Archive for Macau

17 May 2010

Macau – taking a punt

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Lisboa Casino – not exactly beautiful

The old town centre – more beautiful

Going across to Macau for the day was always going to be a bit of a gamble. Our ferry arrived into port and we (Paul and I that is. Gillian is hobnobbing it in London, sipping tea no doubt and staring up at a sky full of ash) shuffled through the customs hall only to join the throng from the other many ferries coming in from mainland China. It seemed like the whole of China was there, and clearly there is no Mandarin or Cantonese equivalent for the word “queue.” I almost got trampled.

Ruins of Saint Paul’s Cathedral

We were in search of fine Portuguese food and the remnants of Portuguese colonisation. After much walking, we eventually found the old town centre (so did everyone else!); and the ruins of Saint Paul’s, but the fine Portuguese fare was elusive.

We were swept along with the crowds, like lemmings, through air-conditioned shopping malls, dazzled by kitschy, glitzy displays of gold and diamond studded watches. I am still seeing stars. Garish casino foyers with crystal chandeliers, doormen in fancy dress and a line of black Rolls Royces parked out the front – all rather tacky and over the top and more than 50% of Macau’s GDP. And just when we were thinking we had run out of luck and had wasted our day, there it was, “Fine Portuguese Food” – staring right at us. A few minutes later we were settled inside, drinking the special “house” red, tucking into a king-sized cod and potato tortilla, and it all seemed worthwhile.

Sunday afternoon stroll in Macau

Little blue man

Little bubble blower

Hotel lobby – I want that lamp!

Stacked high

The other side of town

Bamboo scaffolding

Reflection in a casino window