Filed under China
25 September 2014
While in Hong Kong, I traveled one day to Macau, which is at just one hour by ferry. A former Portuguese colony since the XVI th century, it was handed back to Chinese control in 1999. I was interested in Macau for its colonial architecture, which is located around Largo do Senado. In this area, there is a quiet nice atmosphere with small Portuguese churches, narrow streets decorated sometimes with the typical blue and white azulejos and even pastéis de nata (in Macau they call them Portuguese egg tarts). If I closed my eyes (and ignored the annoying Chinese tourists) it was a little bit like Funchal.
But Macau is world known for being THE gambling hub, much more important than Las Vegas Strip. Just to give you an idea, the gambling revenue in Macau last year was $48 billion while in Las Vegas was only $6.5 billion during the same period. And Macau is still growing and after the Venice Casino, with its gondolas and canals, soon gamblers will enjoy the Casino Paris where people will be able to walk around Montmartre or have champagne by the Eiffel Tower 🙂
While walking amongst those ugly casinos I remembered my poker lessons with Badr. What a pity that I did not have time to exercise myself in the joys of poker, maybe I could finance my World Tour with some hands now, lol
Even if generally speaking I found Macau an ugly city, it was nice to enjoy for a few hours its particular atmosphere and made me realize how I miss Lisbon. Entonces agora tenho que adicionar Lisboa (de novo) em minha lista de futuros viagems 😉
My Tips :
- The ferry tickets are cheaper if you buy a round trip. And it is better to buy a round trip from Hong Kong to secure your seats;
- There are different tiket fares: day, night and week end so if you want to save money travel during the week and come back to Hong Kong before 6pm;
- When you arrive at the ferry harbor in Macau, all the casinos have shuttles to the city centre for free. Even if you don’t want to play you can take them, they won’t ask. I took the Casino Lisboa shuttle because it is a casino very close to the colonial area. And well, when I got off the bus it was nice to hear “welcome to Lisboa” 🙂
- In Pastelaria Koi Kei, just in front of the ruins of the Church of St Paul, you can taste all its specialties for free (except the pastéis de nata, 9 patacas each).
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