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Welcome to Macao

Popularity 1Viewed 2895 times 2018-10-11 16:20 |System category:Life

Part 1

“Macao used to be quaint.”

“It’s a great place for photographing.”

“It has some great food.”

That’s what my fiancé told me before our one-day Macao trip.

We took a train from Guangzhou to Zhuhai Gongbei Station, where we were to cross the border. Zhuhai’s Gongbei Station and the northern tip of Macao are side by side. We followed the streams of people, walked along the maze-like passageways and after 20 minutes, we were in Macao. “Well, honey, you’re out of the Mainland again. Come here, let’s take a picture of you with that customs building in the background.”

My fiancé, after shooting me, stretched out his hand and quietly bellowed “welcome to Macao!”

Walking five minutes from the customs building, we found ourselves in an old, busy street. People—people everywhere, people walking towards different destinations, people wearing various expressions, people just standing looking lost. We stood in front of the map post trying to find the best route.

Our first stop was the center of town. As our packed bus was sailing along the streets, I saw narrow bustling alleyways, old buildings, and the place seemed to be buzzing with people. The old part of the city is, for the most part, no different than from a gigantic Chinese village on the edge of a major Chinese city made up from densely packed 4-story rectangular brick-made buildings covered in ceramic swimming pool tiles. Yet, with a closer look at the signage that adorns the streets, you will notice something that distinguishes Macao from other Chinese cities, two languages on almost all signs, Portuguese and Chinese, though with the exception of the neon signs flashing “massage”.

We got off the bus near the central square, one of the major attractions of the city. The architecture style in the square is that of a pastille colored Greco-Roman look. For an instant I thought I was actually walking in Rome—though I’ve never been. Everywhere tourists were taking pictures.

We snaked our way to the ruins of St. Paul’s through what seemed like thousands of people. Being stuck in the moving crowds, there’s nothing much I could see except for people’s backs due to my being vertically challenged. “Taste our ice-cream, the best in Macao”, “come try a piece of our barbeque beef”, “make-up on sale” struck my ears along with the plastic hand clapping that emanated from the rows of stores. My fiancé pulled me along like a 10-year-old child. We reached the bottom of cathedral’s façade’s steps.

​We walked in the crowds for a few more minutes, I looked up and there it was, the Ruins of St Paul’s. “Oh, wow!” I murmured to myself in amazement. My first and only impression of Macao, before coming, was the very image of the Ruins of St. Paul’s that I'd seen from books, which now lay before me. It was like a picture coming alive.​

We didn’t stay there for too long, wanting to escape from the picture-taking thrones that came and went, which constantly reminded me of Macao’s moth-to-a-flame attraction, the flame most likely being gambling, cheap international cosmetics, and, well, Macao for being Macao.

Part 2

Coloane Island is a beautiful getaway destination tucked away in the south of Macao.

The bus ride from the bustling town center to the island was about an hour. After getting off we returned to the round-a-bout from when we had just passed, only to be delighted by the small garden and exited from an iron arch door that lent itself as a trellis for the vibrant flowers and fauna. 

For us, this island was the main reason for our excursion to Macao.

What makes this island so attractive?

There is no schedule, no hustle-and-bustle, and no reason to be in a hurry. Walking around, we were to discover a place that has changed very little in the past decades, a place of peace and simplicity.

Harking back to a simpler time, colorful houses lay along the inlet that separates Zhuhai from Macao, with ancient trees stretching out to shade the pedestrians and in some cases even form part of the structures themselves that line the narrow alleyways in this picturesque postcard village. 

​A laid-back feeling of the island is everywhere. There seems to be no concept of time and nothing seems to pressure the locals chatting and lounging in their open door living rooms that face the street, or lackadaisically doing grocery shopping in one of the mom n pop stores that constitute the most commercial aspects of this fishing village.

We took a bus up the hill to the cliff front with beach below, which in actual fact we could have walked as it was only 5 minutes away. Getting off the bus, we crossed the road and made our way down the wide stone stairway lined with lush tropical vegetation to the beachfront. At the bottom of the long stairway, the sandy beach presented itself along with a few charming buildings, yachts at anchor, just the occasional person walking slowly along the beachfront path, and tucked in the corner of the bay a luxury sailing club hotel.

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)




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Reply Report GreenNanning 2018-10-14 18:16
If you do not have enough money to cover the expense for a Europe tour, Macao is absolutely a good choice for enjoying flavor of Southern Europe. You can also relax yourself in the nice casinoes there, much better than Genting of Malaysia and elsewhere, as far as I know.

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  • Limpy, The Egyptian King 2018-10-17 10:57

    It seems your boy is fonder of a stray cat than of you. Since pet animals contain many germs that might harm human body, I think it is good to leave them alone before a girl like you have your own babies. We can always have good relations with animals, but they should stay in a zoo or in the wild, not in our home.

  • Welcome to Macao 2018-10-14 18:16

    If you do not have enough money to cover the expense for a Europe tour, Macao is absolutely a good choice for enjoying flavor of Southern Europe. You can also relax yourself in the nice casinoes there, much better than Genting of Malaysia and elsewhere, as far as I know.

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