The two administrative regions of China, Hong Kong and Macau, come across as great holiday and honeymoon destinations with their modern entertainment facilities, luxurious shopping malls and fun filled amusement parks.
Having known each other for a long time, it was easier for us to plan for our honeymoon together and we decided to go to Hong Kong and Macau. Like any regular honeymooner, me and my husband spent a lot of time doing our research, checking images on Google, but the experience and warmth of Hongkong and Macau as a destination is best felt in the moment.
The Macau experience
After landing in Hong Kong which is well connected with New Delhi through numerous carriers such as Jet Airways, we took a ferry from the airport to Macau, the city of glitz and glamour and checked-in to the Venetian Macau Resort hotel, Las Vegas of the orient. It is the largest single block style hotel in Asia and the second largest building in the world. It functions as one stop for entertainment, shopping, exhibition, accommodation and gaming. Of the two areas for tourist and casino, the former has Venetian styled buildings, canals and plaza; while the casinos, located on the first level of the building, offer a wide variety of games like blackjack, baccarat and roulette. The casino section that also accommodates one of the largest casinos in the world, is divided into four areas – the Golden Fish, Imperial House, Red Dragon and Phoenix. The local laws prohibit the youths under 18 years from entering the casino area.
Our room, situated on one of the top floors, boasted incredible views of Macau and was huge. The efficient staff of the hotel add to the impeccable experience. The enormous and busy hotel that gives a very city-like feel to the place also houses one of the best Indian restaurants, the Golden Peacock, in the region.
The hotel concierge suggested us to visit the Macau Tower which is famous as world’s largest bungee jumping site. The 233 metre high tower was something only my husband dared to pursue. It was the best experience of his life. After that we covered the other beauties of Macau such as the Sheraton hotel and experienced the live crystal shows. while on our way back, the Gondola ride that we took was similar to the one in Venice. The 25 minute romantic ride accompanied with songs by the gondoliers will always stay close to my heart. We saw parts of the city that are only accessible by this means of transport.
Discovering Hong Kong
Next morning, it was time to pack and move as we were headed to Hong Kong through ferry and checked-into the Hollywood hotel in Hong Kong. The hotel was a bit far from the Disneyland theme park. It covered the cute themed toiletries, fun adult sized maze and well maintained facilities. We took free shuttle bus to/from the hotel. It has a pool with slides which also covered Disney characters around pool entertaining kids.
The night market at the Temple Street is the largest night market in the Hong Kong. The usual street during the day, transforms into a bustling tented multitude of brightly coloured souvenirs and mouth-watering street food. The colourful stalls, placed one after the other (sharing a tent wall), were hawking everything relatively inexpensive; from vintage Chinese coins to iPhone covers, electronics and watches to dinosaur themed spiky leopard print backpacks. Haggling is an essential part of Hong Kong experience and some stalls may also have a separate unmarked Cantonese’s “local price” that are slightly cheaper. The culture and art of bargaining is part of this dynamic experience, but as always, there needs to be a balance.
Disneyland Amusement Park
On the third day, in the morning after having a light breakfast we moved to Disneyland Amusement Park that came as a huge surprise to me as it unravelled itself. Apart from the abundant rides for the children, other fabulous attractions such as live shows, and parades enhance the experience. The characters, colour, music and the vibrant energy that flows from the Flights of Fantasy parade makes it fun to watch. Woody and Jessie, the Toy Story magnet, dancing their way down main street in the parade made for a beautiful sight. Tinker Bell Castle Illumination is also an attraction as part of the Celebration in the Air that began in 2011 to mark the fifth year anniversary of the Disneyland in Hong Kong. As an added advantage, we had an access to the cast at Disneyland that allowed us to take numerous photographs.
The best way to meet the cast, however, is at the Enchanted Garden Restaurant at the Hong Kong Disneyland hotel. At each meal, Disney characters make their way around to the tables to hug, click photographs and give signatures to the visitors. The characters, as expected from them, interact amazingly well with the kids.
We also had a lovely dinner at the Plaza Inn at Disneyland Park. It was great to sit comfortably around a large table, rest and refuel before we headed back outside to watch the Tinker Bell Castle Illumination and fireworks.
The Ocean Park
The fourth day was well spent at the Ocean Park. Ocean Park, located at the southern district of Hong Kong, contains in itself a marine mammal park, oceanarium, animal theme park and an amusement park. Our guide told us that in November 2012, Ocean Park became the first theme park in Asia to win the Applause Award from the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions. The theme park currently has a wide array of attractions and rides that includes four roller coasters. Additionally it houses animal exhibits with different themes such as giant panda habitat, jelly fish and Chinese sturgeon aquarium, as well as a worldclass aquarium featuring the world’s largest aquarium dome that displays more than 5,000 fishes. Once again it was only my better half who was brave enough to take the giant rides such as roller coaster ride.
Our last half day in Hong Kong was spent roaming in the street after having a delicious breakfast. With fond memories of Venetian, Disneyland and Ocean Park my honeymoon had come to an end. With a bag full of gifts for family and friends and of course for myself, we boarded our flight from Hong Kong to New Delhi to come back home. Hong Kong and Macau fulfilled all our expectations with welcoming smiles, luxurious resorts, grand city hotels, attractions, amusement parks, shopping and vibrant nightlife and we discovered how charming Hong Kong and Macau are as destinations.
How to reach
Most international flights to Hong Kong land in Hong Kong International Airport. One can go for ferry service to reach Macau from Hong Kong. The journey time is 60-75 minutes.
Where to stay
Venetian Macau Resort Hotel and Hollywood Hotel in Hong Kong are good options as we have experienced. It’s hard to find budget options in Macau. The city boasts more of luxurious options. However, one can explore plethora of options ranging from low-priced to luxurious in Hong Kong.