DIY Macau day tour
If you go to Hong Kong, it is a must that you visit its other half, Macau. These twin cities are both known as special administrative regions of China, but their appeal is completely different in their own ways.
Hong Kong is more Asian in character, known to have the most impressive skyline which features more than 1,200 skyscrapers albeit it’s scanty space.
While Macau is the Eurasian breed of city which is a result of being the last remaining European colony in Asia until 1999.
It is easily identified as the “ Las Vegas of Asia “ or the “ Monte Carlo of the Orient “ due to the sweeping presence of 33 casinos scattered like autumn leaves all over the city.
Upon hitting the Macau Ferry terminal, I was initially at sea. Suddenly, a Filipina approached me to offer a one-day tour around Macau. But out of the clear, blue sky, it called to my mind that I’m going to the gambling center of Asia, so I was not persuaded to be accompanied. While in the state of clutter, unwittingly, I discovered that making one’s way to downtown Macau is just easy as a pie.
All Macau casinos have their respective buses to transport you to their casino hotels free of charge.
I felt lucky that I chose the Venetian Macao bus which let me see first the grandest casino Macao has and the 7th largest building in the world by floor area. It resembles the neo-classical styled buildings arrayed on both sides of Amsterdam streets. Those who had traveled to Venice would find the architecture as a replica of Renaissance frameworks in Venice, Italy.
A gondolier can serenade you, along with your travel buddies during your gondola boat trip to the Grand canal of shoppes.
Like any luxury resort, Venetian Macao accommodates extensive lines of internationally well-known brands and shops. Macau, in the last 5 decades has been reliant to gambling which drives 50% of its GDP.
From Venetian, the casino hoping is on with the second one to Grand Lisboa. From this hotel,the Senado Square is walk-able in 10 minutes.
Across the Lisboa lies a row of trickshaw, a major public transport in Macau vehicle before.It is a hybrid of tricycle and rickshaw. Unfortunately, it is no longer now as it is reserved for tour purposes only.
The deep penetration of Portuguese influence is evident on the bilingual street signs and instructions both written in Chinese and Portuguese.
You would know that it’s already the Senado square when you start seeing florid, bright-colored buildings surrounding the elongated square. This paved town square is recognized as part of the UNESCO Historic Centre of Macau, a World Heritage Site.
In front of the 3,700 sq.meters square is the Leal Senado Building, sitting in what was once a meeting place for the Chinese and Portuguese in the 16th- 18th centuries. More than a century later, this square was named after this favorite rendezvous.
With the help of a map, a briskly passage to a narrow passageway will lead you to a huge open space plaza. On top of it stands the most famous landmark of the multicultural Macau, the Ruins of St. Paul Cathedral.
Ruins of St. Paul Cathedral
The church was built in 1602 in dedication to St. Paul, the Apostle. However, a fire incident in 1835 ruined the glorious beauty of the church except the southern stone facade of it which remained intact.
But what was once a remains has become a treasure that will be forever valued for its historical and architectural significance. This accidental advantage benefits Macau as this UNESCO World Heritage Site draws thousands of tourists from around the world. Tourism, along with gambling is Macau’s main income.
Take MTR to Sheung Wan station. Upon getting off, take exit D until you reach the Shun Tak Center by climbing several escalators. From here, it’s easy to spot the Hongkong-Macau terminal. There are several ferries that operate HK to Macau route.
The 55-minute ferry ride will cost from 150 to2100 HK $,depending on the service (day or night) and the travel type class (from economy to VIP class). I took the TurboJet which sails every 15 mins. The economy ticket type is priced at 172 HK $ (weekend rate).
Getting back home
Ride any of the casino buses which are available until midnight to bring you to the Macau airport.
Have you been to Macau? What were the first places you visited there on you first day? Please
feel free to comment.