Trekking Through China…Macau

There was a definite change in the “look-and-feel” of everything once we left mainland China and landed in Macau. The pace of the tour changed dramatically (a lot more free time), there was a noticeable change in the sense of freedom (to speak and move at will, which is perhaps why we were given so much more free time?), there was a change in the way people dressed here and there was a subtle change in attitudes here. We perhaps didn’t notice it as much in Macau as in Hong Kong, a change from an attitude of servitude and tireless work ethic, to a rather arrogant, “take-it-or-leave-it” attitude.

Macau harbour (viewed from the ferry

We felt like we were in a different country altogether.  Even the language changed. Throughout the tour, we had been learning new useful words and phrases in Mandarin almost every day. Now those were all useless, since the people in Macau and Hong Kong speak Cantonese. We noticed that in Hong Kong especially, if we forgot and spoke Mandarin, we were often rather arrogantly ignored and occasionally, even give the cold shoulder.

Macau harbour (as seen from the ferry)

Yes, there was definitely a change the moment our ferry landed in Macau.

We stayed in Macau for only that one afternoon and overnight. But it was long enough to be able to dip our feet in the South China Sea…a moment that was an unexpected thrill for some of us.

An ancient, but still very popular, temple. This is the only picture I managed to take…the crowds were overwhelming, the smoke and smell from the incense overpowering.

But I’m getting ahead of myself here…back to the landing. Right after we landed, our bus took us to see an ancient temple…the temple was so crowded, and too smoky with hundreds and hundreds of people burning incense everywhere – hubby and I could hardly stand to be there and found a little nook off to the side where we could sit away from the swirling crowd, heavy smoke and overpowering smells. Consequently I only managed to get one picture of the entryway…after going through that gate, all my camera would have captured were people’s heads!

A magnificent tree (I don’t know the name of it) at the fortress in Macau.

Later we explored the city’s fortress and the ruins of one of the few cathedrals in all of China. At one seemingly-crucial point, our local guide raced so far ahead that many of us at the back of the group had to anxiously figure out how to follow her through the ever-thickening – and rather dizzying – crowds in the very narrow alleyways. We managed to make it through, though I’m still not sure what exactly we were meant to see there because the local guide had finished her explanations by the time we got there.  I think it was the yellow Catholic church. I snapped a couple of pictures before she started off again. It was a rather bizarre tour, where some of us never did really “get” what we were supposed to be seeing because she moved and talked so quickly. Some of us couldn’t help wondering if she even knew we were there, lol. Eventually the bus met us somewhere along the way and we gratefully piled in. Here are a few pictures of those few hours.

A beautiful lotus flower (on the ramparts of the Macau fortress)

One of my favourite pictures…a tiny bird drinking at the fountain at the fortress in Macau

Hubby at the fortress in Macau

Hubby and me at the fortress in Macau

Father and beautiful daughter at the fortress in Macau

Ruins of St. Paul’s cathedral in Macau. You can read more here

This little alleyway (in central Macau) was so crowded, and our local guide moved so quickly, that it was a bit frightening at times…though as it turned out, there was really only one way to go anyway. Nevertheless, we were relieved to finally get to where we were supposed to be!

Photos of St. Domingo's Church, Macau
This little yellow Catholic church – St. Domingo’s – was waiting at the end of that long and twisting alleyway, near the Largo do Senado (Senado Square) in Macau. (This photo of St. Domingo’s Church is courtesy of TripAdvisor…I was never in a spot where I could take such a great picture myself!)

This is the picture I took inside St. Domingo’s  Catholic Church (Near the Largo do Senado (Senado Square) in Macau. This was the only church we visited, or even saw, throughout our entire 23 days in China.

Crossing a bridge in Macau

One of the casinos (the Venetian) in Macau. Looks like the one we visited in Vegas!

As we drove through the entire sprawling city of Macau, past towering office buildings, across bridges, past huge Vegas-looking casino hotels, leaving it all behind us, we began to wonder where the bus was taking us. We seemed to be driving into the middle of nowhere (not a happy thought for those who had been looking forward to a little gambling that evening).

When we finally arrived at our hotel, we were flabbergasted! Indeed, here in the middle of nowhere, our bus had brought us to a tropical paradise right on the South China Sea. For hubby and I, both very travel-weary, it was a sight for sore eyes – and feet and knees, lol.

The Westin Resort, in Macau, right on the South China Sea

The first thing we did after tossing our bags into our room was to head down to that beach and plunge our feet into the South China Sea. Because of the fear  of contamination from the high level of pollution, we admittedly left them in there only long enough to take pictures.

On the beach of the South China Sea in Macau

Our feet in the South China Sea at Macau

(Hubby scrubbed his as soon as he got back to the room; I didn’t – but had to get out of bed and scrub them in the middle of the night because they were itching so badly!)

We really enjoyed our relaxing evening at this resort…we found the dining room staff extraordinarily pleasant and enjoyed some fun and interesting conversations with them there at our table (most of the others from our tour had taken the shuttle to the casino, so the dining room was very quiet that evening).

Here are more pictures of our short stay in Macau.

My feet in the South China Sea (Macau)

My step-daughter with her feet in the South China Sea in Macau

A glimpse of the gorgeous grounds at the Westin Resort in Macau

The view from our balcony at the Westin Resort in Macau

Hubby soaking it all in (Westin Resort, Macau)

A fuzzy red flower, in Macau

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Copyright © Sharon C. Matthies, Meanderings (blog), 2012. All rights reserved.

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About Sharon

I love to write. I love to write myself into being right here right now. Writing releases something in me that needs wings, writing opens doors and windows that I often don't even realize are possible, writing helps me breathe out the dusty old, and to breathe in the new and possible. My hope is that maybe writing here in this blog will bring new light into these dusty old hallways and help me to clear out the thinking processes and mindsets that just don't work for me anymore. I seek to breathe new light and life into the nooks and crannies of a soul that has been feeling somewhat lost and frayed because of the last few patches of road I've had to travel.
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4 Responses to Trekking Through China…Macau

  1. Beautiful descriptions, as always!!

    Like

  2. Lydia Hamm says:

    What a great way to share your pictures and your travel to China. Enjoyed it immensely. Thanks. Who knows when we would have seen your pictures and heard about your trip otherwise. 🙂 Hopefully we’ll get to see you sometime in 2013????

    Like

    • Sharon says:

      Hi Lydia! I’m so happy to see you here, thank you so much for taking the time to visit. I apologize for not sending the link sooner…jet lag and miserable colds have made my brain fuzzier than normal, lol. Yes we hope to get down that way again, to visit Erna and to spend more time with you and Phil, hopefully in the Spring. xoxo

      Like

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