Wednesday, November 6, 2013

wow . . . macau . . !

Macau is one of the world's most popular tourist destinations and is also one of the major gambling centers in Asia. Obviously, most of the people who go to Macau set out there to gamble, but I found some other reasons which have nothing to do with gambling so I went there. . . TWICE. 

The first time I went there was an abrupt decision. It was month of February and I happened to be surfing on the net and I came across Manila-Macau promo fare offered by Tiger Airways. It was a round trip ticket which cost only approximately two thousand pesos. It was an “early bird promo”. I bought the plane ticket however, the trip was on July. Fare enough… I mean fair enough, right?

Few months passed, I almost didn’t make it because I forgot to take a vacation leave from the office where I work. I asked my big boss to allow me take that 3-day leave. I showed the plane ticket to Macau. He said it was okay as long as I can find someone else to take my work slot. I begged on bended knees to ask my office mate to swap schedule with me. I got what I wanted. I only have to buy keychain as pasalubong. So, I headed to Macau … but on a very tight budget. It was an adventure of a lifetime. I didn’t know where to stay I just had my credit card and a few cash. Back at the Macapagal Airport in Clark, I met someone who was also booked to the same flight I had. His parents were based in Macau and stay in a decent apartment. We had a good conversation at the airport while waiting for the flight. When we reached Macau airport we met his dad and they offered their place. How can I say no? I got an accommodation for free. I was a lucky duck.




TOP 5 PLACES I CONSIDER AS “MUST SEE & DO” WHILE IN MACAU: 

1.Historic Centre of Macau. The listed building are: A-Ma Temple, Casa Garden, Cathedral of the "Nativity of Our Lady", Dom Pedro V Theatre, Guia Fortress, Holy House of Mercy, Leal Senado Building, Lilau Square, Lou Kau Mansion, Mandarin's House, Moorish Barracks, Mount Fortress, Na Tcha Temple, Old City Walls, Old Protestant Cemetery, Ruins of St. Paul's, Sam Kai Vui Kun, Senado Square, Sir Robert Ho Tung Library, St Lawrence's Church, St. Anthony's Church, St. Augustine's Church, St. Augustine's Square, St. Dominic's Church, and St. Joseph's Seminary and Church.


It was an all day walking tour. I put on my favorite sneakers and had a great time on foot , admiring the great buildings and architecture. I remembered I had to change my tshirt  3 times and had gulped down quite a number of bottles of water, tea and some soda.










2.Casino trails of Macau. Macau is considered as the Las Vegas of the east . The best and great way to experience the nightlife of Macau is by visiting the grand array of the casinos. Venetian is the biggest casino and was my favorite. Next was Lisboa, Sands, MGM ang Wynns. You can visit them without any restrictions, even if you are not interested in gambling. The Fountain-Show at Wynn Macau was certainly something worth watching. It features a beautiful combination of sound, lights, bursts of fire and water pyrotechnics.

It was very spectacular. The show was roughly 10-15 minutes long and there were quite a few different shows that evening, so I didn't just watch one, I watched about 4 fountain shows and never got bored.





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3.Macau Tower Convention & Entertainment Centre.  The best time to come here is right around sundown when the city lights come alive. Pay the entrance fee and it gets you to the indoor and outdoor observation decks -- you can get an amazing view of Macau from there. Macau Tower also features sky walking and bungee jumping.


I wanted to do bungy jumping but  didn’t  because it is time consuming. It will take about an hour or more. Wait, I am lying. I actually didn’t do this because I was on a very tight budget and it was only my first night in the the city. Don’t have the slightest idea where and what to do on the next 2 days of my stay there. I might be needing the cash for something else. Still, bungy jumping is on my bucket list. I will go back that tower and do it…soon!












4.Macao Fisherman's Wharf.  It is a cultural and themed attraction. It also has dining, shopping, entertainment, accommodation, convention and exhibition facilities in one single location. It is made up of three main sections, including Dynasty Wharf, East Meets West and Legend Wharf. The Dynasty Wharf is home to many traditional Chinese towers in the imitation of the Tang-style. The East Meets West encapsulates oriental traditions and features of western design. 

This is another walking tour. I never noticed the time I spent on foot. I was amazed with all the scenery. They were all feast in my eyes. Though the weather was so hot and sunny, I didn’t mind. I just enjoyed and adored everything I witnessed. After the tour my feet started to complain.










5. Hac Sa Beach. (literally "Black Sand Bay") It was said to be the largest natural beach in the former Portuguese colony of Macau. It is on the southeast side of Coloane Island. As its Chinese name implied, Hac Sa Beach is famous for its black sand.

I am a beach person and I definitely enjoyed this beach. It was surrounded by pine trees instead of the usual coconut trees. I even met some locals who sat with me and shared food. Like a typical picnic.









My trip to Macau was tremendous. I witnessed an outlandish blend of Chinese and Portuguese culture that cannot be spot anywhere else on the globe. I was surprised to see Catholic churches knowing that I was in China. The city has a distinctly European feel although I still saw more Chinese people. 

Cheap round trip plane tickets, free accommodation. One great place. Need I say more?

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