Category Archives: Macau & Hong Kong 2013

Hong Kong 2013: One Day Trip

We stopped by Hong Kong for a day to shop and eat. I took the opportunity to meet some business associates.

We took a ferry from Macau to Hong Kong. We had to bring our passport to get into Hong Kong. Although the trip to Macau is only an hour, I was seasick. I find it rather strange as I once survived a 8 hour grueling boat ride to Tioman (and terribly seasick too).

I am told that one should look at the horizon if one is seasick. However, all the windows were covered! However, I slept throughout our journey from Hong Kong back to Macau. I didn’t feel a thing.

We had dim sum for lunch at Lin Heung Tea House. I’ve never eaten dim sum in Hong Kong. My first time was interesting.

In Lin Heung, you must first fight for your seat. Then you must fight for the waiter’s attention to clean the mess left by the previous customer and for him to serve you drinks.

Once you win those battles, you have to enter the war against the other customers for your dimsum. The dim sum cart doesn’t come to you but you need to hunt them down to grab your dish. Some of the dim sum cart ladies were pushing the cart while I was choosing my dish. I felt like a refugee hunting down a lorry with food.

But I must say that food was good.


Awesome Ma Lai Kou

After lunch, I met two Hong Kong Intellectual Property lawyers to catch up with them. One is a partner of an international law firm whereas one just joined a newly established law firm as a partner. The former’s office is located at Central with numerous floors. Their reception has a few receptionists. It reminded me of another law firm in the UK. No doubt it was grand. We had a quick chat at a cafe below his office.

The latter’s office does not have a reception. I walked straight into their meeting room. In fact, the latter’s office is a paperless and open space office. They do not have receptionists or secretaries. But they do have junior lawyers and paralegals. Work from the western countries still flows into Hong Kong and this include subject matters arising in or relating to China notwithstanding that Hong Kong lawyers cannot practice in China unless they are PRC qualified. However, not all foreign law firms in China are profitable. I am told that many such firms are running at a loss.

Hong Kong Law Society abolished scale fees many years back and I am told that it affected conveyancing lawyers quite badly. Scale fee for trade mark registrations will soon be abolished too.

I’ve told many young lawyer, especially during my seminars with them, that they should move away from conveyancing as their main focus. Eventually one day the Bar Council will abolish scale fees and probably liberalise the conveyancing practice to non-lawyers. Lawyers with no other skills other than conveyancing will have a hard time surviving.

It rained the whole evening in Hong Kong. We got conned into buying a lousy HKD20 umbrella.

We had dinner at a highly recommended place called Tai Ping Koon. It was packed with people. We ordered fried beef noodles, roasted chicken and Portuguese chicken. The bill came up to 500+ HKD. LEI LOU MOU.

The chicken must have been fed with diamond and water from an extinct mountain and cooked with a gold work.


Cute baby seeking attention

I guess Hong Kong isn’t one of my favourite places on Earth. I have a conference here next year. No more Tai Ping Koon for me!

St Paul’s Ruins, Macau 2013

No trip to Macau is complete without visiting the ruins. I wasn’t keen with this place as I thought its a tourist trap. Indeed it is a tourist trap but there are many interesting things to see.

St Paul’s Ruins was filled to the brink. Many people were posing in front of the ruins to take pictures.


Took this photo with my Samsung Note 3. Click on the image for larger view.


We do not know why there was a group of photographers congregating here.


Back facade of the famous St Paul’s ruins.
There is a small crypt and museum behind the well preserved façade.

We hiked up to Monte Forte to check out the panoramic view of mainland Macao. Most of the views are uninterrupted thus it was a treat for photographers.


Another interesting picture I took using my Samsung Note 3. Click on image for larger view. I was blown away with how much details this camera phone can capture.


Fire!


There is also a small museum in the fort. We paid a small fee to get in to learn a little about Macau.

Cricket fighting was very popular in Macau but it died down eventually. I guess all the crickets died due to mass development. Cricket fighting was so popular that enthusiasts had coffins and tombs for their beloved crickets.

This view reminds of the smelly peep shows of Amsterdam. Euw.

Street food is abundant in Macau.

Here we tried a fruit cocktail with orange juice.

Check out the menu.


“Gold coin egg biscuit” at Pun Ving Kei run by some old people. Although it looks like a simple pastry, there was a huge crowd in front of the store. Probably one of the best business one can hope for – simple recipe, low operation cost and unlimited supply of customers.

The House of Dancing Water @ City of Dreams, Macau

We took the opportunity to catch this famous show at City of Dreams.

It is Macau’s most expensive show, which combines water stunts, acrobatics, aerial arts and theater. USD250 million was invested in this show.

We bought the cheapest ticket (about 500HKD) thinking that we will need a binoculars to watch the show. However, the venue is pretty small. We were just a few rows away from the stage. We could even feel the water splashing on us (rather mildly).

The show is set on a stage which evolves from a pool to a dry stage. Actors were a mixture of Caucasians, Africans and a few Asians. The show is about a man trying to save a damsel in distress from the clutches of an evil Queen.

No one is allowed to record the show. You’ll get kids armed with a torch light shining on your face telling you to stop recording.

As grand as it looks, I feel that the stunts were not as impressive as the ones I saw in Beijing. Although Beijing’s acrobatic show was set on a rather poorly maintained theater, the acrobatic stunts were amazing. The ladies could bend their bodies in all forms.


They could even merge themselves together and transform into some sort of creature – just like the Transformers!

Coloane & Vila da Taipa, Macau 2013

We did what many Macau people do, drive to Coloane to eat Lord Stow’s original Portuguese egg tarts. It claims to be the origin of Portuguese egg tarts.

Lord Stow’s has a small little shop in a quaint town in Coloane. It’s a small town consisting of old houses and shops and narrow lanes. Many of them abandoned and at the stage of dilapidation. To get here, one must take a bus or taxi or drive here.


Spot the cat.

We haven’t had breakfast hence we stopped by a random coffeeshop by the name Estabelecimento De Comidas Lou Van Kei. They had loads of customers hence we recon that food must be good.

We were right. Food was great. We had pork chop noodles and polo bun.

The queue at Lord Stow’s was pretty okay.  We got our egg tarts in less than 10 minutes.

The egg tarts were great. It was freshly baked hence the fillings were moist and the crust crispy. We sat at one of the public bench to savour our egg tarts.


Photoshoot

We then stopped by a small cafe by the name Hann’s cafe for a cup of espresso. Its run by a young lady with a basic and small espresso machine. It’s strategically located by the sea. Wouldn’t it be great to quit your job to sell coffee by the seaside?

Vila da Taipa was next. It’s a small village with a few streets with shops. It was packed with tourists.


View from Vila da Taipa. A row of apartments.

We stumbled upon a well known pork bun chain store, “Tai Lei Loi Kei”. Tai Lei Loi Kei recently opened a few outlets in Malaysia. I tried the outlet in Damansara Uptown. It’s quite nice as the portion is quite big and their pork is pretty juicy.


The shop in Vila da Taipa is very different from the ones they have in the Klang Valley. The former is a modern fast food restaurant whereas the latter looks quite run down.

We saw one of the lady bosses of Tai Lei Loi Kei at the old shop and we wanted to take a picture with her. Unfortunately, she walked into the kitchen when we wanted to approach her.


Abandoned house


Almond biscuit. Everybody loves this shit. I hate it.

Serradura (Macau sawdust pudding) cake – mixture of ice cream and cream – from Bitter Sweet Cafe. It’s quite expensive. HKD45 for a small piece. But it was quite tasty.

Fong Da Coffee. Small outlet with specialty coffee beans. A small roaster and cold drips coffee were on display. I bought some coffee beans here. And it tasted awesome!


Umeng: Let’s throw this drink into the roaster, turn it on and then we run..okay?

Macau, 2013

In early November, we made a short trip to Macau.

Our Air Asia flight took us 3 hours 45 minutes with no in flight entertainment. I slept throughout the flight.

One of my hengtais, Umeng moved to Macau from Brisbane two months ago to work as an architect. He now works in the casino construction industry which is booming in Macau. I read somewhere that says 1 in 5 locals work in a casino. That’s no surprise as there are now 35 casinos bringing in gross gaming revenue of MOP 304.1 billion (Macau Business, pg 79, October 2013).

Casinos are still being built in Macau. There are currently 6 major casinos in Macau.

When we arrived at the airport, we were supposed to be sent to the hotel with a shutter bus but the bus was delayed. A middle aged couple, who happens to stay in our hotel, suggested that we share a taxi to our hotel.

Umeng then offered to pick us up and we also invited the couple to squeeze into the car with us. However, there was not enough space in the boot hence we had to put our luggage on our laps.

One thing I do whenever I meet new people is to learn something new from them. This middle aged couple was an inspiration to all couples that they can still travel together regardless of age.

On our first night, we stayed at Hotel Royal Macau. It was okay. Nothing to shout about.

For the rest of the holiday, we stayed at Hard Rock Hotel. Its connected with City of Dreams – another casino.


Hard Rock Hotel reception

Our first meal in Macau was street food. Umeng brought us to a night market where we tried takoyaki, curry fish balls, barbecued fish, lamb and cuttlefish, and beef and cow spare parts. We washed them down with a bottle of coke.


A group of people were dancing on the streets. Nice


Umeng ordering barbecued fish, lamb and cuttlefish


Beef and “spare parts” stall

Umeng was back in Kuala Lumpur for a few days few weeks before he came to Macau. We went to Hen’s house for a home karaoke session. I had so much wine that I had a massive hungover. Umeng on the other hand vomited everywhere when he got home.


Me and Umeng in various places taken by my wife.

Umeng borrowed a car from his “future” brother in law and ferried us around.

Getting around Macau with a car is quite a hassle. Although we could get to our destination easily, the hardest part is to find a car park. Carparks were usually full and we had to go round and round to find one.

We also visited Umeng’s “parents in law” (girlfriend’s parents) shop selling precious stones in mainland Macau. It’s a small shop in a quiet neighbourhood.

I quite like the neighbourhood around the shop. It has small roads but tall flats.

Their dog, Fei Mui, lives in the shop.

Me “hamburgering” Fei Mui’s face.

We saw a man cutting and burning some chairs in a shop opposite the shop while we were there. We were later told the shop burnt down at night. /(*O*)\

Fortunately, Fei Mui was unhurt.

On our last day, we visited the Venetian. It’s a large casino cum shopping centre. There’s a large food court inside Venetian. Food sucks big time and very expensive. Avoid it!

There are other restaurants in the Venetian. Lord Stow’s, well known for their Portuguese egg tarts, has a branch here.

We were able to experience the quaint and quiet life of Macau and also rubbing shoulders with tourists and gamblers. It was a short and sweet trip. I don’t mind going back to Macau again.