Visiting Macau: Heritage, Casinos & Pastries
From Hong Kong to Macau via Ferry
From where I stayed on Nathan Road, we walked to China Hong Kong City where we boarded a ferry to Macau. Everything moved like clockwork and we breezed through immigration and took our seats. The ferry was comfortable. However, do bring along a sweater as it can be cold. In just about 1 hour, we had already reached Macau and landed at the Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal. Do note that immigration might take up to 30 minutes though.
From the terminal, we then headed out to where all the shuttle buses are (Most casinos/hotels provide free shuttle buses). Some are on the same side on the road. However, certain shuttle buses like the ones to Venetian are across the road. Take the underground passage which will bring you across the road safely. You will see an escalator which will bring you down the passage when you exit the ferry terminal.
Dragon Boat Racing at Nam Van Lake
Nam Van Lake
As I was there on 6 June 2011, we took bus 23 and headed to Nam Van Lake to watch the dragon boat racing held in conjunction with the Tuen Ng Festival/Dumplings Festival/Dragonboat Festival. It was really amazing to see how fast they could row and how united the teams were. They had to be fast and row at the same rhythm in order to win. From Nam Van Lake, you will notice the Macau Tower standing majestically in the skyline.
After watching a few laps of the dragonboat races, we then headed to A-Ma temple (Ma Kok Miu in Cantonese). It is situated on a slope so to reach the top, you need to conquer a few flights of steps! Just a few blocks away from the temple, are some of the most famous Portuguese restaurants in Macau. We decided to have lunch at Litoral before heading to the Historic Centre of Macau.
Historical Senado Square
Historic Center of Macau
After lunch, we took a bus to Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro (better known as San Ma Lou to locals). Its Chinese name literally means New Road. Here you will find many jewellery shops and also the famous Yeeshun milk pudding shop.
From here, you can take a leisurely walk leading to places like Senado Square, the Ruins of St Paul and the St Dominic's Church.
Cannon pointing towards Grand Lisboa
Exploring Senado Square
Around the Senado Square area, you will also see many shops selling local pastries. Notable ones include the Portuguese egg tarts, almond biscuits and the egg rolls with seaweed. As you walk along the streets, you will notice people giving out samples of the pastries. They are free and you sample as many as you like before deciding to buy! From my observation, Koi Kee has the most number of branches within the area. I counted 9 in total!
Besides these pastries, another famous Macau specialty is the Pork Chop Bun. The most famous stall is at Taipa but we did not manage to try it...oh well! Another time then....
When you step into Macau, one thing that you will observe is that casinos are everywhere. Some big, some smaller and the majority of casinos would have its own casino. The exception would probably be my hotel, the Metropark Hotel. From Senado Square, you will be able to spot the unique Grand Lisboa even from far. One unique thing to note is that some of the cannons at the top of Mount Fortress seem to be aiming at Grand Lisboa!
Besides the Grand Lisboa, we also crossed over to the Lisboa Hotel, Babylon at the Fisherman's Wharf and the Sands Macau Hotel & Casino. Even if you are not a gambler, you can spend some time at the casinos as there are frequent performances inside.
To find out what else I did in Macau, read on here.
More information on Hong Kong and Macau
Macau Map of Places I Have Visited
Known as San Ma Lou to locals.