If you know just one thing about Macau I am guessing that you know it as the Las Vegas of Asia. So what on earth did we do in Macau with kids…quite a lot actually!
We started our day a lot earlier than we probably should have, knowing that there was a lot in Macau to see and do I wanted to get on road, well water, early. We caught the first ferry of the day from China Ferry Terminal in Kowloon and having got lost a few days earlier we knew exactly where to find it. It wasn’t our smartest idea leaving this early for the simple fact we were already tired from such a busy week and waking up extra early simply sucked. The one hour ride to Macau was easy, we munched on our breakfast from Starbucks which we bought at the terminal before embarking.
Once we arrived in Macau it was somewhat overwhelming. The terminal was undergoing a tiny bit of construction which made the already small terminal that much smaller, especially with a boat full of people whom all seemed somewhat lost. I was aware that the Casino shuttles were free however I was apprehensive to actually test them out since we did have the two kids. So instead we decided to go on the public bus which actually turned into a taxi because we couldn’t immediately work out which bus we needed so went for the easy option. The taxi fare into town came to something like $6USD so it wasn’t too bad at all and saved us a lot of time navigating. However you can save yourself a few bucks here by catching one of the free shuttles.
We made a beeline straight for Senado Square, which was gorgeous and even the walk towards the square was fun for the kids as the pavement has tiles in the shape of various animals. Largo de Sao Domingos was the next breathtaking sight and even though we had only just begun exploring Macau the Portugese influence, particularly in the architecture, was extremely evident.
As we made our way to the 17th Century ruins of the Church of St Paul the streets were filled with salespeople giving away samples of jerky, naturally Matt & Eden were itching to try it and they both gave it a big thumbs up!
All that remains of the Church of St Paul are the facade and the stairway, the stairs were closed so we were unable to venture up which I think Matt was actually quite thankful for since it was, like the entire week, sweltering hot. Although melting, Eden was still taken with the facade as it contains numerous statues and portals, we pointed out the skeleton on the third tier which she thought was pretty neat. There was a cute little Temple right next to the ruins which surprisingly had no visitors, I guess everyone was much more interested in the ruins.
Matt did give me about 15 seconds here to snap a couple of photos of him before he, like Eden, didn’t want to be the subject of my photographs anymore.
Monte Fort offered some great views and even better than that was the spot of shelter we found! Eden got a little history lesson on the purpose of cannons as well as the placements of forts.
My favorite area of Macau was hands down the St Lazarus Church district; equal in beauty to the other main parts of Macau but so much quieter, its always nice to get a break from the crowds. I had heard this area was more the artist area of the city but sadly we didnt come across any galleries or artists so were unable to add to our collection.
After our “delicious” lunch of McDonald’s (the second of 3 times we ate it this week) we made it to Rua da Felicidade; the old red light district known as Street of Happiness and if you are an Indiana Jones fan, which I am not, my guidebook tells me that you may recognize it from the Temple of Doom!
Finally we left the busy streets of Macau for the much more relaxing ones of Coloane. We did a small walking tour where we got to see the Chapel of St Francis Xavier, the Coloane Library, Kun Iam Temple and of course we made time for a stop at Lords Stow bakery for the famous egg tarts; much better than the ones we had in Hong Kong however I am still not sure how much of a fan our family is of the egg tart.
What we really wanted to do in Coloane we ran out of time for and that was to visit A-Ma Statue & Temple and the Macau Giant Panda Pavilion at Seac Pai Van Park.
Unfortunately we couldn’t quite work out how to get to the entrance of Seac Pai Van Park and when we finally did we just simply didnt have enough time.
The bus to return to Macau arrived and we did question why we were the only ones boarding when no other buses were in sight but I guess the few other visitors to Colaone all knew something that we didn’t. While the bus we got was going to Macau it was going the LONG way round and NOT into the town centre or at least not until the very end. We didn’t stay on long enough to find out as once we realized we had driven around the outskirts of Macau and it appeared we were heading away from the town centre we started wondering if we were going to make our ferry back to Hong kong. This is when a fellow passenger jumped in and said get off now! We got off, found a taxi and battled rush hour traffic but did make it back to the terminal with a little under 30 minutes to spare. Enough time to order Dim Sum for the journey home.
If we hadn’t of jumped off the bus when we did I highly doubt we would have made our return ferry home.
It was nice change of pace visiting Macau and there was plenty to see and do there; if accommodation wasn’t so steep I think we definitely could have done with spending the night.
I have no desire to return to Macau, well not until the girls have left home and Matt & I can try our hand at black jack at one of the casino’s but I do hear people saying to not bother with Macau if you have children but I do disagree there is plenty to do and see and lots of child friendly activities also.
Linking up to Monday Escapes #22 & Weekend Travel Inspirations