Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Walking Tour: Macau (part 1)

Macau is a nearby Special Administrative Region that is perhaps the most popular getaway destination for Hong Kong people. Like HK, it was once a colony (Portuguese) and it has since been returned to China. You can see evidence of its Portuguese history everywhere. There are so many things to see  in Macau that this walking tour will be in two parts.


My most recent visit to Macau was during the Chinese New Year holiday.


We saw a colorful market full of lucky New Year decorations.


It was right outside the big temple, which was the busiest I've ever seen it.


I don't like to take pictures inside temples and churches, so I snapped this picture of incense coils over the wall as we left.


We left the temple and wandered into the backstreets of Macau.


We walked around one of the many hills...


...and wandered along the waterfront.

  

Macau is full of beautiful architecture.


It's like wandering through a little piece of Old Europe in Asia.


But every once in a while you are reminded of the modern side of the city, too.


Macau is famous for its casinos, which bring in more gambling money than Las Vegas.


This tour will focus on the older side of the city. There will be time to see casinos next week.


We climbed a winding cobblestone street to a church on a hilltop.


We could see the little details of the surrounding buildings.


This spot is a perfect snapshot of the disparate elements of Macau.


The church itself is a beautiful relic of missionary work in Asia.


It's also a popular destination for wedding photos.


We walked down into a peaceful garden on the slopes of the hill, which was a nice respite from the city.


After visiting the church, we meandered back down the hillside, where we saw the terraced houses that are characteristic of Macau.


I like this city because everything is painted in soft, pastel colors.


Even the Chinese consulate building is lovely.


We made our way back down to the main streets, noticing the unique bits of architecture surrounding us.


Eventually we made it back to the main tourist area...


...which was decorated for Chinese New Year.


We walked beneath the lanterns and into a crowd of thousands.


We found a second church, this one more famous because it is right in the middle of the tourist district.


The street was lined with shops selling everything from food to designer clothing.


And there were so many people!


We fought our way past shops giving away samples of the famous pork jerky and egg tarts.


Finally, the crowds spread out when we reached the steps leading up to the ruins of St. Paul's Cathedral.


We arrived just as a lion dance was beginning.


We stopped to watch the performance, which was the best lion dance I've seen yet.


Then we made our way up the steps to the ruins of St. Paul's.

We'll continue our tour of Macau next week. Come back to see more Portuguese architecture and the infamous casinos.

70 comments:

  1. Very nice, and I'm looking forward for part two about the casinos .. hoping for something about Casino Lisboa. In my novel the young couple makes a short tour in Macau and I picked up the information from travel books. But from your blog I get description like ... "everything is painted in soft pastel colors".

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Giora. I do have some pictures of Casino Lisboa and the new Grand Lisboa to include in my next tour.

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  2. Hello my darling! Great photos and what an interesting journey writing must be! :) I wanted to let you know that I am passing on the Versatile Blogger Award to you!! The stamp and blog post is here: http://walkinginmay.blogspot.com/2012/02/versatile-blogger-award.html
    If you choose to blog about it, then please list 7 facts about yourself and pass it on to other bloggers. Have a fabulous week my darling!
    May xx
    walkinginmay.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for the award May! I really appreciate the mention :) :).

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  3. I really loved Macau and all the Portuguese influence. I went there at the end of last year and had a great time. I found this hole in the wall restaurant that served some delicious Portuguese food and walked around the old cobblestone streets. And I walked through some of the casinos, too. I could go for some Macanese cookies right now!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Flora! I agree that the Portuguese influence makes Macau a special place, and that definitely includes the food. We've been to the same place for garlic shrimp and African chicken several times and it's incredible. I'm not a huge fan of egg tarts in general, but the famous egg tarts and cookies in Macau are great.

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  4. As usual your photos are great, Shannon. We visited Macau just before Christmas. I liked the old town , especially like you, the pastel colours and the food.We got to see the ruins clearly because it was the day the Christmas Decorations were unveiled in Senado Square, so most people were there.I did not care for the casinos at all. My impression was of dirtiness; the smell of stale cigarette smoke, people coughing and spitting in there. Bleuch. However the Wynn resort, which was near our hotel, had a fabulous animation display of the Chinese zodiac, playing every half hour. For me the best thing was the small and deserted Protestant cemetary. I went there to see the painter George Chinnery's grave but was awed by the epitaphs on the graves of young sailors. We did not go to the Cotai Strip so am looking forward to your pictures of the grand casinos there!Missed you last Wednesday; I can't go this week, we are off to the races! First time!

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  13. Nepal Annapurna Base Camp Trek is among the most popular walking tour in the Himalayan world.
    The ranges of Annapurna base camp trek is one of the most popular walking tour in the Himalayan world. Trail literally brings you face to face with an eight thousand highest Peak– for a moderate-difficult trek; this is one of best incredible! The fascinating Annapurna ranges massif includes the world’s tenth highest peak in Himalaya. Annapurna (8,091 m) I hold a fatal attraction for mountaineers of world. This mountain has the highest fatality ratio among the eight thou sanders peak. This formidable mountain aura apart, its base camp (ABC) trek holds several treasures for the mountain lover world.
    Annapurna Mountain views that leave you spellbound
    The Annapurna mountain range whets your appetite for mountain views front-right from Pokhara City. This is first even before you start the trek. At Ghandruk village, you see distinct views of Machapuchare(6993m) Annapurna South (7219m) and Hiunchuli (6441m). Views of different peaks of the world Annapurna massif and Machapuchare stay with you all the way till Sinuwa Hill. The tip of Holy Machapuchare teases you at Dovan (2600m). As you burst out of the bamboo forest past Himalaya and Deurali pass, Machapuchare appears again in its full glory. Machapuchare, the ‘fish tailed mountain’, in Nepalese is revered by the Nepalese people for its exquisite beauty. Legendry believed to be one of the homes of Hindi Lord (Shiva). This holy mountian has never been officially summitted! As you touch down the Machapuchare base camp, in addition to Machapuchare, you can see massif Annapurna I, Annapurna South, Gangapurna and Hiunchuli Peak up close. The Annapurna Base Camp is a small cluster of six-seven lodges opposite the ridge of Annapurna glacier. As you look around up from the edge of the glacier, you come face to face with the Annapurna massif ranges. Annapurna South, I, III and Gangapurna, with Gandharvachuli and Machapuchare are all there to meet your unleash gaze when your eyes rest upon them. Trekking into the forests of the Annapurna Conservation Area The trail takes you through a variety of vegetation while trekking from Ghandruk village to Chhomrong you are surrounded by Nepal's national flower (rhododendron), fern and wild bamboo. Once you cross Sinuwa Hill to enter the narrow valley of Annapurna sanctuary, the forest becomes densely. Tallest oak trees become prominent here. As you move further up towards Deurali pass, the thick forests give way to tall grasses. Around this area, you will find trees of thick bark called Daphne. This is used by local people to make paper. These trees are commonly found around estern part of nepal and india border as well. Closer to Machapuchare base camp (3700m), the terrain turns into Alpine. You see the patches of grass amidst boulders. There are also flowering plants lining the trail at this section too.
    The Annapurna base camp trail has 3 sections through forest that is so dense that sometime sunlight barely seeps through. The first one starts right after the villages around Chomrung and extends till New Bridge. On the trail from Sinuwa, you will hear the Modi River roaring past right next to you. But the trees around are so densely that you can’t really see the river flow. The third stretch is after Sinuwa and goes all the way to Dovan via Bamboo. The beauty of this trek is that you walk through these forests twice.
    The Annapurna Base Camp Trek and region is nestled in the 7,629 sq km Annapurna Conservation Area and home to 1,228 species of flowering plants, more than 100 mammals, 474 birds, 33 reptiles with 22 amphibians. If you’re lucky you might spot an exotic bird or even called marmot.

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