As I mentioned yesterday, we visited Macau, China for the day, as a quick day trip from Hong Kong. We managed to see quite a lot for just one day since Macau is pretty small—only about 18 and a half square miles. From the ferry terminal, we first hopped on one of the free casino shuttle buses which brought us to the famous Venetian Hotel and Casino in Cotai.
This place was as glittery and gaudy as I expected—full of faux-glamour and cheesy tourists. We wandered around for a while, snapping pictures until a security guard chastised me to photographing the casino. Whoops, my bad.
From the casino, we walked over to Coloane, an area filled with a bunch of cute Portuguese-style buildings, cobble stone streets, and a delicious array of Chinese, Portuguese and Macanese-style food (Macanese is a unique hybrid of Chinese and Portuguese food). We peered in some shops, eat an egg tart, and soaked up the European vibe. We wandered around until we found an authentic Portuguese restaurant—we knew it would be good because as soon as we walked in, we realized all of the other patrons were speaking Portuguese. Score!
After lunch, we caught a city bus and rode over to Macau Peninsula, to Macau’s Historical Centre. We started in the Senado Square, most Euro-looking place I’ve seen in Asia.
Then we wandered through St. Joesph’s Church, and a strange and slightly creepy little museum that lived above the church.
Finally, we made our way to one of Macau’s most famous historical sites—the Ruins of St. Paul’s. St. Paul’s was originally a college and a cathedral, and was destroyed in 1835 by a fire during a typhoon. As that survives is the façade and some crypts behind it. It’s not much, but it’s still pretty impressive, and thusly was super-crowded with tourists. The steps leading up the ruins reminded me a lot of The Spanish Steps in Rome, which contributed even more to the warm-fuzzy feeling that we had left Asia and were back in Europe.
We decided to visit one of the casinos nearby the ruins and see if we could take another free shuttle bus back to the ferry. We can’t remember the name of the casino, but it did have a really pretty lobby! We caught the free shuttle bus to the ferry…only to realize we were at the wrong ferry terminal. So we hopped back on a city bus and made our way to the right one. We didn’t do any gambling, but with our luck, this was probably a good choice…
The best way to get from Hong Kong to Macau is by ferry. For more information on the ferries, go here.