This morning, when Emily and Danny came over to our room, it was to say that we were going to Ocean Park. Iím not entirely sure what made me dissent, but instead I said ďletís go to MacauĒ. Luckily, everybody agreed, and since we hadnít done this before, an adventure was guaranteed.
I quickly looked up the ferry schedule, and some info on Macau, and off we went. We took the subway to Sheung Wan, then the Turbojet ferry to Macau. The ride is about an hour, and I had bought the ďSuper ClassĒ tickets, because Visa had a deal on them. Our seats were good, and the boat wasnít too crowded. The funny thing was, for our tickets, they actually served a light meal, even though the ride is only an hour. It was good, a banana muffin, and some cut fruit and orange juice.
The whole ride over, I kept watching Emily for any signs of sea sickness (remember our ferry ride from China than ended in puke??). No problem this time around, though, and I think it was because it was very short.
When we got off in Macau, we took one of the glitzy hotel shuttles to City of Dreams. That is a huge complex, with several hotels and a casino. The entire city of Macau lives off casino gambling and tourists, mainly from Hong Kong. It really is just like the Chinese version of Vegas! Tons of lights and glitz and casino players looking like they havenít seen daylight in many many days.
We didnít really find much to do at City of Dreams, so we crossed the main road over to The Venetian. Check out the photos, it really looked like Venice had been plunked into Macau! Great gorgeous buildings!!!
Inside, they even had a gondola ride around the massive complex. The girls wanted to go on a gondola ride, so Danny offered to take them for that, while I had an hour in the casino.
Iím a hopeless gambler. I donít even try to understand most of the card games, and Iím too chicken to try roulette, etc., so I stick with the slot machines (and the cheap ones at that!). After my hour was up, I was down a few hundred Hong Kong dollars (less than $70 CDN) and Iíd had some fun.
We hopped a taxi to the historic area of Macau to see Saint Paulís ruins, and you can see by the photos that it really is spectacular!! Very beautiful and a surprise in this city full of modern excess. The area around the historic town centre is full of stores selling the Macau famous almond cookies and a type of meat jerky that is also famous. We didnít buy any jerky but did come back with cookies!
Although we wanted to try some Macau specialties, we had trouble finding an appropriate restaurant at lunch time, but we did find a pretty good Chinese restaurant. We had great shrimps steamed with garlic, and some nice chicken too. The food was much better than Iíd expected based on the look of the place. We purposely didnít order much, since we still wanted to find more local fare later.
We had a good time wandering the streets, not really buying anything but taking it all in. Macau isnít really a place for children, and Iíd known this when I suggested it, but itís somewhere Iíve always wanted to see, so we went.
We then took a taxi over to the Macau tower. It was quite lovely, and we took the elevator to the top observation deck. They have bungy jumping from there, and something called the SkyWalk, where you walk around the outside of the tower with a tether cable. Emily just about drove us crazy wanting to try to the SkyWalk but there was no way I could handle letting her. I told her maybe when sheís older. Yikes, how the hell will my heart withstand that stress???
The tower was mainly empty, since the casinos and the historic areas are the main interests for tourists, so we didnít have to wait in any lineups.
After the tower, we had time for dinner before we had to head back for our 8:30 ferry. We taxied over to the MGM grand (check it OUT!) and asked a local for a dinner restaurant where we could find Macau food. She recommended a place called ďFat Siu LauĒ or little laughing Buddha. We ordered Lamb Chops, Duck Rice, pigeon and African chicken, all of which are considered local specialties. I topped my dinner off with a Macau beer while Danny had a Portuguese beer.
Dinner was really good, although expensive. We werenít disappointed. We had great service, good food, and relatively clean washrooms. Thatís about as good as it gets!!!
By night, Macau is as alight as Vegas, with tons of brash hotel and casino displays! I would love to have stayed longer, but for a first trip, with the kids, weíd had enough. We took a taxi back to the ferry docks, and waited for our 8:30 boat ride. It left on time, and about an hour later, we were back in Hong Kong.
The immigration process at both ends is a bit of a pain, because you have to go through passport control in Macau and again when you return to Hong Kong, but other than that, it was a great day. Iím not sure Iíd take my kids again, but Iím glad we went! I will definitely go back to MacauÖnot for the casinos but for the experience, the food, and the lights!