Previously: My uncle recommended that we take the CotaiJet to Taipa Island instead of the popular TurboJet to the Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal, and we did just that, saving us more than a hundred Hong Kong dollars a ticket. A one-way ferry ticket to Taipa Island costs HK$146 only, including pier fees. We got into immigration twenty minutes prior to sailing and boarded as we entered the pre-departure area. Sailing to Taipa Island took approximately an hour.
Day 4.3. Macau: Vegas of the East
March 6, 2011
March 6, 2011
The Taipa Island Temporary Pier is approximately 10 minutes by foot to the airport. Macau immigration in the pier is brisk, and as my uncle described, buses to The Venetian were waiting outside the terminus. We took the bus and as we disembarked, a porter deposited our luggage for us, even though we were not staying for the night. After all, they treat all guests as prospective casino gamblers. Read more…
|Our First Taste of Magnificent Macau Architecture
After I was pointed to the West Lobby for the buses to the city and the heritage sites, we marveled at the grandiose of The Venetian. It was rather surprising that reaching the West Lobby would allow my minor siblings entry into the casino. They clearly liked what they saw, and with that, The Venetian has found two future gamblers.
|A Fountain at the Venetian|
I was confused as to what bus to take, and thankfully, a Filipina manning the bus stop heard me talking to my parents and offered the most valuable tip. If you are traveling to Macau for a day, please take note. To travel to Senado Square and the other heritage sites from The Venetian, take The Venetian bus to the Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal then take the free shuttle bus going to The Grand Emperor Hotel. From there, you can find your way by foot to Senado Square. Going back, walk to Wynn near the Grand Lisboa and take the free shuttle bus back to the Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal. From there, you can take the free shuttle bus to the Venetian, where there is a free shuttle bus to Taipa Island Temporary Pier, the Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal, the Aeroporto Internacional de Macau, and the cross-border gate. Don’t be discouraged to take these shuttle buses, because as I mentioned, they treat all people as prospective casino gamblers.
|The Macau Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal|
In the city, we found our way to Senado Square, the entry to the Macau Heritage Sites. The place was just teeming in activity and the number of Filipinos was surprising. The number of OFW’s gathered along Central Pier in Hong Kong seemed pale in comparison. We started our trip by buying Portuguese egg tarts for MOP 10 each or MOP 84 for a box of 12. Despite being pricey for such small treats, I saw tourists carrying boxes and boxes of these.
By the way, I’ve read that the Hong Kong dollar is legal tender in almost all of Macau, with the exchange rate almost one is to one, so we didn’t take the hassle of exchanging HK$ to MOP or Macau patacas. I initially thought change would be given in pataca coins, but change was given in HK$ coins instead.
We continued walking along Macau’s ruas and avenidas and up to the hill where the Ruins of St. Paul’s Cathedral stands. After much exploring and taking pictures, we found an interesting room at the lower right side behind the ruins–it was a crypt with encased skeletons.
With the night setting in and the rain starting to drizzle, we found our way back to Senado Square but making stopovers at shops selling Macanese treats. We bought dried BBQ pork, similar to beef jerky, for MOP 38 a pound, almond cookies for MOP 100 for seven boxes, bubble tea for MOP 10 for a large cup, boxes of Portuguese egg tart, and the famous Macanese porkchop bun for MOP 15. The lady selling almond cookies and dried BBQ pork told my mom I’m handsome, but of course, I’m not too sure if she just wanted Mom to buy more.
|Macau’s Holy House of Mercy|
As the drizzle stopped, we still had time to take pictures of the dazzling lights of Macau, which earned the moniker, Vegas of the East. We got back to The Venetian and had a quick dinner before heading back to the aeroporto. I had Galinha à Africana, a mild take to chicken curry, only with a Portuguese flair–it had olives, eggs, and chorizo.
|Under the Lights of Macau|
A quick shuttle bus ride to the relatively small Aeroporto Internacional de Macau (IATA: MFM) signaled the end of our holiday. As I passed through immigration and saw my departure stamp with Portuguese and Chinese translations, I instantly felt vacation withdrawal kicking in.
After a two-hour flight, we were back to Manila and reality.
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