A Day in Macau

Okay, tell me honestly. Are you tired of hearing about our recent travels and trip to Asia? Are you dying for recipe post or posts about running? Well, you’re in luck – this is the last post about our recent travels. Then, it’s back to your regularly scheduled broadcast 🙂

Due to flight schedules, we had a flight out of Hong Kong a day after our flight in from Hanoi, so we decided to spend the final day (and night) of our trip in Macau. What a fun experience – it’s a shame it was only a day (well, less than a day – we got into Macau around 4ish and had to catch a ferry out at 11:30 the next morning) but I’m so glad we did!

Some highlights from our day:

Walking around the old part of town and seeing some of the old Portuguese architecture, old churches, cobblestone streets and holiday decorations.


Eating an amazing 7 course dinner. B and I had a room booked in the Grand Lisboa (the nicest hotel room I’ve ever stayed in! – it had a sauna and steam shower and Jacuzzi) and one of the restaurants in the hotel was a 3 star Michelin restaurant. For our last dinner, we splurged and had dinner there.

NBD - just a huge chandelier and piano in the lobby of the restaurant.

NBD – just a huge chandelier and piano in the lobby of the restaurant.

Oh. My. Goodness. Our meal was the best I’ve ever had. Each course was amazing. OH, and there were THREE DESSERT courses. A pre-dessert, a dessert and an after-dessert course. I was in dessert cart heaven.

This was pre-dessert. Yes, that's a thing.

This was pre-dessert. Yes, that’s a thing.

Course #2 - frog's legs.

Course #2 – frog’s legs.

Course #3 - lobster risotto. SO GOOD.

Course #3 – lobster risotto. SO GOOD. And there were more than 7 courses total.

B and the stuffed onion dish. It was one of my favorite courses.

B and the stuffed onion dish. It was one of my favorite courses.

me and my main course

me and my main course

Doing a  little gambling. I’ll be honest – I’m not a big gambler and while I’ve played a few slots here and there I decided to just people watch and enjoy letting B do his thing. We spent some time in a few casinos, mostly just walking around (and getting stared at – we were a little out of place to say the least) and then B played some black jack.

grand lisboa macau

The amazingly nice hotel we stayed in and the casino. Our dinner was at the top!

Getting in a workout at the hotel gym! The gym opened at 8 a.m. (of course I was there at 7:45 and had to come back – what kind of gym doesn’t open until 8 on a weekday?!) and I was able to get in a VERY slow 10k run before our flight. I know – what kind of vacation highlight is a dreadmill run, right? But seriously – it’d been SO long since I ran and it felt so good slash bad at the same time. It’s amazing how out of shape you can get so quickly!


Just seeing Macau in general. Our hotel and the others were pretty insane. The area we were staying in was not what I expected – I was expecting a big Vegas-type strip – but instead there were just giant buildings among normal city buildings, schools, old architecture, etc. which was really interesting to see. And of course the casinos were so gawdy – ours was gold on the outside, had blinking lights at night and so much gold and crystal inside. So fun!

dressed up for dinner :)

dressed up for dinner 🙂

And that was the end of our Asia trip. We flew back on our 15+ hour flight and somehow managed to keep ourselves occupied for at least a little while by reading, blogging, playing games on my phone (Dots), eating the 3 meals they gave us and doing laps every so often. I don’t know when I’ll get to travel again, but I can say that this trip definitely satisfied my travel bug/urge … for at least a little while!

Some questions for you:

  • What’s the longest flight you’ve ever taken? How did you keep yourself occupied?
  • Do you like gambling? What’s your favorite game?
  • Any phone game recommendations? I never play games on my phone but after this trip I’m so glad I downloaded Dots! What else should I download?

Missed the other posts? Full recaps of our Asia trip, including Vietnam and Cambodia and Hong Kong are here.

Traveling – Hong Kong!

B and I just got back* from a fabulous, amazing, incredible vacation in Asia. Neither he nor I had been to Asia before and had started planning a trip to Vietnam (plus surrounding areas) earlier last year. Well – we finally booked it and started our trip out east in Hong Kong over the holidays.

We had four full days in Hong Kong and the city did NOT disappoint. From the moment we got off the plane I could feel the excitement (We’re in ASIA! I whispered probably too loud to B) and when the Airport Express train went above ground and the blue sky, blue water and SO MANY tremendously large and wild looking buildings came into sight I was pumped.

Some highlights from the trip:

The food (for the most part):

Because our hotel package came with a pretty good free breakfast (western, european AND hong kong style – congee), we didn’t end up going out for breakfast or dim sum during our time in Hong Kong. We did, however, have some other great meals including awesome dumplings (my favorite!), fresh duck, tons of soups and noodles and some pretty interesting meals as well (including a few places where we pointed to pictures on the wall because the menu was not in English). B did end up getting food poisoning on our last night – but we had eaten the same food all day long so I’m not sure what did him in.

restaurant with no english at all

One restaurant we ate at with no english at all

inside said restaurant - great noodle soup!

great noodle soup!

first meal - spicy cauliflower!

first meal – spicy cauliflower!

Spending a day in Kowloon

Kowloon is another island that’s part of Hong Kong. I really loved Kowloon! The island was bumping, crowded, energizing, etc. To get there, we took the Star Ferry across the harbor and spent pretty much the whole day there. While there we checked out the bird market (so many birds just flying around and in cages!), flower market, the local parks, the jade markets (and did some bargaining), the Promenade, the Avenue of the Stars and more.

so many goldfish on this one street

so many goldfish on this one street



one of the many bird cages on this street in kowloon

some of the many bird cages on this street in Kowloon

playing the role of tourist on the Avenue of the Stars - me and Jackie Chan!

playing the role of tourist on the Avenue of the Stars – me and Jackie Chan (and tons of other Asian tourists)

Walking around Kowloon

Walking around Kowloon

Viewing the city from the top of Victoria Peak

B and I took the tram up to Victoria Peak on our first full day in Hong Kong and it was a great way to start off our trip. We walked to the tram station from our hotel (about a 40 min walk) and got a great view of the entire city (and it was so clear out!) during the walk and from our viewpoint atop the mountain. At the top, there are also self guided tours you can take that point out what you’re seeing in the distance – again, great way to start the trip and get our bearings.

B and I and the view!

B and I and the view!

The view from the top. So lucky to have a gorgeous, clear day!

The view from the top. So lucky to have a gorgeous, clear day!

Day Trips – Stanley and Aberdeen and the Big Buddha!

We spent most of our time in the central main district and in the western part of Hong Kong (where we were staying) so on our last full day there we decided to take the public transportation system to other parts of the island, including Stanley and Aberdeen. Aberdeen used to be a fishing district and it was cool to see the people still fishing (and then filleting) their meal. Stanley is a gorgeous beach town with upscale shops, touristy areas, a market and a few beaches for locals and tourists to enjoy. Both cities offered a different view than we had witnessed during our stay in the other parts of the island and on Kowloon.

Beach Day! Spending Jan. 1 in Stanley.

Beach Day! Spending Jan. 1 in Stanley.

Loved the streets of Stanley

Loved the streets of Stanley

Selfie in Aberdeen

Selfie in Aberdeen – check out all the boats behind us. Some had people fishing, some had people filleting their fish!

Another day we trekked to yet another island, Lantau Island, to the top of a hill to find the Po Lin Monastery, famous for its Big Buddha. The monastery and some temples sit on top of a large mountain with great views of the surrounding areas, a temple with many gold Buddhas and more and of course- the Big Buddha.

At the top of the hill

At the top of the hill – monastery behind me ad mountains

Also at the top - great views!

Also at the top – great views!

B looking at the Big Buddha

B looking at the Big Buddha

The light show at night on the harbor

Each night, there is a light show over the waterfront between Kowloon and Hong Kong. It’s not like anything I had ever seen before – it’s lights (not fireworks, as I at first thought), lasers, and the buildings are also all lit up. Because it was the holidays the buildings were all lit up with “Merry Christmas” and “Happy New Year” – something I had not expected to see while in Hong Kong!

View from Kowloon - all the buildings lit up

View from Kowloon – all the buildings lit up

What a great way to kick off our Asia trip. Despite B’s sickness, we had a great time. I really enjoyed the metropolitan feel for Hong Kong,  the gorgeous and really cool architecture, how efficient everything was, how easy it was to take the busses and train everywhere, and how walkable the city was.

cool buildings

cool buildings

Some questions for you:

  • Have you ever been to Asia?
  • What’s your favorite type of Chinese food? Least favorite? I tend to like spicy dishes or dumplings. Least favorite? Anything with rice or sweet and sour chicken.

Coming up next – some recaps on the rest of our trip – Vietnam, Cambodia and Macau!

*full disclosure – while you’re reading this, if travel plans work out right, I may be in an airplane flying above you – I was able to write this post while abroad!