Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Three times to Macau

Ruins of St. Paul's Cathedral
I visited Macau 3 times. The first time was in my twenties and in the company of a group of hot-bloodied all male friends. Before we went there, we already have the imprinted impression that Macau was a place linked with vices. The sights we experienced there simply reinforced our beliefs. Macau was just a place of casinos, saunas and nightclubs. Macau's famous landmark-The Ruins of St. Paul's Cathedral was well, a piece of old wall to most of us. Nothing special about it. As we left the country, we concluded Macau was not worth the effort to visit again.

Street shot at Senado Square

Statues at Senado Square

The second visit was in my thirties. My then girlfriend (now my dearly wife) put Macau in her itinerary when I visited her in Hong Kong. How could I say no then? We visited Macau again. The jet ride to Macau for that trip was horrendous. The ride took more than the normal time due to some engine issue. Both of us got seasick and vomited. Luckily, my good friend Kenny was around to clear our mess. Guess where was our first stop when we touched down at Macau. You guessed it! We took a cab to the Ruins of St Paul's Cathedral again.

Macau's Taxi and Famous Almond Cakes' Ad

Macau's Street Sign

Surprisingly, I found that "the piece of old wall" looked somehow attractive to me this time. I began to pay attention to the details. It never occur to me till then why the Macau people are so proud of this UNESCO World Heritage site. I would dig into it's history. The once grand Cathedral was built by the Jesuits in 1582. It has experienced three big fire and eventually only the facade was left intact. The Portuguese-influenced architecture has stood against calls for it's demolition and became a famous Macau's icon today. I found the planned 1 day trip was terribly short to appreciate Macau's heritage. As I boarded the evening jet headed back to Hong Kong, I promised myself that the next trip to Macau would surely be a longer one.    
Dancing Fountain at Wynn

The Galaxy Hotel

I visited Macau again in my forties. It was a family trip consisted of my father-in-law, brother-in-law, my wife, my daughter and myself. Instead of the past usual 1 day trip, I have planned for a 3 days trip. Many famous new Casinos have sprung up in Macau. The Venetian Casino, The Galaxy, The Wynn, The Sand Macau, Lisboa Casino and the list goes on. These casinos have not only done their part in boosting up Macau's economic growth but also contributed in decorating the illustrious night scenes. As we explored the streets in the night, we could see that each casino has their own unique Leon display to distinguish itself from others. All of them are competing with each other with their sexy light dance to attract potential customers. Although this might not be it's primary objectives, my wife and I actually found the colourful illumination actually added a romantic feel to the atmosphere. For those going to Macau, I strongly recommend you spend at least a night walking the streets and admire it's nightly beauty.

The Venetian

Architecture at The Venetian

Of course, I have not forgotten my favorite Macau's haunt. We actually did not pick a good date to visit the Ruins of St. Paul's Cathedral. It was a public holiday (20 December) to celebrate the return of control over Macau from Portuguese to China. Senado Square was crowded with tourists and there was a performance at the Macau's famous landmark. We could only watch the Ruins of St. Paul's Cathedral at a distance. But we never give up and came back the next day early morning to greet my old friend. There was not much people around and we felt that we owned the whole place by ourselves. It was a special feeling as I saw my daughter running happily up and down the steps at the Cathedral. The Ruins of St. Paul's Cathedral has witnessed the different stages of my life. It has also taught me that one would learn to look at things at a different perspective during the different stages of your life. From just "a piece of old wall" to now my friend of old, many things have evolved and changed. Macau have changed a lot since my first visit and so do I. I have raised my status from a bachelor to a husband and now a father. But I know the charm of the Cathedral will stay forever.

The Fisherman's Wharf

Scene at A-Ma Temple
We took advantage of our longer stay to visit the centuries old A-Ma Temple, Macau new theme park-Fisherman's Wharf and Venetian Casino. As I left Macau, I concluded-"Till we meet again, my dear old friend!"

Details of the Ruins of St. Paul's Cathedral

Family Photo at the Steps of the Ruins of St. Paul's Cathedral



  1. Hi, Bro. From what I know, there is a few festivals that macau ppl would celebrate
    during the whole year. You could briefly
    mention them.

    You could also include the peak season and
    the off-peak season to visit macau.

    This is juz my two cents worth.

    1. Hi Bro, your feedback is always welcome. If you observe, my blogging style is different from the typical travel blogs which tell you their itineraries and experience. Mine is more of sharing my thoughts, feelings incurred, sometimes with a touch of humour and recommendations which I personally feel are worthwhile to experience. I would describe my blogs as something of a "hybrid" :p. Thanks for the great comment!

  2. I'm planning to go to Macau with my family next month, so this was an interesting and helpful read. Thanks!

    1. Hi Dee, thanks for your kind visit. Hope you have an enjoyable and wonderful time at Macau. Happy Mother's Day :-)!