Spring Festival 2016 kept me moving forwards, leaving Hong Kong behind on a super quick hydrofoil I was ready for some Portuguese history and culture in a former European Colony. Macau was the second destination during my February 2016 holiday, I was on a mission to capture the ruins, enjoy some Portuguese food and wine but I wasn't going to gamble! Vamos!
Dropping my few belongings at my hotel I was in a great location, I was well away from the hoards of tourists that I would inevitably encounter later on that day. Staying along Rua de Francisco Xavier Pereira I was pleased that busy street bustled with normal traffic, opposed to the continuous coach load of visitors form the Mainland in-particular. I could still hear Cantonese as my time spent Hong Kong allowed me to hear that Southern Chinese language. I adored the European feeling that flowed through the winding streets on the Macau Peninsula, it was strange to think that the border with Mainland China was less than thirty minutes away from this Portuguese former territory. Heading for the Ruins of St. Paul's I snapped away like somebody possessed, getting my head around the bi-lingual street signs gave me life to hold onto to a European reminder like I saw in Hong Kong. Macau impressed me from the moment I disembarked from my Turbojet vessel! Eu amei M!
Moving onwards from the Ruins of St. Paul's I walked through a maze of streets that gave me a breather away from the tourists, tour groups are my pet hate and they were in their hundreds for sure! I predominately stayed within the Northern island of Macau's Peninsula because Cotai or any of the sparkling casino's were not going to take my travelling fund through gambling. I took my time during my two days in Macau, taking in the historic Portuguese sights that amazed me to the max! Giving myself a history lesson I took lots of knowledge from the informative tourist signs, I learned that Macau was handed back to China from Portugal to become a Special Administrative Region in 1999. Both of China's SAR's have open access to social media and other websites and apps that are banned within Mainland China, let's just say it was great to use Facebook and Twitter without a VPN! Back to my first day in Macau, seeing the Ruins of St. Paul's was one of the highlights of my trip!
Honestly, I wasn't going to be eating anything Chinese or Cantonese because I could do that as soon as I crossed the border back into Mainland China! Yes, my Portuguese food was really something special because it felt great to taste European food! I adored the winding streets, that's how I found both of the restaurants that I dined at! The second night that I spent in Macau I decided to eat at another Portuguese style restaurant, I had a steak and a side order that consisted of something to do with potatoes. I upgraded my wine bottle to a normal 750 ml Portuguese red, it was my final night in Macau and I didn't touch a drop of alcohol in Hong Kong so I deserved a treat before moving onwards to Guangzhou. With all that Portuguese food and wine I was feeling nostalgic about my time spent living in Newark, NJ's Ironbound District, I know that my stay in Macau motivated me to be thinking about saving to return to that corner of the USA! Eu quero mais comida Português! Yass!
The Chinese New Year craziness now seems like a blur, I can't say that the chaos did too much to make a dent on my experience in Macau. As silly as this may read I can safely say that another China travel bucket list can be ticked off, I wanted to visit Macau that much! The Ruins of St. Paul's was a sight to appreciate, keeping my cool I got my snaps and ate my Egg tarts without paying the crowds much attention. Seeing a guy have a can of Tsingtao lager before dinner time I felt like it was my duty to enjoy an afternoon alcoholic beverage! Macau's Portuguese design acted as the perfect balance to HK's British era. Newark, NJ was brought back when I found some great Portuguese cuisine and wine, I must admit that I miss the international Portuguese television channel! Largo De Senado was decked out in all of its Chinese New Year finery, representing the monkey brightly! This SAR had that special something, I made the right choice to experience Macau! Feito!