Asia Photo Diary: Hong Kong & Macau
My sincerest apologies I haven't blogged in so long! Normally, I wouldn't think of that as something to warrant an apology (we all get busy, sometimes we don't feel like it - I get it), but as you know, after I announced my move over to Squarespace, I did say I was feeling motivated in blogging more. Truth is, I really am, but I was disappointed by the way my photos from my holiday turned out and when you're not 100% proud of what you're putting up, it definitely puts a damper on things. I forgot to pack one of my lenses for my holiday (of all things to forget!) and the lens I use for blogging doesn't necessarily translate well for travel photography. I don't consider myself a photographer at all and I'm definitely stuck in my "white-bedsheets-minimal-still-life-photography" comfort zone, however, that's something I really want to get out of and keep working at. Nevertheless, here's part one of two of my Asia holiday photo diary and regardless of my amateur photos that don't look like the ones on travel and high fashion blogs, this is for me and to make memories that I can one day look back on.
We arrived in Hong Kong at about 10 in the morning and while we were feeling pretty tired and groggy from our two flights over (we had a stopover in Singapore), we didn't let that stop us from exploring the city shortly after. My family and I stayed in an Airbnb apartment in the heart of Causeway Bay near Times Square, which was close to a Lane Crawford department store where my eyes lit up like heart eye emojis. My bank account definitely could not afford the luxurious designer clothes there, however, the beauty department was something to make all beauty bloggers weak at the knees. While we were miles away from Australia, my family knew I was home. I thought to myself, 'Yep, I am definitely going to do some damage here' and boy, did I ever.
One of the popular things to do in Hong Kong is to take the ferry over to Macau. We had a lovely little day trip there and sometimes it still blows my mind how easily you can travel to and from different countries like that. I suppose living in Australia, it can sometimes feel like you're stuck on this massive island that's far from everything, so being able to travel so easily and quickly from country to country can definitely feel like a novelty. Macau is perhaps best known for its casinos, so we had a wander through a few and I was so impressed by the sheer opulence and grandeur of them all and how packed they all were - on a weekday no less, too! While I have been to casinos in Australia, they were nothing like the ones in Macau and they even had slot machines! I guess because of technology, you don't really see them anymore, so I was really excited to play on one. I did win a little money, did not make a profit, unfortunately, but hey, it was still fun. Later that day, we visited the Macau Tower and had some amazing noodles for dinner at a casino, which had an area with a really awesome under the sea theme to it. Man, I don't think I could ever get sick of noodles and being served tea with every meal!
My friend once described Hong Kong to me as "mini-America" due to the amazing shopping, and that's definitely no word of a lie. I went nuts shopping in Hong Kong, you guys. One of my favourite places to shop was in the Tsim Sha Tsui area of Kowloon where high street meets high end, and it's absolutely glorious. The shopping malls were like nothing back home and I was so excited to go to Zara Home! I did see a beautiful embroidered blanket, however I deemed it a bit of a ridiculous purchase to bring back home. We walked for hours going from shop to shop carrying all our shopping bags in the humid heat, but it's all in the fun of travelling. Unfortunately, I never made it to Muji as my poor dad didn't have so much fun shopping, so we then went to the Temple Street Night Markets, which is more his kind of thing. I am definitely no markets kind of girl, but when travelling, sometimes it's nice to have a change and do things you wouldn't normally do.
On another day in Kowloon, we went back to see the Avenue of Stars and watch the Symphony of Lights at Victoria Harbour, which not going to lie, were both quite underwhelming! I didn't even realise the Avenue of Stars would just be local Hong Kong actors (the only one I'd heard of was Bruce Lee), but I guess that's my own fault for not doing enough research. When the Symphony of Lights started, I was expecting something really spectacular, but it only lasted fifteen minutes (the Internet told me thirty!) and was just a few light beams in the air, contrary to what the photos online told me. Nevertheless, the views of the Harbour were really pretty and afterwards, I treated my family to dinner at Nobu, which was just incredible. There are really no words to describe the food there and while it doesn't come cheap, it's something you definitely need to try at least once in your life. I do love myself a bit of fine dining!
One of my other favourite places to shop was the IFC Mall where there was another Lane Crawford store and standalone Origins and Diptyque stores, which we don't have in Australia. My little brother totally embarrassed me in the Diptyque store, touching everything and basically acting like a four year old, but looking back, it was actually pretty funny. My sister showed me this beautiful candle called Violette and I really regret not buying it. I have a feeling I may be placing a sneaky order on Nordstrom soon as it's not available here and my birthday is coming up! At night, we had delicious cocktails at a bar overlooking the other side of Victoria Harbour. It had a really awesome chilled out vibe, which after a day of shopping and being in the heat, was just the perfect atmosphere.
On our last day in Hong Kong, we had lunch at one of my favourite places for ramen, Ippudo, and visited Victoria Peak, which had gorgeous views overlooking Hong Kong. It was a long and windy taxi drive up there, however, which put me to sleep! Later that day, we went back to the IFC Mall for dinner where my sister treated us to some amazing dim sum at a Michelin star restaurant. Amazing food and amazing shopping. What more could you ask for in a country? I really cannot wait to go back to Hong Kong one day.
The next day, we boarded the train for China, which definitely was not the most pleasant travel experience! More on that on my China leg of my travel adventures coming up later in the week!