My mind was so preoccupied with a lot of things prior to my Hong-Kong and Macau trip for this is my first time to travel alone out of the country. I made my own DIY (do-it-yourself) itinerary and coerced myself to include Macau in my schedule as this is one-hour apart only by ferry from Hong Kong.
Luckily, Dayleen, a new friend of mine based in Hong Kong offered herself to be my guide. I was so thankful to her because this will cut a lot of time roaming around Macau for she knows this place so well. Our plan is to explore around until 2 pm and we will proceed to Tsim Sha Tsui in Hong Kong thereafter. Oh, I just can’t hide my excitment. Woah!
In getting there:
I was staying in Dayleen’s flat near Shang Kei Wan MTR station. As early as 6:00am and with no breakfast yet to fuel our bodies, we boarded the MTR and alighted at Sheung Wan Station (Exit D). We headed to HK Macau Ferry Terminal and bought one-way ticket ride to Cotai Water Jet station for HK$165.00. Departure time is 7:15am. Boat ride to Macau Outer Harbour was one hour only. It was a downcast morning but the ride was so smooth. We headed to Immigration Department and were issued a non-stamped visa.
Hong Kong dollar (HKD) is widely accepted in Macau so there’s no need to worry if tourists do not have Macanese Pataca (MOP).
According to Wikipedia, Macau is administered by Portuguese Empire from the mid-16th century until late 1999, the last remaining European colony in Asia. Sovereignty over Macau was transferred to China on December 20, 1999.
Macau, the “Las Vegas of Asia” maybe small in size but is now visited by a huge inflow of tourists. This is a perfect getaway coming from Hong Kong. Aside from its famous casinos, there are exciting tourist attractions worthy to visit in this country.
2016 Macau Grand Prix event was being held starting November 17 to 20, 2016. The regular route was affected because there were roads closed for shuttle service. We boarded Bus 31 going to Macau Forum, the temporary bus stop and from there we boarded Bus 10A going to Senado Square.
Inside the bus, we got acquainted with fellow kababayans and traveling couple Jelo and Kimmie. With my new fellow travelers, we alighted near Grand Lisboa Casino. From here, we braced ourselves for a challenging foot navigation from one tourist spot to another.
Places we visited:
Senado Square or Senate Square (Largo de Senado in Portuguese) is one of the famous tourist attractions in Macau. It is located in the central area of the Macau Peninsula. Being part of UNESCO Historic Centre of Macau World Heritage Site is what makes the square so special. Well, this is one of the anticipated spots in Macau that I’m so elated to see.
What attracted me much about the square is the fascinating facade of neo-classical buildings beginning with Macau Business Tourism Centre. Inside the office, a tourist may ask for a map and brochure containing the 25 landmarks under Macau’s Historic Center.
Casa Da Misericordia or the Holy House of Mercy is a charitable institution established in 1569 by the first Bishop of Macau.
Leal Senado Building of Loyal Senate Building is at the edge of the square and near the St. Dominic’s Church. This building was built in 1784 and was the first municipal chamber in Macau.
Another attraction in the square was the wave-pattered mosaic of the stone floor that paved the whole area.
I got so delighted strolling around and so thankful for I felt I was in another dimension. The place though packed by visitors was covered by unusual tranquility and the whole area was so clean. There was no water in the fountain for it was being labored for an upcoming event. We explored more with endless picture taking. Hahaha!
St. Dominic’s Church
At the end portion of the paved area was the yellow-painted St. Dominic’s Church that stood humbly near Leal Senado Building. The 16th-century church was built in Baroque style with a mixture of European and Macanese designs. What was unique in this church were the roof tiles, door, and windows made of teak. The lower portion of its facade was covered by fishnet which I guess was being renovated.
It was closed and so we strolled around the business center through narrow alleys and streets. I felt we flew back in time, to the 16th century Portugal.
We were looking for McDonald’s to eat breakfast, but it was relocated somewhere else. So we moved on and headed to Macau’s another spectacular tourist attraction to visit, the St. Paul’s Ruins.
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