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Published: January 7th 2017
After a late checkout from the Baiyoke and a half hearted final look round the market we were on our way to Don Muang Airport yet again, this time to catch our flight to Macau. We arrived early evening in the dark to an almost deserted airport, thankfully Howard had sussed out which bus we needed so all we had to do was get some MOPs out of the ATM and then find a shop so we could get coins as that is all the bus takes.
Eventually we had coins, found the bus stop and then the bus arrived, the driver had no idea what we were saying, everything was in Chinese but Howard just stuck some money in and off we went. He knew it was only 4 stops so we counted them off and got off next to a roundabout covered in roadworks. Still to this day I can not believe he sussed that all out and we were actually over the road from the Inn Hotel in Taipa our base for the next 2 nights.
We were the only westerners! A couple of the staff spoke a little English, including one of the managers who
when ever he saw us made a point of coming over to talk to us. Our room was up on the 17th floor and looked out over loads of trees on a hillside - Macau surprisingly has lots of green areas and even more hills.
The next morning we headed to breakfast and were a bit disappointed when we saw the large salad bar and not a lot else but the waitress handed us a piece of paper which had 3 choices on it in Chinese and English! Result, hash browns, fried eggs and ham! The tea was builders but stewed to death with only condensed milk to go in it but the orange was nice and the toast was real and not sweetened bread so we were pretty chuffed.
After another chat with the manager we caught the hotel shuttle bus over to the very posh sister hotel on the north side - The Grand Emperor. Bizzarely it had a British theme and even had a couple of very self conscious westerners dressed as beefeaters guarding the main doors ha ha we had a right chuckle at that! Inside was a gigantic picture of the Queen and
set into the floor were real solid gold bars!!!!!!! You then went up the escalator to the casino, we had a quick look in but couldn't make any sense of it so left.
We then walked on to The Grand Lisboa, a building Howard really wanted to see as it was totally unreal and an amazing piece of architecture, design and all the rest of it, have a look at the photo as I don't know how to describe it. Inside was another casino and roped off in glass cases were the worlds largest emerald and diamond. The money floating around here is unreal!!! all the shops are the top end designer or gold and jewellery shops.
We kind of followed the flow feeling a little dazed by it all and ended up in the old Portugese area. So we climbed the steps up to St.p a ups Ruin, hiked up to the fort on top of the hill with good views over the city, tried one of the free samples of biscuits on the way down the street but passed on the beef jerky in many strange flavours.
It was then a massive walk up and
down hills through the area, seeing churches, houses, squares, Christmas trees, nativity scenes and a quick look in the library...well actually it was to use the loo and it was all interspersed with Chinese blocks of flats, everyone's washing hanging off balconies, very different. We ended up at the A-Ma Chinese Temple where we climbed up yet more steps amongst great clouds of incense.
Then it was time to consult google maps to find our way back, rather than retrace our steps we carried on, past the naval shipyard area, missed the road we should have taken, probably for the beet as it was up yet another hill and walked miles round all the waterways BUT they had proper pavements! And it was super clean everywhere and there was hardly any one else around. We kept doing 10 minutes then having a rest (it was very hot!) on one of the millions of benches and got great views of the Macau Tower, we watched a few people doing the Sky Jump, like a bungee but much more controlled and thought why????
Eventually we were nearing the main area again and dotted along the riverside were all these cute
little plastic figures, they kept popping up everywhere In Macau. Then it was shuttle back to the hotel and then the Evening Meal experience!! Which actually merits about 10 ! But I will resist.
So we are back in the dining room along with about 3 other customers and approximately 10 members of staff, one speaks a little English but this isn't a problem as the menu is printed in both languages. We decide to go for the set meal and it all looks straight forward, pick one choice from each course, but no the waitress then has to mark this off on the sheet written only in Chinese and she doesn't speak English.
Assisted by another waitress who speaks a bit of English and eventually by counting along we manage to get the right boxes ticked. I will start by saying Howard really liked his food all though it all arrived at different times, I on the other hand ended up fairly hungry that night! I picked the daily soup as it was vegetable and possibly pork was mentioned, a bowl of murky liquid arrived, tried a bit and it was pretty tasteless but at least it
was hot, however when I got further down this 'thing' emerged, to this day I don't know what it actually was but please see the picture!!!! I also unearthed a few bits of toenails but by now was ready to be sick, needless to say I didn't finish the soup. Plates of stewed lettuce in oyster sauce arrived (I didn't want to pick any of these but was made to), one mouthful was enough. However I did get a nice mini bowl of ordinary lettuce leaves and the deep fried wedges were edible.
All the while the staff watched us like hawks and the second something was finished the plate was removed, my side of the table remained full ha ha, I also managed to knock my fork off the table, that was pretty loud on the marble floor and all the staff pounced! Eee gods I was relieved to get back to the room still feeling hungry.
It did mean that I didn't complain about having to get up early again for breakfast!
Our flight to Manila didn't leave until late that night so we checked out, put the bags in storage and set off to
catch the bus to Cotai Strip, the Asian Las Vegas and this time we were going to suss those casinos out! We had enough coins for the bus there and reckoned we were bound to find a shop to get change in to come back, fools!
The bus was fine, there was nearly a punch up as some ignorant bloke nearly wiped out this tiny woman with his bag, but after lots of shouting they then ignored each other and fortunately our stop arrived and we were at the Strip. Only it wasn't a strip just a collection of huge casino hotels dotted about in their own grounds with a couple of linking walkways but mainly just very long roads which at this time were building sites.
We went into the Venetian and I must say Vegas has nothing to worry about the standard of the paintings and decor was pretty naff. We walked miles and miles and in the distance past another diversion and load of workmen we saw the Dancing Fountains we got there just as they finished. However there was a free cable car ride around the fountain area and up into the casino, I
think it was called Wynns. We did that only to discover if you wanted to ride back down again you had to pay, sod that, so we trekked through the casinos many floors and walked and walked through corridors until we finally found a way out, past quite an impressive flower sculpture that looked like hot air balloons, but we did manage to catch the full dancing fountains show which was pretty.
Then we trudged to the Hard Rock Hotel, everything was mega bucks, found the casino and sussed it out! You had to change your MOPs for Hong Kong Dollars and then the machines worked????? Anyway we while away a couple of hours on the slots, having a good rest and a laugh. This went a bit sour as we could not find any ordinary shops and could not get any bloody coins so we had to walk the whole way back, I was not happy.
Luckily the park we eventually went through had moving walkways for a lot of it and the park itself was really sweet. All the bushes and flowers looked like lollipops!!
Finally we got back to the hotel, caught a taxi
to the airport and had a McDonald's for tea!
Next stop Manila.
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