Macau, mix of east and west

April 2014

Macau and Hongkong was our first official family trip to a foreign location (Thought we had travelled to Bhutan last year, my wife refuse to accept it as a foreign country!!). My friend Sankara who has accompanied me in many of the earlier trips also came with his family.

Macau, an erstwhile Portuguese colony now in the hands of China is a mix of Asian and European culture. As part of “One Country, two systems” policy of China, Macau along with Hongkong enjoys limited amount of freedom. Being famous for the casinos, Macau attracts people from Mainland China and other countries.

Reaching Macau is simpler. From Hongkong Airport, people can directly reach ferry point without crossing immigration. It is then an hour’s journey to Macau on ferry. Airlines even check-in the luggage till Macau!! Only restriction being that the ferry should be booked in advance (Link here) and the ticket should be shown to the airline staff while checking in. It is a very simple and hassle free process.

Sea bridge in Macau
Our flight landed in Hongkong on time. We had budgeted some time for delays and hence had to wait for sometime before getting onto ferry. Ferry was quite luxurious and much to my surprise sailed like a speed boat. The journey was smooth as the weather was not windy. Being tired from flight journey, I just dozed off!!

Inside the ferry
The immigration at Macau was the easiest one I experienced so far. No need to fill any forms. Just present the passport and they give us a 30 day visa within few seconds!! And no stamping on the passport.

Check-in bags being loaded
Opposite to ferry terminal was bus terminus where hotel shuttles operate. Once in hotel, we quickly freshened up and hit the streets. We were little tired but all we had was a day in Macau. So, we had to make full utilization of that. Rest and sleep could wait.

Lisboa hotel
Near to our hotel was Casino Lisboa, one of the biggest casinos in Macau. The place was bustling with tourists. Having decided to enter casino in the night, we spent some time in photographing buildings around the place and proceeded further.

Senado square
Our destination was Senado square, where the pavements are made of hand laid limestone pieces. Surrounded by several Portuguese style building, this is one of the most photographed places in Macau. There are many Cathedrals and Churches around this area. St. Dominic’s Church was one of them.

The end of our long walk brought us to St. Paul’s ruins. The road leading to this place was filled with shops selling pillets and all of them had meat in it!! We had to settle down for some light weight snacks at Starbucks. Spent a long time around St. Paul’s.

Ruins of St. Paul
Our next stop was Macau Tower. Since it was little far, we took a public bus to reach that place. The main attraction of this 1109 ft building is adventure sports. The bungee jump from this tower is said to be the one of the highest in the world. Skywalk on the perimeter of the top floor is another adventure. For acrophobic person like me, skywalk inside the floor would suffice. We can walk on the glass floor where the road some 1000 feet below is visible. It was hard for me to walk looking down but finally managed it. Never had the guts to go outside and try the hard stuff. (It is safe as people would be tied to a pole and not left free).

Macau tower
South East Asian countries provide challenge for vegetarians. There are hardly any vegetarian items present in local hotels. There were few Indian hotels but all of them situated in Taipa Island. We decided not to try searching for Indian stuff and settled ourselves in a Pizza Hut. They had some vegetarian stuff that was good for our dinner.

View from Macau tower

Macau was a short stay for us. But indeed it lived up to our expectations.

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