Macau

Posted: May 3, 2011 in Photography
Tags: , ,

Further border-hopping adventures: because one can never have enough passport stamps.

Up bright and early to catch the hydrofoil to Macau. I say bright and early, but – as I admitted before – I don’t think we left the house before lunchtime at any point during our stay in HK. I warned Lindsay that if she fell asleep and left me with no entertainment on this 40-mile journey, there would be consequences.

She did, and there were.

Macau! I mentioned earlier that Hong Kong is one of China’s two special administrative regions? This is the other; and as such, we actually needed our passports to cross the border. Macau was China’s first and last European colony, first settled by Portuguese traders in the 16th century. The region remained a colony – administered by the Portuguese settlers – until the handover in 1999.

Macau’s economy is dependent on tourism and gambling, and if it weren’t for the fact that everyone in these pictures is Asian, it would be virtually unrecognisable as China.

Even the street signs are written in both Portuguese and Chinese.

(Also on the streets: our eight-hundredth sighting of a Joylenian homage. You were…)

Naturally, no cultural melting pot would be complete without a McDonald’s.

We followed the guide’s recommended “walking tour” that hit all of the major destinations that make up the “Historic Centre of Macau” as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. First up: St. Dominic’s Church.

Not nobody sees the wizard! Not no way, not no how!

Inside St. Dominic’s. I managed to enter without bursting into flames. The church was built in 1587 by three Spanish Dominican priests, and it was where the first Portuguese newspaper, A Abelha da China (“The China Bee”), was published on Chinese soil.

This saint (?) reminds me so much of an actor, and still I can’t place who. It’s like Jake Gyllenhaal mixed with…???

Edit: …Orlando Bloom! Thanks, Linds. x

I think this is around the time we stopped understanding any of the directions the Lonely Planet was offering.

Sexy break!

Aaaand we’re back. Cathedral of the Nativity of Our Lady. Catchy.

I have the strongest memory of us walking up the street and Lindsay suggesting that we not eat at the okonomiyaki place I’d spotted: all good and well for the one of us who was headed straight back to Japan once this holiday was over!

I don’t know if this picture does justice to just how weird this street was. Those two paths literally branched off at completely different elevations.

You know, I’m looking at this and wondering: how tall was that mirror?!

A view of Macau away from the tourist centre.

At full-size, you can actually see right into those houses. Creepy McStalkerCreeps.

I don’t think either of us realised how close our faces were until we looked at the picture, haha.

This, on the other hand, was all lust. (I like the contrast of that wholesome couple in the background.)

I mentioned already about the gambling right? That building on the right is the 58-storey Grand Lisboa: a colossal casino visible from just about everywhere in Macau.

The Ruins of St. Paul’s. Destroyed by a fire during a typhoon (how does that work exactly?), the façade was originally carved by Japanese Christians in exile. As a result, the carvings are fantastically Asian fusion: like for example, the image of a woman stepping on a seven-headed hydra, described in Chinese as ‘Holy Mother tramples the heads of the dragon’. Ah, yes…my favourite parable.

We were actually able to climb all the way to the top of the ruins.

Sometimes there’s so much beauty in the world I feel like I can’t take it, like my heart’s going to cave in.

We actually passed this stall waaay back at the beginning of our trek, but – at that point – had basically just eaten breakfast. Lindsay described this as one of the best things she’d eaten in the whole of China. I managed about two mouthfuls before I died of spice.

Inside the Grand Lisboa! (If you managed to look at this picture without staring down Lindsay’s shirt, you’re a better man than I.) We took the elevator all the way up to the 58th floor, partially because we still had some time to kill before our ferry back to Hong Kong, but mostly because we kept getting into trouble out on the main floors. This is actually the sole surviving shot from inside the casino because the security guards forcibly deleted all of the others, haha.

After returning to the island, we spent all evening getting ready for a night of hot clubbing in hot HK, only to discover that the one gentlemen’s club we’d researched was either closed or closed down. We subsequently failed at coming to any kind of decision as to where we should hit up instead, which led to a night of wandering aimlessly through the streets of Lan Kwai Fong before returning home (sober!) at some painfully respectable hour in the morning.

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