One of the upcoming destinations tourist are flocking to is Macau, a region of China. The area has had a massive rise to prominence in recent years, becoming famed for its fantastic historical past, vibrant entertainment and likeness to the bright lights city Las Vegas thanks to its casino culture. One of the most popular entertainment attractions in Macau is the DreamWorks Experience at Cotai Strip Resorts. The venue is a great place to take the kids, but also enjoyable for adults too, and has free entry for all ages. The park is open between 12-18:45pm on a daily basis and gives visitors are great experience at 3pm each day with the All Star Parade.
To take in the more cultural side of Macau’s history, a visit to the ruins of St Paul’s Cathedral is a must. The 16th Century build is known as one of Macau’s most famous landmarks, featuring some excellent carvings by Japanese monks as well as a jaw-dropping façade, which will impress all of your party. Also worth visiting is the A-Ma Temple and the Guia Fortress.
But if you want to take in some of the finest casinos floors and play blackjack or craps, Macau is the place to be. The Casino Lisboa is built in the shape of a lotus flower is the best Macau casino if you just want to game. The poker room is particularly impressive, with high stakes tournaments involving very good players, while the members’ reward program may be the best of any Macau casino. There is little in the way of other entertainment though, so it’s not a place to take someone who doesn’t share your love of gambling. If that is the case for you, the giant Venetian Macau is definitely the best choice. Although the complex still offers games ranging from Texas Hold’em to Baccarat which you can also find at casino sites like CasinoOnline.co.nz , it also has a fantastic entertainment scene. Top stars such as Beyonce perform music concerts here, while there is also a golf course, a 1,800-seater theatre and fine dining. Here you can even top off the evening with a moonlight gondola trip along one of the canals, making it easily the most romantic casino on the island.
As you might've read from previous posts on this blog, I have a love affair with Hongdae in Seoul, South Korea. I immediately fell for its youthful vibe and artsy feel the first time I visited the place a few years back, and have been back in Hongdae a couple of times since. Last year I went on a solo trip to Seoul and spent a couple of days walking around the city, and I of course made Hongdae my home base.
It was in one of my walks around Hongdae that I finally chanced upon Vinyl, a tiny, quirky street bar near Hongik University that sold cheap cocktails in ziplock bags. I had heard about it a couple of times before and had seen blogs rave about the place, but had never gotten the chance to look for it until my solo trip last year. It took a while for me to find Vinyl, but all the walking around in the cold while looking at Google Maps was worth it!
Finders Keepers is one of my favorite places for a cocktail and a night of unwinding. The Love Juice is a simple but stellar concoction (gotta love Tanqueray!) and I honestly cannot have just one glass of it. Definitely one of my favorite cocktails in Manila!
There's plenty of other things to love about Finders Keepers - the place is unpretentious, the atmosphere laidback, the music a good mix of indie and mainstream, and you're bound to bump into someone you know.
Right next to it is Black Market which has a bit more of a club vibe, and right outside is Joe's Meatshack which sells some pretty good burgers, perfect to cap off a night of drinking and dancing (and for helping with that hangover).
La Fuerza Plaza, Don Chino Roces Avenue, Makati
My first trip of the year was to Hong Kong for a weekend to catch Phoenix in concert (which I flailed about here. Best concert everrrr!). It was a short trip but a memorable one. There's something to be said about chill weekend solo trips - there's very little preparation to be made (for this one, it consisted of me cramming my booking for accommodations) and very little luggage to be packed (especially as I didn't pay for check-in luggage).
There's also something very liberating about a no-itinerary trip. There were only three things on my to-do list for this Hong Kong weekender: (1) find the mythical Prada outlet of urban legend; (2) attend the concert; and (3) eat, eat, eat.
Pictures from the trip under the cut. I actually went to Hong Kong again two weeks ago, for another weekender, and maybe I'll post about it soon.
Where is your favorite weekend getaway?
Last December I traveled to Seoul, South Korea on my first international solo trip. I spent nearly a week traveling on my own, solely on my own terms, and found myself falling into a routine - every morning I would head to this awesome cafe near my guesthouse to enjoy an unhurried breakfast and ask myself, "hmmm, what do I want to do today?", and start my Seoul searching.
I'll write a proper post about my trip to Seoul one of these days (or weeks, or months), but for now, here's a bunch of photos from the trip which I took on my phone.