Travel: Macau


Macau, oft lauded as the Las Vegas of the East and the exotic land with the unique fusion of the East and West, is an amazing travel destination for a short getaway.

The cobblestone streets, baroque churches, stone fortresses and Portuguese street signs all hint of a rich and unique history of Macau’s colonial past.

In between quaint little buildings, there will be a restful garden or a small tinkering fountain. There was one pretty little park right outside the hotel that I stayed in, Hotel Royal. As I skipped over the little cracks of the cobblestones in the quiet alleys, I felt like a child again. The very air that I breathed then tasted of freedom and carefreeness. :)

A stone’s throw away from the hotel would be the Ruins of Saint Paul, a famous landmark of Macau. It is a 16th-century Portuguese cathedral dedicated to Saint Paul the Apostle. Sadly, the place was way too crowded with hordes of tourists. It would be nice if I could appreciate its beauty in silence.

On the way to the Ruins, I was surprised to see old, run-down buildings slantingly built on the steep hill leading to the landmark. It reminded me of scenes in the typical Hong Kong dramas where drug dealers engage in their shady businesses in such deserted locations.

Another notable place of interest in Macau would be the A-Ma Temple. It is the oldest temple in the Macau Peninsula and it was constructed in the year of 1488 of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) to commemorate Mazu, the sacred sea goddess who blesses the fishermen. The tasteful architectural style and intricate designs of the roofs left me in awe at the ingenuity of the ancient people who actually designed the temple. It is definitely a historical treasure and reflects the rich Chinese culture that influenced the people of Macau.

What’s a trip to Macau without visiting the casinos?

Here’s a really sparkly and gold casino-hotel… That sheer amount of gold is blinding my eyes.
Within the City of Dreams, but blocked outside the casino (I was just a year short of the legally acceptable age). OH-THE-FRUSTRATION.

Nevertheless, I tried entertaining myself by watching the mermaid’s performance on the wall outside the casino.

Then, we headed to the other well-known casino-hotel, The Venetian Macau, where the Korean drama, Boys Over Flowers, was filmed. It was every bit as beautiful as depicted in the drama. The artificial sky looked gorgeous and real. The sparkling Christmas lights that dangled along the streets added much ambience to the entire place. It was like a street within the hotel!

The gondolas in the canal were tempting to ride on. Recall the scene when Jandi was in the gondola with the violin dude, Jihoo, with the gondolier singing “Con Te Partiro”? AWW. <3

The sea of tourists squeezing around the area somewhat marred the otherwise enchanting moment.
Macau, being a really small place, honestly doesn’t have much places of interests to visit.

However, you’ll definitely have to try their authentic Portuguese egg tarts for the full Macau experience!

Also, don’t forget to bring home some beef jerky!

Guess next time I need a short getaway, Macau would be a nice choice. :)

*Visit was in Dec 2012.

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