Thursday, October 2, 2008

Sept.28 - Oct.2 Bom Dia Macao

We wanted to see Macau to see the Portugese side of things again, and perhaps seek a little respite from the hustle of HK. A 1hr ferry ride to Macau, an easy shuttle bus to our hotel and we were ever so happy to be staying in a normal hotel instead of a hostel! [Look! I have to walk to the bathroom instead of just get out of bed and turn around.] Plus it had a pool which Julie was keen on puttinjg to good use, and we did by purchasing 4 cans of beer, 2 ice teas ,1 red bull & 1 big can of peaches - all for $42 patacas! (Quick division by 7 roughly gives you CDN$6!) We had hoped to swim by the beach, but were quickly warned not to by the lifeguards: the typhoons had severely damaged the beach and will require months of work to rebuild. Plus, Macau is not known for its beaches - it's known for gambling. And with the Vegas companies moving in, Macau will soon be a strong contender to "The Strip" as the Cotai Strip is quickly under construction. Currently the Hotel Lisboa dominates the scene and it was neat to see this fixture of gambling houses.
We spent one day wandering old Macau (it's tucked in behind the casinos that are along the waterfront) and it really is a taste of Portugal: same architecture and the street names are in tiles on the sides of buildings except in this case the name is also written in Mandarin along with Portugese. Walking along this busy shopping street we really did feel as if we were in a surreal mix of East meets West.
As night fell, we were treated to a show of fireworks (part to celebrate Chinese National Day plus part of Wynn Macau's Fireworks Competition) which was very nice to watch over the harbour. In our opinion, the China team outdid the Ozzies this night.
We ate pretty well here too: authentic Italian, more authentic Portugese than I had in Portugal (seems odd) and I have to mention the breakfast buffet at the hotel since it was more of a dinner buffet with fried rice, noodles, eggs, fish, vegetables and salad.

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