?

Taking a picture with the “Temple Street Market” sign as a marker for our evening plans, haha

Interesting detail in this residential building.
Introduced my mom to my current favorite ice cream – Green Tea Häagen-Dazs.

Kowloon Union Church’s pretty facade
I love brick buildings and Hong Kong had a big share of it!
just had to take a photo with this capturing facade – the play of lines is very interesting, noh?
Kowloon side at night
Good night, Hong Kong!

Notice there are no dinner photos? I saved our superb and visually stunning experience for the next entry. ♥

xx