Until about 6 months ago, I have never even heard of Macau. I did, however, hear about it as my GM Patrick visited Macau. So, once I booked my flight to Hong Kong I was sure I had to visit Macau as well.
Macau is one of the two provincial-level of the Peoples Republic of China, the other being Hong Kong. Macau lies on the western side of the Pearl River Delta across from Hong Kong, which is about 64 kilometers to the east. With an estimated population of around 636,200 living in an area of only 30.3 km2 (11.6 sq mi), it is the most densely populated region in the world. As Portugese Macau, it was administered by the Portugese Empire and its inheritor states from the mid-16th century until late 1999, when it was the last remaining European colony in Asia under Portugal.
Same as Hong Kong, it is under the policy of “One country two systems”, with the Republic of China. Macau is one of the world's richest cities. It became the world's largest gambling center in 2006, with the economy heavily dependent on Gambling and tourism, as well as manufacturing. Enough about the city :o)
I reached Macau within an hour from Hong Kong by Super Jet boat. The ride was pretty nice, seeing the beautiful landscape seamed with green hills leading straight into the ocean.
Once arrived, I headed straight to the Tourist Office (quite Touristy I know :o) ) but there was one thing I really wanted to know…I always saw these amazing pictures of a certain, incredible looking temple, when I researched about Macau. But, I just couldn’t figure out the name or location of the place. Hence, Tourist Office was my only chance. And they DID help me :o) I was explained that this is A- Ma Cultural Village in the very south of Macau. Just as they suggested me to do, I took the shuttle to the Venetian Hotel (yes just like the one in Las Vegas) and from there the Taxi. The Taxi driver was a bit surprised by my request. Reaching the place on top of the hill, I was offered with a spectacular view. First full I couldn’t believe that I was nearly all by myself up there. No tourists!! Plus the place was so gorgeous. After wandering around up there for a bit and exploring the temple area I was ready to go back to Macau….but how? It was just myself and 3 Chinese Tourists up there, out in nowhere land :o) So, I waited, and waited and waited. After about 45mins. a shuttle-bus finally arrived, which drove us back down the hill.
Next place I visited was the famous Senado Square. You totally feel like in Europe. From there I walked to the Ruins of St. Paul. The way to the Ruins was packed with people….crazzzyyy :o)
I needed a little break after that, so I walked to Lou Lim Lok Garden. Such a peaceful place. I watched the older generation of locals playing board games and it almost seemed a bit too much, a bit like in a Movie :o)
I read somewhere that Sun Yat Sen Park was supposed to be the “most Chinese” Park of them all. So I walked all the way there. The Park is right on the boarder to China. I must say, I was a bit disappointed. I thought that the previous park was a lot nicer. But, what to do. A quick stop at a Take away, I tried to order some food, but I quickly realized that the Mom and Son (at least I guess so :o)) didn’t speak a word of English. Hence I mooed, gaggled and grunted my way through the animal kingdom and their menu, to find out what to order. A quite fun way for the three of us to order my food :oD
I was also quite tired by now from all the walking and my legs started to get really sore. Plus it was extremely humid and hot again. Hence, I decided to take the cab back to Fisherman’s Wharf. That again, was disappointing. However, this time I must say it was my fault. I expected it to be an actual Fisherman Wharf. But all it was, was a kind of an amusement area with many shops. Not mine. So I decided to walk back to the ferry.
I reached Hong Kong at 20:30hrs. Looking at the sky, I noticed that the clouds had disappeared and there was a nice view over the skyline. I quickly decided to take the Star Ferry across the bay to take advantage of the good weather and take some shots of the skyline at night. So, I was there at the Avenue of Stars, gazing at the beautiful skyline, wanting to take a picture….but my camera was dead. Aaaarrggghhh. I was so angry with myself. How dumb is that. Really frustrated I stumbled back to the MTR, grabbed a taxi and went back to the hotel, hoping I would get a second chance to take nice shots of the skyline at night.
Macau sure is a special place. It is China, but so very European/ Portugese. Even all the signs, actually everything, is written in Cantonese and Portugese. How cool is that :o)
Do definitely visit Macau if you ever find yourselves in Hong Kong!
I'm Cindy. I love to board planes which bring me to new and unexpected places. Born in Switzerland am I currently living/working in Maldives.