Hong Kong & Macau Trip 2014

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HK1
Here is our flight path from SFO (San Francisco) to NAR (Tokyo Narita) on ANA Airlines on the individual video monitors.  Our flight to Japan was about 12 hours.

HK2
The lovely Japanese stewardess on ANA is making my Chivas and diet Coke beverage for me as Joy sleeps.

HK3
Joy and I are enjoying our flight on ANA.  We were very impressed with their service and the quality of the food as well.  We were served two meals and a lot of snacks and beverages en route to Tokyo Narita.  I am holding the remote for the seat back entertainment system.

HK4
Once we arrived in Japan, we went to the United Club for refreshments and to use the shower suites to get cleaned up after our long flight from San Francisco.  I am trying some sake in this photo.

HK5
We stayed at the Marriott Sky City Hotel during our first night in Hong Kong.  It is located right next to the airport.  The airport is built on reclaimed land from the sea.

HK6
We took the Cotai Waterjet from Hong Kong-Macau Ferry Terminal in Central Hong Kong to Taipa Ferry Terminal in Macau.  The trip takes 1 hour.

HK7
Here is the temporary ferry terminal in Taipa, Macau.  Taipa is an island of Macau SAR.  Macau is a part of China, but they are semi-autonomous from Beijing.

HK8
We stayed at the 5 star Conrad Hotel in Macau which is located in the Sands Cotai Central Complex.  The Conrad is an elite brand of Hilton.  Cotai is a strip of land that was reclaimed from the sea between the islands of Taipa and Coloane.

HK9
Joy and I are posing in the beautiful lobby of the Conrad Hotel.  We were very impressed with the level of service and attention to detail at the Conrad!

HK10
The Conrad upgraded me to one of their largest suites since I was a Hilton Diamond guest.  Our suite had 4 TVs!  This is the living and dining rooms.

HK11
Upon entering our suite, there was a private parlour with TV and home theater system.

HK12
Here is another shot of the living room area.  We had a city view suite also so we had a great view of the Cotai strip and the Macau peninsula.  I was happy that we got Fox News also over there so I can stay in touch with the US!

HK13
Our bedroom was nice also.

HK14
The bathroom was the size of most hotel rooms.  They even gave us a choice of four high end bath amenties for our stay.  We had a TV in the bathroom also!

HGK15
They had 24 hour complimentary shoe shine service as well for us.  All we had to do was call them, and a porter would come and take our shoes to get shined to a high polish!

HK16
This is the famous Senado Square in Macau.  It is a nice blend of Europe and Asia with the cobblestone roads and architecture along with some Asian flair.

HK16
Here are some more street scenes from old Macau.  Macau is also spelt Macao.

HK18
This is an old church near Senado Square.  There is a heavy Catholic prescence in Macau due to the Portuguese colonization.

HK19
Here is another picture of the streets of Old Macau.  Macau is known for almond cakes (cookies) also.  The vendors would offer samples of food along the street for us.

HK20
This is the Macau Fortress.

HK22
Here is a statue of the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus by the Macau Fortress.

HK23
This is the famous ruins of the Church of St. Paul.  It was built in the 1600s, but it was destroyed in a fire in the 1800s.  Only the front of the church survived.

HK24
The street signs in Macau look like this.  They have both Portuguese and Cantonese.

HK25
I needed some lunch after my tour of Senado Square.  This is my McDonald's lunch in Macau.  They had a sweet taro pie over there also.

HK26
The Lisboa Casino is quite grand.  It is a famous Macau landmark.

HK27
Macau has a Venetian also.  Here is the Venetian all lit up at night.

HK28
They had a holiday event called "Winter In Venice" when we were visitng the Venetian in Macao.  It was really neat.  They even had an ice skating rink outdoors.

HK29
Joy and I took a romantic gondola ride at the Venetian also.  The gondalier sang for us in English, Italian, Cantonese, and even Mandarin.  He is from Italy.

HK30
After a nice long day of touring Macao, the turn down service at the Conrad was awesome.  They even laid out our "his and hers" slippers out for us on a mat near the bed and put bottles of Evian water on the night stand for us!

HK31
Turn down service would not be complete without this cuddly teddy bear also.

HK32
Since I was a Hilton Diamond guest, we were offered a choice of complimentary room service breakfast, buffet passes, or breakfast in the lounge.  We did room service for the first morning.

HK33
This is the City of Dreams complex at the Cotai Strip.  It is another large casino complex that includes the Hard Rock Hotel.

HK34
Here is the Venetian during the day time.

HK35
Joy and I are shown here outside the A-Ma Cultural Village in Coloane in Southern Macau.

HK36
This is a large statue of the Taoist Goddess, A-Ma, near the A-Ma Cultural Village in Coloane.

HK37
Here is a nice old Church in the Coloane Village.

HK38
We tried the original Portuguese egg tarts at Lord Stow's in Coloane in Macau.  They were really good!

HK39
Here is a nice view from the top of the Macau Tower.  This is one of the bridges connecting the island of Taipa to Macau Peninsula.  China is across the bridge also.

HK40
Joy and I are posing on the glass floor at the Macau Tower.  It is kind of like what they have at the Willits Tower (Sears Tower) in Chicago.

HK41
This is a large statue of the Taoist Goddess, Kun Iam in Macau.

HK42
Here is a picture of the Fisherman's Wharf area in Macau as well as another large casino.

HK43
Joy and I also received complimentary afternoon tea sets at the Conrad because I am a Diamond guest.  We chose the special "Christmas themed" one and the Spanish one.  Some of the passtries were really good!

HK44
Joy and I choose to have breakfast at the Grand Orbit Buffet at the Conrad on the second morning.  Their dim sum was amazing!  Joy commented on how the staff was so attentive to me since there probably are not that many Diamond guests who stay there.  LOL.

HK46
The ferry returned us to Central Hong Kong from Macau.  Here is a nice building in Central Hong Kong.

HK45
After returning to Hong Kong, we checked into the Courtyard Marriott in Sha Tin, which is in the New Territories.  The room was nice and modern, but it was much smaller than our suite in Macau!

HK47
Getting around Hong Kong is easiest by taking the MTR Train System.  It goes all over Hong Kong including Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, New Territories, & Lantau Island.

HK48
Here is one of the trains in the MTR System.  This one goes to the border with P.R. of China.

HK49
This is the Times Square building on Hong Kong Island.

HK50
Here are some egg tarts being sold in Hong Kong.

HK51
Hong Kong has a long system of escalators and moving walkways to transport people from the Mid-Levels to the Financial District.  These are covered also.

HK52
The Hong Kong Island skyline looks really cool at night.  They have a light show also!

HK53
We had dinner at Din Tai Fung in TST.  The food at this Michelin Star rated restaurant was amazing!  Their dumplings are really good!

HK54
This is the tram taking people up to Victoria Peak.  We took the tram also.  Here's a tip - to avoid long lines to get tickets, just use your Octopus card.

HK55
Here is an amazing view from Victoria Peak!

HK56
This is a picture with the Bank of China Tower in the background.  I remember it from one of the Sim City games.  LOL.

HK57
I saw this cool Chinese style junk floating in Victoria Harbor from the "Avenue of the Stars" in TST.  It is kind of like Hollywood's Walk of Fame except with Hong Kong stars on it.

HK58
This is the famous clock tower in TST.

HK60
This is a nice view of Hong Kong Island from the harbor ferry connecting Central Hong Kong Island with TST.

HK59
This ferris wheel called the Swiss AEX just opened before when we got there.  Joy and I went on a ride in it.

HK61
We took the Ning Pong 360 Ropeway up to the Big Buddha on Lantau Island.  The ride took about 25 minutes, but we got really nice views from there.

HK62
Here is the Big Buddha on Lantau Island.

HK63
The Po Lin Monastary can be seen in the distance from the hill where the Big Buddha is located.

H64
This is what a typical Hong Kong cab looks like.  They are run on natural gas.  We went to the New Town Plaza in Sha Tin to eat at Din Tai Fung again after the trip to the Big Buddha.

HK65
This is a Swarovski Christmas Tree at Hong Kong International Airport.

HK66
I took United back from Hong Kong to SFO.  It was about a 12 hour direct flight.  Overall, United sucks compared to ANA and other foreign airlines.

    Joy and I went to Hong Kong and Macau in December of 2014.  She has a lot of family back there still, and I had never been there myself.  So, it was an opportunity to meet her grandparents as well as do some site seeing in that part of the world.  Our adventure started at San Francisco International Airport where we boarded a Boing 777-300ER owned by ANA (All Nippon Airways) for a direct flight to Tokyo Narita.  Our 12 hour flight was very comfortable as we were served great food and snacks along with an OK selection of fine spirits and wines.  We had a ton of movies to select from on our personal video monitors.  I was able to finally watch the 100 Foot Journey, which reminded me about a little Indian restaurant that my brother and I went to in France before.  After we arrived in Japan, we hung out in the United Club for our three and a half hour layover.  They had shower suites there so we were able to take a shower and get some complimentary refreshments including sushi and sake.  Then, we had another five hour flight to Hong Kong International Airport.  After getting into Hong Kong, we took the shuttle over to our hotel, the Marriott SkyCity, which was on the same island that the airport is located on.  We tried to get enough sleep so we could adjust to Hong Kong time.

    The next day, we took the Cotai Waterjet from Hong Kong Central to Macau.  The Conrad Hotel, which is a premier Hilton property, had a nice shuttle to take us from the ferry terminal in Taipa to the hotel.  Most of the shuttle buses in Macau had wifi on board as well.  Upon arrival, I was greeted by a friendly bellman from the Phillipines who took me in the lobby to get registered.  Once I told him that I was a Diamond guest and the head of the concierge department emailed me ahead of time to plan for my journey, him and the whole staff jumped to my service.  A Portugese guy checked me in.  Since Macau is a former Portuguese colony, there is a small number of ex-pats that live there still.  They upgraded us to one of the their largest suites because I was a Hilton Honors Diamond member.  The suite was so huge!  We even had four TVs!  There was a private parlour with home theater system upon entering the suite.  There was also a large dining and living room area with another TV and awesome views from Macau.  The bedroom was huge also.  We had a bathroom that was the size of most hotel rooms!  They offered us a choice of four different high end toileteries.  There was a ton of amenties in the suite including his and hers slippers, robes, and even bath salts and loofahs.  The walk in shower was awesome too.  Moreover, we had a TV in the bathroom also.  I roll in style!  There was complimentary Evian water also for us.  In addition, they had 24 hour complimentary shoe shine service.  Joy got a real kick out of that.  She kept having the porter come and take her boots to get shined for her.  I took the shuttle from the City of Dreams complex next door to the Macau peninsula where Senado Square and the Ruins of the Church of St. Paul are located.  All the major hotels in the Cotai Strip have free shuttles all over Macau.  The Cotai Strip was created by landfilling the area between the islands of Taipa and Coloane.  They are building a large gambling complex there with hotels such as the Venetian, Sheraton, St. Regis, and Wynn.  After seeing the old Portuguese sites, I returned to the hotel.  That night, Joy and I went to the Venetian where we took the gondola ride with a singing Italian gondolier.  Macau was much more elegant than Las Vegas!  I played one round of craps also.  The minimum bet was $300 HK (which is about $38 US).  The next day, Joy and I toured the Coloane side of the island before going to the Macau Tower.  We also got to the try the famous Portuguese egg tarts.  At night, we enjoyed complimentary tea sets and evening drinks in the lounge because I was a Hilton Diamond guest.  Joy was surprised at how the staff were just so attentive to us.  She figured that there were not that many Diamond guests over there.

    We returned to Hong Kong on Friday, and I got to meet Joy's maternal grandparents.  They were both really nice.  We also saw Times Square, the Mid-Level escalators, and took a ferry ride from Hong Kong Island to Kowloon.  We explored Kowloon a ltitle, but the highlight of that area was having dinner at Din Tai Fung, a Michelin star rated restaurant.  Afterwards, we returned to our hotel in Sha Tin, the Courtyard Marriott.  The Sha Tin Courtyard Marriott was a large high rise property with modern rooms, but they were much smaller than our suite in Macau.  Sha Tin is part of the New Territories.

    On Saturday, we took the famous Victoria Peak tram up to Victoria Peak.  The views were amazing!  We took the ferry over to Kowloon again to explore the Avenue of the Stars, which is like the Hollywood Walk Of Fame.  We also took a ride on the new Swiss AEX ferris wheel.  That night, we had dinner with Joy's friends at a trendy French restaurant on Hong Kong Island.  I got to try some expensive Japanese whiskey.  Hong Kong is a pretty amazing place!  I was impressed with how the people were so orderly also.  People would wait in line for the buses and trains.  There was no pushing or shoving.

    We went to Lantau Island on Sunday to see the Big Buddha.  There is a twenty five minute ropeway ride from the MTR station up to the Big Buddha.  We had lunch at a nice Indian fast food place called Ebenezer's.  Afterwards, we hiked to the Big Buddha and saw the Po Lin Monastary.  Then, we went back to Hong Kong Island to have dinner with some more of Joy's friends at a Chinese restaurant called "American Restaurant."  We had a whole Peking Duck and shark fin soup.  The food was great!  Her friends were really cool also.  I returned home the following day, but Joy stayed a little longer.


Last Updated:  January 25, 2015 4:48 PM
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