Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Joe in Macau, Saturday

About half way through my last business trip to China I took a side trip to Macau. Macau is an island near Hong Kong that is a former Portugese colony. It was the first western colony in China, it became a colony in the 1650s and did not become part of China again until 1999, 2 years after Hong Kong.

Macau is now a large gambling destination for tourists from all over. Several years ago, foreign casinos were allowed to open there. Recently, Macau has seen (or will soon see) the addition of a Wynn Casino, a Belaigo, an MGM Grand, and several other well known American casinos.
The rest of the pictures are some of the casinos that we checked out on Saturday night. These casinos were different from American casinos because patrons were not interested in shows or even drinking as much as in America, instead the focus was on just gambling.

Macau Sunday

We woke up late on Sunday morning and took the bus to San Malo and got some coffee.

This picture is of the old red light district, in it's heyday, the women would stand upstairs in the window and the men would sit in the shops on the first floor playing Mah Jong.

These buildings are just off San Malo, and show the juxtaposition of Portugese architecture in China.

While walking down an alley one of the shops along the way was selling paper goods to burn at Tomb Sweeping day. On this day, people buy paper luxury-goods, including cars and cellphones to burn for deceased ancestors. It is believed that you are providing these things for the deceased in the afterlife.

Below are pictures of some traditional Macau delicacies, almond cookies and dried meat. These foods were excellent for the sea fearing Macanese and Portugese.

This foodstall sign is typical in that it is printed in Chinese and Portugese.

This is a traditonal Chinese house that has been turned into a small museum. Unfortunately, they took the sign down before I was there, and I don't know the history of it.

Streets of Macau.

A casino from the top of a hill.

The Gaia lighthouse and fortress.

San Malo at night.

A church in San Malo where we saw the Macau Symphony perform on Easter Sunday.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Joe in Hong Kong

On a recent trip to China I spent an afternoon exploring sections of Hong Kong that I had not visited before.

I headed out from the hotel toward Man Mo Temple, a Buddhist temple tucked away in a busy part of the city. I think it was built in the 1850s.

Inside, the temple was filled with large hanging coils of incense.

Near the front of the temple.

After having a drink in the SoHo neighborhood I took the subway to the Wan Chai area of Hong Kong Island and ate dinner at Two Hundred Restaurant, serving excellent Thai and Vietnamese food. I had Tom Yum soup and Tofu Noodles Kee Mao and a Singha beer.