Friday, August 13, 2010

Hong Kong Series: Side Trip to Macau

If you would be staying in Hong Kong for quite some time, a side trip to Macau must definitely be a part of your itinerary. From Hong Kong, you can reach Macau via ferry for a fraction of the cost of getting there by air. 

There are two terminals for ferries bound for Macau in Hong Kong. Since we were coming from Mong Kok, we opted to take the ferry at Tsim Tsa Tsui. The ferry terminal was quite a long walk from the MTR station, but we got there in time for the 10:30 AM voyage. Yes, let's pretend we rode a cruise ship instead of an el cheapo ferry that got the boyfriend seasick and nauseous.  Hehe.

570 HKD for two round trip tickets, if I remember correctly.

Since Macau is another SAR like Hong Kong, you have to line up at the immigration once you get to Macau. Do not forget to get free maps from the Tourist Information Center at the Macau Ferry Terminal.

Tip: On a backpacking trip with very limited budget? You can get around Macau without spending a penny on transportation. All you have to do is google for the nearest hotel to your place of interest as most hotels provide free shuttles from the ferry terminal.

Whoever said that there is nothing free in this world must be lying.

We took the free shuttle to Casino Lisboa first as it was the nearest to Senado Square and The Ruins of St. Paul. The walk was quite long and the weather was dreadfully hot and humid, but I was too excited to care. I love traveling for three reasons: culture, history and cuisine! So bring it on, baby!

Macau was once a bustling Portugese colony.

The Ruins of St. Paul was just a walk away from Senado Square. We went there after eating a hearty lunch at a nearby noodle house. We should have saved ourselves the expense though, as there were a lot of food for free taste on the way to the ruins. Too bad we were already stuffed to the brim! 

Sweet, salty and wicked!

No matter how full we were however, we couldn't resist trying Macau's famous portugese egg tart (melt in your mouth bat-shit goodness!) and some taro bubble tea (better than Hong Kong's version, I say,  and we had bubble teas in Hong Kong everyday!)

Here is something better than Lord Stow's! I would have brought some home, 
but our flight back to the Philippines was 4 days away.

The best bubble tea ever! Oh lookie, a crab-kitty because it's July!

Macau's history is as rich as its casinos.

After the ruins, we stared at the map like clueless travelers, not knowing which hotel to go to next. We went to Macau feeling rather adventurous, with no definite IT in mind. It was definitely hard to ask around because of the language barrier. Good thing we met a fellow Filipino working in Macau who helped us out.

Lost in translation. 

Our next stop was The City of Dreams and The Venetian Hotel at Taipa Island.

Dreams, oh dreams are such curious things.

Let's get lucky!

The flagship hotel/casino of Macau is The Venetian, a luxurious edifice built to recreate Renaissance Venice. I have been to The Venetian in Vegas, but I enjoyed Macau's version like a first timer nevertheless. It was such a delight to hear the singing voice of the gondoliers! 

Not quite like the real thing, but a better smelling alternative.

We tried our hand at the slot machines, but we were no gamblers and stopped playing after losing a few bucks. We focused our energies on taking pictures instead.

It's hard not to feel rich in this place. Definitely makes you want to go gambling!

Lovers in Venice! 

It sure felt like a dream. Where art thou, Mr. Cobb?

Do congratulate me for my superb impulse control! I could have finished off a huge chunk of "pasalubong" money on See's Candies alone, but I didn't!

Heaven is here in Macau.

I had to bid The Venetian goodbye. Otherwise, my wallet would have been damaged rather severely with no chance of  recovery.

Leaving Mr. Cobb's dream was bittersweet, but there were other dreams to be explored!

Our next hotel in mind was Fisherman's Wharf. Again, we took the free shuttle to the ferry terminal. Had we known that Sands Hotel was within walking distance of Fisherman's Wharf, we would have taken the free shuttle to Sands straight away instead of going back to the terminal then taking the free shuttle to Sands. 

Fisherman's Wharf!

 It's hard not to snap some photos of these beautiful, beautiful places.

Macau has Venice and Rome wrapped around its little finger.

We did not get to watch the volcano show.  Boo.

Let's play like merry little fellas.

The French are wrapped around its finger too!

I enjoyed Macau immensely, but Vegas is still Vegas, baby!

Macau is still the cheaper alternative though. Want to visit Vegas, but short on funds? Click here.

Hong Kong. Live it! Love it!

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