Having transformed from a fishing village to a metropolis, Macao shares a similar history with Hong Kong. Now the city is famed for high-end casino resorts, so it is hard to imagine its humble past. If you’re interested in experiencing its history, Coloane is the perfect place. It is also a delight to spend a comfy afternoon there.
Coloane is part of a southern island of Macao. Because of reclamation, the once standalone Coloane island became connected to Taipa. It is easy to travel to this quiet fishing village of Macao. Several bus routes go there, such as lines 15, 21A, 26, 26A and N3.
The Coloane Village was a must-go. It was a residential area along the coast of Coloane. Near the dock, there was the colourful settlement of houses made of iron sheets. I was lucky to be there on a sunny day. It was a delight to see the colourful houses floating on the muddy beach against a bright sky. Sometimes people fished at the dock. What a relaxing afternoon.
The landmark of the area was the Chapel of St. Francis Xavier. The chapel was 90 years old, recognisable in the baroque architectural style and its yellow and white facade. It was built to commemorate the local people’s victorious fight against the pirates in saving a group of children held captive. The chapel used to house some Christian relics which were then transferred to other churches.
If you’ve seen enough of the urban hustle and bustle, this serene part of Macao would sure make your day.
Many rivers flow through Europe, some of which have become synonymous with the cities they belong, like River Thames in London, Seine in Paris and Danube in Budapest, Vienna and across many other borders. Lyon is a city where 2 rivers, the Saône and Rhône, converge, making one of the city’s unique features.
Lyon is the third largest city in France after Paris and Marseille. My stay there was enjoyable and relaxing. Thanks to the beautiful weather, I got to enjoy a laidback afternoon just hanging around the city centre and the old town.
The city centre is located between the Saône and Rhône on a peninsula. There are many monuments and heritage. Its city hall (the upper left construction) is one of the oldest buildings in the city, and has been classified as a French historic monument since the 18th century. The Église Saint-Bonaventure (the bottom right church) is another distinctive medieval church well preserved.
Having seen the heart of Lyon, roaming along the Saône would lead to the Vieux Lyon (the old town), a famed Renaissance neighbourhood. The lanes and constructions were of a classic gothic style. There were many pleasant shops and restaurants worth checking out. From the old town we could walk up a long staircase to the Fourvière hill to see the landmark of Lyon, the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière. If you don’t want to climb the hill, you can take the metro. But the fantastic view along the climb was really worth it! As for the beauty of the basilica, that’s another story.
里昂是法國繼巴黎和馬賽後第三大城市，我的里昂之旅亦十分愉悅。因為陽光明媚，只在里昂的市中心和里昂老城（Vieux Lyon）閒逛已足夠賞心悅目。里昂的市中心位於索恩河和隆河匯流的半島上，此處有許多歷史建築和遺蹟，里昂市政廳（左上圖建築）便是里昂其中一座最古老的建築，於十八世紀起已被評為法國歷史古蹟。除了宏偉的市政廳外，此處的聖文德堂（Église Saint-Bonaventure）（右下圖教堂）是難得保存良好的中世紀教堂，值得一看。
逛完里昂的市中心，沿着索恩河岸走便會到達里昂老城，里昂最歷史悠久的地區，亦是歐洲知名文藝復興街區。街道和建築瀰漫着典型的哥德式風格，並有許多商店和餐廳值得一逛。從里昂老城有一條長石階可爬上富維耶山（Fourvière hill），知名的里昂地標富維耶聖母聖殿（Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière）就位於山上。如果不想爬山，也可乘搭地鐵，不過上山沿路景緻極佳，搭地鐵可能就要錯過了。幾經辛苦到了山頂，聖殿美得震撼人心，但關於它的美又是另一個故事了。
Chania is the second largest city in Crete after Heraklion and one of the most popular tourist destinations on the island.
As the city was once ruled by the Venetians, the style of the buildings was heavily influenced by Venetian elements. Many other historical heritage remained from the period, like the Venetian lighthouse, fortifications, walls, etc. along with some mosques that survived from the history of Ottoman rule after the Venetians. All together made a distinctive skyline, especially in the Venetian Port in the old town. Along the coast, tourists can also opt for horseback riding for an exotic stroll.
Walking around the old town was such a delight; it literally rolled back time with all those quaint and historic houses and lanes. There were lots of interesting stores and inviting restaurants. It was a good place to shop for handicrafts, leather goods, olive products, etc. I spent a relaxing afternoon around the area and had a nice tea with fantastic sea views. No wonder people fall in love with the city.
How to get there?
I took a bus from Heraklion, taking about 4 hours to get to Chania. Alternatively, people go by plane to Chania International Airport from Athens. During popular seasons, there are direct flights from other countries. Go by ferry from Athens is another option.
Read more or book: Hotels in Chania
Thanks to the promise to pay a courtesy visit, I’ve given myself a chance to visit this hidden pearl of creativity in Bangkok – Thailand Creative & Design Center (TCDC). It is situated in the revitalized eighty-year-old building that once was the Bangkok General Post Office. Ever since I stepped in the reception area, I found myself being immersed in the sea of innovation, creativity and knowledge. It was really an amazing experience and very inspirational! Would love to visit again and spend more time there.
For accommodation, we stayed at Renaissance Bangkok Ratchaprasong Hotel, for its central location in the city and value-for-money it could bring. This was the second time I stayed here. The club lounge was great – the food, the services. Special thanks to Ms. Dew for her kind help in making reservations for dinner and everything. Will stay again.
答應要拜訪泰國的創意設計中心（Thailand Creative & Design Center，縮寫TCDC），讓我有機會發掘這個隱藏在曼谷的創意寶藏。TCDC位於一幢有八十年歷史的活化樓宇，前身是曼谷中央郵局。由踏入接待處開始，我彷如置身創意的海洋，中心展現了智慧、科技和創造力，充滿啟發性，值得再訪，下次還要多待點時間。