Sunday, January 27, 2013

深圳 Shenzhen: Window of the world 世界之窗!

The last 2 times i came to Hong Kong in 2011 was both a 4D3N trip and this time, last December, it was a 6D5N trip so i planned a day for Macau (Read it HERE if you haven't!) and a day for Shenzhen to visit the "Window of the World"! If you read my Taiwan travelogue, i went to this theme park called the "Window on China" or "小人国" where it's a mini land with replicas of major landmarks and attractions all around the world. I got to know from online of another such place in Shenzhen, China and there's even a 108 metres tall Eiffel tower in it so i told myself i must visit this theme park one day (since i have no idea when i will get to visit the REAL Eiffel tower) Never expect the one day to be so soon, LOL
Went over to Shenzhen from Hong Kong through the Metro. Never though that Shenzhen would be so accessible from Hong Kong. All you have to do is take the East Rail line from Hong Kong to Lo Wu and go through the border to take the Shenzhen metro service. Take note that you have go through the customs once again, after all you are "leaving" HK.

Bought the standard one way ticket to 世界之窗 Window of the world station. Their ticket is in a form of a coin so i thought i have to drop it into a slot but then Matthew told me i just have to scan it like an ez link card -_-
Exited through the Metro station and you will realised the entrance is shaped after the Louvre pyramid of France!

Upon exiting the metro station, you will be right outside the entrance of "Window of the world" and you can easily spot the 108 meters tall Eiffel which is right smack in the middle of the park! Can't wait to go in and explore the place!

Bought the entrance tickets at RMB160 which is about SGD30! Are you ready to be spammed by photos!

Throughout exploring the whole theme park, I noticed there were a few couples taking wedding photos! It's like they can save all the money traveling to different places around the world by just paying 30 bucks into Window of the world, LOL

SUPER HUGE ASS ICE SKATING RINK with only 1 girl and i think her coach. If i had all the time in the world and a bunch of friends with me, i think we would actually rent the skates and go into the rink for a few rounds! All the space! LOL
I supposed this is the ice sculptures in Harbin? We can actually rent the jackets and go in take a walk but then... we decided to give it a miss. Too much work and time needed. Plus, there's only two of us in the whole place, LOL

HELLO EIFFEL TOWER!!! Even though it's not the real thing...but still!

Just pretend it's the real thing and take photos! Oh, the tower kena blocked by me. Opps.


I seriously think they purposely place the 4 Chinese characters - 世界之窗 on this side of the Eiffel tower so that it will appear in the photos that people take with it. It's like free advertising plus to let your friends know actually it's not the real thing so they can laugh at you. So annoying. ONE DAY I WILL TAKE PHOTO WITH THE REAL THING. I WILL.

Another couple taking wedding photos, this time in front of the Arc de Triomphe! This is probably the most famous monument/landmark after the Eiffel tower and the Louvre pyramids in Paris. I think the real thing would be even better.

How can we not take photos with it! Wah, i took photos with the Arc de Triomphe lehhhh!!! LOL

The Eiffel tower and Arc de Triomphe in one shot. Just this 2 is enough to make me feel like this trip is worth it, LOL

This fountain looks kind of familiar but i can't seem to remember what it is. Like i have seen it in some movies or what, definitely not Trevi fountain in Italy. Okay, after researching online, this is the "Fontaine de l'Observatoire"in Paris!

Above we have the Colosseum in Rome, Grand Canyon in US, Arizona, the Pyramids and Great Sphinx of Giza of Egypt, the Mayan pyramids and i have no idea what's at the top right hand corner of the photo. Any one any idea?

I'm quite sure this is the Parthenon temple in Greece!I remember seeing it in the Percy Jackson movie, LOL

This is like the Alps or something like that right?I have seriously no idea.

Recognize these? Above we have the Parthenon temple, Greece once again, Niagara Falls in US, Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, the ever famous Statue of Liberty and Cristo Redentor,  statue of Jesus of Nazareth in Rio de Janeiro!

The Niagara Falls was really huge and we definitely had to take a photo with it!Mount Rushmore in United States! The heads of the 4 US presidents!

The famous Leaning tower of Pisa!

Both the Sydney opera house and Sydney harbour bridge, Australia in one photo! (and Eiffel tower, LOL)
More landmarks and monuments! We have the famous windmills of Holland, Sydney Opera House of Australia, Taj Mahal of India, Skyline of Manhattan, New York and the little mermaid statue of Denmark at the top right hand corner!

There's also the Asia portion of the park and this post would just go on and on so i've decided to stop here! One thing that i missed out was the Merlion! I had seriously no idea where it was and it was not indicate on the map -__-

Honestly, the park is simply too huge! 3/4 into the park and we felt like giving up already. All we wanted to do was to find a place to sit down after walking for a few hours. So we decided to give some of the Asia portion a miss. Oh wells.

After leaving the park, we took the metro to another station where they were food and places to shop! (can't remember where it was and no photos because i don't dare to take out my camera!) Had Mcdonalds for lunch in the end because we couldn't decide what to eat. The place that we went to had lots of bags, shoes, apparels, electronics (iPhone case as low as SGD$3 only!) but i don't know why, the whole place gave me an uneasy feeling. Well, it's the people there.

Honestly i felt that i learnt a lot about the different places and landmarks in the world. Even though i might not have stop and read the description of the landmarks/monuments at the park itself, while doing this post, i actually went to research the names online and at the same time read about it! It's like my general knowledge level went up, LOL

Don't think i will ever go Shenzhen again though, i scared pickpockets. HAHAHHAA

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tiong Bahru Bakery: Raffles City.

Always wanted to try the food at Tiong Bahru Bakery and since there's an outlet at Raffles City, now there's no reason to complain having to travel to 56 Eng Hoon Street for their food. Serious spoilt for choice, seriously wanted to try everything. Ordered a total of 7 different pastries and it cost us a total of $42. Not exactly cheap for bread/ pastries.

My favourite is definitely the Croque Monsieur ($9) Ham and melted cheese served warm. Every mouthful was a delight. Their Plain Croissant ($2.80) was a surprise. There was a bowl of croissant sample at the counter so i took one and tasted it and i was like, "I must definitely order one of these." Bacon and Cheese was seriously a letdown, it was as hard as a rock. It left us to wonder if it's really supposed to be like that or it has been left on the shelf for too long.

Will definitely be back to try the rest.

Tiong Bahru Bakery

56 Eng Hoon Street #01-70
Tel: 6220 3430
Daily: 8am – 8pm

#B1-11/12 Raffles City Shopping Centre
Tel: 6333 4160
Daily: 9am – 10pm

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Travelogue: Let's go 澳門 Macau!

Even since i saw the Ruins of St. Paul photo somewhere, i have always wanted to visit Macau just to see that piece of wall in real life and since i was at Hong Kong for 6 days last December, i decided to plan a 2D1N stay over at Macau!
Wasted no time and woke up early in the morning, traveled to 港澳碼頭 Hong Kong - Macau Ferry terminal located at Sheung Wan to get our ferry tickets to Macau at HK$163 which is about SGD25 for one way, got the 10.05am slot!
That's our turbojet ferry to Macau! If you are intending to travel to Macau via ferry, do cater some time to clear the customs before boarding the ferry and you can expect a queue at the customs. That's something we forgot :(

You will be allocated seats no. upon "checking in" and the whole journey takes about an hour.

Brought KFC breakfast up the ferry and Matthew giving the stupid face, LOL

Because it's my first time to Macau, i wasn't very sure what to expect and did not do much research prior to the trip so we were quite lost upon reaching Macau! Had to ask around how to get to Ruins of St. Paul from the ferry terminal and was directed to take a bus (3A i think), stop at some street near Senado Square and walk over to the Ruins. Seriously?

Managed to stop at the correct stop after asking some of the locals on the bus and made our way to Senado Square! This place is definitely a must visit when in Macau - It's something like our town or central area i think, LOL

Passed by a couple of cathedrals along the way. Apparently Macau is somewhere related to Portugal (i'm not going into the history part) which explains the buildings and street signs. Their official language is Cantonese but all the signs are in Portugese which makes it VERY DIFFICULT for us to navigate! I wonder how the locals remember their roads :(

Stopped by one of the stalls to try their famous pork chop bun!

Not forgetting the famous Portuguese egg tarts! Really not bad but then again, like our KFC one leh.

This is another famous food item in Macau, i think it's something like our Ba gua. Abit scary, LOL

Matthew saw this ice cream man and offer to treat me so that he can see me kena "tricked" by the ice cream man but in the end, the man just scoop the ice cream without doing anything! I think he quite pissed with him, AHAHAHAHHAHA

FINALLY we saw the Ruins of St. Paul. In my heart i was like, "Finally i get to see it in real life. Right in my face."

Was supposed to visit Macau during my last Hong Kong trip in October 2011 but due to time constraint, we cancelled our plans but this time i'm finally here! That's one destination off my travelogue check list! Now to our hotel!

Had a hard time looking for our hotel even though the website stated that "it's xxx mins away from Senado Square and major attractions blah blah blah" However, we had no idea which direction to go from the Ruins of St. Paul. Had to keep asking around and even though we had a map, the street names and signs were literally un-pronounce-able, you have no idea unless you experience it for yourself. I wish i could explain better in words here but i really can't. Seriously.

Checked into our hotel. Was too tired to take any photos but we wasted no time and headed out again!

This time to Macau Fisherman's Wharf to take a look! By the way, the name for the Fisherman's wharf is "Doca dos Pescadores". SERIOUSLY YOU TELL ME HOW TO PRONOUNCE. This place is supposed to be themepark with roller coasters, shopping malls and such but then it was closed -__- No idea close for good or we suay, that day never open.

They have this Volcano replica, a Colosseum, a Fortress and more! Quite cool! But it's closed.

Took the free shuttle bus from Sands over to the famous Venetian!

First impression when i stepped in was, IT'S EXACTLY LIKE MARINA BAY SANDS! Then again i realised, the management of Venetian, Las Vegas Sands won the bid during the integrated resort saga in Singapore few years ago thus the concept of Marina Bay Sands is the same. Now i get it! No wonder people keep telling me it's like MBS is like Macau.
One of the cool Ferrari on display and everyone trying to take a photo with it. 

How can one visit Macau and not go into their Casinos! This is the second time i stepped into a casino (first one was Genting) and it's was quite an experience! You would want to try your luck when in the casino so i took out HKD1000 and got 2 chips back - HKD500 each. Apparently each bet was HKD500 and i was lucky enough to win another HKD1000!

But after which, i lost all the HKD2000 and decided to continue playing. Lost about HKD3000 over and i come to realised that i lost about SGD500! Each bet was about $80, which is quite a lot. I don't know what got into me but i went ahead and withdrew 2000 HK dollars from the ATM and try to "recoup" my losses and thankfully in the end lady luck was shining on me and I managed to win back everything that i lost initially and a little bit more. Decided that's it for the day! Phew.

Went on to explore the rest of The Venetian. Totally forgot about Lunch while gambling :|

Matthew's aunt recommended us to go over to The City of Dreams mall opposite the Venetian to watch this "Dragon's treasure" show in a specially built theatre. The shape of the theatre is hemi-ellipsoidal reaching 27 meters in height and 40 meters at it's longest points.  The 15 minute show is all about different element dragons and a special pearl. Not bad.

It was getting late so we decided to take the free shuttle bus back to the central area, find some place for dinner and also to explore around before heading back to the hotel. Honestly speaking, there's nothing much to do at Macau in the night other than gambling... so i would recommend Macau to be a day trip instead if you are considering staying.

Casinos are everywhere in Macau so we decided to go in and take a look since entrance is free and we realised how grand and posh The Venetian is compared to these casinos. The bet stake is also much lower, you can easily find like HKD100 per bet compared to HKD500 at The Venetian. I went in TO TAKE A LOOK only, never gamble again hor (:

Some of the exterior of the casinos are really pretty at night with all the lightings!

Walked back to Senado Square and decided to take a cab back to our hotel, lazy to walk all the way back.

Woke up early the next day and went back to Hong Kong! Overall i would still say it was a nice experience at Macau since it's my first time there and if you ask me if i would visit Macau again, i would say Yes, but not for an overnight trip. Perhaps just for a day for the food and maybe to visit the Casinos and back to Hong Kong in the evening or night.

That's all for  澳門 Macau!