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One Day in Macau Part I (Old Taipa Village & Coloane Village)
I have been visiting Macau since 2011 and am so fortunate to see its classic "Old Taipa" / "Taipa Village." Back then my friend Douglon and I could rent bikes to bike all over the islands and explore. Now, I don't see as many bike riders but after an overnight party, my new friend Shannon, from Australia, and I explored the old town.
Here is the rundown on what to do and how we navigated
2. Taipa Village has so many traditional buildings, street art to snap pictures at, and enjoy traditional Portuguese food.
3. Visit the historical Vila da Taipa Historical Center Archway for some pictures.
4. Find a new and upcoming trendy and hipster cafe like Rooftop Macau | instagram.com/rooftopmacau. At this cafe sustainable and locally designed products and clothes are sold. There Shannon and I enjoyed a rooftop view with our coffee and ice cream!
5. If you're hungry visit the local and street food street Run do Cunha | çå°å¤§è¡ and youâll find Turkish ice cream, Cantonese Chinese beef jerky, popular dessert and lunch restaurants. It can be packed!
6. Go to the Our Lady of Carmel Church, the historic yellow Catholic church in Taipa, Macau, to pray and take pictures. If you are Catholic or enjoy historical churches, this is a must.
7. Visit the Casas-Museu da Taipa | Taipa Houses-Museum | to learn about Macau's colonial, Portuguese, and Chinese multicultural historyâ.
8. Snap pics with the backdrop of the Taipa Casinos against the Lake | Wetland in Avenida da Praia, Taipa.
9. Enjoy dinner or lunch at one of the famous Portuguese restaurants, like Le Cesar Old Taipa with sangria, seafood, suckling pig, or Cozinha Pinocchio da Taipa.
10. If you have more time to explore, you can take a taxi (there is no uber or grab) to visit the Coloane Village and visit the original Lord Stow's Bakery. You must try their delectable, melt-in-your-mouth, Macanese "Portuguese" egg tarts*! Not only are they buttery puff pastry cups, THEY ARE LIKE MINI CREME BRULEES you can pop in your mouth! YUM!
You can even sit in one of Lord Stow's 3 cafes on the same block and enjoy a full meal and menu, while egg tarts are constantly being prepared and baked. The scenteven wafts out of the bakeries!
*Note: Although they may be called Portuguese eggs tarts, they are actually a modified historical recipe, with Portuguese pastries and British fillings, with a French creme brulee style crust. You can read more from the SCMP article.
11. Snap pictures at the Chapel of St. Francis Xavier | Capela de Sao Francisco Xavier and village library bibliotheca.
Bonus: Go have dinner at Fernando's, the famous Portuguese Macanese restaurant.
Say you're going to Myanmar for one day and you choose Mandalay as a destination:
Where would you go?
What would you see?
For me, unfortunately living in Hong Kong and travelling quite often means I am often so busy that the last thing I can do is plan things out. So I tried to ask friends, what to do when I visit Mandalay but but no one knew. Now for Mandalay, you have to prepare, as I discovered Mandalay is full of tours from temple tours to strawberry picking, but here is a short guide into what I did and you can do in One Day while backpacking in Mandalay, Myanmar.
2. Later, we walked towards the white pagodas across the street but we didn't know what they were. Amazingly, as we arrived we witnessed the most spectacular moment as young monks in red hues with chaperones posing at this historic site for group pictures. It was so sweet to see all their cheery faces and such a large group of about 30 posing in traditional Buddhist religious wear.
3. Then as the sun set, we climbed the steps past more temples to almost the top of the massive hill with seemingly never ending stairs. Then, as the night descended upon us, with only our cell phone torches/flashlights with us we were so fortunate on the way down, young students engaged us in English conversation, to practice their English. Now, one should always be careful when any stranger approaches, but there were so many people, we felt safe and the students were so curious. My friend was so lucky, one of her new admirers & language buddies offered to give a ride back to our hostel for 3000Ks/Burmese Kyat. Unbelievable, all 3 of us fit as we bounced down a massive hill rivaling the Hollywood sign area in Los Angeles, California, USA, or the Hong Kong Peak. He literally, roared down the never ending stairs, tight forests, through people walking, and after 10 minutes onto pavement, to drive us into the city.
4. Then we we a relaxing night on the hostel's rooftop and enjoyed the breeze with fresh papaya juice and local dinner cuisine. Our hostel offered a movie night for that day, I wish could have watched, but I had an early morning bus right to Bagan, Myanmar, the most famous place in Myanmar besides Yangon and Aung Sung Suu Kyi's prison house. Now the the trip to Bagan, is one I can't wait to share with you "One Day..."
5. Things I Wish I Did
Please check my instagram @zoloren for the most current Myanmar sites (Mandalay, Bagan, Lake Inle/Lake Inlay, and Yangon/Rangoon) I visited and live Hong Kong happenings!
Hong Kong - Little did I know my friend and artist #YIMI would surprise me with a message after a long, sleepless, exhausting weekend.
"...Up for a quick drink tomorrow night? I have VIP tickets for Art Central :)", she texts me suddenly. Obviously, me being the work-a-holic I am, had missed the message and the social media invites I had RSVPed to, because I had been focusing on work and planning a trip to Malaysia and Indonesia.
But upon actually zooming in on the picture of the invitation. I graciously agreed. Her picture to me was a black and silver ticket like an open christmas gift beckoning me to attend the annual event on the harbourfront.
To tell the truth, I had no idea how massive the event would be and didn't have the time to think about it. I was honestly excited to hang with #YIMI and hopefully leave the office by 6 PM, for an artistic cultural purpose #culturalcapital.
So after an almost sleepless night after seeing my non-profit sister B. Jersey who cheered me up on the Tsuen Wan line, I slept a few hour, woke up had a full day of Monday work and waited for #YIMI.
All the while, the torrential rain down poured all over Hong Kong and me. No matter, I walked to the event at the Central Harbourfront and much to my surprise was impressed by the large white tents set up and the massive amounts of people attending the first day. I felt foolish, not realizing this Artistic mecca event was taking place, and little did I know I would meet some great people who loved art. Here are the photos and snapchats of the journey featuring:
and of course my BEST DRESSED LIST!
In order of appearances:
1. @hanbing212 / Artist (above)
2. @_tracy_morgan_ for @JCrew / Studio Designer and Painter / New York City
3. Male Fashionista in Silver / Hong Kong
4. Brown Leader Clad Sculpter / USA&Bali
5. Photographer / Hong Kong
6. @miwa_komatsu_official / Japan AND #YIMI Netherlands&HongKong
Get your tickets before they're gone! http://artcentralhongkong.com/
"Art Central, Hong Kong’s contemporary art fair with a distinctly Asian opened on Monday night to thousands of collectors, VIPs and Hong Kong’s social elite. Billed as one of the most anticipated events on the city’s cultural calendar the evening was the perfect start to Hong Kong Art Week. The fair is open from 23-26 March (VIP Preview Tuesday 22 March) with a program that includes interactive installations, engaging panel discussions, performance art, tours and Hong Kong’s hottest eateries, Art Central 2016 is set to be one of the most anticipated Hong Kong Art Week events and the perfect place to discover and buy art. "
Hong Kong - If you haven't heard of Kelly Clarkson, maybe you never watched American Idol, witnessing her win the record viewed first season or haven't been keeping up with music for the last decade.
14 years ago I watched her win and have grown up seeing her slam in and out of the Billboard 100. She has had numerous hits from "Breakaway" from Princess Diaries 2, to "Since U Been Gone", "Behind these Hazel Eyes", "Stronger" and of course "Because of You".
Now she has returned with a song that had Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez, the contestants, audiences and ME, straight bawling (哭）.
Piece by Piece is a story of her personal life and relationship with her father. I haven't cried watching a song in a long time but the proud mother and singer has a story to tell everyone:
Below the following hits that proved Kelly Clarkson a musical powerhouse:
I have so busy traveling, I haven't been able to update anything. I feel terrible and again this weekend is full of visiting friends from Singapore, San Francisco, and Manila.
I did manage to create this video for my friend Eric who is currently roaming around Sydney, Australia.
Chúc Mừng Sinh Nhật Dep Gai/Trai? lol
Although, I love traveling, backpacking, getting dirty, finding dirt cheap and filling eats, and economy class... lol. Sometimes the miles add up, a first class upgrade awaits, I scrub up, dress up, and pull out the other side of me... then I wake up in a 5 star hotel wondering how a nerdy and lonely kid made it to what people think is the height of success and luxury.
I really do love luxury and fashion. It has been a part of me since I was in high school. When the other kids did not want to get to know me or bullied me, the varying colors and designs of fashion designers always inspired me, giving me hope that I could fit in in a world where I always felt I didn't look perfect enough. Clothes could mask the lack of bulging muscles, my height and a fit could change the way my body type is perceived.
Today, I started thinking and remembering why I love fashion because I binged watched Chanel fashions shows. The Chanel fashions shows are famous for their quirky sets and big productions. This year I was so impressed with two recent Chanel fashion shows set in Paris, France.
My favorite Chanel Prêt-à-Porter/Ready-to-Wear (RTW) video featured a massive French café in the center of the runway. To the surprise of many attendees and me, models and servers actually interacted in the middle while the fashion show occurred. Models were drinking and chatting as if not one was around. It certainly made the show stand out because who would imagine a real café working in the center of a fashion show? According to those interviewed, "it was very Parisien and real".
Then the next fashion show for Chanel Haute Couture featured a huge surprise for a movie and music fan like me. Actress Kristen Stewart, Oscar-winning actress Julianne Moore, singer G-Dragon from Big Bang, singer Rita Ora and more celebrities appeared from backstage and walked to the center of the show where casino tables and dealers waited. Then they proceeded to hang out and to interact with each other in the middle of the set! Then the models appeared and continued to strut around the the celebrities in their own world.
I was so intrigued and impressed so many celebrities were involved in the project and that Karl Lagerfeld had them gamble in the middle of the whole fashion show. The act in the center stage performance in itself was so simple yet entertaining for someone like me. I appreciated it because it was extremely entertaining for someone who knows how tedious a fashion show can be without the right music, attitude, designs or the right company. Now, I only wish I could be successful enough to be invited to those central seat at Chanel Casino Royale.
When I first saw this video I was quite impressed. I laughed hysterically the whole time. Even though I have been traveling, it was a relief to see San Francisco houses again, see drag queens and learn that realtors were creative and brave enough to feature such beloved and entertaining characters in their advertisement. I saw Creative because, I have never thought of combining the two in the United States. Smart idea, eh? I saw Brave because they feature very out characters (who may or may not be gay) but people still bully and torment gays, bisexuals, lesbians and transgender people but all the while San Francisco, again demonstrates it it is a bustling LGBTAlly stronghold of inclusion and diversity. I wish I could be there.
To me this is a sign of the #adfuture. The #adfuture is to me is when people can be featured in various advertisements and marketing without the scrutiny of racial discrimination or fear of being hurt and discriminated against if publicly being involved. Sometimes, growing up in my conservative background with a sometimes discriminatory environment, I feared putting myself out there.
Traveling as a gay man has shown me that I should be weary of my surroundings and be careful of where and how I am open. One can only wonder how much the property in San Francisco costs but the value and power of this advertisment is much more. #adfuture #lgbt #lgbtally #sanfrancisco #blogger #inclusion #diversity #diversify
Read more about it here at SF Weekly
Want to visit Paris or Amsterdam soon? ONE WAY tickets to Paris and Amsterdam from Boston and Baltimore on sale with a stopover in Iceland on WOW Airlines for 99 USD! It's only available one day a week but definitely a steal. WOW airlines is a budget airline so any luggage anything over 11 lbs, you will pay for and the return ticket is about 250 USD. As, as a serial budget traveler make sure you have a ticket to return on WOW Airlines or another airline.
Learn more on USA Today
Visit the WOW Airline website
If you are a U.S. citizen you should always check travel.state.gov before flying to any country. Most European countries including France and the Netherlands allow an American to visit for up to 90 days (that's a long LONG time!) and if you exit the country and return from another country it resets again. The major important issue is always have an on going flight ticket to leave the country you land in or a round trip ticket already booked back to the U.S. at a later date because the departing airport may not let you board the flight.
Below is some of the visa and time limit information for the Netherlands and France from the U.S. State Department website.
2015. 05. 28.
My trip to Malaysia has been a culinary hit but the beginning was rough. So here is some advice for getting to wherever you need to go if you are new to Malaysia. In my scenario I was headed to Bukit Bintang* (Star Hill) without topping up or loading my SIM card.
Big headache ensued.
So I couldn’t understand Malay and after already being stuck in traffic for almost 2 hours, I ended up lost in a far suburb wondering why I was heading away from my destination. Luckily, young boys tried helping me while the driver shouted at me in Malay. After being reprimanded, he made follow him to another bus. I thanked the Malaysian boys for their help and followed. They looked embarrassed for me, not being able to communicate fully with me either.
Then the driver, introduced me to a new driver who not only spoke English but Filipino Tagalog as well! On the bus I was welcomed by two Malay ladies wondering what happened to me. Everyone erupted in laughter after hearing my story since 3 hours had already passed and I still wasn’t in Bukit Bintang. Then we returned right back to Chinatown where we stopped earlier and I discovered that I was supposed to ride in a van to my next destination. Big slap in the face.
Usually, I take the KL Ekpres to KL Sentral and take the monorail (2-4 MYR) to wherever destination. I recommend staying in Bukit Bintang because it’s central and you can walk everywhere. It’s the party hub, Vegas style of Kuala Lumpur.
Fortunately for me, my SIM card was not cancelled and could still receive calls from friends demanding why I was late to dinner. So lesson learned…
* Bukit Bintang is right next to KLCC, where the famous Twin Petronas Towers are. If you have seen Entrapment with Sean Connery or Catherine Zeta Jones, they are indeed stealing and dangling from the towers. If you are a backpacker you will notice numerous types of accommodations are in the Bukit Bintang area, especially in the Changkat area (the party area of KL) on Jalan Alor (Alor Road). Bukit Bintang also houses numerous malls, especially Pavilion. Pavilion is a massive mall where it’s easy to meet people, eat, shop for American and international brands, and watch movies. Just be warned 50 Shades of Grey was banned in Malaysia, so do not expect to watch 50 Shades Darker there.
#Kuala Lumpur #Malaysia #Lost #Backpacking #SEAsia #BackpackinginMalaysia