The Ultimate Guide to Make the Best of Your Trip to Hong Kong

It’s hard not to be amazed by the beautiful cosmopolitan land of Hong Kong, which is known for having 40 percent of its territory protected by country parks. Hong Kong can seem like an unusual puzzle at first, since it balances between a busy city and idyllic beaches with hidden pockets of Buddhist cultural heritage.  

Hong Kong, Source: pixabay.com

In order to truly make your trip to Hong Kong worthwhile, you have to make sure that you gather a wide range of experiences that this magnificent city has to offer. Make a plan of activities and sights you shouldn’t miss, and make sure you find some time for the ones listed below, as well.

Try being a panda keeper

Hong Kong is home to the most adorable bears in the world, and you can even be their nanny for a day thanks to the service Ocean Park provides. Besides the fun you can have exploring the wonders of the sea world, you can also discover how a day in a panda’s life looks like. You get to prepare them food (they eat A LOT of bamboo), clean after them, but also be their playmate. Most people are surprised to discover how big the giant panda actually is, which is why children panda keepers need to be escorted by adults. All you have to do is fill an online form and confirm payment in advance, and also make sure you get general admission tickets to Ocean Park. 

Ocean Park, Hong Kong, Source: pixabay.com

Enjoy the view from the Peak 

Once you get the first view of Hong Kong from the ground, you will realize why you need to be higher to get the best sightseeing experience. Visiting the Victoria Peak is the best option for seeing everything there is, because it is the highest point of Hong Kong, and a stunning 554 meters high. The Sky Terrace in the Peak Tower is probably the best lookout point, but the viewing platform from the Peak Galleria and Lion’s Pavilion should not be underestimated either. It would be best to come around here around sunset to catch the blue hour. After a long sightseeing day, you might want to relax with your favorite drink. For those of you who don’t like experimenting with unknown types of drinks, enjoying a bottle of champagne in Hong Kong is just what you might need.

Ocean Park, Hong Kong, Source: pixabay.com

Feast upon dim sum

It’s no wonder that the Cantonese translation of dim sum means “touch your heart”, because this dish definitely warms up your left chest area. Dim sum originates from tea tasting festivals, when it was used to enhance the taste of the tea. Nowadays, you can have dim sum at every Hong Kong street corner, but you should know that 1 Michelin Star restaurants have the best dim sum there is. Although there are hundreds of places where you can eat dim sum in Hong Kong, you will still have to wait up to 2 hours for your meal if you choose to eat during rush hour. You will probably avoid all lines after 3:30 pm. Once you order, you should know that the teapot that arrives first is NOT for drinking, but rather for cleaning the chopsticks and cups.

Dim Sum, Hong Kong, Source: pixabay.com

Climb your way up to the Big Buddha 

If you are looking for the ultimate pilgrim gathering spot, then the bronze statue of Buddha Shakyamuni is the place to visit. It took 12 years to build this 34-meter-high statue that symbolizes the harmony between humans and nature. It’s definitely worth a half-day visit, especially if you plan on visiting the Po Lin Monastery, one of the most important Buddhist sanctuaries located just opposite the Big Buddha. Since all of them lie near the Ngong Ping Village, you can take the Ngong Ping 360 cable car down to the Big Buddha and enjoy a 5.7-km-long ride with a 360-degree view of Hong Kong.

Big Buddha, Hong Kong, Source: pixabay.com

If you have more time, make sure to take a stroll through the Hong Kong Park and finish your day with an evening walk around Soho and Sheung Wan. This might be just the perfect way to end a day in Hong Kong as we see it, but it’s up to you to plan your own perfect day and see it for yourself. 

Featured Photo by Ryan McManimie

One Ring to Rule Them All: A Ring of Kerry Road Trip Guide

Want to tour the most popular stretch of road in Ireland? Then take a drive around the Ring of Kerry. This 193 kilometre road trip takes you past gorgeous stretches of the Atlantic Ocean, in and out of quaint towns, and past the castles and natural landmarks that define Irish history. It stands out among other scenic road trip routes in Ireland, because it’s actually a short drive, but packed to the rim with marvellous sites and views.

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The Best Casinos in Asia

Asia is home to the biggest and best casinos in the world. It stands to reason considering Asia is also the biggest continent in the world.

If you’re looking for a casino resort, Las Vegas isn’t the only place to search. Asia is a popular destination for grandiose casinos, and as economies on the continent improve, so will the gambling industry. Countries like Macau and the Phillippines are competing with Las Vegas, and offer stunning resort experiences in superior locations.

Here are some of the best casinos to find in Asia.

Macau

The former Portuguese colony was given back to China in 1999 and acts as a special administrative region with its own separate government. The regional economy is reliant on casinos with around 80% of total tax revenue coming from casino gaming.

Casino gambling was legalised in the region in 1962, opening the door for some of the most magnificent casinos on the planet. With more large casino resorts, the unemployment rate dropped significantly.

The Venetian

The Venetian Macao is a hotel and casino resort owned by Las Vegas Sands. The casino hotel has 39 stories and covers 10,500,000 sq ft. All of this makes The Venetian Macao the largest casino in the world, the largest single structure hotel building in Asia, and the seventh-largest building in the world in terms of floor area.

Besides hospitality and casino games, there are areas for shopping and business conferences making it the ideal place for business and pleasure (if you can afford it). There’s also a 15,000-seater arena used for sports and entertainment called the Cotai Arena.

Parisian Macao

The Parisian Macao is also owned by Las Vegas Sands and features an Eiffel Tower replica at half the size of the original. It’s relatively new, opening in 2016, and has around 3000 hotel rooms, nearly 200 shops and a 1,200-seat theatre where shows like Thriller Live have taken place.

As you can tell from the name, the theme for The Parisian Macao is Paris. There’s a retail arcade with brands such as Adidas and Calvin Klein.

MGM Macau

The name might sound familiar to people with interest in films. It comes from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, the film studio bought by Kirk Kerkorian and through numerous business deals, the studio’s name was reduced to its initials and became part of a joint venture between MGM Resorts International and Pansy Ho, a billionaire and daughter of Stanley Ho (the owner of our next casino in the list).

The 35-story, 600-room casino resort opened in 2007 and cost $1.25 billion (USD). Like the others, it has a wide range of restaurants and bars as well as space for businesses and weddings.

Grand Lisboa

Remember when we mentioned Pansy Ho and her father, Stanley Ho? Well, his company SJM Holdings owns the Grand Lisboa. 

The casino has 47 floors, 800 gaming tables and a 1,000 slot machines.  It doesn’t hold the same stature as the other casinos but it has the distinction of being the tallest building in Macau. It was also the first Macau casino to offer Texas hold ’em poker and craps.

Singapore

Singapore has an illustrious economy and ranks in the top-3 in the world for foreign exchange centres, finance, oil trading, and casino gambling market (where they rank 2nd). Within that market, Singapore have two of the biggest casinos in the world

Marina Bay Sands

Marina Bay Sands is owned by Las Vegas Sands like Parisian Macao and The Venetian. It cost $8bn (Singaporean dollars) to build including land costs. The resort hotel has 2,561 rooms, a convention-exhibition centre, a mall, a museum, two large theatres, and the world’s largest atrium casino. And that’s just some of the features in the resorts.

Resorts World Sentosa Casino

This casino is part of Singapore’s Resorts World Sentosa which also includes a Universal Studios theme park, a water park, and an aquarium.

At the time of construction, it was the third most expensive building ever. In the casino, natives and residents are charged a $100 fee per entry or $2000 annually and that doesn’t include the regulatory spend of 50% imposed by the government. Their money goes to public and charitable causes but foreign visitors can enter for free as long as they provide their passport. Think of them as wager requirements for residents and no wagering for foreign tourists.

Philippines

The Far East nation have a glut of casinos governed by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), who collect the third-most revenue for the Philippines. PAGCOR also operates its own casinos in the country.

Resorts World Manila

Resorts World Manila Casino is part of an integrated resort that also features four hotels, casino games, a mall, cinemas, restaurants, and entertainment venues. It’s owned by the same companies that run Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore.

The resort was part of a disaster that cost the lives of 38 people after a stampede and fire caused by a robbery.

Solaire Resort and Casino

The casino resort based in Entertainment City is a complex with two five-star hotels, entertainment venues and a casino with over 1,500 slot machines and 360 gaming tables.

City of Dreams

City of Dreams Manila is owned by Melco PBL Holdings who also own City of Dreams in Macau. The Manila casino opened in 2015 with performances from the likes of Ne-Yo and Kelly Rowland.

The resort has 6 hotels and the casino has nearly 300 gaming tables and over 1,600 slot machines.

Okida Manila

Another Entertainment City casino is Okida Manila, which opened in 2016. The complex has a hotel with 993 hotel rooms and a casino with 3,000 electronic gaming machines and 500 table games. The complex also has a wellness centre, a children’s activity facility, and a mall.

Conclusion

The majority of the resorts and complexes in the list were built within the last 10 years, showing how large the market is for casinos in Asia. Many are owned by the same companies and opportunities for new ones crop up regularly. You wouldn’t find any budding casino providers on The Apprentice betting but if you did, they’d want to look at Asia for their next venture.

5 Attractions You Shouldn’t Miss When Visiting Tenerife

Experience volcanic majesty, imported beaches, and stunning scenery on Spain’s largest Canary Island, Tenerife. Dotted with resorts and off-the-beaten-path attractions, this island in the Spanish archipelago offers culture, beauty, and coastlines aplenty. Here are the top five attractions you don’t want to miss on your visit to Tenerife.

1. Teide National Park and the Teide Volcano

Located in Teide National Park, the Teide Volcano is the highest point in Spain and the highest above sea level you can get in the Atlantic islands. The summit is a testament to the drama-filled island; the snow-capped mountain makes a bold statement that is reminiscent of the yearly Carnaval, Tenerife’s biggest event. Photographers and hikers can take delight here; Teide is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Teide National Park is considered as one of the Twelve Treasures of Spain and is kin to the Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. Many describe the color variations as similar to Arizona’s Grand Canyon. 

If you decide to climb this grand peak, be well-prepared with hiking gear, supplies and a suitable backpack since it’s a 3,178-meter climb to the top. Teide is shrouded in ancient history; the aboriginal Guanches looked at it as the Greeks looked at Mount Olympus. Many myths surrounded the mountain; it was believed that Teide was responsible for holding up the sky. 

2. Loro Parque

Head to the best zoo in Europe, Loro Parque. Animals of all species, shapes, and sizes call this place their home; and thousands of visitors each year visit Loro Parque to watch the animals up close. Formerly Parrot Park, this zoo is located in Puerto de la Cruz and houses over 300 different species! Orca whales, parrots, gorillas, chimps, penguins, turtles, sloths, tigers, and many other fascinating animals can be found at this Tenerife attraction. The zoo also has a jungle replication, the Katandra Treetops, where you can observe a variety of birds and other species from swinging bridges. If you want to learn about the animals of the world and observe them in a habitat that is most like their natural one, look no further than the wonders at Loro Parque. 

3. Plaja Teresitas

Even if you don’t fancy the beach, you simply must take a walk along the shores of Plaja Teresitas. What makes this beach special? The sands of this beach were imported from the Sahara Desert! Located in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Plaja Teresitas used to be a black, rocky beach. In 1973, the beach got a makeover courtesy of the Sahara. Two piers were added to keep the desert sand from washing out to sea; it is one of the Canary Islands most-visited beaches thanks to the import of soft, white sand. 

A Quaternary site is located on Plaja Teresitas. Here, paleontologists have uncovered fossils. Plaja Teresitas is a great place to relax, sunbathe, swim, or soak up the warm Spanish sun while you play your favorite sport or read a good book. Don’t miss your chance to visit the beach and the Sahara Desert in one day! 

4. Masca

Guides and residents may disagree on the background of this tiny village, but if you take a guided tour of this small town, you will no doubt hear tales of pirates and witchcraft. The intriguing lore is reason enough to visit Masca, but there are several other attractions in this 90-inhabitant town that you don’t want to miss. The best way to see the real Masca is to break away from the excursion and explore it at your own leisure. Rugged paths that don’t draw the crowds offer excellent views and a chance to see a side of the hamlet that others never experience. A long walk through the ravine to the ocean is extremely rewarding, and it’s completely free. No tour guide required! Whether you prefer to stick to the lore and tour or want to have your own adventure, this tiny town offers something for all travelers. 

5. Anaga Forest

Anaga Forest is the best spot for hiking in Tenerife. This 35,630-acre park features soaring peaks and deep gorges; the park offers visitors an opportunity to reconnect with nature in a gorgeous, rural setting. Anaga Forest is located central to La Laguna and Santa Cruz, making it easily accessible via TF-12. Take the TF-1 to the visitor’s center, then head down a lush path to the little town of Taganana. Fresh fish is available by the sea, and the ocean makes a great place to cool off after a long hike. The landscape is reminiscent of Hawaii; the beauty of the Anaga Forest is indescribable. The nature in this forest feels like something out of a storybook, and you may spot a variety of native wildlife as you trek through the woods. 

If you love relaxing on sandy beaches, exploring off-road destinations, and have a desire to get in touch with the flora and fauna that Mother Nature has to offer, Tenerife is your perfect holiday destination. This Canary Island is bold drama and peaceful serenity all in one!

7 Painless Ways to Save Money for your Next Adventure

To many people, saving a significant amount of money is a big challenge. It’s a challenge since most individuals associate saving with pain. They feel that they will have to forgo certain pleasures of life in order to save. For those planning to take a getaway to an exciting destination, such dreams may become evasive due to budget constraints.

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A Beginner’s Guide to Sydney – What Not to Miss

For the folks who might not know, Australia is a place where kangaroos roam freely and beat up people’s dogs. 

Unless you, as an owner, step up and beat the kangaroo back, which has happened at least once, because it’s on Youtube right now. 

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10 Things You Wouldn’t Expect to Find in Ibiza

Ibiza is a holiday destination that seems to carry with it a very unjustified reputation. When people think of it they automatically conjure images of wild hen nights and the debauchery of 18 to 30’s holidaymakers. Undeniably it has a huge party scene, it’s home to seven super clubs after all. These clubs, however, are only a recent addition to the island and anyone who visits will find that Ibiza has a lot more on offer than just repetitive electronic beats. Read on to discover ten of Ibiza’s surprising secrets.

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Driving in Europe- Your go-to guide

Hitting the road in a new and previously unexplored country can be an exciting, but occasionally daunting, experience. With a need to get to grips with new laws, rules and cultural best practices quickly, you can be left scratching your head and with a fear of incurring potentially hefty fines. Not to mention the risk of infuriating the locals.

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Five Free Things to Do in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is gorgeous. It’s scenic. It’s a city of great history, great artists, builders, and public figures throughout more than seven hundred years of history (which makes it one of the youngest major cities in Europe). You can get lost in Amsterdam, no matter your interest, and it’s a place that offers something unique that appeals to seemingly everyone.

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What should you do if you miss your connecting flight?

Unfortunately, not every trip goes exactly to plan, and you may miss a flight. It can be a very daunting experience, especially if you have a connecting flight you need to make. Fortunately, there are rules in place to help travellers in this situation.

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