Wednesday, 28 January 2015


A blur of bloody bull-fights and bumpy rides on the hydrofoil at sea and on pedicabs at night through the cobbled streets - that was all I remembered of a visit I made with my parents to Macau in the early sixties.  This day trip in March 2014 was an eye-opener.

Overall I was impressed with the clean streets and historical buildings - the over 400 years of Portuguese colonization had definitely left its mark!  A Portuguese friend of mine who visited also remarked that it reminded her of Portugal.  The decorated pavement stones were an obvious legacy. Its charm is also in that curious mix of Chinese and Portuguese heritage as you can see from some of the photos below.  Historic sites were clearly marked and easily located.  We visited on foot, stayed away from the casinos and really enjoyed a stress-free day touring this remarkable former colony of Portugal, a short boat ride from Hong Kong.  Obviously there are a lot more to see than what we could cover in a short day.

Lisbon?  No, Senado Square in front of the former Legislative Assembly building - almost impossible to get a photo of the place without people in it.

A lovely surprise!  This beautiful library, said to be a replica of the celebrated library at the convent in Mafra, Portugal, was found on the second floor of the Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau building.  It was the Macau Public Library but now mainly used by researchers.
Dom Pedro V Theatre from 1860
Mandarin's House from the 19th century

Mix of Chinese and western aesthetics 

Beautiful wood work 

Some of the older buildings still around - above, a bank and across the street, a pawn shop.

Street in the old quarter

Pedicabs were still around for tourists

Flamboyant Grand Lisboa Casino - almost surreal in the cityscape...
A canon shot away from the citadel built in 1616

Facade of the St. Paul's Cathedral ruins - almost a pilgrimage...

Hydrofoil to Macau

The impressive Macau Science Centre (which we didn't visit)

A beautiful Kwun Yam statue in the harbour - protector of the sea-farer

Portuguese pavements everywhere still
The historic Ah Ma temple - from before the establishment of the colony in the early 16th century

Consulting their fortune...

And our day would not have been complete without all the food nostalgia that we experienced.  See Foodsparks for a post on this delicious topic...