While we were in Hong Kong, we hopped on the ferry over to neighbouring Macau which is about an hours ferry ride away. Given the fact that our ferry was named the ‘Turbo Jet’ you can imagine that the ferry is not your typical slow ferry, we raced across to Macau in no time!
Macau is like Hong Kong (also majority Cantonese speaking), as it is a special administrative region of China, therefore it is responsible for it’s own legal system, immigration and policing etc but essentially, China is it’s big boss. Generally, it’s a little hotter than Hong Kong and that day was no exception and I remember it being a sweltering 39c.
The Venetian Hotel
Macau is extremely touristy. It’s pretty much like the Las Vegas of China and it’s famous for it’s casinos, luxury hotels but also the Historic attractions that lie in the centre of Macau. Our first stop was a visit to the Venetian Hotel. Yup, the very same as it’s Las Vegas counterpart complete with it’s mock canal, street lamps, painted ceiling and facades of traditional Venetian buildings. The hotel is well known for it’s casino but also it’s vast shopping mall. In Macau, it’s still legal to smoke indoors so it was very strange (and not very nice) walking around and seeing people smoke their cigarettes as if it was really the outdoors. It’s all a bit surreal and somewhat claustrophobic, especially when the gondoliers who ferry excited tourists up and down the fake canal break into Opera which echoes all around the mall. Must be quite an odd job.
Can you believe the lemon coloured building with the red canopies is a Mcdonalds? far too pretty!
Not long after, we decided to catch the bus into the centre of town to visit the Historic parts of Macau. As you probably know, Hong Kong used to be a British Colony and similarly, Macau used to be a Portuguese Colony which is reflected in the beautiful architecture in some of the old buildings. It felt like I was in the Mediterranean but with a twist, as all the street signs were in Chinese, Portuguese and English!
Macau is a dream for photographers because of it’s vibrant colours and it’s clash of cultures (Chinese/Portuguese). Some of the following images are photos taken on my phone so you can imagine how amazing SLR photos would be if you are lucky enough to own one! Above is St. Augustine’s Church and it is such a vibrant yellow that it’s really hard to miss when you turn a corner into the square it’s situated in. However, the main attraction is the ruins of St. Paul’s and all that stands today is the front facing facade of the old church which was destroyed by fire in the 1800s.
View from the top of the ruins
Apart from the thriving neon casino culture, ever growing attractions, delicious traditional Macau foods there is a further reason why HK residents love Macau so much. My dad said it is very much like old Hong Kong, particularly 60s HK before many of the ‘old’ buildings were torn down and replaced with shiny new skyscrapers. I definitely see the charm as it’s in stark contrast to the previous attraction at the Venetian which makes Macau such an odd place to visit. One of my favourite things was simply walking down the backstreets and taking some of the photos below. Definitely some of my favourite photographs that I took during my time in Hong Kong/Macau.
One of the things I adore about HK is visiting Dessert shops for a quick snack. In Macau, it’s no different. During our brief visit to Macau we stopped at Yee Shun Milk Company/義順牛奶公/Leitaria I So to sample some traditional desserts. The steamed egg/milk dessert is pretty famous at this Macaunese chain and whose desserts are made from buffalo milk.
There was so much that we didn’t do in Macau and it really does need a few days to explore the other surreal and strange attractions. To me, Macau is one big theme park, worth visiting for Historical value but also a taste of the extreme with it’s crazy hotels and other attractions. One such example is the Macau Fisherman’s Wharf which is a theme park built to resemble world sea ports and includes a Volcano, Aladdin’s Fort, Roman themed shopping centre and the yet to be completed Tang Dynasty Fortress. Odd? Most definitely. Maybe I’ll visit it next time…but I much prefer the old buildings.
So when we hopped off the ferry and back on to HK soil we stopped by a local noodle shop in Tin Hau called Tai Lee/大利清湯腩. This particular restaurant has done well with reviews and has had some great press coverage. I chose to have their famed Beef Brisket with Vermicelli noodles in clear broth but the rest of my family opted for wheat noodles which is a little more filling. It may not be the prettiest dish on the menu but it’s really good!
We also had a side order of deep fried fish skins which was amazing and something I’ve not had before. I suppose they must seem a little odd to those unused to such foods but they were really morish and pretty much like crisps.
So there goes my day in Macau in one post for you! Hope you enjoyed the journey. I’ve still got that food post to write but it’s so daunting given that I have almost a month’s worth of food pictures to choose from, crazy! Hope everyone has a lovely week.