GETTING LOST IN MACAU...
IN DIRECTION AND TRANSLATION
The Start of Our 12-Day Trip!
Woohoow.., another long trip I’ve accomplished. 12 days of going abroad, 4 countries and 5 cities. From Jakarta to Macau to Hong Kong to Guangzhou to Shenzhen to Bangkok and back to Jakarta. Only the two of us, Renny and I.-->
Usually I blog about my trips as a whole trip, but after failing to do so for my Vietnam-Cambodia trip, I realized that it’s almost impossible nowadays, so I’m writing it in parts. Here it goes.
We found this city to be the most expensive city of all, in this trip I mean. We concluded that when having a difficulty in finding budget hotel / hostel with decent condition, comparing it with budget accommodations in Thailand and Vietnam, even with Hong Kong. We thought, why waste a lotta dough on a mediocre hotel room? It’s either budget or luxury once and for all.
So we booked a luxurious hotel room that got these cats so curious, after a long meditation, called The Venetian Macau. Out of our minds? Yeah probably, but I'm glad we were. But well, we had 2 nights of stay in Macau and we’re not rich enough to stay in that money-sucking hotel for 2 nights.. so we kept open options for the first night. Whatever will be, will be.
Now, about the weather, and the outfits to (un)match.
We didn’t think Macau was gonna be that cold. It was probably about… I don’t know, it was lower than 20°C for sure. And you know what I had on? A t-shirt, a pair of stockings with cotton shorts over it, a cotton shawl, and a cotton hat ready in my backpack. Renny had a quite similar outfit on.
When we stepped out of our Viva Macau plane at the Macau International Airport, we were freezing that we felt so stupid among those Chinese people in their bulky and warm jackets, who were sooo ready for the season’s cold wind. I had my nostalgic moments though. The cold and the dark sky (it was past 10 pm) flashed some memories of going to school in early Spring time about 15 years ago in East Lansing, Michigan, USA.
Alright, enough of reminiscence, the reality was that we were out of one option about going thru the first night in Macau, that was sleeping at the airport like many people do. Why? Because we didn’t have warm enough outfits like those people did.
--> So, after passing the immigration desk, we looked for a restaurant in the airport, but it turned out that they were ALL closed. Who was it that told us the airport restaurants are open 24 hours? #&$$^&*(*&$$%?!!*))P@!!#^)(*^!!!
The thing is, we didn’t get food at the plane, it’s a no-frill flights, and their food supplies for sale were ridiculously limited. We could only get Pringles when what we needed was REAL FOOD, you know, the kind that makes you stuffed. So we each had to survive only with a cup of hot green tea and a half bar of chocolate that Renny brought from home, since 5 pm when we started to feel hungry. Apparently, passengers are supposed to book for food when they book the plane tickets, if not, well, they’d have to bring their own food or starve like we did. This whole no-food thing was annoying and yet hilarious at the same time..! And I initiated a word-association game with Renny to – try to – get over the hunger.
Okay, so, after facing the fact that restaurants were all closed since 10 PM, and there’s no way for us to stay at the airport for the whole night, we went outside to get a cab. Luckily we were prepared with San Va Hospedaria address printed both in latin letters and Chinese (we were advised to have addresses in Chinese ready, to show to cab drivers or to whomever we might ask direction). This is a budget hotel that seemed the most decent in its class, at least from our findings in the internet.
San Va Hospedaria Hotel
As expected, it’s a narrow space among restaurants, shops, and other budget hostels at Rua da Felicidade 65-67.
--> A grumpy and non-English speaking old man was at the reception area, insisted to speak Chinese with us, and we had no choice other than speaking in English, hoping he’d understand what we meant. I mean, after all, their website is in dual language.
We were lucky that the last room was occupied by a girl from Shanghai who wanted to move to her friend’s room, I dunno why. After some arguments between the girls and the grumpy old man over whether or not she had to pay for the room for that day, we finally got the room. Thanks to that Shanghai girl who helped us communicate with that old man.
The partitions are made of woods, painted green. I do like the look of this hotel which is often used for a film set, because it’s got characters, it’s got an oldies look and yet simple, somehow I just like it. But I did not enjoy how the wooden partitions allowed cold air in our room so much, and that there’s no heater whatsoever!
Although tired, we had to find food before hitting the bed. Oh wait, before getting out of the building, we put on layers and layers of leggings and t-shirts beneath our jackets. Believe it or not, we didn’t pack any trousers or jeans because we wanted to pack as light as possible.
Chicken rice and duck rice in clay pots were our savior that night. So were the cups of tea that warmed our palms, throats, and tummies… It was almost like suddenly war was over and in came world peace. LOL.
Bedtime came. We didn’t bother to take off our clothes even one layer. The blanket helped a little against the cold, but Renny couldn’t sleep very well because of the cold, and I, well I slept okay.
In the morning, for sure we didn’t even think about having a shower. Yeah yeah there’s hot shower in the shared bathroom, but even the thought of taking off a layer of clothing already made us shiver. So we got up at about 8.30 AM, washed our faces at the washbasin in the room – or did we? I forgot – and checked out but left our bags in the bag deposit room.
Touristy activities – Senado Square, the ruins of St. Paul’s Church, and Egg Tarts eating
Our first sightseeing was the Senado Square. This is one of the ultimate sightseeing sites for tourists in Macau. It’s a paved plaza with Portuguese buildings now functioned as shops, restaurants, pharmacy, and tourist information centre.
The Chinese New Year had just passed about a week before, so there were still so many lanterns and decorations at the square, relevant to the event.
--> Our breakfast was a cup of hot tea we bought at McDonalds, also at the square. Shops were mostly still closed at 9ish. We walked through the square towards the Ruins of St. Paul’s Church. Street directory helped us a lot getting to the historical site, and it was located only about 10 minutes of walking from the square.
--> From the foot of the hill where the church ruins stands tall and graceful, we saw so many people, mostly tourists, are scattered all over the steps and shops nearby. We got ourselves the famous Macau egg tarts as our breakfast, at a shop that’s used as a shooting location for a Korean series “Boys Before Flowers”. Renny told me all about the series that she loves so much, and she got me to wanna see it, too.
The yummy tarts cost MOP 7 each.
The ruins of the St. Paul’s Church is now only the front part. I’ve written about this a few years back on my first visit to Macau.
Besides taking pictures of ourselves and only of the ruins, we also enjoyed just sitting while sipping tea, munching, and watching people around us. And we noticed a lot of knockout boots and coats were worn, made us kinda envious of their winter season which we don’t have back at our tropical home ^_^