In December while we were in Hong Kong for a week we had a day out in Macau. Macau is very easy to travel to from Hong Kong for a day, overnight or more. It was a Portuguese Colony until 1999 when it was returned to China. This city still retains much of its Portuguese influence with many of the buildings having been restored and renovated over the years. It has a reputation of being the Las Vegas of Asia with the most number of casinos outside of Las Vegas. But that is not why we decided to spend the day here! Macau is rich in history and has numerous restaurants, cafes and bars to choose from.
The Grand Lisboa by day and night
We headed out from out hotel around 10.30 and took a taxi to the ferry terminal in time to catch the 11.15 am Jetfoil to Macau. There is now a bridge across the two cities. We decided against the bridge even though it says it only takes 45 minutes to cross by the shuttle bus provided. This time does not factor in immigration at both sides and other stops along the way.
Zhuhai section of the bridge
(Source: Zhang Youqiong/For China Daily)
This is the world’s longest sea spanning bridge and measures 55km. Construction began in December 2009 and it was first open to the public in October 2018.
Our first stop of the day was to have lunch. We wanted to go back to one of our favourite restaurants – Fernando’s in Hac Sa Beach, on Coloane Island. This restaurant is always packed and we hadn’t booked! But as usual with any Asian restaurant they will always find you a table. We had a bit of a wait but preferred to sit in the main dining area rather than at the front. We have been going here for many years and it seems nothing has changed – in a good way. The food is always delicious and service fantastic.
I had to post this picture of the foosball table as I can remember this being here since we first visited in 1990. Whether it is the same one I have no idea.
A delicious traditional Portuguese lunch and of course Portuguese wine!
After lunch we had a short walk along Hac Sa Beach and then took a bus back onto the Macau Peninsula. Macau is made up of three islands, Coloane, Taipa and Macau Peninsula.
From where the bus dropped us off we walked up to the Guia Fortress. The fort and chapel were constructed between the 1622 and 1638 and the lighthouse around 1864. It is now a UNESCO World heritage site.
Typical painted apartment buildings and the Guia Fort
It was quite a walk up there for me anyway! But once at the top it was definitely worth it.
The bridge below is the Taipa Bridge connecting Taipa to Macau Peninsula
The bell outside Guia Chapel, established by Clarist nuns
On our walk back into town we stopped to walk through the Chapel of St. Michael, built in 1875 it has a beautifully landscaped cemetery.
Then into the town to the ruins of St. Paul. This is now just a facade as it the church itself was destroyed by fire in 1835. Although is it still quite majestic to look at.
Close by is the beautiful St. Dominic’s Church. Founded in 1587 by three Spanish Dominican priests who originally came from Acapulco in Mexico, this church is also connected to the Brotherhood of Our Lady of the Rosary. (Source: Macau Tourism)
There is so much more to do and see in Macau but I think we had exhausted ourselves by now and were in need of drinks and food. After much debate with a reluctant taxi driver we ended up outside the AIA Tower. A quick look at Google and I saw that Sky 21 was located at the top. We were just going to stay for a cocktail or two but after seeing the view decided to stay for dinner also.
It was an extremely busy day and you can only do so much in one day but I think we gave our visitors a good idea of Macau and how different it is from Hong Kong, not just culturally but architecturally too. It’s a 24 hour city so there was no problem for us getting a ferry back at 11 pm.
For now Macau – a despideda