We started our day with breakfast from McDonald’s in Hong Kong’s international airport.
I had the Grilled Chicken Twisty Pasta, which cost me HK$ 22.50 and it was my worst breakfast ever. I did not expect it to have some sort of soup, which tasted weird (like water with a little salt, pepper and other spices). The chicken was tender, but had an aftertaste. Perhaps that’s really how it is, but for me, it’s so bad that I barely touched it.
From the airport, we rode a bus to the ferry to get to Macau and from Macau’s pier, rode a taxi that took us to the Royal Hotel. Our room was not yet ready so we decided to explore its neighboring attractions.
Guia Fortress was our first stop as it was just walking distance from the Royal Hotel.
This is a historical military fort, chapel and lighthouse complex and a UNESCO World Heritage site as part of the Historic Center of Macau.
Honestly, I was disappointed with the fortress, since I was expecting something grand. The chapel was also small (picture-taking is not allowed inside) and the lighthouse was too simplistic (Batanes lighthouses captivated me so much, thus the high expectations.)
These photos were taken from the ground level of the lighthouse.
And these flora were taken in and around Guia Fortress too. Isn’t the “dragon” so cute?
Afterwards, we headed to the city center for lunch. We really had no idea where to dine so we just walked and walked (sorry, my friend and I are both geographically challenged, though I find this one of the joys of traveling as it makes me discover places that I might have ignored if I rigorously follow certain travel guides).
While walking rather aimlessly, we passed by Grand Lisboa and Casino Lisboa. Grand Lisboa is the tallest building in Macau and the 118th tallest building in the world by architectural structure.
Estabelecimento de Comidas “Ving Sing”
Finally, we reached a row of restaurants, but we had difficulty choosing where to dine since all the restaurants had Chinese characters so we didn’t know their cuisine. We finally settled for one that had pictures of what’s on their menu on their wall. After being seated, we were pleasantly surprised to be offered an English menu.
Here’s a list of our order:
1 Noodles of Beef Brisket in Soup MOP 40
1 Deep Fried Spare Ribs with Spicy Salt MOP 60
2 Coke MOP 20
I believe there’s 10% service charge so our total bill amounted to MOP 131.50 (about US$ 17 for two people). By the way, 1 MOP (Macau Pataca) is equivalent to 1 HK$ (Hong Kong Dollar). Also, you can use HK$ in Macau, but you cannot use MOP in Hong Kong.
Our food was good, especially the spare ribs, which was not spicy at all despite its name.
Jardim do San Francisco
After lunch, we opted to go back to our hotel to check-in. On our way there, we passed by this garden. Note the plants that form 2-0-1-3.
Then it was time to rest at the Royal Hotel (I will make a separate post about our stay here).
After freshening up, we decided to go to Macau Tower. Entrance fee is at HK$/MOP 100.
This tower is 338 m (1,109 ft) in height from the ground level to the highest point and is touted to have the best view of Macau. It also offers various activities e.g. Skywalking and bungee jumping. We wanted to try it, but it was so expensive at MOP 2,688 per person (over USD 300!) for a bungee jump.
Macau Tower was lovely, though it was too foggy so the afternoon view was not remarkable. Below are photos taken from the ground floor/lobby of the tower. Just look at the stuffed panda bungee jumping!
These photos were taken from the observation deck.
I was hoping to catch the sunset, but did not, since we were on the side where the sun does not set, but we stayed there until night time for a night view.
While waiting, we decided to have some snacks of soft-served ice cream, Macau’s famous egg tart, and cinnamon roll from the Tower Delicatessen.
Come night time, this view greeted us:
Isn’t it lovely?
Here are collages of more night shots taken from Macau Tower’s viewing deck.
Here’s my parting shot of Macau Tower taken before I boarded the bus that would take us to our next stop.
Along Cotai Strip
Afterwards, we headed to Cotai Strip, which is where the newer hotels and casinos of Macau are located. This reminded me of my tour of Las Vegas last year.
First, we visited the City of Dreams, where I got fascinated with a mermaid show.
These are random shots taken from the same hotel.
Did you notice how the dragon changed colors?
Outside the hotel was this view, which is one of my favorites from this set.
We passed by these scenery on our way to Venetian Macau.
Note how the buildings’ color changed from blue to red to a combination of both in the above collage.
The next set of photos all feature the Venetian Macau. Too bad we missed the start of the show and saw only the finale, but I was not really disappointed since I watched the same show last year in Las Vegas.
People milled around the guy in white (lower left on the above collage) since he seemed to be floating about a feet from the ground. With his painted face and all-white ensemble, he looked like a statue, and it was funny to see people poke him to see if he’s real and watch surprise register on their faces when he fluttered his lases or winked at them.
Here’s a photo of Venetian Macau’s trademark: the gondola
These photos were taken inside the Venetian Macau. We were told that this resort and casino complex is the sixth-largest building in the world by floor area. It is also the largest casino in the world and the largest single structure hotel building in Asia.
Next stop: The Galaxy Macau.
Did you notice the faint streaks of light emitted by the bell-shaped structure with the reddish hue in two of the photos? These bell-shaped structures are called cupolas and there are 6 of these at the top of the two towers of Galaxy Macau. All 6 are covered in 24-carat gold – enough to cover 87 football pitches! According to its official website, the same gold-leaf cupolas feature a laser show system that projects laser beams into the sky every 15 minutes. It is claimed to be the largest laser shows in the world and is visible across Macau.
We were here quick as we feared that the scheduled shuttle would leave us so we had no time to linger, and failed to see its famed Fortune Diamond, which is located in the main lobby (we entered via the bus lobby). This is a mammoth three-meter gem that rises from behind a waterfall.
At the bus lobby, we saw their Wishing Crystals, which is a series of giant crystals that float above a pool of water. The crystals have advanced motion sensor technology that triggers special visual effects when guests walk near the crystals. When all the crystals are activated, good luck symbols flash from the crystals and reflect in the water. Amazing!
There’s a rendition on the cupola too (the purple one in the collage).
After taking photos, we headed back to the bus stop where we were almost left behind since a guard stopped my friend who had a cup of beverage with her. Turned out its now allowed on buses.
With tired feet and aching muscles, we headed back to the Royal Hotel and called it a night, eager for more adventure on Day 2 of our Macau trip.