Tuesday, June 21, 2011

24hrs in Macau

They say that Macau is the Vegas of the orient. Well I'm now sitting in Vegas writing this and can safely say that Macau ain't a patch on the real deal - but you won't know that until you visit both and you'll see why when I get round to blogging about the Vegas part of my trip.

Sure if you visit Macau you can take in the bright lights, gambling and entertainment at the casinos

But the real beauty of Macau lies in its colonial Portuguese heritage.  And after hopping on a one hour ferry ride from Hong Kong with this cool looking TurboJET

(or Tiger Airways flight direct to Macau), you can step away from casino-ville and to the quarter's main square - Largo do Senado and surrounding area where you'll be transported to the Mediterranean with its cobbled streets,  beautiful colonial buildings (which are incredibly well preserved) and Macanese houses, served up with breezy laid back charm.

And of course, if you are sticking to soaking up the Portuguese vibe, this is where you can tuck into some scrummy and very authentic Portuguese food.

We tried out Escada at 8 Rua de Se where we tucked into some really good Portuguese stuffed crab...

and where the chorizo was cooked in front of you over a red wine flame

followed by a freaking big Portuguese style fish which even though it was over two hand spans big I ate all myself it was soooo good.

We also managed to fit in a quick stop off at the ruins of St Paul's Cathedral which were pretty impressive and certainly worth a visit if you have time. As it's perched up high on a hill you also get some good views back over Macau.
OK we didn't Portuguese it out the whole time but as ever on the search for the perfect congee (as well as other culinary delights), I think we may have found it at the Noodle and Congee Corner of the Grand Lisboa which served up the most delicious and creamy congee I've had - EVER! And you can take your pick from various fillings and treat yourself to a HUGE bowl of delicious congee. A must for congee lovers out there.
Oh and finally while we are talking Lisboas, you can head over to the shopping arcade on the second floor of the Casino Lisboa for a surreal experience. Walk through and watch a very large number of hookers swarming about, guys drooling over them, cutting deals, swapping bags of god knows what with their friends as they take it in turns to get their piece of the action in the hotel rooms, leaving the lifts trying their hardest to look like nothing just happened, while the hooker walks out with her clothes barely back on.  Nice.

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