A Day in Macau

Trip Start Aug 23, 1996
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Trip End Ongoing


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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

As we were in Hong Kong, and it is only an hour away by fast ferry, we decided to go and spend a day in Macau. Now I will e the first to admit that all I knew about this place is that it use to be owned by Portugal and that it is a gamblers paradise as this is Asia's version of Las Vegas, so we bought some tickets, and off we went.

Now before we left London, I was told by a couple of people, make sure you get off the ferry first, otherwise, you will wait ages, so this we did. Once through passport control, we got our bearings with the GPS and LP map, and figured that it wasn't all that far into town. Whilst working this out, a couple of locals came up to us offering us tours, we said no, but the second was quite insistent that we could not walk as it would take over two hours !!! He showed me a map, I told him that as Macau was a circus when it came to gambling, he was a clown !!! So we took his map and started walking, and about an hour later, we were in the centre. Now realistically, it should take less than this, but Macau places free gym equipment in parks, so we had a bit of a work out !!!

We started at the Largo do Senado, an old square with Portuguese buildings. Other than all the Asian people, we could have been in Europe. And it felt more so once we were in the green shuttered Church of St Dominic, followed by the Macau Cathedral, especially as there was a service going on in Portuguese. Down a couple of more lanes, looking at Euro buildings, and we came across the Portuguese Consulate, we couldn't escape Europe !!! Up a hill, and there it was, just like Lisbon, a fort. We walked in, taking the views of Macau in, but as it was raining on/off, was slightly difficult !!!

Just down from the fort is the most famous site of Macau, but as I knew nothing, I had to believe what the book told me !!! Here were the ruins of St Pauls. All that remained was the facade, but it must have been famous because it seemed that every tourist was here taking photos, so we joined in !!! We followed some more lanes, snacking on offerings that were given out, Lucy didn't like them much, but they were ok.

Our next stop was checking out some more churches and theatres. The theatre was closed, but the churches were not. We went in the them and they wer all being frequented by Filipino's as they are very religious as we all know. Down a hill, and we came across the old barracks that the Brits had built in a Moorish style for Indians that were stationed here in the old days, but you were not allowed in. So we walked on until we came to one of the largest Taoist temples in Macau, A-Ma temple. It was pretty impressive looking at the various sections, but so was the massive engravings on the boulders. Being different to Buddhism, I had no idea, so I shot, got soaked and walked back into town.

As we were in a kind of little Portugal, Lucy wanted a pateis de nata. Basically an egg tart, and Lucy eats them like there is no tomorrow in Portugal, so she was eager to try. They cost fuck all, but after eating one, she wasn't impressed !!! Back towards the ferry we headed, and just before we arrived, the world came into view. A casino with replicas of the Colosseum, Egyptian and Mayan ruins, a giant volcano, Hansiatic houses, a smaller Potala palace and a temple/palace like we saw in Bhutan !!! Apparently it was also an amusement park, but it was late, and we needed to get back to HK.

Macau GPS Link

And Finally

What a place. Full of CTS (Chinese) tourists, shooting away, no Westerners were seen, tourists that is, but also very weird. Would I rush back? Well, actually yes, because we didn't hit the casinos and you could spend days just looking at the churches.
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