Hong Kong Day 1: SOHO

I must admit…I wasn’t that excited to return to Hong Kong. I’d been 5 years prior and I remember it being ‘just another city.’ But, it was Josh’s 31st birthday and we were staying in a new area of town, so I was determined to gain a different perspective on it…and I CERTAINLY DID!

We flew the first Singapore Airlines flight out in the a.m., which took about 4 hours. The flight into HK never disappoints, so be sure to grab a window seat!

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After landing, we were slightly disappointed that HK no longer stamps your passport when you go through customs (mine was stamped 5 years ago upon entry/exit). Bummer! We navigated to the taxi line to central, which was much easier than I expected. All the taxi vehicles that go to central are red and line up on the left of the queue. There is also a person there to help with communicating to the driver where you wish to go  because most locals in HK speak Cantonese (dialect of Mandarin, Chinese). Fortunately, our Airbnb owners are smart and gave us the address in Chinese characters as well as English. 20 minutes and about $35USD later, we were in the upbeat area of SOHO on Hong Kong island.

Our Airbnb was AMAZING: the owners, the info they provided about the area, the decor/cleanliness, the location… absolutely wonderful. It’s located on a small side street, which was filled with people hanging out and drinking beer on the street when we arrived. Such good vibes.

Check it out if you’re planning to stay on HK island:

https://www.airbnb.com.sg/rooms/11807597

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The other AMAZING feature of the Airbnb on Peel Street, is that it is located next door to the COOLEST little coffee shop EVER: Peel Street Espresso Bar. The decor, vibe and service are all above par. We went to this place twice, once for espresso (duh) and a cookie, and another morning for breakfast. FYI, the Avo Toast and Banana & Nutella Bagel are DEVINE.

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Just down Peel street, there’s also a daily wet market, which boasts fresh meat, vegetables and fruits. We had so much fun just walking around the streets at the market, observing all the people and items for sale.

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SOHO is the perfect area to visit, because it’s super close to an abundance of bars, restaurants, malls, the Peak Tram and Lan Kwai Fong (I’ll explain this later). There is also a very large expat population in this region, so much so that, at some points throughout the trip, we forgot we were in China. I was SO in love with the winding, hilly, dirty streets (anything is dirty when you’re coming from Singapore, btw). We couldn’t get enough of just walking around and exploring, although it was SUPER hot in end June.

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There are a LOT of happy hour places around SOHO, with really great prices. Otherwise, food and beverage prices are very comparable to Singapore=expensive. After we dropped our bags at the Airbnb, we walked around and found a cute little local pub on Wyndham that brews their own beer called The Tipping Point Brewery Co. Apparently they are Hong Kong’s first brew pub. The Brewery’s lager beer was awesome and the apps we ordered, spicy chicken wings and mini burger sliders, were surprisingly tasty.

http://www.dragonace.com.hk/outlets/?outlet=Tipping-Point-Beer

After consuming a few beverages, we roamed around the streets until we could check into our Airbnb, take a quick cat nap, and then get ready to rock Josh’s birthday dinner.

After doing a LOT of research, I finally decided on taking Josh to Wooloomooloo Prime, although there are two locations in Singapore. This place did NOT disappoint. Although the price is really steep, the view of the city was epic and the steak was divine, not to mention the 5 different sauces that come with the steaks…OMG. If you’re looking for an impressive, special occasion meal, then this is your place. We spent several hours at Wooloomooloo, enjoying the view, sipping Prosecco and reveling in the fact that we were in the great city of Hong Kong!

http://www.wooloo-mooloo.com/hk/wooloomooloo-prime-cwb.aspx

Our view from outside. Beautiful.

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Broiled Sea Scallops: wrapped in apple wood smoked bacon, served with mango chutney & topped with salmon roe. Delicious.

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Tuna & Spanner Crab Tartare: a base of avocado, orange, shallot & coriander topped with sweet spanner crab & sashimi-grade tuna. Finished with sour cream & salmon roe. This was served plain, although we asked for crackers, which complimented it better.

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Our FEAST for dinner: We each ordered the 10oz center-cut Filet Mignon, which was HUGE.  We totally should’ve shared, but we ended up boxing up half of the steak and taking it home. Additionally, we topped each steak with lump crab meat, which went well. The steaks are served with 4 different sauces: Au Jus, Peppercorn Sauce, Mushroom Sauce and Red Wine Madeira. I loved the Mushroom Sauce, while Josh preferred the Red Wine Madeira. Josh also ordered a Horseradish Cream Sauce, which went really well with the steaks. For our sides, I went total American and ordered a baked potato, while Josh ordered the Sautéed Kipfer Potatoes, which were the BEST!

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NOTE: all items are a-la-cart.

It was an unforgettable birthday dinner!

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After dinner, we took a taxi back to our Airbnb to drop off our leftover food and have a drink. Then, we took a 10 minute (just under a half mile, 600 meter) walk to go out at the famous Lan Kwai Fong. There was an awesome vibe on these streets with many bars/pubs that were, surprisingly,  filled with people and loud music on a Monday night. We had a blast!

 

 

 

One Day in Macau

Macau-called the ‘Las Vegas’ of Asia- is actually the gambling capital of the world, housing more casino floor space than Las Vegas, it’s truly a gamblers paradise.

It’s so amazing that you can hop on a high speed ferry from Hong Kong and, in less than an hour, arrive in Macau. There is NO need to spend the money to stay at a hotel in Macau, unless you’re dying to, because there is a ferry always running, 24 hours a day, almost every 15 minutes, so you can come/go whenever you please. We walked the 15 minutes from SOHO to the ferry terminal and purchased our tickets for TurboJet Macau. The ferry was smooth, clean and fast.

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Upon arrival at the ferry terminal in Macau, after clearing customs, simply go outside and follow the signs to the free shuttle buses that take you to the casinos. We hopped on the bus traveling to The Venetian, which is located across the bridge in Taipa, and were there in less than 15 minutes.

I have to be honest, I really didn’t care for Macau. Of all the cities we’ve traveled to thus far, it was probably my least favorite. There really isn’t much to do there, besides casinos and a small historical region. Plus, there is VERY LITTLE DRINKING and restaurants! As an American, I’ve been to Las Vegas and Atlantic City where gambling goes hand in hand with drinking. Free drinks are served while gambling in the USA. There are bars inside the casinos. It’s a perfect marriage. Then I came to Macau…

We literally had to SEARCH and SEARCH and SEARCH for a bar inside the Venetian. And, after walking around forever, we finally found THE ONLY pub. So,  if sober gambling is your thing, then Macau is totally for you!

Don’t get me wrong, the Venetian was beautiful on the inside, but it is almost SO large that it’s difficult to navigate. It’s actually the seventh-largest building in the world by floor area. It’s also the largest casino in the world, and the largest single structure hotel building in Asia. We played roulette for an hour and roamed around for a few hours to get some souvenirs, see the gondolas and of course try a Portuguese Egg Tart (which was totally overrated).

http://www.venetianmacao.com

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After The Venetian, we walked across the street to the ever so beautiful Galaxy. Take my advice, once you’ve seen one casino, you’ve seen them all. We made it about 15 minutes inside and then decided we were officially done with the casino portion of Macau. We hopped another free shuttle from The Galaxy to the historical part of Macau, Senado Square.

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I have to say that Senado Square was my favorite part of Macau. The streets are made of cobblestone and the Portuguese architecture is really apparent throughout this part of town. It really is beautiful, especially at night. After roaming around the streets for a while, we finally came to the #1 site to see, The Ruins of St. Paul.  We snapped a few photos and then realized that we’d much rather spend our last few hours in Hong Kong because there really wasn’t much left to do in Macau, so we hopped back on the ferry to complete our last night out on the town in HK.

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Overall it was an awesome, unforgettable trip to Hong Kong and Macau! Stay tuned…next up is Siem Reap, Cambodia in September! Drop me a message or comment if you like what you’ve read or have any questions! 🙂

Sundown 10K Run

Run Run Run As Fast As you Can!

This was our second race in Singapore (we ran the Standard Charter Half Marathon last November) and we had a LOT of fun with it! While I wouldn’t run any races in Singapore for time (unless you plan to be at the front of the corral), it’s still a great experience for all.

The Sundown race is especially entertaining because it’s at night (beginning at 10pm for the 10K), which is a HUGE relief from the harsh heat of Singapore. For the 10K we started near the Singapore Flyer (Giant Ferris Wheel), ran down around through Marina Bay and Gardens By the Bay and ended by the Flyer.  27,600 total runners ran, so, it was a bit crowded, to say the least, but a race we’ll never forget!

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