Take a trip from Hong Kong to Macau

Macau was not on my bucketlist but since I was in Hong Kong and wanted to escape the noisy city, a trip to Macau was more than welcome. There are ferry services throughout the whole day that go between Hong Kong and Macau, only 1 hour and you are in a different place. Macau was for long time a Portuguese colony in Asia.

It now belongs to China but it has a special status. It also has its own money just like Hong Kon. You really are in Portugal when you walk around in the old town. The Modern casinos however remind me of a mini Las Vegas, some casinos that are in Vegas are also in Macau or Macao as it is sometimes spelled. These Casinos are the Venetian, The MGM and the Wynn. The nicest one that caught my eyes was the Grand Lisboa Casino that really stands out.

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View over Macau from the Macao Fortress

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View from Macao Fortress on the Lisboa Grand Casino

View from Macao Fortress on the Lisboa Grand Casino

Ruins of St Paul's Cathedral, it really was a Portuguese church from the 17th Century

Ruins of St Paul’s Cathedral, it really was a Portuguese church from the 17th Century

Lotus Square, Lotus is the symbol of Macao, its even on their flag

Lotus Square, Lotus is the symbol of Macao, its even on their flag

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Town Square

Town Square

Grand Lisboa Casino at night

Grand Lisboa Casino at night

 

 

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Hong Kong

Hong Kong was part of my “BCT tour” that I did in Asia. What does BCT mean ??
“Big City Tour” that’s what it stands for and I just made that up when travelling to Asia as I visited several big Cities like Kuala Lumpur,Bangkok,Hong Kong and Singapore.
Hong Kong, is a very busy, crowded, noisy but also amazing City to wander around. Skyscrapers everywhere, on every Island no matter where you are Kowloon or Hong Kong Island itself amazing buildings is what you see.
I spend 2 days in Hong Kong, one day on Kowloon Island and one day on Hong Kong Island where I took the sky tram to Victoria Peak from where you have a great view over Hong Kong on the highest terrace in town. Don’t miss it when you visit Hong Kong.
From Hong Kong you can also take the ferry to Macau. I did a day trip to Macau (post coming soon). What else can I say about Hong Kong other than the fact that it is a noisy crowdy vibrating city, that you need to have on your bucket list.

View on Hong Kong Island from Kowloon Island

View on Hong Kong Island from Kowloon Island

Kowloon Island

Kowloon Island

Bruce Lee Statue

Bruce Lee Statue

Boats going back and forth between the Islands

Boats going back and forth between the Islands

night time at the pier

night time at the pier

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Hong Kong Island skyscrapers

Hong Kong Island skyscrapers

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The busy streets of Hong Kong

The busy streets of Hong Kong

sky tram going to Victoria Peak

sky tram going to Victoria Peak

Victoria Peak Tower Observation Point

Victoria Peak Tower Observation Point

Great View over Hong Kong from Victoria Peak aka Peak View

Great View over Hong Kong from Victoria Peak aka Peak View

Peak View

Peak View

 

 

City State Singapore

SINGAPORE !

One of the nicest and cleanest places I have been to in Asia and in the world probably. When I landed at the International airport I had to take the tube to the city centre, when entering the metro train, some little candy paper was flying around and it just landed on the ground in front of me, someone must have lost it, almost directly it got picked up by some local lady who then kept it in her purse and when she got off the train she threw it away in the trashcan. You don’t see this in Europe, people picking up someone else its trash to put it where it belongs. Maybe that’s why it’s so clean in Singapore because people care more about the environment and they want to live in a clean city. The only place where I do saw trash on the ground and lying around in some corners was in Little India. It’s a neighbourhood with a lot of Indian shops, restaurants, etc…
In general I really like my stay there. I stayed 2 days in a small hotel, the Bencoolen hotel its a good budget hotel in the centre and close to a MRT station. Great breakfast also and nice rooms. The most known hotel however will be the Marina Sands Bay Hotel with its swimming pool on the rooftop, offcourse I had to stay there 1 night just to have the crazy experience of swimming high up in the sky 🙂 it’s not cheap for a budget traveller like myself but  it was worth the stay, the view from the pool over the skyline of Singapore is just amazing. Other than that I did also visit the Gardens by the bay just next to the hotel with its Flower dome and cloud mountain. The big super trees connected by these skybridges, I just haven’t seen anything like it in my life. If you go to Singapore this is what you should visit. Since I like movies and cartoons I had to go visit “Universal Studios Singapore” to spend a great day with the Madagascar penguins 🙂 The theme park is situated on Sentosa Island which is connected by cablecars to mainland Singapore.

Singapore Harbour

Singapore Harbour

Cable lines going to Sentose Island

Cable lines going to Sentosa Island

Universal studios Singapore Sentosa Island

Universal studios Singapore Sentosa Island

me with a Minion

me with a Minion

2 Madagascar Penguins Kowalski (left) and Private (right)

Two Madagascar Penguins Kowalski (left) and Private (right)

Marina Sands Bay Hotel

Marina Sands Bay Hotel

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Gardens by the Bay

Gardens by the Bay

trees connected by skybridges

trees connected by skybridges

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Cloud Mountain

Cloud Mountain

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Marina Bay at night

Marina Bay at night

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Stuck in Tirana

The Tour through Eastern Europe with the guys of youngpioneertours came close to an end, last stop after Sofia-Skopje,Pristina was Tirana.
Tirana wasn’t the most interesting city I have been in. My best memory would be the cheap restaurants in city centre where you can get a great meal with wine for only 5 euros or 6 dollars, oh and also the Tv Studio that I visited in the former Enver Hoxha pyramid, see picture below but part from that Tirana is a city to quickly forget, maybe visiting some other parts of Albania would be more interesting.   Continue reading

Sofia

My trip to Eastern Europe through Moldova and Rumania brought me to Sofia the Capital of Bulgaria. I took the night train from Bucurest to Sofia.

My time in Sofia was short, 1,5 day to be precisely. Visited some of the main sights like the Orthodox Alexander Nevski Cathedral which is one of the biggest in Europe.
other sights included : St. Nedelya church,Sofia Statue,the Russian Nikolai church,Sveta Georgi Rotunda,Banya Bashi Mosque,…

Alexander Nevski Cathedral

Alexander Nevski Cathedral

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Sveta Nikolai Russian church

Sveta Nikolai Russian church

St George Rotunda

St George Rotunda = Sveta Georgi Rotunda 14th Century Unesco site

Church

St. Nedelya Church

Mosque

Banya Bashi Mosque

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Statue of Sofia

The main Tourist attraction in Bucuresti

The main attraction in Bucuresti has to be the “Palace of Parliament” or as the people in Romania prefer to refer it as “the People’s Palace”

This building was one of the many crazy ideas that the former dictator Ceaucescu had, he wanted to create a city that would be the Paris of Eastern Europe, big boulevards, a Palace bigger then Versailles and even a Arch The Triumph bigger then the one in Paris, but not bigger then the one in North Korea.

Like all the tourist visiting Bucurest I also had to go take a look at it. I decided to go inside, You buy your ticket inside and you leave your passport for registration, you get it back when the tour is finished. After that you get a guide, who will show you around and explain some more details about the building, its history, what purpose some rooms had etc,…
The highlight is when you get on the roof of the building and get a magnificent view over Bucurest, you almost get the feeling being a dictator yourself.

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Bendery Moldova

When visiting Moldova or should I say Transnistria I entered a nice little city called Bendery. Bendery lays in Transnistria on the border of Moldova. Actually it’s all Moldova since Transnistria is just like Abkhazia not recognized as a country. Anyway !

A mini bus from Tiraspol brought me to Bendery in about 25 minutes. There was a big outdoor and indoor market.

There is a nice Cathedral people can visit and when you go through the Leninpark next to the cathedral you come on a street where you can see the City Hall full of bullet holes from the Moldovian war in 1992 there are also some photos in front of the building reminding the war that took place there.
Continuing this road you get to the railwaystation where there is an old Soviet train with museum.
I spend a whole day in Bendery and then in evening after a lunch at Andy’s pizza and some shopping in the sheriff store i took a mini bus back to Tiraspol where I stayed another 2 days. Busses between Tiraspol and Bendery are really cheap, best way to go, no need for a taxi.

indoor market

indoor market

Cathedral

Cathedral

Lenin statue in Bender

Lenin statue in Bender

Bullet holes in the walls of the city hall

Bullet holes in the walls of the city hall

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images from the war

images from the war

Old Sovjet monument

Old Sovjet monument

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Old Sovjet train, now a museum in the railway carriages

Old Sovjet train, now a museum in the railway carriages

Hop on !

Hop on !

When I destroyed the baggage scanner in North Korea

Just arrived in North Korea and I already managed to destroy the baggage scanner at the airport. On arrival when I took my luggage and put it through the scanner, my backpack got stuck in the baggage scanner. The backpack was out of the scanner but one of the shoulder straps got stuck in the machine, the North Korean guard told me to pull it out, so I pulled like crazy, a one and a two and a three, nothing still stuck, then he helped me pulling and even with 2 still didn’t work after the first time, the second time we pulled as hard as we both could and kablamo !! my backpack Continue reading

SKOPJE

MACEDONIA = FYROM

Skopje is the Capital of Macedonia and the city of statues, from mother Teresa to Alexander the great. There are statues everywhere, even in the river.
Some nice monuments like the Porta Macedonia which is a smaller version of the Arch the Triumphe. On the other side of the river there is the Archaeological museum.
When you go from the Macedonia square to the old town you cross the Kamen Most (stonen bridge). In the old town there are many bars, restaurants and shops. There is also a nice shop where they sell old stuff from the 2nd World War.

With the Youngpioneers in Skopje - Skopsko is the local Macedonian beer of Skopje

With the Youngpioneers in Skopje – Skopsko is the local Macedonian beer of Skopje

Alexandre the Great Statue on Macedonia Square

Alexandre the Great Statue on Macedonia Square

Mother Teresa statue

Mother Teresa statue

Statue of a beautiful girl reminding me of someone

Statue of a beautiful girl reminding me of someone

pretending to be a statue

pretending to be a statue

Porta Macedonia

Porta Macedonia

The Archaeological Musem

The Archaeological Museum

The Kamen Most

The Kamen Most

Horse fountain

Horse fountain