It's getting colder and colder here in Vancouver and I really can't help but to reminisce the fun trip to Macau I had a month ago. We took the ferry early in the morning and then we headed out - without much planned, to the city of Macau. Macau is one of the two special administrative regions of China, so when you're coming from Hong Kong, you would need to go through customs, etc., so I do recommend to leave a little earlier.
The ferry ride took about 45 mins - and I must say, it was a pretty bumpy ride!
Location: Macau, China
One thing you'll notice in Macau is the multitude of motorcycles... they're everywhere!
It kind of reminded me of Intramuros in Manila, because there were Portugese signs everywhere. The Portugese language is a little similar to the Spanish language, and Macau was a Portugese colony while the Philippines was a Spanish colony. The architecture was very inspiring!
Couple things we had to try though. I've never had hot milk pudding... but it was surprisingly good! Apparently Macau is known for milk pudding. I'm not quite sure why, but go ahead! Try it.
And really, what's a trip to Macau without trying the porkchop bun? The first one we tried wasn't good though. We had to look for THE BEST one. From what I heard, the Cafe Tai Lei Loi Kei was the best one. I think they started with it, and everyone followed along. It's not really very hard to replicate... it's a really good pork chop coated with a bit of sauce. I'll post it later when we actually found the spot!
At this point, we decided we were going to go hotel hopping. Thanks to most of the hotel/casinos having free shuttle to and fro the ferry, we were able to visit a lot of the hotels. I haven't been to Vegas in a while, but definitely the familiar names like MGM, the Venetian, Wynn, had their "mini versions" there as well.
Can't help but compare, right? C says the real thing is incomparable. Either way, we had a lot of fun hotel-hopping!
And so we were at MGM and we discovered that they had a butterfly exhibit. Now, we didn't really intend to go there but when we were looking for the exit... lo and behold! We found this beautiful garden paradise bathed in gorgeous sunlight! I found that when I was in HK and Macau, I rarely got to appreciate the sky and the sunlight, as you can barely see it with all the towering structures. But this... this was breathtaking!
It was a little bit like wonderland there, with trees that had colorful pinwheels, green grass, white benches... I couldn't resist taking photos of my new satchel that I had bought from HK for CAD$5!!! I was a very happy camper.
That observatory/space hub looking thing was where the butterflies were contained. I was in too much awe of the place I almost forgot about the butterflies!
Inside was a little haven for butterflies. There were plans and artistic man-made branches and... iPads!!! I was too amazed that I forgot to take a photo of the iPads. Not too sure what they were for, but the iPads were showing videos of other butterflies pollinating flowers. Now, I don't know for sure if butterflies can watch videos with their complex eyes, but I hope they get the idea as there were at least 50 of them "flying around" !!
And of course we had to take a photo in this pretty place. Thanks Betty!
Right before the exit, we found a little gelato place and we couldn't resist to get a cup!
The verdict... I miss gelato in Italy. Something about having it there when I had my student exchange program made it all the more memorable and delicious. Nonetheless, it was a cold treat for such a humid and hot country.
The last hotel we visited before heading into the more historic part of Macau was the Venetian. What can I say? It's glamorous!
Even though I know it's just a hotel, I think the idea of Venice and anything Venetian-inspired takes my breath away. I love the architecture and the canals and the singing - oh yes, the gondoliers were singing arias and this enclosed space made their captivating voices echo in everyone's ears (it's kind of like... singing in the shower!). The shopping scene is totally different though, I mean, you don't really get these big brands right beside the canals in Venice :) And this part of the world, it doesn't rain and the skies are always blue! How I wish it is always like that in Venice!
Tucked away in the food court of the Venetian we found a stall that was another branch of the best pork chop buns in Macau! So we had to try it. Now this was good. The first one was dry and it didn't really have that much taste. This was soft, and it had the bone in it, too. I think the bone plays a role in the taste somehow.
On the subject of food, it seems like it was never ending. When we headed to the historic part of Macau, we had to stop by at Margaret's for the famous egg tarts. The place was swarming with people and everyone was enjoying a hot egg tart fresh from the oven. So we had our 6 and we ate two each! It was de-li-cious!
Since C had basically gobbled up his share of the egg tarts, he started to wander around looking at telephone lines. I thought his pose (and the background) was picture worthy and I totally cannot resist putting it up here. (Sorry dear!)
On the note of having motorcycles around Macau, I couldn't help but notice these more traditional forms of transportation. In Manila, it would be a tricycle that is actually powered by the driver. Looks fun but we decided we had to head!
So here we are at the famous Senado Square!
Notice the traditional Portugese pavement. Texture heaven!!
They had these signs all around the area, so hoping you won't get lost!
Couldn't help but notice these old school street vendors as well. Can't. stop. looking. at. all. those. textures!!!
On the way to seeing the ruins of St. Paul's Church, we saw many of these vendors selling souvenirs and goods to take back. Macau by the day is definitely populated with tourists that go only either for the day or for maybe a couple days. Almost every store sells the same things! You won't go hungry sampling all the food!
And we arrive at the St. Paul's Church ruins! As Betty says... it reminds us of the Barasoain Church, which is a famous church with a lot of historical significance in Bulacan, Philippines. I would definitely say the same, as there are some similarities with the Spanish and Portugese influences.
Just a quick picture of me and Bets! :)
All day we didn't have wifi, and guess who found wifi.
And that's our quick day-trip to the city of Macau! It was fun. I would recommend buying your return tickets in advance as we had to scramble a bit heading back. Heading early is also good as the ride was extra turbulent on the way back. :)
So, that's the end of this photowalk blog post. Perhaps you would visit Macau soon?