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June 6th 2006
Published: January 21st 2014
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Woke up well before my alarm, well about ten minutes and that's good for me! I was totally knackered but hyper at the same time. I quickly finished packing and checked out leaving my bags at the guesthouse. Then it was time to go and meet Neleh and Michael for our trip to Macau.

First of all we headed to the Starbucks in the ferry terminal building for some breakfast. We were amazed because they sold sausage roll, it's the little things that make me happy! Was lush, not as good as home, but deffo passable. Then we headed upstairs to buy some ferry tickets and to get on our merry way. However the ferries were fully booked and we couldn't get on one another hour. We had to go through loads of immigration and customs stuff. the woman at passport control obviously didn't think I was really me, because she spent ages studying my passport and even asked me my name! I was a bit shocked.

We went to board the ferry and when we gave the bloke our tickets, only to find out that they had changed the gate number and not bothered to let us know. Nice! The ferry terminal was a bit of a mess with people queueing everywhere. So we managed to find the right queues and went to join the back of it. We checked our tickets with the bloke in front of us and his ticket was for the 11 am departure. Shit! So we legged it to the front and managed to get aboard. It was really difficult getting on the boat as the water was really choppy, and me and Neleh both fell onto the same bloke after we boarded. I was dreading the journey as the water was so choppy, but as soon as we had left the harbour the water was a lot smoother.

The journey across was smooth and it took about an hour. When we got off the ferry we decided to walk into the centre of Macau. As we were walking along we weren't too impressed with the place. It seemed to be all high rises and casinos. But then we found this little park thingy and watched the people doing their tai chi with fans. It was nice to watch and felt more authentic. Then we continued to head to the centre. The city centre was a stark contrast to the walk in. It was lush, there were brightly coloured Mediterranean stlye buildings. It was mad to think we were still in Asia! It felt like we had stepped back into Europe. We walked around the city centre and we were continually crossing from Portuguese inspired areas to Chinese influenced ones. There was also a lot less pollution here and we could see the sky! It was a miracle!

We stopped off at Hagen Daz for lunch, we had a chocolate brownie, really healthy! However the air-con was the most important thing and Haagan Daz had theirs pumping out lots of cold air. It was bliss! Just what we needed after getting hot and sticky on our walk around. We wandered to a church and then a fountain, and then another church. This is the infamous one in Macau, where it's only the front of the church and nothing else. It was amazing to look at, I wonder if this is really what was left, or if it was reconstructed, very impressive anyway. We also got to climb up to the first floor of the ruins and look out onto the square.

Our next port of call was the battlement walls. We had a walk around them and checked out the views. Macau has a real mix of architecture as there are quaint Portuguese bits, huge futuristic sky rises and then these really grotty massive 1960s style high rise flats. We decided that we would head back to the ferry terminal and check out a few more sights along the way.

We came across this gorgeous little park, totally by accident. It was filled with old Chinese men playing mahjong and old ladies fanning themselves and gossiping.We stopped to grab a fresh fruit juice at a stall/shop thingy and I noticed that I was quite sunburnt. Oops! We were runnig low on time so we decided to cut back through this park we were next to, to get to the ferry terminal. However the park had a huge hill in it. So we got the cable car to the top of the hill and then we had to figure out a way down to the bottom. We were starting to panic a little bit as it was really getting on and our ferry left at five, we had to be at the terminal by 4:45 and it was 4:30 by this point.

We ended up walking down this stair well, thinking that it would lead us out the other side of the hill, but when we got to the bottom it was locked. Bugger! We raced back up the stairs and out of the park,desperately trying to find a taxi. We went out of the same exit we had come in, so much for our ingenious short cut. We found one and he took us to the ferry terminal. We waited in line and got through customs, it was 4:50 by this point. I couldn't find my departure card to give the immigration guy and he was slightly kicking off about it, even though I'd filled in another one. He miraculously found it hidden in my passport. We ran to the gate and steeped on to the escalator which ended up going miles past our gate and we had to leg it half way back. Finally we made it on to the ship, and then we sat there for ten minutes. The bastards! After we had rushed all over and were totally knackered.

Back in Hong Kong I had a shower at Neleh and Michael's, it was nice to make use of the posh facilities. Then headed over to Kowloon to grab my backpack from the guesthouse. I took the airport bus and when I got checked in at the airport I was given a neon pink Qantas sticker to wear, I felt like a proper Chinese tourist. I went through and grabbed a Burger King for my dinner and dossed around until my flight was called.

On the flight I ended up sitting next to this older man from Perth. He normally flew business class, but this time was slumming it in economy. He had asked the stewardess for a glass of wine and they brought me one too as she didn't know if we were travelling together. Score! The meal was Sezchuan pork, which was really nice, but I was still canny full off my Burger King. There were loads of movies to choose from and I watched the end of Walk The Line, after failing to see the end in Beijing. We were given a booty bag of free stuff, with an eye mask, socks, toothbrush, toothpaste, and a key chain. I love free stuff. Then it was time to try and sleep.

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