Every time I visit Hong Kong, I also plan on dropping by in Macau. My first visit was a day tour in downtown Macau while my next last 2013 was on another island and stayed at one of the hotels in Cotai.
I love how the Portuguese+Chinese blend culture is still recognizable in downtown Macau. I even saw a group of people enjoying Portuguese (or Spanish) dance in the street. A few of the signage I’ve seen come with English, Chinese and Portuguese translations. It is also noticeable that some streets sound Portuguese.
Our group had paid to a travel agency to arrange the day tour itinerary for us. The highlights (only the memorable ones as i have forgotten other places we have visited, hehe) of our trip were:
1. the Ruins of Saint Paul Church. Only the front facade remained standing. Saint Paul Church has been rebuilt after it has been destroyed by a fire in late 1500’s however, it had encountered several disasters again – fire and typhoon.
2. Kun Iam Statue. The Buddhist Goddess of Mercy watching over the whole of Macau. We were not able to see what’s under the statue. It’s sad that we were only able to take a photo from afar.
3. The Macau Tower and the glass flooring at the 58th floor. Macau Tower is famed as the second highest (and scariest, brrr) commercial bungee jump in the world next to Stratosphere in Vegas. At the 58th level, a viewing area with glass floor awaits you. I literally avoided stepping on the glass as what i see beneath it scares the sh*t outta me. . haha. . a couple of levels up is where the bungee start point is located and a wider viewing deck (no more glass floor, yehey! hehe) that offers a great panoramic view of Macau.
4. That unbelievably delicious egg tart encounter. enough said. . the best! I don’t have a photo of the egg tart though. haha. . i really recommend you try the egg tart in macau. . Sobrang sarap!! And those crispy pork sheets, ooh la la, I should’ve brought beer. haha. .
5. Sight-seeing: Futuristic architecture of famous hotels and casinos. i am so amazed by these buildings maybe because i have not seen a very jaw dropping one in the Philippines. I’ve seen a lot more though in Shanghai.
The Venetian Hotel has been very famous, I think, in the Philippines as travel shows featuring Macau almost always include this hotel. And maybe also because the famed Koreanovela “Boys Over Flowers” taped some heart breaking episodes there. . hihi. . We actually got sad when we learnt that we were not gonna see the Venetian Hotel during my first visit. So on my second travel to Macau, I made sure I would see the other side of the peninsula. The island apart from downtown Macau is known to house most of the largest and expensive casinos/hotels including The Venetian Hotel. I think, maybe, the whole island will be made to be known as the casino center of Asia and will become as equally extravagant as Las Vegas, Nevada. It’s good though that this will be done outside downtown Macau so the latter will have it’s culture preserved and will not be overpowered by the fanciful buildings. The Cotai strip is just too modern that you won’t even recognize that you’re still in Asia. The food courts serve Asian dishes though. . hihi. . 🙂
We stayed in Sheraton Macao Hotel – Cotai Central (thanks to our network for making this possible, people know I won’t spend for such fancy hotel, hahaha!) We got a room with big windows where the City of Dreams Hotel can be spotted.
We played in the casino too! but just once, i don’t have the beginner’s luck. haha. . There was also a celebration of Octoberfest at the Hotel when we went there. . beers! clink!
I have missed to taste authentic Portuguese food on my first visit, so this time I got to try it at O Santos. and Oh! O Santos, muito delicioso!! i cant remember what we ordered but without exaggeration, everything that I have tasted were soooo good. . Plus the Sangria. . Oh the sangria. . hehe. . I really recommend you to try eating at O Santos. It’s not easy to look for this small restaurant though. I haven’t tried other Portuguese restaurants yet, but i think coming back to O Santos is still worth it. . 🙂
The next time I’ll visit Hong Kong, I would still definitely gonna include Macau in my itinerary. . The egg tart, O Santos, and the night life parties in Cotai (which i missed by the way) are my major reasons of coming back. . I would need tons of courage to try the bungee jumping at Macau tower though. . hehe. . I shall return. . ❤