Macau has really undergone a paradigm shift since the last time I went there, it is now almost like a replica of Las Vegas. There are many more casinos now such as the Venetian, MGM Grand, the Wynn and many others. Some of the casinos are even so generous as to provide free shuttle buses from the Macau ferry terminal and the airport which depart frequently. In the morning, we had breakfast at McDonalds before walking to China Hong Kong City which runs regular ferry services between mainland China and Hong Kong. We reached around 10am and the earliest ferry to Macau was at 1230pm, but in the end 3 seats were suddenly available and we could take the 1130am ferry on New World. The journey took one hour and the sea was really choppy. Mak felt nauseous and nearly puked.
When we arrived in Macau, it took a long while to clear customs because there was a long queue and not many counters were open. We then took the shuttle bus to the Venetian. It was exactly like the one in Las Vegas, with the canal, gondolas, shops and the area was so vast that one could easily get lost inside the casino or the shopping centre. Being of legal age, we went to try out one of the slot machines and after pressing a few times, the HK50 note was depleted. Thus this is the gimmick of casinos to earn money. The odds of striking rich are so low and you would have already spent a huge sum of money, be it at table games or the machines.
We then went over to Macau Peninsula by cab which dropped us near the open square. We wanted to have lunch at a restaurant which was recommended in the guide book, but I underestimated the distance on the map and we had to walk a long way past may old shops until we reached our destination. We were totally disappointed because we reached slightly after 3pm and the restaurant closes at 3pm. So we traced back our steps and went to a Portuguese restaurant which we passed by earlier on and it was still open. We had a sample of authentic Portuguese cuisine such as Portuguese chicken, baked rice and beef steak; the meal was sumptuous and not too heavy on our wallets. The owner of the restaurant was very friendly and he seemed to be a Caucasian who can speak Cantonese. He also advised us on how to reach our next destination, St Paul’s ruins which was near the city square where we alighted just now.
We took the bus to the open plaza and looked up the slope to look at the UNESCO site of St Paul’s ruins. We were rushing for time because we bought return ferry tickets at 645pm. We went to the famous pastry shop Koi Kei to buy traditional pastries like almond cookies, lao po bing, walnut biscuits, pork floss egg rolls. There were free samples for customers to try and the shop was brimming with tourists. I spent like almost S$40 there, buying foodstuff back for my friends, relatives and family. Along the same street, they even opened two other branches!
Next, we went back to the ferry terminal and along the way, we stopped by to admire the glitz and glamour of the casinos like the Grand Lisboa and MGM. There was a shuttle bus from MGM to the ferry terminal. We reached there ahead of time and sat there to wait. This time, we took Turbojet and the ferry went to Hong Kong island. At the Hong Kong immigration, an elderly person had fainted and was carried away on a stretcher. I think the layout of the immigration is flawed because people cannot stand in a single straight line as the space is not big enough and as usual, there are not enough counters open to serve everyone.
Time for some late night shopping. We took the MTR to Mongkok and I really bought a few good buys there, such as a shirt from G2000, clothes from Esprit outlet, monkey T shirt and a pair of converse sneakers from ladies’ market. We shopped until around 11pm before heading back to our hotel, carrying all our shopping for the day. One thing I like about Hong Kong is that the shops remain open until late at night and they have a more exciting nightlife than Singapore. I can go out on the streets around 10, 11pm and there is still crowds around and stores open for people to do their late night shopping.
Qui a su aimer la terre a aimé l’éternité.