The last section of my trip comes to you not from HK but rather from Macau. To be fair, I was only in Macau for a day but the last week of Hong Kong was boring to the point where there wasn’t really anything fun worth mentioning.
I needed to look back through my photos to recall what I actually did in Macau. Most of it was just sight-seeing and to be fair there wasn’t really anything interesting to do in Macau anyway; well on the normal residential side of town. It was good to finally not be in a crowded place. The streets of Macau are mostly paved with stones from the Portuguese who were here…okay don’t ask me about history; but pretty much there was a lot of Portuguese-style architecture there, just as you would find British architecture in Hong Kong.
Most of the tourist sites were either churches (of Catholic origin) or temples. It was good to see and appreciate the design of these buildings and get a feel of what “old buildings” look like.
There were a lot of other tourists there too, mostly mainlanders like that photo-bombing girl on the right, which made it difficult to take photos in most places (because they obviously show no care for anyone apart from themselves).
Amidst all the sight-seeing, it was interesting to see that transport in Macau felt just as unfriendly as in Hong Kong, the only difference was that pedestrians never had right of way. Without finding overpasses or traffic lights, it was hard crossing the roads, even at zebra crossings. It seemed that vehicles would only slow down after you commit to crossing the road; but of course there would always be the chance that they don’t slow down, thereby making your commitment one to your death, and that wasn’t very reassuring. Most people rode motorcycles or scooters in Macau which was a good change to all the heavy gas-using vehicles. It also seemed that school kids found it “cool” to own a scooter, which I suppose is much more manageable than trying to have your own car by the end of high school. Lanes weren’t an effective tool at organising traffic since scooters are so thin they just weave in and out of each other and other vehicles, making the white lines on the road quite useless.
Portuguese tarts – had a few, don’t really get the hype about it. They taste almost the same as a regular egg tart; they just use a much tastier pastry which Chinese restaurants sometimes use, and they singe the top a little.
The last places of interest in Macau were the casinos. There are a lot of them, all very large buildings furnished with an amount of capital which probably exceeds the networth of the residential parts of Macau. All casinos had free shuttle buses to and from the casino (obviously to entice people to come). The casinos were packed with a lot of…yeah you guess it – mainlanders who were trying to get a room in the hotel, but it didn’t seem that packed only because the casino was so large. In one particular casino, The Venetian, I was amazed at the way they tried to re-create the place after which it was named.
You’d be sadly mistaken if you thought that sky was real; despite the way I edited the photo, everything here was indoors. And that river canal, fake as well – it was real water of course (or is it), but it was really shallow. It was still deep enough to have a (motorized) gondola, which would provide a short joy ride to visitors for a fee.
At another casino, I forget which one now, they have shows at night in this huge dome which was covered in digital screens. It was an animated show, with lighting, sound and water effects (from a water fountain thing in the middle) which completely surrounded the audience. As a result you would have to keep turning around and looking up just to follow the action and everything. Sometimes it makes you wish cinemas were like that (where the action took place in a 360 degree format) although it would be hard standing for the entire movie. The show here only lasted 10-15 minutes so it wasn’t too tiring. I took some photos which inside, although they don’t come close to capturing how epic the show was in terms of its effects. The show for that night was called “Dragon’s Treasure” or something.
Well that wraps up Hong Kong (and Macau) for another three years or so. Not sure when I’ll be back overseas (technically it should be “go” since I stay in Australia more often – this place really reminds more pitied we are for our horrible public transport system. But after nearly four weeks of Hong Kong I was starting to get bored. My luggage was beyond full so I couldn’t really do anymore shopping (didn’t want to mail items over either), and most people had left Hong Kong in the last week I was there, so there was no-one to hang out with.
The last incident I had overseas involved me getting sick on the plane; well prior to getting on the plane to be precise. I woke up with a bit of a cold, which gradually worsened from the discomfort of sitting on a plane for 9 hours. Once we neared Sydney, there was a thunderstorm which prevented our plane from landing for half an hour (and even then we still landed through the thunderstorm, which may have been dangerous?) It then took half an hour to get off the plane for some strange reason, and then after that, another half hour to get our luggage because it was still raining and they didn’t want our bags getting wet. But guess what? They brought our bags up, wet, even after half an hour. By that stage my cold had worsened to a fever where I was feeling dizzy and actually near fainting; I was so exhausted and wanted the comfort of my own bed at home but had to put up with all these silly delays. Luckily I bumped into a uni friend at the luggage terminal (or rather they found me, near death) and made sure that I didn’t faint and go unnoticed. Spent the first two days at home recovering, and well here we are.
Next year: US Chronicles (oh yeah!)