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Published: January 6th 2018
November 2017, Macau was finally crossed out on my bucket list. This Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China is known as "Where East Meets West", "The Las Vegas of Asia", "The Gambling Capital of Asia", and so on. Macau was once under the Portuguese territory. Most signage here were multi-lingual: Chinese, English, and Portuguese same with its melting pot culture.
Day 2 of our Hong Kong trip, we got up early that day, left our guesthouse, took MTR going to Sheung Wan Station (Island Line) then headed off to Hong Kong Macau Ferry Terminal at Shun Tak Center, rushed to the Hong Kong Immigration Unit to filled up the departure slip, passed the Hong Kong Immigration Unit, and boarded at Cotai Water Jet heading off to Taipa. Our one way fare was HKD165.00. Travel time was approximately 1 hour; our schedule was 8:30AM. We just entertained ourselves watching TV while on board with my 2 friends but eventually, we fell asleep.
Reached Cotai Jet Taipa Terminal in Macau after an hour, had our passport validated at Macau Immigration Unit at Taipa Terminal (no stamping of passport required; the Immigration Officer handed to us the arrival card only with a specific date
of until when we are allowed only to stay as tourist, same in Hong Kong) then we started our tour. There's a free buses provided by some hotels and casinos so we all decided to took advantage of it. It was like I was transported into a different world. Macau has a relaxed and an approachable vibe. Macau is a mix of blended culture and very rich historical background. In between its modern and world-class hotels and casinos full of glitz and glamour, up to the century old establishments, it keeps itself low key.
The Venetian Hotel and Casino was our first destination. It is one of the largest and a world-class hotel and casino operating at Taipa, has a beautiful and gorgeous paintings at the ceiling and has Grand Canal with a gondola just like the country, Venice. We settled down at Lord Stow's Bakery for a lemonade and its famous Portuguese egg tart for MOP38.00. Macau accepted Hongkong dollars, by the way.
Our next stop was Parisian Hotel and Casino. Same with Paris, it has an Eiffel Tower replica outside the hotel and casino that truly reminded us of the iconic Paris Eiffel Tower and has also grand
Senado Square scene.
You just can't helped but noticed different people from different parts of the world gathered here.
painting at the ceiling. Off to next destination, we hailed a taxi (MOP89.00) heading off to Senado Square or Largo do Senado, one of the tourist spot in Macau gathering people from all over the world with different races, language, accents, and yes, skin tone.
Ruins of Saint Paul's (Ruínas de Sāo Paulo) comes next. It is one of the most visited and one of the most photographed tourist site at Macau. We entered this small alley heading off to Ruins of Saint Paul's that has stores side by side selling meat jerky in pork or beef usually cut into strips and some snacks like bread, cookies, etc. Koi Kei Bakery is one of the existing bakery at Macau. We have enjoyed the free food sample and it is unlimited.
Unlike Hongkong, Macau is simply unique and humble in its kind. It's historical background is a blended Chinese, Portuguese, and even Japanese culture. Portuguese made great contribution to the numerous Catholic churches, buildings, establishments (some turned into shops, cafes, and restaurants) and the well-preserved cobble-stoned streets that is existing today in Macau. No wonder, there are at least 29 UNESCO-listed sites here. Saint Dominic's Church (Igreja de São Domingos) was
Some Portuguese-style buildings and church spotted at Senado Square.
established by the Spanish Dominican priests in 1587. This century-old Baroque-style church is included in the Historic Center of Macau (Centro Histórico De Macau).
Our day tour in Macau lasted until the afternoon only. We walked going to Grand Lisboa (one of the oldest casino in Macau) main entrance and waited for the free bus heading off to Cotai Water Jet Taipa Terminal. We're going back again to Hong Kong feeling in regret as we only have a very little time (again). But I told myself, I'll be back here one day and see the Macau Tower closer. After the Macau Immigration clearance in Taipa Terminal, we boarded at Cotai Water Jet and feel as sleep as soon as we can. Definitely, Macau will always have a place on my mind, in my heart, and soul.
Literally back to Hong Kong, our next stop was at Sky 100, one of the tallest skyscraper in Hong Kong. From Sheung Wan MTR Station (Island Line), we took subway going to Hong Kong West Kowloon Station (Tung Chung Line). This gave us a chance to overview the panoramic Hong Kong 360 degrees way.
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