Visa Run

In order to get a much needed stamp to my passport, our FSF Hong Kong team went for a lovely day trip to Macau. I did not quite know what to expect from the biggest casino destination of the world (33 casinos, more revenues than in Las Vegas, and 50% of the economy comes from gambling!).

Welcome to China!
Welcome to China!

We were supposed to go to Macau already a week ago but because it was Easter, we had to postpone. In the morning in HK it was darker than at 7 pm, and when we were leaving it started to pour once again, like almost every day for the past few weeks now. In Macau, the weather was 24C with 96% humidity. Phew. In the casinos, the climate was more pleasant, though unpleasantly smokey. Each casino had their unique scent, mixed with the gamers’ cigarrettes.

Filming for trainee video
Filming for trainee video

The highlight of our voyage was the Macau tower lunch buffet, which had been the daydream since day 1. I was actually considering doing the world’s highest bungee jump from Macau tower, but after that lunch I could barely walk, let alone look down the elevator from the 230m high restaurant. It was pretty cool setting, though I missed most of the scenery since I was concentrating on the food.

Where the money's at
Where the money’s at

After the gluttony we went to have dessert to The Venetian, which is the 6th largest building in the world, and besides the casino and a hotel it also has for example a shopping center and a canal inside it. It was my first time to be in a casino (and I went to at least 5 different ones!), and it was not quite like I’ve seen in dozens of Hollywood films and tv shows. No cocktails, no lucky dice blowing or cheering – just a bunch of Chinese people, most of them smoking. The lights, the sounds, the amount of money – I can’t even imagine it all.

The Venetian
The Venetian

Macau seemed to be a playground for the filthy rich. Everything was shiny and clean, loads of ATM’s everywhere, always signs for the next hotel and casino. Free shuttle buses from casino to another. Free water bottles (yay!) It was definitely worth a visit, and what a visit it was – when the boys left back to Hong Kong, we stayed and wondered around, until we found a very decent wine tasting in Four Seasons hotel. On the ferry back home we got to a big thunderstorm, and it was raining like hell in Hong Kong.

Eat, play and sleep - no need to leave the hotel
Eat, play and sleep – no need to leave the hotel

Oh, I would have tried some game in the casino, but they didn’t accept coins!

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Eastern Easter

I have never celebrated Jesus in Finland (or anywhere else, for that matter), but Easter has had it’s place in my life, mostly in the common egg-shaped, chocolatey form. In Finland, Easter has always been the culmination of spring and everything that’s starting to bloom after the gloomy, harsh winter.

How are things in Hong Kong? Well, there is abundance of chocolate (Western brands leading towards sugar-rush and food coma), and restaurants do offer a variety of Easter brunch, buffets and lambs. My Easter? So far, I’ve gone to pay the rent, and to yoga, sushi buffet (by far the best so far) and a nunnery.

Flashback from Japan, only difference is the skyscrapers
This could be a flashback from Japan, only difference is the skyscrapers

The weather has been rather grey and depressing, lately. Nothing that a Finn hasn’t experienced before, though, so I decided to go out and explore Kowloon city (the rain beat me, Kowloon Walled City Park yet remains to be explored).

Nunnery amidst all the urban infrastructure
Nunnery amidst all the urban infrastructure

From the extremely tranquil and beautiful Nan Lin garden in Diamond Hill, I continued my pilgrimage to Sik Sik Yuen Won Tai Sin temple (yeah, I had to check the name).

Prayers and fortunes, most likely no Jesus involved
Prayers and fortunes, most likely no Jesus involved

What do you do when the rain just won’t stop? Go to have a cup of tea, to the cinema and/or shopping!

Not a bad location for a restaurant
Not a bad location for a (vegetarian) restaurant

Easter is not yet over, and the shops are still filled with bunnies. So far, I am very much pleased with the holidays, even though I haven’t seen the sun, I didn’t get to go to Macau as planned, not to mention Lantau (or finally get to try out my new bikinis!).

PS: I completely forgot that my blog is now 1 year old! Whoa, time flies! I have only 2 months left in Hong Kong…and then, who knows?

Two very happy girls having a very good Easter dinner
Two very happy girls having a very good Easter dinner

Happy holidays, everyone – no matter what, where and how you celebrate!