Monday, 8 October 2018

Photo Diary: A Day Trip to Macao

Macao is unlike any other place I have ever visited and was definitely a very different and unique experience. When we began planning our trip to Hong Kong I wasn’t too keen on taking a trip to Macao as I’d heard it was basically a sorry replica of Las Vegas, but Paul wanted to go, and so we did.

I’m so glad we took the trip to Macao and experienced it. While I didn’t fall in love with the place, it was a great experience and a very fun day. It was a hard day, with lots of walking in very hot and humid conditions, but worth every step (and calorie burned!)

Here are some photos to tell the story of our day…
We took the Turbojet ferry from Hong Kong to Macao. The ferry in itself was a pretty cool experience and not what I was expecting at all. Coming from South Shields, I was expecting an old, open-topped ferry but the Turbojet ferries were clean and comfy and the service was spot on. The views were pretty great too, especially on arrives to Macao and back to Hong Kong.
A typical street in Macao. The buildings were mostly quite run down and looked very old and unkept. This added to the charm as we explored, but I was shocked at how old and battered some of the buildings looked. 
The A-Ma Temple. We visited the temple on China's National Day and is was so busy and the incense was so strong. Call me uncultured, but I often think that most temples are so similar that once you've seen one, you've seen most but the A-Ma temple was quite unique. It was set on many different levels, with Chinese characters carved into the walls and so much to see. 
Wishes hung by visitors, filled with their hopes for the year.
Chinese characters were carved into stones all around the A-Ma Temple.
 We explored Mandarin House, home of the late Zheng Guanying who was an author and Chinese reformist in the Qing Dynasty (thanks Google!)
Built in 1869, the age of the building really showed. It was filled with history and mini museum rooms were set up around the building. 
As we walked around Macao, we stumbled across so many old and beautiful Portuguese style buildings. The contrast between the Portuguese and Chinese buildings and the huge hotels was so bizarre! I loved the touches of Portuguese, from a moment you would think we were strolling through a little European village, until you reached the next corner and the views completely changed again.
And some incredibly old, run-down buildings, but they still had that unique spark of interest. They reminded me a little of Notting Hill, only much much older.
St Lawrence's Church was one of the highlights for me. The building was just absolutely stunning, the architecture was incredible and the grounds were stunning. It was one of my favourite buildings.
The only way to describe Senado Square is manic but beautiful. It was so busy, but everything about it was so beautifully designed, from the floor to the buildings surrounding it.
Shops and restaurants inside of the most beautiful building in Senado Square.
The Igreja da Se Cathedral, standing tall and beautiful by Senado Square.
Turn a corner from the Portuguese inspired Senado Square and you find yourself on a very Chinese street filled with snack shops.
The Ruins of St Paul's. It was tough to get a good photo as it was just so busy, but it was pretty cool to see.
We walked up about 1,000 (exaggeration, but it was so hot and sweaty it felt like it) steps to Mount Fortress to get a view of the city from above. Plus, Paul really wanted to visit a castle, because boys!
The views were bizarre, with a mix of very very old and brand new and shiny. By the time we reached the top we were exhausted and very sweaty so we chilled for a while at the top to check out the views.
After exploring old Macao, we headed to the casinos, starting with the Galaxy. It's crazy to think that you are in the same place when you compare Macao's old town with the casinos.
The entrance to the Galaxy was stunning and had the most beautiful, shiny water fountain. I have to be honest though, while the entrance was grand, the casino scene has nothing on Las Vegas. The stories I had heard were right about that! It was cool to see, but it's not worth taking the trip to Macao just for the casinos. They missed a trick by not linking them up, adding a walk way and putting on some free shows. The minimum bet is around HK$1000 (around £100) too.
The Venetian Grande Canal Shopping Mall. The Venetian was beautiful and it was really cool to walk through and take in the decor. I mean, it was tacky, but who doesnt love tacky?

Interested in seeing more of our trip to Macao? Here are more photos of our day, just click through the slides.

So what were my thoughts?
I'm so glad we took the trip to Macao! It's a great place with loads to see and do and you could easily fill a couple of days there. It was a rush to get through as much as we did in a day. It's a unique place that I will probably never experience anywhere else in the world. While I didn't fall head over heels in love with Macao, it's well worth doing! Will I go back again? probably not and I probably wouldn't go out of my way to visit, but if you're nearby and have a bit of time it's worth adding a day trip for sure.

Look out for a more detailed and informative walking guide of Macao with lots of tips and tricks which I will be publishing soon.

Have you been to Macao? What did you think of it? Anything you love? Or hated?
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4 comments

  1. Oh wow, what beautiful photos! It sounds like you managed a lot in your time there. I’ve never heard of Macao, but it looks like, as you say, it would be great to visit if you’re nearby. The views from Mount Fortress look incredible!
    Hels xx
    www.thehelsproject.com

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    1. Thanks! We literaly DID NOT STOP! We were exhausted by the time we got back to Hong Kong but it was definitely worth it! Nikki x

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  2. Wow, what a brilliant post! It felt like I was right there with you experiencing Macao. I'd love to see more of Asia one day (I've only been to Thailand) so this was a really enjoyable read. It's amazing to see the big contrast between the glamorous casinos and the run-down streets. The A-Ma Temple sounded like an amazing experience and I really loved the wishes and hopes from visitors photo. What a lovely thing to do. Thank you for sharing your adventures Nikki! <3 xx

    Bexa | www.hellobexa.com

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    1. Thanks Bexa! We're hoping to see as much as we can in the next year and a half as we are planning to leave Beijing and move back to the UK then. There are some incredible places in Asia though aren't there, and so cheap! Nikki x

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