22 Jul My weekend in Macau
That was that, my first complete working week in Hong Kong over. However, my personal highlight was the weekend trip so forgive me for skimming over the working week. My energy levels were pretty low heading into the weekend after a fairly hectic week. A typical day involves me waking up at6:30 and going to the gym at 7am. I aim to be back by 7:30, breakfast, shower and coffee to be out the door by 8am. Arrive at work by 9am to be finished at 6pm. The evenings then are always filled with events and I usually arrive back home after 10pm on a standard day.
The events are both casual gatherings between the Absolute interns and organised events. This week we had two organised events. The first was on Monday evening, straight after work at the Red Bar on top of the IFC Mall in Central Hong Kong. A roof-top bar overlooking the river, so far my favourite spot in Hong Kong.
Wednesday we had a career speaker event at the at the international fashion firms office in Hong Kong, after a brief presentation we had a tour of their office to see how they conduct business.
Then after our first weeks work we had a weekend trip to Macau. I will be honest I was looking forward to this and it was a deciding factor in me choosing to go to Hong Kong over any other destination that Absolute offers.Saturday morning we had an 8am start to catch the ferry to the island just an hour south of Hong Kong. We had a coach to take us around the island on the first day which we used to full advantage. We explored the Casino area first and the more traditional part of Macau second. Primarily seeing the ancient Portuguese Ruins before heading to a beach on the opposite side of the island that evening. There we played Frisbee, ate dinner in a beach side restaurant before heading back to the hotel for a few hours free.
At night Macua really becomes alive and it’s extremely easy to see why everyone compares it to Vegas. The lights and sounds from the hotels and billion dollar brand casino chains (MGM, Sands Casino, Wynn, The Venetian) are crazy. Our hotel for the weekend gave us a free drink in their bar (but only after a trip to 7eleven) before we headed to the MGM Casino.
Despite this being (essentially) Vegas only two of us decided to bring suits. Myself and an Italian intern, Francesco. Like the rest of the Casino district, everything was extravagant and massive in the MGM. The ceilings at the entrance hall were about three stories high and the area of the Casino floor was that of maybe two or three 11-a-side football pitches.
I explored all the games across the floor and decided to settle for roulette purely because there was no skill involved whatsoever. I had my first drink at the beach at six that evening and after the hotel decided that opting for anything to do with skill, patience or logic was going to leave me broke. Which ruled blackjack out immediately. I played for one spin and luckily for me it hit leaving me €100 in profit for the night. Admittedly this is where I ended my Macau gambling career.
After which, I learned that Casinos have bars in them. Duh, seems obvious writing this now but the thought had never crossed my mind before. In my mind MGM = Gambling. Anyway, the bar was sleek, it had a pretty big stage with live performance acts for the night and with the absolute group we got our own table for the night.
At 2am, eager to make the most of our one night in Macau a small group of us went in search of a nightclub. This took longer than expected if I’m honest but we eventually arrived at one. The club had live performers all night which changed every half hour. Dancers, dance groups, trapeze style acts, it was actually amazing. Like, strip club meets circus meets Britain’s Got Talent. They even continued to introduce new acts when the club began to show the World Cup live at 4am that night on all the televisions. That then concluded my extremely long first day in Macau spanning close to 22 hours, from an 8am start to a nearly 6am finish.
The next morning the hotel had an all you can eat buffet finishing at 10:30am, which not only did I somehow wake up for, but when I arrived downstairs at 9:55 was the first person there. Free, unlimited coffee was exactly what I needed.
Sunday we had another full day in Macau. Initially visiting the top level of the Macau Tower which is about the height of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, giving us 360 panoramic views of the island. We then explored the more traditional part of the island, including a local lunch of pork buns and a temple before catching the ferry back at 5:30pm.
Now with my second weekend over, my energy levels are far worse now than when I started, but I regret nothing.