Qi had both Christmas day and Boxing day (12/26) off work so we decided to take a quick jaunt to Macau/Macao. Macau is an hour ferry ride (~40mi) from Hong Kong and a huge gambling mecca of the east. Gambling is illegal in many nearby countries so Macau is a very popular destination. Since Macau was a Portuguese colony until the late 1990’s, it had an interesting blend of Portuguese and Chinese influence. We arrived on Christmas morning and left the following evening. It was a quick but fruitful trip.
I did some research on Macau concerning where we should stay. It is much like Vegas- there’s a downtown with gambling and then the strip is in a different location. Additionally, Macau has a beach resort area. I was expecting many more casinos since its gambling revenue is larger than Vegas. However, it felt like a very tame Vegas- no drunkies on the streets or people whooping and cheering in the casinos. The vibe was pretty mellow. I wanted to blame this on Christmas, but it might just be less flashy. Although we visited over a holiday, it was still crowded.
We stayed in what is considered downtown Macau because a lot of the history is in this area. It is a very small island, so traveling to the other regions is no more than a 15 minute cab ride. Our hotel let us check-in right away so we dropped off our bags and began sightseeing. From our hotel it was a short walk to the Ruins of St. Paul’s.
We saw the Historical Centre and St. Dominic’s church:
The streets and landscapes:
We love to try the local food specialties. I was especially excited for the egg tarts (they were divine!) and Qi was excited about the pork chop bun. I filled up on egg tarts and bread so I didn’t have room for the pork chop sandwich. Qi said it was delicious. We also had the steamed milk pudding which was amazing!
That evening, we went to a cirque du soleil-like show at City of Dreams casino called House of Dancing Water. It was a beautiful show featuring ballet, silks, acrobatics and all partially in water. It was like Le Reve in that sense.
What an enjoyable Christmas Day!