Lost and Found
Macau Travel Blog› entry 5 of 11 › view all entries
December 5th, 2008 – by: JeAr
It's 4 AM - I Must Be Lonely!
After a good 8 hours of sleep, I woke up at 4AM, recharged and ready to go! I got out of the hostel and braved the cold December air. All the streets were empty and the shops were closed save for some jewelry stores, which somehow puzzled me. Like, who would buy jewelries at 4 in the morning?!?
I liked the feeling of walking alone in the streets like I've been living in Macau all my life (I had a map with me, of course). I was a bit disappointed that the Christmas lights at Senado Square and all over Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro were off, but the casinos were still alive and kickin! My favorite was the Grand Lisboa, with it's colorful lights and weird architecture. If you look at Macau's skyline at night, from afar, Lisboa would easily steal the show.
Others that caught my fancy are MGM Grand, Wynn, and StarWorld, all for their interesting architecture. The Sands was pretty cool, too, although it looks better during the day because of its golden glass windows. Across from the Sands, there's the Fisherman's Wharf and the statue of Kun Iam. Kun Iam who? No idea! Just Google it.
Anyway, after 2 solid hours of walking non-stop, I took a different route back to Senado Square, suddenly feeling hungry. I saw 2 advertisements for a 24-hour McDonald's store, so I went looking for it for several minutes, but without luck. Plus, it was already 6AM, but it's still dark and there's still no people around. Weekend laziness?
Might as well just go back to my room and wait til everyone wakes up.
It's 7AM - I Must Start Sightseeing!
I went outside again after an hour to appease my hungry stomach. I noticed that there was a McDonald's right in Senado Square, cleverly disguised among the old buildings. So, I ordered some grilled chicken over a hot macaroni soup, a hash brown, and Coke. Yep, that's how I do breakfast, y'all!
Afterwards, I set out to see as many of Macau's UNESCO World Heritage sites as I could. I started with the churches around Senado Square, most notably the ruins of St. Paul's Cathedral, with it's facade weirdly preserved and still intact after all the bombings and stuff (just Google it, please). Right next to St. Paul's was the pretty expansive Mount Fortress, built in the 17th century. Sitting atop the fortress was the Museum of Macau.
I went back to the hostel before 11AM to pack and rest for a bit (my poor, poor feet), then checked out before 12 noon.
It's 2PM - I Must Be Lost!
From the hostel, I walked a different route again to see more churches like I'm not from a Roman Catholic country. However, I realized that there's just too many of them in the UNESCO list, and I had so little time to spare, that I decided to skip a few of them.
After the last church that I went to, I walked a fairly good distance towards Macau Tower.
Because of this, I decided to take the bus back to Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro. Using my map, I figured that taking Bus 18 would take me to Hotel Sintra in Almeida Ribeiro, and from there, take Bus 26A to the Venetian Macau, which is in Taipa Island.
After several minutes and a few stops to pick up passengers, I recognized Almeida Ribeiro and the bus stop that's close to Senado Square. However, Hotel Sintra was further down, so I thought the bus would just go to a few more stops out of the way before finally heading to where I wanted to get off. But, as several minutes passed, I looked at the map and looked for the name of the street we were at, and I realized that we're going further and further away from Almeida Ribeiro. Great! Now what?
I didn't want to trust my killer instincts and just walk my way back to the center, nor did I feel like it (heavy backpack and tired feet).
Finally, I calmed my nerves and decided to just take a cab to Venetian. Wow, almost an hour was lost, and I still ended up taking a cab. Had I walked my way back from Macau Tower in the first place, I would've been done with Venetian already. Or, had I taken a cab straight from the tower to Venetian, I would've saved precious time. It wasn't my fault, really. I blame it on the bus for being misleading, even for a genius like me.
Moral lesson? Don't wear Chucks if you plan to walk for several hours! :D
It's 3PM - I Must Start Gambling!
While crossing the bridge towards Taipa Island, I noticed the sudden appearance of those violet-colored Venetian buses offering free rides between Taipa and Macau.
Now, on to Venetian! If one word can describe it, it's GRAND. The owners/developers of this hotel casino did not spare a cent. I loved it! The closest thing to the real deal, I must say. Since I doubt that I can go to Europe anytime soon, I savored every second of being there. Of course, the architecture was just a poor copycat of what's actually in Venice, but during that moment, it was enough. Too bad I was alone, would've loved trying those famous gondola rides.
Since I was in a casino, one thing came to mind - gambling. Should I, or should I not? I never gambled before, but my friends told me that as long as you do it for fun and not for any greedy purposes, it's alright. Well, I didn't really mind trying it at least once, but I'd probably do it out of avarice hehehe.
Gotta head back to the city! Fisherman's Wharf awaits!
It's 4PM - I Must Be Leaving!
Well, Fisherman's Wharf waited and waited, because I didn't go to see it at all.
I did find the violet Venetian bus which connects to the Sands, though. So, I hopped on the bus (still wasn't sure then if it's really for free) and got off at the Sands, which, like I said, is just across from the Fisherman's Wharf. However, my watch read 4PM already.
At the terminal, I hurriedly exchanged my Macau pattacas to HK dollars (almost the same rate), bought a one-way ticket to HK Island (they have another one for Kowloon) with Turbo Jet, went past the immigration check, and waited with the rest of the HK-bound people. The ticket was for the 4.30PM trip, so I had 25 minutes left to wait. At 5 minutes before departure, they let us board the catamaran, which looked very modern and comfortable. Yeah right.
With that, my Macau adventure came to an end. Kinda sad, but I was also very psyched for Hong Kong. I wasn't able to do a lot of things that I intended to do in Macau, such as gambling (hehehe), but that just gives me more reason to return in the future.
Adeus, Macau! Veremos um a outro novamente logo! :)
Shout-outs: Special thanks to Hans, the Filipino guy who helped me the moment I stepped out of the plane, and to Nicander for the tips on Macau accommodation and to-do's (sorry to fail you with the gambling part). Your blog had been very useful to me, mate! Good job! ;)
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