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Macau Travel Blog

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Senado Square, looking better when empty

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.
Grand Lisboa at night
There were some old, sad-looking residential buildings right behind it, too. Interesting.

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.
St. Paul's Cathedral, or what's left of it


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.
aiming for the gold
I spent about an hour going up and around the fortress, but didn't bother entering the museum. Again, cheapo here.

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.
Macau skyline
It was a pleasant afternoon, the sun was out, and the wind wasn't that cold. I walked the long, spacious path towards the tower, with Nam Van Lake to the east and Avenida da Praia Grande to the west. The walk was leisurely, so it took me about 30 minutes to get to the tower. Inside, there wasn't much to see except Toys R Us, movie theaters, and some restaurants in the basement. For a price, you can go to the observation desk at the top, dine at a revolving restaurant there with a panoramic view of the city, or do all sorts of thrill sports like bungee jumping. I wanted to go to the observation deck as well, but I was running out of time.

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.
Macau Tower
Along came Bus 18, so I hopped in, paid my MOP3.50 fare, and took a seat close to the driver. After going around the area, the bus stopped and the driver told the passengers to transfer to the next bus that would go to the city center, which we did.

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).
one of the bridges connecting Macau and Taipa
Besides, it was rather far. So, squeezing the last ounce of optimism left in me, I assumed that the bus will eventually get to where I wanted to go, since it's one of the stops en route. NOT. The bus eventually stopped at what appeared to be a central terminal for all buses, and I had no idea where I was! Worse, it was already 2PM! Waaa!!!

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.
The Venetian Macau
Very funny. Damn them.

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.
in front of the 'Bridge of Sigh'
However, the problem was that I didn't have much time left. I had to cross over to Hong Kong that afternoon, and I still had a few places to check out. So, while deciding what to do, I started taking pictures first. But I got so engrossed with what I was seeing and doing that I didn't notice the time. Before I knew it, it was already 3.45PM!

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.
City of Dreams
Damn Bus 18, I missed another attraction again (yep, still bitter). I didn't want to arrive in Hong Kong very late in the evening, so I just decided to skip Fisherman's, hailed a cab, and went straight to the ferry terminal.

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.
Fisherman's Wharf as seen from the taxi
For now, I have tons of memories, all collected in a very short span of time.

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! ;)

JeAr says:
yeah! they mix the two very well, though! :)
Posted on: Dec 23, 2008
ms_travelr says:
talk about contrast between old and new (or should I say neon).
Posted on: Dec 23, 2008
JeAr says:
Thanks, man! Lol at 'insightful' hehehe. My blogs are full of useless shit! :D

Thanks for dropping by! :)
Posted on: Dec 23, 2008
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Senado Square, looking better when…
Senado Square, looking better whe…
Grand Lisboa at night
Grand Lisboa at night
St. Pauls Cathedral, or whats le…
St. Paul's Cathedral, or what's l…
aiming for the gold
aiming for the gold
Macau skyline
Macau skyline
Macau Tower
Macau Tower
one of the bridges connecting Maca…
one of the bridges connecting Mac…
The Venetian Macau
The Venetian Macau
in front of the Bridge of Sigh
in front of the 'Bridge of Sigh'
City of Dreams
City of Dreams
Fishermans Wharf as seen from the…
Fisherman's Wharf as seen from th…
General Post Office
General Post Office
Senado Square
Senado Square
Senado Square
Senado Square
Senado Square
Senado Square
Senado Square
Senado Square
Holy House of Mercy
Holy House of Mercy
General Post Office
General Post Office
Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro
Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro
some bank
some bank
my best friends house
my best friend's house
some casinos
some casinos
Grand Lisboa
Grand Lisboa
Grand Lisboa
Grand Lisboa
Grand Lisboa
Grand Lisboa
Casino Lisboa
Casino Lisboa
Casino Lisboa
Casino Lisboa
Grand Lisboa
Grand Lisboa
Grand Lisboa
Grand Lisboa
Grand Lisboa
Grand Lisboa
Grand Lisboa
Grand Lisboa
The Wynn Macau
The Wynn Macau
The Wynn Macau
The Wynn Macau
MGM Grand
MGM Grand
MGM Grand
MGM Grand
some jewelry store
some jewelry store
Kun Iam Statue
Kun Iam Statue
Fishermans Wharf Macau
Fisherman's Wharf Macau
Fishermans Wharf Macau
Fisherman's Wharf Macau
a homeless Pinoy caught on camera …
a homeless Pinoy caught on camera…
The Sands Macau
The Sands Macau
empty street
empty street
erm... i dunno
erm... i dunno
Rua da Felicidade
Rua da Felicidade
breakfast
breakfast
view from McDonalds
view from McDonald's
McDonalds, another World Heritage…
McDonald's, another World Heritag…
St. Dominics Church
St. Dominic's Church
ruins of St. Pauls
ruins of St. Paul's
ruins of St. Pauls
ruins of St. Paul's
view from St. Pauls
view from St. Paul's
ruins of St. Pauls
ruins of St. Paul's
ruins of St. Pauls
ruins of St. Paul's
the homeless guy again
the homeless guy again
the homeless guy again
the homeless guy again
some park
some park
some park
some park
towards St. Anthonys
towards St. Anthony's
towards St. Anthonys
towards St. Anthony's
towards St. Anthonys
towards St. Anthony's
St. Anthonys Church
St. Anthony's Church
some apartment building
some apartment building
section of the Old City walls
section of the Old City walls
section of the Old City walls
section of the Old City walls
section of the Old City walls
section of the Old City walls
Na Tcha Temple
Na Tcha Temple
behind St Pauls facade
behind St' Paul's facade
behind St Pauls facade
behind St' Paul's facade
view from St Pauls
view from St' Paul's
view from St Pauls
view from St' Paul's
view from St Pauls
view from St' Paul's
church and casino DO mix :D
church and casino DO mix :D
view from St Pauls
view from St' Paul's
view from St Pauls
view from St' Paul's
view from St Pauls
view from St' Paul's
view from St Pauls
view from St' Paul's
the main entrance to St. Pauls fr…
the main entrance to St. Paul's f…
to Mount Fortress
to Mount Fortress
a homeless camwhore
a homeless camwhore
a homeless camwhore
a homeless camwhore
a result of someones kindness
a result of someone's kindness
Mount Fortress
Mount Fortress
and they have escalators, such mod…
and they have escalators, such mo…
Mount Fortress
Mount Fortress
Mount Fortress
Mount Fortress
view from Mount Fortress
view from Mount Fortress
phallic symbol... kidding
phallic symbol... kidding
some cannon
some cannon
HU-WAAA!!!
HU-WAAA!!!
view from Mount Fortress
view from Mount Fortress
sorry, i just gotta
sorry, i just gotta
sorry, i just gotta
sorry, i just gotta
entrance to the fortress
entrance to the fortress
erm... i dunno
erm... i dunno
erm... i dunno
erm... i dunno
perfect aim
perfect aim
Macau Museum
Macau Museum
Macau Museum
Macau Museum
ancient writings not yet decoded
ancient writings not yet decoded
Mount Fortress
Mount Fortress
pesky tourists... kidding
pesky tourists... kidding
some sculpture
some sculpture
last look
last look
the map says Cathedral
the map says 'Cathedral'
the map says Cathedral
the map says 'Cathedral'
the map says Cathedral
the map says 'Cathedral'
its called belen in Filipino
it's called 'belen' in Filipino
Senado Square
Senado Square
Senado Square
Senado Square
Holy House of Mercy
Holy House of Mercy
the street where my hostels at
the street where my hostel's at
entrance to my hostel
entrance to my hostel
General Post Office
General Post Office
another belen
another belen
some useless photo inside Leal Sen…
some useless photo inside Leal Se…
some useless photo inside Leal Sen…
some useless photo inside Leal Se…
some useless photo inside Leal Sen…
some useless photo inside Leal Se…
St. Augustines Church
St. Augustine's Church
Dom Pedro V Theatre
Dom Pedro V Theatre
i thought the building looks nice,…
i thought the building looks nice…
inside St. Augustines
inside St. Augustine's
inside St. Augustines
inside St. Augustine's
some useless photo
some useless photo
some buildings
some buildings
Macau Tower from afar
Macau Tower from afar
some buildings
some buildings
Nam Van Lake
Nam Van Lake
Macau Tower from afar
Macau Tower from afar
some buildings
some buildings
Nam Van Lake
Nam Van Lake
my poor Chucks
my poor Chucks
Macau skyline
Macau skyline
Macau skyline
Macau skyline
somethings... fishing
something's... fishing
Macau-Taipa Bridge
Macau-Taipa Bridge
Macau skyline
Macau skyline
Macau skyline
Macau skyline
Macau skyline
Macau skyline
some World Heritage church, but I …
some World Heritage church, but I…
Macau skyline
Macau skyline
Macau skyline, plus some white bal…
Macau skyline, plus some white ba…
Macau Tower
Macau Tower
Macau skyline
Macau skyline
Macau-Taipa Bridge
Macau-Taipa Bridge
The Court Building
The Court Building
Macau Tower
Macau Tower
The Court Building
The Court Building
(inhale) Macau Tower Convention & …
(inhale) Macau Tower Convention &…
Macau Tower made out of Lego blocks
Macau Tower made out of Lego blocks
Macau Tower made out of Lego blocks
Macau Tower made out of Lego blocks
Macau Tower made out of Lego blocks
Macau Tower made out of Lego blocks
some boat
some boat
Sai Van Bridge
Sai Van Bridge
some cool fountain
some cool fountain
inside the mall
inside the mall
City of Dreams
City of Dreams
inside The Venetian
inside The Venetian
inside The Venetian
inside The Venetian
inside The Venetian
inside The Venetian
you know it
you know it
City of Dreams
City of Dreams
The Venetian
The Venetian
The Venetian
The Venetian
The Venetian
The Venetian
The Venetian
The Venetian
some cheap-looking sculpture
some cheap-looking sculpture
The Venetian
The Venetian
The Venetian
The Venetian
The Venetian
The Venetian
The Venetian
The Venetian
some gondolas
some gondolas
The Venetian
The Venetian
City of Dreams
City of Dreams
some buildings
some buildings
another casino
another casino
The Venetian
The Venetian
The Venetian
The Venetian
The Venetian
The Venetian
where Ronald got his inspiration
where Ronald got his inspiration
the drop-off area at The Venetian
the drop-off area at The Venetian
inside the Bridge of Sigh
inside the Bridge of Sigh
view from the Bridge of Sigh
view from the Bridge of Sigh
view from the Bridge of Sigh
view from the Bridge of Sigh
view from the Bridge of Sigh
view from the Bridge of Sigh
Four Seasons
Four Seasons
Bridge of Sigh
Bridge of Sigh
gambling virgin
gambling virgin
Louis Vuitton
Louis Vuitton
City of Dreams
City of Dreams
view from the Bridge of Sigh
view from the Bridge of Sigh
to the shops
to the shops
view from the Bridge of Sigh
view from the Bridge of Sigh
view from the Bridge of Sigh
view from the Bridge of Sigh
view from the Bridge of Sigh
view from the Bridge of Sigh
Bridge of Sigh
Bridge of Sigh
Four Seasons
Four Seasons
Four Seasons
Four Seasons
Fishermans Wharf
Fisherman's Wharf
Fishermans Wharf
Fisherman's Wharf
Fishermans Wharf
Fisherman's Wharf
Fishermans Wharf
Fisherman's Wharf