Sunday, 11 September 2016

Trip to Macau

After being in Hong Kong for a couple of weeks, my aunt booked a trip for herself, my cousins and I to visit Macau, China. Going to Macau from Hong Kong is easy, about an hour at most on the TurboJet ferry. I ended up falling asleep both ways which made the journey even faster. I have been to Macau twice previously, once when I was six years old and again when I was eighteen but both times were only day trips. This time, we stayed for two nights and three days so we had plenty of time to try the local food and wonder around the tiny island at our own pace.

Macau is fascinating, nothing like Hong Kong or China really as it was once a Portuguese Colony. You'll notice that the pavements have beautiful Portuguese tiling as well as many of the houses there. Macau is also now the top gambling market surpassing Las Vegas in 2004. This gives it such a contrast from the traditional houses to the modern casinos and resorts. While we were in Macau, we stayed at the Studio City resort and watched the Batman 4D show which was so surreal. We also got to try a lot of Macau delicacies such as Portuguese tarts,  jerky and almond biscuits and ate them by the river with China as my view.

One of the main reasons to visit Macau (apart from gambling) is catch a glimpse at the Ruins of St. Paul which was built in 1602 - 1640. All that is left is the front wall of the church which was under maintenance whilst I was there. There's also a beautiful lotus garden (where I was attacked by mosquitos), Senado Square and some temples to see. If you're tired, there's always a nice resort just around the corner to relax in with air conditioning.

It's strange seeing churches and things associated with Christianity around the place considering the people of Macau are mostly Buddhist or follow Chinese folk religions now. It all acts as reminder of the historic past and it's ruler, the Catholic church.

The downside to Macau is the roads. Seriously, it's such a pain! You know when you're in a shopping centre and you see a shop and don't know how to get to it because there's an awkward glass wall or something in between? That's exactly how the whole of Macau exists. Therefore, you see your destination which in reality should take 10 minutes to walk to but... there is no physical path for you to walk on so you have to catch a bus which goes around in circles and you get there at last an hour later. Getting around is horrendous unless you drive a motorbike like most of the locals and can sneak in between all the traffic. Some days, it took an hour to get from Taipa island to Coloane island.

Overall, I think Macau is an interesting place. It's possible to get it all done in a day actually because of how small it is. It has a unique culture with an interesting history. If you're in Hong Kong and not sure what to do, a trip to Macau is a good idea. Just remember to bring your passport unlike me hahaha!

Sally Kaack Photography © All Rights Reserved

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Trip to Hong Kong: Part V & Update

Oh my gosh I feel like I haven't blogged in weeks which is probably true. Not really sure how some people do it but last week I had three assignments due last week and one due this week which turned me into a busy stress ball. I've also been on the hunt for a new job which means CV sending, letter writing and lots of interviews.

For part five of my trip, I met up with my cousin who is a very talented photographer. We went to Sky100 and also one of the old architectural skyscrapers in Hong Kong. Sky100 is a viewing deck from the 100th floor of the a building which gave some great views of the city as well as the smaller island surrounding Hong Kong. I managed to find a deal online which allowed us to buy one ticket, get one free which we were both thrilled about. As you can see, the view up there is pretty amazing! It was also extremely hot that day so it was nice to be in an air conditioned building while we enjoyed the view. The natural scenery in Hong Kong never fails to impress me, mostly because of how flat Australia is compared to Hong Kong. 

After that, we caught the MTR (underground train) to Quarry bay to visit  益發大廈, one of Hong Kong's most iconic buildings not to be confused with Kowloon's walled city which once had a population of 30 000 people AKA the 'Slums of Hong Kong' or 'the densest places on earth'. Though the block was clearly on a Hong Kong island, it belonged to China which meant Hong Kong police, health inspectors and tax collectors couldn't perform their duties once inside the walls. 

益發大廈 is nothing of the sort as my cousin and I witnessed some young children playing badminton. If you ever find yourself in Hong Kong, I'd recommend paying this location a visit. Even though it's just that to view,  it's pretty remarkable and you'll get some vibrant and unique pictures. Warning, you'll probably give yourself a nasty neck ache staring up at the skyscrapers. 

I love spending time with my cousin as we both love photography and long for adventure. After such an adventure, we picked up some egg tarts and ice cream before heading back to his apartment to edit our photos. A very happy and successful day!

Sally Kaack Photography © All Rights Reserved
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