After we first arrived in Hong Kong and moved around for a few hours, we were worried that staying for four days might be too long. Well, we were so wrong, we loved every minute of our stay and this is equally true for Macau
The only turn off was the difficulty and suspense involved in getting a visa for China. Looking back, it was quite funny, but being in thrown into a situation where all of a sudden all rules do not apply anymore was rather uncomfortable. We felt so very lucky to have this piece of paper in our passport, something that should not cause such emotions but should be normal procedure!
Hong Kong is an astonishing mix of an ultra-modern, efficient, squeaky clean city with huge skyscrapers, trendy restaurants and glamorous shopping centres on the one hand and a truly Asian feel on the other: narrow alleys cramped with shops, markets full of stuff you need or not and many small, busy restaurants where you can get great food for less than 2 Euros. Strolling around the city was something we enjoyed most, especially watching the smartly dressed people. We were overwhelmed by how friendly and helpful people were and were most impressed by the so well-organised M.R.T transport system.
Party animals might also find a city that never sleeps, just to pass on what other people in our hostel said…
Macau is even more amazing: a mix of newly restored colonial buildings, a rather run-down, dilapidated city and its casinos which are even more extravagant than the ones in Las Vegas. A visit to The Venetian is simply overwhelming, even for people who do not gamble.
The other good news is that you can visit those two cities on a small budget. Even around Hong Kong’s Soho reasonably priced restaurants can be found, in case if you want something different than slurping the usual soup in tiny eateries.
Of course it is a shoppers’ paradise, but we had to be disciplined since we would have to carry the staff for another three months. Accommodation also can be quite affordable: a small double room in Chunking Mansion can be had for 20 Euro. On the island, at Hong Kong Hostel we paid 30 Euros per night for a clean twin with private bath and air conditioning. The best news is the most efficient and cheap MRT system, that is best travel with the pre-paid Octopus Cards. So we lived comfortably for less than 40 Euros per person a day, a bargain for what is supposed to be one of the most expensive cities in the world!