Fortunate / Day 15 of 64 / 24 May
10am was the latest we’ve woken up on this trip, but this was a well-deserved treat. We crossed three countries in a span of less than 24 hours: a personal record for the both of us. After getting ready, we left to explore the streets of Macau at 10.30am.
Our accommodation was in a pretty good part of town, just a five-minute walk from the iconic Senado Square [議事亭前地, Yih Sih Tihng Chihn Deih/Largo do Senado]. We walked around the alleys in search of Boa Mesa, a Portuguese restaurant recommended for their authentic Portuguese cuisine. However, one look inside and we were out of there. The steep prices and the lack of customers were more than enough to turn us away from the establishment.
Not quite my tempo.
Across the street, we noticed a noodle house packed with locals and we thought “this was the one”. Ryan got a bowl of rice noodles with pork slices while I got a bowl of noodles with meatballs and a pork cutlet: both were delicious. Once outside, Ryan bought an iced tea to counter the heat and we were on our way.
The first stop on our list: the Ruins of St. Paul’s [大三巴牌坊, Daaih Saam Ba Paaih Fong/Ruínas de São Paulo]. Along the way, I busted out the sunscreen I had bought in Vietnam to prevent myself from getting more baked than I already was. I either grabbed a sampler or Ryan had been secretly nicking it while I slept because I was only left with half a bottle after applying some. Oh well.
The Ruins of St. Paul’s was a short stop on our journey. Other than the obligatory shot of the gate itself, there was a small, free exhibition behind the complex with relics and artefacts dating back to its construction. A mere 30 minutes spent there and we were on our way.
We then made our way to the Guia Lighthouse, located near the centre of Macau. Unbeknownst to us, there was actually a cable car for normal folk to get up to the lighthouse. The rides cost 2 MOP/0.40 SGD for a single journey and 3 MOP/0.60SGD for a return trip. However being fit, young men who were up for a challenge, we decided to brave the afternoon heat and climb up Guia Hill.
Sun – 1 / Ryan – 0.
We were attacked by insects on the hill.
The Guia Lighthouse offered a breathtaking view that included a 360° view of Macau. There was even an air-conditioned outpost filled with informative boards about the lighthouse’s importance as a typhoon warning instrument. There was also a water cooler, to provide respite for the weary traveller.
Dailou and Undercover Gengchat.
As we were walking down, we discovered the cable car that we should have used to climb up the hill. We decided to save ourselves the hassle and take the cable car down. Along the way, we saw a little exercise corner and decided to do some foot reflexology to ease our sore feet.
Man, this would’ve saved us so much time and effort.
We took a bus to our next destination, the Mandarin’s House [鄭家大屋, Zeng Gaa Daai Uk/Casa do Mandarim]: a historic exhibition with picturesque spots that sheds light on Macau’s multi-cultural background. Entry is free of charge, which just adds to the draw factor. We left just as it was about to close, after snapping many DP-worthy shots.
Our next destination was Margaret’s Cafe e Nata, dubbed the best egg tart spot in Macau. The Nam Van Lake [南灣湖, Naam Waan Wu/Lago Nam Van] was on our way to the cafe, so we decided to take a leisurely stroll along it.
Midway through, we discovered that the cafe had already closed for the day. So instead, we decided on another egg tart spot that was nearby and had pretty decent reviews: Koi Kei Bakery. We even bought a pair of egg tarts along the way at a random bakery, so that we would have a base of comparison with the real deal.
To be honest I found them both delicious. Both were slightly different in terms of their crunchiness, flakiness, sweetness and custard-ness. We decided to try out Margaret’s tomorrow to see how much better the best could get.
“I’m going to bet $10 to win your entire casino” – every gambling show ever.
Before we headed home we decided to check out a casino, to get a feel of what it’s like inside. Having never stepped into one prior to this, it was an insightful first look. It was then that we realised that the bright lights and luxurious prizes were all there to let you feel like you could be the one to walk away glorious like you had the chance to win it all. It was easy to see how someone could be easily absorbed into throwing their life savings away. We explored more of the casino and went further up. The higher we went, the higher the stakes and slowly we realised the laughter and smiles were replaced with poker faces and stark silence. Feeling the shift in the mood we swiftly left the building through its side entrance and found ourselves in a small mall. We stopped by Daiso and got some supplies before heading home for the night.