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Category Archives: Sponsored Event

Macau: Cirque de Soleil

Saturday, July 30

**Sorry for the delay in posts; with the end of my internship and getting sick, I’m a bit behind. Look for a lot of updates in the next few days!

This weekend was bittersweet; it was our last weekend in Hong Kong, but it was also the weekend of our highly anticipated Macau trip.

The trip got off to a rocky start when our transportation to the ferry (tour bus) got lost when driving to HK City University. With the late arrival time and heavy traffic, we arrived exactly 15 minutes before the departure time stated on the ticket.

15 minutes to clear security and get to the boarding area before the gate was closed off.

The lines were long.

I was wearing a dress and flipflops.

But somehow, I, along with the majority of the group, were able to make the ferry.

About an hour later, we got our first glimpses of Macau.

As soon as the ferry stopped, it was back to running for my friend and I.

Let me give you a little background information.

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Before going to Macau, the two of us decided that we wanted to see the Cirque de Soleil Zaia show which was at the Venetian Hotel. 

After browsing some travel sites to see some reviews of the show (almost all were very complimentary), we stumbled across a comment that advised people to buy the “Venetian Entertainment Package” which include the Zaia ticket, among other things, for a great price.

After some research, we were shocked at the deal.

Considering that the “Rewards Dollars” is essentially 200 dollars cash that you can spend in many areas of the Venetian Resort (i.e. restaurants, giftshops, clothing stores) you’re really only spending 398 HK. 

The biggest pull of the deal for us was the fact that a B-Reserve Zaia ticket by itself is 588 HK if you buy it off the website.

So basically, we were getting a free photo200 Rewards dollars, Iceworld ticket, anddinner for 10 HK. 

Amazing, right?

After talking with a representative over the phone, she suggested that we buy the pass at the resort after we arrived to assure that there would be Zaia tickets available that day (since that was the main reason why we were buying the package after all).

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Back to the Macau Day One recap…..

With the goal of making the 5:00 Zaia show, our 5-people Zaia group dashed off to the Venetian shuttle. (All major hotels in Macau have free shuttle service from the ferry to their hotel. This is essentially free transportation because almost every major place in Macau is near a hotel. So if you know where you’re going, you can essentially get around Macau for free by taking the hotel shuttle).

So, my friends and I ran from the ferry terminal to get to the Venetian bus with the intent of making the 5:00 Zaia show. Our group of Zaia-going interns ended up having 5 people in total.

After a short 20 minute ride, we arrived at the resort.

After finding Cotai Travel Agency, we were able to buy the entertainment passes.

The first thing we did was get our Zaia tickets. Unfortunately, the 5:00 show was already sold out, but we were able to get tickets to the 8:00 showing.

Then, we headed off to Ice World (the tickets are usually 100HK each)

Ice World was amazing! It felt like we were there for an hour, but in reality, we were only in there for about half an hour. It was freezing cold despite the warm jackets they gave us.

My hands were killing me near the end, because they were always out holding my camera.

They also had a bar that was made entirely of ice. Even the bar stools were made of ice!

After we took our complimentary pictures in the hotel lobby, we had our set dinners at Fago Sambo.

I ordered chicken tikka masala

After dinner, I spent all of my 200 voucher money at Koi Kei Bakery.

We also got the highly anticipated Portuguese egg tarts from the same bakery. (It’s really famous for their almond cookies and their egg tarts).

They were quite possibly the most amazing thing that I’ve ever eaten. I’ve never really liked egg tarts…until now. These egg tarts had an amazing crust that was sturdy, yet flaky and light.

The custard was amazing; it had the taste of creme brulee with the caramelized crust and the filling was velvety and smooth.

It was so delicious that I’ve decided the background of my credit card is going to be a Portuguese egg tart as soon as I get home. You might think I’m joking, but I’m serious.

These were so delicious that I managed to eat 3.5 of them in a 16 hour period; they were that good.

After our amazing dinner, we were off to see Zaia.

Zaia was really good! I have never been to a Cirque du Soleil show, but I can see why it is so popular. At the Venetian, the performers used the entire theater in their performance!

Zaia appeared to be about space, earth and exploring new horizons. It was highly entertaining and I was surprised when the show ended because it seemed like it had just started. Although this was my first Cirque de Soleil experience, I really enjoyed it.

After the show, we walked around the Venetian some more before we took the complimentary shuttle back to the ferry.

We attempted to find the shuttle for the Landmark Oriental (the hotel where we’re all staying at). Unfortunately, the shuttle didn’t seem to run very regularly. Luckily, we found out that our hotel was right across the street from the Starworld Hotel. Thus, we rode the Starworld Hotel shuttle and then walked to our hotel.

We took full advantage of the amazingly soft beds and got a good nights sleep in anticipation of our 2nd day in Macau.

 
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Posted by on August 4, 2011 in Sponsored Event, Travel

 

Lei Yue Mun Seafood Dinner

July 23rd, Saturday

On Saturday, we had our second-to-last sponsored event: dinner on the town!

While everyone was getting ready to meet downstairs at 5:00, we were informed that our transportation to the ferry pier had decided to cancel on us. We were assured that MTR fare would be provided in lieu of the tour bus transportation, but seeing as how most of the girls were planning on wearing high heels (this was our “dressy” event), hiking the 15 minutes down to Festival Walk didn’t sound very appealing.

Luckily, we ended up calling for 7 cabs to take us all down to the TST public pier.

I got to hold the cab fare.

Of course, since everyone had taken the time and effort to look nice, lots of picture taking enthused during our half hour wait for the boat.

(The theme for the night was black and white in case you couldn’t tell)

My beautiful roommate and I

Me and the other affable U of A interns in attendance

We received quite a few stares because we were easily the biggest and best dressed group at the pier. After about half an hour, the boat finally arrived.

After sitting down, we enjoyed free drinks and peanuts while taking in the spectacular view.

They had some nifty cup-holders that also doubled as a backrest. 

 

Before we knew it, we had arrived at our destination:Lei Yue Mun

(It looks like you can also get here by the MTR Yau Tong Station)

We then embarked on through the seafood market to get to the restaurant.

The streets here are lined with fishmongers’ stalls and tanks, and apparently, locals will often pick their own fish and take it to a restaurant for cooking. The restaurant will then charge on a per head basis for the preparation of the food.

A short trek later, we arrived at the restaurant.

Our menu for the night: an 8 course meal!

Typical chicken and sweet corn soup

Steamed fresh prawns Chinese Fried Spicy Salted Prawns (I don’t know why the printed menu didn’t reflect the change)

Deep-fried Squid with Chili and Salt

Scallops Steamed with Garlic and Chinese Rice Vermicelli (favorite dish of the night! The scallops were underneath the rice noodles)

Steamed Fish in Traditional Cantonese Style (this dish was also very good, the fish was super fresh)

Spareribs in Sweet and Sour Sauce Pork in Sweet and Sour Sauce (another change to the printed menu)

Seasonal vegetable: Gai lan

Fried Rice in Yeung Chow Style with Shrimp (it was probably the most artificially yellow colored rice I have ever had)

Fried E-Fu Noodles

On the trip back to TST, we enjoyed some more amazing views on the boat:

Stay tuned for next weeks’ posts because our last sponsored event (and last weekend in Hong Kong!) is an overnight trip to Macau!!

 
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Posted by on July 26, 2011 in Food, Sponsored Event

 

Birthday Buddha Visit

Today marked the third sponsored event of the internship. Today also marks my dad’s birthday. Happy birthday dad!

Our outing with Splendid Tours started at 9:30.

We first went to Tai-O Fishing Village.

We didn’t go swimming.

But we did sample delicious food from the small street vendors.

Fresh almond cookies (These were so delicious. I was sorely tempted to buy a box, but I knew that I would never be able to finish it.)

Good things come in small packages

Dried squid (the vendors put sauce on it and then roast it for you after you order)

They were deliciously spicy, chewy, and salty. 

Our next stop was the Po Lin Monestery which is home to the world’s largest outdoor Buddha. The monastery was founded in 1906 by three visiting monks from Jiangsu. The Buddha statue houses a museum that depicts the life of Buddha. The museum also happens to house a real tooth of the original Buddha. Unfortunately, the tooth isn’t very visible because it’s protected in a crystal container, but the shrine that surrounds it is most impressive.

I apologize for the lack of photos of the museum, but no photography is permitted inside.

We bid good-bye to the Buddha.

 

And then we had a vegetarian lunch at the monastery’s canteen.

Tofu and corn soup

Mushroom and vegetable stirfry

Sweet and sour bean curd rolls

Eggrolls

Bell pepper and mock chicken stir fry

Broccoli and creamed corn stir fry

Fried mantou (these were dipped in sweetened condensed milk)

Vegetable fried rice

After lunch, we all wanted to take naps in the shade.

We decided to spend our time more wisely and explore the monastery.

(Those are giant sticks of incense that were available for purchase for worship purposes. We were told that they would be able to keep burning from this afternoon all the way until tomorrow morning. However, the 800+ HK fee discouraged us from buying any)

Next, we went rode the Ngong Ping Cable Cars. During the 25 minute ride, we got a beautiful view of Lantau Island.

Before I go, I just wanted to say:

To the man who taught me that good food should be enjoyed everyday.

To the man I will always call “Daddy” no matter how old I am

爸爸,生日快乐!

Happy birthday Dad!

Thanks for always being there for me!

 
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Posted by on July 2, 2011 in Culture, Sponsored Event, Travel

 

Meat-free Zone

Saturday, June 25th

Today marked the second sponsored event of the summer.

After meeting up at 9:45 in the lobby, we were off to Hong Kong Park, which is in Admiralty.

Our first stop was the Lock Cha Tea Shop.

Did you know that all tea is from the same tree?

There are actually 6 different types of tea: green, white, yellow, greenish, red, and black.

There’s a really great way of remembering them:

A panda (black and white) is crossing the road (yellow, red, green traffic lights) eating bamboo (greenish) Nifty, huh?

Green tea should be steeped using cool water by putting the tea leaves in the water first.

We also learned about the correct method of brewing tea.

Red tea, which is what westerners consider black tea, is steeped using boiling water.To correctly brew red tea, you warm the tea pot with hot water. Then you put the tea leaves in the teapot and follow it with boiling water.

It’s also important to pour tea into teacups in a circle so this way all the teacups will have the same concentration. Otherwise, the first and last cups of tea poured will differ.

Afterwards, we explored the park while we waited for lunch to be served.

(My roomie and I)

And finally, it was time to eat!

We had a vegetarian dim sum feast of the following:

rice dumplings with a mushroom peanut filling


Stir-fried vermicelli in “Singapore Style”, 星州炒米

Fried turnip cake, 蘿蔔糕

Steamed parsley vegetables dumpling, 香茜粉果

Steamed buns with carrot and cabbage filling


Golden mushroom turnover, 白玉金菇角

Shiitake mushroom caps with faux meat filling

Seared and stuffed bell pepper caps

Sweet glutinous rice cakes with red bean filling (very chewy)

Peanut mochi balls rolled in desiccated coconut

Afterwards, we went back to Avenue of the Stars, which looked completely different from when we went last week.

(Yes, that is a statue of Bruce Lee)

(That’s Andy Lau’s star) You can read his bio here, apparently, he’s quite famous.

In the evening, I went swimming with some interns at the City U Pool. The entrance fee was a bit steep at 28 HK, but the facility was absolutely beautiful.

 

The pool was in long course (each lap was 50 meters), which meant each lap was long. But I managed to get in 3,000 meters before going back to eat dinner. All in all, it was a great day.

 

 
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Posted by on June 25, 2011 in Culture, Food, Sponsored Event, Travel

 

Upscale dining and impressive views

Saturday, June 18th

On Saturday, we went on the first organized event for the internship. Our tuition through theDream Careers program includes breakfast and dinner Monday-Friday (lunch is eaten at our respective workplaces), Octopus card (for transportation) and housing at Hong Kong City University in addition to weekly organized events.

Our schedule for the evening is as follows:

  • Revisit Temple Street Night Market (we ate seafood there last Tuesday)
  • Dine at the famed Jumbo Restaurant
  • Visit Victoria’s Peak

Everyone congregated in the hallway at 5:45. Naturally, lots of picture taking followed.

Around 6, our tour bus arrived to pick us up.

The travel agency that we used was Splendid. We had the funniest tour guide who shared all sorts of interesting facts about Hong Kong with us en route to our three destinations.

Some highlights included:

  • The fact that Jackie Chan’s house in Hong Kong is within walking distance of our dorms. I’ve decided that I’m going to pay his house a little visit before the close of the program.
  • The name Hong Kong in Chinese means 香港 “fragrant harbor.” This is because the harbor used to produce incense for Taoist worship. The incense was made of fragrant sandalwood and it is said that you were able to smell it from miles away. Thus, Hong Kong became known as “fragrant harbor.”

First, we stopped at Temple St for 45 minutes.

Temple St is known by tourists as a good place to buy knock-offs such as fake Rolexes and fake bags. It appears that some merchants (mainly of middle Eastern descent) have taken to hiding their merchandise in a hidden location and showing tourists magazines. After you have made your selection, they will then ask you to follow them to their storeroom. I would highly recommend that you tell them to bring the merchandise outside to you. Going to an undisclosed location with a stranger just seems too sketchy to me.

Then, it was onto the highlight of the night: dinner at Jumbo Floating Restaurant.

Jumbo Restaurant is a floating restaurant that is located in Aberdeem Harbor that specializes in seafood. The exterior architecture is strongly influenced by the Palace of Imperial China while part of the interior is reminiscent of the Ming Dynasty. The most famous guests include Queen Elizabeth II, Gong Li, Tom Cruise, and John Wayne.

After the bus dropped us off at the harbor, we had to take a ferry to the restaurant.

Even from a distance, it looked quite impressive.

We were all wowed when the ferry docked.

It looked even more impressive once we walked inside.

Then we then started our 8 course meal journey.

Sweet Corn Thick Soup with Dried Shrimp and Crab meat

Sauteed Shrimp with Green Pepper

Deep fried Cuttlefish with chili and salt

Deep fried Garoupa with Pickle Sauce (It was a battered fish with a tangy orange sauce that contained picked vegetables)

Sauteed beef with celery and cashews

Sauteed Seasonal Vegetables (I guess the only thing in season was broccoli?)

Fried Rice with shredded chicken

Braised E-fu noodles

Chilled Mango Pudding (It was just like biting into a fresh  mango!)

We took a group picture.

And then we went to the seafood barge, which is where the live seafood is kept before cooking.

Then, our method of transportation arrived to take us back to shore.

Just kidding, that was one of the many yachts that was in the harbor near the restaurant.

After boarding the bus, we went to our last destination of the night: Victoria’s Peak.

There, an amazing view awaited us:

 
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Posted by on June 18, 2011 in Food, Sponsored Event, Travel

 
 
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