Day 144: Tuesday, April 20th, 2010.
Hong Kong, Hong Kong to Macau, Macau. Per Intrepid notes, "In the morning after breakfast on day 2 we take taxis to the ferry terminal where we board our ferry to Macau (approx. 75 mins). After arriving in Macau we take taxis to our accommodation.
Sometimes referred to as the Las Vegas of the East due to the recent proliferation of casinos and nightlife hot spots, Macau nonetheless has some fascinating history to discover. As a former Portuguese colony only handed back to the Chinese Mainland in 1999 there is a unique fusion of Mediterranean and Asian influences in the architecture, culture and food.
We take a walking tour through the tiny charming streets of Macau to see the colonial architecture up close as well as sample some of the local snack such as egg tarts, almond cookies and barbecued meats along the way. We pass the magnificent ruined facade of the 17th century Church of St Paul and finish at the imposing Monte Forte, home to the world class Macau Museum. The evening is free to dine on some exquisite Cantonese-Portuguese fusion cuisine or be blinded by the glitzy casino lights."
So, yeah, ferry to
Macau. It was rainy and windy out so we weren't allowed out on the deck of the ferry (really nice ferry- very comfortable, bus-like seats). That was fine, I tried reading more of "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" but it still continues to bore me so I fell asleep. I wake up as we're pulling into the harbor of Macau and the city is truly impressive. It has some crazy architecture but it works. Already I can see why they call it the Vegas of China. We catch a couple of taxi's to our hotel, The Old London Hotel
, dump our stuff and go on a walking tour with Jerry.
He shows us Senado Square
, St. Dominic's Church
, and the ruins of St. Paul's
. Then we have some time to wander around on our own/crash at the hotel before meeting for dinner that night.
We're on our own for dinner so while Jerry does fun paperwork, the rest of us hit the casino's. We wandered thru the Wynn Casino
, the MGM Grand
and then go over the Macau bridge to The Venetian
. It was unusual/cool to walk thru the Venetian one and know that I had to been to the real Venice and I could identify the buildings/bridges/towers that
they were trying to duplicate. Hopefully I didn't bore/annoy the group by being that "yeah, I've been there" girl. It was just surreal to think that 1 year ago I hadn't been to any of these places (nor even known of some- had no idea where Macau was!) and here I was walking thru the Venetian in Macau and comparing it the real deal.
Anyway, so we did the buffet dinner at one of the casino's, can't remember where. It was a typical casino buffet- so it was good. A huge bonus was that they had ranch dressing. I didn't realize how much I missed that until I had it again- even went back for 2nds on the salad which, if you know me, is amazing. After dinner, at the Venetian, Amavalise (picture Billy Crystal saying "Marvelous darling", drop the "darling", add an "a" before it and that's how you say that name), Steve and Damon all wanted to gamble so they took off to various tables (Baccarat and Roulette). Myself, Gloria, Bruce, Sue and Paul went to the bar and got to know each other. Well, they already knew each other- they are all traveling together and have
been friends for many years. Before heading off to enjoy my crazy coca cola, I did a scan thru the slot machines because there were MANY that I recognized from my unfortunate 1 month employment at Finger Lakes Race Track. So, I was hoping they'd also have a silly machine called "Milk Money"
which was Mom's favorite. Thought I'd play $20 in her honor (and lose it- she always won, I always lost). However, couldn't find the machine and, with the others helping me look, even asked a floor manager and they said they didn't have that one anymore. Oh well- not a big deal.
Around 11, we all head off to catch the bus that will take us back to the mainland where we can then walk about 15 minutes to get back to our hotel. Already can tell this is going to be a great group- many laughs already being had.
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