Monday, August 17, 2015

Macau Trip: Exploring Macau

Though there are shuttles that go between hotel/casinos, we decided on taking the bus around Macau.  It is a nice way to sightsee.  It's also a great way to get dropped off in the city and be forced to wander around the beautiful streets!

Because we're staying at The Venetian, we just caught Bus 25 (the second day that we opted for the local bus!), which was right outside the main entrance, and caught it into downtown Macau.

We had no real aim for the day, so we hopped off somewhere that looked like it had a lot of really awesome things to see (which is almost everywhere in Macau) and just started our day there.  Turns out we were dropped off by the Tea Cultural Museum of Macao.  It was still early, so we popped in to check it out.

This place is open from 9 am and it also has free admission.

It's a little museum on the tea culture of Macau.  The most beautiful thing in the museum was the wall of tea pots, which were so beautifully artistic and found on the second floor.

We then just started walking around checking out the old style Portuguese colonial buildings.  There are parts of Macau that have the most beautiful historical buildings.  There are other parts that look so similar to Hong Kong, like the residential blocks, which look like Hong Kong's government housing estates.

We then found ourselves walking pass the Macau Historical Archives Buildings, the Macau Central Library and then on towards the St. Lazarus Church.  There was a nice little park along this route, which really reminded me of Seattle in the landscaping with tires department.

After wandering for a bit, we then started seeing a bunch more tourist signs that directed us to different landmarks and attractions.  These, by the way, were so convenient, but you could probably only spot them in the major tourist areas of the area.

None the less, we decided to head towards the famous Ruins of St. Paul, which is I always think of as the busiest attraction in Macau (as there is also a shopping area surrounding the Ruins).

The downtown area is quite walkable.  I think it was probably less than 15 minutes before we hit the backside of the Ruins.  The Ruins, in itself, is a beautiful sight to see.  There is also a religious museum with artifacts in the complex, which is worth a gander at.

From the top of the Ruins, there is a stellar view of the Grand Lisboa.

Along the steps of the Ruins, there are a bunch of snack shops, where you can pick up a cold drink…

…a Portuguese Egg Tart…

…or a famous Macau Pork Bun…

The shopping area isn't as spectacular as some may think.  It actually reminds me quite of Hong Kong.  It has the same shops, like Forever 21, Mannings, Watsons, Bossini, Nike, Naraya, Bonjour, Color Mix, etc.

Probably, the most popular things people were shopping for were the beef jerky bits and also the almond cakes.

I love beef jerky!

The Almond Cakes are all right...
The area around the Ruins is also the place to get Macau souvenirs.  They have all the usual magnets, key chains, casino chips, thimbles, and t-shirts.

After checking out the Ruins and snacking on some things, we headed out to Av. de Almeida Ribeiro.  We continued checking out the little shops, lanes, neighborhood temples, buildings, and wandering around the streets.

And before heading back to our hotel, we stopped by this diary shop and picked up a ginger pudding type of snack, which reminds me of tofu fa.  It was a pretty good half day of wandering and snacking on some local treats.

Along Av. de Almeida Ribeiro, also, was the main bus stops to get back to the Taipa, Cotai, Cologne side of Macau.

Things learned from this day:

1.  The bus is an awesome way to get around

2.  Walking the streets are a great way to explore the city

3.  There are always snack shops and drink places to refresh yourself

4.  People seem to not mind giving directions

5.  There are always things to see around every corner!