Macau was a Portuguese colony and both the first & last European colony in China. Portuguese traders first settled in Macau in the 16th century and subsequently administered the region until the handover at the end of 1999.
This was my first trip to Macau, and I found it to be a charming place. Many times I did not feel like I was in China…I could have been anywhere in Europe. There are great little Portuguese cafes, tiled sidewalks, and so much preserved colonial architecture. Both Macau and Shanghai’s historic colonial architecture set within the backdrop of typical Chinese architecture is an amazing contrast.
Although Chinese New Year has a lot of different names, the tradition is the same…it is a time (sometimes the only time during the year a family can get together in one place) for families to come together and have fun, eat food, and light some fireworks. Last year we spent it with our dear friends at their house with family & friends. We made dumplings and shared some rice wine, then when midnight struck, we bought some fireworks and had some fun in the streets!
This year was a bit more relaxed, and on New Year’s Day, we went to the local park to have a stroll…us and 500 other Dongguan residents! The weather was great, a sunny 70 degrees, and everyone and their families were out for some good old-fashioned fun.
As far as true antiques go, I cannot be sure what is and what isn’t…I am no expert, but I go for what I like and bargain from there. Today was miserably cold, which helped me get some great deals! My advice for anyone visiting this place is to remember that almost nothing here is unique…if you see it in one shop, you’ll see it again. If you don’t, you can always go back. Bargain hard! I would say down to at least half of the original price, but most likely 70%.
Shanghai’s Magnetic Levitation (MagLev) train is the fastest commercial train in the world! It connects Pudong airport to downtown. At full speed, the journey takes 7 minutes and 20 seconds to complete the distance of 30 km. The train reached 350 km/h (220 mph) in 2 minutes, with the maximum operation speed of 431 km/h (268 mph). It was awesome!
These buildings are what I think of when I think of Hong Kong…a little ramshackle, but full of character.
HK is one of my favorite cities in the world because of the contrast between the old & worn and the slick new city life…I love both sides equally!
I have a few books that are worth buying on the topic of buildings in HK:
If you know of other books along these lines, I would be happy if you post suggestions in the comments below.