Macau Day 2 (Senado Square & Ruins of St Pauls)
Rise and shine, day 2 of Macau says hi! After a 5 minutes speed breakfast at the Hotel , I rushed down to join the gang at the hotel lobby.
All photos for this trip is either taken with Lumix GF5 or my iPhone 4s =)
Iris from the Macau Government Tourist Office had specially planned an "Amazing Race" activity for all of us that morning. And we start the race at the awe inspiring Sofitel @ Ponte 16
We were paired up via drawing lots and made to compete against the other teams xD
Jerome the photographer was my partner for the game !
Basically the game is a list of questions that requires you to explore the many landmarks of Macau and take pictures with them. Since the 10 of us went on the exact same trail, I'm going to spare you the agony of reading repeats and just touch on my more interesting experiences.
First stop was the Heritage Exhibition of Traditional Pawnshop Business (典当业展示馆) . The Pawnshop was established in 1917 and has been restored by the Macau S.A.R Government to it’s original condition. As the name implies, the shop currently exhibits the scenery of a Pawn business in Macau in the 20s.
The next few questions then led us to Rua da Felicidade/Happiness Street (福隆新街) street. We were told after that the street had a pretty sinful background that contributes to the name.
It was a little pity our game started too early for the place, otherwise I'm sure we would have experienced a more lively street. But then again, crowd would make the game even more difficult. And it was already very difficult lah >,<!
Here’s Sakura Ai looking like a Movie star xD
The traditional and intricate Chinese design in the buildings coupled with the quiet air made for such a tranquil and zen experience. The place is a photographer’s little paradise as it’s traditional architectures tells a story of heritage and life.
And I’m sure Jerome the photographer must have felt so too because he was clearly more concerned about taking pictures of the place than finding the answers =_=|||. Yes, he was clearly mesmerised. *Runs away from Jerome =x*
Part of the game was to instagram our whereabouts. Here we were at the Da San Ba Almond Biscuit shop Pretty interesting name if you ask me xD
Jerome and I spent so much time on this street alone >_<! We couldn't find the famous traditional dessert store nearby and we kept loitering around, walking up and walking down.
Me asking for directions here. And if you're wondering why am I seeking help from a topless guy, it's because he happened to be the only one around !! Photo taken by Jerome.
I wish I took more photographs of the streets along the way. There was a portion of the streets further down that had Bakwas ( BBQ meat ) selling on both sides and each slice of Bakwas was at least A4 sized! Arghhhh now I regret not trying the Bakwas !!! I think if I was shameless enough , the free tasting can probably cover lunch xD *gets slapped*
More walking along the winding paths of the back alleys which reminds me of Hong Kong. I’d love to imagine I was a Hong Kong Drama heroine romantically strolling along the sides of these roads but alas, the race had to take priority =\
And then we reached the iconic Senado Square that you see in every Macau Travel Catalog !!! It was so incredibly beautiful! I’ve seen pictures of the place before the trip and I was not expecting to be astonished but astonished I was!
It really is very beautiful. If not for the sweltering heat, I'm sure my brain would’ve thought we were in Europe or something.
I tried to pull a fast one on Jerome by bombing his pictures with a sudden star jump xD But being the avid photographer he is, he complained that it was blur and got me to jump again =_=. Oh well, at least I got a cool memento photos
Bustling streets of the area selling many local confectionaries such as Almond Cookies and Bakwa (BBQ Meat)
I tend to crumble under the sun so I was really excited when we finally found a Bubble tea stall. I persuaded Jerome to get a drink too and generous him gave me a treat!
Us with our Mango and Pomelo sago drink xD
And we finally reached our next destination; the ruins of St Paul’s!
I know I keep saying the same thing but the church, or whatever’s left of it is really very beautiful. Especially when you inspect it up close, the texture of the grain and the complexity of the carving just tells such a beautiful story of dedication and craftsmanship. It felt like a love story to me; a story of love from the builders to God. At that moment I felt such pangs of sadness and regrets that I couldn’t have seen the church in it’s full glory.
Spot the Jerome!
We were told to instagram a picture of one of us with one of the many heritage sites in Senado Square and because we were so behind time, I just used this camwhore of mine. Who would have known this picture would help my team win “best photo” LOL! #vanitymuch
After a bit of marvelling at the ruins and watching the performers dance in front of the ruins, it was time to rush to our next target. Yes, I’m soooo bad at taking pictures, this is the only shot I got of the dancers =( .
Next location, up this slope=_=
The Na Tcha Temple (哪咤庙)
A blend of the traditional and the modern.
Here's a shot Jerome took of me googling the answers with my Pomelo drink xD Hey, that's working smart alright! Pity it didn't do much good...
More questions and more instagram! Macau really is a beautiful little country with it’s remnants of it’s Portugal colony past.
It was a queer and unexplainable feeling being in Macau and i couldn’t stop comparing it with Singapore. If countries could have twins, Macau would have to be Singapore’s twin sister haha. A land similarly small like Singapore (actually tinier). Shares a similar history of being a sea port and was also a Colony to a western country. Also similar to Singapore, it was a land without nature resources.
Yet the development of this little city has gone on such radically different path from Singapore and has established itself on the world map in a totally different form.
What I admire the most in Macau was their respect towards their background and finding uniqueness in it. Unlike Singapore who esteems herself as a metropolitan business hub with huge and flashy shopping malls, Macau seemed contented to be the quaint little Portugal colony (albeit with a very modern twist).
Unlike Singapore, most of the architectures around Macau was happy to reflect it’s history. The government would take efforts to restore them and the big companies would try to build new buildings that mimic it.Macau seemed like a never-ending Theme park because of that.
I’m not saying either is better than the other but it was an observation I can’t seem to swallow =)
And after many running around, we finally got to our final checkpoint.
The famous Margaret’s Cafe! From the amount of results it generates in Google, you know you’re looking at quality =)
The cafe is famous for it’s rich and creamy Portuguese Egg tarts and is a must try for everyone visiting Macau. We had a lot of trouble finding it since it was so tucked away and my GPS was awfully slow that day. Thankfully we found it eventually ,though it wasn’t a big comfort because … WE WERE THE LAST TO REACH T_T
An avid photographer and a directional idiot, what can you expect xD?
And the rest of the teams left ONE single egg tart for us to savour (and share). Thanks guys ¬_¬;;;.
The Tart was piping hot, crispy on the outside and oh-so-lush on the inside! The caramelization on the top adds an extra bit of excitement when you bite into it xD
And finally, a group photo to end this entry. Somehow I look grumpy, must be the overwhelming news of our loss xD Or maybe our smiles just waned after the 5th camera.
Yes, 10 of us were given 10 Lumix GF5 to try out during the trip and every time we take a group photo it was such a spectacle.
This is what we saw xD Our Nanny from OMY.sg (awesome Rui Long) handling our cameras with stealth and enthusiasm xD