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Published: August 31st 2007
Ruins of St Paul
You wouldn't know you're in China!
I had a morning flight to Macau. My flight was actually cancelled the day before, and when I called to confirm, they put me on an earlier plane. Good thing my auntie told me to call the airline. I guess she's had that happen a few times in the past. My cousin arranged a car for me to the airport and the driver wouldn't stop talking to me about Buddhism. I really just wanted to sleep and not listen, but I politely listened anyway, considering my getting to the airport in a safe, timely manner was in his hands.
When I was boarding the plane, I noticed that the flight was 95% men. No joke. When we got off the plane, most of them continued to transferring flights to China. I guess they were going to Mainland for work. Interesting. Where the girls at?
Macau is make up of three islands: Macau, Taipa, Coloanne. They drive on the left in Macau, Macau uses the Pataca as currency, but HKD is widely accepted. I took a cab from Taipa, where the airport is to Macau island where I was staying.
I got a room at the Mandarin Oriental. I
Ruins of St Paul
St Paul's Church was built in 1602 but was destroyed by fire in 1835. Old facade remains. View from the Tourist Center.
decided on this hotel because it's considered a resort, not a casino. It was a bit expensive, but the room was big and service was great. Bathroom in the room was so-so. At first I thought I was getting ripped off, but I used the jacuzzi, pool, and very nice gym so I decided I got my money's worth. I watched Friends on the precor machine; the show has never seemed funnier to me! I realized I sorely miss American TV, fluffy big comfy bed and pillows, and hot showers with water that doesn't smell funny. Anyway, the hotel was a nice treat for me. The only drawback about the Mandarin is that it's close the Ferry Terminal, so it's hard to hail a cab since they all have passengers in them going to and from the Ferry station.
I started my day by visiting A-Ma Temple, which is Macau's largest temple. I wasn't too interested, however. I wouldn't recommend going there since it's a bit out of the way, but it was worth it because I went to a good restaurant which is right next to it, called A Lorcha. It was Portuguese food; I had grilled fish.
The restaurant was kind of expensive (around 90 HKD per person) or else I would have ordered more to just have a taste. The crowd next to me ordered all kinds of tasty looking dishes. Anyway, it was good and I was full.
I didn't see as much as I wanted because it was terribly hot. How come it seems like everytime I go somewhere it's sweat central? Anyway, I was planning to do all these walking tours, but there was no way I could have done it. I had to keep taking taxis, which were hard to hail, given the heat. I took a cab to Largo do Senado (the City Center). Most of the streets and places are named in Portuguese since Macau used to be administered by Portugal.
The entire city center is paved like mosaics, so pretty. I couldn't stop taking pictures of the ground. Can you imagine how much work it must be to pave the sidewalks?
Largo de Senado is beautiful. I went back in the evening to see it again... the lighting is pretty. This area is full of tourists and shops. Look at the cute McD's.
dripping sweat, but managed to walk to the ruins of St. Paul's Cathedral. Only the facade is left, but it is still Macau's most famous landmark. On the walk to St. Paul's, there are so many stores selling some kind of peanut cookie/candy and pork jerky. All the Hong Kongers where buying it up. I didn't think it was so awesome, but apparently that's the thing to buy.
On the walk back I tried to find a famous Portuguese egg tart shop, but unsuccessful. I love Portuguese tarts... they have a flakey crust and fluffy and custardy filling... yummy. Instead I walked through the other hotels and casinos. The Wynn looks just like the one in Vegas. Lots of ritzy stores and the same interior decorations. The new Grand Lisboa is still being built, but the outside is glittery with thousands of mirror-like tiles. It's pretty and tacky at the same time. So I go inside and I've never seen so many Asian people gambling! There were a bunch of games that I didn't recognize. Do they have dice in Vegas? I was so hot and sweaty I decided to go back to the hotel to shower.
Macau's best known casino
went back and relaxed and asked about the concierge about the egg tarts. (Lord Stow's is the famous egg tart shop, but too far from where I was). She gave me the name of the store, but the taxi queue outside was so long, I decided to walk. It took me forever to find it because you have to turn on some small streets which aren't on the maps. I asked 5 people and finally found my way. I had a coffee and a tart (Margaret's Cafe). I was pretty happy. I visited Largo Senado when it turned dark. Just as pretty as the daytime, and just as many tourists! I caved in and bought a small hamburger from the cute Mcdonalds too. I spoiled my dinner with my coffee and tart.
I went back to the hotel and went to the hotel pool and soaked in the jacuzzi. 😊 I then watched HBO and went to sleep in the fluffy big bed. Ahhh... nice sheets and pillows.
Morning I got up early went to the hotel gym and then went to the brand new Venetian hotel. It just opened this week, just my luck! The Venetian Macau
Center of Venetian Casino
They have circular escalators that go up to the Canal Shoppes.
is now the world's largest casino. The interior is just like the one in Vegas... all the decor is very grand and very pretty. The casino floor is massive.... just huge, like football field huge. I didn't have the time (or money!) to try my luck. I walked around the "Canal Shops" which is just like Vegas too. There is only one Starbucks in the entire casino/hotel/shops! I waited a total of 25 minutes for a latte! I walked around for nearly 1.5 hours and decided to make my way to the airport. The hotel was so busy that the taxi line was soo long! The Venetian has their own limo service and I hired a car to the airport (40 HKD = 5.50 USD). Phew.
Overall, I really liked Macau. It's like Hong Kong meets Vegas and Spain. There isn't the smog that Taiwan/HK has. The drawback is that everyone there speaks Cantonese or Portuguese. A bit more of a pain to get around too. Anyway, Macau is only 1 hour away from HK... I highly recommend a visit. I'd love to go back and check out the other islands of Macau.
I uploaded many photos; click
All men on my flight for some reason.
on the "next" page to see the rest of the photos.
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