Macau – Day 2

Posted on November 5, 2014

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The ferry over the Pearl River delta to Macau takes 55 minutes. It is part of two artificially fused islands jutting off the Chinese mainland.

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Unless you gamble, smoke and know how to shop, you are not Chinese according to my friend. In Macau gambling is big, we’re talking vegas style. There are in fact 34 casinos, and building, in just 26 square kilometres. People arrive in their droves rammed into free shuttle buses from the ferry terminal. Leggy and heavily painted Asian girls pushing flyers for free drinks and prizes into their sweaty hands.

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I’m not immensely tall, probably just about 5ft 7 in shoes but here I feel like a giant. It is quite surreal being at least a foot taller than most people and being able to see over their heads. I leafed through my guide book and set off at a pace disappearing up the steep roads headed for the back streets. The old quarter is in downtown Macau and is very pretty. It is packed with temples, churches and forts all built on narrow streets.

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Macau’s European heritage is more obvious than Hong Kong, some of the architecture really is quite beautiful.

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The ruins of Sao Paulo provides a great backdrop for the hoards of snappers both amateur and professional. I’m still trying to work out why all the young women who pose for a photo feel the need to hold two fingers aloft in a V-shape with their heads tilted to one side.

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The Portuguese influence is not just apparent in the architecture but also in the food. At lunchtime I just made it to Litoral before the kitchen closed and ordered one of their signature dishes – shrimp curry with crab and quail eggs. It is hands down the best bloody seafood curry I have ever eaten.

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I love Macau there is so much to see from posh bakeries to street stalls selling cured meats as well as exotic fruit and veg. I’ll definitely come back when I have more time.

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On my way back to the ferry terminal I passed a pooch parlour. I literally did a double-take because I couldn’t believe my eyes. I pushed the door open and went in to ask to take a photo – it’s my favourite snap of the day. Small dogs rule in HK but in Macau the bigger the better!

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Posted in: Asia