I realize I am slow when it comes to keeping my blog updated. Sorry! It’s been such a busy summer thus far and haven’t had the time to write. I’m at a point where I am backlogged and have stuff queued up. No excuses, I need to finish my final leg of my China Trip. OK then, lets go!
My final stop was a continuation of new experiences. The itinerary took me to an unique place, which was Macau. If you’re like most people, you probably never even heard of this place. It’s known as the “Vegas of China”, a gaming/casino resort city in Southern China. It was a Portuguese colony for over 300 years until it was transferred back to China in 1999. It’s currently the most dense/heavily populated region in the world (and you thought HK or NYC was tightly packed, guess again).
I got here by hiring a personal driver. This guy drove me 3+ hrs from Taishan. Most locals who live nearby come here for a weekend or even a day trip (think LA to Vegas). They come in and out with ease, just don’t forget your passport. Once you cross customs, you’re on your way.
When I arrived, my first question was what currency will I use? Here, they accept local currency aka the MOP and mainly HKD. I currency shopped for about 15 mins and realized it would be a hassle to exchange back and forth so I decided to use my HKD when cash was needed.
Getting around town is quite easy (Pro Tip). This place is a gambling meca with Casinos everywhere. The Casinos want your money so they have FREE transportation everywhere. Get a map and learn the routes. By doing this, you can pretty much get anywhere in the major hot spots. All you have to do is hop on and off shuttles, no questioned asked!
Coming to Macau, main things to do is eat (remember Portuguese egg tarts and Almond Cookies), sightsee and gamble. My first mission was to PowPowPoof a famous Portuguese egg tart. You can buy them almost everywhere. Check it out:
If you had a Chinese egg tart before, it’s basically the same. Core ingredients are milk, egg, sugar, vanilla extract and flour. Must try! You can find these in Senado Square (see pic below). Here you can find almost anything from shopping to food. The time I was here was very relaxing, it was busy but not overly crowded.
Portuguese egg tarts are meant to be eaten right away as they are baked goods. To score points with family and friends, you could bring back Macau Almond Cookies. These are no regular Almond cookies where you can score at your local Chinese takeout. These cookies are packed with Almond flavor and are super good. It’s very hard to describe, you’ll just have to find out for yourself. But, if you do plan to bring some home, it’s no easy task as they are quite fragile. But, if you want something special, this is the item for you.
Swing by to the Koi Kei’s flagship store, it’s quite an experience. I say this since there are literally 30+ associates walking around with tupperware giving you samples to try. You can literally try the entire store and they don’t care. I ended up bringing back 4 boxes, worth the effort!
The most famous place to visit is the Ruins of St. Paul. To get here, you have to weave your way to this historic place. It’s probably a mile from the square, so you’ll get some “steps” if you are counting :-). Check out my journey below.
When you finally get there, it’s pretty cool. You get an old world Portuguese vibe. The Cathedral of St. Paul, was established by Jesuit Missionaries, and for many years was the largest Christian concentration in the Far East. Destroyed by fire in the 1800s, its preserved facade has become Macau’s most famous, and photographed, site. I was in the area for a couple of hours, it was nice just to hang out and feel the energy from this landmark.
If you are not a gambler, I say 2-3 full days here is good enough. You can hit all the spots at a relaxed pace. If you are a gambler, well then this is your paradise. With that said, I hope you get the opportunity to visit this place like me one day. It was a great experience and look forward to my next stop!
Until Next Time,