On day in Macao

Before I came to HK, I was a little bit stressed because my visa came, like, a week before I had to leave. But for others, it did not work out that well, so they would need to collect it here in HK and then leave HK again and immigrate as a student.

The fastest way to do this is to leave for Macao.

Similar to HK Macau was a colony once: until 1999 Macao sort of belonged to Portugal. And you still can see some of the portugese influence in the buildings and definitely in the street names. But since then Macao turned into China’s Las Vegas. Mainland chinese gamblers love to go there and for HK locals it is only a one hour ferry ride. Be aware, that when you leave from Kowloon you have to go to the China Ferry terminal (leave the MTR at Jordan or Tsim Sha Tsui Station) OR the ferry terminal on HK Island (then get of the MTR at Central). When you by your ticket, make sure to by the ticket for the tour back in advance because later there is going to be a long line. Also pay attention from which ferry terminal (in Macao) your ferry is going to leave: there are two!!! The ticket to and from Macao will cost you about 40 Euros and the ride will take about an hour. Oh, and the Chinese do not really cope well with a fast moving boat, which means they are probably going to throw up a lot. They offer extra barf bags though.
If your ferry back to Kowloon/HK leaves from the Island (Taipa), then make sure to go there during your stay. Otherwise you will have to take bus number AP1. That will cost you around 4.20 HK$ but you do not get any change back, so better have that amount in coins!!! The ferry will then arrive at Central on HKIsland, so be prepared to take the MTR back to Kowloon, if you need to.
Also check, whether you are going to need a VISA (normally you do not) for entering Macao OR Hong Kong. If you are staying in Hong Kong after your trip to Macao, also bring your HK-adress with you (just in case, if they want to see it again, when you re-enter).

Being on the ferry we fortunately missed some of the typhoon, but it still was quite dark outside and the seamen had to be prepared.
I do not know why. But for me, Macao would have some Casinos, for sure, but also so many nice places, like little coffee-shops (and no, not the ones they have in Amsterdam). I expected it to be like a smaller version of Portugal (which is absolutely beautiful, by the way) only with lots of Chinese. So please, if you have the same imaginations do not be to sad. It is not like that. Macao is like China, with one or two buildings that seem to be painted in a portugese style. Walking down the streets, we saw many old buildings that were in a down-state. We also saw many casinos, that were gold and shiny and way over the top.

If you are looking for the main attraction, St. Paul’s Church/Ruins, ask for directions to Dei Sam Pa (this is just how we wrote it down, so that we could actually say the name). Or, just trust your feet and walk, it is not far, if you stick to the two main roads in your travel guide: Agenda da Amizade and then go to the Avenue Infante D. Henrique. When you have reached Largo do Senado just keep walking north. On that way you might see the Art Garden. We could not find the art but found shelter, when it started raining again. From there on you will see many casinos (have a look inside), but also the buildings that look like they are going to fall down on you. If you take a cab, remember that they might not speak English. So prepare yourself to show your travel guide or a piece of paper with the name in Chinese. Normally you should be able to pay with HK$, but I always asked before entering the cab. They start with a price of 17 HK$ and if you stand longer than a minute it will increase by two. For Europeans that means, that the drive from the ferry terminal to St. Paul’s Church will cost you approximately 33 HK$, which is about 4 Euro. Also remember, that we are not in NY. If you really want to get a cab, stand in one of the cab-lines of the casinos. They do not mind or at least do not tell and open the door for you really nicely.
So walking up that little street we found many stores, which I suspected to be like bakeries. And apparently you can by some cookies à la Macau style, but more often you see pork (picture just above this text) that you can eat as finger food.

After taking your selfies at St. Paul’s, you should walk up the hill right next to the ruins: you can either use the escalator to go directly to the Museum of Macau or walk around the hill and enjoy the view.
On top you can see all around Macau; the lighthouse, the Peninsula and – of course – also Grand Lisboa, the highest building of Macau.

Walking back we just wanted to find a nice place to eat, but since everything closes from 3pm to 6.30pm we did not find anything. At first. Then we went to this sweet little portugese restaurant, where we could order some european coffee and some very, very good spaghetti bolognese. It was quiet and not too cold inside, so that we could rest a bit, before trying to find our way back.

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