Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Up, up, and away!

Along with the big decision to build a house this year, we had a milestone birthday to celebrate - a 30th! We decided that a holiday away would be the best way to celebrate.
Taking a break in the middle of the Melbourne winter was a really good idea. This winter has been the coldest and wettest of the three winters that we have spent here.

Our destinations of choice were Hong Kong, Macau, and Singapore. We had never been to any of these places before so we were really looking forward to it. Plus the temperatures were expected to be in the high twenties to mid thirties (day and night).

Here are a few pics of our holiday:

Hong Kong

One of the first things we saw on the way from the airport to our hotel. This is just one small part of the cargo port in HK - one of the top 3 busiest ports in the world (along with Shanghai and Singapore). Approx. 20m containers per year go through this port - that's 55,000 per day! Those tall buildings in the background are residential towers.

This is the HK we wanted to see! This is in front of our hotel. Check out the cars! There's definitely no shortage of HKD for some people around here!

One of the really cool things we noticed in HK was that all of the scaffolding was made entirely of bamboo.

Clear view of the International Commerce Centre (ICC) - HK's tallest building, and fourth tallest in the world.

View of part of the Hong Kong Island skyline - it's hard to get the whole city in in one shot!

The view from the cable cars up to Ngong Ping village, on Lantau Island, where the Big Buddha is, is probably the best view of HK. There is so much to see all around you.

That's a road winding through the hills!

This is the first full view of the Big Buddha that we got from the cable car. Definitely worth seeing.

We were really lucky to get a clear day, so the Buddha and the view were clearly visible.

This shot gives some context to the size of brass Buddha statue.

Tai O fishing village is located on one side of Lantau Island. The village has all sorts of dried seafood, and included in this pic are some of the stilt houses.

Anyone hungry?

The view of Hong Kong Island from the ICC observation floor (Sky100) - 100 floors up!

Times Square - Hong Kong style!


Talk about contrast. Residential buildings below with hotels and casinos in the background. There is no shortage of luxury hotels and casinos in this place.

Despite there being so many things to see and do here, we're glad we were able to relax a bit at our hotel too. The customer service here was really good and the hotel was really relaxing. Definitely a good half-way point in our holiday.

The main sqaure in Macau - Largo do Senado. You can definitely see the Portuguese influence in the architecture here. At one end of the square are various ancient ruins and forts.

 On a Tuesday night... I don't think there is any such thing as a weekend here...

The ruins of St Paul's. Only the front facade remains. There are other ancient ruins here, but we were there at night and couldn't see much.

Picture perfect view of Macau by night. The Grand Lisboa definitely adds a touch of luxury to the place.


Raffles Hotel - full of history.

View of Singapore from the Flyer - in the foreground is one of the luxury gated residential communities. $1-2m for a 3 bedroom condo in one of these!

Marina Bay Sands - world famous. The three hotels are 5 star rated. Singapore only has 2 6 star hotels - The Fullerton, and the Ritz Carlton. Raffles is rated separately as there are no hotel rooms as such - they are all presidential suites.

The Singapore Flyer - worth a fly on a clear day.


Clarke Quay - great food and great entertainment.

Kings and Queens of the Jungle - lions at the Night Safari.

Shoppers on Orchard Road.

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