We woke up early on Day Three, because we had planned to see the Giant Buddha before heading off to Macau! It was another dismal, rainy day, and we ended up having breakfast at Starbucks again. Next time I go to Hong Kong I will do a very thorough search for cafes that serve breakfast if our hotel doesn’t!! Boyfriend and I both love, love, LOVE breakfast. I’ve never met anyone who loved breakfast as much as me, and (sorry we are obviously in the ‘in love’ stage of our relationship) having breakfast with him in the mornings, whenever we can cram in time, is one of my favorite things that we do together! Sorry. Okay so we didn’t have a great breakfast but we had decent coffee!
We took the MTR to Tung Chung, cause from there cable cars take you up to the foggy mountains where there famous tourist attraction sits. The line was long, but it was to be expected for a Saturday morning. I don’t particularly love or hate cable cars, I think they are a cool alternative to other modes of transportation and sometimes you can take cool pictures! Ironically, as soon as our cabin went over the first mountain, all we could see was grey. It was like floating in a cloud all the way to the buddha! I’m pretty sure the reason why I had never heard of this attraction is because my family are conservative Christians and my mother would have lost her mind if she knew I wanted to go see a BUDDHA. So as a disclaimer in case she sees this, mom I have not converted, I just wanted to see a big statue on a pretty mountain 🙂
And it was pretty indeed! There was a little street full of touristy shops leading up to the stairs of the mountain, and the whole place was really foggy. I felt like I was in China! (And as far as I’m concerned, Taiwan is not China, it is an island next to China and since they are not land connected then I say Taiwan it it’s own country) Boyfriend and I marveled at the view from buddha’s throne, snapped a few shots and came back down. We wrote wishes on a wooden tag and hung them on a wishing wall. I wrote something tacky and Boyfriend called me out on it, but I thought his was corny too!
Anyway, after a relaxing lunch we eventually made it back to the hotel, grabbed our bags, and boarding the ferry to Macau! Going to Macau from Hong Kong is fairly simple. The ferry docks are down Canton Street, but on the opposite end of the normal ferries that take you to Central. I forgot how long the float was, about an hour? But they check your passport and go through immigration like at the airport! I had never been to Macau before, and neither of us knew anything about it. It was kinda funny, at the docks we were asking ourselves and other people what language was spoken there, what currency they use, what country they were?!?! It was funny and exciting, two things I always embrace on trips.
When we got out, it was dark and I could see sharp lights standing out from the darkness. We got to our shuttle and I was glued to the window as we zoomed past grandly lit European styled buildings, glitzy Vegas styled buildings, flashy fountains and just classy lights galore. I think living in Taiwan, I just don’t associate ‘lots of colored lights’ to be beautiful anymore, but these in Macau were way more elegantly done. They say Macau is the Vegas of China, but I didn’t realize that they actually made replica buildings such as the Venetian…only Macau’s casino revenues surpassed Vegas years ago! After we checked in our hotel (I can’t remember the name now but it was nice! Had a wedding and 80th birthday going on we were tempted to crash) Boyfriend and I head out to Old Town for dinner before hitting the casinos.
Using travel brochures, maps and information desk people for a crash course of Macau 101, I learned that Macau was the first and last European colony in China. They were ruled by the Portuguese, so they have a heavy influence from them with their food and cultures. They were handed back to China in 1999, and right now as far as country stuff goes they are kinda special on their own but not, like Hong Kong. The official language is Portuguese but the people I heard and spoke to, used Cantonese the same Chinese dialogue spoken in Hong Kong (and my family-me not so much).
We walked around til we found this delightful, authentic-looking corner restaurant called Galo. This is not a food blog, but if anyone wants a recommendation for good Portuguese food I would strongly recommend this place! We were so lucky to get in half an hour before the kitchen closed, I didn’t know what to order so we went based off recommendations and the whole place smelled amazing. I felt like I was sitting in someone’s kitchen, and the menus were just laminated photos of the dishes, but the food was wonderful!
We ate quickly and happily. Honestly I could be eating chicken slabs off a concrete ground in a tent and be happy with him, which we have done before, during of which I WAS still happy. That was a whole different trip adventure in Hualien, too far back to blog about but maybe someday will come out in my book ;). Then, we explored the Chinese Vegas!
Okay, I am not a gambling type of person and I actually borderline disapprove of it. I wanted to go to Macau to check out the buildings and go be in another country, not gamble. But we were there, and the buildings were breath-taking so it was fine. We wandered through Galaxy and ended up at the Venetian, exchanged some money and sat down at some tables, won some money and lost some money, had a drink at the bar and went to sleep!