This trip is a long-awaited trip and it's also such a sudden trip. How? Well, Fluke, my university friend has asked me to travel to Macau since October 2015 but due to several reasons, we couldn't make it until we both almost forgot about this trip.
Up until last December (2016), while we were having dinner, our conversation came back to this project.
Fluke: Do you want to go Macau?
Me: You haven't talked about it for ages, are you still thinking of going?
When he heard that, he picked up his mobile phone and keyed in something for a while, he then said:
Fluke: How do you spell your name in English?
I spelled for him, I only thought that he wanted my name in case he find a promotional flight ticket then he would book for me. But less than 5 minutes, he again said:
Fluke: It's all done now.
Me: What done?
Fluke: I have booked our ticket to Macau.
Me: Seriously? You didn't even ask me if I wanted to go? Well, so when are we going?
Fluke: A week after New Year.
I was thinking it's such a luck that he booked it a week after New Year because I have a plan to Singapore during the New Year.
Me: Alrighty, but next time let me know first in case I can't go with you then the ticket will be wasted (but actually at that time I'm so thrilled).
So this trip, he planned everything from hotel booking and a program tour for a 2 days 1 night trip (because he has been there several times already). My job is to find information of the places to him so that he can put it into our program. This trip we have 6 members which includes Fluke, Joy, N'Beam (Fluke's family), Aunt Noi, Aunt Ya and me.
Before that, I also searched about the currency used in Macau. We could use both HKD and MOP.
Then, our journey comes. We reach Don Mueang International Airport since 05.00 a.m. to check in and go through immigration. There's no big crowd so we go through everything quite quickly.
I travel with Air Asia and it takes about 2 and a half hour to reach Macau International Airport. Macau time is one hour ahead of Thailand time. I have to say that the immigration process is very easy, we don't even have to write any immigration form. We just need to hand in our passport to the immigration officer and we are set within a minute.
Let's get to know Macau first. Macau is a Special Administrative Region of PR.China which is located on the southern coast of China. Macau used to be ruled by Portugal and it's the oldest Europe's colony in China. The thing that attract tourists pouring into Macau the most is gambling industry and casino.
Macau has three terrains.
The first part is Macau which locates tons of hotels, casinos, and tourist attractions.
The second part which is located on the middle part is Taipa. The main landmark is the airport, The Venetian, Wynn Palace, Studio City, etc.
And the last part which is located on the lowest part is Coloane. Its landmark is Hac Sa Beach (Black Sand).
When getting off from major places like the airport, we could use the free shuttle bus service. After getting out of the airport, we just need to turn right then we we will see the parking lot like our bus station. Here, several hotels' shuttle buses are parked. We can take the shuttle bus of the hotel we are staying or even if we didn't stay in any of these hotels, we can still use their services. Our first stop is the Venetian. As Fluke has planned, we wanted to enjoy the Taipa terrain first before going to Macau terrain which is where our hotel is located and we also will do the sightseeing activity throughout this trip.
It's very easy to get on these free shuttle buses. We don't need to show anything but put our luggage at the bus and walk up to sit anywhere we wanted. Also, there's free WiFi on the bus too.
Less than 10 minutes, the bus drops us off at the entrance of the Venetian. I deposit my bag first before touring inside (the charge is 10 MOP per each bag).
After that, we go enjoy the outdoor atmosphere of the Venetian first. I was thinking "this looks just like the one in Hua Hin". Probably because I have never been to the Venetian in Italy yet but just the one in Hua Hin. Anyhow, the Venetian at Hua Hin is nothing compared to the one in Macau. This one is truly grand.
Let's enjoy the indoor view now. Here is the lobby for checking in. Only here, my breath was taken away for a while.
The hall and corridor also keep me stunt for sometimes too. It's so magnificent. At the ground floor is the casino and photos are not allowed inside.
The third floor is the heaven of the shoppers. It is the Great Hall. The ceiling here is so beautiful and we can look down to see the casino's atmosphere.
This zone is the Grand Canal Shoppes which has been simulated from the Venice. What feel the most Venice is the Gondola boat which is floating along the canal with a loud and melodious song sung by the boatman. Another thing that I really like is the ceiling. It has been painted as the sky. I think it's very extraordinary as the sky seems to move while we walk. The artist is really great.
The Grand Canal Shoppers has lots of shops like shoes, cosmetics, clothing, and food. After discount, some are more expensive while some are cheaper than Thailand. For example, the down jacket of Uniqlo, I used to buy it for 2,000 THB but after the discount here, it's about 1,400 THB. Since there's no color I like nor my size, so I didn't get to shop, so sad.
I see there's such a long queue, so I go to see what they are buying. It's an egg tart from Lord Stow's shop. Fluke goes queuing and buy one for each of us. It's 10 MOP each. I have to say the taste is so worth the queue.
This afternoon, I have my lunch at the food court. The first thing that attracts my attention is fried oyster and it's 80 MOP. I immediately multiply it by 4.6 (THB) and I was thinking....Oh my, just a dish of fried oyster is 360 THB? So expensive!!! Let's go take a look at other menu in case we can find cheaper food. Then, I stop at the rice restaurant because I think it should be the best option. But then, I can't imagine how it would look even after reading the menu. What if I can't eat after ordering so I order it follow other people in order to be sure that it's eatable. When I'm paying, the seller told me it's 100 MOP. OMG! My hand was shivering as I've never eaten this expensive a la carte before. This meal, I got the rice and pork with a big bowl of soup. Overall, the taste is really good.
It's a little bit tough for Aunt Noi this meal because she cannot eat pork. She has to walk a while before she could find her food.
After lunch, we are going to move to Macau side in order to roam around to more places.
I asked the staff at the Venetian of whether they offer the free shuttle bus to Lisboa Hotel and the answer is no. However, they advise all the transportation means for us, by bus and by taxi. But, we have a better option.
We take the free shuttle bus back to the airport and look for the free shuttle bus of Lisboa Hotel but can't find it after a long time. Finally, we take the shuttle bus of Wynn Hotel instead.
Lisboa Hotel is located on the opposite side of Wynn Hotel. When the bus stops at Wynn Hotel, we need to walk a bit before crossing the road by the underpass towards Lisboa Hotel which is our accommodation for tonight.
I'm stunt when walking in.
Walking a little longer, I feel like we are in the palace. A large chandelier is hanging down the curved staircase with black marble tiles and gold. It just looks so grand. With these huge mosaic pillars, this place looks even more elegant.
Here is the lobby, from what I observe, the hotels here didn't offer the seating area for the guests.
There're a lot of beautiful things decorated around which makes it look like the museum.
The hotel gives us 2 key cards. It's fairly easy taking the elevator. When the door opens, we just need to tap our key card at the card reader, then our floor will be automatically pop up and we don't need to press our floor. When going down, we don't need to use the key card and can directly press down to the L floor.
Let's take a look at the room. The room is quite spacious and divided into 3 main areas. From what I see, the sitting area is the largest zone. There's a big sofa set for the guests to enjoy the activity together with a working table and a large closet which places a big TV on top and a refrigerator below. There's a lot of free beverages minibar inside. Nearby the refrigerator is a kettle for tea or coffee.
The bedroom is also luxuriously decorated. It offers a wardrobe, a make up table and another big TV.
For the bathroom, it's also brilliantly decorated. It has two basins and divides the wet and dry zone with the glass. There's no water spraying line at the toilet though. The shower looks very modern that I almost cannot find the valve. There's also a back massage shower spraying line and foot massage equipment. It also offers salt scrub ad many more amenities.
After unpacking our luggage and rest for a while, we start to explore Macau. Our first stop is Rua da Felicidade or the red light zone.
Fluke takes care of reading the map and takes us here. Soon, we reach the Rua da Felicidade zone. Formerly, it was the place for prostitutes and gambling but now it has turned into shops with many restaurants and milk tea shops. I think what attract the tourists here the most would be houses that are all painted in red and therefore becomes the unique thing of this place.
Along the way, I see looking delicious desserts so we stop by. It looks like milk custard with the topping of either lotus seeds or red beans. It offers in hot and iced. I think the hot one gives us more flavor of milk. For the iced one, it is more refreshing. In short, both types are equally delicious and it's 35 MOP each.
From the Rua da Felicidade, we walk back towards the hotel and go pass the Senado Square. But I would just walk pass the square first because the sky is getting dark and I wanted to enjoy the scene at Ruins of St.Paul's first.
Ruins of St.Paul's was formerly the site of St. Paul's College and the Cathedral of St. Paul and it's known as the largest Catholic church in Asia. Later on, it was collapsed due to the fire incident when a typhoon struck in 1835. After that, the Portuguese army left it abandon. It was renovated again in 1620-1627 but only at the front. It is indeed the landmark of Macau because every tourist must stop by here, otherwise, it seems like they are yet reached Macau. It is also one of the 28 cultural heritages of Macau.
Along both sides of the route towards this church is filled with many shops. The most notably one is the sliced pork sheet. Many shops are selling them and the tourists can also taste them along the way.
I must say that the tourists are really a lot here. Although now it's dark, there're still lots of tourists around.
When facing the Ruins of St.Paul's, there's steps leading up towards a small hill on the middle of the road on the right hand side. This small hill is called Fortaleza do Monte. In the past, it's the fortress of Macau. If you still have energy left, I recommend you to walk up there.
Up there also locates the Museum of Macau. But it's closed when we reach here. Anyway, we can enjoy the high angle view of Macau around this museum.
I spend quite sometimes at the Museum of Macau. When the staff starts to close the fortress door, we also start to walk down. Still, we enjoy the atmosphere around.
Here is the St. Dominic's Church which is a Roman Catholic Church. It is the Baroque art which is also one of 29 world's cultural heritage of Macau.
Senado Square is the center of several important locations. The old buildings around this square have turned into several brand name shops. This square must be the meeting point of Macau people and tourists as it's really a big crowd here.
Now that it's dark, let's find something to eat. We have our dinner at Chan Kong Kei Casa De Pasto which is located not so far from our hotel.
The highlight menu is the grilled duck and chopped chicken. Some staff can even speak Thai, I think they must have welcomed lots of Thai tourists.
The duck is delicious. The gravy can be poured over the rice too and it's so delicious also. The pepper smells so good.
The chicken is topped with fried onion. The taste is also great. But since everyone is very hungry that I have to hurry in taking pictures so it's a bit blurry.
The crispy pork is too big pieces so it's a bit sticky. Also, the taste is also too salty. So this dish is a no pass.
The duck's blood looks scary as I personally didn't eat blood so I didn't try. But everyone keeps eating it so I think it must be delicious. This restaurant also offer a free hot tea.
The price is not as expensive as in the Venetian.
After dinner, our program continues. Our next destination is Wynn Hotel. Looking at the time, it's the golden time for Fluke, Joy and two aunts to test their luck. Probably, they could earn some free flight tickets, rooms but whether they could earn it or not is all depending on their luck.
The rule of every casino is they do not allow people aged below 20 years old inside. Since Beam is still young so Beam becomes the tour guide instead of the daddy Fluke and takes me tour around on behalf of him.
Actually the photo point is right in front of Wynn Hotel. The music lighting show with the music is performed every 15 minutes and it lasts for about 5 minutes. Each round is different. Some show is exciting, some show is chill and some comes with fire. I sit there to enjoy several shows.
On the opposite side of Wynn Hotel is the Lisboa Hotel which is our hotel tonight. The Grand Lisboa is located nearby.
The other side of Wynn Hotel is adjacent to Nam Van Lake. The night view of Nam Van Lake is really beautiful. When looking out, we will see the Macau Tower standing alongside the bridge crossing over to Taipa. It's really breathtaking.
This corner is also very beautiful. It's the reflecting view of Grand Lisboa.
When it is 22.30 p.m., our meeting time, Fluke comes out to tell us to go home first because they'd like to spend more time inside.
So I go back to our hotel via underpass. Before going up, I have the view in front of the Grand Lisboa for you guys. I think the building looks quite like a pineapple.
And here is our hotel. Lisboa hotel locates on the left side.
Fluke, Joy and two aunts comes back at 4 a.m. and I heard that the staff at Wynn Hotel welcomes them with "Good Morning". Well, thinking about it, it's such a waste of hotel room, they didn't even sleep as much.
Actually, the hotel also offers breakfast but I come down late so the dining room is full with guests already. So I didn't get to take any photo.
The next morning, I will take you guys to take a look at different hotel. Let's start with the Grand Lisboa.
I think the hotel here must create their own identity or uniqueness to attract guests. I'm not sure if the main income is coming from the hotel services or casino like the Grand Lisboa. It catches my eyes since the building shape but the interior design is a bit too basic when comparing to other hotels. And the casino atmosphere inside each hotels are not allowed for photograph.
Next is Wynn Hotel.
The highlight of Wynn Hotel should be the dancing fountain in front of the hotel.
The inside atmosphere is very beautiful.
There are also lots of luxurious brands like Louis Vuitton,Christian Dior, Gucci, Versace, Chanel, and Prada. If I didn't know that this is a hotel, I would have thought that it is a mini shopping mall.
Another thing that attracts tourists should be this area where they have the Tree of Prosperity and Dragon of Fortune shows. Too bad that I didn't get to see because I didn't know the showtime. Well, just by seeing this, it's already so grand. I'm sure it would be much more when the show is on.
The next hotel is MGM.
The building shapes are looking strange. It looks like three moving containers stack on each other, looking quite beautiful.
Here is the lobby. When keep walking on the right side, we will also see lots of luxurious brand shops like the one in Wynn Hotel.
When standing in front of the lobby, we can see a huge hall. At the middle of the hall is the underworld. It's a cylindrical aquarium housing several colorful fish. Nearby this area is the tea and coffee shops. The most inside area is the European shape building. I'm not sure what building that is because I wasn't dare to walk inside.
After the MGM, I walk further a bit to the statue of Bodhisattva Guanyin.
From MGM, I enjoy the sightseeing along the way and soon I reach the statue of Bodhisattva Guanyin.
The statue of Bodhisattva Guanyin cast with bronze and is 20 m. tall. It's situated on a large lotus dome. It looks very outstanding near the sea. The dome base is the religion center which has information about Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism. It seems like I have come on the wrong time so I missed the back-light photo. The best time to visit the statue of about Bodhisattva Guanyin is the afternoon.
From the statue of Bodhisattva Guanyin, I see the strange building. I think it's the science center of Macau.
It's almost time to go back, so I stop by to buy egg tart as a souvenir home.
Margaret's Café NATA shop is not far from our hotel. People are a lot, the queue is as long as the Lord Stow's in the Venetian. There's also a sitting area in front of the shop. In addition to egg tarts, tea, coffee and other bread are also available. The operating time is 08.00 a.m.-20.00 p.m. and closes on Wednesdays.
And Fluke is so nice as usual. He queues up for us. We got 8 boxes with 6 pieces in each box (the retail price is 10 MOP but each box is 55 MOP). After tasting both shops, I think the egg tart tastes similar but the flour at Margaret's Café NATA is a bit more sticky. So I would prefer the Lord Stow's more (this is only my personal opinion).
After buying the souvenir, we still have about an hour and a half left so we decided to tour around by bus as I don't think we now have enough time to roam around by foot. At first we were thinking to roam around Studio City but the queue of shuttle bus is very long so we decided to go to Wynn Palace which is near the airport instead.
Shuttle Bus goes in front of Wynn Palace. I wish the bus stops here because there's a big lake at the front and offer the dancing fountain show. There's also a SkyCab, the air conditioning skyy cable car which is 90 feet above the lake. From what I read quickly from the advertisement, it looks like this is also a complementary too.
Shuttle Bus drops us at the back which is the opposite side of the lake. I don't think we have enough time to walk to the lake as the car takes up to 3 minutes already so we just roam around inside instead as it is nearby the shuttle bus parking lot. From what I briefly explore, a lot of luxurious brand name shops are inside.
I enjoy my ice cream time at Sweets which is quite delicious.
It's almost time now so I go take the shuttle bus again from the parking lot. From the Wynn Palace, it takes less than 5 minutes to reach the entrance of the airport.
It's time to say goodbye to Macau now. If chances allow, I'd definitely come back again. This trip is only 2 days so there're still more places to visit.
For many people, Macau may be only the place to chill and casino. But I must say, in addition to casino, we can also roam around and take photos with beautiful angle.
Finally, you can support and follow my work at https://www.facebook.com/unclegreenshirt :)