Oh it's been such a long week! It's almost the end of the 1st week of my 2 month stint working in Hong Kong which explains the lack of posting. I've not really been up to very much apart from working and being at home but I'll put together an Instagram post about my typical day later on. Firstly, let's complete that last post on Macau, I sooo wish I was back there and chilling out in that hotel room. Swoon!
We only stayed in Macau over night so on the Saturday we checked out about mid-day. Not before I took a photo in the walk in wardrobe area of the Hotel room. Yeah it's cheesy but it had to be done! After we checked out we wondered next door to the adjoining hotel, The Okura.
As I mentioned in the last post, where we stayed is a group of 3 hotels which are all attached. The hotels are The Galaxy, Banyan Tree and Okura. The Galaxy which is the biggest and slightly cheaper of the three, is if I'm honest, a littttle tacky (evident in the previous posts pic of the colour-changing water feature) and the Okura and Banyan Tree are the swankier of the two. Both the Okura and Banyan Tree employ staff from the relevant countries to provide an authentic experience for the guests. I would love to stay at the Okura one day mainly because it's Japanese themed and has lovely tranquil water features inside. Though, it's a little pricey but actually significantly cheaper than say a 5 star hotel in London. My aunt is familiar with the Okura and wanted to show us the Tea Ceremony room. We followed one of the hosts who was dressed in a Kimono to the special area of the hotel where the Tea ceremony is taught. There was an authentic Tea Ceremony master who teaches guests the ancient art of Tea Ceremony (at a fixed price). Unfortunately I didn't have time that day but one day, I would love the opportunity to actually have a go at learning the symbolic ceremony.
The Okura also has the only Sake Bar in Macau which is an interesting feature...not that I drink Sake regularly, Rice Wine makes my head spin! Afterwards, we hopped in a taxi and headed back to the older part of Macau, away from the glitz of the hotels and Casinos!
Our first stop was for some authentic Portuguese food at Restaurante Escada which is literally round the corner from Senado Square (Pics in this post) and housed in one of the traditional Portuguese buildings. I think decent Portuguese food is hard to find nowadays in Macau but this place wasn't too bad. I'm sure that the Portuguese-Macaunese food has a slight Chinese spin too, especially with the rice dishes!
Above are Portuguese Duck and Baked Rice, andPortuguese Chicken. Below are Clams in Lemon and Stuffed Crab. The Clams and Crab were my fave!
Kind of wish they hadn't placed the Olives like 'eyes', not that it bothers me but it's a bit silly!We soon left with very full stomachs and we wandered around the old town and of course, I took plenty of photos! These old buildings are still occupied with the ground floors mainly filled with small restaurants and shops selling traditional foods and random trinkets.
I love this area of town. Most of the shop owners are of the older community and I was surprised to see washing hanging up just beyond those red shutters in the tiny rooms upstairs!
This door is kind of new and the colour is super vibrant and not authentic at all but I had to take a photo. I quite like the contrast between the brand new fittings and the tradtional Chinese ornamental knocker.
Macau is a funny old place. Like the door above, it has a big contrast between the old and new cultures, it's a clash of different personalities from Portuguese, Chinese, Old Town and the glitz of the Casino culture which draws in a crowd from all parts of Asia. It's probably a place where you don't need to stay for more than two days as you do run out of things to do quickly. People from HK visit mainly for the traditional foods and as my dad has always mentioned, the nostalgic feel of the old town which is reminiscent of Old Hong Kong before the onset of skyscrapers. The fancy hotels with fancy luxury malls cater more towards the wealthy Mainlanders who visit and drop their cash on luxury goodies. So soon enough our short trip to Macau reached it's end and we all hopped on the Turbo Jet ferry and whizzed off back to Hong Kong in one short hour!
When we arrived back home, we stopped for a light dinner. One of my favourite traditional Chinese meals is Congee which is definitely a comfort food. So yummy! On the right is a purchase from Macau that we all snacked on. It's a packet of preserved prunes which on paper sounds kind of dodgy doesn't it? I'm sure most Chinese readers will be familiar with them, they're kind of sweet and sour. But seriously, I used to eat these ALL the time when I was little and they make me feel so nostalgic!