I wake up at 8.30, have breakfast. I prepare and go out of the hotel. Only then I saw the city for the first time. Even the buildings of Shanghai are tiny with those I saw in Victoria Harbor. Behind the buildings, I see green and leafy mountains. There are houses among the grove of the mountains. Among the mountain peaks, the one that stands out is the Victoria Peak. I decide to go up the next day to see the city from above.
I had other expectations for Hong Kong, and one of them was food. I had heard about the wonders of the Cantonese food but I do not know if I was not lucky but in the previous days, all the restaurants were a failure. So I enter the first street food stand that I see. Here the dim sum was very good.
I wanted this morning to visit Macau another autonomous city like Hong Kong which is very close to a little over an hour of travel by ferry. The subway takes me to the access to the ferry terminal that is well indicated and I go directly to the hall where the ticket offices are to buy the ferry tickets. I bought the round trip ticket that I could pay with a credit card.
There are only two operators who makes the trip. So although the ticket is not cheap it is the only way. In one hour I reach at the Macau ferry terminal. As I wanted to start the visits through the colonial area I decided to take a taxi, since I had read that they were cheap, and that left us at the starting point of the visits, and they left me in Senado Square.
It is an elongated square of triangular shape. The square was named in honor of the Leal Senado, a meeting place for Chinese and Portuguese in the 16th and 18th centuries. The vast majority of the buildings surrounding the square are European-style and many of them are protected monuments. Once I get here, the circus starts.
I continue through the square seeing the buildings of colonial architecture that flank it and I have a rare feeling of finding myself in Europe, but the crowds, the bustle and the signs already tell me that this is Asia. I continue my walk that gets more complicated every time, first by the crowd, and then by the humidity, which together with the heat did not stop me from sweating.
There are many buses operated by the casinos. People go to Macau, for multiple reasons, the Chinese to bet, and the tourists to see the Chinese betting. I went to eat the Peking duck. It's one of my favorite dishes and in Macau, I read they make the best duck in Hong Kong. I see food stalls with oriental delicacies, destined most to Chinese tourists.
I get amused by the surprise of the Chinese waiter when I ask for the whole duck instead of half. He repeats again and again that it is a lot, although the truth is that I am always hungry. The duck and other dishes were amazing. It is the best Chinese food I have eaten in my life. I have never seen the grace to visit the casinos if one is not going to play. Maybe in Las Vegas, because they do not have other tourist attractions, but in Macao, I honestly do not see the grace once I have seen one.
The others are all the same. I walked through the center that I did not feel was any wonder. I saw the church and from the facade of the Cathedral I deviate from my way to the current cathedral of Macao, to continue climbing to the Fortaleza do Monte. Built by the Jesuits between 1617 and 1626, it was the main military defense structure of the Portuguese colony of Macao.
It was built on the top of a mountain located in the center of the peninsula, which allows to see over the city in all directions. The fortress has the shape of an irregular trapezoid that covers an approximate area of 8,000 square meters. It was equipped with cannons, military barracks, wells and an arsenal that contained enough ammunition and supplies that allowed it to withstand a two-year siege.
We made a stop to eat and continue to Mandarin House. It is possible to see inside and outside a typical Macau Chinese mansion with some western elements incorporated into its structure. The mandarin house was built in the mid-nineteenth century as the residence of Chinese writer Zheng Guangying. Today it is one of the best surviving examples in Macao of residential architecture in the region. It is an extraordinarily photogenic place.
Our last point of visit in the ancient zone of Macao was the A-Ma Temple. The temple existed already before the birth of the city of Macao itself. It is believed that the temple was built by Chinese fishermen living in Macao in the fifteenth century, to honor and worship the goddess A-Ma, also called Tin Hau, Mazu or Matsu.
This Taoist deity is highly venerated throughout southern China and in various parts of East Asia and is considered as the protector of fishermen and sailors. It can be considered that this temple is the last symbol of Chinese culture in Macao. It is formed by the Porch Pavilion, the Memorial Arch, the Prayer Hall, the Benevolence Pavilion, or the Guanyin Pavilion and the Zhengjiao Chanlin Buddhist Pavilion, each arranged in harmony with the natural environment and contributing to the beauty of the set.
Each pavilion is dedicated to the worship of a Chinese deity, something that makes the temple a unique example of the diverse influences of Chinese culture, through Taoism, Confucianism, Buddhism and various popular beliefs. Here we ended our visit to the colonial part of Macao, and returned to the Tapai island to visit a mega casino-hotel almost twin of Las Vegas.
We must bear in mind that Macao is known as Las Vegas of Asia, and already it surpasses to the city of the game as much in collection in the casinos as in number of visitors. I see several channels on the inside, through which sail gondolas. I take a walk, around the channel in which are distributed luxury stores of all brands, and one can even buy gold iphone.
In the surrounding area mega complexes of the same type and size are being built but for the time being they are under construction. So I decided that it was time to go back to Hong Kong, and I took advantage of the free buses that the casinos have to move me to the ferry terminal, from where I came back. And once back to the hotel I go to rest. I still have the Jet lag in the body and I have to get used to the heat and humidity.