Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Wed 30 Nov - Macao to Hong Kong

Well, after 3 nights at the Venetian, it was time to leave the small ex-Portugese enclave and go back to Hong Kong. The way to do that is of course to take the tri-cat across the water, the "Turbo Jet".

This time, the border processes were very fast and in fact so efficient with shuttle bus and immigration that we were on our way on the "turbo jet"  1 hour after having checked out from the hotel - even with currency exchange, ticket purchase, passport control and boarding. Nice.

The trip across only takes an hour and was pretty uneventful. You don't really see that much until you approach Hong Kong and its outer islands.

Again, we were through immigration in no time, 5 minutes max, and went down to streetlevel and took a taxi to our hotel, Rosedale on the Park, which is at Causeway Bay, just opposite Victoria Park. We asked the taxi driver a few questions and he pointed out that cars with 2 number plates are allowed to enter and drive in mainland China. When we asked whether he has been to mainland China, he said once a long time ago, and was not keen to go back because he was worried about the food! He had read bad stories about what they might eat.  We thought this was funny coming from a HK chinese man.

As the time was around 1pm and check-in is normally 2pm, our room wasn't ready for us just yet so we left our luggage and went for lunch. And again, the same rule worked, look for where the locals go and we found a little hole in the wall with lots of people (no whities), and had some very nice curry and a pork omelette.

Wednesday night seems to be race night at Hong Kong Jockey Club and it is a great event - and we misread the information and got there about 3 hours before the first race. So, we wandered around the area and noted that this is an area of preference for ex-pats. There were lots of white kids and babies being nursed by what largely looked like Filipino or Indonesian nannies. Of course, these little fair kiddies were favourites by everybody there and were fussed about all the time, especially the really elderly people in wheel chairs.

At 2 hours ahead the gates opened and we wandered, took heaps of photos and drank some good german beer- Hoegarten.

HKJC is huge and the stands go to 7 levels.  We explored nearly all of it and also took some time working out how to bet.

Our horses in Race 1 were "lucky turbo" (number 3) "huge profit" (number 6) and "lucky ball" (number 8) largely because we liked the names and also because "lucky turbo" was ridden by Darren Beadman, an Australian, and was favourite for the race.  Good decision - he won by about 2 horse lengths after racing 1000 metres. We made a modest "profit" of about $KH65 - or less than $10 - but better than losing the $HK150 we had bet initially.

We knew nothing about the horses but Di was handed an English race guide by a strange man and after reading it we were even happier with our random bet selections. 

You can't see our horse winning - he's ahead of this group - 7 and 10 came second and third. 

Our good Australian jockey was already slowing down before the finish line but still way ahead... 

and the winner is... 
Our winning ticket.

We saved our winnings by catching the tram back to Causeway Bay at total cost of $HK2.30 each (less than 40 cents)

At 8.30pm Causeway Bay is chaotic. 

We do a quick walk around looking for "light" dinner options and find a congee and noodle place for rice noodle rolls. Then onto Wellcome supermarket for breakfast supplies and home to Rosedale hotel.

Time for a good night's sleep.  The room is very quiet and has everything you would want - of course it's not the Venetian.  In fact, it is probably about the size of the bathroom of that suite but we're happy with the location.

Very tired and lights off by 10.30pm...

Some final pictures from the Venetian..

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