After our visit to Hong Kong Disneyland, we popped over to Macau. The former colony of Portugal is now part of China, but has its own identity, including old colonial buildings and a growing number of super-mega-casinos. We figured we should check it out at least once, though we had pretty low expectations, to be honest.
But Macau surprised us very nicely! The casinos were as gaudy and overdone and gross as you’d expect, but the rest of the town was charming, the food was great, and it was just a very pleasant, if quick, trip. Let’s take a look.
To get there, we took a ferry from our hotel near Disneyland to downtown Hong Kong, then walked over to another ferry terminal and boarded a high-speed boat bound for Macau, about an hour away.
We had about 36 hours in Macau total, which we filled by walking around a lot and just playing tourist. Here we are in various poses and positions (click to enlarge):
As mentioned above, we liked Macau quite a bit, and much more than we expected. We didn’t take any pictures of the casino resorts, but we took quite a few elsewhere.
One of the most popular attractions is the old cathedral, which burned down a few centuries ago, somehow leaving just the facade standing. Well worth a visit. (It’s a UNESCO World Heritage site, too.)
We also checked out an old church, which definitely had us feeling like we were in Europe.
Our hotel featured a very nice pool, which we didn’t use, and a kids’ playroom, which we did. We had trouble getting Nyan out of there, in fact. (There was also a big desk in the lobby that he had fun with.)
Macau has an excellent museum housed in an old fort, on a hilltop just above the cathedral. You can walk around the top of the fort and check out the views and the cannons, and you can walk around inside and gawk at the historical displays and play with a computer program that lets you design an old sailing ship for trade with the outside world (Macau was a big trading port back in the day). We did all of these things.
We also took a cable car up to the top of another hill.
Up there were more great views, hiking trails, and random pieces of exercise equipment, which we had to try out.
It was a whirlwind tour of Macau, but we left satisfied and wanting more, and we decided we would happily return to Macau for more exploration. Will we actually do so, given all the other places around Southeast Asia to visit? Hard to say. But if we do, we’ll be quite happy.