Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Travel: What To Expect - A Day In Macau

Macau is an hour's ferry ride from Hong Kong, the TurboJet leaves the Sheung Wan ferry terminal every 15 or so minutes and doesn't need to be booked in advance. The ride was...a little bumpy, I'll say no more other than: remember to pack your passport (sadly passport stamps were phased out in 2013 in favour of an electronic system for those of us who still like getting such things) and here's what you can expect once you (praise be) disembark at the Macau ferry terminal:

Giant casinos - gambling was legalised in Macau in the 1850s and is now what the territory is most famous for. If you've been to Vegas then a lot of the brand names will be familiar. The huge buildings dominate the skyline and, despite being long-term fixtures, still look oddly out of place. Macau is also a tax haven, which may explain why every other shop appeared to he selling Rolex watches.

Colonial architecture - Macau was a Portuguese colony from the mid-16th century until 1999 (!). The street names, buildings and town planning made me feel like I was back in Lisbon, if I didn't look up at the casino-dominated skyline. Bakeries are packed with pasteis de nata (Portuguese egg custard tarts) although these are served alongside Macanese pork chop buns and other not veggie-friendly Cantonese delicacies. The ruins of St Paul's (built in 1602 and destroyed by fire in 1835) are a highlight of the old town.

Hidden history - just behind the ruins of St Paul's, the Na Tcha Temple is a peaceful little spot, as well as a reminder of pre-colonial Macau.

Tourists posing for photos - Macau is BUSY. The narrow European-style streets are packed with tourists and street-vendors, being a popular destination for tourists from Hong Kong, China and all over East Asia, Macau isn't a sleepy little town in any way. You can't even admire a pretty pink pastel building without a self-appointed former fashion blogger blocking the view of the green door...

Have you been to Macau? 

Friday, 18 May 2018

Travel: Hong Kong on Foot

One thing I often long for in Dubai: the chance to walk along city streets, with no particular aim or purpose, without an intended destination and with the only limitations being my choice of footwear and my need for caffeine.

Sharing some snaps from my trip to Hong Kong with Lauren, where our daily wanders took us to parts of the city old and new, starting at various cute breakfast spots and ending hours later back at our Hong Kong "home".

A matcha latte at Hazel + Hershey, and a bag of coffee beans as a memento.

Victoria Harbour after a nighttime ride on the Star Ferry. 

The Peak on a (relatively) clear day.

Graffti (something I never see in Dubai) in Sheung Wang.

Riding up the Mid-Level Escalator just to walk back down and take the Peak Tram back up again.

Vegetarian Chinese food at Lotus restaurant in Kowloon. Hong Kong isn't the easiest place to eat as a veggie, although I more than happily subsist on avocado toast and M&S sandwiches.

The Big Buddha and the cable car up to it was my enduring memory from my first trip to Hong Kong (aww, 2013 blogging - bless you!) and, pleased to say, I loved it just as much as I remembered.

Have you been to Hong Kong?

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Life: April Round-up

Another month over. I am writing this with a cat clambering over my MacBook keyboard (not mine - her humans are currently in Egypt) so will keep the typing short but April has been really good. It has quite possibly been my most social month since I moved to the desert and I have a lot of posts in my drafts to give y'all a little life update but I am keen to get back to trilling "kittie kittie kittie" and enjoying cat cuddles so here was April, Instagrammed:

1. Having friends in town was the perfect excuse to spend an afternoon in the desert, the red sands and sunset were beautiful and another Emirate, Sharjah, was ticked off.

2. An early-April trip to London and a wedding in Bath meant staying at the cutest Airbnb I have ever seen.

3. I started my new job and on the first day we went for lunch at Peyote - I had avocado tacos for main and an avocado lollipop for dessert.

4. The Avocado Club (erm, where is my membership card?) at one of my favourite Dubai cafes, Comptoir 102.

5. An eerie, grey skies sort of day. This is the view from my office, no big deal.

6. Drinks at Mina Brasserie in DIFC, an evening at work looks a little different these days...

7. I finally made it to Ailuromania, Dubai's cat cafe, to get some kittie practice in before hosting my feline house guest.

8. Fluffy clouds at Jumeriah Al Naseem for my firm's end of year beach party (casual), one of the most beautiful hotels in Dubai and we have a few nice ones...

9. Effie the cat just chilling out on a Friday morning - she's a Persian-mix (like me) and enjoys being brushed, eating yogurt off a spoon and afternoon naps.

How was your April?
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