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
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.
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.
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).
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
Labels: Abroad, Casino, Macau