Triangle Trip

Tag: travel guide

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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Things to do over a weekend in San Diego

by Captain G on May.18, 2009, under Business Travel, Vacation

San Diego is the second largest city in California and one of my favorite destinations. The weather is great all year round in San Diego. If you are ever in the Greater Los Angeles area and have two days to spare, I highly recommend you take a drive down to San Diego. Below are my suggestions (with a map for reference):

Day 1

1.  From LA, take the 405 South and pass Orange County. Exit La Jolla to check out downtown and the cove. La Jolla is a beautiful place to grab lunch before you continue your drive down to downtown San Diego. Go to one of the restaurants located along the cove (Prospect Street) for a great view while you dine.

2.  After lunch, continue south on Interstate 5 and go past downtown. I recommend you make a stop at Coronado which is an island across the strait of downtown San Diego. Take exit 13B on Interstate 5 which is the San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge. Once you are on Coronado island, go by Hotel Del Coronado which is on the southwest side of the island. Grab a drink at the hotel and walk along the shores where you can watch the sunset at Coronado.

3.  After the sunset, you will be ready for some fine dining in the Gaslamp Quarter. Cross the San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge and get back on Interstate 5 North. Get off on Market Street and head west. Instead of looking for meter parking around Gaslamp, I recommend you park at Horton Plaza where you can get 2 hours of free parking before 9PM. For Horton Plaza free parking, you will need to get your parking ticket stamped at a validation machine inside the mall. The downtown Gaslamp area has plenty of food options spanning from Sushi to Mexican to traditional American bars.

Day 2

1.  To start Day 2, I recommend you start breakfast at the Seaport Village located by Harbor Drive and Kettner. Grab breakfast or brunch at one of Seaport Village’s restaurants. You can park in the lot as all restaurants and shops will validate your parking. After breakfast or brunch, take a stroll along the boardwalk for a view of the marina.

2.  After breakfast/brunch, swing by Balboa Park for a mid-morning walk. There are museums, gardens, carousel inside Balboa Park. It is a very nice park to walk in. The San Diego Zoo is also inside Balboa Park.

3.  While you are at Balboa Park, I highly recommend you go visit the San Diego Zoo. The San Diego Zoo is one of the largest zoos in the US and has tons of animals including pandas from China. I personally think the San Diego Zoo is the best zoo in the US.

4.  Wrap up your day in Old Town after a day in the park and zoo. You can get to Old Town from the Zoo by taking I5 North to Exit 19. Old Town is a historic park with tons of Mexican restaurants and shops. You can have dinner at one of the restaurants or grab street food from vendors. There are also handcraft shops where you can buy a nice souvenir.

Day 3, 4, 5 (if you have the time)

If you have time to extend your stay in San Diego, consider the following attractions:

1.  SeaWorld - great amusement aquarium.

2.  Legoland - where you can recapture your youth or bring your kids :-)

3.  Wild Animal Park - the San Diego Zoo’s sister… this is where you can see animals live in the habitat.

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Where to stay in Hong Kong

by Captain G on May.09, 2009, under Business Travel, Hotels, Vacation

When traveling abroad, I generally like to stay with US-based hotels as they are pretty consistent in terms of quality of service, providing a clean room and being in convenient locations. You also get better value for your hotel rooms at international locations as US hotel chains rarely discount their international rooms compared to domestic rooms. All the major US hotel brands are in Hong Kong (Hilton Conrad, Hyatt, Marriott and Sheraton). Here’s an evaluation of each US hotel in Hong Kong:

I highly recommend you stay at one of the following hotels for convenience in Hong Kong:

JW Marriott or Conrad – Both hotels are located inside Pacific Place in Central. The MTR (train) station is also connected to Pacific place. The main bus terminal is right across the skywalk from Pacific Place. The Hong Kong JW Marriott and Hong Kong Conrad also offer great views of the city if you are on the top floors. Both hotels have hotel lounges that server food and alcohol. The JW Marriott lounge is one of my personal favorites in the world. The JW Marriott is by far the best hotel in Hong Kong.

Sheraton – Located in Kowloon’s Tsim Sha Tsui area, the Sheraton is in an extremely convenient location. The Hong Kong Sheraton is next to the famous Peninsula Hotel in Kowloon. You can go any where in Hong Kong or Kowloon from the Sheraton. The Kowloon MTR station is two blocks away and all major buses travel through Tsim Sha Tsui. You are also minutes away from Victoria Harbor where you can catch the Star Ferry to get to Hong Kong Central or Wanchai.

Renaissance – Located in Kowloon near Victoria Harbor. If you have a room with a water view, you will get a panoramic view of Hong Kong Island which is one of the best views in the world (on a sunny day of course). Like the Sheraton, the Renaissance is close to all major attractions and transportation. The Renaissance is actually a few blocks away from the Sheraton

I would shy away from the following US hotels:

Grand Hyatt or Renaissance Harbour View – Both hotels are in Wanchai, near the Hong Kong Convention Center. Hyatt is near the harbor so it becomes very inconvenient to by car or MTR. If you were taking the MTR train (to the Wanchai stop), you will have to walk ¾ of a mile to get to the Hyatt or Marriott. To compensate for the long walk from the Wanchai train station, you will find a great view from your room at the Marriott. I would not stay at either hotel unless I am attending a convention.

The W – The W is located in the newly developed section of Kowloon and attached to the Elements Mall. Aside from the mall, there is not much to do in the evening (or day). Public transportation can also be a challenge as only one MTR line goes to this station. You can always take cabs from the W to your destinations but it can be costly.

You can also check out my earlier post on: Where to go when you are visiting Hong Kong.

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