The Old Streets of Macau

When I had my start in Hongkong, the rain was non-stop. The wind was chilly and temperatures drop below 15C. However, there was no rain when I arrived in Macau but it was chillier as compared to Hong Kong. The digital weather measurement says it’s 11C. Geez. Anyway, as I dont have any itinerary in mind, I took one of the travel maps at the info booth and chose the historical tour map. It has a suggested itinerary, stopping by at significant historical spots. Sounds like a good travel plan.

I alighted the bus just a few blocks from Senado Square along Avenida de Almeida Albeiro 新馬路. I felt I was transported to Portugal. It has a very Iberian feel typical of plazas like the ones found in of course Portugal, Spain and their colonies like my own country, the Philippines.

Old woman in front of St. Dominic's church
Old woman in front of St. Dominic’s church
大三巴街 - Da san ba jie - Narrow alley leading to St. Paul Ruins
大三巴街 – Da san ba jie – Narrow alley leading to St. Paul Ruins
Along 大三巴节 - A shop selling dried sweet meats
Along 大三巴节 – A shop selling dried sweet meats

I walked northwards, following the allewyway leading to St Paul Ruins. The place was quite interesting: Shops selling the nitty gritty of things: meat shops, pastry shops and bakeries, interspersed in between small dimsum houses, souvenir shops and the like. I felt was like in Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley. At the end where the magnificent facade of St Paul ruins stood hordes of tourists were already there taking selfies with it.

St. Paul Ruins
St. Paul Ruins
Behind the facade:. St. Paul Ruins
Behind the facade: St. Paul Ruins

I hate being touristy. Instead I turned right and visited the Macau Museum. The entrance fee only costs 15MOPs and explored the area for around 2 hours. It was helpful to know Macau’s history to better appreciate the historical significance of the landmarks that I will soon explore.

Garden at the Rooftop of Macau Museum
Garden at the Rooftop of Macau Museum
The town square facing St. Paul Ruins
The town square facing St. Paul Ruins

Around afternoon, the real exploration began when I started to follow the marked arrows on the historical map. It was a joy seeing the inner grim of the city with its old chinese establishments and baroque style churches. This where the authentic Macau is.

Na Tcha Temple beside St. Paul Ruins
Na Tcha Temple beside St. Paul Ruins
The old narrow streets
The old narrow streets

Around 3pm, it started to rain and luckily I happen to pass by the Mandarin’s house in Travessa de António da Silva to shelter myself from the rain. The Mandarin’s house construction was initiated by Zheng Wenrui in 1869 and completed by his son, Zheng Guanying. The entire complex was further expanded by the Zheng brothers. The Mandarin’s house symbolized the elegance and intricacies of Southern China’s architectural style and a glimpse of history itself. It is said that the Zhengs were one of the influences of Sun Yat-sen, the founding father of China’s new republic.

Gate to Mandarin's House
Gate to Mandarin’s House
Interiors of one of the rooms in the Mandarin's house
Interiors of one of the rooms in the Mandarin’s house
Interiors of one of the rooms in the Mandarin's house
Interiors of one of the rooms in the Mandarin’s house
Mandarin's House: Backyard Garden
Mandarin’s House: Backyard Garden

I continued on my walk thru the historical trail passing along white washed houses similar to that in the coastal towns of Mediterranean. Then passing by souvenir shops selling sweets and cheap key chains and the like. I have reached the end of the trail where the A-ma temple is located. Many tourists were there paying homage to their ancestors. I was hungry then so I took a bite of what was left on the Portuguese tarts that I bought earlier and bought milk tea at a nearby local grocery.

White washed houses
White washed houses
Joss Sticks Burning in A'ma Temple
Joss Sticks Burning in A’ma Temple
A'ma Temple
A’ma Temple

Having only the map to rely on, I went on further rounding up the road encircling Barra Hill until I reached Sai Van Lake. Behold before me is the tallest structure in Macau – the Macau Tower somehow fading in the mist caused by the descending fog. It was already late in the afternoon and I need to keep going or else I freeze in the cold.

Sai Van Lake
Sai Van Lake
Macau Skyline as seen from Sai Van Lake
Macau Skyline as seen from Sai Van Lake

Rounded further around the lake going to the direction where the casinos are. I have decided then to walk my way back to Macau Ferry Terminal but I had a silly thought of embarking on a joy ride. So I rode a bus going to the Barrier Gate and then back all the way to Macau Ferry Terminal.

Grafitti Wall
Grafitti Wall
The Grand Lisboa
The Grand Lisboa
All that Glitters in Macau
All that Glitters in Macau

I arrived short from the 7:30pm ferry ride back to HongKong where I am anticipating a hot noodle soup for dinner.

My faithful guide
My faithful guide guide

2 thoughts on “The Old Streets of Macau

  1. It is really better to explore the city on your own rather than acquiring tour packages. I have done that in Seoul. It was quite easy because everything was accessible by the subway.

    Anyway, Macau is really beautiful as captured in your photos. I would really love to visit Macau soon.

    Like

    1. Thanks for visiting chester. Nice stories on your Seoul trip. Yup I’ve been hooked to exploring different Asian cities on foot since 2010. Too many journeys to tell. Just check the updates.

      Like

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