07 January 2009

Macau Short Break with hop over to Zhuhai

Clockwise from Top Left: Sofitel at Ponte 16; Cozy & comfortable bath and room; A splendid view from the Room 1513

Final Day! Going Home! We boarded a taxi to the Macau Airport and we were chatting with this 60 year old Taxi Driver. We asked him "As a matter of statistics, out of ten gamblers, how many would have lost their money?" He said "Eleven!" without hesitation! "Eleven? How is it!!?". "You see, the 10th gambler even lost his wife's money!?" He definitely drove home a point! The man in the street can NEVER win money in the Casinos. He may win once, twice or even many times, but one day, they will get him! Good advice from someone who started gambling since he was 17. Unfortunately, I met him at the end of the trip. Otherwise, I would not have contributed to the likes of Stanley Ho, Sheldon Adelson or Steve Wynn!

Have been to Hong Kong over a dozen times but each time, I miss Macau....somehow.......so, my bed partner and I decided to experience New Year's Countdown in Macau!! This is my 1st time in Macau & my 61st destination!
We were there for 3 Nites & 4 full days and weather was nice & cool (11C to 16C).

Air Asia was on time (both ways) so I can't complaint.
The Sofitel at Ponte 16 is just 3 months old, so it's nice. I just love new Hotels! The Sofitel has what most tourists would love ie. the 3 L's - Large rooms (35 sq mtr), LCD TV & L' Occitane toiletries! And most important of all, the service-oriented & efficient Front Office staff upgraded us from one of City View to one of River View, so we enjoyed nice views of the river, boats & sunset!
Macau-Zhuhai Trip was from 31 Dec 2008 to 3 Jan 2009

Jeff's Hot Spots!

1) Hang around at Senado Square, saviour some local specialties including the famous Chewy Peanut Candy from Koi Kei Bakery, Portuguese Egg Tarts & the Crepe in all flavors! Walk to the ruins of St. Paul's to take nice photos.

At Senado Square & Ruins of St Paul

2) Dine at a local Portuguese Restaurant such as O Porto or A Lorcha Restaurante

3) Go Casino Hopping - free transportation are provided by almost all the famous Casinos. From the Ferry Terminal, take a bus to the Sands Casino, then take another bus to the Venetian, which will also cover Plaza Casino (Four Seasons). You may alos want to get to Wynn, then walk over to Grand Lisboa & MGM. All these famous Casinos have free shows & entertainment. Wynn even has a Musical Fountain. You can have lunch at the Food Court in the Venetian and walk around the shops or even ride one of the Gondolas.

Casino Grand Lisboa & inside the Venetian Shopping Mall

4) Stroll from the Ferry Terminal to Macau's Fisherman's Wharf, which features restaurants, souvenir shops, an amusement park, a disco, a playground, a man-made volcano and more, nestled in a village-like setting along the waterfront. A new Victorian-designed called the Rock Hotel would make a pleasant stay.

Volcano behind us & breakfast at Enzo Cafe at Fisherman Wharf

5) Watch the Sun Set from Macau Tower: This 220m-high (732 ft) "Space Needle" looks outstanding in little Macau but you can't beat it for its views: 55km (about 35 miles) on clear days. Have a drink in its lounge or dinner in its revolving restaurant.
Note: We did not explore Macau Tower, instead the Sunset photos & towering Sofitel were taken from the 6th Floor Swimming Pool area.

Sunset View & towering Sofitel from 6th Floor swimming pools area

Eating Places
We had some reasonably good meals in Macau. Of course, we told ourselves, we have to visit some popular Portuguese Restaurants in Macau (though we do have Portuguese food in Malaysia too).

O Porto Interior Restaurante (Tel: 2896 7770)
Come highly recommended, this restaurante is located along Rua do Almirante, very near the Maritime Museum. Portion are reasonably good proportion and we paid MOP344 (US$45) for the 3 dishes, rice & water!

Clockwise from top left: Pork Balicao, Sea Bass Porto, Mango Pudding & Clams

Restaurante A Lorcha (Tel: 2831 3193/2831 3195)
Also along Rua do Almirante road, a few doors from O Porto, this restaurant is very popular with tourists. Please make your bookings as as this Restaurant comes highly recommended by most Hotels Concierge. Food price is almost similar to O Porto Interior and perhaps just as delicious judging by how busy it is during Dinner time.

Crepe Stall
In one of the lane along Senado Square, we came across a Crepe Stall which sells delicious Creap in all sort of flavors. We tried the unorthodox Crepe with ham and paid 7 MOP (or US$1) which was really delicious. At 7 MOP it is the same price as one of those tiny Portuguese Egg Tarts but it certainly has better value for money.

Crepe Stall

Sumptous Seafood at Seafood Restaurant along Rua do Almirante (100 meters from O Porto)
We had a sumptous and delicious meal at a Seafood restaurant which seems to cater to the locals. The dishes were huge (sufficient for 4 persons) & very reasonable. We paid MOP120 (US$17) for 3 large servings of a Pork Dish, Vegetables & a Soup. Check it out!

Food, glorious food!