Hey guys! Thank you for giving a positive response to my first post. After receiving such good feedbacks, I felt so much more excited to make posts. In my future posts I plan to discuss how to’s on different things concerning travels, in e.g. passport and visa applications, trip planning, etc. Please watch out for those too.
Macau, the Las Vegas of Asia, is our feature today. I absolutely adore Macau because it’s a perfect fusion of Eastern and Western cultures. Because Macau had been under Portugal’s rule, they have adapted a huge part of their culture, architecture, etc. I have to admit that I loved Macau because of it’s Portuguese influence. Having a really small Portuguese blood, I feel so alive being that close to a culture my ancestors used to be a part of. Now enough of the talk and more of the trip!
Date: March 2010 (It’s a bit cool during this season so I advice people who would visit around this time to bring warm clothes.)
Accommodation: Metropark Macau – What I like about this hotel is it’s accessibility to places such as Leal Senado. It’s just a simple hotel and it’s definitely better than Metropark Mongkok (I’ll discuss this in another post).
-Since Macau is just a small nation, most of cars there are relatively smaller than ours. Cars are driven on narrow and sometimes really curvy roads. I’d advice people who are not fans of speed to prepare themselves before they ride taxis in Macau. They are heavy speeders, even on sharp curves.
-English isn’t widely spoken. Oh, the dread.
-Macau is made up of 3 islands: Taipa, Coloane and Macau.
-They accept Hong Kong Dollars as a mode of payment.
Let’s explore Macau!
Since our stay in Macau is just short (1 1/2 day), we tried to squeeze in as much as we could in the limited time. We arrived at night so me and my cousins went out for a walk to enjoy Macau’s bright lights.
*Tip: Every 30 minutes, Wynn Hotel presents a fountain show. You can just stand by the park across the street and watch it for free.
On our first official day, my cousin booked us to a half-day tour at AVIS. They will give you a numbered map and you can just point to the driver the places you want to visit. You can go to as much places as you please but you must be able to have your last stop (lunch time) at the Macau Tower.
1. Our Lady of Penha Church, Penha Hill, Macau – Here’s a nice view of the Macau Tower from Penha Hill.
2. St. Paul Ruins, Rua de Sao Paulo, Macau – This place is a very wonderful spot for photos. It gives you that Christian European feel but it’s hard to take a really clean photo because tourists are everywhere. It’s hard to take a shot without a stranger’s head bobbing here and there.
3. St. Dominic Church, Largo de Sao Domingos, Macau – This church(upper left photo) can be found deep inside the picturesque Leal Senado.
4. Macau Tower and the 360 Cafe – This is one of my favorite parts of the tour. We get to have our lunch atop Macau Tower as it rotates and give you a full view of the islands without getting out of your lunch table.
Macau 360’s rates are: Tea Buffet (118 HKD) Lunch Buffet (208 HKD) Dinner Buffet (288HKD)
You can avail of their Bungee Jumping activity for 2,390 HKD. It’s pretty expensive but you’ll get bragging rights on jumping the highest altitude for a bungee jump! The bungee jumpers get off on the 61st floor so people who are eating at 360 Cafe (60th) will get to see falling people from time to time.
A cheaper 470 HKD is charged for the less adventurous, Skywalkers. You are required to wear orange suits which are strapped to a railing connected to the tower. You can walk and slide on the 61st floor’s edge. If you still find this rate steep, you can just go to Macau Tower’s observation deck which has an 80HKD entrance fee. Walk on see-through fiber glass floors and pretend to be suspended on air! It’s a really fun activity!
5. Leal Senado/ Senado Square – This place is very representative of Portuguese’ influence in Macau. It’s very enjoyable to take pictures here because it give a European plaza feel. The cobblestone street extends until St. Dominic’s church.
6. The Venetian – We visited this famous hotel to watch Cirque Du Soleil’s Zaia. Check out the hotel’s exquisite and elegant interiors. My eyes literally glittered with the sight of gold everywhere!
Zaia is such a wonderful thing to watch. The theater was especially built to suit the play’s different showcase. The whole area, including the audience’s overhead was utilized by the performers. I am thankful for being able to watch it because it has ended my then artist’s block. I felt so alive and inspired after watching that I actually thought of considering being a part of a production as big as that. The rates depend on the time you want to watch. For 3pm the prices range from 197-617HK, while the one at 6pm ranges from 388-788HKD.
*Try this: On the way to Zaia, you might pass by the casino area. If you’re a foreigner, you’re entitle to have 1 shot at the slot machines, just present to them your passport. Minors are not allowed in this area; so if you’re like me who’s frequently asked if I’m already legal, better have your passport with you at all times.
This indoor Venice-inspired area are for high-end shops and boutiques. You can avail of a gondola ride here.
7. Fisherman’s Wharf – It’s a famous amusement park on the coast of Macau. You can get in for free but some establishments may ask for entrance fees.
I feel a bit sad for having to take a ferry and leave for Hong Kong too soon. There’s just so much you can do in less than 2 days. Even if Macau is just a small place, I felt like there’s so much more to explore. I’d definitely go back here! Stand by for my next posts and until next time!