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hially Macau - A travel report by Alice
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Macau,  Macau - flag Macau
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hially's travel reports

Macanese Escape

  6 votes

Macau travelogue picture
I'm grateful that this little-known piece of the world is close to where I live so that I can have a quick escape from Hong Kong when I need it. Macau is has been a Special Administrative region of China since 1999 and prior to that it was a Portuguese colony. It's a very tiny place, which consists of Macau Peninsula, Taipa island and Coloanne island. Taipa and Coloanne don't really feel like islands and they are connected by huge bridges. Upon the first visit, Macau seems very Chinese and for good reason. Most of the population is Chinese although there are some Macanese and other ethnic groups. In fact, there are even a few Portuguese who still reside in Macau...but they are small in number. I chatted with a Portuguese Macau resident who told me that she was one of about 10 Portuguese still living in Macau! She was exagerating, of course, but it is true that many of the Portuguese have left the area. Macau is a quieter, smaller, poorer, slightly European Hong Kong.

Favourite spots:
Macau travelogue picture
I've been to Macau a few times and to be honest, I just like to enjoy strolling around the streets and nooks and crannies in town. There are little markets, street vendours, and all sorts of interesting abandoned buildings that I find mysteriously intriguing. If the light is golden as it can be in the late afternoon, the Portuguese style architecture around Senado Square is illuminated beautifully. Other nice spots include Ruinas de Sao Paulo (Ruins of St Paul's Cathedral), the Lou Lim Loc Gardens and the old fort just for the panorama possibilities. If you want a more subdued, quiet visit, avoid the gambling scene on Macau peninsula at night and don't visit during the Macau Grand Prix in November. Taipa or Coloanne are better bets for a quiet get-away.

What's really great:
Macau travelogue picture
Hong Kong sells egg-tarts everywhere but the ones in Macau are phenomenal. You must indulge in a Macanese egg tart if you go to Macau. Delightful! The street vendors have some really cool, kitchy antique-like stuff for sale at cheap prices if you want to pick up a trinket. I bought two very unusual bowls on the street at a ridiculously low price (you can bargain if you like). The real antique stores are the most special thing about Macau. If you're not interested in buying furniture, you should still make a visit to one of the great antique stores just for the esthetic value. I intend to ship some furniture from Macau back to my home country in Canada when I finish up my job in Hong Kong. Macau is certainly a worthwhile get-away for anyone who happens to be in Hong Kong and needs a break from the go-go-go lifestyle here.

Sights:
Macau travelogue picture
Ruins of St. Paul's Cathedral
Senado Square
Lou Lim Loc Gardens
The old fort (for the views)
walks along any interesting-looking street or alley
antique furniture stores

Nightlife:
Macau travelogue picture
I have two friends that live in Macau and they took me on the Friday night circuit when I went to visit them. They kind of meant it as a joke because there isn't really much of a nightlife in Macau unless you like gambling, strip-clubs and the like. I did visit a place along the water on the Macau peninsula where a Filipino band was playing and it was pretty much a drink and listen to music place. Dancing seemed to go on at the major hotels on Macau peninsula. Not really my scene anyway.

Restaurants:
Macau travelogue picture
Macau is well-known for it's unique variation of Portuguese food. There's a place called Fernando's on Coloanne if you want to eat something representative of the region. As can be expected, there are lots of Chinese restaurants in Macau and the menus at these places are often only in Chinese. Good luck!

Published on Thursday January 23th, 2003


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Fri, Dec 03 2004 - 09:11 PM rating by magsalex

Like reading your reports - again a job well done.

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