Friday, August 14, 2015

Macau Trip: Seeing Pandas

If you are up for sightseeing some local attractions, a great place to take a few hours trip out to see is the Parque de Seak Pai Van.  This, too was in our guidebook, and it hyped up the panda pavilion.  

I've been to the panda reserve out in Sichuan back in the day, so seeing pandas is always a joy for me!

Conveniently, from The Venetian, you can also catch bus 25 out to the park.  It heads in the direction where Black Sand Beach is the terminal.

The park itself is free to wander through.  There are quite a few things to see, but the pandas where what we were really there for (and maybe to check out the other animals).

We got here around 1 pm.  The park was so totally empty!  I suspect it was due to the heat.

The tickets to view the pandas were sold in gift shop.  They were $10 MOP ($10 HKD) per person for admission into the panda pavilion.

There were allocated time slots that you could go into the pavilion.  They were slotted at half an hour a part when we were there.  It was totally a great way to regulate the traffic of panda-seekers.

The pavilion was so lovely and air-conditioned.  It also had beautiful viewing windows to see the panda habitats.

Pictured above is Kai Kai, I believe.  He was snoozing the entire hour that we were there.

Pictured below is Xin Xin, I believe (again!).  She was walking the entire habitats the entire hour that we were there.

Besides checking out pandas, we wandered Parque de Seak Pai Van to see what else it had to offer.  Like Hong Kong's Zoological and Botanical Park in Central, there is an aviary to view birds, an area set aside for monkeys, and also a really small cage where an ostrich is kept.

After wandering around this little zoo area, I started getting quite contemplative over how these guys have to live in such small compartments.



Ostrich cage
There is also a little area on the hill that is dedicated to exotic plants.  It's a nice place to walk through.  It's basically just a little concrete path that has exotic plants (all labels in Portuguese and Chinese) around it.

There is also a bonsai area near the main road.

We also discovered another tourist spot right to the left of the park, but the people standing around the area said that there may not be any shuttles…so we assumed there were shuttles that picked up people at this gate of a landmark and drove them up the hill to see the statue that was advertised.  Maybe another time!

We decided to take a taxi over to the Macau Tower and just wander around a bit before dinner time.  We actually passed the time people watching and cooling off under some trees.  We also watched a load of people bungee jump off of the tower (which is quite mesmerizing to say the least!)

But, right along side the Macau Tower was a restaurant that was recommended to us by some friends:  Ali Curry House.

The menu is huge!

It also didn't pick up until 7 pm, which was perfect for us because we were in for an early dinner.

We ordered some clams…

…a lobster soup with puff pastry topping…

…some oxtail curry…

…and, lastly, some spare ribs.

It was all pretty good on an empty stomach and at such a great price.  I also love how the proportions are nice and small so we could sample a bit more than usual and not get too stuffed.

The restaurant looked right out towards the Macau Tower, by the way, so it is also a great location to watch bungee jumpers.

So, if you are looking to get around Macau a bit, checking out Kai Kai and Xin Xin might be a nice option.  It is not the most exciting thing in the world, but it does show you a different side of Macau.  Also, having dinner outside of the hotel is SUCH A WONDERFUL way to experience the city!