Hong Kong - Macau

Hong Kong: "Lovely 可爱"

Hong Kong 香港
Special Administrative Region
April 13, 2009

Dear Family and Friends,

Their answers were always the same.

Whenever I asked other tourists what they liked best about Hong Kong, they responded heartily:

"Hong Kong is safe and clean. Transportation is excellent. Service is efficient. Shopping is supreme. The streets are buzzing. The food is good. The sights are impressive."

As one Aussie couple explained, "Hong Kong is lovely."

Hong Kong: "The Giant, The Peak, The Park"

Hong Kong
April 16, 2009

Dear Family and Friends,

It's about an hour's ferry ride from Central Ferry Pier to Lantau Island, the largest of all of the Hong Kong islands. The ferry is filled with pilgrims to Tian Tan Buddha.

The impressive Giant Buddha, the world's largest seated outdoor bronze Buddha is 30m (98 ft) tall and weighs 250 tons. To reach the terraces surrounding the Buddha, there's a climb of 260 steps. And the stairs are crowded. Everyone and every group poses for a photo or two. Or three.

Macau: "Não!"

Macau 澳門


April 16, 2009

Dear Family and Friends,

I know what you are wondering. And the answer is "Não!"

I resisted the temptation to enter one of those grotesque monuments to avarice and addiction.

Don’t get me wrong. I'm no prude. I adore a hand of Blackjack. I savor the action of Craps. But with limited time, and a retiree’s budget, I just said "No!".


Hong Kong: "The Horses Run Backwards."

April 29, 2009

Dear Family and Friends,

Like many other expatriates here in Bangkok, I decided to leave Thailand during the Songkran holiday festival. Songkran marks the beginning of the rainy season here. The tradition is to go to temple and sprinkle a bit of water on the head of the Buddha.

Nowadays kids celebrate by loading up their water pistols and firing on anyone in range. Adults load a barrel of water in a pick-up truck and careen around town showering pedestrians and hapless motorbike drivers.

So where to go?