Hong Kong & Macau

February 18, 2014

I had known about the Big Bang fan meeting event in Hong Kong for a few weeks but didn't consider the possibility of going until my friend (who is clearly as crazy as me) told me she was looking at flights. I thought about it for a few hours before deciding that on top of a fan meeting, I could appreciate a (brief) trip to Hong Kong. So the next day we booked our flights which were set to depart less than a week later.

Hong Kong is a world city and one of two 'Special Administrative Regions' of China located on China's south coast. It is commonly described as "East meets West" due to Chinese roots influenced by time spent as a British colony from 1841 to 1997 (when sovereignty was then transferred to the People's Republic of China).

We departed Incheon at 9:00pm on Friday and arrived in Hong Kong around midnight. We stayed with my (amazing) friend and probably didn't get to sleep that night until 4am (5am in Korea).

On our first day (of only 2), despite our lack of sleep, the three of us headed out early-ish. Bubble tea was a must. We took a short ferry over to an area called TST (Tsim Sha Tsui). We saw a lantern festival, great views of Victoria Harbour (Hong Kong Island), shopped at a small market, and ate dim sum!

It was soon time to get back for the fan meeting. The event consisted of an hour of Q&A followed by an hour of performances. Unfortunately for us, we were not one of the lucky few (very few; only 6 out of thousands) to actually meet Big Bang ㅠㅠ Fans were chosen randomly from a lottery box and three of those were matched with a member and got to prepare ridiculous date outfits for each other. Overall, we enjoyed it but decided to drown our disappointment in some late night, traditional Chinese desserts afterwards.

For day two we decided to head to Macau and took an hour-long "turbo jet" ferry over to the land of casinos, casinos, and more casinos.

Macau is the other 'Special Administrative Region' of China just west of Hong Kong, and is the most densely populated region in the world. It was a Portuguese colony from the mid-1500s until it relinquished its title as the last remaining European colony in Asia in 1999. In 2002 it was considered one of the world's richest cities and in 2006 was named the world's biggest gambling centre.

On the main island, we saw the main downtown area (Senado Square), perused the (very crowded) shopping area and ate egg tarts (a popular Portuguese pastry).

We also saw St. Dominic's Church, the Ruins of St. Paul's, and... Starbucks.

We then took a taxi to the other area to see The Venetian (the largest casino in the world which is modeled after The Venetian in Vegas; I was familiar with it because it was featured in the popular Korean drama, Boys Before Flowers). It's an impressive hotel/casino/shopping area complete with painted skies and gondola rides.

From the taxi, we could see Macau Tower.

Inside The Venetian... 

Once back in Hong Kong we met up with some new friends for a hot pot dinner. After dinner and drinks we headed to Victoria Peak which is a place known for it's fantastic views. Unfortunately, that night was particularly smoggy so we could hardly see 10 feet in front of us much less the buildings below. Meanwhile, in the fog, there was a group of students that we couldn't see who were chanting something. I was sure we were about to be initiated into or sacrificed by a cult. It was so ridiculous that it was hilarious which probably made it more memorable than if it were a clear, perfect view. We took a double decker bus down from the peak and tried to see the views under the smog which was moderately successful.

For reference, this is how the view from Victoria Peak looks on a clear night...

And this is what we saw...

On my last day before heading to the airport, we had breakfast at a traditional and popular restaurant called Australia Dairy Company. There was a line up to get in but we were in and out within an hour. The restaurant was packed with people and the waiters got things done so fast. We got egg sandwiches, milk pudding, and milk tea for under $7 CDN. So simple but so good. From there I headed to the airport.

Now I'm ready to relax in Mokpo for a few days before heading to Guam on Saturday!

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