Macau, Las Vegas of the East

Smoggy casino top.

Smoggy casino top.

 

We were told that Chinese people love to gamble. Macau has developed an economy for itself by becoming a gambling centre. Some of the casinos are modelled on ones found in Las Vegas, including the Venetian.

The Venetian

The Venetian

The Venetian

The Venetian

 

Our hotel was more or less across the street from the Venetian, and when Google earth filmed the ‘strip’ in December 2008, our hotel was still under construction.  It too had a casino which you had to enter in order to sit within the lobby.

This view is from the pool area of our hotel which was lovely and cool that evening.

 

Night life at the Venetian.

Night life at the Venetian.

Monochrome Macau

Here’s a selection of photos from Macau which, I thought, looked better in monochrome.  The better to show off the smog in the first two photos.

 

In the waters around Macau

In the waters around Macau

Another view from Mont Forte

Another view from Monte Fort

On Fort Monte with a view of Grand Lisboa Casino and Hotel in the northern half of Macau,

On Monte Fort with a view of the Grand Lisboa Casino and Hotel in the northern half of Macau.

 

The facade of St. Paul's with those lovely striped stairs resulting from the Black and White conversion.

The facade of St. Paul’s with those lovely striped stairs resulting from the Black and White conversion.

Senado square.

Senado square.

My partner and I decided to forego the temptation of the casinos in Taipa, and the swimming pool at the hotel, and walk into the commercial centre of Taipa. At the pharmacy below we finally found aspirin, which we had been unable to figure out how to buy since Shanghai! It wasn’t quite dark, but it was smoggy and the buildings were tall so the lights are already on. The boys??? Well, make up your own mind.

In the 'city' of Taipa in the northern half of the island which makes up the bottom half of Macau.

In the ‘city’ of Taipa in the northern half of the island which makes up the bottom half of Macau.

Macau – Street Scenes

Below St. Paul's facade

Below St. Paul’s facade

The photo above gives some idea of the tourist traffic in and around St. Paul’s facade.

The following two photos are of the narrow street leading from the remaining facade of St. Paul’s to Senado Square.

On the tourist route between St. Paul's and Senado square.

On the tourist route between St. Paul’s and Senado square.

On the tourist route between St. Paul's and Sedano square.

On the tourist route between St. Paul’s and Sedano square.

The layout of the tiles in Senado Square, in the middle of the touristy area of Macau, gave a tromp d’oeil feeling of an uneven plaza.  The ground is perfectly level but even the pictures are deceiving.  I don’t know if the phone holder is taking a ‘selfie’ or a shot of the plaza.

Senado Square

Senado Square

Senado Square

Senado Square

 

This next “street photo” was taken in Zhuhai near the Fisher Girl, similar to a photo from a couple of posts ago, except that a beggar has been added to the scene.  We did see beggars at some tourist sites, but not very many.

 

Zhuahai

Zhuahai

The following photo is an orphan, not having any relatives in any other post.  We thought the red jacket might have belonged to Mao (?)

In Coloane between our hotel and Taipa. This building may have been part of the "City of Dreams" but there didn't seem to be much life around it.

In Coloane between our hotel and Taipa. This building may have been part of the “City of Dreams” but there didn’t seem to be much life around it.

And finally, a shot of an ad for a CANADIAN English language school. It was a bit of a surprise to me to learn recently that in Prince Edward Island, Canada, where I live, the most-spoken language after English and French is Chinese. After thinking about it for a while, I’m not really surprised at all!

In the 'city' of Taipa in the northern half of the island which makes up the bottom half of Macau.

In the ‘city’ of Taipa in the northern half of the island which makes up the bottom half of Macau.

Buddhist Macau

Macau 2013

Not far from the Christian centre of Macau was this charming neighbourhood Buddhist temple.

You could buy incense to burn ranging from tiny sparkler-sized to huge cones.

Macau 2013

Macau 2013

Macau 2013

The star attraction however was a special bowl. If you rubbed your hands firmly on the handles the water in the bowl would seem to boil. These two photos feature some of my traveling companions and one very amazed other lady.

Macau 2013

Macau 2013

I rather preferred the little shrine between the sidewalk and the busy road which I hadn’t noticed when we arrived.

Macau 2013

Next Chinese post: Las Vegas of the Orient

Christian Macau

Macau 2013

The plaque below says it all:

Macau 2013

Macau 2013

Stairs lead down the hill away from the remnants of St. Paul’s through narrow streets and emerge in Senado Square. Halfway between the two is St. Dominic’s (Roman Catholic) church, the oldest in Macau and listed as one of the 29 sites that form the Historic Centre of Macau, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Facade of St. Dominic's church.

Facade of St. Dominic’s church.

Two interior views, without and with parishioners.

Macau 2013

Macau 2013

Next Macau post: A Buddhist temple.

Macau – China – Two Systems

Zhuhai Fisher Girl

Zhuhai Fisher Girl

Our day went like this: breakfast in Zhongshan, the bus to Zhuhai for a comfort break (the worst of the whole trip?) and a visit to the Zhuhai Fisher Girl.  Back on the bus to a ferry terminal for a short ferry ride and immigration check into Macau, several tourist stops in ‘mainland’ Macau, lunch, a Buddhist temple, bus to the ‘island’ part of Macau, our hotel and a free late afternoon and evening. Map of Zhongshan and Zhuhai  here.  Scroll down the map a bit to get to Macau.

The first photo below was taken from the ferry boat, on the Macau side.  At the time, I didn’t notice that the two young men on the boats in this photo are wearing fatigues and are dressed the same.   I wonder whether they are either inspecting the boats for contraband, or are crew on the boats which patrol the coast doing their chores.

A city across the bay.

A city across the bay.

Macau was a Portuguese trading colony in the South China sea, in the same way that Hong Kong was for Britain. Macau, like Hong Kong, is a Special Administrative Area under the Chinese policy of “one country, two systems.” Portugal handed over Macau to the People’s Republic of China on December 20, 1999, but Portuguese remains the primary language with Cantonese and Mandarin also to be heard.

From the ferry terminal we took a bus to Monte Fort and its garden from which we could see the city laid out around us. The fort’s walls were lined on the inside with planters of Canna lilies.

Inside the park.

Inside the park.

Outside the park.

Outside the park.

An overhead preview of the facade of St. Paul's.

An overhead preview of the facade of St. Paul’s.

We went to visit the facade of St. Paul’s (which will feature in my next Chinese post) and then walked down the stairs in front of the ruin and on to explore the pedestrian precinct of Macau.

Below St. Paul's.

Below St. Paul’s.

Next Chinese post: Christian Macau