Friday, September 28, 2012

The Two Faces of Macau - Part 2: Modern Gambling Mecca

In my last post I explored some sights of historic Macau. Now let's look at how these islands got transformed into a modern gamblers' heaven.

After the British established Hong Kong in the middle of the 19th century, Macau gradually lost its importance as a trading post. It dwelled in obscurity of over one hundred years, until the islands were handed back to China by the Portuguese government in 1999. The change in regime, brought prosperity to the Macau once again. With the liberalization of Macau's gaming industry, and the relaxing of travel restrictions from mainland China, it has become a bustling gambling destination.  You can find several  big name Las Vegas casinos having set up business here.  There is a Wynn, MGM Grand, and a Venetian. Gambling revenues have made Macau the world's top casino market, even surpassing Vegas.

We had dinner at the Wynn (lovely restaurant, 
superb service, forgettable food).

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Two Faces of Macau - Part 1: Old Time Colonial Islands

Macau is a territory consisting of two islands in the Pearl River Delta, just off the coast of mainland China. It was a Portuguese colony from the 1550s until 1999, when it was given back to China. Today it is a SAR (Special Administrative Region) just like Hong Kong. You will need to have a passport with you when visiting Macau. The trip from Hong Kong takes one hour by high speed ferry.

The ruins of St Paul's Cathedral (built in 1602 
and destroyed by fire in 1835)

Friday, September 21, 2012

Busy, Beautiful Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a relatively new city. Though the area has already been inhabited thirty-five thousand years ago, it was never densely populated, until it became a British colony in 1842. Originally confined to Hong Kong Island, in 1860 the colony was extended to the Kowloon Peninsula, and then in 1898 the New Territories were added. In 1997, after the 99-year lease on the New Territories expired, the entire area reverted back to Chinese sovereignty, and it is now a Special Administrative Region.

Lots of construction is an indicator of a lively economy, and Hong Kong is indeed a booming city.  There are new buildings going up everywhere. The beauty of these modern skyscrapers is evident in not only in how architecturally interesting and polished they are, but also how well they complement the landscape. Hong Kong is a city of hills, and these gorgeous new buildings seem to grow organically out of the hillside.

The Bank of China Tower in the Admiralty area of the city.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

London Fashion Week Favorites

I am back home in Hawaii now, and a world over, in London, Fashion Week is in full swing. Here are some of my favorite outfits / trends direct from the runways. 

Lucas Nascimento Spring / Summer 2013
Black and white, as well as geometric patterns are definitely a trend. Sheer is also everywhere, and this is a very pretty example of the combination of the two.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Hong Kong by Night

There are few cities with an amazing skyline such as Hong Kong. Whether you are looking down on the city from Victoria Peak, or from across the water in Kowloon, the night view never disappoints. 

The view from Victoria Peak

Thursday, September 6, 2012

In my suitcase: Hong Kong

Off to the Far East on Saturday, and it is time to think about what 
to pack. There will be a couple of fancy dress nights, so my new
Kate Spade cocktail dress is a definite suitcase item.  Some other 
pieces that are coming are my Michael Kors jeans and tweed jacket,
a few tailored shorts and blouses and of course heels. 
It will be my first time in Hong Kong, and I am really looking 
forward to it!

In my suitcase: Hong Kong