Quest for Harmony 7 Nights 8 Days: Hong Kong and Macau
Hong Kong and Macau: each city unique from one another, yet bound together by a cultural veneration of Harmony. This trip, we’ll explore how the desire for a harmonious life permeates these destinations. Harmony is a motif firmly woven into in the past and present, as well as in future aspirations of these regions. It plays a key role in all aspects of life here, including recreation, health, art, architecture, food, music, sports, and even business.
Harmony implies balance and the ability to integrate different elements into pleasing unity. It incorporates the Chinese concept of Yin/Yang—opposite forces that come together to form a whole. Thousands of years ago, writers here carved the character “He”, which means harmony and peace, onto tortoise shells and animal bones known as “Oracle Bones.” And Confucius, the great Chinese philosopher promoted the concept of “harmony without uniformity.” He taught that the world is full of differences and contradictions, but that righteous people should try to balance them to achieve harmony.
Chinese culture has promoted the concept of harmony since ancient times, and today we see this fundamental value represented in so many different ways. In the trilogy of places we’ll visit this time, we’ll look at three great examples of how the people here strive for harmony:
• We’ll discover how ancient, traditional customs balance with the new and modern.
• We’ll explore how western sensibilities integrate with eastern aesthetics.
• And we’ll look at the how the Chinese people seek spiritual harmony with the natural world.
Our quest begins in Hong Kong — Asia’s world city and a cosmopolitan metropolis offering visitors a stunning east-meets-west experience.
Hong Kong to Macau
A mere 40 miles from Hong Kong by ferry, Macau seems a world away. Even for experienced travelers, Macau is a singular place. It’s a fascinating blend of Asian and European, East and West. Following the undulating mosaic tile streets through the city’s historic center, inhaling the spicy scents of Macanese restaurants, one feels a bit like a visitor in an exotic Land of Oz. Long before Hong Kong was born, fisherman and farmers found this island at the mouth of the Pearl River a strategic place to set up shop.
The Italian missionary and Jesuit priest, Matteo Ricci, came to Macau more than 400 years ago. After studying Chinese and European history, he concluded that compared to the west, the Chinese had less interest in aggression and conquest and cherished harmony and peace. Macau was a crucial stopping point for merchant ships carrying goods from Silk Road merchants to eager consumers in Europe. It was the Portuguese who would drive Macau’s destiny. In the 16th century, the Portuguese traders got the go-ahead from mandarins in nearby Guangdong to take control of this island. Soon Macau had a near monopoly on trade between Asia and Europe.
• Upon arriving in Hong Kong International Airport via Cathay Pacific, proceed to the TurboJET Counter for transit to Macau by ferry or hydrofoil (DO NOT GO THROUGH IMMIGRATION IN HONG KONG. YOU WILL GO THROUGH IMMIGRATION IN MACAU) At the TurboJET Counter, show your passport, e-ticket for Macau ferry, and baggage claim tag from Cathay Pacific. TurboJET staff will retrieve your luggage from baggage claim area. Claim your luggage and proceed to check-in for boarding the ferry to Macau. Upon arrival in Macau, you will clear customs. After you walk out of the customs and baggage claim area, you will be met by our Macau tour guide who will escort you to Macau Venetian Hotel by private transfer.
Optional: Lunch Suggestion – Try out the Chinese Dim Sum or Portuguese dishes.
• Our Macau tour guide will spend the afternoon with you exploring the Historic Center of Macau, a UNESCO World Heritage Site home to over 20 architecturally important monuments including temples, churches, mansion houses… which are all interlinked by a network of European style streets, squares and piazzas. Browse through traditional antique shops and art galleries at the Senado Square area.
• We have arranged for you to enjoy seeing Macau at night by taking a dinner cruise. The triple-deck, 125-foot long ship (operated by Macau Cruise Development Company and launched in October 2011) will depart from Macau’s Inner Harbor, taking you for a round-trip around A-Ma Temple, Macau Tower, Sai Van Bridge, Kun Iam Statue and Macau Science Centre. The entire dinner cruise is approximately one and a half hour. You will be transferred back to the hotel after your dinner cruise.
• Night one at Macau Venetian.
Optional: For those who wish to relax after check-in, pamper yourself at one of Macau’s hotel-based spas in the afternoon.
• Escape the buzz of the city and head to islands of Taipa and Coloane accompanied by your private tour guide. Chapel of St Francis Xavier and Tam Kung Temple in Coloane mark the hallmarks of Macau’s dual Portuguese and Cantonese heritage and the village Marques Square is home to an array of cafes and restaurants.
• Continue the lazy afternoon with a visit to Our Lady of Carmel (a pastel and white neo-classical church built in 1885)… then move down to Avenida da Praia for the Taipa Houses Museum to find a beautifully restored row of early 20th-century houses and an avenue of banyans and flower-covered bowers. The first building is the Macanese House (filled with reproduction period furniture and furnishings in both Chinese and European style, illustrating the life of typical Macanese at the time). Next door is the House of the Islands (displaying maps, pictures and memorabilia from Taipa and Coloane). Then, the House of the Portugal Regions (displays of costumes, musical instruments and photos). Next is the Exhibition Gallery, with changing shows of photographs, paintings and poster (Note that the museums are closed on Monday).
• Bid Macau goodbye from high above, at the 1109-foot high Macau Tower. For a more extreme experience, walk the transparent floors of the observation deck.
Optional: Test your nerve — Try Bungee Jumping, Sky Jumping, Tandem Sky Jumping or Skywalk X!
Pick your choice of cuisine options for dinner before starting your evening with House of Dancing Water in the City of Dreams (House of Dancing Water is closed Tuesdays & Wednesdays).
• Today is a Free Day. No travel service will be provided. Spend the day either exploring the city at your leisure or venturing through the casino at Venetian, or different casinos in town.
• Night three at Macau Venetian.
|4||Macau/Hong Kong (B)
• Take private coach accompanied by the Macau tour guide from Venetian Macau to the Macau Ferry Terminal.
• Take the Ferry from Macau to Hong Kong.
• Upon arrival at Kowloon, meet & greet the Hong Kong local tour guide and transfer to hotel at Kowloon side. After you check in to your hotel, you can start to enjoy the shopping around your hotel area on your own. Night one at Hyatt Regency Hong Kong Tsimshatsui.
Transition to Hong Kong
Now you are back in Hong Kong, the Pearl of the Orient. The city’s vibrancy and cultural richness awaits you. One minute it’s a city with incredible structures of steel and glass cutting a figure of hip sophistication. The next minute, a nearby traditional Chinese temple with its coils of burning incense reminds us that people here are tied to deeply rooted traditions that still play a vital part in their lives. According to one novelist, “You can leave Hong Kong, but it will never leave you.” This city’s vibrant culture contains an exciting duality – a modern city’s vitality enhanced by a traditional society’s historical richness and color.
|Tour Schedule (continued)|
|5||Hong Kong (B, D)
• Enjoy a relaxing breakfast. Today your full day Hong Kong private tour will begin at 12:00 noon.
• After lunch, take a Sampan ride at Aberdeen Fishing Village. Continue your tour to visit Repulse Bay and Stanley Market. Afterward, take the tram to the top of Victoria Peak to enjoy a panoramic view of the city. Continue your tour to visit Golden Bauhinia Square where the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) is located on the waterfront in Wanchai. Proceed to the Pier for a Buffet dinner at Harbour Cruise—Bauhinia and enjoy the Symphony of Lights show with live music. Your dinner cruise ends at 9:30pm and you will be transferred back to your hotel by 10:00pm.
• Night two at Hyatt Regency Hong Kong Tsimshatsui.
|6||Hong Kong (B)
• Today you will experience a full day Lantau Island Tour followed by your choice of a city tour (9:30am-6:00pm) In the morning we bring you to the Lantau Island where you will see one of the largest Buddha statues in the world. You will also visit the Po Lin Monastery and enjoy Crystal Cabin Cable Car with glass floor… for an unforgettable experience.
Optional: Lunch suggestion at the Ngong Ping Village for a vegetarian meal.
• After lunch, you can select from one of the following two private guided city tours:
• Hong Kong In Living Colors:
• Kowloon Markets Walk:
• The city tour is a great introduction to life in Hong Kong/Kowloon and the back streets you may not have walked yourself. Night three at Hyatt Regency Hong Kong Tsimshatsui.
|7||Hong Kong (B)
• Today you will enjoy the Living Culture (Life in harmony: art, food, shopping, local activities, and reflexology). Enjoy a free day for shopping or select from the following menus of cultural activities and we will provide you the supplemental cost based on your selections. Feel free to call our travel consultants to discuss which activities suit you best. Night four at Hyatt Regency Hong Kong Tsimshatsui.
Supplemental Optional Venue Choices:
|8||Hong Kong to U.S.
Transfer from hotel to airport for a flight back to the U.S. on Cathay Pacific.
This Price includes:
• Roundtrip airfare on Cathay Pacific between San Francisco and Hong Kong on Economy Class (L Class). Supplemental rate available if upgraded to Business or First Class.
• All meals as stated on the itinerary.
o B = Breakfast in hotel
o L = Lunch outside of hotel at designated local restaurant
o D = Dinner outside of hotel at designated local restaurant
• Private English speaking guide and private car.
• Hotels (include Hotel Tax and Daily Breakfasts). Double Occupancy:
o Hong Kong, Hyatt Regency Tsim Sha Tsui, deluxe room. 4 nights.
o Macau, Venetian Hotel, standard room. 3 nights.
• Private airport transfers between hotel and airport as stated on the itinerary.
• Ferry fare between Hong Kong/Macau.
• Macau Dinner Cruise on Day 1 (Macau).
• Symphony of Lights Harbor Dinner Cruise on Day 8 (Hong Kong).
• Entrance fees to all venues listed in the itinerary.
Supplement Optional Venues:
• House of Dancing Water show on Day 2 (Macau) (Show closed on Tuesdays & Wednesdays).
• Heritage Tour (Hong Kong).
• Trail to the Hidden Oasis (Hong Kong).
• HK Traditional Lifestyle Tour (Hong Kong).
• Come Horseracing Tour (Hong Kong).
• Reflexology Session at Tai Pan Reflexology and Foot Massage Spa (Hong Kong).
• Contemporary Art and Antique Tour (Hong Kong).
• Fortune Teller and Palm Reading (Hong Kong).
The Price excludes:
• Incidentals at hotels such as spa treatments, long distance calls, mini bars and laundry.
• Meals not included on the itinerary.
• Venues not mentioned in the itinerary.
• Gratuity for Guides, Drivers and Porters.
• Hotels may be changed prior to tour but will be replaced with a hotel of a similar standard.
• Price and availability subject to change without notice until the deposit is received.
• Terms and Conditions same as Cathay Pacific China Experience.