Mar 6, 2010

GETTING AROUND MACAU

2 Girls With Bad Sense of Direction Were Getting Around Macau. Imagine The Chaos :P


-->The ruins of St. Paul’s Church


At the back of the St. Paul Church ruins, there’s a wide space where the church used to be.



--> And at the far back there’s a gallery that shows religious statues and symbols of Catholic. We took a look at the collection, which were amazing works of art. Don't worry, there's no entrance fee. Anyone can go in, as long as you don't bring food nor beverages passing the church's wall.






--> Then we took our time enjoying the cool breeze and the city view from the balcony attached to the backside of the church wall.


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The famous Grand Lisboa hotel and casino is seen from afar among other buildings. Oh, did I mention that Macau is a casino city?
Museu de Macau

I bet you can guess what Museu de Macau translates to. We spontaneously went up to the hill where the museum is located, on the left side of St. Paul, with the church ruins at your back.



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But before entering the 3-storey – I think – building, sitting at the park and finishing our tea, gave us a feel of being local people. At least that’s what we thought locals would do in that park.



--> As all other museums that has the city’s name as its brand, Museu de Macau also tells the history and culture of Macau since old age.
The map of the world back then.
Can you guess what areas these are?
Click this image to see a larger view.



--> It’s got very well-designed dioramas that tell the stories of how trades happened back then, the making of traditional Chinese medicines, the variety of Chinese clothing, the development of their industry, the wedding culture, the famous literature of Macau, and many more. It’s all well laid out in the museum. And it's so worth the entrance fee of only MOP 15.




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Outside, there’s a garden where visitors can sit around and relax, munch on their packed food, and a line of cannons that’s also used as shooting location for the BBF series – Renny told me this with her eyes sparkling.. hihihi.

Souvenirs and everything nice

Descending from the museum, we walked back to Senado Square direction, passing through narrow streets full of shops and people. Souvenirs are available in many of the shops, like the fridge magnets, key chains, miniatures of St. Paul’s church, display images, t-shirts, and everything. The prices range from MOP 10 to hundreds of MOP.


Celebrating the Tiger Year, a kid is in a tiger costume.
Looking at him made me miss my nephew sooo much!


--> Other stuff like Nike and Converse shoes, boots, clothing, and food are also available in these shops. The shoes are a bit more expensive than they are in Indonesia, but they sure have more designs.

FYI, Hong Kong dollars are accepted in Macau as well. You can pay things with HKD and get change in MOP. Cool, eh?
Cathedral Square

After purchasing some souvenirs, we followed a signage that lead to the Cathedral Square (you can find more details here).


It was probably only about 15 minutes walk up and down the hilly streets. A few people were praying there, visitors take pictures and express their amazement in whispers sometimes. I was told by a staff to take my hat off in the church.



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Walking back to Senado Square


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Bus drama on our way to Macau Tower

We had planned to have a dinner at the 360° cafe at the top of Macau Tower, the landmark of the city, where we could see a 360° view of the city. But of course, we improvised, and canceled the plan. We decided to just have lunch and sightsee at the tower.

A tourist information centre is available at the Senado Square. We got the info to take the 36A or 31A bus from Avenue Infante D. Henrique, about 10 minute walk from Senado Square at the opposite side, that will take us directly to Macau Tower.

The bus came maybe almost half an hour later, while the ride was probably only about 15 minutes tops. I got confused with the coin machine, where we’re supposed to put in our fares, because it looked quite different than the coin machines I’ve seen before. So I asked the driver how to put it in, and he was this grumpy man who seemed to be annoyed by my silly confusion. He even gave a gesture, pointing his index finger to his head with sneering face, probably saying that I was stupid. Well excuse me, I’m a foreigner here!!! Geez... *rolling eyes*



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After crossing the bridge over Nam Van Lake and Sai Van Lake, the bus stopped right at the lobby of Macau Tower.


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We saw a Venetian Macau shuttle bus waiting for passengers. Aww, darn!! If only we knew, we would’ve gotten our bags from San Va, so that we could directly head to Venetian from Macau Tower.

The information lady knew that we were gonna check in at Venetian after visiting Macau Tower, but she didn’t inform us about this shuttle bus!! So that meant later we had to go back and forth to San Va, which is only 15 minutes walk from Senado Square, and then head to Venetian. Oh well… !

Macau Tower



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Alright, so what does Macau Tower has to offer? Well, you can see all about it here or the summary here.

We weren’t interested to go up to see city view, we just looked around at the lower floors where there are shops (there’s a Lomography section!!), cafes, and restaurants. And then we had lunch. And I bought some macaroons for a munch later.




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To tell you the truth, I wasn’t impressed with this visit. But maybe I should’ve gone up the tower at night to view city lights – the hotels and casino halls are very brightly and pretty lit at night – and try out whatever attractions it offers to enjoy it more. Well, maybe next time.


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A Bus Tour around Macau

At about 3 or 4 PM we got out and hopped on the same bus back to Senado Square. Silly us, we forgot the name of street where we were supposed to get off. Yeah, we can be pretty un-attentive sometimes. So we hoped to see any sign of Senado Square, but until the bus halted at the terminal – it’s called Macau Ferry Terminal & Heliport if I’m not mistaken – we saw no Senado Square.

So we asked the driver what bus we should take to Senado Square and he advised us to take the 3A or something. So we waited for 3A that was about to move among the many 3A’s that were just parking there waiting for god knows what.

Finally, we were on the bus 3A heading to Senado Square. We tried to figure out what bus stop on what street we were supposed to hop off and get to our hotel, looking at the information on the map which we got for free at the tourist information centre. Yes there are names written in Latin letters on the map, unfortunately not on the bus stops. Aarrgghhh… how were we supposed to know when to stop??

We tried to count the number of stops we were supposed to pass, but I don’t think each and every stop was really informed in the map, so that our counting didn’t really matter. * Sigh *

But we finally saw a familiar street and got off the bus. Renny told me that she was sure we were walking to the opposite direction of our hotel was, so we turned around and walked the other direction. Luckily she’s right. And after a few turns in the small streets, there it was.. San Va. I felt so blessed.

After getting our bags, the road to Venetian Macau wasn’t as easy as we thought. Asking direction to some men in uniforms whom we bumped into, wasn’t that much of help either. It was Saturday and still in the holiday season after the Chinese New Year, so buses are packed, lots of people wait in line at the stops, and our feet got pretty tired from walking for hours in the places we visited. And our backpacks weren’t so light either. And the weather was still cold. Don’t you just love vacations? LOL…

To get to Venetian Macau, we hopped on the 21A bus at.. I think it was the Infante De Henrique avenue, but I’m not sure.. It’s where the Senado Square is located and at the same side of the street, but it’s before you pass the Square (if the Square is on your left). I hope I don’t get you lost if you’re following my routes.. but I tell ya, getting lost is fun!

We had to stand in the bus because it was full. We got out our map and discussed where we should stop, kinda worried that maybe we got on the wrong bus since we didn’t think it would take time that long to the hotel. In our mindset, Macau is a small city, a small country even, so why would it take more than half an hour from the city centre to the Venetian? Na├»ve, I know.

So we asked a passenger who looked like she might understand English. Turned out that she couldn’t give us any info, and a woman who sits in front of her butted in and told us in perfect English that the Venetian is still way ahead and that we’ll see it when we get there. The one thing she didn’t tell us, is on which side it’s on, and whether or not we should cross the street to get to the entrance.

Venetian was finally in sight, on our right, and there wasn’t any crossing bridge nor a zebra-cross. I was so sure that the bus is gonna u-turn… but it didn’t. It took us to the ferry terminal, so we hopped off there because we saw a shuttle bus with “Venetian Macau” written all over it. Okay, we finally see the light. And the shuttle bus took us to Venetian in no time. PHEWH!!!

* Bus fare was around MOP 2-4 / ride.

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