Happy 2015, everyone!
Ok, ok, I’m a *tad* behind on updating our little corner of the internet, but I’m back and there’s lots of adventures to fill you in on, so let’s get started!
Last year (December 5th, if you’re wondering how terribly behind I am), my parents took me on a lovely day-trip to Macau for my birthday! As my previous trips to Macau only consisted of heavy rain and being stuck inside a hotel/a quick trip over the border to validate Ry’s working visa, I was looking forward to see what it had to offer 😀
Macau is one of the two special administrative regions of the People’s Republic of China, the other being Hong Kong. It was the last remaining European colony in Asia, administered by Portugal from the mid-16th century until late 1999. Consequently it has a more visible colonial history than Hong Kong.
Walking through the old city, you get a very European vibe from the gorgeous pastel-coloured architecture.
Macau is known as the Vegas of the East. It is one of the world’s richest cities, becoming the world’s largest gambling centre in 2006. Although we weren’t there to gamble, we made the most of the free complimentary shuttle buses operated by all major casinos and hotels, with buses running every 5-10 minutes.
Our first stop was the Macau Peninsula which is small, compact and full of things to discover.
It is packed with churches, temples, fortresses and other old buildings!
St Dominic’s Church is a late 16th century Baroque-style church that serves within the Cathedral Parish of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Macau.
How beautiful is that pastel yellow architecture?!
The mixture of European and local Macanese features is demonstrated in the church’s use of Chinese style roof tiles and doors made of teak.
The church’s high altar features a statue of the Madonna and Child as the centerpiece and is flanked by wood and ivory-carved statues of several saints.
Next, we headed over to one of Macau’s best known landmarks.
The Ruins of St. Paul’s refers to the ruins of a 16th century complex that originally included St. Paul’s College and the Cathedral of St. Paul. Built from 1602 to 1640, the cathedral was one of the largest Catholic churches in Asia at the time. Unfortunately it was destroyed by a fire during a typhoon in 1835.
Here’s a close up.
This is what it looks like from behind, if you were wondering 😉
Also that guy was trying to take a photo jumping for a good 10 minutes.
We found it pretty hilarious!
Here’s the view from the top, if the Cathedral had eyes.
As we wanted to make the most of the sunshine, we gave the museum a miss…
…but we popped over to the Fortaleza do Monte (Portugese for Mount Fortress) instead i.e. the historical military centre of the former Portuguese colony of Macau. The fort was initially built in 1671-1626 to protect the properties of the Jesuits in Macau. Later it was seized by the governor for the defense of Macau.
My dad’s the coolest.
The tree covered park at the top of the fort offered an awesome panoramic view of the mainland area of Macau.
No matter where you stand up there, all the canons seem to point towards The Grand Lisboa i.e. the tallest building in Macau. It is one of the most famous, iconic casinos and landmarks set in the heart of Macau with halls containing many original antiques on display from the private collection of gambling tycoon, Stanley Ho. Furthermore, with 12 acclaimed restaurants and 24 hour entertainment, the Grand Lisboa has earnt its reputation as one of Asia’s finest casino hotels.
After soaking in the sights, we bought a few souvenirs for our relatives.
The best thing about this street is that there are free tasters everywhere you turn. The most popular seem to be almond cookies and pork jerky. (I wish supermarkets did this more often, then I wouldn’t have to excitedly buy something only to throw it away because it tastes awful. Yeah, I’m talking about you, spicy pork flavoured crisps).
There are also lots of food stalls which sell food on a stick 😀
I had some delicious crab balls here.
As we wandered down this side street, we came across a little hole in the wall that specialized in pork chop buns, one of Macau’s popular snacks.
Mum and I went for the pork chop buns, while dad tried the corned beef and egg sandwich which he enjoyed 😀
A real pork chop with bone n’all; none of that processed nonsense!
I’m loving all the mosaics and pretty patterns scattered everywhere.
Hello Kitty, holding a chicken that looks like a fancy version of my Nandos friend…
When we’d seen everything that the promenade had to offer, we headed over to check out the casino-hotels in the “Las Vegas Strip of the East.”
I’m not sure which hotel this was, but they were BIG fans of dragons…
Pretty sure this is meant to simulate being inside a dragon’s mouth?!
This is The Venetian, the most famous casino-hotel with its Venice-styled shopping mall with rivers running through and it is also currently the largest casino in the world.
I visited in 2013, so feel free to check out my snaps from inside 😉
As dinner time rolled around, my awesome parents treated me to an epic buffet in Feast at the Sheraton Hotel!
SO MUCH SHELLFISH!
I’ve never seen lobsters at a buffet before!
Sushi, parma ham and steak – all looking mighty fine 😀
Being a classic Asian at a buffet, this is what my first dish looked like!
Following plates and plates of delicious food, I took a stroll to make room for dessert.
This is easily one of the best lemon tarts I’ve ever had!
Perfectly lemony and it just melts in your mouth…
With happy tummies, we waddled over to the modestly named ‘City of Dreams’ complex to watch the ‘House of Dancing Water’ show, which has garnered an international reputation as one of the most innovative and awe-inspiring productions to be staged anywhere in the world.
Costing US $250 million to create, it is the world’s most expensive and unique theatre show, with a stage that holds five Olympic swimming pools worth of water!
Objects and people just come in and out of the water and the huge pool can suddenly disappear and return.
It’s freakin’ insane!
Following 5 years of development and 2 years rehearsal, this amazing production has become the iconic entertainment centerpiece of the City of Dreams.
It’s a mind-blowing combination of theater, dance, gymnastic artistry, high-performance diving and motorbike flips that push the physical boundaries of human performance!
If you’re ever in the area, I cannot recommend seeing this enough!
To find out more, click here.
Finally, I want to thank my wonderful parents for such a magical day! 😀