Saturday, December 8, 2007

Macau & Hong Kong, China - Part 2

Thursday morning Yuly prepared a gorgeous breakfast of a fresh fruit plant and a toasted English muffin with fresh mango (Carmen - I have the recipe from Yuly, it's AWESOME) for Karen and I on the balcony. Karen went off to work and I did some yoga. I headed down the hill, checking out the little shops, peeking down the lanes and generally was in a state of absolute wonder. I caught a taxi and went off to the ferry terminal, where I took the ferry to Macao.

It was a gorgeous sunny day and after about an hour the ferry arrived in Macao. I did not really have much of an agenda, so I did the touristy thing and hired a rickshaw bicycle driver to take me towards the colonial center. The old man was impressive, I was actually tempted to have him sit in the back and I would pedal but then I paid him about three times what a taxi would have cost me so I guess we were even.

I walked past the glitzy casinos to the historic district. It was so odd to see the street signs in Portuguese and Chinese (Macao used to be a Portuguese colony). If it were not for the Chinese writing, I almost felt like I was in some little European town, winding streets, plazas, colonial architecture - it was gorgeous. I strolled around, did a little shopping, saw the fort and the old cathedral, had an egg tart (like warm egg custard in a flaky pie crust - yummy!) and eventually walked back towards the pier and past all the casinos. A bit of a strange mix of it all.

I got back on the ferry and went for a Hunan Chinese dinner with Karen and her friend Eva. Dinner was truly fantastic - I am not generally a fan of "American" Chinese food, this food was different, better and left no heartburn! Also, getting complemented on my chopstick utilization by a Hong Kong Chinese lady was pretty cool - guess all my sushi lunches have paid off!

After dinner Karen and Eva suggested I go across to Kowloon to visit the Temple Street night market. Eva was kind enough to get me to the market via the MRT (subway). This area was amazing, tons of neon signs, tons of people out, busy, noisy but amazing to walk through. I did a little shopping in the market (one will notice this recurring theme in Hong Kong) and got back on the subway at about midnight and went back to Karen's. After several weeks of being in by 11pm, this was a long day. Hong Kong really never seems to sleep.

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