We set our alarm for 6.30 am, had breakfast on Java Road after leaving the hotel and still managed to buy tickets and board the 7.30 am TurboJet Ferry to Macau. Two tickets cost HK$318. The journey took an hour but we then had to join a lengthy queue at immigration. It was an extremely hot and sticky morning and we made the mistake of walking to the centre instead of taking a taxi, which are very cheap here.
Our first stop was to the very large Lisboa Casino, where we glanced in the gaming rooms which were busy despite it being only 9.30 am.
A little further away we arrived at the UNESCO old town, it’s centrepiece being the magnificent, triangular shaped Senado Square which is characterised by its ‘wavy’ pavement.
Nearby we came to the Ruins of St Paul’s, the only parts now remaining being the stone staircase and the front facade. This is probably the most visited place in Macau and was very busy when we were there. Next, we found a cafe for cool drinks as the humidity was increasing. We also treated ourselves to the delicious, small Portuguese custard tarts which were served warm. These cost MD$8 each. They were so good, we returned for more!
We then consulted our map, and located the bus stop which would take us to the Coloane Village in the south of the island. It was really nice in Coloane, time seemed to have passed it by, as it was remarkably unspoilt. We enjoyed lunch in Lord Stow’s Bakery and cafe, a famous colonial institution on the island.
The cafe and bakery was established by the Englishman Andrew Stow and his recipes for the local pasteis de nata (custard tarts) are still used today. We then caught the bus to the Cotai Strip and visited both Sands and the Venetian Casinos. The Venetian was modelled on the one in Las Vegas which we had visited several years ago. A ‘canal’ winds its way through the shopping mall and it’s possible to take a gondola boat trip to replicas of the Bridge of Sighs and St Mark’s Square. The stores in the Venetian mall are all of a high end, designer nature, but good for some window shopping. Finally, we walked through the Casino and viewed some of the gaming tables from a distance.
It was easy to return to the ferry terminal as free buses run between there and the casino. Unlike our outbound crossing which was full, there were only a few passengers returning to Hong Kong at the same time as us.
We had dinner in Wan Chai then enjoyed another delightful journey on the Star Ferry.