*Grab yourself a cuppa (or your favourite drink), arm yourself with a treat (or two) and honker down as this is a rather picture heavy post!
Whilst visiting Hong Kong, we were trying to decide what to do (after a couple of days exploring the sights) and one of the things that came up was visiting the nearby country of Macau! Now while I can’t remember what the other option was, visiting Macau won clearly by a long mile so we immediately hot footed it to the port to board a ferry to Macau!
Macau is a country which is probably best described as the Las Vegas of Asia. I know that’s not the best way to describe any country but Macau is famous for gambling and people flock here from all over Asia, and indeed the world, to try their luck on making a quick buck (ah, see what I did there! Didn’t even know till I wrote it, hehe!).
The other thing about Macau is that is has a really strong Portuguese heritage as it was a former Portuguese colony and this was evident as you go about exploring the country.
Before we dive in, let’s cover a few quick ‘need to know’ stuff first:
How did we get there? As mentioned before, by ferry from Hong Kong-Macau Ferry Terminal.
How much? HKD$155 to HKD$177 (approximately £13/$20 – £15/$23)
How long is the journey? 55mins
When to go? There are lots of options across the day with departures almost every 15 minutes so you don’t have to worry too much about the timings.
Visa required? As British citizens, we didn’t require any visas and I think this applies to quite a few countries but check this list on the official Macau website or you can check this wikipedia page to see if you require a visa or not.
Right, how that’s sorted, let’s see if you can spot the Portuguese elements in these first few photos…
N.B.: We got a taxi from the ferry port to the city centre. It’s a walkable distance but the taxi is fairly cheap and we wanted to make the most of the time there so we just hopped into one.
See what I mean about the Portuguese influence? We started off by checking a few artefacts in the church above…
Before heading out to find the Ruins of St Paul’s Cathedral in Macau…
How busy is this street???
On the way to the ruins however, there were loads of stalls offering samples of the foods they were selling. And yes, as you guessed, I did stop for a nibble or two… or three…
These cookies were a particular favourite. At least I think they’re cookies… They’re crumbly and sweet and I may have had far too many samples. So much so that I ended up having to buy quite a few packs, partly out of shame but mostly out of greed.
Finally, after eating more than my fare share of food samples, we finally arrived at the Ruins of St Paul’s Cathedral.
That facade is nothing short of marvellous, how is there just one part of the cathedral so perfectly intact with no other walls? The ruins I’m used to seeing are usually gradual and not so clean cut. The cathedral was built around 1602 to 1640 and so it dates back quite a few centuries. The ruins are also a UNESCO World Heritage site and again, rightly so – it’s quite impressive.
Eventually, we left the ruins in search of a higher viewing point – namely, the Macau Museum which is in the Fortaleza do Monte – a fort atop a hill.
Perfect viewing point for Macau and the Grand Lisboa Hotel which is fanciest places in Macau to go gambling. Even the restaurant there boast 3 Michelin stars!
It was of course a great viewing point for most of Macau…
We made our way back down this time in search of temples, ice cream and souvenirs… in any order.
The ice cream was the easiest to find! It was available at one of the first shops here…
Souvenirs were slightly trickier…
Can you spot Lloyd in the photo below?
Ice creams and souvenir’s nailed, we went off to find the temples.
After leaving the temples, we started to realise we only had a few hours left before we had to catch our ferry back and make it to Hong Kong on time for our dinner reservations so we grabbed a taxi to our next sight – the lighthouse.
The lighthouse, as you can imagine is set atop a hill and a particularly tall one this time, much taller than the Macau Museum…
Where are my manners? I forgot to introduce you to my cousin (you saw her in the selfie above outside the Ruins of St Paul’s Cathedral). Sorry for the delayed intro! 🙂 As an aside, she was also in Macau, Hong Kong, Vietnam and Singapore with us too!
Can you spot the lady below caught mid-selfie?
Finally, we made our way back down in search of drinks, some food and a taxi to the port. I actually got the time wrong (which no one bothered to correct me about) and I assumed our ferry was leaving an hour earlier than it was supposed to so I was power walking in search of all these things.
I just remembered now, we actually took a cable car down the hill from the lighthouse. I have no pictures in it for some reason but yeah, if you don’t wanna take a taxi up, there’s a cable car that’s a pretty cheap and convenient option to take you up the hill.
Eventually, we couldn’t find a taxi and ended up walking to the station. My phone had free roaming so when I had a look, I realised how close we were to the ferry port so it was an easy walk though I still power-walked it and it was only once we arrived that everyone told me how early we were. Luckily this left more free time to have a look for more stuff to eat and buy!
All in all, had a great day exploring Macau, although my feet were aching by the end of it. Next time I visit, I think it would make sense to spend at least one night and indulge in what Macau is known for. Or at least watch people indulge in it, I’m not much of a gambler myself but I loved my experience in Las Vegas so much that it would be nice to see what that aspect of a trip to Macau is like. All the more reason to head back soon methinks! 🙂