I thought I will write a bit about the organization of my trip, that may help one of you if you’re planning to go to Macau. I split it more or less 3 sections Travel/hotel/Must do and don’t.
Singapore – HK Airport with Jet Star early morning flight (6:30am and landed around 10:30am) then
HK Airport Ferry Terminal – Macau Ferry Terminal with TurboJet. It is slightly pricier than taking the Ferry from HK but faster since you don’t have to go to HK and come back to Macau. It also has the advantage to avoid Customs since you stay in the International Zone while transferring from HK Airport to the Ferry terminal. One thing though, although the trip is about 45 min, departures are less frequent. You can check on the company website www.turbojet.com.hk/en/
Congratulations to those of you who rightly guessed both locations. Answers are Macau for Casinos & Hong Kong for HSBC.
Now let me narrate my trip – I should start with Macau and keep the best for later 😉
National flag of Macau
Also I should probably start by showing you where exactly it is in the map 😉 (It’s ok I didn’t really know where it was before I came to Asia or worst that the country exist)
Macau like Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China; however, where Hong Kong was British for about 150 years, Macau was Portuguese for more than 400 years. Yes, Portugal had a colony in Asia!
When walking around Macau (which by the way is very safe) Portuguese heritage is easily recognizable. It starts with architecture such as administrative buildings, churches including the famous Ruins of St Paul, well-known Portuguese pavement most noticeable at Senado Square, but also street names among other things.
St. Dominic’s Church, Macau
Ruins of St. Paul’s, Macau
Civil and Municipal Affairs Bureau, Macau
Street name, Macau
Senado Square, Macau with portuguese pavement.
Although you can easily see European influence you still very much know you’re in Asia because of, well, because of the people around you! 🙂
I find the Macanese people very nice and friendly. I think most of them have never really see a black guy western style. (You know me when I put my SWAG on :-)) The reason I’m mentioning this is because due to Portugal presence also in Angola, Macau somehow has a little Angolan community.
Back to locals, the one thing unfortunate for me during the trip was I don’t speak Cantonese, so I couldn’t really communicate with people as much as I wanted to. Below is a short story that can give you an idea of what I’m talking about.
Mc Donald, Macau
At Mc Donald (Yes I have that thing in any country I go to I have to taste a Mc Donald’s Big Mac and Coke as well) after ordering I see the price on the counter and it shows HK$34. While then preparing my money, the server tells me ‘it’s 64 dollars’, so I gently smile and reply to him ‘no it’s 34 dollars’… It’s only after 15-20 sec that I realize he isn’t joking, no he really thinks read 34 sound sixty-four. When he finally realized his mistake (add another 20 sec), he looked at me and we both had a quick laugh. Funny thing is I honestly think he wasn’t still convinced… haha
Although the burger was good, it’s worth mentioning Macanese cuisine is very unique and consists of a combination of Southern Chinese and Portuguese cuisine. I tried different things such as famous Pastéis de Nata or commonly know as Egg Tart, the sweet dried meat found on display around the town called Bakkwa, for breakfast I also tried a bun (although this might be more common in Hong Kong). Unfortunately I did not have a proper meal (I know shame on me!)
Lastly, Macau is world known to be the “Las Vegas” of Asia, and actually generate more revenues than the American city. Overall I find Las Vegas more live, but it’s worth mentioning that I was in Macau during low season, the weather was quite bad, and it was a Thursday…