Friday, April 13, 2012

Destination: Macau

I've already told you about the amazing time that we had in Disneyland for our first day in Hong Kong.  Since we are to stay here for about 4 whole days, we took the opportunity to visit a neighboring country, Macau, which is just one ferry ride away.

From our hostel, we walked to China Ferry Terminal which is located at Canton Road.  We bought round trip tickets which we got at a cheaper price.  We rode the Cotai Jet, and the ferry ride took about two hours.

Macau is famous for its extravagant hotels and bustling casinos.  Most of these hotels offer complimentary bus rides for their patrons from the port to the hotel and back.  We chose to ride the Wynn bus which would take us nearest to our next destination.  

One could really appreciate the talent and the effort that the architects who built these hotels put into walking around the city.  We were especially in awe of the Grand Lisboa Hotel which was shaped like a lotus plant in a jar.

This special administrative region of China was once a Portuguese colony.  So it's no surprise that it had a big influence on the people living here.  We visited Senado Square, which is like the city center.  Again, the architecture was so impressive.  The whole area was also paved in stone.  It's no surprise that this place was declared as one of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites.

Don't be fooled by this scenic view.  Walking inside the square, you'll find arrays of gift shops and shopping centers.  There are also a lot of food shops offering local delicacies.  I took advantage of the free tastes that were offered around the area.  Hahaha!

We finally arrived at the Ruins of St. Paul's after going through the maze of all those people.  It was a majestic sight to behold.  The stone carvings were really beautiful and I was amazed at how this was maintained all these years. At the back of the ruins was a museum and a crypt containing bones of some of the laymen and devotees of the church as well as the martyrs of Japan and Vietnam.

Beside the ruins is the Museum of Macau.  We did not have enough time to go inside but we were able to take some pictures at the Fortress Garden located at the second floor of the museum.  One of my friends had his "photo shoot" here :P

The highlight of this trip for me was that I was able to visit The Venetian (nope, not the one beside the office in McKinley Hill :P).  I have been dreaming of visiting this place ever since I watched it in Boys Over Flowers (Korean Version).  I was secretly hoping Goo Jun Pyo would arrive.  And yeah, I also dream of visiting Italy one day.  

I was so excited during our walk leading up to the Venetian.  I kept on replaying the scenes in my mind.  And it didn't let me down.  It was so beautiful inside.  You'll have a feeling of luxury walking in the lobby.  I'll just let the pictures speak for itself.

The place is huge!  We are talking about 980,000 square meters of hotel, casino, and mall.  Its main attraction, the San Luca Canal which would make you feel you are in Italy.  Along the canal are boutiques and restaurants.  Above you will see a make-shift sky which makes you feel it is always sunset.  There is even a gondola ride for which the gondola drivers sing and actually speak Italian.  We were lucky that one of the lady drivers stopped by where we were standing and sang "Dahil Sa'yo".  We'll she wouldn't admit she is a Filipino because they have to maintain a certain standard inside the hotel.

All the time that I was inside the Venetian,  I felt like I was in a dream and I wouldn't want to wake up.  I felt I was floating, looking and walking around the canal (that is, until my feet screamed pain from all the walking that we did).  I wish I could go back and actually stay inside the hotel.  I just have to win the lottery first :P.

Before I end this post, I would like to share some quick notes when visiting Macau:

1. Ferry ride takes about two hours.  Budget your time well if you are just staying for the day.  Last trip for the ferry is at 9 PM (if I remember correctly).
2. Hong Kong Dollar is accepted although some establishments will give change in Pataca.
3. Make a side trip to the Macau Tower if you are feeling adventurous and try bungee jumping.
4. Be sure to bring home egg rolls and almond cookies.  These are just delicious!!!

Watch out for my upcoming post on the Hong Kong City Tour that we did.  Thanks for reading! 

PS.  For more of the outfit I wore, please visit this post and see how I got to be a Victoria's Secret Angel :)

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