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Hitting the Jackpot

Hitting the Jackpot
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Most destinations give you a chance to fall in love with them. Hong Kong did not! Instead, it took me by hand and intoxicated me by force. Hong Kong, the famed city enclosed by Pearl River delta and South China Sea, is charming, to say the least. It is beautiful, immaculately tended, and full of interesting places to explore. While some of the world’s most important landmarks are considered ancient, this one, however, is of more recent origin but still proves to be truly wonderful and mesmerising as the rest.
Day 1: Shopping all the way
Entering a humongous and one of the busiest airports of Asia gave me and my husband the first taste of what’s in store for us for the next two days. Located on the island of Chek Lap Kok, which largely comprises land reclaimed for the construction of the airport itself, it is considered to be one of the biggest in Asia. While looking up at the skyscrapers and huge high rise buildings from our taxi, at first it seemed there is something terribly unreal about it. When you’ve spent so much time looking at it on TV, you can’t quiet convince yourself it isn’t an elaborate film set! But then this was part of the first few thrills of the city.
Upon arrival to this cute boutique hotel, ‘Butterfly by Victoria’, close to, but comfortably just outside of, the frenzied hubbub of Hong Kong, we grabbed a few hours of sleep before starting our adventure. From across a row of little shops selling noodles and dimsums in Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay neighbourhood, our hotel was a gleaming tower of incongruity with a stark white lobby where neon lights bounced off the mirrored walls.
The streets of Hong Kong tend to wander a little. However getting lost here does not seem like a bad idea at all! There’ll always be some stimulation for the senses wherever you go. Amidst the heat, the crowd and the dirty fumes from passing
traffic, we made our way to the Mong Kok’s ladies market. After filling our tummies with sumptuous food at the market, we soaked up the hectic atmosphere and went hunting in search of ‘stuff’, where you can find anything from cheap good looking pen drives to bizarre sex toys.
After a super hectic day, what truly proved to be something worth mentioning was the MTR, one of the most efficient and nicest metro/subway systems of the world. It requires a special mention here as it proved to be a saving grace for travellers like us who had zilch knowledge about
the city and its transportation system.
Day 2: Enter the world
of magic
After having some amazing muffins, sandwiches and snapping lots of pictures we took the MTR shuttle to Disneyland. As we entered this fantasy land, I could not believe that we were on the last leg of our two-day trip to Hong Kong. From getting welcomed by Disney’s daytime parade to grabbing a ride in the Jungle boat cruise, the experience was truly worth every penny. Also, as huge Lion King fans, we could not help but witness this amazing theatrical extravaganza of the colourful story of the Lion King depicted via infectious music and energetic dancing. And something that is bound to delight everyone, apart from a lot of other things as well, has to be the Fireworks show - an amazing end to our trip at Hong Kong Disneyland.
Day 3: Living life King’s size
After the ‘Disney in The Stars Fireworks’ the night before, we felt so pumped up to continue our journey that we quickly dumped our luggage in the hotel and ran to catch the ferry to Macau. On the way from Hong Kong to Macau, we were greeted by futuristic views of the city. My face and hand palms were pressed against the ferry window, eyes wide open and lips slightly apart. I felt I was tele-transported to a different world all together. Like dogs waiting to get out of a cage, all the passengers were waiting at the doors of the boat before it had been docked, eagerly awaiting the chance to throw their money onto the table.
The Venetian, the luxurious casino resort, where we were supposed to stay, greeted us with a ‘well-appointed’ bus, as soon as we entered Macau. It was as if it politely whispered, ‘wait till you get more’. Words fell short of my mouth as I witnessed the place while sitting on the window seat. There we are! At one of the most elaborate hotel spectacles I ever saw. Our baby excitement had overpowered our physical tiredness as we entered this ‘palace-like’ resort.
After finding our way through the front desk, we made way to reach to our suite following a lot of dodgy arrows, spread all across the resort. The room! It was as dreamily romantic on the eye as I imagined it to be. Since we did not want to miss even a single minute, we quickly ran down the lobby after a quick shower. Ceilings covered with hand-painted re-creations of Venetian art and lobby filled with extraordinary branded shops, seemed nothing less than Venice itself.
While wandering through the casino we were amazed to see huge stacks of money that people were willing to let go. After a night of walking around, shopping and watching some cultural shows we retired to our room for a well needed sleep.
As they say, ‘we saved the best for the last’. The final day of our trip was reserved to throw some money on the table. Macau is considered to be a gambler’s paradise, as they call it. Forget about Las Vegas, Macau has cemented its status as the undisputed heavyweight champion of the
gambling industry.
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