Macau officially the Macau Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China (Portuguese: Região Administrativa Especial de Macau da República Popular da China; Chinese: 中華人民共和國澳門特別行政區), is an autonomous region on the western side of the Pearl River estuary in East Asia. It is a ferry away from Hong Kong and since it’s VISA-free, you can spend a day or half exploring its heritage and hotel casinos with attraction spread on its mainland Macau peninsula and islands, mainly Taipa and Coloane, with addition of reclaimed area between them called: Cotai Strip.
Macau, as a former Portuguese colony, is an hour away from its twin colonial sister. Arriving at Hong Kong in the morning (see my HK post here), we left our baggage at the hostel took a quick breakfast at a fastfood nearby. Afterwards, we walked directly to China Ferry Terminal located at 33 Canton Road, few meters away from Haiphong Road.
Upon entering the terminal, we looked for counter selling tickets bound to Macau Outer Harbor Ferry Terminal, since we’ll explore first the historic centre.
14:00 – ETA: Macau Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal (Portuguese: Terminal Marítimo de Passageiros do Porto Exterior; traditional Chinese: 外港客運碼頭)
From here, Senado Square is just a 10-minute walk away. Just walk down Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro and you’ll see it on your right.
The Historic Centre of Macau, (Chinese: 澳門歷史城區; Portuguese: Centro Histórico de Macau), is a collection of over twenty locations that witness the unique assimilation and co-existence of Chinese and Portuguese cultures in Macau, a former Portuguese colony. It represents the architectural legacies of the city’s cultural heritage, including monuments such as urban squares, streetscapes, churches and temples.
The Senado Square, or Senate Square (Chinese: 議事亭前地; Portuguese: Largo do Senado), is a paved town square in Sé, Macau, China and the centerpiece of the UNESCO Historic Centre of Macau World Heritage Site. It is an elongated triangular shaped square and connects Largo do São Domingos at one end and Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro on the other.
Ruins of St. Paul’s attracts droves of tourists all year round. It is also part of the city’s Historic Center. “Company of Jesus Square has the Ruins of St Paul’s, which represent the remaining front elevation of the Church of Mater Dei and Na Tcha Temple.”
Built in the 16th century, the site was actually a complex of a church and an academic institution. The church itself was constructed later in the 17th century. Today, only the facade remains the only structure standing after being battered by a typhoon and three fires.
Koi Kei Bakery (鉅記手信) is a famous bakery at many places in Macau. It seems quite commercialized with tourists flocking to the chain stores and leaving with big bags of goodies! They are packed with an extensive selection of snacks, cookies, pastries and other confectionery products which you can sample for free. The bakery is well-known for its almond cakes and egg rolls.
Across this church , we waited for a bus bound to Cotai Strip for the Venetian experience.
Cotai (Chinese: 路氹城; Portuguese: Zona do Aterro de Cotai) is a piece of reclaimed land on top of Seac Pai Bay between Taipa and Coloane islands in Macau, that has made two independent islands become one island. This is where you can visit the grand hotel-casinos in the world, such as the massive The Venetian, City of Dreams, Galaxy, and Sand Cotai Central.
16:00 – The Venetian. We almost turned to photoholics as we entered the hotel with huge shopping complex and famous gondola rides at its main canal.
We lost track of the time as we thought the skies above the canal are real! So we left The Venetian past 5pm and caught a FREE Bus ride bound to Taipa Ferry. Just follow the tourists.
18:00 – ETD: Macau Taipa Ferry Terminal (MOP190)
19:00 – ETA: Hong Kong Ferry Terminal then subway back to Tsim Sha Tsui
21:00 – Sleep at Urban Pack. Check the DAY 2 of my HK adventure here.
With LOTS of walking around the city (actually TWO city-states), we’re already exhausted and washed up before going to sleep. It was a great experience exploring a former Portuguese colony packed with old European architecture mixed with Chinese influence as well as the grandiose of high-rise hotel-casinos, though replica of medieval Italian city, it was undoubtedly a major tourist stop Macau can offer. Wish I could be back soon to explore more. Cheers! (n_n)