During our Hong Kong vacation, my husband and I also managed to go on a quick day trip to neighboring Macau. We purchased our return ferry tickets from TST Terminal in Kowloon and spent the entire day sight-seeing. To be honest, it would have been better if we stayed for atleast two days because my legs and lungs almost failed me rushing from one place to the next. In our goal to check everything off our itinerary, the day trip almost became an episode of Amazing Race. Haha! Exhausting, but fun nonetheless. Good thing I was wearing one of my trusty white sneakers. :)
A former Portuguese colony, Macau is actually one of the richest cities in the world, sandwiched in between Hong Kong and China. I was impressed with the overall vibe of the place: clean, safe, and modern, but still very loyal to their history and culture. Tourism and legalized gambling primarily fuel their economy, which is apparent in the number of American casinos established inside Macau.
The immigration process was quick since we didn't need a visa to get to Macau. We then boarded one of Galaxy Resort's free shuttle buses lined up just outside Taipa Terminal. Believing in beginner's luck, we did try the slot machines inside Galaxy only to be disappointed big time (never again). To mend our broken hearts, we cooled down with some sweet crepe and drinks from Mazazu before hopping on another free shuttle bus which took us to Macau Tower Convention and Entertainment Center. Those free busses are truly heaven-sent and have made this trip a lot easier for us.
We spent a good two hours inside Macau Tower, a 338m high tower and one of the city's most iconic landmarks. My knees literally weakened walking on top of the see-through glass floor of the Observation Deck. I didn't realize before that an insane fear of heights could actually exist! Fortunately, we managed to tide through it and even posed for some silly photos armed with nervous smiles.
The view from the top of Macau Tower mirrors just how modern it is with all those skyscrapers.
This beautiful quote I saw at the Adventure Deck of Macau Tower just resonated with me.
A cup of Mikado coffee and a slice of cake at the Singing Bean Express later, we went to our last stop which was Senado Square, a paved town square and UNESCO heritage surrounded by numerous European-style buildings and where a lot of events in Macau are being held. Sitting by the fountain is a visual treat and would give you a glimpse of the hustle and vibrancy of the place. To get there, we boarded a bus but this time a public one. Bus routes are very simple and easy to understand. Take note though that the driver will not return your change if you paid extra. Rates are fixed, but better to have exact change with you when riding public buses. Also, taxis can actually be crazily expensive in Macau.
Portugal's influence is still very much manifested in the charming city's infrastructures and traditions which I have to say, blended nicely with the Chinese culture. Just walking around and gazing at the old and nouveau felt amazingly beautiful.
Warm beef jerky and Macau's famous egg tarts! A trip to Macau without atleast sampling these won't be complete.
That would be me forcing a smile for a last photo with the facade of Saint Paul Ruins at the far back. Unfortunately, we had to rush and catch our ferry ride back to Hong Kong. We actually almost missed it, if not for the friendly cab driver who picked us up in front of Casino Lisboa and drove through all the shortcuts possible. He was kind enough though to stop for a few minutes right across Wynn Hotel so we could catch a glimpse of the dancing fountain. It was in no way comparable to Dubai's dancing fountain, but at that moment, it was just as refreshing and the exact breather we needed.
The limited time we had in Macau was really such a bummer. I would have wanted to atleast 'stop and smell the flowers' or maybe do a full on Geum Jan-di from that famous episode of Boys Over Flowers which was entirely shot in Macau. But I'm saving all of that for next time. We discovered and got immersed in a beautiful place new to both of us, met so many nice people along the way, and that's what matters.
Yes, maybe there were some things I would have done differently during this trip, but the adventure we had in Macau was insanely incredible. It's short but sweet, which is exactly how we wanted it to be.
What are your next vacation plans?