20 July 2010

Hong Kong - Macau Diaries: Old Macau

07.08.2010


We decided to cross to Macau since it is just a one hour ferry ride from Hong Kong and it does not require getting a visa. Why not hit two birds with one stone right? There are ferries leaving Hong Kong every 30 minutes, both from the Tsim Sha Tsui and the Central terminals. We left at 8:30 AM aboard the New World First Ferry. Below are the ferry rates for NWFF:


Macau's currency is called the Pataca (MOP) but to lessen the hassle, Hong Kong Dollars (HKD) are widely accepted. In fact, they even like it when they are paid HKD since the exchange rate for MOP to HKD is 1:0.97. Macau used to be a Portugese territory but it is getting fame for being the Las Vegas of Asia. This China territory is a pretty good mix of the old and the new. We first headed for Largo Do Senado or Senado Square.


It was scorching hot! It would have probably been nicer to walk around had it been around December or January. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed the scenery. Walking a little more we arrived at the famous landmark that Macau has become associated with: Ruins of St. Paul.


Since my father has difficulty walking and my sisters, well, are both as lazy as clams, my mom and I were the only ones who made it through the last step of the ruins. Many thanks to our legs which were strengthened by kilometers of walking (mom) and running (me). See? Moving around and getting physical truly helps! Too bad that they were not able to see the Macau Museum which was also up there.


Funny story. We were taking pictures with the flash on when this guard approached and told us "No flash." So my mom and I continued taking pictures (this time without flash) and started conversing in Filipino that the pictures look blurry and dark when the same guard said "Ok lang po yan magaganda naman kayo." (That's ok, both of you are beautiful anyway) and smiled. The guard was a Filipino and there were 3 of them inside! It was a delight to see a kababayan there.

My mom and I went back to the rest of the pack and found them devouring egg tarts. OMG! Egg tarts (7 HKD) are just one of the best Macanese creations!


The streets are just packed with food to devour and things to see! I am in love with the cobblestones and pebbles of the streets. And of course still the egg tarts. Teehee!


Anyway you should not leave this place without getting anything from Pastelaria Koi Kei, the famous pastry shop of Macau. This is the perfect place to buy pasalubong. There are 3 stores on the way up to the ruins so you won't miss it. The good thing about this store? You'd get to sample all their products, that way you could decide which ones taste good. Buy almond cookies! It's their bestseller.


Aching feet and getting scorched by the sun was a small price to pay in exchange for the experience. Save for the taxi drivers which has solidified the communication barrier by having nil knowledge of English, Macau is a beautiful country.

Can't wait to share with you my adventure on the "new" part of this region.




*****
Hong Kong - Macau Series

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