19th Sept to 20th Sept 2014
We took a taxi to Pudong airport and were early for check in so relaxed with a coffee. Once checked in and through departures we relaxed waiting on our flight to board. We got our passports stamped out of China. Shannon spotted another massage chair so of course I wanted to have a go. This one was £3 for 15 minutes but was the creme de la creme. I took off my shoes and got tilted horizontal, my feet were massaged, my calfs, my bum, my thighs, my arms, my shoulders, my back, neck, head. It was super relaxing, and now I want to know where I can get one for whenever I get my own house, cause I'd be on that all the time! We were late to board the aircraft and then sat around for ages onboard, then it was the longest taxi way ever and we finally took off two hours late! We were flying Air Macau and the cabin crew were very friendly and smiley though. The flight took just under 2 hours and we got dinner too.
The aircraft was attached to an air bridge, but as soon as we stepped off the plane we could feel the difference in temperature, or should I say the humidity. In China it had been a bit rainy some days and humidity low, with an average temperature of 25 degrees. Macau was about 29 degrees at night and about 90% humidity or so it felt. We got through customs and got our bags quite quick and then waited in a shortish taxi queue. Macau's airport is built on reclaimed land, so we drove over the bridge and into central Macau. We got dropped at our lovely hotel, the Casa Real. We paid £100 for one night. We quickly dropped off our bags in our lovely spacious room, we had requested two single beds as we think you get a bigger room and we can spread out in our own beds! (We enjoyed that in Shanghai). Then we went out to explore the glitzy, flashy scene of Macau.
Macau is now a Mecca for gambling, with casinos open 24 hours a day. Macau has big named hotels such a the Venetian, MGM and Wynn to name a few, these are the big hotels in Las Vegas too. In fact Macau has overtaken Vegas' gross revenue by 7 times!!! So look out for Macau if you haven't heard of it already! Also, Macau is 29.9sq km and is home to 591,900 people. In comparison Guernsey is 78 sq km and has a population of 65,345.
So we wandered around the centre and went inside the MGM hotel and noised in at the casino and watched a few games. We then went to go in the Wynn casino but as we didn't have our passports the lady wouldn't let us in. So we watched the performance lake at the Wynn, it was a fountain display with illumination of water, colour and fire!
After a really comfy nights sleep we wanted to explore the cultural side of Macau. After it was established as a fishing village, in the 1550's the Portuguese reached A Ma Gao (goddess of Seafarers) , they adopted the name which gradually changed to Macau. Which is pronounced 'Mac-ow'. So we wanted to explore. We walked and then got a bit lost and got taxi to the Guia Fortress built between 1622 and 1638 which was once a nuns convent and still has a chapel, it also has the Guia lighthouse dating from 1865 which still works today. We then walked to the Ruins of St Paul's and admired the great carved stone facade of all that remains of the once church of Mater Dei built in 1602-1640 and destroyed by fire in 1835. An Asian couple approached us and wanted to be in a photo with us. It was strange, but I have heard of this as Asians like photos with Westerners. We then walked down Macau's main square which had a strong Portuguese vibe about it. Actually we could completely forget where we were due to the buildings around us reminding us of Europe, and nothing like the tower block after tower block we seen through China.
We jumped in a lovely air conditioned taxi which took is back to our hotel, we then finished packing up and checked out. We went to a cafe in the hotel and had a cheese and ham toastie for me and a club sandwich for Shan, both complete with hash browns! I also had a strawberry milkshake which was one of the best I've ever had! (My dream is to open a milkshake bar one day so I love critiquing milkshakes). A Chinese man was sitting across from us at lunch and when he paid his bill the waitresses started giggling, he then approached Shannon and asked if he was a famous actor. We laughed but he was serious- he couldn't remember the actors name though when we asked who, but he did want an autograph! It was funny!
We then walked a few blocks to the ferry terminal. We joined the queue and booked our tickets on a high speed boat with Turbojet to Hong Kong. We didn't have long to wait as the boat was going in 20 minutes. We went through customs and never got a stamp, we just had to fill out an immigration slip and they then printed off a piece of paper we were to keep until we departed. The journey was fine and only took just over an hour and we got to look out at all the lush islands dotted along the way.