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Macau/ HK CNY 2012

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Hi i need some help finalizing my trip from 22/01-26/01. (I'm familiar with macau/hk but have no idea when it comes to CNY) May i know if it's advisable to visit Ruins of St Paul's, Rua do Cunha & Rua Da Felicidade on 23/01 (cny day)? I understand the incoming crowd would be massive but as long as the shops are opened, we don't mind squeezing a little. Where is advisable to have our reunion dinner (in venetian macao) as well (not too ex though)?
I've more questions with regard to HK. Here are the list of attractions/shopping places that we want to visit:
1. Stanley market
2. Tsimshatsui avenue of stars
3. Tinhau temple
4. The Peak
5. Temple Street
6. Ladies market
7. Fa yuen street (especially the 2 stretch of female clothes!)
Any advice on which day of the cny to avoid so as to avoid the crowd/ or perhaps it might not even be opened?
Also i really want to bring my parents to try these eateries, any idea of they will be open?
1. Tim Ho Wan (if not, any good dim sum place?)
2. Mak Man Kee Noodles
3. Joy Hing Roasted Meat
4. Four Season Claypot Rice
5. Lan Fong Yuen
6. Jordan Seafood Street
Thank you in advance! Appreciate any help!

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    You can cover all of Macau in a day. It's a small place.

    It's quiet in Hong Kong on Chinese New Year (unlike Macau, which may be crowded). The markets will be close on Jan 23rd, and many independent stores/stalls may still be closed on 24th and/or 25th. Peak may be fairly crowded.

    The hotel restaurants will always be open. For the smaller shops, expect them to be close on Jan 23rd, and they'll gradually be reopened in the next day or two.

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    My thoughts and suggestions are below:

    Hi i need some help finalizing my trip from 22/01-26/01. (I'm familiar with macau/hk but have no idea when it comes to CNY) May i know if it's advisable to visit Ruins of St Paul's, Rua do Cunha & Rua Da Felicidade on 23/01 (cny day)? I understand the incoming crowd would be massive but as long as the shops are opened, we don't mind squeezing a little. Where is advisable to have our reunion dinner (in venetian macao) as well (not too ex though)?

    For Macau, I don’t think you will find shops to be open on the first day, and therefore it might be a good time to go to see the ruins and the colonial area when they are relatively quiet. For the reunion dinner, you probably are better off at a hotel, as stand-alone restaurants may be closed. I have not been to Macau for the eve or first day of CNY, so can’t say for sure. I would definitely say to make a booking for the ferry out and back to avoid long queues on either end. The expat community of Hong Kong will travel to Macau early and then you will have mainlanders and Hong Kongers after the first day.

    I've more questions with regard to HK. Here are the list of attractions/shopping places that we want to visit:

    1. Stanley market – I’d say less than half the stalls were open last year on the first day of the holiday when I was there. The restaurants were all open, and the temple was quite active, so unless shopping is your main aim, I think it is a good day to go. By the second or third day I think most of the stalls would be open again – there are too many tourists to stay closed.

    In my experience, on the first day, about half the stores in malls will be open, and most all will be open on the 2nd day (this has been a recent change). In my experience it is only more local places (like a hairdresser, manicure, etc) that will be closed for all 3 days. The Tung Chung Citygate outlets were fully open and packed on the first day last year, it surprised me quite a bit.


    2. Tsimshatsui avenue of stars – obviously open all days.

    3. Tinhau temple – there are probably 60+ Tin Hau temples in Hong Kong. Which one do you mean? You should find most open on the first day and thereafter.

    4. The Peak – last year on the first day, the Peak was more crowded than in past years (I live nearby). But still manageable. Would be very crowded on the 2nd and 3rd day. Once you get away from the immediate vicinity of the area where the Tram ends at the top, you should find far fewer crowds, and the actual Peak, another 20 minute walk uphill from there, should be even less crowded. While the Peak Tram is certainly the most interesting way to get up or down, with the crowds you might want to consider the bus (#15 or the #1 minibus) to avoid lines for the uphill or downhill journey. If the weather is good, it is a pleasant walk downhill to Central (assuming your knees can handle it), and a stiff but good walk uphill from Central, so you might consider that. I can send some walking options if that is something of interest. Send me an email at ciceronehongkong@live.hk.

    5. Temple Street – I believe you mean the night market. I think they will be closed the first day, can’t really speak about the other days. This is a place I rarely go, IMO the quality of goods on offer is not good, and much of the same stuff can be found in Stanley in any event.

    6. Ladies market – same as above

    7. Fa yuen street (especially the 2 stretch of female clothes!) – same as above, quality of clothing is quite poor, IMO. You might like the costume jewelry area of Wing Kut Street, which is a pedestrian-only street in Central running between Queens Road and Des Voeux Road. You can also find some shops on Wing Wo Street which runs parallel to Wing Kut Street.

    Any advice on which day of the cny to avoid so as to avoid the crowd/ or perhaps it might not even be opened?

    The first day will be the least crowded of the three, so determine where you want to be on that day. It seems that you are leaning toward Macau for the first day in any event. After the first day, you just have to deal with some crowds, make advanced bookings (for restaurants or the cable car to Ngong Ping). If you go very early in the morning to someplace like the Peak you probably are better off. Sights themselves will be open on all days and crowds at the sights are manageable, it’s things like restaurants and the Peak Tram, buses or cable car to Ngong Ping, buses to Stanley, ferry to or from Macau, etc which will be the issue.

    Also i really want to bring my parents to try these eateries, any idea of they will be open? – It’s hard to say, you should check websites or call. I believe all will be closed on the first day, and then after that it is hard to say, but should be relatively easy to find out with a look at a website or a call to them.

    1. Tim Ho Wan (if not, any good dim sum place?) – had to laugh when I read this one, over CNY you probably would wait 4-5 hours outside. (The typical line is 2 hours or so, but that’s not on a holiday.) I can’t imagine it is worth it, with many good dim sum places in Hong Kong. I can send you a list of my favourites.
    2. Mak Man Kee Noodles – call them at 2736-5561
    3. Joy Hing Roasted Meat 2519 6639
    4. Four Season Claypot Rice
    5. Lan Fong Yuen 2544 3895
    6. Jordan Seafood Street - not sure which restaurant you are considering.
    Thank you in advance! Appreciate any help!

    Bear in mind that most of the above restaurant are very well-known, popular and in 2 cases either have a Michelin star or are recommended by Michelin. Therefor, you are likely to find them to be more crowded than other places you may find. For example, there are may excellent seafood restaurants in Hong Kong, which may be less crowded during CNY than the Jordan area, or may take bookings which may be preferable during the holiday.

    Don’t forget about the fireworks. The are on the evening of the second day. There are many good viewing points, you don’t have to be on the waterfront to enjoy them. Or book now at a restaurant with a view. Macau may have them as well.

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    Thank you both for your advice, I sincerely appreciate it! Especially Cicerone for your detailed explanation! I do have some follow up questions, if you guys can help me with it!

    Macau: From what i have heard, some Portuguese restaurants will stay open on cny right? I'm thinking of lunching at O Porto Exteriror. Also, besides the historical sites surrounding ruins of st paul, taipa village etc are there any other attractions worth a visit?

    Hong Kong:
    Will the seafood restaurants along Jordan be opened on the first day?
    HK eating places: but what if i go to the tim ho wan outlet at ifc mall? would appreciate so much if you could forward me your dim sum list (I will email you!)
    Which tinhau temples will you guys recommend? I'm clueless!
    Lastly, will argyle centre/ Lai Chi Kok HK industrial centre be opened by the second or third day?

    Once again, thank you you guys so much!

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    Macau: From what i have heard, some Portuguese restaurants will stay open on cny right? I'm thinking of lunching at O Porto Exteriror. Also, besides the historical sites surrounding ruins of st paul, taipa village etc are there any other attractions worth a visit?

    I have not eaten at this restaurant (I think it is called O Porto Interior, however) and can’t find an official website so don’t know if it is open but you can call them at 2896 7770 . As for Macau, I think your list above covers all the sites. There is the Macau Tower which you can go up for views or bungee jump off see http://www.macautower.com.mo/en/home/index.html.

    Hong Kong:
    Will the seafood restaurants along Jordan be opened on the first day?

    My guess is that they will not be, but your hotel may know more so see when you get here

    HK eating places: but what if i go to the tim ho wan outlet at ifc mall? would appreciate so much if you could forward me your dim sum list (I will email you!)

    the new outlet is in Hong Kong Station underneath IFC Mall. I don’t think you would find it less crowded but you can go to it and see. It has only been open like a month, and was not hugely publicized so word may not be out yet.

    Which tinhau temples will you guys recommend? I'm clueless!

    My first question would be why Tin Hau, as she is not really associated with the Lunar New Year. For good luck for the new year, I go to the Pak Tai Temple on Stone Nullah Lane in Wan Chai. The Wong Tai Sin temple in Kowloon would also be a good choice, you can get your fortune told in the fortune tellers “mall” there. Otherwise, some of my favourite Tin Hau Temples are below:

    Temple Street/Public Square Street, Yau Ma Tei
    Causeway Bay (and please see the lovely Lin Fa Kung Temple on nearby Lily Street)
    Lei Yue Mun (it has a ghost! Great seaside setting)
    Joss House Bay (can do a junk trip, see www.aqua.com.hk)
    Sai Kung Town
    Stanley Main town
    Tap Mun/Grass Island (this involves a half day trip or so)
    Lamma - the one in Sok Kwu Wan and also the tiny one on the beach in Tung O
    Lantau, Pui O village (lovely setting along Stage 12 of the Lantau Trail)
    Po Toi Island

    The island of Cheung Chau has 3-4 Tin Hau Temples, so you could do a trip there and see all of them. It also has a famous Pak Tai temple.

    Finally, there is a Tin Hau temple on a barge floating in the Causeway Bay Typhoon Shelter. It is in the process of being moved as they shelter is being redeveloped, so I am not sure where it is now. It is very interesting. You have to take a little bum boat out to it. The name in Chinese is 重置的天后廟, a bum boat operator may be able to find it.


    Lastly, will argyle centre/ Lai Chi Kok HK industrial centre be opened by the second or third day?

    My guess is that Lai Chi Kok will not be open any of the days, as most businesses tend to be closed for all three days. The businesses there are more wholesalers than retailers, so I think they will be closed. Argyle Centre may be open the second or third day. It is at least eaiser to check on it than going out to Castle Peak Road.

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    Clothing wholesale and outlets in Sham Shui Po will be definitely closed for the first 3 days of Chinese New Year. Some remain close for a week.

    If you want to see huge crowds at a temple around CNY, go to the Che Kung Temple in Tai Wai on 1/25.

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