It is often said that Macau is the Las Vegas of the East. We have been to Las Vegas not one, not two, but three times, and we really love it! So we decided to complete the pilgrimage so visit Macau. In fact, Macau has overtaken Las Vegas many times over in being the world leader in terms of revenue. So really, is Macau the Las Vegas of the East, or is Las Vegas the Macau of the West? Ooh controversial! (My view: LV came first so will always be the OG!)
First impressions of Macau was quite overwhelming – I had expected it to feel like Vegas, but it didn’t feel anything like it. Strangely it reminded me of Panama due to the thick jungle around, low lying cloud, and stifling heat. It was also poorer than I had expected in terms of the housing of the local population, in contrast to the opulence and excess of the casino hotels. Like nearby Hong Kong, Macau is its own Special Administrative Region of China. And Macau is the only place in China where gambling is legal, and coaches bring tourists from the nearby Chinese border straight to the casinos.Continue reading →
It is difficult for me to write a blog about Thai Food, because as soon as I discovered Massaman Curry that was pretty much all I ate. So it is a wonder that the below photos aren’t just a repeat of the same curry dish 9 times over 😉
Before I discovered Massaman, Green Thai Curry was my jam. (I mean it was my fave, not that I used it as a breakfast conserve on toast. That would be weird). Continue reading →
After visiting the beautiful temples in Bangkok, of course we had to visit the Kao San Road – this is apparently described in The Beach as “the centre of the backpacking universe” or something like that.
The Kao San road is aimed at the backpacker market, with hostels, street food, and souvenir stalls mostly selling T-shirts advertising local beer brands (yes of course I got one, I am a cliche!). Continue reading →
We were gutted when we read that the boat trip to Ang Thong National Marine Park was not running in November. It was in the crease of the page of my guidebook so I hadn’t seen it, and I was practically self-flagellating at the thought of such sloppy planning. Now what would we do?? How could we go to Ko Samui and miss Ang Thong? The Islands where The Beach was set…
We were totally relieved and excited therefore when we found out that tours were still running – yay! We booked a tour at one of the many tour operators in Ko Samui, and on the morning of our tour we were picked up by a minibus already packed with young tourists that looked like they were on their Gap Yah. Continue reading →
Ko Samui, a small island on the east of Thailand, was my first “beachy” holiday ever in my life. We designed this as a relaxing break between visiting Singapore and Bangkok. It was pure relaxation and just wonderful.
We had the best of both worlds, with the beach on one side and the town on the other side. The town was a thin strip of touristy shops, restaurants, and travel agents, plus a rather grand shopping mall and a couple of night markets. Continue reading →
Eating in Singapore was easy. There was a plethora of choice so we were able to find a good variety, while not getting ill or going crazy with spice levels etc.
That said, it was not without its challenges. The plan was to get something fairly bland on the first night to ease ourselves (and our tummys) into the new culture. We ended up with a “hot pot” which was probably the most spicy thing on earth. Continue reading →
Sentosa is a small island just south of Singapore, known for its theme parks and beaches. We visited for a day trip whilst in Singapore.
We had the best time on the luge there. You get a chairlift up the mountain and ride a small luge race car thing down. It was really fun – fast enough to be exhilarating but not so fast that you thought you were going to die! In fact, far from being the “Grandma” of the race track, as my BF would taunt me Continue reading →
We made our way on foot along New Bridge Road to Clarke Quay and then Boat Quay. Both of these are areas of restaurants and bars, which would no doubt be more lively in the evening. Clarke Quay was fairly modern with more clubs and bars, and Boat Quay was more atmospheric.
We walked up to the CBD and popped into the posh Fullerton Hotel, which was done up all nicely for Christmas. Across the road is the “Merlion” which is a lion / mermaid and is the symbol for Singapore. It also gives ample opportunities for being immature by standing in front of it pretending the water is going into your mouth 🙂
After so much walking we gave up and got the MRT to the swanky Marina Bay Sands hotel. This looks like a boat on top of 3 skyscrapers, and my BF wanted to go onto the roof. Continue reading →