Macau!

So, today we arrived in Macau! We landed, an hour late due to the omnipresent delays that seem to be everywhere in the Philippines, at 11.30 on a runway that was build on the sea! Weirdly enough, you cannot check-in at Macau hotels before 3 PM, so we decided to go into the city right away to try to arrange our visa into China. Along the way, we walked past many Portuguese looking streets and houses, and yes, many fancy jewelry shops too;) They also have many cobbled streets, which makes you feel like you’re in Southern Europe – except for all the Chinese and Asian people there.

Old city centre at night

After a lot of hassle to get our flight ticket out of China printed (Gmail appeared already blocked here unless you’re in an expensive hotel), we completed our application and were told to come back tomorrow to pick it up! Yes!! Now it was time to see some more of the city. Every street is indicated in Portuguese, and on signs everywhere you see Portuguese, Chinese and English. But when you try to speak to someone, they usually only speak Chinese (or Cantonese) and little English and definitely no Portuguese. Following the signs, we climbed a hill with the ruins of Fortaleza do Monte, a 16th century fortress, on top. From here you had a nice view over the city.

View of the casino’s from Fortaleza do Monte hill top.
Fortaleza do Monte canons aiming for the Lisboa Casino.

You could now see that it wasn’t at all just glitz and glam, as the many ill-built golf plated houses showed on top of many flats. The Museu de Macau is also on this hilltop, so we decided to pay the 1,50 EUR to go see it. It showed the European and Chinese history developing together, and displayed the life in early Macau. They had a very cool collection of coins, of which a few were not round but oddly shaped, such as knives!

The knife-shaped coins.

From there we descended to the ruins of St. Paul’s church, the most well-known image of Macau. Only the facade still stands today. St. Paul's Ruins

St. Paul’s at night.

Continuing, we walked through a street full of the same bakeries, which also happened to offer samples of all their cookies… Needless to say, we tested them to see if they could match our high standards:P Yummy! Yet some shops also sold weird products, such as dried seahorses, or birds nests, or maggots in a fancy box..

Dries seahorses, a true delicacy apparently.

In the evening, we strolled around the city and dined at a small local place, indicating what we wanted to eat on a menu. Fortunately, we picked the right spot, cause the food was truly delicious! But even at a very small family restaurant, it’s hard to find dishes that are below 5 euro. In Macau, you can easily spend 10 to 15 euros per person at a small restaurant, which is very expensive for Asian standards. After our dinner, we walked further to the many casino’s at the waterfront. It is amazing to see this at night; so many lights!

Old city centre walls
Square in the old city centre
The Lisboa casino, huge and impressive.
Macau’s casino’s at the waterfront.

On our final day in Macau, Joske decided to cut her beach dried hair, and with a new do, we walked around town a final time.

Tomorrow we will discover Macau some more..

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