“Ha, you’re going to Macau hey?! Don’t gamble too much!”
Really?! Do I look like the type who’d rather spend her weekend hovelled up in some glitzy casino with hordes of men from the mainland gambling away every penny?! Come now. Not that I wouldn’t be partial to trying it some time, just for fun, but right now I can think of hundreds of things I’d rather do with my sacred weekend.
Being my second time to visit Macau, I thought it’d be a good idea to acually see some of the cool architecture rather than bypass it all by heading straight for Coloane, the beautiful beachy village of the south, as I did last time. Now the only part I haven’t explored is the casinos. A strange concept for most people I’m sure, especially as that’s what Macau is famed for. Even so far as being labelled ‘Vegas of the East.’ Indeed.
Being the adventurers that we are, we decided we’d just use my flimsy torn-out-of-Lonely Planet-map and take Macau by foot. It made for an interesting day. Firstly, as the ferry came to a halting stop in what we thought was Macau, the lovely ferry lady announced our arrival over the mic ‘Welcome to Hong Kong!!’ Sorry, uhhh, WHAT NOW?! Thankfully it was just an error on her part, probably due to the fact that we were on the first ferry of the day. Hello exhaustion.
So we were in Macau, relief!! We started off at the ruins of the once beautiful, St.Pauls Cathedral with the other gazillion tourists, before quickly escaping down a back alley, past the delicious fruit market in search of more hidden delights. Immediately we stumbled upon the coolest park ever! Against the backdrop of the awe-inspiring colourful graffiti, an old guy was just casually doing some lunges, whilst two kids chased a cat as their grandparents played on the old peoples swings. (I love old-peoples parks!) Supposedly this was the park where an art fair was being held, but today of all days the sign instructed us to go in search of a different park where the fair would be held today only. Harriet hopped on the mission immediately and off we went to find this place. This place did not exist. Hours later we found ourselves back in the same place and there it was: the art fair. In the original place. Macau’s chilled OK. They don’t start early here.
The rest of the day was spent wandering. We covered the entire island. Twice. Without meaning to. I had the bright idea of checking out Ox Warehouse, a place where a group of artists can let their creative juices go crazy. It sounded really cool, but there was actually only one small video exhibition. Anyway the point of this story is that we wandered for a good hour looking for a taxi, on the opposite side of the city from Ox Warehouse, and yet where did we end up eventually finding the only taxi in the city? Yes. Ox Warehouse. Exact same spot we were dropped in only hours earlier. This world is bizarre I tell ya.
Apart from this weird coincedence, we had such a gorgeous day. Google weather informed me that it would be a sweet 18degrees. It was no such thing and we were freezing, but that’s OK because Macau is beautiful. Just as Shenzhen smells of sweet jasmine (at least where I live it does), Macau smells like incense and candy-floss. Wherever you go, you can see the smoky spirals (hallelujah it’s not nicotine-induced spirals) drifting into the air from their coily,twirly-shaped bearers.
It’s such a refreshing little place. People are unbelievably friendly. Two girls on the hunt for some art fair, huge map in their hands, and it seemed like everyone was stopping to ask if we needed help. I actually love Macau. From church to church to temple to park to tea shop to eating the most amazingly fresh cod-cakes and fish with tomato rice at ‘A Lorcha’ (famous Portugese restuarant), to chatting with lovely crafty artsy people in the park. We had such a wonderful day.
Macau may have been handed back to China, but it still has a completely different air about it. (No, but literally, it’s fresh like an incense daisy.) The stunning Portugese-esque architecture is everywhere, infused with a Chinese twist. And it’s got the feel of a little town rather than a big city. I could wander along the cobble-stoned alleys forever with their colourful street art and delicious biscuity snacks that are neverendingly delicious. The architecture alone is like something out of a story book. Ah, so pretty.
Macau, I’m sure I said this last time too, but for really, I’ll be back to explore you again. Soon soon.
Just look at how lovely it is:
|hello cool cling-film arty people.|
|bit of art gazing, big of lunging.|
|oh so pretty architecture.|
|sweet smell of Macau.|
|just chilling on my horsey.|
|i could certainly live here. no problem.|
|my favourite graffiti in Macau. reach for the moon…|