Day 4 – Birthday in Macau
Day 4 (April 25) – Macau Adventure
In my 2006 HK visit, I (together with Mom and my 2 aunts) had a short side trip to Shenzhen, China for some quick shopping. While in 2008, I failed to see Macau due to heavy rains. Together with a colleague and some friends from church, I got stranded inside our hostel room and had to wait for 3 hours for the flood water to subside. So this time, I really prayed hard that everything will be fine as I have been dying to see Macau for the longest time 🙂
And so, Mom and I woke up early so that we could at least spend the entire day in Macau. Since it was my first time to travel there, I had to research from the internet some instructions on how to get to Macau. And I did that just some minutes before we left the hotel. That’s how unprepared I was, hahaha! I didn’t know that there was a Turbojet ferry station in Tsim Sha Tsui. We had to travel to Hong Kong Island and opted to take the ferry at a station near the Shueng Wan MTR exit. Well, that’s the prize I get for not researching ahead of time. LOL.
At around 9:00 a.m., we were in line to purchase our ferry tickets. Too bad though but the cashier was already selling tickets for 11:15 a.m. trip. Well, we really should have left the hostel earlier. So, Mom and I opted to have breakfast. She had her’s at Starbucks while I ate at KFC. Magastos ang nanay ko noh?! Hehehe! After breakfast, we tried to pass time by doing some window shopping. Oh yes, it was a successful “window shopping” activity! I didn’t buy anything. Yipee! LOL.
After a few minutes, I dragged Mommy to the ferry station. It was a bit too early. But hey, we still needed to pass through immigration. SOP thingie when transfering from one country to another. And there we saw long queues of travelers. It took us some 20 minutes to wait for our turn. And another 20 minutes for actual boarding. I have already secured return tickets, 7pm that is. Which means, we only have 5 to 6 hours to see Macau.
It was just a short 1 and 1/2 ferry ride. And before 1:30 p.m., we were already in Macau.
Before we left Manila, we were able to contact a former female neighbor who is now living in Macau. She was kind enough to meet us at the station and alloted the entire day to be with us. The old lady is a friend of Mom’s and they haven’t seen each other for more than 16 years. I was the one to first see our neighbor. She was with another companion. I approached them, called our neighbor by her name and introduced myself. She looked at me, a bit confused, and said, “Winkie? Ikaw na ba yan? Ay, dalaga ka na pala!” Hmmm, I think her last statement was wrong. I guess it should have been, “Ay, dalaga ka pa rin?!” LOL. I took them to Mom, who was a few feet away from us. They hugged as soon as they saw each other. Our neighbor was in tears… tears of joy, that is. She said she was so happy to see old friends.
We didn’t spend too much time at the ferry station and decided that we catch up while touring the place.
I was really amazed with how Macau looked like. It’s much better than the pics. The place is so clean. Roads are so wide. No jammed traffic on the road. And what’s best is that almost everything is free! LOL. Well, we traveled around expense-free as hotel shuttles are available everywhere that took us to places that we wanted to go to. Rule of thumb though, read the bus signs so you won’t get lost. LOL.
Our first stop: the famous Venetian Hotel.
Since we had a very limited time, we just stayed a little over an hour at the Venetian Hotel. Just a quick late lunch and some photo ops. Maybe I should quit with my long story telling and just let the pictures tell you how we explored the place:
Next stop was the City of Dream. It was just across Venetian Hotel. But hey, we still had some photo ops while transferring from one hotel to another. LOL.
I really did not know what to expect from this hotel. In fact, I wasn’t much interested to go to that place as I thought we were just visiting another hotel-slash-casino. So I kept on telling our neighbor that I wanted to visit other famous landmarks like Ruins of Saint Paul and they always reply me with “Wag kang mag-alala, makikita mo lahat yan. Maliit lang ang Macau.” But when I try to look at my watch, I felt it was too impossible to move to other places with that limited time.
As we were touring inside The City of Dreams, our neighbor approached a ticket booth. Then she handed us 4 tickets for a show called “Bubble Show”. They said it’s something that we shouldn’t miss. But since it was only a little past 3pm then, we opted to tour the place a little more. A few minutes later, the son of our neighbor came and told that he will be the one to take us to Sao Paulo. Not in Brazil, Ruins of Saint Paul’s that is. LOL. We were then short of 1 ticket for the Bubble Show. Good thing that our male neighbor did not intend to watch with us as he has seen it so many times already. He basically went there just to meet us and tour us after the show.
When I entered the dome-shaped theater, it reminded me of Planetarium in Luneta Park… less the chairs! Well, I instantly knew that pictures can’t really tell how awesome the show was. So, I opted to capture it in video. But please pardon the resolution. I just used my trusty old digital camera… it’s only 5MP. Sorry!
(If you can’t view video from this page, just click HERE.)
Our neighbor was right, it was something we shouldn’t miss. The Bubble Show was indeed the most spectacular digital show I have seen so far. And the best part? We watched it for FREE! LOL.
It was already 5pm and we all rushed to our next pit stop. Good thing though, there was a shuttle right outside the hotel that took us directly to Sao Paulo.
They were right all along, every place in Macau is just minutes away. In less than 20 minutes, we were already in San Ma Lo. Everything in San Ma Lo is nice to look at… and of course, nice to take pics. LOL.
Well, photo ops wouldn’t be complete if we are not in it…
This place is very much similar to our local Walled City or the so called Intramuros… in a much cleaner and more organized way though 🙂 It brought so much history as we toured the place. According to our tour guide-slash-neighbor (as as checked with Wikipedia), Macau was colonized by the Portuguese people for more than years before it was turned over to China in 1999. Thus, the cobble stone look.
Since it was a Sunday, Mom asked that we visit some churches so we could at least say a short prayer.
Then, off to Sao Paolo…
It was already 6 p.m. then and we were still in Sao Paolo. I started to get worried that we might not able to make to our 7 p.m. ferry schedule. But again, our neighbor assured us that we’d be at the ferry station in just 15 minutes. But hey, we managed to buy some of Macau’s famous delicacies and take some photos while rushing to the shuttle station. Late na, shopping at picture pa rin! Hehehe!
At 6:25 p.m., we were already at the ferry station. Our neighbor was right again, we did beat the time. We were even 20 minutes earlier than required check-in time.
There was a long queue of passengers when we arrived. The lounge was already full that I had to sit on the floor while we were waiting for our ferry number to be called. We waited for like 15 minutes.
It was another 1 and 1/2 hour travel from Macau to Hong Kong. And at around 9:30 p.m., we were at the hostel room, tired and exhausted from that jammed-pack Macau trip. It may be a short trip, but Mom and I enjoyed it a lot. Too bad though, we weren’t able to see Macau at night. Most people say it’s best to see that awesome place when it’s well lit at night. Did I regret it? Hell no! Because I will be coming back to Macau… real soon! 😛
To be continued…