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Newer Page 885 of 968 Older Full Trip Report
Macau Casino Ferry Custard Tart

22 March 2010

Macau

Today I caught a turbojet ferry to macau and back. Its about a 1 hour ride and about $20 each way, which I thought was pretty cheap. The ferries are fast, quiet, good seats and I even got a meal on the morning service. As Macau is a different special administrative region of China, with its own currency and government, you have to clear customs to go there, but this was pretty smooth.
Once you arrive its a bit underwhelming, the ferry terminal is on the edge of town and its sort of expected you will take a shuttle bus to a casino...not me of course, I set off on foot.
You walk past a lot of apartment buildings, watch shops and a heap of brothels. I think the sex tourism thing is actively encouraged in Macau, much like the gambling, as theres big signs, some of them have english saying 'Sex Shop' with a pricing menu, Russians cost most.
Its about a half an hour walk to the casino area, and its not disappointing (if you like casinos). The buildings are exceptionally huge, shiny and new looking. Theres also a lot of construction going on. Most impressive is the gold lotus flower building, which worryingly is bigger at the top than the bottom (see pics below).

I dodged going into the casinos for a bit and walked further to the old Portugese part of the city. This is the non sleazy part and lots of round eye tourists (or perhaps portugese locals) were there. Its also the only part of town where you find stores like mcdonalds, starbucks etc, the rest of the city is exclusively for mainland china people.
There is very little signage in English, you get portugese instead, but its not too bad, you can understand it enough the things like conveniences publicio would be public toilet etc.
I of course had a portugese egg tart, which is what this place is most famous for apart from casinos, and it was actually delicious. I have had them before in Australia and not been a big fan, but these ones were denser, sweeter and less eggy tasting, a fair bit more burnt than Australian ones also, which I liked.
After wandering around and admiring some of the Portugese architecture I went back to the casino places and wandered in. They are very large, and Chinese people were super excited. There was plenty of screaming and cheering going on. I went upstairs in the MGM Grand to the 24 hour coffee shop and ordered a latte, skim milk please. They spoke no english at all, so I repeated cafe latte? milk coffee? and she wandered off.
5 minutes later I got a newspaper to read, an english one at least, south china times.
10 minutes later still no coffee, I was concerned it wasnt coming, but then there it was...and it was absolutely fantastic, best coffee I have had on this trip.

After the casino I checked out a couple more, one of them had an upmarket western mall attached, I think its the casino owned by James Paker, there was not a single shopper in this mall, lots of security and cleaners, but no one at all shopping.

On the walk back to the ferry I noticed a village type of place, it was all fake and new and full of shops. I think this is where mothers and children get sent while fathers gamble and procure women.
The best part was the games arcade under the volcano which had what they claimed is a real Formula 1 simulator. I had 2 goes on it, the first one on my own, the second one the guy running it told me I seemed to know what I was doing and he would race me on the other car. He won but not by much. I am not convinced it was a real F1 sim, if it was it had been tweaked to be easier to drive and to allow oversteer without spinning, which never happens in a real F1 (nerd mode off).

I just ran onto the ferry with perfect timing to go back, cutoms at both ends was fine again, I also noted that my complaining about the smog is justified, theres a big story in world news services today about Hong Kong being enveloped in a toxic stew of smog, the worst ever! I sure hope it clears up so I can go to the peak and take photos tomorrow.

A couple of other Macau observations, Its much more like Malaysia than Hong Kong, the streets are very wide, and everyone rides a scooter.
I saw 2 people get hit by cars in my 1 day visit, both at zebra crossings, both people that got hit seemed ok, and they assumed cars would stop for zebra crossings, in macau they do not!

Macau-Casino-Ferry-Custard Tart - The surprise breakfast I was served on the ferry.

The surprise breakfast I was served on the ferry.


Macau-Casino-Ferry-Custard Tart - My ferry, turbojet trimaran.

My ferry, turbojet trimaran.


Macau-Casino-Ferry-Custard Tart - The volcano I would visit on the way back to race F1 simulators under.

The volcano I would visit on the way back to race F1 simulators under.


Macau-Casino-Ferry-Custard Tart - Sands casino (I think?)

Sands casino (I think?)


Macau-Casino-Ferry-Custard Tart - They love scooters in Macau.

They love scooters in Macau.


Macau-Casino-Ferry-Custard Tart - The terrifying Lotus flower casino building, looks to me like it could topple at any time.

The terrifying Lotus flower casino building, looks to me like it could topple at any time.


Macau-Casino-Ferry-Custard Tart - The main Portugese area of the city.

The main Portugese area of the city.


Macau-Casino-Ferry-Custard Tart - Chinese style junk markets still run off the side streets.

Chinese style junk markets still run off the side streets.


Macau-Casino-Ferry-Custard Tart - The ruins of St Pauls cathedral.

The ruins of St Pauls cathedral.


Macau-Casino-Ferry-Custard Tart - Egg tarts....I dont really like them but when in Rome....

Egg tarts....I dont really like them but when in Rome....


Macau-Casino-Ferry-Custard Tart - Have an egg tart - and it was good.

Have an egg tart - and it was good.


Macau-Casino-Ferry-Custard Tart - Some sort of grand building with guards, maybe the governors house.

Some sort of grand building with guards, maybe the governors house.


Macau-Casino-Ferry-Custard Tart - A nissan cube, click to enlarge to look at the cool dashboard.

A nissan cube, click to enlarge to look at the cool dashboard.


Macau-Casino-Ferry-Custard Tart - The Australia shop had absolutely nothing in it I recognised as being from Australia, there were lots of lamb foetus creams, eucalyptus oils and platy

The Australia shop had absolutely nothing in it I recognised as being from Australia, there were lots of lamb foetus creams, eucalyptus oils and platypus beak powders.


Macau-Casino-Ferry-Custard Tart - Wynns Casino.

Wynns Casino.


Macau-Casino-Ferry-Custard Tart - I dont even know what casino this is.

I dont even know what casino this is.


Macau-Casino-Ferry-Custard Tart - This is a fake facade inside a casino, its pretty nice though, the flowers and trees are real.

This is a fake facade inside a casino, its pretty nice though, the flowers and trees are real.


Macau-Casino-Ferry-Custard Tart - The central boulevard area of a street, lots of nice gardens around Macau.

The central boulevard area of a street, lots of nice gardens around Macau.


Macau-Casino-Ferry-Custard Tart - The family village area.

The family village area.


Macau-Casino-Ferry-Custard Tart - Fake Colleseum.

Fake Colleseum.


Macau-Casino-Ferry-Custard Tart - The formula 1 simulator.

The formula 1 simulator.


Macau-Casino-Ferry-Custard Tart - Giant goldfish.

Giant goldfish.


NewerPage 885 of 968OlderFull Trip Report