Macau

Make a short day trip to Macau. Since it is only nearby and no visa required. Compare to Shenzen or Ghuangzhou you need a visa to visit as it is considered as China. However not for Hong Kong and Macau. Both are China but with special authority or known as Special Administrative Region (SAR). This is due to both area were previously colonised by British and Portugal. Only in 1997 Hong Kong was returned while Macau in 1999. Very interesting and unique administration concept. Well that's a brief of history.

I am more interested to focus on my journey to Macau. It started early in the morning an MTR ride to Sheung Wan where the ferry terminal is located. I took the Turbojet ferry. Going to Macau I took the Super Class going back economy. I purchase the 8:30 am ticket however ride the 8:15 am since I arrived a bit early. You can purchase but board the earlier ferry subject to availability, but not vice versa. After the immigration clearance I went straight to the ferry. Visiting Macau is like a visit to another country where you need to chop your passport, surrender Hong Kong departure card and fill-in Macau arrival card. Journey through the ferry is about an hour. The boat is super efficient and scheduled at every 15 mins interval. Very convenient for economy return it cost you around RM130/pax. Super Class RM40 more for one way.

As scheduled arrived Macau at the Main Ferry Terminal around 9:15am. After the immigration clearance went to the bus stand for a ride to any of the casino. Macau is so famous with its casino, there more than 30 casinos around where most of it owned by Stanley Ho, a Hong Kong tycoon that start the casino business in Macau more than 40 years ago. Until today he dominated the Macau casino scene or maybe in Asia with more than 20 casinos in Macau are owned by Stanley. However currently at the age of 86 he is battling with the wealth and fortune crisis with his owned family. The news made an headlines in Hong Kong daily since my stay there. Oh forgot to mentioned, the ferry that I rode and the terminal that I used in Hong Kong is also owned by the tycoon.

At the bus stand various buses are on standby ready to pick you to any of the casino. There are a lot of famous casinos around like the MGM, Sands, Wynn, City of Dreams, Venitian, Golden Lisbao, Galaxy and many more. And more are still in the pipeline as you can see more and more massive construction works are on-going. Its like another Las Vegas here. The best part is most of the casinos especially the established one are providing a free shuttle from the ferry terminals and airport to ferry people to their casino. So you can just travel around Macau by hop on or hop off to any of the shuttle bus provided. Just get to know where there are heading to and what is nearby. For a start, I jump into the City of Dreams bus for a ride to their casino. Why am I choosing City of Dreams is due to there is a Hard Rock Hotel located there. Since my hobby is collecting the shot glass, its normal not to miss my Hard Rock to any of the places that I visited. By the way the temperature there is around 16deg C and the best part is I forgot my fleece in the hotel. So with not much of choice I just gone through the cold weather. But its okay, luckily I wear a long sleeve t-shirt.

The journey to the City of Dreams from the Ferry Terminal is only around the 15 minutes. Upon entering the main entrance of the casino, I saw a huge screen that they terms as a bubble, due to the screen reflect almost exactly as the underwater world with a water bubbles from the fish, a corals and in fact a mermaid swimming inside. Very beautiful though. Then I walk inside the casino for a glimpse of the gambling scenario before proceed to the Hard Rock Hotel Shop. Maybe it is still early in the morning. Not much people around. Manage to get my shot glass and a t-shirt from the shop.

After City of Dreams, I went to the famous Venitian which is located opposite of the City of Dreams. Here the design and interior are resembling the setup of Venice, Italy. The hotel ceilings and decor are very much Roman. They even have the gondolas inside of the shopping mall with a ceiling reflected of the sky with clouds. The casino is also quite empty. I just proceed to the shopping area and buy some Venitian souvenir. The mall is quite big with a lot of branded labels. But not really crowded.

After strolling around inside the mall for about an hour, I went to the shuttle bus stand for a ride back to the Ferry Terminal. Well forgot to mention, Macau, like Hong Kong is divided into the island of Taipa/Coloane and the Macau Peninsular. Both places are connected with two bridges. After alight the Venitian shuttle at the Ferry Terminal I took a bus ride to the Golden Lisbao. The complex of Golden Lisboa that consists of a hotel and and casino is quite unique in nature. With a gold glass facade it resemble a spectacular building design that easily made the building as a landmark of Macau. From Golden Lisbao I make a short walk to the famous Macau World Heritage, the Senado Square. The walk is around 7-8 minutes. The 3.7km Leal Senado is paved with a wave pattern mosaic of colored stones. The design is also very unique.

For information, a large section of Macau Peninsula has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site and 25 buildings and sites within the area have been deemed to have cultural and historic significance.

At Senado Square, it is connected to various other historical building and sites in Macau that giving you a glimpse of history of Macau past colonisation by Portugal with the influnece of Chinese. In fact Portugese language is widely used in Macau and all signage are displaying the Portugese words. It is quite crowded at the Senado Square, maybe it is because of weekend. So I decided to just take some photos and take a walk through the World Heritage Walk Circuit to the Ruin of St. Paul.


After some shots of photographs, I take some time climbing the Monte Fort for a short rest and watch the old part of Macau from the hill of the Fort. Basically the the area is a bit similar with St. Paul hill in Malacca. Maybe due to the strong influence of the Portugese.

After that I take a walk back to Leal Senado and walk through the city to the Wynn Casino. A nice modern and classic architecture can be seen along the way. After arriving at the Wynn I take the shuttle bus to the Ferry Terminal back. At the terminal I board a bus to the Sands casino. From there I take a walk at the seafront located opposite the Sands building and not for away from the terminal though. At the seafront area there are the Fisherman Wharf and seaside commercial area that themed with some of the old Greek monuments, volcano and a Chinese Temple. Its like a theme park but quite empty though. Only some married couples taking the wedding photographs with some tourist like me around. Not far from the wharf there are a building known as Oceanus that resemble of the Beijing Water Cube. After a short walk I arrived at the Ferry Terminal back. Although my ticket back to Hong Kong is scheduled at 6:15pm, I decided to take the early ferry at 4:45pm as I think I am done in Macau. My planned to take a sky jump at the Macao Tower has to be canceled as I think not this time as I have a paper to be presented later on Tuesday.

Well after take the ferry ride, I leave Macau in satisfaction as in a day I have sample the unique and beautiful Macau. At least I have pinned my JOURNEY here.



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Location:Calcada de S. Paulo,Santo Antonio,Macau

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