Thursday, March 9, 2017

4D3N Macao-Hong Kong Budget Food Trip [PART 1: MACAO]

澳门,你好!

It was a random decision to visit Macao and Hong Kong as my first traveling destination in 2017. I have a friend who signed up for Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon, so we decided to make it a group trip instead. We extended the stay to 4 days (although the marathon took only half a day) to roam around the iconic city of Hong Kong and historical Macao.

Honestly, spending 4 days 3 nights in Macao and Hong Kong is not sufficient to visit all the famous attractions and experience being a local. Everything we did there seems so touristy, although it’s not my first time being in Hong Kong.

We spent most of time there hunting for food and commuting. It’s really convenient to travel everywhere in Hong Kong and Macao, but I personally don’t like all the stairs-climbing. Throughout this trip, I have probably walked the most staircase in my entire life!

As we went there during early February, the weather is still very chilly.
❤ Temperature check: 10°C - 16°C
❤ Exchange rate: RM0.57 : HKD1 : MOP1

Here’s our itinerary for 4D3N Macao-Hong Kong trip:

Day 1 - KL-Macao:
Macao International Airport (澳門國際機場) → Free shuttle to The Venetian →Taipa Village (Tai Lei Loi Kei) → Take bus to Sofitel Macao via Border Gate of China-Macao → Check in at 5footway.inn, Project Ponte 16 → Senado Square → St. Dominic's Church → Ruins of St. Paul's → Dinner at Wong Chi Kei (黃枝記) → The Parisian

Day 2 - Macao-Hong Kong:
Breakfast at Sheng Kee Porridge (成记粥品) → Portuguese Egg Tart at Margaret's Café e Nata → Macau General Post Office → St. Paul Ruins → The Venetian Macao → Turbojet cruise to Hong Kong → Arrival at Hong Kong Kowloon City → Check in to Airbnb at Yau Ma Tei (near Mongkok shopping district) → Shopping at Ladies Market (女人街) → Dinner at McDonalds → Sneakers Street (球鞋街) → Supper at Lucky Dessert (發記甜品)

Day 3 - Hong Kong:
Dim sum breakfast at Tim Ho Wan (添好運) → Hong Kong Tramways (香港電車) a.k.a. "Ding Ding" → Central → Old-School Starbucks → Lan Fong Yuen (蘭芳園) → Tai Cheong Bakery (泰昌餅家) → Boat from Central Piers to Star Ferry Pier Tsim Sha Tsui → Hong Kong Cultural Centre → Shopping at Nathan Road → Australian Dairy Co (澳洲牛奶公司) → Mak Man Kee Wan Tan Noodles (麥文記) → Dim Dim Sum (點點心) → "Symphony of Lights" show at Victoria Harbour (维多利亚港)

Day 4 - Hong Kong-KL:
Breakfast at Kam Wah Cafe (金華冰廳) → Wong Tai Shin Temple → Souvenir shopping along Nathan Road → Hong Kong International Airport (香港國際機場) → Kuala Lumpur 

Now, let’s zoom into our activities every day…

DAY 1: KUALA LUMPUR-MACAO

On the first day, we flew to Macao because of the cheaper air ticket fare when we purchased during AirAsia sales. Arriving at Macao around 2.40pm, we were left with only 1.5 days to explore this Asia’s gaming capital. Due to time constraint, there’s nothing much we can cover except for the must-visit tourist spots such as St. Paul Ruins, Senado Square, Taipa Village and The Venetian.

Total Damage: RM260 for one-way KL-Macao flight ticket


The free shuttle service from the airport to The City of Dream / The Venetian has brought us here.

Old Taipa Village is just across the street.

OLD TAIPA VILLAGE 
A lot of people usually spend 2 days in Macao (Some even opt for a day trip), but seriously it is not enough to discover the entire Macao. Macao is small, but not that small after all. I’d need at least 4 days here to visit all the hidden gems and enjoy the cultural experience here.

But I am glad that we managed to try out the authentic pork chop bun from Tai Lei Loi Kei (Seriously different from those in Malaysia last time!), famous braised egg noodles with shrimp roe from Wong Chi Kei (黃枝記), Portuguese egg tarts, and mixed porridge from Sheng Kei (成记粥品).


Tai Lei Loi Kei (大利来记) 
Rua Correria da Silva, No. 35,
Taipa Village, Macau, China.
Contact: +853 2882 7150

Total Damage: MOP26 per person (=RM15)

Our first lunch is at Tai Lei Loi Kei (大利来记) which is famous for their Pork Chop Bun (澳门猪扒包).
Some say it's overpriced, overrated, etc; But so far it is my favourite meal in Macao!

The pork is very well done as it is super juicy and soft! For the buns, we choose Original Bun, Sweet Bun and Polo Bun-- my favourite is Polo Bun for its sweet and buttery flavour that pairs well with the meat.



5footway.inn PONTE 16
After lunch, we head to our Airbnb-- 5footway Inn Project Ponte 16 to put down our luggage before we explore the town. Transportation is absolutely FREE as we walk back to The Venetian, take a free shuttle to Border Gate of China-Macao then switch to another shuttle to Sofitel Hotel Ponte 16. Our Airbnb is located right opposite Sofitel, how convenient is that!

Another great thing I appreciate is, most of the free shuttle buses here offer FREE WiFi on board! Great for tourists who may not subscribe to any local data plan.

5footway.inn
Rua de Constantino Brito, No. 8
Macau, China. 

Total Damage: RM534 per night for 4 persons (RM133 per person)

5footway,inn is a pretty small "inn" but I am surprised that it is well-furnished and kept clean. There is a mini living room for guests, computers at the reception floor for guests' use as well as a mini pantry where guests can have coffee and bread. For this price, I think it is pretty good! 


Sorry for our messy bedroom, but we are just too tired by the time we reach here!

It is a pretty decent room with 4 single beds and 1 private washroom inside the room. It provides all the basic amenities such as towels, toiletries, slippers, TV, kettle, etc. Recommended if you just need a simple place to stay! 

The only downside is, the lift cannot reach 5th Floor, hence we carry our luggages floor by floor up to the room.

SENADO SQUARE
After a quick nap, we take a quick 10-minute walk to the famous Senado Square and St. Paul Ruins where the dining and shopping establishments are located. The evening ambiance of Senado Square is perfect for photographs!

It is almost the end of Chinese New Year when we are there, so the vibrant CNY decors are still on display.

The beautiful lantern decor definitely exudes excellent "Chinatown" vibes here.

St. Dominic's Church is located here too.

Not sure if it is because of this festive season, Barbecued Meat Slices are everywhere along Macao street! 
And they offer unlimited free food tasting too.

After passing through some streets lined with various beauty stores that sell Korean products,
we finally arrive at the iconic landmark in Macao -- the Ruins of St. Paul's.

The view at the Ruins of St. Paul's is just amazing! 

DINNER AT WONG CHI KEI (黃枝記)
Wong Chi Kei Congee and Noodle House (黃枝記)
No.17 Largo do Senado, Macau
Contact: +853-2833 1313
Opening Hours: 8.30am - 1.30am daily except Sunday (closes early at 12am)

Total Damage: MOP59 per person (=RM33)

It takes us a while to complete our stroll along the busy streets and brave through the crowd to arrive at Wong Chi Kei (黃枝記), the popular noodle and congee restaurant in Senado Square. Backed by a strong history since 1946, it is a traditional Macao spot which everyone goes for.


Basically, the menu is full of dishes you get in Hong Kong including wontons, various noodle soups, congee, and pork chop buns.  We only order items which look good on the menu, and the dishes indeed turn out to be satisfying! 

We order 4 dishes for 4 of us, and surprisingly we can finish all of them! My personal favourite goes to Shrimp Dumpling Noodle in Soup (MOP40) whereas my friend prefers the Fried Noodle with Green Bean Sprouts (MOP55).

Braised Noodle in Soy with Shrimp's Eggs (MOP75) is the signature item here. Must order!

The Rice with Shrimp and Egg (MOP65) is equally good too as the gravy is
super comforting for the tummy during the cold weather we experience.

THE PARISIAN MACAO (澳門巴黎人)
The Parisian Macao, the latest luxurious integrated resort in town which opened its door in September 2016.

After dinner, we went for one of must-dos in Macao-- Gambling! Haha, just kidding. I mean, no trip to Macao is complete without visiting the casino (Not gambling! Just sight-seeing and admiring the amazing architecture)

Believe it or not, there are more than 16 main casinos in Macao, all luxuriously built and designed with taste. We choose to visit The Parisian Macao (澳門巴黎人) because the night view of the beautiful Eiffel Tower outside the hotel is worth going for, despite of the strong cold winds blowing into our faces (It's 9°C in a February evening!).

From the outside, the amazing night view literally transports us to Paris!


On the inside, the huge indoor shopping mall exudes the beauty of art from French architecture.
Being here itself is sufficient to make me a happy kid!

The Eiffel Tower souvenir shop features a collection of miniature Eiffel Tower in different colors and materials.
How I'd wish to grab them home!

After our last stop of the evening, we manage to catch the last bus (It's almost 12am) back to the Border Gate. But free shuttle to Sofitel Hotel is already not available at that hour, hence we opt for Public Bus No.16 (MOP3.20 per person per trip) back to Ponte 16 and conclude our evening in the nice, comfortable crib.


DAY 2: MACAO-HONG KONG

Day 2 Itinerary:
Breakfast at Sheng Kee Porridge (成记粥品) → Portuguese Egg Tart at Margaret's Café e Nata → Macau General Post Office → St. Paul Ruins → The Venetian Macao → Turbojet cruise to Hong Kong → Arrival at Hong Kong Kowloon City → Check in to Airbnb at Yau Ma Tei (near Mongkok shopping district) → Shopping at Ladies Market (女人街) → Dinner at McDonalds → Sneakers Street (球鞋街) → Supper at Lucky Dessert (發記甜品)

SHENG KEE PORRIDGE (成记粥品) 
Sheng Kee Porridge (成记粥品)
新馬路新馬路營地大街吳家圍
Grand Street, Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro, Macau.
Contact: +853-6660 1295

Total Damage: MOP26 per person (=RM15)

This small half-sized outlet is kinda difficult to find, but it is actually located very near to our Airbnb. From far, where you see a huge crowd queueing with food containers in their hands, you know you have arrived at the right place. The menu is very simple, just pick your flavour of congee and snack to pair with.

Can't believe that they actually serve almost 20 types of congee, and it definitely makes us having a hard time to choose what we want. But we just gotta be fast, because other customers chase us out for occupying the table. 

To begin with, we order a platter of Chinese Crullers (Yau Char Kwai 油炸鬼) and the dense texture makes it tastes so different from ours in Malaysia! It does not give any oil residue on the pastry itself, and every bite is so chewy and delicious. Having a few pieces is already enough to fill my stomach.

Our big bowl of porridge-- I'd say this is the most satisfying meal throughout the trip! Why so?
Well, what else can satisfy the hungry stomach more than a hot bowl of congee during such cold days!

MARGARET'S CAFE E NATA (玛嘉烈蛋挞)
Margaret's Café e Nata
新馬路馬統領街金利來大廈17B地舖
 G/F, 17A Rua Alm Costa Cabral R/C Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro.
Contact:  +853-2871 0032

Opening Hours:
Weekday: 8.30am - 4.30pm
Weekend: 10am - 6pm
Closed on Wednesdays 

Total Damage: MOP30 per person (=RM17)

After breakfast, we have sufficient energy to go for food hunting (again!) :P Our next stop is Margaret's Café e Nataa small popular cafe tucked away in a hidden alley, with many rating this as a must-try place in Macao.

In fact, Margaret is the ex-wife of Lord Stow, the King of famous Portuguese Egg Tart in Macao. But we heard that her recipe certainly does not lose out to Lord Stow! Although I personally have no chance to try Lord Stow's version, I feel that Margaret's egg tart is awesome enough to keep me craving for more. 

The pastry is perfectly done in terms of flakiness, whereas the soft eggy custard inside has a melt-in-the-mouth feel. The overall texture and flavour are something you just can't get in Malaysia. Delicious!

As we walk towards Sofitel to take a bus ride, we pass by Senado Square again.
So why not experience the lively vibes during the day too?

The crowd at the Ruins of St. Paul's during daytime is at least 10 times more than the evening crowd!

Macao has lots of Instagrammable spots which you wouldn't want to miss too.
Just take a stroll, stop and enjoy the feel of being in this heritage town.



THE VENETIAN MACAO (威尼斯人)
Since Sands Shoppes in Venetian Macao is the largest duty-free luxury shopping experience in Macao, we are here to check out this place. Here we can truly experience the romance and grandeur of Shoppes. Look at those blue skies, cherry blossoms and lovely buildings; The combination is a Venice city look-alike!

Of course, not forgetting to mention the "Grand Venice Canal" in Macao where
you can take a gondola ride and enjoy the beautiful scenery here at a more relaxed pace.

RANDOM LUNCH IN MACAO (茶餐厅)
Random restaurant across our Airbnb in Macao.

Total Damage: MOP34 per person (=RM19)

It is quite a rush as we can only take a late lunch at Ponte 16 district, then grab our luggages and head straight for the Turbojet cruise to Hong Kong. The journey takes around 1 hour, and we arrive at Hong Kong Kowloon City Ferry Pier (九龍城碼頭) around 7pm.

Total Damage: HKD153 per one-way ticket (=RM88)

Now that we have arrived safely at Hong Kong in the evening.... What about the rest of our food hunting adventure in Hong Kong? Stay tuned for my next blog post! 

1 comment:

  1. KL to Macao air ticket for only RM260! That's very very cheap!

    ReplyDelete

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