It’s the last day of our vacation and, this time, we gonna visit Macau. From Tsim Sha Tsui we just walk to the China-Macau Ferry Terminal. We took a round trip ticket of HK$290. I regret for taking a round trip ticket when we arrived in Macau because one day wasn’t enough, we could have taken the last trip or best if it was not our last we could have stayed overnight in Macau because I’m sure the place is great during night time. Nonetheless, there no use of crying over spilled milk.
A friend in Macau who promised to give us a tour in Macau wasn’t available for some emergencies. He advised us to get a Filipino guide for us to maximise our time rather than spending it looking for directions. The idea was great because when we were there—I just realize that looking for bus stops to get a free ride would take some time. Professional tour guides are available at the port but would ask for quite a price. However, there Filipinos at the port who also do some tour guiding at the least price. I opted to get a Filipina ,actually, they are a group and would do some shifting in guiding us when one has to report for work already. My friend told me to just pay HK$ 150, but the guides asked for HK$ 50 for each of us, making it HK$200 for the four of us. The guide told us in Tagalog, “Tulong na lang po sa amin sir, pandagdag padala sa Pinas” (added help for our families back home).
I learned that our guide has a flat in Macau and she is renting this for some Filipinos. I thought I could save more next time if I stay in a guest house rather than in a hotel. Maybe next time I can enter at Hongkong and afterwards stay for a night or two in Macau then go straight back to the Philippines. For those who would like to have the contact number of our guide. I can email it to you.
Macau is an ex-Portuguese colony off the Southern coast of China in Far East Asia. Macau was once famous for being an area thick with counterfeiters, spies and drug runners. Ironcially today Macau has legalized casinos and gambling — and, in fact, Macau is Asia’s Las Vegas, Nevada’s biggest casino destination rival with experts saying Macau “Cotai Strip” could overshadow the Las Vegas Strip.
The author at the Grand Emperor Hotel
Grand Emperor Hotel
We visited first he Grand Emperor Hotel. I was awed with the Golden Pathway in the lobby, which is literally composed of 78 bars of pure gold (999.9 fine), each weighing one kilogram and embossed with a unique number. This Golden Pathway created an imperial ambiance of the hotel made me feel like a royal guest(hmmm just a feeling at least!).
The daily staged ceremony of “Changing the Guard” created a finishing placed at the hotel entrance.What a magnificent photo opportunity for the guests. Another attraction there is the imitated antique golden carriage that exhibits fine craftsmanship of the 18th century Europe.
After, the Grand Emperor, we went to the Senado Square. 3700m, Leal Senado Square is paved with a wave-patterned mosaic of coloured stones, created by Portuguese experts. In our visit the square is being decorated in preparation for the Chinese New Year.
At the Senado Square, notice the waved mosaic where I stand
Within the Senado Square is the Institute of Civic & Municipal Affairs (ex Leal Senado), was built in 1784 and remains the most outstanding example of traditional Portuguese architecture in Macau.
Inside, the lower walls are decorated with magnificent blue and white Portuguese tiles while a number of historic stone carvings are set into an interior courtyard. We went inside the Municipal Affairs where sessions are being held.
The building is regarded as the most outstanding example of Portuguese architecture in the territory. A public library is located on the first floor and its two inner chambers contain magnificent examples of the institution at Coimbra, in Portugal.
After the Senado Square, we went ahead to see the remaining front wall of the Ruins of St Paul‘s Church. The foundation of the church was laid in 1602 and it was completed in 1637. The church caught fire three times one after another and it was rebuilt after each fire three times leaving on the façade of the Church. Today the ruin is the most famous landmark of Macau.
At Monte Fort
Adjacent to the ruins is the Monte Fort. Also known as Citadel of St. Paulo do Monte, it was built between 1617 and 1626 as part of the church of St. Paul’s project and with the added purpose of defending the city from possible attacks.
The Monte Fort’s great moment of glory eventually came in 1622 when the Dutch attempted to invade Macau and were roundly defeated. It was also the only occasion that the cannon in the Fort was used.
The Fort has been witness to three centuries of history but was opened officially only in 1966. Centrally located, the fort is a splendid place to obtain overall views of the city, including Ruins of St. Paul’s below, and one can see China just across the estuary.