Have you ever slept in a park? Ever felt like you can’t get rid of mosquitoes because you don’t have a choice?
Two years ago I spent my birthday in Macau with my significant other. We booked our ticket through Cebu Pacific without thinking my passport is expired and James doesn’t have a passport at that time. It took 3 weeks to get our new passports and we thought we can’t make it to Macau but God is good and we were able to get it 1 day before our departure. Travel Tip #1. Make sure your passport is valid within 6 months before booking online tickets to abroad. We never made any hotel reservations and I assumed we can get one considering I did the same thing when I first went to Thailand. When we arrived in Macau, we immediately search for hostels/hotel but all of the hotels were fully book. The only available hotels were very expensive and we can’t afford luxurious hotels. Travel Tip #2. Make hotel reservations before your flight. We walked until we found London Ole hotel, a cheap hotel in Macau and bad luck strikes it was fully booked! We were hopeless and and just near the hotel there is a park. We sat there hugging our luggage and irritating mosquitoes lurking all over the chair. I am not sure how many hours we slept there and I woke up hearing some tagalog words. I presumed there were Filipinos. I kept my eyes closed and they were talking about me.
“Pustahan tayo Pinay yan” the girl uttered. “Nde pra siyang Thailander” the guy said. My eyes were still closed but still listening. I was smiling and I wanted to scream I am Pinay. There were only three of them. One guy and two ladies and then two of them headed somewhere to buy some beers. I walked to the lady and said, “Ate”. She interrupted me then smiled, “sabi ko na nga ba eh, ayan panalo ako sa pustahan sila na magbbayad ng beer”. She told me it was the feast of Buddha and people from mainland China and Hongkong gathered to Macau for Casino Luck. Ate Elaine and Kuya Raymond invited us to stay in their apartment. Heaven Sent! The two Filipinos brought beers and I managed to wake up James. It was almost four in the morning and we were drinking beers while some Macanese have their exercise routine in the park. Until now I am still thankful and glad that I was able to meet those great people.
We headed to Ate Elaine’s apartment and slept from 6 am to 12 noon I guess. We had our lunch somewhere near the apartment but it wasn’t tasty and we didn’t finish our food. We headed to Senado Square and ate at Mc Donalds. We thought it was the only thing our stomach can take. After having a satisfying burger at Mcdo, we had no idea where to go next. The only reason I want to visit Macau is Venetian Hotel. Travel Tip #3. Make a research before heading to your desired country.
So we walked around the Senado Square and the weather was kind of depressing. Where did you get this map? I asked the Chinese Lady but apparently she just replied with a no gesture sign. I kept on insisting where she got the map until she realized what I need. She then pointed her fingers to the Instituto Para Os Assuntos Civicos E Municipais building across the street. Travel Tip #4. Make sure you know where to get the map! There were shopping centers at Senado Square, we checked out to see prices for souvenirs. There were also many authentic local food stores to stop by. We headed to St. Paul Ruins and along the way there were smoked meat free taste. That was my favorite part. It was funny how I toggled from one store to another for a free taste! The Portuguese egg tart looks inviting and yummy. Apparently there was no free taste for the Egg Tart so we bought 1 dozen and ate the tarts as we headed to the Ruins. Yes! The egg tarts were delicious!
Before taking the stairs to the ruins, we noticed a small temple on the left side where no other people bothered to check. They call it Na Tcha Temple. We didn’t stay there long and headed to the Ruins. Map was useless at the time because there were arrow signs going to the ruins. It was raining and unfortunately we don’t have umbrellas. We met two Boholanas (Tita & Ate M )and they’re so kind that they shared their umbrellas to us. Travel tip #5. Bring umbrella, hat or scarf. The façade of the church was amazing despite the fact that it was ruined by fire. One can check the museum behind the ruins; there are pictures, paintings and interesting history that will transport you back in the past. We bid goodbye to our Dear Boholanas Friends as they need to catch a ferry back to Hong Kong. They left their contact numbers and invited us to visit them at Bohol. Travel tip#6. Make friends or enjoy a small talk with a stranger. It wont hurt.
The raindrops did not stop us to climb the hill to Guia Fortress. The fortress reminds me of the siege we had in lineage II. A little hike is required to get to the hill and one can view the Pearl River and the metropolitan landscape of Macau. We enjoyed the old cannon platform that provides spectacular view of the city. The lighthouse and the chapel are both interesting.
There are too many fascinating things to see in the fortress and one can just tour around for free however the Macau Museum has an entrance fee of 15 MOP. Guia Fortress is truly just a short hike but worth having the reward – Amazing bird’s eye view of the peninsula. Travel tip#7. Explore more. There is really more to Macau than Casinos!
This is part of my Macau Series which happenned two years ago. Sorry for the #backlogs.