28 January – day trip to Macau

After getting breakfast pakoras from the stall downstairs and dropping off the rest of our washing with the lass who hasn’t had a day off in 2 years, we made our way using the metro system to the Macau ferry terminal. Due to bad timings and us not getting up early we ended up getting the 11am ferry and arrived at 12.15, still at least it wasn’t too cold. We were a little flummoxed as to how to get money as our credit cards didn’t work in the machines, also we had no idea how to get downtown as there was no information anywhere. Thankfully there was a taxi driver, in camoflage gear, who explained that you can use HK dollars and he would take us to our first destination for the princely sum of £16. We were still experiencing European prices! He did also tell us the direction to walk in to see the main site in Macau, the facade of a ruined church, yep, that is why the tourists steam here in there thousands, oh, and the lure of a mini Las Vegas which keep the Chinese gambling.

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As it is nearly Chinese new year the shops are over crowded, especially the ones selling Portugese egg tarts and various types of dried beef, boar and any other animal you can imagine.

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It was a feeding frenzy which we managed to navigate through without serious injury. It is quite hard to remember not to smile or be nice to anyone here as you will get sod all in return, and after Burma and everyone there being so friendly and polite this is the polar opposite. The number of times we have both been battered and bashed and banged with no semblance of an apology is a shock after Burma!
The ruins of St Paul’s were exactly that, ruins. Guy tried a bit of Macau street food, pork chop in a bun – it was exactly as advertised.

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A steamed then fried bun filled with pork and greens, it was ok…

We then found a restaurant that served African chicken, which is the thing the try here, and as they had just run out of suckling pig (gutted) we chose the duck and rice dish, both were delicious, especially the duck in rice. It was strange eating somewhere on full sized wooden chairs, with a table cloth and waitresses dressed in black and white, and the price showed that, it was about £35 instead of our usual £5!

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So then we had to say thanks to the bar owner next door for pointing us in the right direction for the fabulous food, obviously that meant a glass of Portuguese white wine for me, which was a lovely way to set us up for an afternoon stroll through Macau. We visited a Chinese merchants house which was covered in flowers and the obligatory tangerine trees, and had the architectural styles of the European and Chinese in one house……if you need to know more wikipedia it, The Mandarin House!

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We then had to get to our ferry port, which was on a neighbouring island of Taipu, so we thought a bus would get us there, how naive we were! The trip took us around Taipu, past all of the seriously huge casinos and hotels, having having never been to Vegas we can’t compare it, but these were impressive buildings. And when the bus had started to go past the aeroport we were a little concerned that we were not getting to our destination, the driver kindly said we needed to go to one of these massive hotels to get a free shuttle bus to the airport. So we went past the massive queues for the taxis, the massive queue for the shuttle bus to the other ferry port and hopped on our empty bus and were taken, for free, to the ferry port! It was truly amazing to see the number of people checking in and waiting around this casino/hotel, the amount of money that must change hands here begger’s belief.
A night time ferry ride home through which Guy slept as he is so knackered with all the stress of travelling.
We got the MTR (tube) up to a huge night market at Temple street, hoping for knock off converse and new balance trainers, however the market was full of tourist tat, expensive non branded sunglasses and the odd stall full of the kind of toys you share as a couple. They had items that made my mind boggle and eyes water!!
As we have no spare capacity to take ANY of these items in our back packs we went home empty handed, with just a juice for tea as we were still stuffed from lunch.

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