The beautiful Largo do Senado (Senate Square)
First Visit: May 2013
Text and Photography: Arthur Jeciel
33. TOP ATTRACTIONS IN MACAU
July 17, 2013 For most tourists, travelling to Hongkong wouldn't be complete without doing a day trip to Macau. Afterall, it is just an hour away by ferry, and being a former Portuguese colony, it is always interesting to see the unique blending of two cultures that made this place a special and charming destination that it is today.
And so on our last day in Hongkong, we decided to take a ferry for a day trip to Macau. Buying our tickets from TurboJet was easy, and with fares ranging from 148 to 184 Hongkong dollars in economy class, I think it is quite a good price.
After about 55 minutes of sailing, we caught glimpse of the Ponte de Sai Van (Sai Van Bridge). The bridge measures 2.2 kilometers, and is one of the three bridges connecting Taipa Island and Macau Peninsula.
Our first stop was the Macau Tower, a magnificent tower which is 338 meters high. Designed principally by Gordon Moller of CCMBECA New Zealand, it can withstand winds of up to 400 km/h.
From the main observation level which is 223 meters above ground, one can have a great view of the city, and the Pearl River Delta.
After enjoying the great view of Macau, we decided to head downtown and have lunch at a local restaurant. From where I was seated, I saw this police car parked outside. Take note of the sign "Policia", a clear sign of Portuguese influence.
From the famous egg tarts in Hongkong, one won't miss the Portuguese version here in Macau.
From the Largo do Senado (which is a square surrounded by neo-classical buildings painted in soft Portuguese colors) we slowly moved our way to the bottom of the hill where the famous Ruins of St. Paul's Cathedral is located. Considered as Macau's most famous landmarks, the ruins of this 16th-century cathedral features a spectacular facade with intricate carvings by Japanese monks. It was raining when we arrived at the location but that didn't stop the people from coming.
On the way back to the city center, we made a stop at the St. Domingo's Church, a catholic church established in 1587 by three Dominican priests from Acapulco Mexico.
And of course, our last stop were the casinos of Macau. Honestly, I normally associate Macau to its casinos in the same way I do with Las Vegas. Although in comparison, I still think Las Vegas is a much better place for gambling because of the vibes that it gives me. Well, that's just my opinion.
Inside the Grand Lisboa
It was a very nice experience visiting Macau and discovering it's unique culture. I felt like I was taken back to an old European city. For me, seeing the ruins of St. Paul's Cathedral was the highlight of the trip. It was just so fascinating how the facade came to be. The casinos are nice but as I've said, I still prefer the ones in "The Strip".
In my opinion, discovering Macau could be done in one day, the same way we did our day tour. Or maybe more, specially if you feel like taking your chances in their casinos. To the wonderful people of Macau, Obrigado!