Triangle Trip

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What and where to eat in Macau (like a local)?

by Captain G on Jan.19, 2015, under Business Travel, Vacation

Did you know Macau is a great place for foodies!? The old Portuguese colony is home to many famous restaurants inside all the casinos. To get a real taste of Macau, you must go to the local eateries; not to mention much better prices. So what should you eat in Macau? Where can you find the great local restaurants? See the map below for a top level guide:

1.  Traditional Southern (Guangdong) Chinese food. Macau has many local restaurants specializing in Guangzhou dishes including seafood and some exotic foods (shark fin, birds, turtles to name a few). You can find these local restaurants in to the left (West) of the Macau Historic Center (see map below of where the Shark Fin restaurant).

1a.  Shark Fin soup. Yes. Most people are against eating shark fin and are even illegal in parts of the world. If you’re in Macau, you should try this classic Chinese delicacy. Most traditional Chinese restaurants would have it on the menu. However you can stop by Tim Fatt Sharkfin House (添發碗仔翅美食) for a single bowl (for around US$10). Soup is also served with other seafood - not just shark fin.

2.  Fresh Pastries such as almond cookies. Macau has tons of bakeries on every street corner (and casino corner for that matter). Pastries in Macau are like Starbucks in New York City. At these pastries, you need to try their almond cookies which is freshly made on premise. I recommend you bypass the famous chains (i.e., Koi Kee) and try some local shops. This is my favorite: 最香餅家, which is located a few blocks from the shark fin soup restaurant (see map below).

3. Beef and Pork Jerky. At most pastry shops, you’ll also see fresh beef and pork jerky made on premise. There are many flavors and you can try them all as they are offered by most shop owners. Similar to my recommendation on pastries you should not buy beef jerky from the chain stores. Go to a local that specializes in making beef and pork jerky. Some even have boar jerky — ask to try it. You can find these shops in the Macau Historic Center or in Taipa Village where Tai Lei Loi is located (see map below)

4.  Chinese-Portuguese food. Since Macau was a Portuguese colony, you’ll find many Chinese-Portugese restaurants in the area. There are probably some inside the casinos.

5.  Wonton and Noodles. Wonton noodle shops are stables to Southeastern Chinese food. There are many noodle shops in Macau who make their own noodles. Notably these two shops: Cheong Kei and Wong Chi Kei. You can see their locations from the map shown above.

If you’re at Cheong Kei, you must try their fried wontons as they’re the best I have ever had. Their noodles are extremely firm.

6.  Pork Chop bun is a worthy mention here. There’s a local fast food restaurant called Tai Lei Loi famous for their pork chop buns. I was recently there and found the quality has gone down hill (not to mention the increased in price as they’ve moved from an outdoor setting to a formal restaurant). I recommended you pay them a visit and try for yourself. They’re located in Taipa Village which is across the road from Galaxy Hotel. See the map below for an idea of where they’re located. In Taipa Village, you’ll also see many beef jerky shops and fresh bakeries.

For more information on how to get around Macau for free, check out my previous blog.

Enjoy your time in Macau and eat well!

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United Airline offers International WiFi (from HKG to EWR)

by Captain G on Oct.15, 2014, under Airlines

On my recent United flight from Hong Kong to Newark, I was caught off guard by the availability of WiFi being offered for an international route. And of all the airlines in the world, it was United offering this service. I was skeptical as we were flying over China and all I got was “Internet is unavailable.”

However, once I left China airspace I was successfully able to connect to the Internet using my Mileage Plus credentials. After I logged in, I see the cost to buy Internet services for the entire flight ($17) or by the hour which I believe was $4.99 per hour. The HKG to EWR flight was about 16 hours.  I was able to get service 4 hours after takeoff which leaves me 12 hours of flight time for around $20. I didn’t have to urge to check email and opted to sleep.

I believe United’s international WiFi is an awesome offering for those who need to stay connected with work while on a long haul flight. The $20 for 12 hours seems to be a fair price as well. However don’t expect to have broadband service as dial-up or 2G speed is probably more likely the norm.

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What Uber needs to fix in NYC

by Captain G on Aug.21, 2014, under Business Travel, Travel Partners

As a New Yorker, I tried Uber for the first time today and found the issues it must address to be successful in New York City (NYC):

1. Uber must be transparent with its fares. When I enter my current location (home) and a destination, I was given a range as a fare ($40 to $53). When the driver picked me up, he couldn’t give a set price or a rate for my trip. After the driver dropped me off, I received an email with a $50 fare. Furthermore, Uber’s rates are cryptic to the average person. I could have gotten a bill for $85 if there was traffic.

Uber’s competition in NYC are NYC taxis, limousine companies, and local car service firms. When I enter a NYC taxi, I see the rate I am expected to pay and can see traffic patterns to know when I should be dropped off before my destination if I chose to walk. Limousine and local car service companies provide a fixed fee once I provide an origin and destination.

Uber needs to be transparent with its NYC customers or stand to lose them.

2. Despite its marketing materials, Uber is not competitive on price. For the record, Uber X was cheaper than a limousine, but not by much. Uber X was about the same price as a NYC taxi. However I couldn’t really compare because I don’t know Uber’s rates (is it by miles, is it by wait time, etc.?). For sure, Uber X was a lot more expensive than my local car service company.

3. Uber’s route is not always right. When my driver picked me up, he was given a route by the Uber system. When I suggested an alternative route with less traffic to my driver, he said he must follow the Uber route. Uber and its drivers need to take local knowledge into account.  I have been living in my neighborhood and commuted to the city for 20+ years. I believe I know the quickest way to the destination compared to any computer.

I am open to consulting Uber on its way to better compete in NYC.

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