Friday, November 20, 2009

A little info about Italy and Greece

Steve and I had a vacation trip to Italy and Greece, Sept 1-17, 2009. Let me share our trip planning and some tips. I hope this little bit of info will help those who would like to plan their own trips.

  • Check hotel room rates through agents and compare the rates with the hotel’s own website. Some agents charge less than the hotel, but some do not.
  • Search Google Maps to see the hotel location and print it out, so it is easy to find the direction to the hotel from the closest subway station.
  • Take a free city map from the airport or hotel.
  • In Italy, most people don’t speak English, but some can speak a little English if they deal with tourists.
  • The exchange rate between the US Dollar and Euro was about US$ 1.40 = EUR 1.00 at that time.
  • ATMs are plentiful, some hotels accept US dollars but most places accept Euros only.
  • We saw mostly Visa logos in places that accepted credit cards; MasterCard did not seem to be widely accepted.
  • When you see a supermarket, buy some bottled water. The price is always cheaper than in tourist places.
  • From the research, there were many reports of pick-pockets. Be careful in crowded areas.
  • November – March is the rainy season, May – first half of October is peak tourist season.
  • In addition to Italy, we also planned to visit Greece, so our air itinerary from home to Rome was: STL – ORD – FCO. From Venice to Greece was: VCE – NAP – ATH; from Santorini to Milan was: JTR – ATH – LIN, from Milan to home is: MXP – JFK – RDU – STL. One of the webs to check cheapest airline tickets to Europe is: bravofly.com
  • Several cities have more than one airport. Be aware of which airports your flights arrive and depart from, especially if you have to make a connecting flight. For example, Chicago, New York, and Milan all have multiple airports, and it can take a long time to get between airports.
  • No airport tax, Customs, or Immigration stamp traveling between Italy and Greece.
  • To make it easier to get around, learn the native-language names for cities. For example, Florence is Firenze in Italian.

Our planned trip involved payments:

Day 1: Traveling.

Day 2: Arrive at the Rome airport; buy a Roma Pass (EUR23) at the counter in the airport. Buy a train ticket (EUR11), from the airport to Termini Station, which is the main terminal of the Metro subway system. We took the subway, using the Roma Pass (valid for 3 days from the first entrance, and gives free admission to ATAC urban buses and trains, Underground lines A and B, Met.Ro trains: Roma - Lido, Roma - Viterbo (in the Roma - Sacrofano section), and Roma - Pantano railways lines. Direct access for the first 2 sites; from the 3rd site onwards please apply to the ticket office for discount) to the closest station to hotel. Staying in a room with a double bed in Hotel Cicerone was EUR95 x 3 nights, and included free breakfast. We visited the Colosseum & Roman Forum. It was worth the time and money to use the Roma Pass for the first site, as we saw a very long queue to buy tickets (EUR12) on the spot. We walked around Palatine Hill.

Day 3: We visited the Vatican Museum. We booked our tickets (EUR14 per person) online in advance. The online booking fee was EUR4 per ticket, but booking in advance avoids the long line up for tickets, especially during peak season. We walked around Castel Sant’ Angelo (ticket EUR7, we didn’t go inside), Piazza Cavour, Piazza Navona, Palazzo Madama, the Pantheon, Templo Adriano, Palazzo Monteclitorio, Fontana di Trevi, Quirinale, Palazzo delle Esposizioni and Piazza delle Repubblica.

Day 4: We visited the National Museum (ticket EUR7, not many visitors, I do not strongly recommend it) using the Roma Pass for the second site. We went to Trinita dei Monti, Villa Medici, Museum Borghese and Piazza del Popolo. Then we went to the Circo Massimo, S. Maria in Cosmedin, Campidoglio, Monumento a Vittorio Emanuele II, Colonna Traiana, Mercati Traianei, Domus Aurea, S. Pietro in Vincoli, Santa Maria Maggiore and Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II.

Day 5: Take subway (ticket was EUR1 since our Roma Passes had expired) to Termini train station and take a second class train (EUR42) to Florence. (Buy it a day in advance safely.) We departed at 10.30am and arrived at 12.02pm at the Stazione di Santa Maria Novella, Florence and walked to hotel. Staying in a room with a double bed in Hotel Roma at Piazza Santa Maria Novella was US$125.66 x 2 nights. We walked to the Duomo (ticket EUR8 to climb 463 steps to the top.) Going to the top of the Bell Tower is 414 steps (ticket EUR6), but we didn’t go up. Then we went to Gallery Uffizi (ticket EUR10.) We walked around Plazza D. Signoria, Piazza della S.S. Annunziata and Cappelle Medicee.

Day 6: We went on a day trip to Pisa Central by train, (round trip ticket EUR11.40.) Buy the ticket a day in advance safely. After about 1 hour, we arrived at Pisa Central train station. Buy a bus ticket (EUR1) at a stall to the Leaning Tower. (Check in advance about the bus and train schedule to get back to Florence S.M.N.) We didn’t go inside the Leaning Tower (we regretted a little that we did not), but go in the Museum (ticket EUR5.) After getting back to Florence S.M.N., we walked around Pronte Vecchio, Piazza Santa Croce, Porta alla Croce and Piazza della Signoria.

Day 7: We walked to the train station and took a second class train (ticket EUR37) to Venice. Buy it a day in advance for safe. We departed at 10.37am and arrived at Stazione FF.SS. S.Lucia, Venice at 1.13pm, and walked to the hotel. Staying in a room with a double bed in Hotel Henry was EUR100 x 2 nights. We walked to Ponte di Rialto, Piazza San Marco and went to the top of the Bell Tower (ticket EUR8) by lift.

Day 8: We walked to Gallerie Accademia, Salute Scuola Grande di S. Marco and other places around there.

Day 9: We took a bus to Marco Polo airport (ticket EUR2.50). Buy it and check the bus schedule a day in advance for safety, especially if you have to catch an early flight. The bus journey is about 15 minutes in early morning. We took a flight to Greece - ticket & tax was US$224.16 (booked online earlier possible). We departed Venice at 6.50am and arrived at the airport in Athens, Greece at 1pm (note: Greece is 1 hour ahead of Italy). We bought a Metro ticket (EUR15 for 3 days.) We felt it was not really worth it, as a one way ticket from the airport to Athens city is EUR6, and city Metro subway tickets are EUR3 for a day or EUR1 for 90 minuets.) We took the subway to the city and to the closest station to our hotel. Staying in a room with a double bed in the Best Western Pythagorion Hotel was US$301.41 (total charge for 3 nights, free breakfast). We went to the Acropolis (ticket EUR12) and Acropolis Museum (ticket EUR1 through the end of December 2009). The price for the museum is very cheap and really worth visiting. It just opened to the public on Jun 21, 2009). We walked around Plaka.

Day 10: We went to the National Archaeological Museum (ticket EUR7.) We went to see changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Parliament, Syntagma, Piraeus and Metropolis.

Day 11: We went to Hadrian’s Arch, the Temple of Olympian Zeus, Roman Forum, Agora, Central market (wet market) and to see the night view of the Acropolis.

Day 12: We took the Metro subway to Piraeus port, where we would catch the ferry to Santorini. (We checked the journey time to the port a day in advance, but it happened that day the subway had maintenance and did not run all the way to Piraeus, so we had to take the bus the rest of the way.) We are arrived at Piraeus, but missed our ferry (ticket EUR50) which we bought in advance. We bought another ferry ticket (EUR33.50.) Took a taxi (EUR5) from gate E8 to E1 (Piraeus is a large port). We departed Piraeus at 9am and arrived at Thira, Santorini at 2pm. We took a bus (EUR2) to the main bus station in Fira. We took a bus heading to Oia (ticket EUR1.40), but got off at Firostefani (tell the conductor in advance) where our hotel was located. Staying in a room with a double bed in Efterpi Villas was EUR115 x 3 nights (free breakfast).

Day 13: We walked to Fira, and took a bus (ticket EUR1.40 x 2) to/from Kamari (black beach). Took another bus (ticket EUR2) to Perissa (black beach). Then took another bus (to Fira - ticket EUR1.40) and told the conductor in advance we wanted to stop at the station where we could catch a connecting bus to the red beach at Akrotiri. We took the bus (EUR1.40) to the red beach, then took a bus (ticket EUR1.70) back to Fira. We took a bus (ticket EUR1.40 x 2 to/from Oia) to view the sunset.

Day 14: We joined a boat trip (ticket EUR18) to see the volcano and hot springs (need to be a good swimmer to go to the hot springs area because the boat cannot reach the area.) We bought the ticket it in advance through our hotel. We walked to the cable car station to go down to the port (ticket EUR4 x 2, to/from the old port.) There are other options: pay to ride a donkey or walk for free on the steep trail). The ship departed at 11am for the volcano. On the island, we had to buy another ticket (EUR2) that wasn’t mentioned when we booked the trip). At 2pm we arrived back at the old port. We walked to Fira and did some shopping.

Day 15: A minibus came to the hotel to take us to the airport (fee EUR15/2 persons, booked a day in advance through the hotel.) We took our flight (ticket & tax EUR219.18.) We departed at 7.15am arrived at the airport in Milan, Italy at 12:01pm. We took a bus (ticket EUR? - we rushed into the bus without a ticket when we saw the bus come, thinking there would be a conductor onboard, but no) to the closest Metro station (we asked someone on the bus, but the easiest way should be to tell the driver, and he might remind you when to get off). Take the subway (ticket EUR1) to the station closest to the hotel. Staying in a room with a double bed in Hotel Alba was EUR182 for 2 nights. The shower is in the bed room but no toilet; the public toilet is outside the room. Buy a Metro ticket (EUR5.50) for 2 days (we should have bought it when we first took the subway.) We went to the Duomo and Treasury (ticket EUR1 for entry to the Treasury.)

Day 16: We went to the Central FS station to check the bus location & schedule to go to the airport the next morning. We then went to see the Castello Sforzesco & arch, Santa Maria della Grazie and Museo Nazionale della Seienza & della Tecnica (ticket EUR8 for the museum.)

Day 17: We took the subway to the Central FS station and caught a bus to the MXP airport. Bus tickets are EUR15 for 2 persons. The bus journey is about 1 hour (we didn’t check whether our flight was in Terminal 1 or 2, so we stopped at Terminal 2. They have a free airport shuttle between the terminals. Back home.


To see pictures from our trip, please visit:

http://lktansinee.blogspot.com/2009/09/italy-rome-pictures.html

http://lktansinee.blogspot.com/2009/09/italy-florence-with-side-of-pisa.html

http://lktansinee.blogspot.com/2009/09/italy-venice-pictures.html
http://lktansinee.blogspot.com/2009/09/italy-milan-pictures.html
http://lktansinee.blogspot.com/2009/10/greece-athens-pictures.html
http://lktansinee.blogspot.com/2009/10/greece-santorini-pictures.html


Monday, February 16, 2009

A little info about the USA - New York

It was a 6 day/5 night New York trip on Aug 2008. We went to several attractions and our legs were so tired from all that walking! Let me give you a little info: we flew from St. Louis to LaGuardia airport, where my friend, Y, met us. She booked a room with a double bed in the Farrington Hotel in Flushing (in Queens) for US$90 per night in cash. The public bus fare is US$2 per adult (they only accept coins if you don’t have a Metro card); the taxi fare is around US$12 (plus a tip) from Main Street in Flushing to the airport.

The part of Flushing where we stayed was a small Chinatown. Flushing’s Chinatown is not big compared with the Chinatown in Manhattan, but we felt it was a bit like a little Hong Kong. There are many Asians, with a lot of Chinese shops and foods. Be prepared to pay cash, because most places didn’t accept credit cards and most charged no tax. Everyday, crowds of people were moving quickly, especially at peak hours; the subway’s trains were packed. Like the bus fare, the subway is also US$2 per entrance. You can buy a one day Metro card for US$7.50, but we bought the 7 day card for US$25. The Metro card can also be used for the buses. Take one of the free maps from the subway station to find your way around.

We joined a one day tour from a Chinese company for US$35 per adult. At 7:30a.m., they picked us up by van to go around the city. We stopped for a few minutes at the World Trade Center site, where the Twin Towers were destroyed on 9/11. Near the New York Stock Exchange is the famous statue of a Charging Bull. We also stopped at the United Nations Headquarters. (Tours are available, but by the time our group arrived, all tours were full.) In addition to the US$35, we also had to pay US$69 per person for a package of three tickets for: a 90 minute sightseeing cruise on the Hudson River, tickets to Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, and admission to “The Top of Rock” at Rockefeller Center. Lunch was not included in the tour package. The driver, who is also a ‘tour guide’, mentioned everyone needed to tip him US$6 before he sent us back to our hotel around 5p.m. I do not recommend you join this tour because you can go those places yourself, and purchased individually the tickets cost a little less than was charged by the tour company.

We went to the following places by subway:

Chinatown: the Chinese people who came here built a statue of Confucius, which has become an easy landmark for meeting point of those Chinese to meet someone when they first time arrive in New York.

Little Italy is a busy night market, full of restaurants.

Grand Central Station is the old train terminal, which is still used today.

Broadway has many shows. The TKTS booth sells tickets to Broadway shows for up to 50% off the normal price. The booth opens at 10:45 a.m., and for night shows the booth opens at 2:45 p.m. for ticket by cash only. So if you line up early maybe you can get a good seat. We arrived there around 9a.m., and there was already a line forming. We saw a policeman on a horse on the street! Y and her friend lined up for tickets, while Steve and I went to walk around with a friend, AB.

We passed by Times Square, Radio City Music Hall, Rockefeller Center, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Trump Tower, and many other beautiful buildings. Standing on the street under those many storied and high buildings, lets us feel the prosperity of this big city…. We had a half price (US$59) ticket for the Broadway show ‘Hair Spray’ at 3p.m.; it was a wonderful performance. By the time the show ended, it was evening.

Greenwich Village, it is a residential area with some distinct characteristics. Sometimes, there are street performers, but we didn’t see any of them.

Little India, we arrived there in the evening. After we came out from an Indian dinner, most of the shops were closed.

Bowling Green, there is Battery Park. Also there is the harbor for the ferry (US$12 per adult round trips) that goes to the Statue of Liberty. You need to go through the security check with no drink or food, and no backpack if you go into the statue area. If you have those things, you need to rent a locker to store them. Visitors are only allowed up to the observation deck at the base of the statue; since 2000, visitors are no longer allowed to go up to the crown of the statue. After visiting, the ferry goes from this island to Ellis Island, which is a heritage site that used to be the entry station for immigrants entering the USA through New York. After that, the cruise returns to the Bowling Green harbor.

Empire State Building, it is currently the tallest building in New York. They have an observation deck - the ticket is US$19 per adult, but we didn’t go up.

Metropolitan Museum of Art, the ticket is US$20 per adult. It is huge and we spent around six hours in there.

2008年8月 六天五夜的纽约游记,让我们去了不少的纽约景点,每天都走得很累耶!好,让我来提供你一些资料﹕从St. Louis飞抵LaGuardia机场,我的朋友Y来机场接我们,她也帮我们订了在Queens, Flushing镇的Farrington Hotel双人房每晚US$90,须付现钱。LGA机场 Flushing Main Street,公共巴士每成人US$2(只接受银币若你没交通卡),而的士费约US$12(要加给小费)。

Flushing虽然不比在Manhattan区的Chinatown大,但我们感觉这有如小香港,大多是亞洲人聚住,华人店及小食店居多,而且是做现钱交易不付税,因有些店不收信用卡,所以须准备现钱住食。这里每天人潮多,生活步伐快,尤其上下班,快铁都很拥挤。每次快铁入口卡是US$2,可买通行一天卡是US$7.50,我们买七天卡是US$25,这Metro交通卡也可用来坐公共巴士。在快铁站拿一张各快铁行程的路线,了解那一快铁去那一景点。

我们参加华人团一日遊每人US$357.30am起程坐在van内遊市区,只小停世贸中心9/11被毁的Twin Towers股市交易中心的铜牛像、联合国总部。我们另须加付三项景点费每人US$69,即90分钟的船遊Hudson河观看有名的建筑文物及桥、Madame Tussauds 蜡像馆及自行午餐、The Top of Rock上高楼观市景。5pm送你回酒店前,司机也是导遊说明要每人给他小费 US$6不建议参加这一日团,因这些景点都可自行去观遊,自行去以上三项景点的票价还便宜过这旅团的。

我们自己坐快铁去的景点如﹕

Chinatown,这孔子像是早期华人移居到这儿后建立的,大多华人跳飞机来这里时,孔子像是最容易做为与朋友聚合的地点。

Little Italy,小意大利夜市。

Grand Central,古老的火车站。

Broadway,有著名的百老汇歌剧,星期三、六、日的下午场有优惠价,10.45am开始售下午场的票,我们9am就到TKTS 售票处,希望可买到较好的座位,只接受现钱购票。这时我们在街上看到骑马的警察!Y与她的朋友排队买票,我们和另一朋友AB走走Time SquareRadio CityRockefeller Center GE BuildingSt. Patrick教堂,著名企业家的Trump Tower还有很多有特色的建筑,站在高楼大厦的街头,故且感受一下大城市的繁华3pm‘Hair Spray’半价是US$59,很棒的歌声演剧,歌剧完时,我们走出剧院已是傍晚。

Greenwich Village,据说是艺术者聚合的地区,有时他们会在街头艺术表演,但我们却没看到任何表演者。

Little India,我们是傍晚去,在那儿吃印度晚餐后,有些店已关了。

Bowling Green,这里有个Battery Park,也是码头,船票全程US$12,去自由女神像岛,进入女神像须經過保安,检查严格,不可携背包食水,若有须自行收进租箱格。遊客只能上到石台,2000年起已不让遊客登上女神的皇冠。观遊后,从这岛乘船到Ellis 岛,这是以前移民到美国须进入纽约的关站。過后,从Ellis岛乘船回Bowling Green码头。

Empire State Building,美国最高楼,可上高楼观景US$19,我们没上去。

Metropolitan Museum of Art,每成人票US$20,很大的傅物馆,我们在里面约六小时。

Thursday, January 29, 2009

A little Info about the USA - Hawaii

Hawaii became the 50th state after it was conquered by the US. Hawaii has a few islands with only a few native Polynesians left. Nowadays most people are from other states in the US and also other Asians living there, so there are many people of mixed races. There is very beautiful scenery and it is a very relaxing place for vacation.

Since Steve’s friends recommended we go to Maui (one of the islands in Hawaii), we stayed eight nights Oct 10-17, 2007 at Ka’anapali Beach Hotel in Maui, US$180+ per night for a double bed room. We booked our hotel room package which included car rental, so when we arrived at the Maui airport, we went to the car rental center and paid for car rental tax US$36.50. We got a car and map so we could reach our hotel.

Ka’anapali beach is beautiful; we strolled and swam at a small bay with fishes and coral, and watched the sunsets… Have you ever seen a moonset? One night at around 6pm, the crescent moon was in the sky before the sunset. We were watching the crescent moon slowly going down until it was gone in the direction of sunset. Is it moonset? In the sky without moonlight all of the stars are twinkling beautifully…

We joined four tour packages:

  1. Two hours (4-6pm) by small aircraft to see the scenery of Maui and an active volcano on the “Big Island” (the biggest island in Hawaii) from the air, US$395.68 per person. The tumultuous flight almost made Steve airsick – he had the airsick bag ready in his hand…
  2. Six hours (7am-1pm) cruise to snorkel and see coral and fishes at Molokini, an eroded tuff cone shaped like a crescent, and to Turtle Town, US$98.45 per person. Turtle Town not only has fishes and coral, but also has a few huge sea turtles swimming together with us…
  3. Eleven hours (7.30am-7pm) by van, US$114.57 per person, to the town of Hana to see the coast of Maui, the rainforest, waterfalls, black sand beach, mongooses (which eat snakes and rats), and the Ohe’o pools in Kipahulu. Perhaps the scenery was too beautiful – no one fell asleep or had motion sickness even though the road has 600 curves in 30 miles…
  4. Eight hours (7.30am-4pm) by van,US$93.73 per person, to see the rare native plant Silversword, a plant with silver leaves and flowering at 10,023 feet on the Haleakala volcano summit. We also saw a rare bird, the nene (Hawaiian goose). Then on to the Iao Valley to see the Iao Needle…

We drove our rental car to the aquarium (ticket: US$23 per adult), shopping malls and the coastal towns of Lahaina, Kihei, Wailea and Makena. We saw different water activities at the different beaches…

The last morning, we were swimming behind the hotel in the bay again. I could swim at the deep area and I like to see fishes and coral…suddenly, a large guy swam beside me, just a couple of inches away. I was surprised and didn’t know what it was. After it swam a little farther away from me I saw it thru my goggles in the water…it was a sea turtle. I didn’t see any sea turtles when I swam there two days earlier. Its head came to the surface and it looked at me a little while; then it swam back to the deeper area and disappeared. Steve thought it came to say goodbye to us.

夏威夷由几个小岛组成,被美国佔领后成为第50州。它还有一些土族,不过已有很多其它美国州人及其它亚洲人到那里生活,所以已有很多混血人。这里风景优美,是个非常休闲的旅游地。

Steve 的朋友介绍去 Maui(夏威夷的其中一个岛),我们选择有包括租汽车的旅店房配套,每晚US$180+双人房,10-17/10/2007八晚都住在 Maui Kaanapali Beach Hotel。我们抵达Maui机场,到租气车中心,须付US$36.50租车税。选了一辆车及拿地图驾到我们的旅店。

Kaanapali沙滩很美,又可在细沙上漫步、在海湾游泳看鱼及珊瑚、看日落你看过月落吗?有一晚,傍晚六点左右太阳还没下山,眉月已出现,八点左右我们看着它慢慢从日落的方向落下不见了,是不是月落呢?月光不见时,满天星星开始灿烂闪烁

我们参加四个旅游配套:

  1. 两小时(4-6pm)乘小型飞机,每人US$395.68,空中观看 Maui 的风景及Big Island(夏威夷最大的岛)的活火山。摇摇晃晃的飞行令 Steve 差点须要吐袋
  2. 六小时(71m-1pm)乘船,每人US$98.45,到眉月形的死火山 Molokini浮潜看珊瑚、鱼及到 Turtle Town浮潜,不仅有鱼、珊瑚,還有一些很大隻的海龟和我们一起游泳
  3. 十一小时(7.30am-7pm)乘旅行巴士,每人US$114.57,到Hana Town,观看 Maui 的海岸、雨林、瀑布、黑沙滩、吃蛇鼠的 mongoose Kipahulu Ohe’o 池。可能是美丽的风景令人陶醉,600个弯弯曲曲的30哩山路却没令人晕睡
  4. 八小時(7.30am-4pm)乘旅行巴士,每人US$93.73上到10,023尺的 Haleakala 火山顶峰,稀有的花草,如银叶开花的Silversword。看到稀有的乌类 neneHawaiian。及到 Iao ValleyNeedle

我们自行驾车去水族馆,购物市场及LahainaKiheiWaileaMakena 的海岸。不一样的沙滩有不一样的水上活动

最后一天早上,我们又到旅店的海湾游泳,我习泳所以游到较深的地方,我很喜观看鱼及珊瑚突然一件大物体游近我只几寸的距离,我惊吓不知是何物,等牠游开一点之后,在水中从泳镜看到牠原来是海龟。前天到此游泳时都没见这里有海龟。牠到水面抬起头看了我一会,又游向深处不见踪影了。Steve说牠是来向我们说再见的。

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A little Info about Macau & Hong Kong

AirAsia is providing cheap flights, so everyone can fly! Steve and I had flown to a few places by AirAsia, like Miri in East Malaysia, Bangkok in Thailand, Hanoi in Vietnam and Macau. We traveled by ourselves and booked our own accommodations, sightseeing, etc. I recorded a little information for your reference if you decide to go.

Let’s talk about Macau and Hong Kong. We went on Jan 23-28, 2007 and the info given is based on that time. AirAsia didn’t have a Hong Kong flight at that time, so we flew from Kuala Lumpur to Macau. I booked hotels in Macau and Hong Kong online at http://www.asiatravel.com/. We stayed at the Pousada Marina Infante Hotel in Taipa, Macau for MOP400/night, which included a buffet breakfast. If you book a hotel, please print the Chinese name of the hotel to show to taxi driver, since many of them don't understand English. I don’t remember how much the taxi fare was from Macau airport to our hotel, but the fare was MOP29 from the hotel back to airport. The hotel is in Taipa, but has a free shuttle that makes scheduled trips to and from the ferry terminal and main bus station. You need to remember which bus because many hotel buses are at the station. Don’t get on the wrong bus, and remember the when the last shuttle returns to the hotel. Take a public bus (prepare coins, it was MOP2.50 each time you get on the bus) to go to the attractions. You can get a tourist guide at the airport, ferry terminal, or the hotel counter. If you want buy local cookies & snacks, I recommend you buy at the shops near the Ruins of St. Paul's; you might get free samples of almond cookies that were just baked.

The ferry fee from Macau to TsimShaTsui, Hong Kong was MOP140 per adult, which included embarkation tax. We took a free tourist guide & map and asked someone for directions to walk to the Stanford Hillview Hotel in TsimShaTsui - it was HK565/night. (If you want budget hotels, here is a web site - http://www.hb-247.com/aff/timothytye/hong-kong/)

To take the MTR (rail transport) to attraction, the adult ticket fee for some places: Ocean Park was HK$185, Disneyland was HK$295, The Peak (Victoria Peak) Tram was HK$22, and the Lantau Island sky rail (near the Tung Chung station) round trip ticket to visit the world’s tallest Buddha at Po Lin Monastery was HK$88. (You can buy a one way ticket and then go take a bus from Po Lin Monastery. We wasted the return sky rail ticket!)

We stayed in the Silvermine Beach Hotel at Mui Wo, Lantau Island, it was HK$644/night. It is not necessary to stay on Lantau Island since it is more convenient to get to attractions by bus or MTR or ferry. The ferry fee from Mui Wo to Central was HK11.30/per adult, and was much faster than taking the bus between Mui Wo and Tung Chung. When we stayed in Metropark Hotel at Kowloon, it was HK$794.40/night. When we stayed in The Empire Hotel at TsimShaTsui, it was HK$2006 for two nights and laundry. (If you want to save some time, just stay in one hotel. It is very convenient to go anywhere in Hong Kong by MTR or bus.)

The ferry fee from TsimShaTsui, HK back to Macau was HK$137 per adult, which included embarkation tax.
亚洲航空(AirAsia)提供了廉价的机票,所以人人都可以飞!Steve和我就曾坐亚航去了东马来西亚的美里,泰国的曼谷,越南的河内,澳门。我们是以自助方式旅行,即自己找当地的住宿、景点旅游等,我记录了一些资料,如你欲前往,可给你一点参考。
先说澳门及香港23-31/1/2007之遊,请记以下都是当时的资料,那时AirAsia还没香港的航线,所以我们是从吉隆坡抵澳门机场,在http://www.asiatravel.com/纲上订了皇庭海景酒店双人房每晚MOP400(澳门币)包自助早餐。抵达澳门机场,备示皇庭海景酒店的中文名让的士司机送你到酒店,以妨他们不识英文。没记录的士去酒店费用,不过从该酒店至澳门机场的的士费是MOP29。酒店位於Taipa,设免费巴士载送至澳门总车站或码头(同一地点),有时间班次来回,很多酒店都有各自的巴士,停在同一地点,须留意上对巴士回酒店,也注意最后一班的时间。从车站乘各号公共巴士至各景点(免费旅游资讯册可在机场或酒店取得),准备零钱,每趟巴士费每人是MOP2.50如要买当地饼食品,建议在大山巴的店购买,可尝试吃到刚出炉的杏仁饼。
从澳门到香港尖沙咀码头,渡轮费每大人MOP140包离境税。
抵尖沙咀码头,取地图资料或示酒店街名问人方向走路至上纲已订在尖沙咀的仕德福山景酒店,双人房每晚HK$565。若要廉宜的住宿,上纲http://www.hb-247.com/aff/timothytye/hong-kong/ 先订酒店。
可乘MTR快铁至各景点,有些景点的每大人收费:海洋公园HK$185迪士尼园HK$295,香港山顶观夜景览车HK$22大屿山吊览车从Tung Chung来回程HK$88(可买单程的,参观天坛大佛寺宝莲禅寺后可坐公共巴士去其它地方,我们没用回程票,浪费了!)。
住大屿山梅窝的银铲湾酒店双人房每晚HK$644(可不必要住在大屿山,有巴士、MTR或渡轮到各景点),梅窝渡轮至中环码头,渡轮费每大人HK$11.30,速度比梅窝 – Tung Chung站的巴士快住九龙维景酒店双人房每晚HK$794.40住尖沙咀的皇悦酒店双人房两晚加洗衣费HK$2006(如要省换酒店的时间,建议只住同一酒店,香港多区都有快铁或巴士,很方便去各区景点。)
尖沙咀渡轮至澳门码头,渡轮费每大人HK$137包离境税。

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Bye-bye Peru

Our Peru trip was near its end for this time. I couldn’t say how much I understand about the humanity & culture there. I noticed in many places the walls had been covered with graffiti. Some places provided three bins, for paper, plastic and trash. There was a little story, when we were in Lima airport waiting for our delayed flight to Cusco (also spelled Cuzco). I had sat for too long and I stood up to stretch my body in front of Steve’s seat. A young Peruvian guy was talking on his cell phone and came to sit in my chair. Steve tried to mention that was his wife’s chair, but I thought it was okay and stopped Steve. It seemed that young guy realized it, but he still sat and talked on his cell phone. I was walking around the small boarding area. Many people came in and I didn’t see any empty chairs. I came to Steve’s seat several times and he asked me whether I wanted to change and sit for a while, I shook my head. I walked to a place I thought there was an open chair but there wasn’t. A middle aged man knew that I was looking for a chair. He stood up and asked me to have his chair. I didn’t know what language he spoke, but I guessed he was Japanese and it looked like his wife was in the seat beside his. It would be a shame if I took a seat from an elder person, so I shook my head and hand. So, I walked around again. About an hour later, eventually I saw that young guy stand up, but he put his things on the chair. I wasn’t mannered and moved his things to one side. I sat down by Steve. I didn’t care if I was overbearing (or the young Peruvian guy not much a gentleman).

We were in Lima airport again. We were annoyed when we knew our American Airlines flight departing to Miami was delayed 5 hours from the original 11.40pm. But we felt a little consoled, as we got compensation from the airline for the airport tax and a US$36 meal voucher for Papa Johns pizza. Ha-ha…I was greedy and ordered a lot of food and packed some to bring back home. Why not! Even if we just spent $1, we couldn’t change the remaining balance to money. I regretted I spent only about $25 of the $36.

It was hard to kill time; we went to the internet center for a while. We heard someone phone a hostel that he stayed in to request them to send a copy of their passports, as his wife’s handbag was stolen in the airport with both their passports inside! Ah, it seems there really are many robberies.

10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0. HAPPY NEW YEAR! We counted down to welcome in 2009 in the Lima airport!

秘鲁旅行就这样告一段落了,谈不上对当地的人文了解多少,只是观察到很多地方的外墙壁都被涂鸦。有不少地方都没置三种垃圾桶供纸张、塑胶和杂物。另外说个小故事,话说在Lima在机场等延迟的Cusco (Cuzco)班机时,我坐得太久,所以站起来到Steve座前舒舒筋,有位秘鲁年青男人边用着电话就来坐了我的位子,Steve想示意是他妻子的座位,我阻止Steve,说没关系,那年青人大概也知道但坐着继续谈他的电话。我在这小候机厅走来走,人已很多,已没空座位。我不时走到Steve面前,Steve问我要不要坐下换他站,我摇头。我走去一处以为有空位但发现不是,有位中年男人,看我找座位,他起身要我坐他的位子,也没听清楚他讲的语言,我猜他是日本人,旁边坐着似乎是他太太,我不好意思要比我年长的人让座,我忙摇头又摇手。这样子我又走来走去,大概已有一小时,终於让我看到那年青人站起来但他用一物件摆在座位,我老实不客气的把物件移开坐下靠向Steve。我也不理我是否太霸道(还是秘鲁年青男人没风度)。

又回来到Lima机场了,得知原本11.40pm起飞到Miami的美国航空班机却要延迟5小时之久,有点欣慰的是有给我们补偿机场税及US$36Papa Johns pizza 餐卷。哈哈我很贪心买了很多食物,打包带回,反正不买白不买,即使若只买US$1,也没得换钱回,我还后悔只买了约US$25而已啦。

时间很难打发,到纲络中心付钱上纲一会。在那儿听到有人电话给旅店要他们的护照复印,他妻子的手袋在机场被人偷了,他们的护照在手袋里!啊,还真是有很多偷窃者。

109876543210HAPPY NEW YEAR!我们在Lima机场倒数迎接2009年!