Triangle Trip

Vacation

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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How to get around Macau (for free)?

by Captain G on Dec.16, 2013, under Vacation

Macau now offers tons of free transportation options thanks to all the new casinos trying to win your business. If you’re visiting Macau for the first time, paying for cabs or trying to learn their local public transit system should be the last thing on your mind. Assuming you do not mind walking (which you will do as a tourist any way), you can leverage the free shuttle services offered by casinos located on the Macau Peninsula and the Cotai Strip.

Macau is really small as it consist of the Macau Peninsula connected to two small islands: Taipa and Coloane. Thanks to the Venetian, those two islands are now connected and is called the Cotai Strip. Below is a map on what Macau used to look like before the Cotai Strip.

If you’re staying on the Peninsula (where the Sands, MGM, Wynn, Grand Lisboa and other classic casinos are), you can literally walk to all the major tourist spots and taste all the local food offerings. If you want to visit the newer casinos on the Cotai Strip (Venetian, Galaxy, etc.), simply hop on one of their free shuttles and they will take you straight to the casino.

If you’re staying on the Cotai Strip, the Venetian and Galaxy offers free shuttles to the Macau Peninsula. Cotai Strip casinos also offer shuttle services to casinos on the Cotai Strip (for example you can take a shuttle from Galaxy to Venetian). Another stop to catch the shuttle is at the City of Dreams Mall located across the street from the Venetian and Sheraton. The City of Dreams is also connected to the Hard Rock and Crown casinos.

Unlike shuttle services in the US, Macau casino shuttles are quite efficient. I have never waited for more than 15 minutes to get on a shuttle.

The shuttles schedules are 9:00am to about 11:00pm. If you’re still partying outside after midnight or feel tired after walking, there are tons of taxis so you can help the TLC economy there.

Below is a reference map telling you how easy it is to get around:

Enjoy your trip!!

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CSL offers the best prepaid mobile data plan in Hong Kong

by Captain G on Jul.22, 2013, under Business Tools, Business Travel, Vacation

If you’re visiting Hong Kong without a global roaming plan, buy a CSL (used to be called One2Free) prepaid SIM upon your arrival at Hong Kong International Airport (HKG). One2Free, a subsidiary of CSL has the best prepaid voice and fastest mobile plan available. This is an update from my previous post where I said Peoples offering the cheapest prepaid mobile data plan in Hong Kong).

You can pick up a CSL (One2Free) pre-paid SIM at the 7-Eleven or 1O1O (mobile phone shop) at HKG Terminal 1 Arrival Hall. The two shops are located in between Arrivals area A and B as indicated in this map:

CSL has the following prepaid mobile data plans with speed of up to 7.2Mbps (around 4G speed):

Prepaid Plan

HKD

Approx. USD

Hourly Pass

$8

$1.25

Day Pass

$28

$3.75

7 Day Pass

$78

$10.00

30 Day Pass for 5GB

$258

$33.00

To signup for one of the plans listed above, you’ll need to know CSL/One2Free’s SMS codes. Below is a quick list of codes for your reference:

Note that you may get throttled to 3G speed once you have exceeded 1GB of data usage. However, CSL’s service will probably faster than your roaming plan. For your information, CSL’s voice rate is around HK$0.30 per minute and around HK$0.80 per SMS.

If you’re an American, you should make sure your phone is unlocked before you leave the country. Check out Big A’s tip here.

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