Vacation Planning: A Clash of Expectations

Hong Kong Night Skyline, via

As you know, the Asia Vu family is planning a short trip to Hong Kong during the Lunar New Year Holiday, and MsCaroline has been busily planning the itinerary to the exclusion of many of her other duties with just the kind of enthusiasm and passion you'd expect from a woman who has been crushed by the bitter temperatures of the last two months.  MrL and Son#2 have also been looking forward to the break with great enthusiasm, which bodes well for a positive experience for all.  I have been doing my usual researching and planning, coming up with - what I believed to be - an ideal weekend trip to Hong Kong.

Last night, however, I learned that my vision of the ideal trip and the vision shared by MrL and Son#2 are somewhat different.  And by 'somewhat different,' I mean 'on a different planet.'

Now, I will be the first person to say that you can't take your 15-year-old son to Hong Kong without making some allowances for varying ages, tastes, and interests.  But when I saw what he was showing his father on the internet (damn you, YouTube), I realized just how wide the gap was going to be.

While I was envisioning something along the lines of this:

Touring Hong Kong Harbour, via
And this:

Afternoon Tea At the Peninsula, via
Afternoon Tea at the Peninsula via

Here's what MrL and his offspring have in mind:

Bungy jumping off the Macau Tower
skywalking off the Macau Tower

I imagine we'll end up compromising, but God only knows what that's going to look like.


Can you do the boat tour and offer to take pictures while your crazy menfolk jump off of the tower above you? Or something? :) Happy compromising!
MsCaroline said…
Oh, Naomi, I'm sure it will end up with me tagging along and fighting back panic attacks while taking photos with trembling fingers. Fortunately, we have a friend traveling with us and three colleagues from work will also be there at the same time, so if it gets to be too much for me, we may just have to part ways for a while!
BavarianSojourn said…
I suggest you do the first pictures, while they do the second!! :D
Trish said…
As long as you don't end up carrying the bags as seems to happen to me. Thankfully my boys are not quite as brave as your two, so our family might just prefer the afternoon tea!
Okay, running around like crazy preparing for our own trip abroad tomorrow, but I've got the Macau post ready to go. Wanted to advise you to book ferry tickets ahead of time (any other time of year you can just grab the next boat, but CNY sells out regularly). Here's the information about booking a ferry which you can do online or in person(there are two companies):

TurboJET - For enquiries please call Hong Kong (852) 2859 3333, Macau (853) 8790 7039. E-mail: Website:

The Cotai Strip CotaiJet™ -Enquiries for schedule and booking please call Hong Kong (852) 2359 9990, Macau (853) 2885 0595, or visit the website:

Here is a website about Macau attractions:

And here is the official Macau website, packed with lots of useful information:

And finally, the Macau Tower has a viewing deck which feels nice and safe with comfy seats where you can sit and have a drink while your menfolk go out on the ledge and do crazy things. On a clear day you can see so much... all the way to Hong Kong and right over the border into mainland China. I am absolutely petrified of heights but did it anyway and I'm so glad I did (the viewing deck, not the jumping off part)! If you do nothing else, stop in at the Senado Square/St. Paul's Ruins/Monte Fort which will give you a lovely image of the days when Macau was a Portuguese colony.

Taxis are easy to use if you have a printed location to give them (iPhone map, paper map) as the drivers do not speak English. Free wifi is available throughout Macau (a major plus in my book!).

There is no need to exchange your Hong Kong dollars for Macau Patacas (MOP), as HK$ are fully acceptable throughout Macau on a 1:1 basis, but MOP is not accepted anywhere else. If you pay in HK$, they will generally give you change in the same.

Enjoy your trip, and as always, be on the lookout for pickpockets, especially over the holidays. Anything that's easy access for you will be easy access for them! It's a very safe place as far as your physical well being, but I can't count the number of friends who lost wallets and phones to thieves in both Macau and the crowded areas of HK, and with the intense crowds over CNY you'll be doing a lot of bumping into people so just beware.

Can't wait to hear about your exploits! Enjoy the warmth! Tomorrow we'll be feeling the fabulous warm California sun on our pasty white skin and enjoying bare hands and bare necks and even bare feet! Woo hoo!
MsCaroline said…
Emma - that sounds exactly like what I had in mind!

Trish - Oh, trust me, that afternoon tea WILL be happening, and it will be the poshest, primmest, lace-doiliest, pinky-raising-est, Jane-Austenesque tea any of us have ever experienced! I feel that's only fair if I have to tag along and watch them hurl themselves off of towers!
MsCaroline said…
Heather - HUGE thanks to you for taking the time to share all this when you are packing for your whirlwind trip! Have booked tix on the TurboJet to/from Macau as you suggested - thank you so much, for that important tip. We will spend the whole day in Macau, so I will definitely get to Senado Square area if not many of the other historical sites. Enjoy your wonderful time at all the Disneys and have a wonderful trip!
My pleasure. Sorry it ended up being a novel. ;) My blog post about Macau is up now. Another novel. What can I say? I'm a writer. Writers write! Safe travels!
MsCaroline said…
Heather- already IM'd links to your post to both MrL and Son#2 (who, by the way, was more impressed that your husband works for Pixar than anything else!) We are copying much of your agenda, although we'll probably skip the exhibits - we saw the Titanic exhibit in Phoenix and the Human Body one in San Antonio (fascinating in a creepy way.) We are all taken with Fernando's - we like the idea of a restaurant that doesn't pussyfoot around and tells you that up front.
Oh, and no need to apologize - I appreciated every juicy detail! Say hi to the coasts for me and enjoy the trip!
Gosh, Macau must have changed since I was last there (circa 1989..). It was a sleepy little backwater and you went there for the Portuguese architecture and food. Certainly not bungee jumping!

Incidentally, the picture with the junk must have been taken around the same time, judging by the buildings that look "tall" in the photos...
Exie Bethel said…
That calls for some settlement! But I’m quite sure you would end up doing both. :D Like you said, it’s all about compromise. After all, the real fun of a vacation comes in doing things out of your personal plans. When are you leaving, by the way? Have fun!
MsCaroline said…
NVG - Yes, apparently it's become quite well known for its casinos and the tower is just part of the 'entertainment and shopping' draw that goes along with it. ('Entertainment' in this case includes bungy-jumping.)
Oh, and the junk photo was one of the only non-copyrighted photos I could find online....figures it would be an 'older' one!
MsCaroline said…
Exie - thanks for stopping by! And while you're right about compromising, I can assure you that I won't be doing any bungy-jumping myself! Even if I weren't faint at the thought of doing it, the hefty price tag would discourage me anyway, I'm sure. We're heading out in just a couple days now - can't wait!

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