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A runner with an appetite for adventure!

China By the Numbers October 23, 2014

Filed under: China — Kelocity @ 9:58 pm
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Finally getting around to posting this… we’ve only been back for about six months! Here are some stats from our trip to China!

Number of Books Read: 2
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Number of Movies Watched: 3

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Visted These Tourist Superlatives:

-World’s Tallest Post Office
-World’s Tallest Bar
-World’s Tallest Buddah

Number of Days it Rained: 7

Number of People on the Tour: 28

Number of Times we Paid for a Restroom: 0 (!!)

Number of Komodo Dragons we saw in Macau: 0

Number of Modes of Transportation: 12
-Airplane
-Car
-Coach Bus
-Shuttle Bus
-Metro
-City Bus
-Sanpan
-Taxi
-Ferry
-Train
-Bicycle
-Walk

Average Number of Steps Walked Per Day: 16,194

Highest Number of Steps Walked in a Day: 25,041
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Flights of Stairs Climbed on the Great Wall of China: 78
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Reese Visits China Too! May 27, 2014

Filed under: China,Travel — Kelocity @ 4:56 am
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The Caterpillar wasn’t the only unpaid passenger in my purse while we visited China. Reese came along as well! Here are some of her pictures! Enjoy!

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Hong Kong: Lantau Island & The Big Buddha May 26, 2014

Filed under: China,Hong Kong,Travel — Kelocity @ 4:33 am
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We woke up at 4:30am in Macau to catch an early ferry back to Hong Kong. Our flight home wasn’t leaving until the evening, so we wanted to maximize our last day. We checked our bags at a train station and headed off to explore Lantau Island. {Note: Disneyland is also on the island, but we didn’t venture over there. Maybe next time!}

There are two ways to get to the top of the island… bus or gondola. Of course we chose gondola!
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It is 3.5 miles long and takes about a half hour to get there. One of the most scenic gondola rides we’ve ever taken!IMG_2838

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As we rose higher and higher, we started to see her! The Big Buddha! The World’s Tallest Outdoor Bronze Seated Buddha. Haha
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We timed it out perfectly so we got there when it opened! IMG_2883

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From the top of the hill that she stands on, you can see the Monastery in the distance.IMG_2915

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We thought this sign was pretty funny.
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We realized at this point that we had been carrying three different camera lenses around for two weeks and had yet to swap them out! I put on the macro lens and got this picture…. hahaha whoops!

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I proclaimed to Irving that I just needed to get down lower in order to get it in the shot… and that’s how I accidentally ended up with this gem of a photo. Quite artistic, no? Oh man, we had a good laugh about that.IMG_2963

I really wanted to eat at the Monastery. I’ve heard great things about it, but Irving was a little skeptical since it’s vegetarian. But he agreed to give it a try anyways. IMG_2968

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I ordered the noodles and they were to DIE for!!! Irving happily enjoyed half and we both agreed it was pretty amazing. A+ to the monks! This picture makes me hungry. It was as good as it looks!IMG_2975

Then it was time to say goodbye to Lantau and head back down the mountain.IMG_2976

The mist made her look even more dramatic. IMG_2980

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You can see the Hong Kong airport down below! We’ll be there in a few hours!IMG_3023

I think they are making the island bigger by adding land into the bay. They were dumping lots of sand. This area has so much growth to do, we found it fascinating.IMG_3035

Once back to Hong Kong, we got lost and ended up in a mall searching for some lunch. We grabbed some quick things at a food court and ate standing up in the mall. ha!IMG_3036

[After this, we made our way back downtown to try to make it back up the Peak Tram… it was rainy and foggy when we were there a few days ago, so we wanted to try one more time to see if we could make it to the top. But the two hour line, plus the heavy fog that was still there told us it just wasn’t in the cards. We grabbed some coffees before the it started to downpour. At this point I was done with the rain and just wanted to go to the airport.]

We retrieved our bags from the train station and checked them into the airline right there! That’s right, you can check your bags in from downtown Hong Kong so you don’t have to deal with them at the airport! How cool is that?! That would never fly {no pun intended} in the States, but we took advantage of it here!IMG_3040

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We got to the airport really early, with a few hours to spare. I read my book and relaxed. The flight home went fast. We had a tough time adjusting to the time difference, it took us both about a week. Maybe it’s travel from West to East, but it was a tough one. Worth it though. What an amazing experience. I’d go back to China in a heartbeat. Thanks for reading along and traveling with us! I have a few wrap-up posts in the works and then it will be back to pictures of Adele again. =)

 

 

Macau: From Venice to Portugal to Another World May 25, 2014

Filed under: China,Macau,Travel — Kelocity @ 4:33 am
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We started our day off with some coffee from the Pacific Coffee Company. Paired with a croissant. IMG_2614

Today, we are exploring ‘old Macau’. The Grand Lisboa Hotel is iconic here. It has an ‘old Vegas’ feel even though it was only built in 2007.IMG_2621

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Right down the street you are transported from Vegas to Europe. You feel like you’ve walked right into Portugal. Macau is a former Portuguese colony, right up until 1999. That’s why a lot of the architecture and culture feels very European. Even though Macau functions as it’s own ‘country’, it’s still technically part of Mainland China.

From Wikipedia:

Under the policy of “one country, two systems“, the PRC’s Central People’s Government is responsible for the territory’s defense and foreign affairs, while Macau maintains its own legal systempolice force, monetary system, customs policy, and immigration policy. Macau participates in many international organizations and events that do not require members to possess national sovereignty.

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The tourism office offers free self-guided audio tours of the old district, so we picked them up and headed off to check it out!

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I was very excited to get to this site…The Ruins of St. Paul’s Cathedral, which is now a UNESCO site. All that is left now is the facade of the front.IMG_2667

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We quickly realized that the audio guide we were using gave us way too much information. It went on and on and on, after a few hours, we were burned out on history. =)IMG_2669

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We also climbed up to a fortress above the city to take in the views.
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What a cool place for wedding photos!IMG_2693

On our way back down to the casinos, we noticed this restaurant. Love the name!
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Our lunch spot today would be at the Wynn!IMG_2699

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I ordered a big bowl of fried rice! IMG_2705

Irving had a great sandwich. This actually ended up being one of the cheapest meals we had in Macau! We weren’t expecting that, especially at the Wynn! Score!
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The Wynn has a few fun attractions to check out. The ceiling opened up at this one and a giant chandelier emerged from it.IMG_2708

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And the Tree of Prosperity ‘grew’ from the floor. A cheesy little show, but it was fun. IMG_2720

It’s crazy how much it resembled the Wynn in Vegas! That was fun.
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Out front, we waited for the water show to begin. They have dancing fountains that go off on the hour.IMG_2727

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Then it was a short walk over to MGM!
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It looked like the Bellagio in there! Check out this atrium!IMG_2761

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We took the free shuttle back to the ferry terminal and switched to another bus back to our hotel.
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We changed and then headed out for dinner. The Hard Rock Cafe again! No drinks this time, just some appetizers!IMG_2793

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Tonight, we’ve got tickets to the ‘House of Dancing Water‘ show! It’s an acrobatic show that was created by the same guy who made ‘La Reve’ at the Wynn in Las Vegas. IMG_2802

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Strange that they let you take pictures during the show. It was very cool, we loved it!IMG_2811

These were motorcyclists doing crazy moves and jumps! I played around with long exposures to get these shots!IMG_2817

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Macau, it’s been real. I will be back someday to see how much more you’ve developed. Rumor has it the Paris Hotel is being constructed next to the Venetian. Soon it will be a whole strip!

 

Macau: The Vegas of Asia May 24, 2014

Filed under: China,Hong Kong,Macau,Travel — Kelocity @ 2:39 pm
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We woke up at our Hong Kong hotel in time for another amazing breakfast. This buffet was huge. Here’s plate #1… this was followed by a couple more. And let me point out, they had cheese! It wasn’t until we got to Hong Kong that I realized I hadn’t eaten any dairy while in China. They don’t use a lot (if any) cheese in their foods. I realized how much I missed it! IMG_2507

They also had a “Pancake Machine”. All you had to do was Press Ok. Wait one minute! Easiest pancakes ever! They were delicious too! OK!IMG_2514

We said goodbye to some tour mates in the lobby, and then headed off on our own for the next leg of our trip. We took the subway over to the Ferry Terminal to depart for Macau!IMG_2516

Macau isn’t part of Mainland China or Hong Kong really, so we had to show our passports and off we went on our boat! It’s only an hour ride, I read my book the whole time. IMG_2518

Macau is known as the “Vegas of Asia”. They have lots of big casinos and it’s growing by the day. Each hotel/casino has a free shuttle bus from the Ferry terminals, so all you have to do is find the one you want to visit and all your transportation is free.
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We decided to stay in the ‘new’ section of town called the Cotai Strip. We chose the Sheraton which was right across the street from the Venetian. Great location, highly recommended.
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It was also randomly voted one of the world’s best hotels for kids. Perhaps the daily character parade helped it earn that title!

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That was the biggest difference between Macau’s casinos and the ones in Vegas. These catered to kids in a big way.
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We were very excited to check out the Venetian to compare it to the one we know so well in Las Vegas! It’s a little bit smaller, but man, it looks exactly the same!!IMG_2547

 

 

 

 

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Even the false “daylight all the time” ceilings were the same!IMG_2591

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Across the street is the Hard Rock Hotel and the City of Dreams complex.
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Since we were already there buying tickets to a show for the next night, we grabbed dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe. The food was so ridiculously expensive that we decided “Hey, why not make it outrageous and order two drinks while we’re at it.” When in Rome, right? The bill alone made us feel like we were in Vegas. HA!IMG_2555

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One of the biggest differences between Macau and Vegas…. it’s mostly smoke free! I think they allow it on the casino floor, but no where else inside. That was really nice. IMG_2576

Tomorrow, we’ll head out to the older side of Macau and explore a little of the history. This trip has been amazing so far!

 

 
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