Sunday, January 31, 2016

Macau, 24th to 27th January 2016

Our first overseas trip for 2016 was to be Macau, Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China.

Macau (/məˈk/澳門澳门; "Bay gate"), also spelled Macao, lies on the western side of the Pearl River Delta across from Hong Kong, which is about 64 kilometers to the east, and it is also bordered by Guangdong of Mainland China to the north and the South China Sea to the east and south.[6] With an estimated population of around 636,200 living in an area of 30.3 km2 (11.6 sq mi), it is the most densely populated region in the world.

Upon researching Macau, I realised the air tics and hotel rates are much cheaper on weekdays than weekends. Hence, taking advantage of the FT public holiday and two days leave, we managed to book AA tics and 3 nights stay for 3 (free extra bed) at Emperor Hotel for RM1,127 pp with air tic alone been RM767.

The Emperor Hotel is nearby to Grand Lisboa, Wynn and Star World casinos. It is about 18 mins walk to Senado Square and Unesco Heritage Area of Macau Peninsula. Therefore, its location is most ideal.

Tip: Within the hotel premise is a Chinese restaurant. The buffet seafood (dinner) is good with free flow of soft drinks, fruit juices and beer. Money for value considering the prices of food in Macau. Ringgit depreciation perhaps?  

The places of interests are mainly located in Macau Peninsula while the newer and more opulent casinos are located in the island at Cotai Strip.

Weather forecast for the duration of our stay was suppose to be rainy with overcast skies for most days with the maximum temperature been below 10 C! As it turned out, there was a cold front blowing down from China. It was reported the few days we were in Macau, Hong Kong experienced the coldest temperature in nearly 60 years!! Again, we were not prepared dressed like Eskimos,

Day One, Sunday, 24-01-16

Took a free shuttle from Star World Hotel to The Venetian. Most of the major casinos provide regular free shuttle services. The bus stand at The Venetian is like a whole bus station itself! Everything is done in a grand scale.  
Every Hotel Casino is built around a theme. Galaxy Macau
The Parisian Macao, Las Vegas Sand Corporation, 2016 completion date.
The Venetian, anything and everything Venice. 

Marvel the ceiling art


No expense spared. Even the public restrooms are beautifully and luxuriously done up with lots of gold colour

The Grand Shoppes. An indoor shopping mall with painted blue sky and a canal and gondolas thrown in!
The famous portugese tarts. They even have an outlet here so need not travel to Coloane to savour it. Not cheap at MOP10 per piece or RM5 plus! 



At the City of Dreams (COD) Casino, we managed to purchase 5 pm tickets to the much acclaimed 'House of Dancing Water' show with a 10% discount thrown in if you sign up for the COD membership which is free and on the spot. Thoroughly enjoyed 2 hr plus visual feast of drama, dance, acrobatic, stunts, music, design, props, etc. I was amazed how huge props could emerge from the deep pool and the next instant transformed to a dry stage! Wonderful experience, worth the price of the ticket.

Entrance  to the City of Dreams casino. Generally minimum bets starts from MOP500, MOP1,000 and MOP2,000!

Entrance to the show
The control center fronting the stage

The price of entrance, MOP530 instead of listed price of MOP580. There's two shows per day i.e. 5 and 8 pm
Our seats. The pool below will transform into a stage and back in a matter of minutes.

Imagine the ship mast rises from the depths of the pool
Day Two, Monday, 25-01-16

Weather was predicted to be sunny and yet cold. Took the opportunity to cover the Heritage Trail visiting as many places of interests as possible.

Took a cab to the famous Cheong Kei for the prawn roe noodles. Unfortunately, it has yet to open so instead we had pork chop buns at a little coffeshop at a side alley next to the famous Tou Tou Kai restaurant.



Lai Cha, our Malaysian 'Teh'
The famous Rue Da Facilidade avenue.
Senado Square

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.

Just follow the directions..
The road leading to St Paul's Cathedral is lined with shops catering to tourists

The Ruins of St. Paul's refers to the ruins of a 16th-century complex in Macau including what was originally St. Paul's College and the Church of St. Paul also known as "Mater Dei"








Only the facade remains
Classic example of religious harmony. This temple is just next to it.
Don't miss going up the Fortaleza do Monte. It offers great 360 degree views of Macau peninsula. 





The Macau Museum is located at the top

The Grand Lisboa stands out as the tallest building in Macau


Pastelaria Koi Kee. Many outlets located near  tourists hotspots. Get your dose of free snacks here. 

Ubiquitous almond biscuits
Cheong Kei's noodles. Overrated and expensive. The noodles and fish skin contrary to comments made on the net is really no big deal


The Opium House



CIA Macau Office lol 

Portugese is still the 2nd main language



St Lawrence's Church


Chinese Clan House

A-Ma Temple. The oldest Taoist temple in Macau.




One of the two bridges connecting the mainland to the island.


Awaiting for the Wynn's Casino Musical Fountain to commence
Day 3, Tuesday 26-01-2016

First itinenary for the day, Macau's famous dim sum! We were recommended to try Tou Tou Kai, reputedly famous dim sum and dining. The cab driver took where we were yesterday morning! We were there and yet didn't realised it. Lol.

Lining up and waiting for the shop to open at 9 am unlike M'sian dim sum which is available first light of dawn.

Quite delicious and nicely done
After a satisfying breakfast, next stop was Fort Guia. We took a cab to the foot of the hill and walked a short distance to the fort, lighthouse and chapel. Don't miss visiting the chapel as it has partially restored frescoes on the walls. No photography is allowed though. You also have a great view of the city from up here.




 



The charming old part of town away from the many tourists



Margaret's Cafe. Literally a goldmine. MOP10 for each tart and I guess business is such for everyday in week, 365 days a year!
Fisherman's Wharf

Unfortunately, this place devoid of tourists

Star World Casino
We top off the trip to the 'Land of Casinos' by having buffet seafood dinner at our Hotel. Definitely worth the price paid as you can just order off the menu. However, the menu was only available in Chinese. There is free flow of Heineken and Asahi beer.

Our first order..lol