15 Nov 2012
It took 4.5 hrs from LCCT (Low-Cost Carrier Terminal), Malaysia to Macau International Airport in Taipa. As we were coming in for the landing, all we could see was the sea, ..and more construction.
The exhibition organisers were there waiting for us and ferried us to the hotel in a lovely 20-seater coach.
The weather was drab and everything seemed garbed in grey. Taipa has lots of high rise condos cramped into a small piece of real estate. But the bridges were spectacular, in size, length and construction.
|Casinos dominate the skyline|
As we entered Macau City, you see quaint mansions and terraced apartments facing two huge bodies of water called the Sai Van Lake & Nam Van Lake. The coach makes its way up a steep and winding road and arrive at the Riviera Hotel.
We were met by Frank Woo, our Malaysian-side organiser and we checked in. Then we gathered in the lobby for our first Macau walkabout .
We took the hotel’s free shuttle down to town. It was 5:58pm, Macau time and I gazed at my watch, 6.00pm Malaysian time. Same time zone but at 6pm the skies already grew dark. So the times for Muslim prayers have to be adjusted.
Frank took us to Senado Square (Senate Square, is the proper name, I read in the guide book) where u can stroll on mosaic-styled pavements with bold, wavy designs.
First order of the nite – dinner. In respect of our Muslim friends, we all agreed on vegetarian food. We walked around and found a small shop with customer seating of about 20 people. And since there were already 8 of us (two members went off to meet a relative in nearby Hong Kong), we had to go upstairs via narrow wooden stairs.
The tables were accompanied by dwarf-sized chairs that were surprisingly comfortable! Flipping through a 2 inch thick menu of photographed dishes, we settled on 7 types. Our criteria – veggies, not mockmeat. The food was simple & delicious, the company was jovial and pleasant. So we had our first dinner in Macau!
Then after a bit more wandering through the traditional black and white stone calçada paved streets and a climb up to see the ruins of St Paul’s cathedral, we decided to head back.
|Casinos and shopping centres on the other side of the main road|
… taking the leisurely route – a long walk back to the hotel, whilst enjoying the cool breeze that was blowing ever so gently. Macau is definitely a ‘walking’ city. Our short cut back to the hotel was a steep level 8 gradient and it posed a good challenge to us all.
The ‘youngest’ of the group was the first to reach the top leaving the 40 & 50 somethings puffing. And he is 56. But the effort was worth it because we saw one of the best view of Macau by nite.
Gaudy neon-signed casinos (ala Las Vegas) on the right, the Macau Tower in the centre and bridges criss-crossing the scene. It is a stunning sight indeed!